Etikettarkiv: Islay whisky review

Bunnahabhain An Cladach

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This whisky is a limited travel retail exclusive release. There is no information about maturation period or casks used, but there are ex-sherry casks involved. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Ardbeg 8 YO Discussion Committee Release

ABV: 50.8 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and peaty. At first there’s a mineral rich campfire smoke-like peat sitting on top of a center part which includes honey, vanilla, a hint of sweet liquorice and unscented hand lotion. On top there’s a mild menthol note and underneath lies a small hint of assorted berries and citrus fruits. When it starts to settle the peat merges with the sweetness and the background notes become clearer. There’s a hint of leather and nuts coming through, as well as a more sticky sweetness. There’s a nice complexity to it with a youthful mix together with more mature notes. This is a really great nose which had a lot to offer behind the big peatiness.

Mouth: It starts out with a mild and sweet honey and vanilla note and a very mineral rich peat. On the outside there’s a mild black pepper spicyness and coastal notes as well. The background notes are really gritty with dark overripe raisins, earthy and oily peat notes, a hint of sulfur and a dark chocolate bitterness. Even though there’s a lot of demanding flavours it really comes through as approachable. There are some harsher notes floating around but they seem to be needed to give it the roughness it deserves. The whole seems very logical and balanced.

Finish: The transition is calm and it just seem to carry on delivering the same profile as before. The gritty and complex background notes really take some steps forward which is a really good thing. The middle part of the finish is just amazing with just a perfect mix of peat, fruitiness and sweetness. The dark chocolate stays in the back giving it a nice depth. The oakiness comes through late and it’s not pushing itself through. The mild intensity really suits the journey and gives it a nice send-off. This is a great whisky through and through. It really shows off the house style with a nice added fruity bonus.

Additional information
This committee release was aged in ex-sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Octomore 12.3

ABV: 62.1 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and heavily peated. At first there’s a very sooty peat and a honey and vanilla sweetness coming out of the glass. Underneath lies some coastal notes like ocean air and a hint of seaweed. When it starts to settle and the nose gets accustomed to the intense flavours there’s a floral note on top and some sweet, mild berries underneath arriving slowly. It’s very approachable and the high ABV is just creating a mellow minty layer on top. There are many notes floating by, such as chocolate, iodine, violets, oak etc. This makes the experience feel like a treasure hunt. This is a great nose. It’s incredibly rich and interesting to explore.

Mouth: It starts out with a chili spicyness surrounding the palate while the center part immidiately grows into a big ball of honey, vanilla and a sooty, mineral rich peatiness. In the background there’s a savory note as well as a black coffee/dark chocolate bitterness sitting together with some ripe berries. There are hints of assorted nuts and the oakiness is slowly arriving out towards the edges. A lemon peel note is found in the background mix as well. The heavy peat seems to merge with everything else and it doesn’t feel as peaty as on the nose.

Finish: The transition starts with a quick flare of the red berries and lemon before the chili spicyness returns. The sweet center never really reaches the same height as before which gives room for a mix of coastal notes, iodine, lemon, coffee, soot and oak. These notes lasts for a long time before the finish starts to fade. It becomes slightly dry and astringent in the late finish and the oakiness is fresh and decent. It’s not the most characterful oakiness, but it does its job while the sooty peat lingers. This is a fantastic and powerful whisky with a lot to offer to those who dare to venture beyond the peat. It’s an extremely flavourful experience.

Additional information
This whisky was aged for 5 years in first fill ex-american whiskey casks (75%) and first fill ex-PX sherry casks (25%). The PPM value is 118.1. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Ardbeg Ardcore Committee Release

ABV: 50.1 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 2/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sharp and peaty. At first there’s a spiky ethanol layer attacking the nose. It feels slightly acidic while the center part presents a mix between heavy peat notes, sweetness and vanilla cream. The peat is a mix of soot, burning wood and iodine. There is a coastal side to the whole, but it’s pushed out towards the edges. It feels like it’s a bit two-dimensional and lacks a lot of complexity and depth. It’s just a sharp layer with hardly anything behind it. This is a so-and-so nose which is a bit disappointing coming from Ardbeg.

