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

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Stories from April, 2012

Inishowen Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Cooley

“Light dram with a lovely licorice touch.”

86
Inishowen
A peaty blended Irish whiskey from Cooley, the last independent owned Irish distillery before it was bought by Beam.

Inishowen offers a zesty, rich, smoky flavour.

Highly commended by critics, including Jim Murray who gave a previous batch 93 points.

If you like this blended whiskey, you should try the Connemara single malt, peated whiskey with an Irish touch.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (85): more than average. honey, floral, citrus, vanilla, wood. Sweet but simple. Lacks of any complexity.

Palate (88): . honey, floral, cocoa, spices, licorice, vanilla. light but lovely sweet with a touch of licorice

Finish (86): average. honey, licorice, vanilla.

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

Amrut Fusion Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Amrut

“Woo! Serious stuff! It is so much better that the last I tried. Scots be scared!”

92
Amrut Fusion
This high-strength Amrut Fusion gets its name from the fact that it uses two barleys: Indian and Scottish - with the latter being peated for good measure.

A really excellent mouthfeel and palate combining oak, smoke, dark fruit, mocha and high-cocoa dark chocolate. Delicious stuff.

This Amrut was the 3rd best whisky in the world in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible. Definitively something not to miss!

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (92): strong. honey, peat, fruits, a little nuts, spices, vanilla, raisins, cocoa. Better nose than the standard Amrut. It is more complex and darker, like a Tim Burton film.

Palate (93): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, peat, fruits, nuts, raisins, vanilla, wood, citrus.

Finish (92): longer than average. honey, wood, spices, nuts.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Amrut Fusion with 92 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Amrut Indian Single Malt Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Amrut

“Superb Indian whisky with lots of tropical fruit notes on nose and spices on the palate. Love it.”

91
Amrut 46% Single Malt
The new Amrut Indian Single Malt has been beefed up to 46% and we can't wait to try it.

The peated cask-strength stuff is excellent and this should be a significant improvement on the old 40% bottling.

And in fact it is, just a bit less complex than Amrut Fusion this is a great whisky coming from the Himalaya lands.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. honey, fruits, pears, mango, vanilla, citrus, cocoa.

Palate (91): smooth, powerful. honey, smoke, wood, spices, pears, vanilla, licorice.

Finish (90): average. honey, spices, melon, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Amrut 46% Single Malt with 91 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Dalmore 15 years old Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Dalmore

“Excellent nose and a quite solid sherried whisky but I think it has more water than it should”

89
Dalmore 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The new flagship expression from Dalmore that after fifteen years achieve the perfect balance on the combination of citrus orange, aromatic spices, nuttiness and dried fruits from European oak sherry casks.

But not just any sherry casks, but those that have been used to create some of the worlds most premium fortified wines - Amoroso, Apostoles and Matusalem sherries from Gonzalez - Byass, Spain.

Lovely Dalmore Single Malt whisky. If you like it, you should give a try to some of the Macallan whiskies like this 10 years old Sherry Oak.

This dram has a tawny-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, citrus, tobacco, vanilla, spices, cinnamon, wood, flowers, nuts.

Palate (89): powerful, oily. honey, citrus, nuts, spices, vanilla, wood, cinnamon, cocoa.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Dalmore 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky with 89 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Jameson Gold Reserve Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Jameson

“Way better than Jameson Original. It really tastes older and more matured with a quite interesting note of rye whiskey”

88
Jameson Gold Reserve
This Jameson Gold Reserve is an awesome blend with a high proportion of pure pot-still created at Midleton distillery in Ireland.

"If you don't enjoy this, then you just don't get what Irish whiskey is all about. 94 points" wrote Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible 2008.

If you love this Jameson, you have to try Balvenie 15 years old Single Barrel.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. honey, corn, vanilla, spices, citrus.

Palate (88): powerful, oily. honey, citrus, toffee, vanilla, corn, wood, spices, dust, wood.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Jameson Gold Reserve with 88 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Blanton's Special Reserve Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Blanton's

“Great bourbon. Very spicy with lots of floral notes”

86
Blanton's Special Reserve
Bottled at the lower strength of 40%, this is the perfect introduction to the fabulous Blanton's family of small-batch and single barrel bourbons.

Still bottled by hand like they used to do one century ago, this bourbon is really a nice startup in your path to whiskey knowledge. Give a try to Buffalo Trace after this one if you enjoyed it.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (87): more than average. corn, honey, fruits, varnish,, vanilla, pepper, wood.

