Tag Archives: Sherry

#86 – Blended Scotch Whisky #3 23 Year Old

Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company
Name: Blended Whisky #3 Batch 1
Age: 23
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 48.2%
Bottle Size: 50cl
Price: £80 (Master of Malt)
Bottle: 119 of 463
Nose: Rich, dark toffee, sherry, summer fruits
Taste: Rich, sherry, oily, spicy
Finish: Long, sherry, spicy
Rating: 6/10

You can’t go wrong with a TBWC dram, every one I have tried has been exceptional, will this 23 year old blend stand up to such a reputation? Lets see.

The nose is rich with a good amount of dark toffee going on but without the sweetness. There is also a well balanced sherry note there too. Given a little time it briefly hints at some metallic qualities but this disappears and some summer fruits begin coming through and settles with some marzipan too.

The palate is predominantly sherry for me, lovely and oily with a good spice kick mid through to end palate. Think of a good quality sherry finished whisky, just with a little less complexity. It’s just that nothing else quite stands out enough, maybe some chocolate notes but that’s about it.

This has a complex, developing nose to it. Plenty going on and strangely I find it keeps toing and froing with the sherry notes, very interesting. The palate is less complex, more balanced. There are not really any stand out notes, just a balanced sherry heavy blend. As a result it’s a strange one, a savouring dram for it’s nose but just an enjoyable dram on the palate.

#75 – Arran 18 Year Old (Whiskybroker Bottling)

Distillery: Arran
Name: N/A
Age: 18
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 51.1%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £45 (No longer available)
Bottle No.: 8 of 319
Cask No.: 551
Cask Type: Refill Sherry Hogshead
Distilled: 17th July 1996
Bottled: 28th August 2014
Nose: Dried fruits, marzipan, almonds, sweet
Taste: Rich, sherry, oaky, dry
Finish: Long, warm, spicy
Rating: 7/10

This is an independent bottling of the Arran 18 year old offered by Whiskybroker. It was actually available a little before the official 18 year old release which is one of the reasons I bought it.

The sherry cask is very obvious from the lovely rich colour. The nose I found interesting, not as deep as I was expecting but does have some richness from the dried fruits, I can pick out dates in there, it is very sweet though, a sugary sweetness too. The usual fruity nose that I expect from an Arran is not present in this one, the sherry cask has definitely had an affect on that.

The sherry finish becomes very apparent on the palate, very rich with some spicy oak notes, leaving it a little dry. There is also some alcohol burn in there too without water. Speaking of which, in the unlikely event of you finding yourself with a dram of this, add some water as it helps to open it up a little. The finish is long and warm, the spice from the oak seems to go on forever.

Well I have enjoyed the bottle but I do think it is a little too overpowering on the sherry front, the delicacies that I can usually find in an Arran just aren’t there which is a shame. Fantastic value for money though, well worth checking out the website for their ever changing range.

#72 – Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection – Four Wood

Distillery: Woodford Reserve
Name: Master’s Collection – Four Wood
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 47.2%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £144 (Master of Malt)
Nose: Rich, maple syrup, toffee, ripe fruits, nutty
Taste: Smooth, spicy, oaky, nutmeg, berries
Finish: Long, dry, spicy
Rating: 9/10

I couldn’t resist buying a sample of this when doing a recent Master of Malt order, it just sounds so interesting. Initially matured in American oak, finished in barrels made from Maple Wood, Oloroso Sherry Wood and Port Wood, how awesome is that?

Huge depth to this one, great body to it. There is a sweetness present from the maple, toffee and ripe fruits, it’s not a sickly sweetness though. There is a spice presence too, I can’t pick it out but it makes me think of cake, so I’m guessing something used in baking. Given a few minutes I can pickup on some subtle walnut and the cake style sweetness begins to develop more. Very impressive.

The palate is very rich, silky smooth and viscous with a lovely level of spice. There is a fruity and maple sweetness there but reasonably subtle as the oaky dryness quickly reins it in, taking the sweetness but leaving the flavour. There is a hint of nutmeg and maybe some dark berries in there too. The finish is long with a warming spice and just a little dryness to it.

Exceptionally good dram this one, it has definitely lived up to my expectation. Very complex, continues to develop over time making it a great savouring bourbon. At £144 it is not cheap, but I’ve had more expensive whiskies that are not as good, I’d say it’s worth the money to be honest.

Blair Athol Flora and Fauna 12 Year Old

Distillery: Blair Athol
Name: Flora and Fauna
Region: Highland
Age: 12
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 43%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £40 (70cl)
Nose: Rich, sherry
Taste: Medium body, smooth,  sherry, malty
Finish: Short, slight spice
Rating: 6/10

I’ve been meaning to try this for quite a while, I’ve heard good things about it and it looks a lovely colour, right up my street. The nose hits you with lovely, rich sherry notes but unfortunately not much more, it’s not bad but after the first nosing I was expecting it to open up well, but it doesn’t really.

The palate is smooth with good body and a nice level of sherry, nothing too powerful but enough to make it interesting. Once held in the mouth a while you get a slight dryness followed by a malty kick. This leads to a short but lightly spiced finish.

Overall I enjoyed this, nothing too complex but a pleasant, easy drinking sherry cask dram.  At £40 I think it is about at it’s max, I wouldn’t want to pay any more than that for it. It actually reminds me a little of a Dailuaine 16 Year Old, less complex version admittedly but if memory serve correct, it is similar. Personally I would probably spend the little extra to get the Dailuaine.

Monthly Meetup 2 – Laphroaig Triple Wood

Distillery: Laphroaig
Name: Triple Wood
Region: Islay
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 48%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £42
Nose: Peaty, engine oil, sweet, smooth, citrus freshness
Taste: Peaty, light, fresh, sweetness, slightly dry, smooth
Finish: Medium, peaty, dry, oak
Rating: 7/10

This is the third of the Laphroaig range that I have tried, the 10 year old and the Quarter Cask being the other two, both lovely. The Triple Wood is essentially the Quarter Cask, which I love, finished in Oloroso sherry casks, which I adore as a finish, so I was pretty hopeful with this one.

Disappointed I was not, none of us were to be honest. Now we all enjoy an Islay which is why we wanted to try a slightly better one than most of us had tried previously. The peat was obviously a powerful quality pretty much throughout this dram, but it also had so much more to offer, which it had picked up from the quarter cask and the sherry cask. It added an extra depth to it that left us all wanting a top up, and more annoyingly, left us all wondering what the 18 year old is like.

I hear a lot of people say that Laphroaig, and many other Islays, are all about the peat, but I say to those people, you need to try the Triple Wood in order to appreciate the complexity that can also be present. It is a wonderful dram.