Mouth: It starts out with a peppery overtone and heavy, sooty peat. Underneath there are thin notes of toffee, liquorice, vanilla and some green apples sprinkled within. It’s very mouth forward and it feels quite unbalanced, very young and extremely spirit driven. After a while it becomes slightly dry and astringent. There’s just nothing in the background except for a bitter note, which doesn’t seem to fit in. It’s just quite poorly put together. After a few seconds there’s a miniscule floral note starting to float around on top but it’s too little, too late.

Finish: The peppery spicyness continues over the transition, as well as the peatiness. There are no surprises when the center notes reappear. It’s mainly toffee, vanilla and sweet liquorice. The apple bits are gone and the background fills with a mix of lemon and a metallic note. It’s still dry and astringent and the bitter note is ever so present. The oakiness comes through late and it’s a rather boring fresh sawdust oakiness. This is not a great whisky. It’s shallow and lacks complexity. This is the worst Ardbeg release in a long time.

Additional information
This whisky was made with heavily roasted black malt. There’s no information regarding casks used or aging period. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Bowmore No.1

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Sample in queue. Tasting notes pending.

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(Old Scribbles)

Nose: Thin nose, peaty medicinal note, sweetness, brine, citrus, butterscotch. Young and cheap, missing the Bowmore characteristic tropical fruits.

Mouth: Butterscotch, metallic note, burnt hay, bitter oak, spicy. No fruits.

Finish: Bitter oak, citrus fruit, spices linger. Hint of campfire smoke in the end.

Additional information
This expression was released in 2017 and was a replacement for the Bowmore Small Batch. It’s aged in first fill american ex-bourbon barrels.

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Bunnahabhain Cruach-Mhòna

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This whisky is a limited peated release exclusive to travel retail. There is no information about maturation period or casks used. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Ardbeg Arrrrrrrdbeg!

ABV: 51.8 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is green fruits and peat. At first there’s a green pear and apple fruitiness with a spicy, mineral heavy peatiness. When it settles a layer of minty candy cane gets mixed into the fruitiness. There’s vanilla and, when given time, an unscented lotion note as well. The oakiness is present as an outside layer together with the peat which create a warm burnt woodfire note. The rye is also in there, but it’s not especially ”bready”. This is a great nose which feels lively and there’s a lot of things to discover.

Mouth: It starts out sweet and spicy with a big dose of peppermint spreading out. Underneath the peat still comes through as mineral heavy with an aura of burnt wood. The rye sits a bit back on the palate and gives the whole thing a quite unique character in combination with the peatiness. There’s a bitterness coming through from the back as well as some coastal notes. The fruitiness is now almost completely gone.

Finish: The transition starts with small increase of the spicyness before it turns to a mix of oak, peat and rye bread. The sweetness has subsided and it’s more focused on the bitter side which has a hazelnut vibe to it when combined with the oakiness. The longer the finish last, the more of the rye bread and the oak comes through. The fruitiness peeks through as well. The peatiness moves out to an outer layer and stays a good while down the late finish. It becomes somewhat astingent in the end. This is a great whisky with a very interesting profile.

Additional information
The Arrrrrrrdbeg! is a limited committee release celebrating Mickey Heads retirement. It’s aged for an undisclosed amount of time in ex-rye casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Octomore 09.1 – Dialogos

ABV: 59.1 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
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Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 2012 with a PPM value of 156. It was aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 5 years. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 2011. It was aged in a mix of ex-bourbon barrels (75 %) and european ex-wine casks (25 %) for 6 years. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie – Scottish Barley

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is a mix of sweet and salty. At first there’s a layer of honey and vanilla with a mild cloud of peppermint on top. The base consists of coastal notes, like seaweed and salty ocean air. It’s not especially fruity, but there is a hint of citrus fruits floating around somewhere in between together with a slightly perfumey floral notes. The nose is very consistant over time and it doesn’t evolve too much in the glass.

