Sunday, 16 November 2014

Glen Albyn 35yo (1975/2010) Gordon & MacPhail


Loch Ness mysteries in a bottle

View of the Beauly Firth at the mouth of the Caledonian Canal,
 100m from the grounds of the former Glen Albyn

Prelude

Last summer,  I stayed in Inverness for a couple of nights, it only came natural to do a bit of whisky relic hunting during my evening strolls.
Nowadays no one would likely make the connection between whisk and Inverness. Only a few of you would probably point out to me that the town is home to Bairds, an important supplier of malted barley.

Up to the 80's Inverness could proudly say it had no less than three small distilleries within the city limits. All was fine with the world until the overzealous industry created the infamous whisky lake that swept away two centuries of whisky production in Inverness.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Port Charlotte PC8 Ar Duthchas

Bold Strokes from Islay


Time to re-taste an old classic from the Bruichladdich stable: tonight's entertainment is brought to you straight from the shores of Loch Indaal.

And it brings back with it quite a few good memories. 
I bought a 10cl sample back in early 2012 going by a few good online reviews. This was the second Port Charlotte I ever tasted and as I was still relatively unfamiliar with single malt whisky back then it simply blew me away.
Looking back now, the PC8 has become somewhat of a cult classic that has gained quite a following. Some even hail it as Port Charlotte's best release ever.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Rosebank 25.59 (1991/2011) Boxing gloves and rapier thrusts

The Sleeping Beauty

This review is for the SMWS 25.59 Boxing gloves and rapier thrusts from the silent Rosebank distillery.
news.stv.tv/tayside/202761-former-distillery-to-be-turned-into-brewery-and-visitor-centre/

When in late 2012 the good people from Arran Brewery announced their scheme to breathe new live into the abandoned distillery, I had good hopes that Rosebank could be revived in one way or the other. But now almost two years later we know sadly enough that the sleeping beauty of the lowlands will remain dormant for a the years to come.
As for now , all we have left is its legacy: a rich heritage in the form of a wide range of expressions from independent bottlers sold at ridiculously high prices at online auctions.
Rosebank is probably the best selling lost distillery after Port Ellen and Brora. But does it live up to its name? Only one way to find out.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Glengyle's Kilkerran Work in Progress VI Bourbon Cask

Apricots by the Sea

I love Campbeltown whiskies, by that I mean everything of the Springbank range, not Glen Scotia.
But it took me quite some time to eventually try the sister distillery of Springbank from the same owners. I'll admit I've been missing out.
whiskymizuwari.blogspot.be/2012/12/glengyle-distillery.html

I'm still often surprised to hear people asking me where the "Kilkerran" distillery is situated, or bluntly stating that Kilkerran is just another range of the Springbank distillery along Hazelburn and Longrow. 
However Glengyle is the name of the beast, and it is an independent distillery by in its own right.
The distillery has some historic roots as it was rebuild on the grounds of an older Cambeltown distillery. In the hollow shell of what once was a mighty Glengyle distillery, a new chapter was written in the early 2000's . 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Inchgower 35yo (1975/2011) The Whisky Fair

Solid but Unimpressive


potstill.org/info/distilleries/3876/
Tonight's dram is from the Inchgower distillery: another workhorse  from the Diageo stable.
Even though it is an important ingredient of both Johnnie Walker and Bell's blends, it still is a fairly obscure distillery and remains uncharted territory even for most whisky drinkers.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Braeval 22yo (1991/2013) Brachadair

Tropical Sensation


This week's dram is a sample from distillery #64 on the list: Braeval (or Braes of Glenlivet, if you please).
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1974453

As far as obscure distilleries go, Braeval is certainly one that perfectly fits the title. Build back in 1973 by Chivas Brothers, this distillery was designed as an highly efficient machine for the blends market. 
A product from the 70's and designed for low cost production: blend fodder you might think. Well you might be mistaken there, although Braeval has no official releases, many consider it to be one of the better Scottish distilleries with a high consistency of quality independent bottlings.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Dalmore 12yo (OB)

More than meets the eye ?


