Tag Archives: Tasting Notes

Hellyers Road Slightly Peated – 46.2%

hellyers-road-slightly-peated-whisky


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

 

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Hellyers Road Pinot Noir Finish – 46.2%

austr_hel4


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

 

Springbank 12 Year Old Cask Strength (2017) – 56.5%

Springbank 12CS


NOSE: 26

Luscious and opulent.
Unadulterated molten fudge and toffee with notes of fortified wine.

PALATE: 25

Huge sherry hit straight away with quite a viscous, chewable mouth-feel.
The toffee from the nose is still there but in a much smaller, more refined quantity that allows the stewed fruit flavours to burst through.
Raisin and christmas cake flavours take centre stage while being underpinned by some very light woody notes.

FINISH: 22

Not quite as long as I would like but all of the flavours from the palate carry through; predominantly the fruity notes.
Some heat is present but not enough to hint at the above 55% ABV.

PERSONAL: 9 

An absolutely stunning bottle of whisky.
Not having ever really understood the hype Springbank recieve I have to admit that this bottle has completely blown me away.
Rich sherried fruits are the focal point and thankfully there is enough ABV to really allow them room to shine in full force.
I can think of little to improve such a dram except perhaps a slightly longer, richer finish with a little more complexity to it, but otherwise, all I could ask for is more of the same.

TOTAL SCORE: 82


 

Bottom of the Barrel #5: Ardmore Legacy

Ardmore Legacy is very lightly peated, at 12-14ppm, but even that was too much for my Dad’s dedicated middle-of-the road palate.

My Dad is not a big whisky drinker.
He tends to stick to Chivas Regal 12, Glenlivet 12 and Aberlour 12; which is fair enough.
I’ve “forced” him to try almost all of the bottles I’ve opened in recent years, in an attempt to broaden his horizons.
He likes sherried whiskies, but not too sherried.
He likes sweet Virgin Oak whiskies, but not too sweet.
He does not like cask strength offerings and he definitely does not like peat.
Which is why I was more than happy to accept the offer to “Drink this, will you?” when he had been given a bottle of Ardmore Legacy as a gift.

Continue reading Bottom of the Barrel #5: Ardmore Legacy

Smokehead – 43%

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NOSE: 18

Herbal peat, strong iodine and campfires.

PALATE: 22

Slight sweetness with heaps more peat and iodine with oil and brine.

FINISH: 26

A long rounded finish with gentle warmth and the peat vapours carrying on forever.

PERSONAL: 6

A lively but slightly unrefined peat monster – but then who wants delicate when it comes to peat?

Baby Ardbeg in a bottle and an absolute steal at the price (RRP £38.99 but can readily be found for just North of £30.00).

I’ve also heard rumours, several times in fact, that this is actually a 7 year old Ardbeg, but they’d never admit it. If that was the case then the value for money just gets even better.

 

TOTAL SCORE: 72


 

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