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Stories from March, 2012

Mackmyra Ex Sherry Smoke Private Cask

By Miguel in Tasting , Mackmyra

“This is a sweet oloroso aged Mackmyra whisky. Quite good.”

88
Mackmyra Ex Sherry Smoke Private Cask

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, raisins, wood, nuts, leather, old, peat, citrus, floral.

Palate (88): powerful. honey, oloroso, nuts, raisins, peat.

Finish (87): longer than average. oloroso sherry, citrus, wood.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Mackmyra Ex Sherry Smoke Private Cask with 88 points over 100.

Lots of thanks for @TheScotDreamer and @AngelasShare for inviting me to Mackmyra Blind tasting.


Laphroaig 18 years old Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Laphroaig

“I prefer the old Laphroaig 15 years old. Where did my peat go man?”

89
Laphroaig 18 year
The new Laphroaig 18yo is a replacement for the 15 year-old (Prince Chuck's favourite whisky, lest we forget, and it'll be sorely missed when it's gone). This is a stronger, altogether gutsier affair at 48%. A category winner at the World Whisky Awards 2010.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. peat, honey, citrus, iodine, wood, floral. I had to read twice the bottle to be sure it was a Laphroaig. Where did the seaweed peat go?

Palate (90): powerful, oily. peat, salt, iodine, apples, spices, pepper, coffee.

Finish (88): longer than average. peat, salt, floral, iodine.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Laphroaig 18 year with 89 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Hammer Head Czech Whisky Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Pradlo

“A floral and very old Red Czech whisky. Really nice with a great taste. A pity this is the first and only batch existing.”

88
Hammer Head
Hammer Head is a Czech single malt produced in 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, which changed forever Eastern Europe.

Developed in the distillery Pradlo in western Czechoslovakia, Hammer Head is the only single malt made in Bohemia.

Discovered by accident just last year by its new owners, it was designed at the time from a local barley and aged exclusively in oak Czech barrels.

In terms of taste, it emanates from his frailty and his speaking youth an atmosphere full of romance ... and only 80,000 bottles are available.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (88): strong. citrus, floral, vanilla, a little peaches, wood, a bit biscuits.

Palate (89): light. candies, floral, citrus, wood, vanilla, spices.

Finish (88): longer than average. citrus, vanilla, a little liquorice.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Hammer Head with 88 points over 100.

Oxley Gin Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Oxley

“High strength gin with a fine taste. It will do great in your cocktails.”

77
Oxley Gin
100cl / 47% - Oxley's is a smart new English gin, made using the extremely unusual 'cold distillation' technique. Cold distillation employs a vacuum to remove the pressure from within the still lowering the temperature to below -5°C, causing the spirit to ‘boil’.

This dram has a white-like color.

Nose (74): average. juniper, citrus, floral, herbs.

Palate (79): smooth, powerful. floral, herbs, citrus, juniper, spices.

Finish (77): average. juniper, herbs, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Oxley Gin with 77 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Millstone 8 years old French Oak Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Zuidan

“Beautiful dutch whisky. Slightly light but a great finish on mouth. Like!”

86
Millstone 8 year French Oak
The Zuidam distillery in the Netherlands has unique stills with a very high surface contact area due to their size. This was matured in French Oak casks.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (86): more than average. honey, malt, spices, vanilla, citrus, floral.

Palate (85): light, smooth. honey, floral, spices, apples, wood, vanilla.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Millstone 8 year French Oak with 86 points over 100.

II Gin Festival Sitges 2012, the show you can't miss

By Miguel in News

Either if you like gin, or if you just love whisky but you are interested in gin because it is a trend topic of lately, you will be happy to know that everything is ready for the II Gin Festival of Sitges, Spain that will take place between May, 29 and June, 3.

Gin Festival Sitges

Here you have the press release note of the organization.


Once again, we are pleased to announce you that we are working on the second Gin Festival in Sitges, good acceptance and results in last year motivates us to share again with you this event dedicated to the “gin” with the main idea able to get the public all Brands partners, giving first-hand information to professionals and “final customers” through tastings, master classes, exhibitions, etc.

We are at an ideal time to continue spreading the culture of good quality drinking as we speak, all over the world are experiencing a positive revolution of learning and good work, much thanks to our leading bartenders and brands involvement in getting optimum quality in all products.

Sitges wants to contribute in promoting quality product, its geographic location, climate, the public … makes it possible to convert this festival in a show dedicated to our precious Gin, showing not only quality products to all participants (professionals and enthusiasts of this distillate), we go beyond this year we plan to encourage this new product, announcing this product in other applications, wanting to give continuity to the distillate.

This year we have the support needed to develop a global broadcast event with the collaboration of professionals and media around the world.