I'll admit at first I wasn't too impressed by the 12yo Dalmore. Granted, I never gave the Dalmore Distillery too much credit, in my mental ranking it was right there at Macallan-levels as an overpriced/overestimated snobbish brand. More than once I called the 12yo an overall bore in my reviews
http://www.whisky.de/archiv/dist/dalmore/dalmore.htm

But now that I got a bottle of the 12yo as a gift, I must admit that I find myself having a tiny sip almost every day of the week. It is just such an accessible whisky, nicely soft and smooth. The more I try, the more I like it, something I would never have acknowledged the first few times that I tried it.

Which begs the question of course, is there more than meets the eye here?

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Glenburgie Gordon & MacPhail 10yo

Blender's Fodder

http://blog.whivie.be/#post1589

The Gordon & Macphail bottling serves as a semi-official release of the obscure Glenburgie distillery. 
Glenburgie is ranked in one of the higher tiers when it comes to the annual production volume, due to the fact that, though the distillery may have had a long and interesting history, it was rebuild completely back in 2004.
Though many of you may never have tried the Glenburgie single malt, you probably drank it before, as it is one of the main components of the Ballentine's blends.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Dalmore Cigar Malt Rerserve OB

Is Perfection Boring?

jamstudio.uk.com/projects/commercial/the-dalmore


On today's men, another whisky that seems to split the whisky community in half: time for yet another "love or hate" dram.

I'm talking of course about the 2012 re-release of the popular Cigar Malt, now called the Cigar Malt Reserve. This second coming of the crowd favorite got quite a lot of flak from the fans the old whisky.

Though I'm not sure why Dalmore withdrew this whisky in the first place at the dawn of the NAS single malt era. I'm guessing it had something to do with the name, propably due to the pc-environment or even pressure from the anti-tobacco lobby.
Anyhow popular outrage among the Dalmore crowd brought this whisky back from the dead, be it that the distillers tweaked the recipe a bit.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Tullibardine 1993 Vintage edition

Milk and Cardboard

wikipedia.org/wiki/Tullibardine_distillery#mediaviewer/File:Tullibardine_Distillery_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1801793.jpg

A new week, a new distillery. This week the Tullibardine distillery #62.
The Tullibardine distillery, proudly displays the year 1488 as its founding year, with the slight nuance that the distillery was only erected on former brewery grounds back in 1949.
As one of the few Scottish distilleries that was privately owned,  it ventured into the single malt market, though dare I say, fairly unsuccessful thus far. With a large portfolio featuring a wide range of  various whisky finishes on offering and unbound by the limitations of the blended whisky market, this could very well have been the next BenRiach.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Glencadam 15yo OB

A Sweet Strawberry


My 60th Scottish distillery: Glencadam.
And what better way to get my first taste of this distillery by by skipping the entry level whisky and taking it one step further.
 This is a review of the 15yo whisky, first released back in 2005 and described by Jim McEwan as the next best thing to Bruichladdich (dixit whiskyfun).

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Benromach 10yo (OB)

A Quality Dram


http://insidemoray.co.uk/forres-distillery-to-roll-out-the-up-to-15000-barrels/

Ever had a whisky that you simply forgot about? According to my log I had my first Benromach 10 back in 2012. So this is more of a rediscovery, than an actual new experience.
Right from the Gordon & MacPhail Boutique Speyside distillery comes this ten year old 80-20% mix of bourbon and sherry casks with an oloroso finish.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Glentauchers 1990 Gordon & MacPhail

First time, definitely last time

http://www.scotchwhisky.net/images/dist/gltch_dist.jpg

There are mediocre whiskies, there are bad whiskies...
Unfortunately we ventured back into the bad territory, with a whisky that for the time being has the dubious honour of being the penultimate single malt whisky on my list.
Only second to the Drumguish of the Speyside distillery, a harsh verdict indeed.

