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“Because you can't buy happiness... but you can buy whisky and that's pretty much the same thing”

“Helping you to find the best whisky with concise whisky reviews and recommendations”

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Malt Maniacs Awards 2014 Whiskies

By Miguel in Recommended , Whisky

It is December, 15 and today Malt Maniacs Awards are published. You and me have been waiting almost a full year for a new incarnation of the very best whisky award in the world: Malt Maniacs Awards 2014.

mma-2014

If you are reading this you probably know about them, but just in case. Malt Maniac Awards are ran by a group of whisky afficionados with no links with the Whisky industry. They accept up to four ( or five ) whiskies from each brand/distillery and then they will split all the whiskies into individuale label-less samples… just a number. So each of the judges tastes each whisky completely clueless and blind and then all the scores are submitted back and after a few crazy math formulas the final score is computed.

Basically whiskies over 90 gets a Gold Medal, between 85 and 90 gets a Silver Medal and below that and over 80 gets a Bronze Medal. It is a very rare honor to get a Gold Medal and unfortunately most of them are special single cask whiskies for a group of persons.

And the winner is…

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Morrison Bowmore's new whiskies: Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch and Bowmore

By Miguel in Tasting , Bowmore , Glen Garioch , Auchentoshan

It is almost a month since Halloween, where I got the scariest of the surprises… my parcel with Bowmore Devil’s Cask sample got lost and I never got it… don’t cry yet! This is a happy end story :)

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So almost a month later a replacement appeared on my door and here I am, ready to taste three fantastic whiskies from Morrison Bowmore Distillers: An lowlander, a Highlander and an Islay beauty.

So let’s taste them and let’s discover if all the hype about Devil’s Cask is based on anything…

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Spirit of Hven 7 Stars Nº2 Mersk Review

By Miguel in Spirit of Hven

Day 6 of Maverick Drinks’ Whisky Advent Calendar ( woo! Only lagging six days behind! ) A Swedish Single malt and it is not Mackmyra… Definitively this Whisky Advent Calendar is widening my whisky world.

“Interesting. Fresh. Similar in style to the Teeling Single Malt if you want a cheaper similar whisky”

88
Spirit of Hven Seven Stars Nº2 Mersk

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, spices, cinnamon, apples, citrus, grapes, vanilla.

Palate (88): powerful, oily. honey, citrus, spices, pepper, vanilla, pears, wood, a little raisins.

Finish (88): longer than average. honey, citrus, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Spirit of Hven Seven Stars Nº2 Mersk with 88 points over 100.

You can order your own #whiskyadvent calendar at Master of Malt. Hurry up! Or you will have to drink it all on the same day :)



Bowmore 12 years old Review #whiskyadvent

By Miguel in Tasting , Bowmore

Day 5 of Maverick Drinks’ Whisky Advent Calendar. An old time favorite: the Bowmore 12 years old. This is one of the first whiskies that I tasted and I am really kind of its peatiness… until I tasted an Ardbeg. Most connoisseurs rule out this dram because… not sure… maybe because it is affordable and decent? I would really give it a try if you like peated whiskies.

“Nice dram ( and consistent ) but it miss that crazy little bit that turns good whisky into fantastic drams. If you want subtle peat punch, then this Bowmore is your dram”

89
Bowmore 12 year
Established in 1779, Bowmore Distillery is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland and nestles on the shores of Loch Indaal on the Inner Hebridean Isle of Islay.

Bowmore is universally regarded as the best balanced of all the Islay malts, as characterised by its wonderfully rich and complex flavors.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. peat, honey, citrus, salt, vanilla, spices, earth.

Palate (89): powerful, oily. honey, peat, citrus, salt, wood, vanilla, earth.

Finish (89): longer than average. honey, peat, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bowmore 12 year with 89 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


You can order your own #whiskyadvent calendar at Master of Malt. Hurry up! Or you will have to drink it all on the same day :)



Isle of Jura 16 years old Review #whiskyadvent

By Miguel in Tasting , Isle of Jura

Day 4 of Maverick Drinks’ Whisky Advent Calendar. A quite special Jura. This Jura 16 years old is a fantastic experience. The first time I tasted it I really disliked it but someone told me that I was wrong that it was a good whisky, so I ordered a sample from Master of Malt and gave it a new try, and found a completely different whisky. The closest thing to a Macallan that you can get from outside the Highlands.

“I have an old bottle of the Jura 16 years old and it is way better than this, pretty big changes between batches. It still have that lovely tobacco leaves aroma that only old Macallan used to have”

89
Isle of Jura 16 year
'With the smoothness of the 10 year-old allied to extra complexity from more ageing, this is a winner. 'A delicious and sophisticated dram with impressive depth and almost perfect weight.' Jim Murray

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. honey, citrus, sherry, chocolate, raisins, spices.

Palate (89): powerful, oily. honey, tobacco, vanilla, citrus, spices, chocolate, rubber.

Finish (89): longer than average. honey, citrus,tobacco leaves.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Isle of Jura 16 year with 89 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


You can order your own #whiskyadvent calendar at Master of Malt. Hurry up! Or you will have to drink it all on the same day :)



Evan Williams 2003 Single Barrel Review #whiskyadvent

By Miguel in Tasting , Heaven Hill

Day 3 of Maverick Drinks’ Whisky Advent Calendar. A fantastic single barrel bourbon.

“Cracking! Do you like rye whiskey? You will love this Evan Williams”

90
Heaven Hill Evan Williams 2003 Single Barrel
Evan Williams 2003 Single Barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Single barrel #156 bottled February 2013. Distilled at Heaven Hill Distillery, USA.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. corn, dust, honey, spices, vanilla, candies. Smells much like Rye whiskey

Palate (90): powerful, oily. honey, spices, corn, pepper, flowers, vanilla, candies, wood.