Calendar of events at II Sitges Gin Festival

31 de Mayo.
Campeonato exhibición de Flair. (internacional) 11h. en PaseoSitges
1 de Junio.
II Gin Festival de Sitges. 16:30h. Centre de disseny de Sitges
2 de Junio.
“Gin Tour” Vila de Sitges. All day. Colaboración locales de Sitges
3 de Junio.
Eventos relacionados. Sitges

Here you have a video of the last year show.

So now that you know about it, you can’t miss it: Sun, beach, discos and gin.

And what about you, do you like gin? Which one is your favorite? When do you have gin?


El Dorado 25 years old Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Demerara

“This stunning El Dorado rum is perhaps the best rum I have ever tasted.”

89
El Dorado 25 year
A very, very exciting special edition from El Dorado, a great Demerara rum.

This was distilled in 1980 and, by Jove, it's one of the most fantastic rums you'll ever try, aged for a whopping 25 years.

Perhaps overpriced but definitively an awesome rum. One of the best rum I have had.

This dram has a mahogany-like color.

Nose (85): more than average. molasses, varnish, spices, wood, pepper, floral, hazelnut. It is strange. It smells of old but slightly bad and really good at times.

Palate (93): smooth, oily, creamy. sweet, honey, molasses, brown sugar, sugar cane, spices, cardamom. Awesome! Non plus ultra!

Finish (90): longer than average. honey, molasses, brown sugar, floral, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this El Dorado 25 year with 89 points over 100.

Mackinlay's Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Mackinlay

Yeah! Exactly! This whisky is an exact replica, if you believe Richard Patterson, of the whiskies Ernest Shackleton took with him to Antarctica.

“Awesome! Mindblowing! I would also travel to Antartica with this whisky! Grab one until they last.”

94
Mackinlay's Rare old Highland Malt Whisky
An exact replica of the whisky left in Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton during his ill-fated South Pole expedition between 1907 and 1909. The whisky was recreated down to the very last detail by Whyte and Mackay’s blender extraordinaire, Richard Paterson. The final replica bottle of Mackinlay’s blend contains whiskies from Speyside, the Island, and the Highlands, and the recipe even includes some very rare 1983 Glen Mhor!

This is a limited release of 50,000 bottles, and £5 from each bottle will be donated to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (97): powerful. malt, biscuits, a little peat, oranges, vanilla, honey, floral.

Palate (93): oily, creamy, powerful. sweet, biscuits, fruits, peach, spices, tobacco, a little peat, grass, citrus.

Finish (91): long. vanilla, floral, a little peat.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Mackinlay's Rare old Highland Malt Whisky with 94 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Talisker 1993 Amoroso Finish Distillers Edition Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Talisker

“More subtle and complex than Talisker 10yo and almost as good. I prefer the 10yo whisky because of sincere honeyed peated punch”

89
Talisker 1993 Amoroso Finish - Distillers Edition
Part of the Diageo's Distillers Edition bottlings, this Talisker distilled in 1993 is a single malt finished in Amoroso wine casks. Really nice whisky.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (89): average. peat, honey, floral, citrus, nuts.

Palate (90): powerful, oily. peat, floral, honey, citrus, wood, pepper.

Finish (89): average. peat, wood, nuts.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Talisker 1993 Amoroso Finish - Distillers Edition with 89 points over 100.

Hayman's Old Tom Gin Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Haymans

“Traditional gin with a powerful flavour. Interesting.”

78
Hayman's Old Tom Gin
70cl / 40% - New version of the old-style gin, Old Tom was a predecessor of the now-ubiquitous London Dry style. Early gin was sweetened to hide harsh impurities.

This dram has a white-like color.

Nose (75): average. juniper, floral, citrus, lemon zest.

Palate (83): light, powerful. juniper, sweet, citrus, floral.

Finish (75): short. floral, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Hayman's Old Tom Gin with 78 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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The Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Glenlivet

“Very nice Glenlivet whisky with a lovely malt character all along it: butterscotch whisky!”

90
The Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve 1l
A special edition of Glenlivet that was originally released as a travel retail exclusive.

Designed by Alan Winchester, only the 3rd Master Distiller at Glenlivet since their 1817 founding, and combining whisky matured in both first and refill casks from both Europe and the USA.

If you enjoyed this whisky you may like to try AnCnoc 16 years old.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. honey, malt, butterscotch, vanilla, floral, citrus.

Palate (89): light, smooth, oily. honey, biscuits, vanilla, floral, spices, pepper, a bit milk chocolate.

Finish (89): longer than average. honey, pepper, wood.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this The Glenlivet Master Distiller's Reserve 1l with 90 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Mackmyra Special 07 Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Mackmyra

“Superb taste. Love the spicy character of this Mackmyra.”

