Monthly Archives: February 2016

Scapa 16 Year Old

Distillery: Scapa
Name: N/A
Region: Island
Age: 16
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £60 (70cl)
Nose: Light, metallic, light toffee
Taste: Medium body, grass, coastal, oak, spice
Finish: Short, coastal, dry
Rating: 6/10

Scapa is the lesser known distillery from Orkney, Highland Park obviously being the better known one.

The nose is quite light with a metallic edge to it making it crisp and clean. There are some light toffee notes in there too which help to give a bit more depth to it.

The palate has a medium body, it starts as a light grassy whisky with some slightly coastal/salty notes but then, similar to the nose, deepens a little, this time with some oak and spice. It is quite refreshing as it picks up with the coastal notes again on the finish, although the oakyness does give it a dry finish.

Overall a pleasant dram, definitely a summer dram with its coastal notes.

Orbis Aged World Whiskey

Distillery: St James
Name: Orbis Aged World Whiskey
Region: All over
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £38 (The Whisky Exchange)
Nose: Light, cereal, honey
Taste: Light, sherry, honey, cereal, spice
Finish: Short, cereal, dry
Rating: 5/10

This should be quite an interesting whiskey, after all it is made up of whiskies from 5 different countries, Scotland, Ireland, Japan, America and Canada. It could go one of two ways I guess.

Well straight off it has a light nose with cereal notes in the foreground and just a hint of a light honey. Nestled in the background though is a slight metallic note at first but this begins to fade shortly after pouring.
Onto the palate and it is again light but strangely has definite sherry characters present too. The cereal qualities are still present from the nose as is the slight honey but there also comes an unexpected spice to it, almost like a good rye has. The finish is relatively short and dry with the cereal notes carrying throughout the whiskey.
The nose is not bad, nothing too complex but can still be enjoyed. The palate is a real mix of characters though, very interesting. A good summer dram I reckon that would actually go quite well with a greasy/fatty meal due to that dry finish, it would cleanse the palate quite well I think.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof

Distillery: Wild Turkey
Name: Rare Breed Barrel Proof
Region: Kentucky
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 54.1%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £48 (70cl)
Nose: Rich, hot, dark toffee, orange
Taste: Rich, spicy, dry, dark chocolate, coffee
Finish: Long, spicy, dry
Rating: 7/10

So I’ve had this sample in for a while now to be honest (curtsey of @Tom_Blumsom), only just getting around to trying it. This particular Wild Turkey is made using a blend of 6, 8 and 12 year old stock so it should be pretty good, lets see.

Straight of there is a real rich depth to the nose but that ABV is also present with a slight burn there too. There is some sweetness there but more of a dark toffee sweetness which is not as strong but more caramel. After a couple of minutes it starts to lighten up a bit, becoming more citrus, not as light a lemon or lime, orange I guess, maybe just orange peel.

Can the palate live up to that fantastic nose? Big hit of both spice and ABV heat that just keep on building, amazingly it holds up to it though. That rich body with the dark chocolate and coffee notes put up a good fight to claw there way into view, have a strut around on your tongue and then get pushed back during the dry finish.

Somewhat different to the bog standard Wild Turkey that I have tried tried before. Fantastic nose to it and a palate that does live up to it. I would like to thank (@Tom_Blumsom) for the sample.

Rittenhouse Straight Rye

Distillery: Rittenhouse
Name: Straight Rye
Region: Kentucky
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £26 (Master of Malt)
Nose: Light, slightly earthy, sweet, tropical fruits
Taste: Thin, smooth, vegetal, spicy
Finish: Medium, spicy, slightly dry, vegetal
Rating: 4/10

Another Rittenhouse Rye, the last one was the 100 Proof, this one just the Straight Rye, lets see how they compare.

Well the nose is very light for a rye with a real earthiness to it. This frees up and opens itself up to be surprisingly tropical but also with a sugary sweetness there too. Not really any spice to it which I usually find in ryes.

Onto the palate and it is very light and thin, not much body to it at all. It is smooth though at first before that spice that was so missing on the nose comes through. The earthy/vegetal edge is present again which stays onto the medium length finish, not in a particularly good way though, tastes a little dirty on the finish.

Not struck on this one to be honest. The nose is unusually tropical which is kind of nice but it’s just missing the rye spice. The vegetal notes just stand out too much for me on the palate and the finish. I’ll stick to the 100 Proof me thinks.

Canadian Whisky Comparison

It’s been a while since my last whisky review I know, sorry about that, but I’m back now and hopefully able to start doing my Whisky Wednesday reviews more regularly again. Up this week is a couple of Canadian whiskies. So without further ado…

Distillery: Seagram’s
Name: VO
Region: Canada
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £26 (Master of Malt)
Nose: Grain, sweetness, slightly metallic, subtle spice
Taste: Grain, spicy, creamy
Finish: Long, warm, spicy
Rating: 4/10

Canadian whisky, not something I have tried before to be honest as I’ve never really heard many good things said about it. I’m all about new experiences though so I’m happy to give it chance.

First up is Seagram’s VO blended whisky and “Canada’s Finest” if the bottle is to be believed. Well with a statement like that it has a lot to live up to, after all Avril Lavigne is Canadian and she’s pretty damn fine 🙂

So what does the nose serve up. Well…grain. Initial nose is just a basic grain whisky, with that slight sugar sweetness that goes with one. After a bit there comes a slight metallic note but this seems short lived before returning to a basic grain nose again. It does begin to develop a bit more of a spice to it after a while though.

Onto the palate and it is predominately a grain whisky just like the nose. It does have a real spicy kick to it which is good, nothing distinct, just a spicy warmth that continues to the quite long finish. It does have good body to it, quite creamy and smooth which is an interesting combination with the spicy burn.

Overall I’m not hugely impressed though. I enjoy a grain whisky don’t get me wrong, but I want more than just a generic grain whisky taste, something like the Compass Box Hedonism (yes I know it’s twice the price but it shows what can be done with one). If you are after a cheap, spicy drinking whisky then it is okay but do not expect any form of complexity with it.

Distillery: Crown Royal
Name: Deluxe
Region: Canada
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £26 (Master of Malt)
Nose: Medium richness, slight spice, sweet
Taste: Rich, creamy, spicy
Finish: Medium, warm, spicy
Rating: 5/10

Onto Canada’s most famous whisky, Crown Royal. First created as a gift for King George VI to celebrate the Royal visit to Canada in 1939, it is a blend of 50 Canadian whiskies according their website.

Well the nose is an improvement on the Seagram’s in my opinion. It has a medium richness to it with a slight spice present also. It does have a sugar sweetness to it to go with the slight grain notes, but much better balanced. That sugar sweetness softens into a slightly more fruity sweetness after a bit and the grain notes lessen.

Onto the palate and it has a lovely rich and creamy feel to it followed by that spice from the nose, not as overpowering spice as the Seagram’s however. When held in the mouth for a bit you begin to get some oak coming through that is not initially present. The finish is of medium length but with a lovely spicy, slightly dry, warmness to it.

Definitely the better of the 2 Canadian options for me. There is slightly more depth to it so it can be enjoyed as part of a quiet evening in but it is still cheap enough and easy enough to drink for when some friends come around. Good entry level whisky that would tempt me into trying some of their other range.