The Tweeddale Blend

The Tweeddale brand hasn’t been around since before the 2nd World War and was only resurrected in 2010 after Alasdair Day inherited his Great Grandfathers cellar book which contained the original recipe. It is now produced in small batches, following that recipe, using the same distilleries in the same quantities, a 50/50 blend of grain and malt whisky taken from just 9 single casks featuring whiskies from the Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside and Islay. In Batch 1, one cask of grain and one of malt is used entirely and the other 7 casks were used in differing quantities and then left to carry on maturing. These 7 malts have then been used in batches 2, 3 and 4 but with a different grain and 8th malt bought in each time. All 4 batches have been bottled at 46% and non chill filtered with batches 3 and 4 being non coloured as well.

I was first introduced to the Tweeddale brand during the #12blends event, organised by Tom, as one of the blind samples that was to be tasted was Batch 2 of this blend supplied by Jonathon. I then purchased batch 3 and thoroughly enjoyed it and this now leads to this post which is my notes from all 4 batches after taking part in a tweet tasting run by The Whisky Wire.

Embedded image permalink                                Photo courtesy of Living Room Whisky

So starting with Batch 1 10yo 46%, a blend of 10yo grain and 8 single malts ranging from 10 to 21yo.                                                                                                                                 Nose. Malty, lemon and lime, biscuits, hints of smoke, lightly spiced stewed apples.            Palate. Quite a spicy kick, creamy sweet at first but turning slightly sharp, lots of fruit apples and berries with a dash of lemon.                                                                                 Finish. Slightly dry, woody and spicy (cinnamon).

Batch 2 12yo 46%, this time the grain is a 15yo from a sherry butt with the 7 malts from batch 1 now older from 12yo up to 21 and the 8th core malt is a 14yo.                                 Nose. Slightly earthy, woody, with woodland fruits drizzled in honey, with a little nip of alcohol burn.                                                                                                                  Palate. Well rounded, honeydew melon, cream, slightly fizzy like refresherswith some raisins in the mix.                                                                                                           Finish. Sweet and creamy with spiced oranges as it develops.

Batch 3 12yo 46% is actually a 13yo but was labelled as a 12yo on request of the LCBO for Canada, the grain is an 18yo from sherry butts, again the 7 remaining malts from batch 1 although a year older and the main malt is another 14yo cask.                                            Nose.  Lots of fruit, slightly tropical, earthy, slight sulphur, chocolate, green fruits and a sea spray and iodine note.                                                                                                         Palate. Spiced fruits, brown sugar, coats the mouth wonderfully, a little warmth like a good ginger beer developing on the tongue, oakiness  and dark chocolate.                             Finish. Long, slightly dry but with rich fruit and spice.

Batch 4 14yo 46%. The core malt in this blend is a 14yo Lowland matured in an Islay cask, with a slightly younger 16yo single grain and the same 7 malts from previous batches.     Nose. Spirity, quite a bite of alcohol, baked vanilla cheesecake, ginger nut biscuits, lemon zest, dried grass and flowers.                                                                                             Palate. The refreshers fizz is back along with the spicy fruits that seem to be present in all 4 batches for me with heaps of red berries and icing sugar and a nice light smokiness at the end.                                                                                                                               Finish. Tropical fruitiness with a ginger/pepper warmth with that fizziness dancing on the tongue.

Overall batch 4 was the whisky which probably came out on top for me it just seemed to be the most together of the 4 whiskies although I’m still really enjoying batch 3 which I’m drinking as I write this but I know what will be replacing that bottle when its finished.

Thanks must go to Steve Rush and Alasdair Day for organising and supplying the samples and all the other tasters on the night.

A Foray into French Whisky

To celebrate the 3rd birthday of http://lacavedecobalt.blogspot.co.uk/  Franck Debernardi organised the #FrenchWhiskyTT on twitter and I was lucky enough to be included in the people selected to take part.