89
Mackmyra Special 07
A new whisky from Mackmyra distillery that it is aged on some kind of swedish wine cask. Part of the Special range of the Mackmyra distillery and bottled at 45.8ŗ abv.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. honey, vanilla, wood, spices, plums. Nice nose with an interesting edge of fruits.

Palate (91): smooth, powerful. honey, vanilla, wood, spices, pepper, liquorice, floral. Interesting taste. Remind of a bourbon cask.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Mackmyra Special 07 with 89 points over 100.

Lots of thanks for @TheScotDreamer and @AngelasShare for inviting me to Mackmyra Blind tasting.


Mount Gay Rum Extra Old Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Mount Gay

“Good rum with taste of old rum but that on the other hand has some sharpness on taste like if it has been blended with young rums.”

83
Mount Gay Rum Extra Old
It is a masterful blend of the finest, aged spirits, selected attentively amongst the oldest reserves with a resulting maturity of 17 years. The force of its oak aromas is softened by its sweet, fruity notes, reminiscent of pastry and bananas. Easily identified thanks to its traditional label and its malt whisky type bottle, its magnificent luminosity, dark amber colour and extreme clarity are the key qualities of this rum. The result of many years of meticulous development, EXTRA OLD has received several Grand Gold Medals and Trophies from the highly respected International Institute for Quality competition.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (82): average. brown sugar, sugar cane, floral, a little cinnamon.

Palate (84): smooth, powerful. brown sugar, citrus, spices, wood, sugar cane.

Finish (82): average. brown sugar, caramel, sugar cane.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Mount Gay Rum Extra Old with 83 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Mackmyra Vit Hund Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Mackmyra

“Definitively newmake. Imagine grappa with barley notes.”

74
Mackmyra Vit Hund
Part of Mackmyra new released whiskies, Vit Hund isn't a whisky itself right now. It is Mackmyra spirit as it left the still with no contact with wood. So if you can't visit Sweden, this is the nearest thing you can be of a just born Mackmyra single malt whisky.

This dram has a white-like color.

Nose (76): more than average. floral, berries, citrus. Very newmake. Smells like grappa but slightly more pleasant.

Palate (73): dry, oily. floral, oily, grapes, citrus, a little barley. Grappa! I swear this is grappa!

Finish (73): average. citrus, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Mackmyra Vit Hund with 74 points over 100.

Lots of thanks for @TheScotDreamer and @AngelasShare for inviting me to Mackmyra Blind tasting.


Adnams North Cove Oak Aged Vodka Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Adnams

“Not like a grain whisky but a step over vodka. Just a bit woody.”

76
Adnams North Cove Oak Aged Vodka 50cl
70cl / 50% - An interesting oak aged vodka from Adnams - they take some of their Longshore barley vodka and then mature it in a mixture of French and American oak barrels before bottling at 50%.

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (73): average. alcohol, floral, wild berries.

Palate (79): powerful. wood, floral, spices, pepper, sweet. Woody and spicy. I wasn't expecting this from a vodka. I like.

Finish (75): average. wood, spices, sweet.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Adnams North Cove Oak Aged Vodka 50cl with 76 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Black Bull Special Reserve number 1 Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Black Bull

“Incredible blended whisky. Simply a lovely nose with an outstanding grain whiskies on the mix. Very recommended.”

89
Black Bull Special Reserve Number 1
The most recent addition to the Black Bull stable, this Special Reserve Number one is based on the same ratio of 50% malt to grain that is used in both the 12 and 40 year old Black Bull whiskies. This is a limited release of just 978 bottles.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, corn, varnish, tropical fruits, mango, apples.

Palate (90): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, spices, corn, toffee, apples, wood, cinnamon.

Finish (89): average. cinnamon, honey, floral, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Black Bull Special Reserve Number 1 with 89 points over 100.

The Macallan 1824 Collection Estate Reserve Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , The Macallan

“Quintessential Macallan! If someone asks me how a Macallan should taste I would give them a dram of this whisky.”

91
Macallan The 1824 Collection Estate Reserve
Awesome the Macallan created with very best stocks of the distillery. This is a great sherried single malt whisky that is part of the the 1824 Collection that was originally created as a travel retail exclusive.

The distiller declares that "Drawing on casks which deliver a maximum intensity and depth of flavour, this single malt includes some traditional Sherry seasoned hogshead casks specially reserved for this expression. Non-chill filtered and bottled at the old-style 80o proof, more commonly known as '20 under', this is a dram with real character."

If you like this whisky you should try some of the Sherry Oak Macallans.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, toffee, pears, peaches, nuts, raisins, citrus, vanilla.