Palate (87): powerful, oily. corn, honey, pepper, floral, wood, vanilla.

Finish (85): average. corn, honey, citrus, pepper.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Blanton's Special Reserve with 86 points over 100.

Your First Blonde, which one was your first Whisky?

By Miguel in News , Whisky

sexy-blonde-amanda-harrington

Do you remember your first time? Which one was the sexy blonde that turned you to single malts? Which one was your first whisky?

I have to make a confession.
My first whisky was a Chivas Regal 12 years old and the experience was so awful that I stopped considering whisky for around two years.
How to explain the way I felt… I was expecting a nice sexy whisky and found something like this

uglyest girl ever

At the time I tasted Chivas 12yo it was a big investment for me, around €30, so my face of astonishment when I tasted the beverage was memorable.
Years later, someone talked me about a Macalan whisky that was the very best whisky in the world and luckily in one of my visits to Gibraltar I saw it on a shop, a Macallan 12 years old Elegancia for €50, which I now know it was a rip-off…, so I asked the guy if it was good and he told me that it tasted like whisky but sweeter. I liked sweet drinks do I decided to buy it.

The rest is history. Drink turned into hobby, hobby into passion, and passion into madness.

Was such thing in your whisky travel? I would love to read about it.


Linkwood 22 years old 1989 Rare Auld Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Linkwood

“Toffee and vanilla bomb! You won't say how good it is just by nosing it. Surprising and highly recommended.”

91
Linkwood 22 Year Old 1989 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor)
This single malt whisky was distilled at Linkwood distillery in October 1989.

This was aged for 22 years in cask 5040 before bottling by Duncan Taylor for their Rare Auld range in October 2011. A cask strength release of 256 bottles.

An incredible whisky that is a bomb of vanilla and toffee. A must have for any whisky aficionado.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, floral, varnish, vanilla, apples, wood.

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

Finish (92): longer than average. honey, floral, vanilla.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Linkwood 22 Year Old 1989 - Rare Auld (Duncan Taylor) with 91 points over 100.

The Macallan Oscuro Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , The Macallan

“It is a nice Macallan whisky with a very interesting nose. I wonder how old is it...”

88
The Macallan Oscuro
Interesting single malt whisky from this Speyside distillery.

Originally a travel retail exclusive, Macallan Oscuro is a combination of casks of whisky distilled between 1987 and 1997. They have combined the collect ability of Macallan with their trademark rich sherried elegance to create a much sought after whisky.

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.

This dram has a old oak-like color.

Nose (87): more than average. molasses, floral, citrus, vanilla, spices, nut meg. Interesting aromas for a Macallan. Smells more like a very old naval rum.

Palate (88): powerful, oily. honey, wood, citrus, spices, vanilla, floral.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this The Macallan Oscuro with 88 points over 100.

Compass Box The Last Vatted Grain Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Compass Box

“Good grain whisky just a bit short of being great.”

90
Compass Box Last Vatted Grain
Launched alongside Compass Box The Last Vatted Malt, The Last Vatted Grain was launched to mark the end of "vatted whisky".

From the 22nd November 2011, blends of single grain whiskies may no longer be called "vatted grains". Instead, they must be labelled "blended grain whisky".

This particular stunner is a mix of 42 year old Invergordon, 14 year old Cameron Bridge, 29 year old Carsebridge and 20 year old Port Dundas.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. corn, honey, spices, vanilla, wood, banana, tropical fruits.

Palate (90): smooth, powerful. honey, corn, spices, wood, fruits, cinnamon. Very nice but light. I prefer stronger whiskies.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Compass Box Last Vatted Grain with 90 points over 100.

Compass Box The Last Vatted Malt Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Compass Box

“Great whisky that portraits with honor the fact of being the last of an era.”

91
The Last Vatted Malt
This special limited edition bottling is a valedictory farewell to the Vatted Malt, delivered with honour and pride.

After midnight on 22nd November 2011, such marriages of malt whiskies from more than one distillery will have to be labelled as Blended Malt Scotch Whisky.

This aristocratc whisky is made from a marriage of fine, old single malt whiskies from Islay and Speyside distilleries. Only 1,323 bottles have been produced.

Along The Last Vatted Malt, it was also released The Last Vatted Grain, an unrepeatable vatted grain whisky.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. peat, honey, salt, iodine, citrus, wood, apples. Very nice nose indeed.

Palate (92): smooth, powerful, oily. peat, honey, fruits, salt, citrus, wood, raisins, cocoa, vanilla, iodine.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this The Last Vatted Malt with 91 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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



Lauders Blended Scotch Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Lauders

“You can't really ask much more for that price. It is a decent whisky where there are some discordant notes.”