One could wonder why Glentauchers, being one of the most productive Scottish distilleries with a production of 4.5 million l/year and one of the main ingredients of  Pernod Ricard blends, has such a terrible reputation.

Well let's just dive in and ind out why I granted this poor score to this whisky.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Miltonduff 10yo Gordon & MacPhail

Miltonduff: a pleasant surprise

http://www.axmaltwhisky.co.uk/75.html

Venturing further into obscure distillery territory, today's stop is at the Miltonduff distillery. A disitillery currently owned by Pernod Ricard, though the bottles that you nowadays find were still distilled under the previous management by Allied Domecq.

With a set of six stills and a yearly production 5.5 million liters of pure alcohol this is one of the bigger acts in the industry, standing shoulder to shoulder with other giants like Balvenie, Dufftown, Glen Ord and Tomatin.
 How is it possible that it managed to stay under the radar for so long?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Bladnoch 10yo (2002/2013) bourbon cask

Best of the Lowlands

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/wigtown/bladnochdistillery/

As dark clouds gather above the Bladnoch distillery, just three years from its second centennial, how about a review of a 10yo by Raymond Armstrong? (there is a whole range of different 10yo single cask editions, hence the frequent confusion)
Earlier in 2014 the Bladnoch Distillery went into liquidation as two of the four directors wanted to sell. Since its successful revival the distillery had been plagued by problems like the restrictions imposed by former owner Diageo and an apparent quarrel between the Armstrong brothers.
Thus due to the high costs of production was halted in 2009 and early this month rumors about the possible sale to a real estate company started to emerge.
So if your thinking about stocking up before the price of these beauties reaches Port Ellen levels, keep your eyes and ears peeled for news on this distillery. Fingers crossed and lets all hope for the best.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Trip to Islay

Trip to Islay

Well since this blog is all about whisky-related stuff, not solely reviews of bottles that I tried. So let me tell you about my last trip to Scotland, more specifically to the Mecca of whisky.

No not the Speyside, the other one: Westering home of single malt whisky and Queen of the Hebrides, Islay.
Old cemetery of Port Ellen

My gratitude goes out to all the friendly people who helped me along my journey.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Mortlach 15yo Gordon & MacPhail

The Great Disappointment
















www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-4085.aspx & www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-25847.aspx

Don't let the images fool you, this is not a comparison between the old and the new. This review is all about their alternative.: the Mortlach 15yo Gordon & MacPhail, a bottle that is hard to find here in Belgium, but it can easily be found in let's say a Tesco somewhere in the Highlands. 
I picked this one up in Oban, while waiting for the ferry to Port Askaig ( the Islay report will follow shortly, I promise)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Jura Superstition

Jura Floozy

Last review before I leave for Islay, how about a young floozy (no disrespect intended) from the neighboring Isle of Jura?
http://www.scotland-flavour.co.uk/pictures/jura_scotland_5770.jpg

Friday, 1 August 2014

Clynelish 14yo OB

A True Classic


http://potstill.org/info/distilleries/3840/

Cleaning out the cabinet, and saw that my bottle of Clynelish 14yo was almost empty, time to replace it. But as I'm likely to make a stop at the distillery anyway in two weeks time, I guess it couldn't hurt to finish this one.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

BenRiach: Heart of Speyside

Entry Level Dram


My Apologies

The author letting his inner child out in the Yorkshire Dales

Long time since I wrote a review, but since I'm currently making some space in my cabinet for a few new bottles, I might as well do a few reviews on older bottles in my possession. I had high hopes to find some interesting bottles whilst on vacation in Yorkshire, but I was deadly wrong. Thus until my trip to the Northern Highlands, Skye and Islay next month (yes I'm quite the busy bee), there won't be any new exciting whisky-reviews, only a well known classics that you'll find in the cabinets of whisky lover all around the world.