Palate (93): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, peaches, tobacco, wood, spices, raisins. Lovely! Strong and fruity with lots of sherry character.

Finish (91): longer than average. honey, raisins, nuts, cocoa.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Macallan The 1824 Collection Estate Reserve with 91 points over 100.

Interview with Bob Dalgarno, Whisky Maker at The Macallan

By Miguel in News , Featured , The Macallan

The Macallan is nowadays one of the most iconic whiskies distilleries in the world with such high demand for its precious whiskies that they are sold out no mind what the price is. Read this interview with the head and nose behind these inspiring whiskies.

Bob Dalgarno,Whisky Maker at The Macallan distillery since 1996.
He was born to the trade, at Glenallachie Distillery not far away, where his father worked, and started at Macallan in 1984 as a warehouseman. After passing through every stage of whisky making mashman, brewer, stillman, warehouse supervisor, operations manager he joined the panel which selects casks for bottling in 1994.

How long have you worked as master distiller at The Macallan?
Bob Dalgarno, I have been Whisky Maker for The Macallan since 2000. From 1996 to 1999 I worked alongside the previous whisky maker.

Where did you work before?
I have worked at The Macallan distillery since 1984, firstly in warehousing, then in production.

If you had to describe your job to a newcomer to whisky in two sentences…
Working as part of a team, my role is to nose mainly mature whisky samples from casks in our warehouses, building knowledge of stock profile. From that knowledge the whiskies are created.

Are there any specific Master distillers that have inspired you? In which way?
I wouldn’t say other Master Distillers have inspired me, but I have the greatest respect for them, not only for what they do, but the people they are.

Right now The Macallan ages whisky in three kind of casks: sherry, bourbon and new oak. Is there any “exotic” experiment taking place right now?
There are always ideas being looked at in the Sample Room.

How is Macallan doing in this period of global crisis?
In challenging times, we continue to meet those challenges.

Many distilleries are creating right now younger, ageless expressions along as special or limited releases. Are we going to see something like this from The Macallan in the coming months?
Working on feedback from consumers, our commercial team then report back on their findings. We created a strength-driven no age statement range in the 1824 Collection exclusively for Duty Free in the past. This allows greater freedom in the creation of products, rather than restricting us by age. With this range the make-up of the whiskies are older rather than younger. The whiskies used required time to mature, in order to showcase the colour and depth of character seen.

Which one of the whiskies that you do at The Macallan are you more proud of?
I would like to think that I am proud of all the whiskies we put together. They have their own challenges and stories to tell.

I love the Macallan 10 years old Cask Strength. Any chance we see another expressions of Macallan at Cask strength, particularly any of the Fine Oak range?
I am delighted that you enjoy this whisky. We are not working on any other cask strength products at present.

In Spain, people don’t drink much single malt whisky. They prefer for Johnnie Walker, Cardhu or J&B. They see The Macallan as a luxury item (and it is priced like that here!). Any advice for our Spanish readers?
I can understand your Spanish readers’ thoughts on The Macallan. The whiskies you have mentioned, Johnnie Walker and Cardhu are nice whiskies and there to be enjoyed, but everyone should afford themselves a little luxury now and then.

What has been the last whisky you have drank? Any favourite?
Last whiskies drank – Macallan 15 Year Old Fine Oak and Bruichladdich 20 Year Old.

The 1824 Collection

Just in case you want to know about these great Macallan whiskies:



Mount Gay Eclipse Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Mount Gay

“Light rum for mixing. It won't eclipse you at all.”

77
Mount Gay Eclipse
Distilled in Barbados, this expression from Mount Gay was named for the 'double phenomenon' of a total solar eclipse and the passage of Halley's comet in 1910.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (79): average. brown sugar, cinnamon, sugar cane.

Palate (78): light, smooth. brown sugar, sugar cane, floral, citrus.

Finish (75): short. brown sugar, sugar cane.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Mount Gay Eclipse with 77 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Caol Ila Old Malt Cask 27 years old for The Whisky Barrel Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Caol Ila , The Whisky Barrel

“When you stop finishing whiskies or trying mad cask combinations and just keep ageing it in a good cask you get such great whiskies like this Caol Ila.”

92
Caol Ila Old Malt Cask 27 year 1984 The Whisky Barrel

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. peat, salt, iodine, citrus, sea, tropical fruits. A pure Caol Ila pleasure.

Palate (92): smooth, powerful, oily. peat, salt, citrus, floral, wood, pepper.

Finish (92): longer than average. peat, citrus, herbal, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Caol Ila Old Malt Cask 27 year 1984 The Whisky Barrel with 92 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Thanks to The Whisky Barrel for this nice official sample.