83
Lauder's
This was first established in 1834, Lauder's Original is a very smooth blended whisky.

This Scotch blended whisky has interesting notes of sherry and smoke. But really you shouldn't be drinking this.

If you can afford the expense, get yourself a bottle of Springbank CV or a nice Aberlour.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (82): average. peaches, honey, paper, wood, spices, peat.

Palate (85): smooth, oily. honey, smoke, vanilla, fruits, spices. It starts really nice and then turns to the cheap side. But wonderful sherry character.

Finish (83): longer than average. honey, peat, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Lauder's with 83 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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



Laphroaig 27 years old Oloroso Cask 2008 Release Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Laphroaig

“Heaven exists! And I am really happy this bottle is sold out because I would have had to buy one no matter the price.”

94
Laphroaig 27 Year Old Oloroso Cask (2008 Release)
Distilled at Laphroaig, the best selling Islay single malt in the world, this stunning 27 years old whisky has been distilled in 1981.

Chosen among thousands of casks, only five casks that previously held Oloroso sherry were used to create this awesome thick and full single malt with a deep hue.

It isn't ever neat the experience but you can get an idea of what you are missing with the great Bunnahabhain 20 years old from Master of Malt single class bottlings.

This dram has a old oak-like color.

Nose (95): more than average. peat, raisins, varnish, dates, nuts, citrus. Perfect nose! There is almost no room for anything better than this Laphroaig.

Palate (95): smooth, powerful, oily. peat, wood, spices, tobacco, nuts, citrus, salt, earth, oysters. Absolutely mindblowing whisky!

Finish (92): longer than average. peat, wood, apples, citrus, nuts, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Laphroaig 27 Year Old Oloroso Cask (2008 Release) with 94 points over 100.

Littlemill 1990 18 years old Bourbon Cask Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Littlemill

“Good whisky with a humble nose that walks together with an impressive liquorice experience.”

88
Littlemill 1990 / 18 Year Old / Bourbon Cask Lowland Whisky
This Littlemill was distilled in 1990, and aged in bourbon barrels before bottling at the Bruichladdich distillery in 2008.

A release of 1,215 bottles from Murray McDavid's Mission Gold Series.

Lovely licorice experience in this whisky and it isn't finished in any kind of strange casks. Yay!

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (87): average. honey, spices, floral, vanilla, baked apples.

Palate (88): powerful, oily. honey, wood, spices, pepper, licorice.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Littlemill 1990 / 18 Year Old / Bourbon Cask Lowland Whisky with 88 points over 100.

Best whiskies of March tastings

By Miguel in Tasting , News , Featured

March is now gone and I am on holidays right now. So looking back I have tasted this past month lots of interesting whiskies. There have been several whiskies above 90 points and I have tasted several interesting things as the Macallan the 1824 Collection, Buffalo Trace Vintage releases of George T Stagg, William Larue Weller, Thomas H Handy, Compass Box Last Vatted whiskies or the winner of this month and perhaps of the year…

Best whisky in March: Laphroaig 27 years old Oloroso Cask 2008



You need to know this, except some Bunnahabhains whiskies, I don’t like at all peat and sherry whiskies. So I ordered this Laphroaig not expecting anything special but willing that it was as good as the 25 years old that I tasted during Laphroaig Live 2010 when John Campbell was kind to let us try a Laphroaig 25 years old and I was greatly impressed with the whisky.

So I poured the whisky and then it just happened, there it was, with its great dark mahogany color, looking so good. Laphroaig adds caramel to Quarter Cask whisky so they may do the same to this one. But then I nosed it and I was conquered, all my walls collapsed and I was in front of one of the best whiskies I have ever had. This was like being abducted to a sherry bodega in Jerez and then being at the same time at the shore of Islay.

Almost winners

2. The Macallan 10 years old Sherry Oak Cask Strength



An old favorite here, I love Macallan and I love this cask strength whisky. I was raising my glass in memory of Michael Jackson during International Whisky Day with this outstanding Macallan. Perhaps the older ones are more sutile, with notes of candies and dried fruits, but this one at just 10 years old is a crack. It is the Ardbeg equivalent of the sherried whiskies.
And if you haven’t read the Malt Whisky Compation or Whisky both written by Michael Jackson, you should.