So for this is a review of an easy cheap NAS. Speysider, known as Heart of Speyside from the BenRiach distillery. It is the entry level dram from Flagship Range of the BenRiach distillery.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Springbank 15yo OB

Another Springbank

With everyone talking about the CV, the 10yo, the 12yo and the Cask Strength, one would almost forget there was a 15yo Springbank.


http://weareunion.co/angels-share/pictures/20130531_scotland_060.jpg


Another dram from one of my favorite distilleries, located in the former whisky capital in the world: Campbeltown. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I'v never had a bad whisky from this distillery before. And with their different styles for their three standard lines: Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn, they've shown us that they're quite capable of creating a wide range of different expressions, each with a distinctive taste.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

GlenDronach 21yo

My Midsummer Night's Dram


http://www.scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk/glendronachspiritsales.htm

Don’t think anyone is going to fight me on this, but Glendronach is one of the best distilleries out there at the moment. The miracles in cask selection the people of Billy Walker performed after the take-over in 2009. So much that the 15yo revival in no time, became an all-time favorite with the whisky crowd. So what about one of its older brothers: next to the 18yo the official range offers a 21yo expression, called Parliament.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Highland Park 16yo

Highland Park Light


A forgotten whisky

http://highlandpark.co.uk/about/the-distillery/

In the days before 16yo Highland Parks were sold in wooden designer containers and fancy bottles, they were part of the regular range and were available for travel retail at your local airport. Although they came at a low price and a large volume (1L bottles), there are barely any reviews available for this whisky.
The 16yo apparently did not catch on, was subsequently withdrawn from the stores and pretty much forgotten after that.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Arran 14yo

Easy Summer Sipper


arranwhisky.com

Over the past year I've found a renewed fondness for the orange-nosed younglings of the Southern Hebrides, Jura and Arran.

The Arran 14 was launched in 2010 and was their oldest expression until the release of a 17yo,earlier this year.I haven't had the opportunity yet to try this new expression. But at least for now, the older=better saying seems to apply to the Arran range, with the 14yo outclassing the rest.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Old Pulteney 1990/2004 Blackadder Raw Cask

The Shape Shifter


Incidentally while I tastes this dram, the 2013 album of Swedish metal band Amon Amarth: The Deceiver of the Gods was playing on my stereo.
One particular song that came up, in my eyes perfectly captured the spirit of this whisky: The Shape Shifter, a song about the Nordic god Loki, the god of mischief. (no not the marvel version) with the power to change his form, be it a man or an animal.   
For legal reasons I did not refer to this whisky in my title as "Loki", as not to unleash Ragnarök from the people of Highland Park upon myself ;)

Friday, 30 May 2014

Time Capsule

Preserving a bottle for the future

http://www.thedrinkingmansguidetoscotland.com/balblair-distillery.html

For quite some time I have been playing with the idea  of buying a bottle of whisky, with the same age as myself. By that I mean, a whisky distilled in the same year as I was born.
I got a few other bottles, that I keep aside for special occasions or just to drink later. But I destined this one to be for the ages. Something I'll keep in the cabinet for the next 50 years or so.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila, Laphroaigh & Big Peat

A handful of Douglas Laings


My laziness knows no bounds, the tasting was on Wednesday, it took me two days to finally rewrite my notes into a solid review.
First and foremost, my gratitude goes out to The Whisky Wire and the good folks at Douglas Laing, for putting this great selection of whiskies together.
As part of the Big Peat tweet tasting we descended unto the queen of the Hebrides and got our fair share of isle's liquid riches. Thus easing the pain of not being able to partake in the Feis Ile festivities.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Muscled Peat

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Laphroaig_Distillery_-_geograph.org.uk_-_108142.jpg

Long time since I added a review to this blog, but the last few weeks have been quite hectic. So I decided to repost a review I did for the Connosr website last week.
The matter at hand was a discussion about a certain whisky that I love, from a certain distillery that I adore.
We're talking about the Laphroaigh Quarter Cask of course.
Now the topic of discussion was has the quality declined ever since the revamped packaging has been introduced?