Mouth: It starts out with a sour tang, but soon becomes savory. It feels rowdy and a bit rough around the edges, but in a very good way. There’s tar, motoroil and coastal notes, which are still very much in focus. It’s not as sweet as on the nose and the honey and vanilla notes move out towards the edges. There’s a bitter oakiness coming through and after a few seconds there’s a black pepper spicyness starting to build up. With time there’s a bitter black liquorice emerging from the back.

Finish: The savory notes are first to appear and they are accompanied by peppermint and brine. It’s very salty, but it starts to lean away from the coastal notes and lean more towards a herbaceous character. It takes a second or two for the oakiness to arrive, but when it does it packs a punch. It becomes very pronounced in the finish. It’s a nice oakiness and it feels genuine and almost like it’s coming from a ship wreck, since it’s mixed with the savory and salty notes. This is a great, albeit young, whisky which doesn’t cater for people who want an easy sipping experience. This is rough around the edges, and that’s a very good thing.

Additional information
The Classic Laddie is mainly aged in first and second fill american ex-bourbon casks. There’s also a couple of ex-wine casks in the mix. The batch of the tested bottle is 19/192.

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Bunnahabhain Toiteach A Dhà

ABV: 46.3 %
Origin:
Islay
Type: Single
malt
Bottles in collection:
0
Emptied bottles:
1
Impression:
4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is red fruits and sweet peat. The full impact is immidiate and it brings liqeuer-soaked red fruits, raisins and a sweet and smoky peatiness. The peatiness is coming through with notes of vanilla and pipe tobacco. There’s a background layer with dry soil and a touch of sea salt. It’s quite mild on the nose, yet very rich even though there’s a youthness shining through in the background. The nose remains very consistant and doesn’t change with time, except for it becoming slightly sweeter.

Mouth: It starts out with the liqeuer-soaked red berries and a hint of lemon but soon the peatiness starts to roll through to become the main feature. The dry soil is still found in the background. After a while a bitter note starts to emerge to, ever so slightly, take over the background together with a rubber/oily note. It’s still salty, but there’s no vanilla and the whole thing is less sweet than on the nose.

Finish: The rubbery/oily note is making an appearance before the sweet side of the peatiness comes through once more. A mild pepper spiciness spreads out and the red berry fruitiness is now residing in the back together with the bitter note. The oakiness arrives and steps forward after a few seconds. It’s a spicy oak and it brings a nutty quality to the finish. This is a great mix of sherry and peat, and a very nice overall experience.

Additional information
The Toiteach A Dhà is aged in a mix of ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks for an undisclosed amount of time. This is a sequel to the Toiteach expression. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair

ABV: 46.3 %
Origin:
Islay
Type:
Single malt
Bottles in collection:
0
Emptied bottles:
1
Impression:
3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is red fruits and salty ocean air. The first thing to come through is sweet red berries and vanilla with a coastal backdrop of salt, seaweed and driftwood. There’s also a grapefruit note somewhere in the middle. It’s not a sweet nose but there is a sweetness which seems connected to the sherry notes. It becomes brighter and fruitier with time in the glass and the grapefruit is soon accompanied with a squeeze of lime. There’s a small hint of cardboard coming through from behind, which probably is a sign of some younger malts used. This is an interesting nose, which brings two differences together to make one whole.

Mouth: It starts out oaky and malty. It’s dry and there’s a green pine youthness coming through. The outer layer is still very much a coastal thing with the salty notes and dry weathered oak. It’s honey sweet but the vanilla is barely noticable. The fruitiness is still coming from fresh red berries, but it’s not as pronounced as on the nose. There is a spicy side to it, but it takes a bit of time for it to show up. The fresher citrus notes is still in there and they create a much needed contrast to the other flavours. It becomes sweeter with time and a couple of sips.

Finish: It’s still malty with a bitter tone sitting in the middle. There’s a chili pepper spiciness building up as the other flavours arise. The pine note is all too present and the coastal notes is still residing in the outer layer. It’s a touch astringent and dry. When the oak starts to emerge it seems to be attached to the pine note. The fruitiness returns in the late finish and somewhat rescues the oak from the green, young pine note. The vanilla also make an appearance down the road. This is an interesting dram, but the pine note brings it down a notch or two.