3. Buffalo Trace William Larue Weller 2011 Release



When I tasted George T Stagg a few years ago I was really impressed by how good and complex bourbon can be. Months later I tasted the other two special bottling from Buffalo Trace: William Larue bourbon and Thomas H Handy Rye. Now I had the chance of tasting the three in a row, and without doubts this William Larue is the best of them. Awesome bourbon even if it is really expensive at this side of the pond.

4. Amrut Fusion



This one is also a retaste, I tasted both this and Amrut 46% when I began writing in the blog and I enjoyed more the 46%. I have tasted now both of them again and this time I have appreciated more Amrut Fusion, more complex and with a delicious sherry touch. Amrut is doing a great work with their single malts.

5. Laphroaig 10 years old Original Cask Strength



And to think that I spoiled two bottles of this trying to get something closer to Laphroaig 27 years old… Awesome Laphroaig, bottled at cask strength with all the peat punch you would expect from such monster. I tasted side by side to the new batch 3 bottle and this is a better whisky in my opinion.

Special mention. Compass Box The Last Vatted Malt



I can’t quit writing without letting you know about Compass Box latest greatest whisky. To celebrate and honor vatted malt Compass Box launched a bottling, well, two in fact: Last Vatted Malt and Last Vatted Grain. They are mindblowing expensive for my standards but at least the malt version is a very good whisky with lots of old peat and sherry awesomeness.

What about you? Did you tasted any great whisky during March?
Please write about it in the comments.


Parker's Golden Anniversary Heritage Collection Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Heaven Hill , Parkers

“Good bourbon with a dominant corn profile. I like.”

88
Parker's Golden Anniversary Heritage Collection
Created to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Parker Beam's tenure at Heaven Hill Distillery, this superb Bourbon is a limited release of only 4,500 bottles.

Powerful corn aromas with notes of spices on the special bourbon from the Kentucky distillery.

Get it while you can.

This dram has a tawny-like color.

Nose (88): average. corn, honey, spices, wood, vanilla, candies.

Palate (89): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, corn, pepper, wood, spices, floral. Good with a dominant corn and pepper flavors.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Parker's Golden Anniversary Heritage Collection with 88 points over 100.

The Macallan the 1824 Collection Select Oak Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , The Macallan

“Like Macallan whiskies used to be! Strong sherry character in this dram.”

90
Macallan The 1824 Collection Select Oak
Lovely Macallan created with the help of the Wood Master of the distillery. This is a great sherried single malt whisky that is part of the 1824 Collection that was originally created as a travel retail exclusive.

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

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, nuts, peaches, wood, tobacco, vanilla.

Palate (90): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, wood, nuts, leather, floral, wood, tobacco, vanilla.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Macallan The 1824 Collection Select Oak with 90 points over 100.

Mackmyra Moment Rimfrost Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Mackmyra

“Very spicy whisky with some nuts notes on taste. Good one.”

87
Mackmyra Moment Rimfrost
Moment are single casks releases from Mackmyra distillery specially chosen by Angela D'orazio because their unique profile. Rimfrost is the fifth release of the Moment series.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (86): more than average. honey, fruits, nuts, peaches, vanilla, cinnamon.

Palate (87): powerful. honey, wood, spices, vanilla, pepper, nuts, a little cocoa.

Finish (87): average. floral, citrus, honey, spices.

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

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


How to taste whisky: Become an expert in 7 steps

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Whisky

Do you drink whisky? Do you enjoy single malts? Do you appreciate it? Great so you have a lot of the way already done. Tasting whiskies is mostly about finding aromas and memories inside the glass and translating them into words.

Whisky is one of the most fascinating drinks I have tried and with these seven steps I will show you how to best appreciate single malts.

Are you ready to learn tasting like a pro?

1. Choose your whiskies

Did I said that whisky tasting only make sense when comparing each of them against the others? Whether you are rating a whisky or just tasting it, everything makes more sense when done against others.

macallan-whisky-tasting-set-10-12-18-10-Cask-strength

So grab no more than five or six whiskies that you want to taste.

Calibration dram

You can also get a bottle of a whisky that we will call calibration dram. Fine calibration drams are Glenfiddich 12 years old or Glenlivet 12 years old: not expensive, not to dominant in any profile and easy to buy. This whisky will help you tune in so you can compare others against this whisky and see if they are better or worse than it.

You can go ahead without a calibration dram too. I usually does without.

Try to taste similar whiskies in a single tasting.

If it is not possible then sort whiskies using the following guidelines.

A. From youngest to oldest

Usually old single malt whiskies are very complex and need and deserve lots of time and attention to get all the details going around. On the other hand, younger whiskies are most of the times simpler and unidimensional. So to give a fair chance to those whiskies taste them first.