Friday, 18 April 2014

Lagavulin 16yo (OB)

Eternal Love


I would love to say just like Johannes v/d Heuvel from maltmadness.com, that the Lagavulin 16 was my first encounter with single malt, that just blew my mind and was the start of a long and fascinating journey.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Glengoyne range (OB)

Comparing some Glengoyne expressions

http://whiskyisrael.co.il/2010/10/07/tasting-3-glengoyne/

I had my first Glengoyne, back in the days when I was studying in Edinburgh, as part of the Erasmus Program. I had already sampled a few whiskies during previous vacations in Scotland, but it was during that time that I really had the opportunity to develop my taste for single malt whisky.
The only Glengoyne expressions I tried back then were the 10 and the 12yo, but I was quite impressed by this non-peated malt.

In my humble opinion, as lover of the peaty beasts of Islay, Glengoyne is an exciting whisky, it doesn't hide behind a facade of light peat and a cheap sherry finish. No it is out there, with its own original style, providing us with an unfamiliar exquisite marriage of flavours thanks to its slow distillation process and air dried barley.

As far as non-peated malts go, my preference will always go out to Glengoyne

Monday, 24 March 2014

Arran 10yo (OB)

Young Stallion


http://www.arranwhisky.com//the-island

The entry level Arran seems to divide the whisky community, some appreciate its honest simplicity, for others this seems to be a deal breaker. So I've seen reviews from enthusiasts and from those who grind it into the dust. I've decided to join forces with the former.
The 10yo was the first expression from this young distillery that I tried a couple of years ago. 
The distillery suffered from bad press in its early years after the release of their first malts, but the dark days are gone and Arran has taken its place among the better Scottish distilleries that are well worth the try.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Springbank 10yo (OB) vs. Blackadder Raw Cask 1995/2005

Comparing two expressions

No competition

http://www.theweeklings.com/jkabat/2013/06/06/the-angels-share/springbank-distillery/

Another week, another Blackadder Raw Cask, I really need to stay away from this bottler, their bottles are addictively good.
On today's menu, a young Springbank at cask strength, from 1995, bottled in 2005.
To make things a bit more interesting, I will compare it to an official 10yo bottling from 2010.
When I posted this review on Whiskyconnosr, I received some valid criticism, thus I incorporated my responses into this review.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Clynelish 14yo 1989/2003 Raw Cask


Vanilla Wine

Another week, another Blackadder Raw Cask, I guess? This week an old Clynelish from 1989. Thus far I've only tried the 14yo official bottling and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Clynelish, a very distinct taste. 

The Distillery

http://www.whisky-news.com/En/distilleries/Clynelish.html

Clynelish is probably one of the odd distilleries out there, while founded in 1819, the name is currently used for the new distillery that was build right next to the old one, that was renamed Brora. Interestingly enough, although the old distillery was called the Clynelish distillery for over 150 years, people still think of Clynelish as a replacement of the old "Brora" and state that Clynelish has Brora stills.
The whisky is a favorite of many blenders, thus the distillery concentrated on volume rather than developing its own expressions, so initial bottlings of the single malt are rare. Only in 2003 the standard 14yo expression became available for the wider public.
As far as lighter peated highland whiskies go, to me this is one of my favorite distilleries with a solid spot in my top 10.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Jura Origin 10yo (OB)


A bitter orange

The Distillery

http://www.jurainfo.com/isle-of-jura-images-wallpaper/isle-of-jura-distillery.html

The owners of the Jura distillery like to refer to the early Isle of Jura distillery as their origin and even proudly put the year 1810 on their bottles.
The old distillery however went silent in 1901, the current distillery is an almost entirely new construction from 1963. I must admit that this vexes me a bit, can you really still claim you're the same distillery after 60 years of silence and decay? I'll admit it's harmless but maybe they should put the year 1963 on their label.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Ardbeg Uigeadail (OB)

Smoky Tongue Biter

http://www.bobhamiltonphotography.com/galleries/scotland---the-islands/islay-6.aspx