Additional information
The Stiùireadair is aged in first- and second fill ex-sherry casks. The ages varies between the casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Bowmore 15 YO – Golden & Elegant

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and peaty. At first, there’s a sour lemon note and a gentle smoke coming from a hot, burning campfire. After a few whiffs it changes slighty towards leather and tobacco and the lemons become a big bowl of tropical fruits. There’s ripe mangos, pineapple and peaches accompanied by honey, a hint of menthol and vanilla. It’s very pleasant on the nose.

Mouth: It’s sweet and sour with honey, lemons and fresh tropical fruits. The leather and tobacco notes represent the peat and resides around the edges. The oak is there, but it’s not overpowering or bitter. It shows a little astringency after a few sips.

Finish: A big burst of the tropical fruitiness together with a peppermint spicyness. The peat notes are still present and create a nice backdrop. The tropical fruits stays all the way to the end together with a pleasant oakiness. A ”funky” note shows up somewhere in the middle of the finish. There’s some hazelnuts coming through as a dusty, nutty note at the tail end.

Additional information
This is a part of Bowmore’s travel retail exclusive range that was released in 2017. It’s aged in first fill american ex-bourbon barrels.

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Bowmore 12 YO

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 2
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is mixed fruits and mellow peat. At first there’s a mix of dried tropical fruits and ripe grapes occupying most of the space in the center. The outer layer consists of vanilla and a muted leathery peat with a hint of tobacco. There is a honey sweetness somewhere in the middle, but it’s not a perticularly sweet nose over all. With time, the dried fruits become fresher and liquorice comes up on the edge of the glass. There’s not much else to it. It’s a nice, but low impact nose.

Mouth: The leather and tobacco peatiness is first to come through, and it’s way more pronounced than on the nose. After a few seconds the whole thing becomes a tiny bit dusty and slowly the tropical fruits arrive. There are some ripe plums and raisins in there and there is a green grape note coming through from the back. It still has a very low impact, but it has a lot more to offer now. The oakiness comes through from behind and a touch of sea salt can be found in the back together with some black liquorice.

Finish: At first, there’s a big gap with no taste what so ever. After a second or two, the fruitiness start to emerge again. It’s now very bright and fruity and there’s a pineapple note which slowly transforms into the oakiness. It’s a slightly dusty oak. It never really takes over and the fruits follow along through the entire finish. The leather and tobacco notes are pushed way back into the background. This is a nice dram with great flavours, but it’s a bit uneventful and never really takes off.

Additional information
Bowmore does not disclose the cask types used in their 12 YO, but it’s bulk seem to be american ex-bourbon oak barrels, and possibly some european ex-sherry casks. This is part of the standard core range.

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Bowmore 10 YO – Dark & Intense

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 2
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark and sweet. At first there’s a thick layer of dark fruits, mostly liqueur-soaked raisins and plums, together with honey and pipe tobacco. After a few seconds the peatiness changes towards leather and a warm campfire smokiness. In the background there is a lemon sourness and a salty note. There is a medicinal side to it as well. This is a very pleasant nose, but lacks a little complexity and depth.

Mouth: It starts out with a few seconds of sweet honey and vanilla before the dark fruits and the peat returns. Now it’s very much a pipe tobacco and leather kind of peat. After a while the fruitiness becomes a bit brighter and starts to move towards assorted tropical fruits. At the same time, a nice black coffee bitterness slowly emerges around the edges.

Finish: The assorted tropical fruits are immidiately the main feature and comes through together with a very characterful oakiness. The coffee note remains on the edges and the peat is now residing in the background. The dark fruits is still in there, but sort of floats around somewhere in between the other flavours. A nice savory note surprisingly pops up when everything else is about to disappear. This is a good whisky and decently priced, but it lacks some intensity, which is quite ironic.

Additional information
This is a travel retail exclusive released in 2017. It’s matured in spanish ex-sherry oak casks and hogsheads.

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Bowmore Dusk – Bordeaux Wine Casked

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark fruits and peat. At first there’s a quite sweet mix of dark fruits and fresh red berries with leather and tobacco notes attached. In the background there are assorted tropical fruits and a lemon sourness. There’s a peppermint layer floating around on top and just underneath some vanilla as well. It’s a powerful nose. The peatiness comes through mostly as the tobacco and leather notes, which are attached to the port notes as well. There’s a campfire smokiness in there too. It seems very stable and the different layers really don’t move or mix. This is a very nice nose, but the whole seems a bit divided.

