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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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SIA Blended Scotch Whisky Review

By Miguel in Douglas Laing , SIA

A few weeks ago I received an email offering me to taste a new whisky from USA called SIA. Umm, free whisky… umm too good to be true. Let me introduce you SIA and then I explain you a few things that really raised my expectations.

sia-scotch-whisky

SIA was funded through Kickstarter by Carin Luna-Ostaseski using malts from Speyside, Highlands and Islay… well… so SIA is a Scotch whisky and bottled in Scotland by… guess who… Douglas Laing & Co!. Yay! The makers of Peat Monster and Scallywag. Yay!

The whisky is bottled at 43% ABV and has a decent ratio of malt/grain, with around 40% of single malts whiskies into the recipe…

Enough smalltalk… let’s taste this whisky!

SIA Blended Scotch Whisky

“Quite gorgeous! This blended whisky has three or four secrets inside... and the grain join to the chorus to make it even more yummy and delicious!”

88
SIA Blended Scotch Whisky

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. honey, spices, citrus, cinnamon, peaches, vanilla, smoke, tobacco, corn.

Palate (87): light, powerful. honey, vanilla, spices, citrus, wood, smoke, peaches.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this SIA Blended Scotch Whisky with 88 points over 100.

Miguel says…

Wooha! I have been taken by surprise! This whisky is really nice and I find quite surprising that in the leaflet is written: “What I found is so many consumers think of Scotch as heavy, smoky… something their father or grandfather would drink”… one of the things I love from this whisky is exactly that! It is slightly peated and definitively it isn’t a light poor whisky, here the grain whisky adds complexity and a extra layer of awesomeness into the blend. Damn! I really love it! [ Note to self: When wife isn't looking at, order one or two! ]

And definitively… this is to good to by mixed! Enjoy it straight! Grow up!



Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2015 is back: Don't Panic

By Miguel in News

Oh my God! It is that dark and cold time of the year… no, no, I am not speaking about Winter, I am speaking about Jim Murray’s yearly edition of the Whisky Bible. There are two things that turn people against whisky: one is Johnnie Walker and the other is this leaflet, book, I mean book.

GLENMORANGIE

Seriously speaking, if there is any proof that alcohol has to be drink in moderation is The Whisky Bible… and Jim did it again: no, no, this year’s Best whisky of the year isn’t for another Ardbeg. No, this year the good old Jim named the five best whiskies of the World and only one is from Scotland. Not bad. My bet for 2016 The Whisky Bible’s Best whisky in the World is Jägermeister. But anyway… let’s review the winners.

Read the full story »



Lagavulin Triple Matured Friends of Classic Malts Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Lagavulin

Another day, another peated dram! I love Lagavulin. I love their Lagavulin 16 years old because it is affordable and really… it is so hard to get any better bang for the buck!

“[Note to self: Get one] Very nice Lagavulin with a welcome extra layer of complexity over their fantastic 16 years old”

91
Lagavulin Triple Matured Edition (Friends of Classic Malts)
Originally released exclusively for the Friends of the Classic Malts, this is one of five triple-matured bottlings across the Classic Malts range that are matured in refill casks, American oak hogsheads and finally European Oak refill casks before being bottled at 48% abv. (The number of bottles is limited to 24,000 across the five releases.)

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. peat, honey, wood, spices, vanilla, citrus, cappuccino, liquorice .

Palate (91): powerful, oily. peat, honey, salt, citrus, wood, spices, cocoa, earthy.

Finish (91): longer than average. peat, citrus, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Lagavulin Triple Matured Edition (Friends of Classic Malts) with 91 points over 100.


Kilchoman Feis Ile 2014 Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Kilchoman

Hello there! Yet another peated delight. This time a Kilchoman from Feis Ile 2014.

“Pure Kilchoman! A delightful bottled pleasure”

90
Kilchoman Feis Ile 2014 Release
A special Kilchoman bottling produced specially for the 2014 Islay whisky festival, it was matured for around 5 years, initially in first-fill bourbon casks before spending a finishing period in a Fino Sherry butt. And it's good. Really very good indeed. The outturn was 525 cask strength bottles

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, peat, vanilla, toffee, citrus, spices, candies.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. honey, peat, citrus, salt, barley, spices.

Finish (90): longer than average. honey, peat, salt.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Kilchoman Feis Ile 2014 Release with 90 points over 100.

I love it! When I die, drop me in a cask of Kilchoman! :)



Laphroaig Cairdeas 2014 Edition Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Laphroaig

Perhaps the most sought after edition of the Feis Ile whiskies ( if you ignore Ardbeg )… I just hope it keeps as it is right now below the collectors’ radar.

“Wonderful Laphroaig... I should have buy more bottles of this”

91
Laphroaig Cairdeas 2014 Edition
This year's Cairdeas release ("Cairdeas", pronounced 'car-chase', means 'friendship' in Gaelic) was matured in bourbon barrels and Amontillado hogsheads.
Created by Laphroaig Master Distiller John Campbell, it's bottled at 51.4% abv.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. peat, honey, citrus, wood, spices, cinnamon, apples.