The Uigeadail has been a blank spot on my whisky resume for quite some time now, as the Ardbeg distillery still remains barely charted territory.
In my early whisky days I had some misconceptions about the distillery, due to my first encounter with a bad batch of Ardbeg 10yo. But now that my fate has been restored and I've turned my attention back to the Islay malts, I'm going to try out the Uigeadail, named after the loch that serves as the distillery's water source.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Tobermory 10yo (OB)

Spicy Saké


Bought me a bottle in Portree (yes, I know, it's on the isle of the Talisker single malt) a couple of weeks ago, but only opened it now, had to try a few others first.
http://www.maltmadness.com/whisky/tobermory.html

St. Magdalene 1982/2008 Blackadder Raw Cask

Scottish Calvados

http://www.axmaltwhisky.co.uk/85.html

Another week, another lost distillery, This week it's St.Magdalene's (Linlithgow) turn. Closed like so many others in 1983, the distillery however was preserved as they turned the old buildings into apartments.

I remember driving past the old distillery in 2012, I only started drinking single malts a year earlier and I had no idea that this was one of the famous lost distilleries, nor did I know its name.

Now almost two years later, I'll my first taste. Another Blackadder raw cask, this is the second one I tried, after a Lochside from 1981 and I must say that this is a great bottler, and I'm quite digging the raw cask concept.

Port Ellen 28yo 1982/2010 Whiskysite.nl Refill Sherry Puncheon

Tracking down a Unicorn

Stalking the prey

http://www.edinburghwhiskyblog.com/2012/09/04/port-ellen-are-they-taking-the-piss/

Port Ellen, the only Islay distillery left on my list and for a layman like me one of the hardest to track down, not just because of its scarcity, but mainly because you'll need deep pockets.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Longrow Peated NAS (OB)

Longrow Peated NAS

http://www.smwhisky.com.au/Longrow


This NAS version is the successor of the Longrow CV, a Campbeltown'er from Springbank. Not much to tell, nice and simple packaging, very pale colour.

Lochside Blackadder Raw Cask 1981/2004

Lochside Blackadder Raw Cask 1981/2004

My first lost distillery


So, I'm very excited about this one, my first dram from a lost distillery. Browsing a local liquor store looking for some cheap bottles I came across this older gem from Blackadder. Lochside was a distillery in Montrose Angus. It was open for only 35 years from 1957 to 1992, production was set up in an old brewery for the Sandy Macnab blend. After its closure the distillery was destined to be torn down and its grounds used for redevelopment. The old 19th century tower building was supposed to be preserved but a fire in 2005 destroyed all the remaining buildings, so I've you go looking today, you'll search in vain to find a trace of the old distillery, lost forever only some old pictures remain and a few bottles that pop-up from time to time.

Ledaig 10yo (OB)

Ledaig 10yo

The Distillery

http://www.share.rabbies.com/tour_picture_album.asp?id=1104&tour=

I dare call Ledaig an Islay malt. Not because of its grand taste, not because I believe that other peated whiskies are just Islay-style (if such a thing even exists) rip-offs. No because the only thing that separates this one from other Islay malts is the fact that it is distilled on the Isle of Mull at the Tobermory (or was it Ledaig?) distillery. It starts its journey at the Port Ellen Maltings and spends most of her childhood not far from where her journey started, next to her cousins in the warehouses of the Bunnahabhain distillery. If someone wonders where that iodine taste might come from, this malt traveled from Port Ellen to Tobermory, than up to Deanston, back to Islay to Bunnahabhain before being send to the bottling plant, crossing the Scottish sounds at least four times before ending her journey inside a bottle. Quite the traveler this young lady! But how does she hold up?

Highland Park 12yo (OB)

Highland Park 12yo

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/490099

No need to introduce the HP 12 here, it is a classic as it sets a high standard for all other entry level bottlings. Many claim that they are not what they used to be and lament about the good old days. But I still think this is one of the greater whiskies available at a more than reasonable price and if the quality has diminished over the years those early bottles must have been divine. I don't care too much, yet, about all the other HP products like the collectors Valhalla series, but you will always find a 12yo in my cabinet.