Best whisky from far east: Japanese and Indian jewels. My February whisky orders

By Miguel in Orders

Hello Whisky friends,

February is now gone and spring is almost here, and that means a new bunch of whiskies are almost ready to be released.

This month has been a calm one, after all the shopping of December. Even with that there has been some interesting releases and I have bought some of them, two Amruts launched in 2011: Amrut Portonova and Amrut Two Continents 2nd Edition. Also i got Number One’s import Chichibu the First and Glenlivet Master Distiller’s Reserve.

Read the full story »


Mitchells Blended Scotch Whisky Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Mitchells

“A good whisky with a interesting nose and slightly peated on palate. Happy!.”

87
Mitchell's Blended Scotch Whisky
Mitchell's a blended whisky from Springbank's owners J and A Mitchell. This is based on whisky from Glengyle single malt.

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, vanilla, toffee, spices, wood, pineapple.

Palate (87): light, smooth. honey, spices, peat, wood, citrus. Slightly peated touch but it is just a small light touch.

Finish (85): average. honey, spices, wood, smoke.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Mitchell's Blended Scotch Whisky with 87 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Bundaberg Rum Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Bundaberg

“Light but very nice rum. It should have been bottled at 46% or 50% to have a great rum here.”

84
Bundaberg Rum
70cl / 37% - Bundaberg is a famous rum with a cult following from Northern Queensland in Australia.'Bundy', as it is affectionately known, is an institution in Oz and continues to win new fans abroad.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (85): more than average. sugar cane, fruits, pineapple, floral, molasses.

Palate (84): light, smooth. sugar cane, caramel, fruits, raisins, cinnamon.

Finish (84): average. sugar cane, sugar, cinnamon.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bundaberg Rum with 84 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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St. Patrick day is almost here: Don't be without whiskey!

By Miguel in News , Cooley , Jameson , Tullamore Dew , Knappogue Castle

Now that St. Patrick day is getting nearer, you need to get ready for it! Stock Irish whiskey before they drink it all.

Here are some suggestions for giving yourself a little pleasure in such relevant day:


I would sooner drink Chivas 12 years old than the cheapest Jameson or Tullamore Dew but if you are on a small budget and still want to do it the Irish way…


You would like to check The Whisky Exchange offers on Irish whiskey.


Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010 Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Caol Ila

“I am really regretting not having attended Feis Ile festival. Gorgeous dram.”

91
Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010
The 2010 Feis Ile saw some exceptional special releases. Caol Ila offered this stunning natural cask strength bottling, filled into cask number 305646 (a European oak sherry cask) 9th August 1999 and bottled in 2010 after it was specially hand selected by Billy Stitchell.

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. toffee, biscuits, peat, honey, floral, salt. Really malty whisky with nice toffee notes.

Palate (92): smooth, powerful, oily. peat, toffee, spices, honey, vanilla, citrus, floral, salt.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010 with 91 points over 100.

Cooley Tasting: Whiskeys from the most awarded Irish distillery

By Miguel in Cooley

This past Wednesday, March, 7th, we had another great twasting (twitter tasting) night with Steve Rush, from The Whisky Wire, and Noel Sweeney, who works as master distiller in Cooley distilleries.

noel-sweeney-cooley

The tasting proposal was Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell Single Malt, Greenore 8 years old and Connemara Single Malt Peated Irish Whiskey.

I have tasted them on the past, but it was a nice chance to have then a new look and see how this young distillery is progressing, now under the hand of Jim Beam.

If you are new to Irish whiskey, know before hand that they craft whiskies in a different way of Scotch and that the aroma profile is different, more dry and floral usually.

Cooley has been a new player in the big Irish whiskey monopoly as Irish Distillers has been controlling all the existing distilleries in Ireland until 1980s. Established in 1987 to restore ancient brands of once best-selling Irish whiskeys. Right now there are three big players in the Irish whiskey arena:

  • Jameson
  • Bushmills
  • Cooley

And Cooley has been making great marks on most international competitions.

Cooley tasting

Kilbeggan

We started with Kilbeggan, a blended irish whiskey, after some initial confusion about starting with Greenore 8 years old.
My previous date with this Kilbeggan wasn’t exactly nice: light whisky, floral and dry. Well, I have to say that although Kilbeggan isn’t yet my kind of whisky it is a big improvement over the one that I tasted two years ago.

“Nice light irish whiskey with lots of floral notes.”

82
Kilbeggan
Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey first appeared as a John Locke's brand over 100 years ago and was sold successfully until Locke's distillery ceased production in the 1950's.

Locke's distillery is the oldest continuously licensed whiskey distillery in the world dating back to 1757.