B. Lightest to Heaviest

As you progress in your whisky tasting, not alcohol but flavors and aromas left a mark on you, so it is fair to think that light whiskies will left a smaller mark than a sherried whisky.

Some general guidelines are:
– Lowlands, Highlands, Islands, Speyside, Islay
– Blended, Single Malts
– Irish whisky, Scotch, Bourbon

C. Non peated before Peated

After tasting a peated whisky like Laphroaig, it will severly impair you to fully appreciate lighter whiskies like a grain whisky. So as long as it is possible, try to left peated whiskies for the end of your tasting.

D. From 40% to cask strength.

Usually the best whiskies that any distillery can produce are bottled at cask strength, that is a value that ranges from 40% to 70% usually. As you nose and taste a high strength whisky it will impair you to appreciate the subtle details of a lower bottled whisky. So as long as it is possible, sort them using alcohol content.

Hey! But what happens when two of your guidelines collide? Well, you need to guess. Try an order and if you are not happy with the result, try another day a different approach. The best way of learning this stuff is tasting, tasting and tasting.

Some examples of tastings

Here you have some suggestions to start tasting whisky

Smoky

Let’s walk around Islay tasting some of its great peated whiskies.


Sherried

Some of the greatest Speyside whiskies are aged in sherry casks, give yourself a treat and taste some of this sherries jewels.


2. Prepare the tasting

Still there? Great!. Now go a grab a few things that you will need during the tasting.
– Glasses
– Mineral water
– Glass lid or pieces of paper
Tasting notes sheets
– Pen

glencairn-whisky-glass

Not all glasses are good for tasting whisky, so try to choose a nice glass and make sure you have enough of them. Place them on the table in front of you.

Identify each glass, either by placing them over a numbered piece of paper or just by placing behind it the bottle that will you pour on it.

Now pour on each glass a small measure of whisky, I usually work with 1.5 – 2cl of whisky. If you pour less it is really hard to nose it, and if you pour more you won’t reach whisky #5.

Done? Now cover the glass, either with a lid or with a squared piece of paper.

3. Consider the whisky

Now grab the glass. Look at the color of the whisky.

Swirl it and see how the whisky return to the bottom of the glass.

view-whisky-glass-color

Done? Great. Now just forget it. Cover the glass and let it stay calm for a minute.

Color doesn’t matter at all as it can be obtained using burnt sugar and you will see how whisky feels on mouth in a minute.

4. Nose your whisky

Take your glass and slowly approach both glass to nose and nose to glass.

Slowly take a short inspiration and appreciate it.

nosing-whisky-aromas-in-glass

Move the glass, tilting it to find the way the glass delivers aromas best.

How is it? Light? Strong? Powerful? Write down.

What do you think? How it smells? Bad? Good? Mean? Awesome? Give it a score if you want.

Now try to detail what the whisky smell of? Think of the honey, the barley, the species, the fruits, flowers, the wood of the cask. The whisky is singing about its origins. Just listen to it. Many single malts are really complex, so aromas will arrive to you as a delicious mess. Just write whatever the whisky hit on your mind, most of times you will be right.

If you need close your eyes, yeah! even if it makes you look stupid, as it helps your brain to concentrate on one sense: nose.

Nose the whisky again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. You are done with it once you are sure about what you wrote. Keep in mind that all whiskies evolve when they are exposed to open air, so give the whiskies a few minutes to open itself up.

Whisky-o-matic nosing approach

If you want to send your tasting notes to A Wardrobe of Whisky so Whisky-o-matic can use it you need to write the nosing in a special way. Write down the things you nose in the order that appears on the glass, which usually is from most powerful to most delicate aromas, and try to detail as much as possible aromas you get.

So instead of campfire near the seashore that is very poetic you have to write something like peat, smoke, salt, iodine. Got it? If you are not sure if it is apple or pears for example, write fruits or fruits, apple so whisky-o-matic can understand what it is going on.

5. Taste your whisky

Take a small sip of the whisky we are nosing.
How does it feel on the mouth? Is it light, or dense? Does it burn or is it a smooth whisky? Tick, tick , tick.

tasting-whisky-glass-sip

Take another sip, a generous one, and this time keep it on your mouth while rolling it around. Write down how it taste, it is a similar approach to what you did on the nose. Does it taste sweet? dry? of fruits? Write down.

Swallow it ( or spit ).

