All posts by Rob W

Picaresque bon vivant living for the simple things in life: a drop of whisky, a roaring fire, dark nights and wood to chop. Founding member of Dead Bottle Collective (whisky ratings are out of 100 unless otherwise stated). S.L.D.L.

Irish Reserve 26 Year Old – 40.0% [Aldi Festive Releases]

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NOSE: 21

A fairly soft nose not overpowered by one particular note.
Plenty of cereal, as to be expected, along with some honeyed sweetness and maybe a hint of pears in the background.
Inviting.

PALATE: 20

Very thin mouth-feel, with a very clean taste on the palate.
Cereal present again, overpowering most fruity notes but allowing a hint of orange cream to creep in along with the faint tang of pineapple.

A slight light-oak note provides the backdrop.

FINISH: 18

The lack of fullness to the palate carries through to the finish, which lingers just long enough to almost satisfy before disappearing into nothingness.
More woody than anything with the fruity notes from earlier dying right back.
A small hint of golden syrup perhaps?

PERSONAL: 5

Extremely thin on the palate which lets this dram down.
While being extremely drinkable I can’t help feeling like there is a lot that has been lost due to the ABV and no doubt chill-filtering.
Not necessarily worth the money in my opinion, as Bushmills 10 Year Old is available for around £30.00 and appears to have a much greater depth of character than this bottle I am sad to say that this just doesn’t make the cut.

The general consensus on the interweb is that, due to the age of the whiskey, this is actually Bushmills. This hypothesis is explained in depth by Billy from the Whisky Exchange (here), in a review that is itself well worth a read, even if I didn’t manage to pick up the Coke syrup in the finish.

TOTAL SCORE: 64


Available from:

Aldi

 

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Glen Marnoch 29 Year Old – 40.0% [Aldi Festive Releases]

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NOSE: 26

Baked red apples dominate with hints of icing sugar and all-butter pastry.

PALATE: 23

Those apples calm down a little allowing light oaky notes to rise up, almost soft enough to be European oak.
Vanilla is definitely present and possibly the faintest hint of maple syrup.

FINISH: 17

Very thin finish.
Quickly dissipates to leave next to nothing on the taste buds.

Vanilla is still there and is the most forthright of the notes.
A small hint of honey is there if you can catch it.

PERSONAL: 6

A very easy to drink, Autumnal dram.
A little thin, but what do you expect at 40% ABV?
The nose carries this dram in my opinion as the palate isn’t quite strong enough to wow you; the flavours are good but there just isn’t enough of each of them.
No indication of region on the label but I would hazard a guess at Speyside and I’d say it has a lot of characteristics in common with Longmorn‘s output – definitely not a bad thing.

TOTAL SCORE: 73


Available from:

Aldi

 

Whisky Bristol Underground 2017

So it’s been and gone; DBC’s first whisky festival, from the other side of the table is over.

And with all modesty, it was a roaring success.

Tom and I caught the train down from Wolverhampton and after hitting delays at New Street, diversions via Newport we finally arrived at Bristol Temple Meads, burdened with around a dozen bottles of whisky.

The Loco Klub, was just around the corner and on entry we were completely in awe.
The atmosphere was amazing, perfect for the event. The venue was expansive yet intimate, if that’s possible; kind of labyrinthine in  layout with more whisky waiting round every turn and in every alcove.

We met up with Rob B and promptly switched into our fancy new DBC shirts (Represent yo!), set out our bottles and gave ourselves a bit of Dutch(Scotch?) courage with a drop of Springbank 20 year old (1st fill sherry cask) that Tom had brought along, before sampling a drop of the Claxton’s bottles each to be 100% confident we had a good grip on what we were presenting.

We braced ourselves for the first festival-goers. Continue reading Whisky Bristol Underground 2017

Whisky Bristol Underground: Claxton’s Spirits

So, this is definitely the last brand we will be announcing for Whisky Bristol Underground.

We are extremely pleased to announce that Claxton’s Spirits have been in touch and suggested dropping a couple of bottles over to us for Bristol; who are we to say no?

On our table-top, alongside our other delicious wares, you will find a ridiculously good Glen Elgin 20 Year Old (only 294 bottles produced) and a huge Ledaig 9 Year Old (only 334 bottles produced).