This whiskey is now distilled by Cooley who recently released a version of this whiskey distilled at the Kilbeggan distillery.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (79): average. honey, vanilla, floral, mint, toffee.

Palate (85): light, smooth. honey, malt, wood, pears, spices, floral.

Finish (83): average. peat, floral, honey, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Kilbeggan with 82 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Tyrconnell Single Malt

Tyrconnell is named after a race horse that won a race with odds 100:1 and it is a single malt Irish whiskey. Last time I tasted it, I was greatly impressed, a very nice single malt. This new version seems somewhat younger with a strong Cooley fingerprint: floral notes and spices. It is a good whisky but not as good as I remember.

“The nose is very promising, but taste is quite dry and herbal. Nice, but not my kind of whiskey.”

84
Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey
The Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish whiskey is characterised by its elegant and balanced taste profile.

It retains the smooth, sweet taste normally associated with Irish whiskey but with its own distinctive character. The result is Tyrconnell's beautiful fresh, malty, fruity bouquet, smooth sweet taste and delicate dry finish.

One of the most celebrated Irish whiskeys ever produced winning a gold medal at the Great Taste Awards in 2009 , gold medal & best in class at the IWSC 2009.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (84): more than average. honey, vanilla, fruits, raisins, biscuits, cinnamon.

Palate (85): light, smooth. honey, floral, herbal, green pears, spices.

Finish (83): longer than average. floral, wood, honey.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Tyrconnell Irish Whiskey with 84 points over 100.

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Greenore 8 years old

If Bourbon and Irish whiskey ever marry their daughter would be like this! I like a lot this whiskey, unique in its category: single grain irish whiskey.
It is a very nice grain whisky, but after rating George T Stagg or some of The Clan Danny jewels I have a different, better, point of view. Nonetheless I enjoy this one.

“Tropical fruits infused bourbon with a citrosy touch. Looks like ten years old bottled at around 45%. Interesting whisky”

86
Greenore 8 year
Greenore Single Grain is a truly unique whiskey as it is the only expression of Irish Single Grain whiskey in the world.

Single Grain whiskeys are very rare as most grain whiskey is normally mixed with Malt whiskeys to make Blended whiskey. Grain whiskey is made from maize/corn and provides a lot of the smoothness people associate with Irish whiskey.

Think of this whiskey as the nose of a bourbon and the taste of irish whiskey. Right! Just delicious.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (86): more than average. citrus, honey, pepper, floral, fruity, papaya.

Palate (87): light, smooth. honey, citrus, wood, pepper, spices, mango, papaya, vanilla, corn.

Finish (85): longer than average. honey, wood, spices, corn.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Greenore 8 year with 86 points over 100.

Connemara

Finally we had the only peated irish whiskey, Connemara. We tasted the NAS expression that, without being in the level of Islay monsters, is a rather interested peated whisky with notes of herbs and banana. Only for peat-heads.

“Very nice irish whiskey, soft fruity peat at its highest splendor”

87
Connemara
Connemara produce a peated Irish single malt, named for the area in Ireland.

Distilled at Cooley distillery in Cork, Ireland. The last of the independent irish distilleries before it was bought by Beam Global.

Connemara is a peated whisky, not in the style of Islay peat monsters but more like the Japanese Hakushu. Smoky and slightly peated with an awesome amount of fruits. It won't disappoint you.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (86): more than average. peat, fruits, floral, citrus, bananas. Peated but overall this irish whiskey smells very fruity.

Palate (87): powerful. peat, spices, coffee, fruity, banana. Lightly spiced peat.

Finish (87): longer than average. peat, honey, wood .

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Connemara with 87 points over 100.

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Read more
Irish Whiskey
Cooley Tweet Tasting at The Whisky Wire
Cooley Tweet Tasting at Whisky Israel


Bunnahabhain 9 years old 2000 Adelphi Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Bunnahabhain

“This is kind of peat and sherry whisky that I love. Gorgeous!”

91
Bunnahabhain 9 year 2000 Adelphi
This was distilled at Bunnahabhain in 2000, matured for 9 years in cask number 947, and bottled in 2010 by Adelphi at cask strength. A release of 554 bottles.

This dram has a mahogany-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. oloroso, nuts, honey, citrus, sulphur, rubbber.

Palate (91): powerful. wood, oloroso, nuts, leather, honey, citrus, peat, a little coffee.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bunnahabhain 9 year 2000 Adelphi with 91 points over 100.

Brockmans Intesely Smooth Gin Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Brockmans

“A most surprising gin. Smells of fruits and taste of blueberries. Stunning one!”

78
Brockmans Gin
Delicious gin from Brockmans. This is made with Bulgarian coriander, blueberries and blackberries as well as bittersweet Valencia orange peels. The result is well balanced and full of flavour.