Mouth: It starts out with a sweetness and an ABV punch before it starts to deliver the other flavours. When it does, there’s a long row of things queueing up. Dried fruits (both dark and yellow), dust, malt, floral notes (mainly violets), lemon, baking and cooking spices are some of the starting notes. It’s not as peaty as on the nose and the tobacco and leather notes are really pushed back at this point. The campfire smokiness can be found on the edges. When it settles the violet notes are very much in focus with the rest of the flavours backing it up. It’s a very pleasant experience at this point.

Finish: The spicyness becomes black pepper and spreads out through the transition. It soon gets pushed away by the floral notes, again with violets up front. It almost feels a bit soapy at this point, which is less than ideal. It does shift towards the darker notes as well as the fresher fruitiness which saves it. It’s a long finish and it takes a while for the oakiness to appear. It’s a slightly dry and dusty oakiness and it feels a bit underwhelming. The peatiness has basically disappeared but there are still campfire smokiness and vanilla notes on the sides. This is a very good whisky. It has a lot of blemishes, but it’s still very drinkable.

Additional information
This whisky was aged 12 years in american and spanish oak and then finished for about 2 years in ex- bordeaux wine claret casks.

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Bowmore 21 YO Château Lagrange French Oak Barriques

ABV: 48.4 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet, peaty and fruity. At first there’s a tropical fruitiness in the background, a sweetness in the center and a slightly mineraly tobacco and leather peatiness up front. When it settles it becomes more homogenous and ripe red and black berries are added to the mix. It’s got a nice, dark character and the assorted bright fruits in the back create a nice contrast which still works well. Notes of salt, liquorice and dry soil floats around within and creates a quite complex character. This is an amazing nose with a lot of attention seeking things to discover.

Mouth: It starts out with a very round and sweet dark fruitiness up front. Underneath there are notes of tobacco, leather and campfire smoke which sits together with the brighter fruits and a dash of lemon. It’s very rich and even though it presents a lot of different sensations it still delivers a fantastic and well balanced character. Laid back notes of the age shines through with some dusty book shelves in the center. There’s still a mineraly side to it as well. The red wine notes travels outwards and makes the whole bigger as the seconds goes by.

Finish: The round and dark berry note increases in intensity through the transition together with the minerals and the salty note. It soon reverts to being a nice mix of the peat, the tropical fruits and the sweetness. It takes a good while before any of the flavours subside to give room for the oakiness. It’s a nice and competent oakiness. It feels fresh for its age. There are some hazelnuts coming through in the late finish with gives it a nice send-off. This is an amazing whisky with a character which creates a fantastic balance and richness throughout.

Additional information
This is the second limited release in a series of french oak expressions. The whisky was aged in french ex-red wine barriques for the entire aging period.

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Bowmore 15 YO – The Feis Ile Collection 2018

ABV: 52.5 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark and fruity. At first there’s a thick mix of dark raisins, overripe plums, tobacco and leather in the center and assorted tropical fruits in the background. There’s a peatiness spreading out towards the sides and the background and it delivers leather, campfire smoke and some minerality to the mix. There’s a nice balance between all the elements and nothing really takes the spotlight. This creates a whole which is greater than its parts, and all the parts are very good. There’s a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon floating around as well as a hint of vanilla and walnuts. This is a fantastic nose with a great cohesive profile.

Mouth: It starts out with a mild and dark center with dark chocolate and tobacco. After a few seconds a fruitiness with multiple layers start to come through on the outside. There’s the dark and sweet fruits and berries, yellow tropical fruits and some lemon. There’s also an elusive floral note floating around. There’s a chili spicyness which slowly builds up around the edges which gives it a nice power-up. The peatiness is in there, but even though it’s quite noticable it doesn’t feel protruding and just adds to the mix instead of taking over. It’s still has a leather, woodfire and minerals character. There’s a slight dustiness within as well.

