All posts by Rob W

Picaresque bon vivant living for the simple things in life: a fine drop of whisky, a roaring fire, dark nights and good company. My whisky ratings are out of 100 unless otherwise stated.

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

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

Midlands Whisky Festival @ Stourbridge Town Hall – 18.03.17

It’s 2am on a Sunday morning.

I have no idea how I got home.

My head’s pounding and there’s a strange buzzer ringing throughout the house.

What the hell happened?

Continue reading Midlands Whisky Festival @ Stourbridge Town Hall – 18.03.17

Bushmills St. Patrick’s Day Tasting @ The Wellington, Birmingham – 16.03.17

We may both have red facial hair (and a slight penchant for alcohol), but neither Rob B or myself have an Irish bone in our body.
When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day though we thought it would be rude not to join in the festivities.

While being fairly inexperienced with Irish whiskey we were both aware of the current surge in interest and were looking forward to experiencing what the emerald isle had to offer. Continue reading Bushmills St. Patrick’s Day Tasting @ The Wellington, Birmingham – 16.03.17

Cask Strength or Weakness?

With whisky, as a general rule, I prefer higher ABVs.

I tend to find it imbues a richer character, more punch and an overall deeper experience.

With no other spirit is this necessarily true. Vodka, gin, rum and even cider do not usually taste better with a higher alcohol content. They become strong, spirity, and often-times bitter; you lose a lot of the flavour that the producers were no doubt trying to convey.

This can also be true with whisky and, despite my love for a high ABV, I don’t believe that high strength always equals high flavour/quality. Continue reading Cask Strength or Weakness?

Penderyn – Welsh Hit or Complete Shit?

Ah, Penderyn.

Among my (whisky-informed) friends the name is almost a curse word.

“Welsh whisky!?”
“You mean Irish?”
“Keep that piss away from me”

That’s usually how the conversation will go anytime someone brings up the Welsh distillery.

So in light of it being St. David’s day last week I decided the time was right to bring out a 5 dram tasting set gifted to me by my missus’ brother for my birthday last year.

Continue reading Penderyn – Welsh Hit or Complete Shit?

Whisky Birmingham @ The Bond, Digbeth – 04.03.17

Now in it’s 5th year, WhiskyBirmingham, run by The Birmingham Whisky Club, is always going to be close to our hearts. As paid members of The Birmingham Whisky Club we’re big fans of Amy, Craig and Vicky and know they never disappoint.
Situated in Digbeth, a 10-15min walk from Birmingham New Street Station, The Bond is a fantastic venue with plenty of both outdoor and indoor space.

Upon entry we found 25+ exhibitors spread between 2 exhibition halls and an outdoor marquee, 2 food vendors situated in the courtyard with a covered outdoor seating area and a VIP room with some special drams and a seating area to take a break in.
As we walked in we were greeted by Amy, founder of the Birmingham Whisky Club, with a complimentary nosing glass, dream dram tokens and programme each.
We made a beeline for the coat racks before passing the VIP room and heading into the smaller exhibition hall.

Continue reading Whisky Birmingham @ The Bond, Digbeth – 04.03.17