This dram has a white-like color.

Nose (77): average. fruits, strawberries, blueberries, smashed fruits, floral. Surprising! Like a macedonia.

Palate (79): powerful. blueberries, fruits, liquorice, juniper.

Finish (77): short. herbs, sweet, liquorice.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Brockmans Gin with 78 points over 100.

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Adnams First Rate Gin Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Adnams

“Surprisingly fresh gin. Lots of interesting herbs inside.”

73
Adnams First Rate Gin 50cl
70cl / 48% - A gin from Southwold brewers Adnams, bottled at a chunky 48%. It's a traditional juniper-led gin with a nice heavy palate and a great kick.

This dram has a white-like color.

Nose (72): average. basil, floral, juniper, herbs. It is like smelling a herbal infused newmake whisky.

Palate (74): powerful. floral, herbal, juniper, citrus, mint, herbes de provence.

Finish (73): average. herbal, mint, juniper, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Adnams First Rate Gin 50cl with 73 points over 100.

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Macduff 11 years old 2000 Exclusive for The Whisky Barrel Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , The Whisky Barrel , Macduff

“What the f**k! One of the best sherried whiskies I have had! I really wasn't ready for something so good from Maccu? Madu? Macduff? Awesome whisky”

93
Macduff 11 year 2000 The Whisky Barrel
Chosen by The Whisky Barrel, this Macduff single malt whisky was bottled at cask strength by Berry Bros and Rudd at just 11 years old.

This whisky is a real sherry monster, aged in sherry butt #5774, specially selected by Doug McIvor. You won't be disappointed.

If you like this whisky, don't miss this Macallan or those Aberlours

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. sweet, toffee, wood, tobacco, cinnamon, vanilla, baked apples.

Palate (95): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, peaches, wood, spices, tobacco, vanilla, nuts. This is the sherry-perfection. You can't really get anything better in this style of sherry.

Finish (92): average. honey, peaches, apples, tobacco.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Macduff 11 year 2000 The Whisky Barrel with 93 points over 100.

Thanks to The Whisky Barrel for this official samples.


St. Isidore Bloggers Blend from Master of Malt Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Master of Malt

“When I first saw the price I thought "What the hell!? £50?! That's expensive". Well, I have to agree with the price tag, there is lots of old peated whisky inside this blend. I just miss a more intense palate, but if you enjoy light whiskies this is a real crack.”

87
St Isidore
The story of St Isidore and the bloggers blend all started one day when Master of Malt were thinking about how to create their next whisky, when it suddenly hit them: ask the bloggers! These guys and gals are amongst the most knowledgeable, expert and, let's face it, geekiest whisky lovers in the world!

So they send a blending kit to ten prominent bloggers and they crafted their recipes. People then was allowed to buy a sample set of the 10 blended whiskies and cast their vote on one of them. The result is this whisky.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (88): average. honey, wood, dried fruits, peat, citrus. Really interesting. Very old whisky in this blend...umm... maybe a bit of Caol Ila 30 years old?

Palate (87): light, smooth. honey, a bit candies, peat, citrus, spices, wood, pepper, citrus.

Finish (86): average. peat, wood, sweet, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this St Isidore with 87 points over 100.

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Thanks to Master of Malt for the official sample.


Bunnahabhain 21 years old 1990 Exclusive for The Whisky Barrel Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Bunnahabhain , The Whisky Barrel

“Looks like Bunnahabhain always does good friends with sherry casks. An interesting whisky.”

89
Bunnahabhain Burns Malt 21 year 1990 The Whisky Barrel
Burns Islay Malt matured in a single fresh sherry butt #51. Distilled Christmas Eve 1990 and bottled 31st December 2011. Just 120 bottles at full strength have been released featuring one of the Bard's favourite quotes "Freedom an whisky gang thegither!'

On 25th January Scots and expats and scotch aficionados celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s national poet and Haggis the world over come out of hibernation for their special supper.

This dram has a tawny-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, wood, peat, citrus, nuts, salt.

Palate (89): powerful, oily. honey, peat, sulphur, nuts, citrus, spices. A nice example of how peat and sherry can taste, even with a small off tone note of sulphur.

Finish (89): average. honey, peat, nuts, salt.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bunnahabhain Burns Malt 21 year 1990 The Whisky Barrel with 89 points over 100.

Caol Ila Distillery Only Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Caol Ila

“Lovin' it. Peat muscle with a nice hit of honey.”

91
Caol Ila Distillery Only
The very rare and very special distillery only bottling from Caol Ila. To get this stuff usually, you have to go all the way to Islay! This was launched at the 2007 Feis Ile, and it has a lovely sweetness and sootiness. Very tasty!