Claxton’s bottles always impress and we’re certain these two will blow Bristol away!

glen-elgin-20-year-old-1995-claxtons-whiskyledaig-9-year-old-2007-claxtons-whisky

Whisky Bristol Underground: Paul John

So, looks like the dram announcements haven’t finished yet!

Come one, come all, to the DBC stand on Saturday, at Whisky Bristol Underground, where we you will now be able to find 2 fantastic whiskies from Indian distillers, Paul John.

We will have both Brilliance and Bold expressions available to sample.

Brilliance is the smooth, bourbon cask matured core expression of the Paul John range, while Bold is a fully peated dram with in your face smoke and peppery notes to get those tastebuds tingling.

 

 

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Hellyers Road Slightly Peated – 46.2%

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NOSE: 20

Slight wisps of smoke with peat notes developing.
Orangey citrus notes make a very gentle appearance.

PALATE: 23

Soft, and very delicate peat kick off the palate underpinned by a smooth sweetness not usually found in peated malts.
Hints of vanilla are obvious along with possibly ginger notes.
Complex and quite difficult to decipher.

FINISH: 18

A long lingering finish with the peat softly surging forward to take on more of an active role.
Soft and sweet, with creamy cereal notes showing and vanilla rising up in a crescendo.

PERSONAL: 7

A unique peated expression which at times you would have to re-read the label to know was peated.
Very pleasant and enjoyable.
The combination of the soft creamy vanilla and the extremely gentle peat make for an interesting combination.
I would have enjoyed the orange/citrus notes making an appearance on the palate or finish but the dram as it stands is enough to enjoy.
Not a huge mouth feel, quite light, like it’s peat.

TOTAL SCORE: 68


Available from:

La Maison Du Whisky

 

Hellyers Road Pinot Noir Finish – 46.2%

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NOSE: 17

Very faint redcurrant aromas present initially with a hint of vanilla.
A remarkably soft and restrained nose with no spirit to speak of.
Not enough to really get a true idea of what the dram is about.

PALATE: 24

Immediately, and quite surprisingly, pepper notes make themselves known, yet, at the same time, big, bold and fruity flavours come forth.
The pepper notes drop off as quickly as they appeared, allowing the whole dram to open up completely.
Blackberries rise up to feature prominently and seem to offer a velvety quality to the mouth feel.
Very gentle, not fiery in the slightest.

FINISH: 21

A very gentle, finish with, again, no fire whatsoever.
A soft fruitiness carries right through.

PERSONAL: 8

A gentle and rounded dram with some big fruity flavours.
Lovely waves of dark summer berries are the predominant flavour and run from start to finish
.
A decent amount of complexity to keep things interesting.
Not too much bulk in the mouth feel, quite thin.
Way too easy to drink.

TOTAL SCORE: 70


Available from:

The Whisky Exchange
La Maison Du Whisky

 

Hellyers Road Original Roaring Forty – 40.0%

HRD - Roaring Forty

In the first of our dram previews ahead of Whisky Bristol Underground we have the first of 3 bottles that we will be presenting which originate from the island of Tasmania’s Hellyers Road Distillery.


NOSE: 21

Bold, fruity and sweet, to the point of tasting sherried.
Notes of white grapes, lemons and definitely ripe pears rising up.
The level of spirit tones hint that this could be a fiery one. 

PALATE: 21

Oak and vanilla are immediately obvious.
Much softer than the expectation the nose produces.
The citrus and white grape notes from earlier are still there but the huge levels of sweetness back off to allow the dram to open up.

FINISH: 19

Quite a short finish, that stings the cheeks a little.
Vanilla is by far and away the dominant flavour that comes through, lasting until the close.

PERSONAL: 6 

A very good, light, everyday dram – but with plenty of character.
Sweet on the palate with a heavy presence of the
American Oak.
Quite a thick mouth feel for only being 40% ABV with enough substance to it to make it interesting while remaining extremely quaffable.
The sort of dram I’d drink at a summer garden party while everyone else drank white wine.

TOTAL SCORE: 67


Available from:

Amazon
Master of Malt
The Whisky Exchange
La Maison Du Whisky