Douglas Laings Old Particular Single Grains.

Douglas Laing’s Old Particular range of single cask whiskies from all over Scotland was launched in 2013 and up to now has only included single malt’s, that is now all set to change with the release of the first 4 Old Particular single grains. Old Particular GrainThe Old Particular Single Grain series launches with 25 year old whiskies from Cameronbridge and Girvan, a 27 year old from Strathclyde and a North British 21 year old. These are all bottled without colouring or chill filtration and are available now from the normal whisky specialists.

North British 21 Years Old 50.9%

On the nose I get some citrus that’s fused with a slightly herbal note reminiscent of lemon thyme, vanilla, there is a dusty woody note, butter icing (sweet but slightly savoury), pine resin and clove spice.

The palate is oaky with a rich mouthfeel, spicy (star anise) with a black pepper warmth and there is an herbal note I can’t quite pinpoint, with a little water it becomes sweeter with a hint of black treacle.

There is a nice spicy finish with a lingering lemon note.

CAMERONBRIDGE 25 Years Old 60.6%

First impressions on the nose, honey, apples, pear drops, pink shrimps (the sweets), quite a lot of alcohol burn. A little water reveals, cream, white pepper and a hint of pineapple.

The palate at full strength is a combination of honey, lemon sherbert’s and is very warming. Adding water reveals sugar syrup, vanilla, oak and reveals a slightly tannic note.

The neat finish is all warm spiciness, with water it still has some peppery spice but with a sweetness complimenting it.

Old Particular Grain with tubesGirvan 25 Year Old 51.5%

The nose offers cereals, grass, a hint of honey, vanilla sugar, slightly floral, cinnamon and nutmeg. A little water added reveals candy floss and limes.

The palate is led by demerera sugar, there is almost a saccharin sweetness, pineapple, there is a touch of spice along with a touch of liquorice. With water it becomes less sweet and slightly astringent with black cardamom and coffee.

The neat finish is slightly drying with the liquorice being dominant, with water the finish is spicy and long with a green herbal edge.

Strathclyde 27 Year Old 51.5%

The Strathclyde’s nose has vanilla, lemons, pepper and a nice tingle of alcohol burn. A couple of drops of water leads to cellulose thinners, cereal notes and digestive biscuits.

On the palate it’s Bourbonesque, sweet, spicy and menthol notes. With water the spicy notes dissipate slightly, with the menthol notes coming to the fore.

On the finish there is plenty of spice and citrus and adding water adds a touch of sweetness to this.

Overall Opinions

For me the Strathclyde really stands out, the bourbon notes hit the spot for me. Tasting it neat it was a real sipping whisky and the addition of water does not detract from it in any way.

The Girvan is probably the whisky which tasted closest to what I expect from a single grain, cereal, vanilla and sweetness.

Benromach 100 Proof 10 Year Old

The Benromach 100 proof, is the bigger more robust sibling of the standard 10 year old bottling reviewed here, this is bottled for released at 57% and it’s a great addition to the Benromach line up.

bottle_100_proof

The nose immediately offers up Dundee cake, along with dark chocolate, bitter orange marmalade, polished wood, plum jam and five spice.

Moving onto the palate and it is all big flavours, red fruits, cocoa, dried figs, slightly woody (chewing on a pencil at school) with a black pepper warmth.

On the finish there’s menthol and a real touch of spice.

Wrapping up this review it’s a lovely whisky with a great mouthfeel, the extra ABV over the 10YO really helps coats the mouth and for £44 at time of publishing this offers a lot of whisky for a good price, available here.

Many thanks to Benromach and Steve Rush of The Whisky Wire, this sample was tasted as part of the #BernromachTT.

Benromach 10 Years Old

The Benromach 10 years old is a Speyside whisky comprised of 80% Bourbon barrels and 20% Sherry hogsheads, it then spends it’s final year in first fill Oloroso casks and is bottled at 43%.

benromach-10-year-old

So here are my notes, the nose offers up peat (not expecting that), typical sherry fruit notes, butter biscuits, green apples and a caramel/burnt sugar sweetness, cereal, hay and milk chocolate.

The palate offers up sweet dried fruits, dark chocolate & bitter orange marmalade, a touch of spice (fresh ground black pepper), oak and smoke.

Onto the finish, there’s vanilla, peat smoke and that black pepper spice.

This is an extremely good whisky coming in at around the £30 mark and is available here.