We were supplied with 5 samples which were to be tasted blind and bearing in mind I had previously never tried French whisky before I had no preconceptions of what to expect so onto my thoughts of these whiskies.

Sample 1.  N. Sweet, brown sugar, toffee,cereals and ripe red fruits. P. Delicate and soft, sweet, fruity, hints of a ginger heat and spice which then leads into a floral note. F. Dry, short, slightly acidic almost fizzy on the tongue.

Sample 2.  N. A slight floral perfume, vanilla sugar, papaya and pineapple with a slight alcohol tingle. P. Tropical fruit, spicy, slightly astringent and woody.  F. Quite short, woody and dry.

Sample 3.  N. Creamy, tropical fruit again, chocolate, spicy, oaky and after a while slightly floral.  P.  Spicy, hot, sweet and syrupy, creamy with quite a rich mouthfeel, fruity, chocolate.  F. A slight peppery spice with lots of sweet ripe fruits.

Sample 4.  N. Acrid, burnt rubber, spicy, lots of alcohol, then with quite a bit of time in the glass menthol, california prunes, sweetness and herbal and new make spirit.  P. Cinnamon powder, sweet, sour, again that burnt rubber note.  F. Cloying sweet but at the same time bitter, very herbal, spicy and overpowering.

Sample 4.  With a healthy splash of water.  N. Chocolate, cream, spicy, vanilla, still quite a harsh alcohol burn and the rubber note has been dulled considerably.  P. Coffee, menthol, spicy, sweet at first but then sour and rubbery again.  F. The finish is very much as without water.

Sample 5.  N. Slightly cheesy, fruity, woody, a definite sulphur note and stewed plums.     P. Sweet and fruity but with the sulphur note still present, slightly minty, bitter orange and lime. F. Dry with the citrus notes to the fore.

samples12345

The five samples were revealed as,

Sample #1 : G.Rozelieures Rare Collection 40% un-chilfiltered from La Maison de la Mirabelle

Matured in Sherry, Cognac & Sauternes Casks Limited edition

44,50 € from here : http://www.maisondelamirabelle.fr/modules/oledrion/category.php?cat_cid=2 

http://www.maisondelamirabelle.com/111/GRozelieures.html

 

Sample #2 : Armorik Double Maturation 46% un-chilfiltered from Distillerie Warenghem

Matured in Breton oak and finished in sherry casks

45 € from http://www.distillerie-warenghem.com/whisky-breton/whisky-single-malt.php?p=0&ID=28

http://www.distillerie-warenghem.com/

 

 

Sample #3 : Armorik Millésime 2002 (2013 edition) single cask, Cask Strength 56,3%

Matured in Bourbon cask for 4y then in Oloroso cask for 7y 728 bottles

Last year’s edition is still available for 70,55 €here : http://www.whisky.fr/armorik-10-ans-2002.html

This year’s edition will be soon available for around 80 €

http://www.distillerie-warenghem.com/

 

Sample #4 : [Secale] Single organic malted rye 56% from Domaine des Hautes Glaces

Matured 18 months in Condrieu (white wine from Vallée du Rhône) casks. Reduced to 56% before filling, then Cask Strength 511 bottles. Soon available.

http://www.organic-whisky.com/

 

Sample #5 : Uberach W.L.P 10th edition 2013 46,7% from Distillerie Bertrand

Distilled in 2003, matured in Banyuls casks. Since 2009 every year a single cask is bottled but 20 litres are kept in a “Dame Jeanne” big bottle. This W.L.P. is the blending of what was left of casks 101, 102, 103 & 104 respectively bottled in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012. Only 146 50cl bottles 60 € almost sold out (very hard to find).

http://www.distillerie-bertrand.com (but no whisky on their web site).

Overall the Armorik bottlings really impressed me and I will certainly be looking to find some more. A big thank you to Franck for organising this event, the samples and supplying the above information.