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. peat, honey, salt, iodine, citrus, earth, vanilla.

Palate (92): powerful, oily. peat, salt, honey, citrus, spices, wood, pear. Peat-tacular! Peat muscle without big complications. Lovely.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Caol Ila Distillery Only with 91 points over 100.

Top 5 Whiskies I tasted in February You Can't Miss

By Miguel in News , Featured

Tired of reading dozens of tasting notes? Do you want to have simply the best whisky right now? Suffer no more! Read about the best whiskies I have had during February and discover where you can buy them before they are sold out, because they will!

1. And the winner is… Macduff 11 years old 2000 bottled for The Whisky Barrel



This stunning whisky with just 11 years old is simply the best I have had during this month. This Macduff really took me totally by surprise as I wasn’t expecting such a great whisky looking at its age.

It is a very nice sherry monster with powerful notes of tobacco, spices and toffee. And the best of all for a really nice price, just £39.99 at The Whisky Barrel

2. Caol Ila Old Malt Cask 27 years old 1984 bottled by Douglas Laing for The Whisky Barrel



On second place I placed this Caol Ila 27 years old bottled for Douglas Laing‘s Old Malt Cask range for The Whisky Barrel. It is a whisky pure, sincere, no finishes, no strange casks: just whisky, oak and lots of years. This Caol Ila has still so much peat punch after almost three decades in the casks… and it sings aloud of tropical fruits and spices.

3. Bunnahabhain 30 years old 1978 bottled by Murray McDavid



This Bunnahabhain whisky is the epitome, for me, of sherried aged peated whiskies. Bottled by Murray McDavid and miraculously not finished in anything, this Bunnahabhain is really sublime, with the peat and the sherry in a perfect marriage. I really love how it tastes of spices, leather, raisins and cocoa.

4. Bunnahabhain 9 years old 2000 bottled by Adelphi



And as a testimony that age doesn’t matter you have here a whisky from the same distillery, also aged in sherry casks that also score really high. This Bunnahabhain bottled with just nine years by Adelphi independent bottler shows a different profile of sherry, dry oloroso, with a nose and taste rich in nuts, leather and nice touches of sulphur.

5. Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010



Finally my last choice for this Top 5 whiskies is Caol Ila Feis Ile 2010. I have had the chance to taste it now because, as you know, the bottle was sold during Feis Ile festival at Islay two years ago. Again, it is a pure Caol Ila with it great peat, honey and citrusy notes but over them stands gorgeous aromas of toffee and biscuits.

Honorable mention: El Dorado Demerara Rum 25 years old 1984



I can’t quit without writing you about El Dorado 25 years old, an awesome ultra-exclusive Demerara rum bottling, never repeated after this one as far as I know. This is perhaps the most delicious and inspiring rum I have. So much spices, nuts and sugar kinds there that you want it not to end. A must-taste for any rum lover out there.

What have you been drinking this past month? Tell me in the comments below.
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Inchgower 29 years old Single Cask Master of Malt Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Master of Malt , Inchgower

“Lovely complex taste with tons of honey and floral notes. Highly recommended.”

90
Inchgower 29 Year Old - Single Cask (Master of Malt)
This Inchgower was distilled on the 30th June 1982, and it was aged in a single refill hogshead for 29 years before bottling on the 22nd November 2011. A release of just 190 numbered bottles, at natural cask strength.

This bottle is part of Master of Malt Single Cask series which, if you ask me about, are a great value whiskies.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (89): average. honey, citrus, peaches, vanilla, tobacco, nuts, milk chocolate.

Palate (91): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, malt, vanilla, citrus, floral, tobacco, wood, spices, pepper.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Inchgower 29 Year Old - Single Cask (Master of Malt) with 90 points over 100.

Thanks to Master of Malt for the official sample.


The Botanist Islay Gin Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Bruichladdich

“Lots of herbs in this gin. Quite herbal and quite powerful.”

77
The Botanist Islay Gin
Created at the Bruichladdich distillery, this superb Islay gin was distilled in the 'ugly betty' still described as "an oversized upside-down dustbin made of copper" by Tom Morton. Perhaps the best looking packaging we've ever seen for a gin - it's not all style and no substance either. This is a world-class gin, at a proper abv. A huge 31 botanicals go into The Botanist, including 22 native to Islay (the Juniper used is wild Islay Juniper).

This dram has a white-like color.

Nose (76): average. juniper, herbs, citrus.

Palate (79): powerful. juniper, herbs, earth, citrus, spices.

Finish (77): average. juniper, citrus, herbs.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this The Botanist Islay Gin with 77 points over 100.

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