Tasted as part of the #BenromachTT on twitter with thanks to Benromach and Steve Rush of The Whisky Wire for the sample.

Paul John Whisky Tweet Tasting

I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in a Paul John whisky tweet tasting run by Steve Rush from The Whisky Wire and on the night we had 4 whiskies to try the Brilliance and Edited at 46%, a classic select cask at 55.2% and a Peated select cask at 55.5%.

picpaul john

Brilliance 46%, Nose, caramel, vanilla, creamy toffee, slightly floral, with a citrus edge.    Palate, great mouthfeel, wood, spices, some lemon juice drizzled sliced apples to stop them turning brown. This has a lovely sweet slightly hot finish.

Edited 46% Nose, wafts of peat, caramel, spicy, slightly medicinal, old wooden rooms and a touch of cream.                                                                                                          Palate, sweet peat, with juicy fruits and a dirty earthy note that brings it all together nicely leading into a black cardamon dominated finish.

 

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Classic Select Cask 55.2% Nose, spicy, hot, sweet vanilla, burnt icing sugar, lots in there but the high abv makes it one to approach cautiosly.                                       Palate, dried figs, oak, black pepper, leather leading into a dry spicy finish.

Peated select cask 55.5% Nose, damp wood ash, iodine, peppery and spiced but with a sweetness of vanilla coated pumpkin seeds.                                                             Palate, fruity, peaty, tagine spices, liqourice leading into a dry finish again with liqourice dominating.

Thanks to Steve Rush, Paul John whisky and The Great Whisky Co. for a great tasting.

Lady of the Glen Bunnahabhain 26yo.

logoLady of the Glen founded by Gregor Hannah at the end of 2012, are an independent bottler who’s ethos is to bottle single casks at cask strength and non-chill filtered.                                                                  The Bunnahabhain I’m tasting here is Lady of the Glens first Islay whisky release and is a 26yo distilled on the 16th November 1987, bottled at cask strength 50.01% and is from a refill Bourbon Cask.

Nose, tropical fruit salad, banana, vanilla, hints of lemon and a spiciness tempering the initial sweetness. It develops with summer meadow notes, floral, grassy and hay, also hiding in the background are just a few hints of briny coastal notes.

Palate, fruity, juicy, lemons, black pepper, a nice oak note, a little astringent (makes you want another little sip)

Finish is spicy and dry but with a nice length.

With just a few drops of water added.

Nose develops cream, toffee and some spices cinnamon/nutmeg.

Palate becomes more fruity with an amazing sweet shop sweetness and I found the drying astringent note lessened, for me the water unified the palate.

Finish becomes more fruity and less dry still with a good dose of spice.

This whisky is available to buy here with 205 bottles and available in 70 and 20cl botlles.

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#WemyssTT3

Last week saw the 3rd Wemyss Malts tweet tasting take place with Steve Rush from The Whisky Wire orchestrating the tasting on the night, we had 4 samples lined up to taste and with glasses at the ready we were ready to taste.

We started the evening with Lord Elcho, a blended scotch whisky at 40% ABV with a minimum 40% malt component. The nose gives buttery biscuits, lemon and spicy ginger, there is a little sweetness and as it opens there is a fruity note developing, green apples and slightly unripe honeydew melon. The Palate starts with an almost burnt toffee sweetness, raisins, a hint of mint, it’s creamy and smooth but with the spice and heat of fresh root ginger. The finish is quite short and slightly drying, which keeps making you go back for more. Lord Elcho is available here for £22 at time of posting.

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Next into the glass was one of Wemyss malts single cask offerings, Pastille Bouquet a 1998 Mortlach bottled at 46% in 2013 with 325 bottles released at. The nose has a honey sweetness, old-fashioned sweet shops, floral, honeysuckle? green fruits, hay, lemon thyme, a spiciness that prickles your nose. The palate is sweet, fresh, hot and sour, its like eating pink grapefruit with some of the pith on it still, pink lady apples, drizzled in heather honey, sprinkled with chilli flakes. This whisky really surprised me it starts sweet and finishes sweet and encompasses most other things in the middle and dazzled my taste buds. Pastille Bouquet available here for £58 at time of posting.