Glen Deveron 10yo (OB)

Glen Deveron 10yo

http://www.scotchwhisky.net/images/dist/macduff_dist1_b.jpg

A lesson to be learned here

Picked it up after a visit to the Aberfeldy distillery in the distillery shop. I was disappointed by the samples of the Aberfeldy 12 and Dewars' White label they were offering at the end of the door when I came across this fellow, never saw the bottle before, nice and sleek design of the packaging. At the time the Glen Deveron was still a rather mysterious malt in Belgium, whereas today, two years later every convenience store seems to have it on its shelf. The disappointment after buying this bottle was so big that I changed my ways and decided to never buy another whole bottle again before trying a few samples first. 
Glen Deveron is a singlemalt produced by the Macduff distillery

Edradour Caledonia 12yo (OB)

Edradour Caledonia 12yo

The Origin


This malt was selected by Dougie Maclean, a well-known singer in Scotland and named after his most famous song about the country he so dearly loves. Edradour once famed itself as the smallest distillery in Scotland, but there are various pretenders now who can claim that title: Daftmill, Kilchoman, Wolfburn, Loch Ewe (although can we even call this a real distillery?),...

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Bruichladdich Octomore 5.1 (OB)

Bruichladdich Octomore 5.1

The occasion


Christmas tasting at the Water of Life Society at the University of Edinburgh, perfect evening, great whiskies, good company, a perfect evening. To top it off, they had a surprise: a real "punch in the face" whisky and God, was I in for a treat.

Blair Athol 12yo (OB)


Blair Athol 12yo

The Distillery

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blair-Athol-Distillery.jpg

Bought this bottle about a year ago, on what was supposed to be my last day in Scotland as an exchange student. My plane would leave late in the evening, so I got up early, got on a bus going to Pitlochry, for one last distillery visit. It had been raining all week (not that unusual) but the small streams in Pertshire clearly couldn't handle that much rain no longer and the burn at the distillery transformed into a wild stream. I didn't plan on buying another bottle, as my luggage was already getting too heavy, but I was sufficiently charmed by the 12yo flora and fauna that I returned with two bottles. On the way back I got stuck in traffic as the people of Edinburgh apparently were all trying to get out of the city and get to the airport, so eventually I missed my flight and had to book another one two days later. So even though I paid only 38£ per bottle, the added price of one hell of an expensive ticket back home (about 10 times the price of this 12yo) makes it my most expensive bottle.

Aberfeldy 12yo (OB)

Aberfeldy 12yo (OB)

The Distillery



http://www.welcometoscotland.com/img/99487/74b8d5568931efd9ccc3ff9aa3f78f57.jpg


The Aberfeldy distillery is home to the Dewar's World of Whisky Experience, the Disneyland of the Dewar's brand, a subsidiary of Bacardi.

With a large exhibition the good folk of the distillery tried to establish the white label as one of the major blends in the world.

It was busy day, so they decided to start our tour where it normally should end, in the old dunnage warehouses. I was extremely surprised to learn that the whole interior of the warehouse was just a facade, no whisky was maturing in those casks, it was just build for the tourists.

So the tone was set for the rest of the visit, I made a vow that I was not going to enjoy my visit to the rest of the distillery and that I was going to hate the liquor they made here.

Monday, 3 March 2014

New Distillery Projects

Listing the Younglings: New Distillery Projects

http://kilchoan.blogspot.be/2014/03/local-wildlife.html

There has been quite a buzz in the news lately, entrepreneurs are unveiling their plans for new distilleries all over Scotland.
Just this week plans were announced for a new distillery on the Isle of Skye. 
But if there is something I learned these last years, you should always take these stories with a truckload of salt: most plans never materialize, subsidies are squandered on unrealistic projects and people are conned out of their money.
In the early 2000's there was quite some commotion about three new distillery projects: Ladybank, Blackwood and Kilchoman, the first two made quite some publicity for their plans, the latter didn't and guess which one made the cut?