Finish (90): longer than average. honey, corn, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Heaven Hill Evan Williams 2003 Single Barrel with 90 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Single Malt Whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


You can order your own #whiskyadvent calendar at Master of Malt. Hurry up! Or you will have to drink it all on the same day :)



Compass Box Great King St. Glasgow Blend and The Lost Blend Reviews

By Miguel in Tasting , Compass Box

One of my favorites stops at the The Whisky Show in London is the Number One stand with their fantastic Karuizawa ( don’t give them a try, it is bad stuff, forget about what I have written. Pesky whisky! ) and Compass Box stand with their whiskies…

2014-11-26 19.41.42

I am realizing that they are quite opposite style, one is about a dismantled distillery’s single casks monsters and the other is about good whisky for everyone. I have tasted now a few Compass Box whiskies over the years and I am not going to see all of them are fantastic but definitively none of them dissappoint!

Today I review two of their new additions to the range: Great king St. Glasgow Blend and The Lost Blend. Remember that as always I do taste the whisky blind, and later I read all the PR stuff to write these awesome articles like this one :D

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Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey #whiskyadvent

By Miguel in Tasting , Teeling

Day 2 of Maverick Drinks’ Whisky Advent Calendar. It is fun because this next Monday I will do a Twitter Tasting about exactly this whiskey…

“Irish. It is nice but I prefer less light and fresh whiskies. If you are a fan of Jameson, this whiskey will nail it!”

87
Teeling Small Batch Whiskey / The Spirit of Dublin
Since the Teelings parted company with Cooley, the company they started, we've been waiting for their return and here it is - Teeling Whiskey. Finished in rum casks and bottled at 46% without chill-filtration it's an excellent statement of intent. The blend is said to contain a high proportion of first fill bourbon casked whiskey, and a higher-than-normal ratio of malt to grain.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (87): more than average. honey, citrus, fresh, vanilla, flowers.

Palate (87): powerful, oily. honey, vanilla, citrus, flowers, spices, wood.

Finish (87): longer than average. honey, citrus, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Teeling Small Batch Whiskey / The Spirit of Dublin with 87 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Irish Whiskey online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


You can order your own #whiskyadvent calendar at Master of Malt. Hurry up! Or you will have to drink it all on the same day :)



Haig Club Single Grain Whisky Review #whiskyadvent

By Miguel in Tasting , Haig Club

I am lagging behind but here it is the review of Maverick Drinks’ Whisky Advent Calendar. This is the first day of the calendar and the chosen whisky is Haig Club ( is it the same for everyone?! ).

I have to say that I like the idea of selling grain whisky, I like the idea of the whisky being supported by a relevant ( used-to-be relevant ) football player, I like the idea of selling a nice packaging… but definitively what I don’t like, is the fact that I am being sold young cheap grain whisky for the price of a Balvenie 15 years old for example…

“It is promising but it is also young and still should sleep more years in the cask. I wouldn't buy it... for drinking I mean”

85
Haig Club Single Grain Whisky Single Grain Scotch Whisky
Named for the founder of Cameronbridge distillery, John Haig, and created in partnership with David Beckham and Simon Fuller, the Haig Club is a light and sweet grain whisky created to open the world of whisky to a new group - those who don't think they like whisky. Fantastic over ice, in long drinks or in short cocktails, it's an easy-drinking dram that'll win anyone over.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (84): more than average. honey, corn, citrus, toffee, vanilla, alcohol. Not bad but a few years more inside a cask won't hurt it neither...

Palate (85): light, smooth. honey, citrus, vanilla, wood, spices, toffee, alcohol.

Finish (85): average. honey, toffee.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Haig Club Single Grain Whisky Single Grain Scotch Whisky with 85 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

Save money when you buy Grain whisky online. Check for the best prices from best online shops below:


Excited with the calendar… 23 days ahead of surprises! And it can’t be worse! I am loving this #whiskyadvent And you aren’t late yet for getting one for yourself at Master of Malt

Whisky Advent Calendar: http://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/drinks-by-the-dram/the-whisky-advent-calendar/



Crown Royal Regal Apple Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Crown Royal

A few weeks ago I was offered to taste the new Crown Royal Regal Apple. This is a new member of the Crown Royal family and part of a new tendency in the whisky world: infused whisky liqueurs.

2014-11-26 19.24.55

As usual with Crown Royal whiskies, it is presented in a lovely box with a precious green velvet bag and just 35% ABV and I really don’t understand why not selling it at 40% ABV. Really, this has to be either fantastic or a complete failure. Let’s taste it because I am getting excited.

“I suppose they were not thinking bout whisky sippers here... if you survive the initial apple wave, you have a decent Crown Royal here”

84
Crown Royal Regal Apple

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (80): more than average. apples, citrus, honey, spices. Overwhelming apple punch! It isn't bad, it is just apples... I suppose this is what you want of a shot but not what I expect of a Crown Royal

Palate (86): smooth, oily. honey, apples, citrus, spices, cinnamon, wood, toffee.

Finish (86): longer than average. honey, apples.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Crown Royal Regal Apple with 84 points over 100.

Miguel says…

I am not a big fan of liqueurs but this Crown Royal Regal Apple really delivers what it promises a delicious Crown Royal ( why water it down to 35%? ) with lots of apple aromas that although overwhelming on the nose works really great on the palate. If you enjoy this, don’t miss Compass Box Orangerie or the fantastic Glenfiddich Honey liqueur ( we miss you! )

They recommend Crown Royal Regal Apple for cocktails… I will try this weekend a apple-flavoured Manhattan and share with you what I discover.