Finish: The dark chocolate and the tobacco are first out once again. After a second or two the whole cycle repeats itself with the mixed fruits on the outside, the peatiness growing in all directions without taking over and the peatiness now seems to intertwine with the darker sherry notes. There’s a toffee note in the center and the floral note is still floating around somewhere within. When everything starts to reside the whole becomes a mix of dark chocolate, tropical fruits and oak. It’s a very mild oakiness which fits the journey nicely since the rest of the journey has been quite busy. This is a fantastic whisky with a lot to offer, both as just a nice dram and as an explorer’s experience.

Additional information
This whisky was aged in first fill ex-Oloroso sherry casks. 3000 bottles were released for Feis Ile 2018. The Bottle tried is No. 1280.

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Bowmore 10 YO – The Devil’s Casks Small Batch Release II

ABV: 56.3 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark and fruity. At first there’s a thick and dark layer with raisins, overripe plums, tobacco and dark syryp. There’s a mild menthol layer on top and underneath lies a fresher tropical fruitiness and a drop of lemon. When it settles a peatiness start to emerge from behind. It’s quite subdued and never really breaks through the thick sherry influence. It’s more of a side note which complements the main flavours. There’s a slight minerality to it and there’s a brine note coming through every now and then. This is a great nose which doesn’t change a lot, it just stays the same throughout the journey.

Mouth: It starts out with a sweet dark layer in the middle and a quite noticable lemon sourness in the back. Soon the peatiness start to push through together with a tropical fruitiness around the edges. There are still raisins, plums and tobacco and a big bag of mixed dried fruits of all kinds. The balance between the peat, the sherry influence and the Bowmore house-style is amazing at this point. With time the menthol note becomes a spicyness which spreads out nicely over the palate. There’s an espresso bitterness coming through in the back as well.

Finish: The transition reveals some oak and some minerals before the dark fruits and the sweetness return. The peatiness is residing in the back together with the oakiness. With time the flavours switch places and the sherry notes make their way to the back and give room to both the oak and the peat. The tropical fruits and the lemon note return at this point and the middle part of the finish is a pure delight. When it starts to fade the coffee note returns and the oakiness takes over. It’s a nice enough oakiness but it’s not the best part of the otherwise lovely journey. This is a fantastic whisky. It’s not perfect as a whole, but offers so many great things throughout.

Additional information
This is the second release in the Devil’s Casks series. It’s aged in first fill ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Ardbeg 23 YO – Twenty Something (2017)

ABV: 46.3 %
Origin: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark fruits and peat. At first there’s a cloud of mint and campfire smoke floating on top of a vanilla and dried fruits center. It’s a mineral rich peatiness with a coastal side to it as well. When it settles there’s a note of unscented lotion coming through in the center. The whole feels quite vibrant despite its age. With time in the glass everything seems to level out and it becomes a well-balanced nose. There are now notes of dark chocolate, raisins, figs, honey and leather floating around and the whole becomes quite complex. This is a great nose with a nice mix of new and old.

Mouth: It starts out with a lemon note in the back and a nice peppery spicyness around the edges. The mineral rich side of the peatiness grows quickly on the outside while the center part fills with sweet fruitiness with raisins, figs, honey, vanilla and old leather. It still feels quite fresh for its age but a slight veil of dustiness sits in between the sweetness and the peat. It’s quite complex and there are many small notes floating around. After a few seconds the coastal notes arrive and it becomes slightly salty which adds to the experience. (If it gets 10+ minutes in the glass there’s a fresher fruitiness arriving as well).

Finish: The transition is gentle and there’s no surges or spikes. The dried, dark fruitiness with raisins and figs are first out together with a now detectable oakiness. It’s connected to the vanilla and the unscented lotion note. The minty and mineral rich top layer is still floating around while the background fills with coastal notes, leather and dustiness side by side with a lemon sourness. With time in the glass there’s a fresher fruitiness added to the mix as well. The oakiness is dry and the late finish is a mix of oak and campfire smoke. This is a fantastic whisky and it’s an ever changing experience while time passes in the glass.

Additional information
This whisky was aged in ex-bourbon barrels and ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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