Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt – 43%

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt


NOSE: 24

Smoky wood and caramel with some spirit overtones.

Quite closed initially, not giving a lot away except for some sweetness and a little oak but as it sits in the glass for 5-10 mins the smoke really comes through and the oak notes soften.

Before being given chance to breathe I noted a possible slight hint of tropical fruit, pineapple perhaps?

PALATE: 22

Sweetness dies back and allows some of the lighter fruitier notes to shine through.

Oak is still there with vanilla beginning to rise up but the smoke still whirls and some tobacco-ey notes pop up.

When the smoke grabs you it’s very reminiscent of Pure Malt Black.

A little spice showing through, cinnamon predominantly and maybe a little coffee.

FINISH: 21

Medium length drying finish.

Caramel sweetness raises its head again, albeit briefly, and the tobacco notes ride with you through to the end.

Little to no heat/fire.

PERSONAL: 6

Despite being rather underwhelmed with this dram to start with I gave it some time to breathe and it became a much richer, deeper experience. That said, from the online reviews and my love for the rest of Nikka’s range, I was expecting a lot more.

It’s definitely enjoyable but nowhere near the best that Nikka put out; a little simple on the nose and, to me at least, not rich a rich enough flavour profile on the palate.

Texture is pleasant, as are the individual elements, I was just hoping for more.

For a richer but similar collection of flavours I think I’ll stick with the FTB or Pure Malt Black.

TOTAL SCORE: 73


 

Bottom of the Barrel #4: Strathisla 12 Year Old

Okay, I’ll start with the apologies – time has gotten away from me over the last month or two.
I started a new job in May, but that’s no excuse (within the alcoholic drinks industry no-less; more brewing than distilling for now, but it’s a step in the right direction).
I’ve slapped myself on the wrist and aim to do better in coming months – either that or rethink the monthly nature of these posts and maybe head down the every other month route.

Anyway, on to the task at hand…

Strathisla 12 Year Old is this month’s selection for BotB.

A fantastic, sherried dram that almost evokes more typically Highland qualities than those of Speyside, not unlike Glenfarclas’ output. Continue reading Bottom of the Barrel #4: Strathisla 12 Year Old

Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 Year Old – 43%

glenmorangie-lasanta-12yo-single-malt-whisky


NOSE: 23
Big sweet, fruitful sherry nose.
A little nutty note shines through with a trace hint of spices and rich fruit.

PALATE: 20
Less sherry than expected.
Some dry leathery notes present along with the nuttiness from earlier.
No sign of the fruitiness that was promised though.
FINISH: 22
Sherry re-emerges on the finish, but it’s all over rather quickly.
That christmas-cake fruitiness makes an appearance again and takes over from the dry leather of the palate.
Little to no fire carrying through.

PERSONAL: 6
Fair dram that comes up a little flat for what the nose hints at.
The mouth-feel is little thin, but not offensively so.
Perfectly drinkable and one of the more enjoyable Glenmorangie expressions of recent years.

TOTAL SCORE: 70 Continue reading Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 Year Old – 43%

Inchgower 2002 (13 Year old) – 46% – Gordon & Macphail Connoisseurs Choice

Inchgower 2002


NOSE: 25
Next to no trace of any sort of spirit or fire.
Sherry, butter and faint demerara notes all obvious.
Hints of baked apples begin to make themselves known.
PALATE: 23
Sweet but restrained sherry influence appears straight away with the baked apples from the nose pulling through, but the demerara dying back.
Slight nuttiness hits the back of the throat, pecans maybe.
Mediocre mouth feel; not thin yet not thick.
FINISH: 20
Medium, gentle finish with resurgent butter.
Traces of nuttiness and demerara still present.
PERSONAL: 7
A very light, pleasurable dram – reminiscent of apple crumble after a Sunday roast.
Very easy to drink and inoffensive.
Would be interesting to taste with a slightly higher ABV to see if the finish develops a little more.
All in all a sweet, soft dram that I challenge anyone to dislike.

TOTAL SCORE: 75 Continue reading Inchgower 2002 (13 Year old) – 46% – Gordon & Macphail Connoisseurs Choice

Bottom of the Barrel #3: Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old

Nestled in the North-Eastern corner of the island, just down the road from Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain is unique in the fact that it is the only Islay distillery whose core range of whiskys are completely unpeated.

There is of course the Toiteach (Gaelic for smoky) expression which is heavily peated and limited releases, Moine (Gaelic for peat) and Ceobanach (Gaelic for smoky mist), but these are really exceptions to the rule.

Gaelic for foot of the river and pronounced Bunna-harven; something I learnt the hard way a few years ago in a Fort William basement bar to an audience of disgusted locals. Continue reading Bottom of the Barrel #3: Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old

Glenfarclas and Cheese!

He-Man and Skeletor. Shearer and Sheringham. Hall and Oates. Pie and mash. Some things are just meant to be paired together. I have long been a fan of pairing whisky with cheese, whether that be at a dedicated tasting, or totally shitfaced, trying to apply some much needed fat/carb damage limitation, after a night of heavy drinking. So, when our great friends at the Birmingham Whisky Club announced that they had organised a whisky and cheese tasting, at The Plough in Harborne, with Glenfarclas (one of our favourite distilleries), Tom and I decided that we’d be crazy not to go along, on an otherwise drab and dreary pre-World Whisky Day Wednesday.

Continue reading Glenfarclas and Cheese!

Nikka & Godzilla (1954) Taste-along @ The Electric – 27.04.17

When a Nikka Whisky taste-along screening of the original 1954 production of Godzilla was announced a pause for thought was definitely not necessary.
As a big fan of Nikka, their drams and the history behind their company I was overjoyed at the announcement. Pair that with a classic of the monster movie genre and the progenitor of the whole kaiju sub-genre of films and I think I could have only been happier if there was katsu bento and gyoza waiting for me in the lobby afterwards.
Continue reading Nikka & Godzilla (1954) Taste-along @ The Electric – 27.04.17

Rob B’s Speyside Spectacular

In recent months, my palate has changed. I’ll admit, this came as quite a shock to me. If you’d have told me a year or two ago that I’d have this unquenchable thirst for sherried whisky, I’d have thought you were a fool. I was so peated, I was probably about 200 ppm. So, when my better half suggested that we go back to Edinburgh in the Easter holidays, the place where our romance began, I made the less romantic suggestion of her driving me around Speyside for a couple of days, while I drank copious amounts of whisky. Luckily, she said yes! Continue reading Rob B’s Speyside Spectacular