We then moved onto a single cask Glen Scotia 1991, bottled at 46% in 2013 yielding 807 bottles and titled Merchant’s Mahogany Chest. You get wood and beeswax polish on the nose, the smell of an old stately home, leather, fresh moist dark pipe tobacco, stewed prunes and muscovado sugar. Onto the palate, wood, spice (clove oil), pipe tobacco, sherry notes abound with glee, bitter chocolate, black cardamon and slightly tannic. The finish lingers with clove and star anise, a lovely sherry bomb. Merchant’s Mahogany Chest is available here for £90 at time of posting.

May14-GlenScotia1991 May14-WemyssPeatChimney8

The final whisky of the night was Peat Chimney 8yo, a blended malt bottled at 40%. Up to 16 different single malts are blended together before introducing the signature malts to create its distinct taste profile. The nose is a coastal breeze, briny, sweet and smokey, imagine a BBQ with apple wood chips smoking the meat and peat. The palate is sweet and delicate, ripe fruit notes, papaya, mango, peat building to dominate towards the finish, there’s a fresh green note, gooseberries maybe and a hint of pine resin. The finish is quite spicy and drying. Peat Chimney is available here for £28 at time of posting.

So 4 whiskies, 2 single cask malts and 2 great blends with the Mortlach finishing on the top step for me and the Peat Chimney not far behind in second.

Many thanks to Steve  “The Whisky Wire” for organising the tasting and Wemyss Malts for the samples, you can read all the other tweets by searching #WemyssTT3

 

#WhiskyWeekender Tweet Tasting

Last Thursday I was among a group of people who took part in a tweet tasting, conducted as always by Steve Rush from The Whisky Wire but with a slight change because rather than being from one distillery or independent bottler it was to help showcase some of the offerings which will be available during the London Whisky Weekender on the 16,17 7 & 18th of May at The Oval Space, Hackney, full details HERE.

The tasting was to be conducted blind, leaving us to look daft as we guessed wildly what each dram possibly was, so onto the tasting notes.

whisky weekender So starting with dram 1, a nice light golden colour and once poured the nose was light and approachable with lots of ripe fruits, slightly tropical, papaya and lime, the sweetness of a spiced mead and as it opened more citrus notes developed along with a creaminess. Onto the palate, sweet but with a slight savoury edge (like a salted caramel), a hit of chilli heat but there is fruit in the form of apple and pears. The finish is quite lingering slightly tannic, cinnamon and apples prevail. Dram 1 was revealed as Berry Bros & Rudd 1992 Longmorn (46% ABV) Speyside Single Malt. longmorn

The colour of dram 2 in the bottle screams heavily sherried whisky, into the glass it goes and the nose gives floral notes, pine needles, aniseed, stewed plums, it’s sweet and fruity and the more I nose it I start to think it’s maybe matured in a rum cask. Onto the palate and there is a slight fizz on the tongue, sweet, cola bottles, woody and slightly reminiscent of hints of a sipping rum like Diplomatica Reserva. The finish is spicy and has hints of aniseed and oak. Dram 2 was revealed as Tiffon Chateau de Triac (40% ABV) Cognac, a curveball.tiffon

Onto dram 3 and immediately on opening there’s no mistaking the peat. The nose gives peat, pepper, savoury and on the night I couldn’t shake of a hint of Campbell’s cream of tomato soup, in the background there is some vanilla sweetness. The palate is lovely the peat is much less pronounced than the nose would suggest, it’s vanilla sweet and  slightly spicy as it develops on the tongue, with plenty of fruit in there. The finish is slightly spicy with sweet peat and nice and long. Dram 3 was revealed as anCnoc Rutter (46% ABV) Highland Single Malt.ancnoc

Onto dram 4, less pronounced peat on the nose, malty, oily, coastal, subtle peat and smoke, the remnants of a driftwood bonfire on the beach and lemon note which cuts through it all. Onto the palate a kick of alcohol, definitely cask strength, more smoke and peat than was promised by the nose, again there’s the citrus note of lemon, it’s also sweet and hot (a chilli crunchie note as one taster noted). The finish is long and smoky still with the lingering heat. Dram 4 was revealed as an SMWS Bottling, 53.197 ‘A stoker in drag’ (57.4% ABV) Islay Single Malt (Caol Ila).caol

All in all a great line up with the anCnoc Rutter being my favourite whisky of the night but I was also really impressed by the Cognac. As always there was great company on the night and if you want to see others views just search for #WhiskyWeekender on twitter.

Thanks once again to The Whisky Lounge for the samples and The Whisky Wire for his hosting on the night.