Palate (91): powerful, oily. honey, peat, earth, citrus, fruits, spices, pepper, cinnamon, salt, iodine.

Finish (91): longer than average. peat, honey, salt.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Laphroaig Cairdeas 2014 Edition with 91 points over 100.

If last year FOL whisky was fantastic this year is really there too. A quite good whisky and still priced for people that actually drink the stuff! Thanks Laphroaig!



Caol Ila 2014 Feis Ile Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Caol Ila

Following my review of a lovely peated macho Bunna, here I am again with a review of a pretty decent Caol Ila from Feis Ile 2014.

“A really complex Caol Ila with a powerful fresh fruity ka-boom!”

89
Caol Ila 2002 - Feis Ile 2014
Caol Ila's Fèis Ìle 2014 bottling was selected by new distillery manager David Wood (a truly excellent name for anybody in a position to choose casks) who carries on Billy Stitchell's great work. Matured in refill American oak hogsheads, 1,500 bottles have been released.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. honey, vanilla, baked apples, citrus, smoke.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. honey, citrus, vanilla, winey, fruits, peaches, spices, cinnamon, wood.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Caol Ila 2002 - Feis Ile 2014 with 89 points over 100.

As always I tasted it blind and it is surprising that it is just aged in american oak casks. It is so fruity and complex… I was expecting something crazy combinations of casks. It isn’t amazing but it is quite close to it.



Bunnahabhain Dram An Stiureadair Feis Ile 2014 Review

By Miguel in Bunnahabhain

I am making peace with my box of samples and drinking the stuff that I have been neglecting for the last four months, so what better way of starting than drinking peated whisky… and so I happened to have on my box a few samples of the Feis Ile whiskies, in fact all but the expensive Bowmore and the Ardbeg Auriverdes ( wtf is doing people with Ardbeg?! Is this artificial scarcity? )

“Lightly peated they said! Muahahahaha fantastic stuff! A pity it is so hard to grab a bottle of this for a reasonable prize”

92
Bunnahabhain Dràm An Stiùreadair - Feis Ile 2014
Dràm an Stiùreadair is pronounced 'Draam an Yoù-radar' or 'Dram on your radar'.

It's a heavily peated Bunnahabhain released especially for Fèis Ìle, the legendary Islay whisky festival, in 2014. Matured in Bourbon casks for 9 years, it then spent a final year in a Marsala wine cask the outturn from which was 632 bottles.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. honey, smoke, fruits, citrus, plums, apricot, coffee. Fantastic. Peated and quite fruity... sauternes finish?

Palate (92): powerful, oily. honey, peat, earth, fruits, coffee, citrus.

Finish (92): longer than average. peat, earth.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bunnahabhain Dràm An Stiùreadair - Feis Ile 2014 with 92 points over 100.

Pretty nice! And to think that I started with this one because I though it was lightly peated! Lovely surprise! Pretty much like a peat hug!



Does darker whisky taste better? Maverick's Reference Series

By Miguel in Tasting , Maverick Drinks

A few months ago I reviewed a wonderful proposal from Maverick Drinks called Reference Series, a set of whiskies names I, II and III that where crafted with a different proportion of single malt whiskies of different characteristics.

Twelve-Bottles

So today I review part of the first addition to this crazy educational whisky range. There are for each of the three original bottles, 3 new whiskies called: .1, .2 and .3.

Read the full story »




Kilchoman 2009 PX Finish Single Cask AbbeyWhisky Exclusive Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Kilchoman

I have finally had time to write the review of this Kilchoman from Abbey Whisky. I really love Kilchoman malts since I tasted their first bottle a few years ago, here we have a five years old Kilchoman aged in bourbon casks for most of its life to end being finished in a PX cask for four months. But before I review the whisky you must know that I am not really fond of PX finished whiskies… I really prefer Oloroso aged… but… anyway… let’s try this.

“Fantastic Kilchoman, and that is said by a person that really doesn't enjoy PX whiskies. Add a drop of water and let it breathe a bit to reveal its true shape. Delicious!”

90
Kilchoman 2009 PX Finish Single Cask / AW Exclusive
Established in 2005, Kilchoman distillery holds true to tradition, it’s one of only a handful of distilleries to still practice floor maltings; they even grow their own barley! We’ve always greatly admired Islay's farm distillery and what it stands for, so to team up and release this wonderful dram makes us incredibly proud indeed!

Cask #285/09 has been matured for over four and a half years in a fresh bourbon barrel before being transferred to a Pedro Ximénez cask for a further four months maturation. The PX finish on this release works a treat, softening things down a little but still allowing the dram to hold the traditional taste & characteristics you would expect from a Kilchoman whisky of this age. A perfect combination.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. peat, honey, cocoa, spices, cinnamon, fruits, citrus, salt.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. peat, honey, cocoa, salt, malt, wood, pears, chocolate.

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, honey, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Kilchoman 2009 PX Finish Single Cask / AW Exclusive with 90 points over 100.

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Miguel says

Wooo! Awesome dram. I definitively can recommend you this Kilchoman if you like peated whiskies as much as me.