What do you think of it? Nice? Bad? Too dry? Too sweet? Score it if you please.

Have another sip and check that you are happy with what you wrote.

Whisky-o-matic tasting approach

As we did on the nosing, we have to write the most specific terms in the order they appear. For example: honey, malt, spices, cinnamon, nuts, cocoa. Again if you are not sure about the exact term use a generic one like: sweet instead of honey.

6. Listen to how it finish

Bad news! You need another sip.

Have it, swallow ( or spit ) and wait a few seconds. What taste do you have in your mouth right now? How long is it? Do you like? Score it.

7. Compare, check, write!

You are almost done.

Nose a last time to see if everything is as you wrote and now the hardest part.

Try to summarize the experience in a few lines of text, what memories this whisky brings you, which feelings does it trigger on you? Be creative.

Whisky-o-matic approach

Now you can release the poet you have inside, write the most creative two or three lines you can about your whisky.
We will use this on the tasting note.

Now you can upload your tasting note to A Wardrobe of Whisky. Just find the bottle you have tasted and scroll down until you see Tasting notes section

Finishing you tasting session

Now you are done with this whisky. Repeat the process with the rest of them until you are done.

Now before finishing, just ask yourself which one has been your favorite.

Is the favorite the best scored whisky? It should be if you want your scores to be useful for you.
In case it isn’t, just check on the whiskies where the problem could be.

Resources

Blank Tasting note Template
A Wardrobe of Whisky Social

Do you like? Please share this article.


Royal Brackla 12 years old 1999 NC2 Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Royal Brackla

“Vibrant palate with a lovely nose on this Royal Brackla whisky.”

89
Royal Brackla 12 Year Old 1999 - NC2 (Duncan Taylor)
A 12 years old whisky from the Highlands from Royal Brackla distillery bottled by Duncan Taylor for its NC2 range which consists mainly on whiskies without caramel added and without chill filtration.

Bottled at 46% abc this single malt whisky is an interesting proposal from Royal Brackla.

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, floral, toffee, citrus, vanilla, peaches, green pears. Very floral but quite good.

Palate (89): smooth, powerful, oily. honey, floral, citrus, spices, wood, cinnamon.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Royal Brackla 12 Year Old 1999 - NC2 (Duncan Taylor) with 89 points over 100.

R.L. Seale 10 years old Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , RL Seale

“Nice rum with a lovely vanillay and spices tones over a delicious sugar cane layer.”

82
R.L. Seale 10 year
Quite possibly the greatest packaging ever to grace our humble, but delicious, shelves. R L Seales is a rich 10 year old rum from Barbados, lots of character and richness, very smooth too.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (81): average. sugar cane, floral, brown sugar, vanilla.

Palate (83): light, smooth. sugar cane, brown sugar, spices, liquorice, vanilla.

Finish (83): average. brown sugar, sugar cane, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this R.L. Seale 10 year with 82 points over 100.

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The Macallan The 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.

Bunnahabhain Jubilee Malt 21 years old 1990 Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Bunnahabhain

“Like strong sherry character with a touch of peat? Then shout with me "God save the Queen!"”

90
Bunnahabhain Jubilee Malt 21 years old 1990
In honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee (1952-2012) The Whisky Barrel presents a limited edition Islay Malt matured in a single fresh sherry butt cask #35.

Distilled 24th December 1990 and bottled 10th February 2012. Just 90 bottles at full strength have been released featuring a rather splendid Crown Jewel.

This single malt whisky is a really awesome sherry monster from Bunnahabhain distillery.

This dram has a mahogany-like color.

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

Palate (89): smooth, powerful, oily. nuts, sulphur, honey, wood, peat, citrus, tobacco, pepper, salt. This whisky is a sherry bomb!

Finish (91): long. nuts, floral, honey, oloroso.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bunnahabhain Jubilee Malt 21 years old 1990 with 90 points over 100.

Highland Park Thor Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Highland Park

“The peat hammer of Thor from Highland Park. But what does a nordic god have to do with sherry?”

89
Highland Park Thor - 16 Year Old
The beginning of a new range of four whiskies from Highland Park, The Valhalla Collection.

Valhalla Collection shows off Orkney's ancient links with Scandinavia and the distillery's love of history.

First up is Thor, God of Thunder and alleged architect of the Cliffs of Yesnaby on the west coast of Orkney Mainland.

It's a 16 year old whisky bottled at a full proof of 52.1% and presented in a wooden frame styled after the prow of a viking longboat.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. peat, honey, spices, dried fruits, citrus, almonds. Massive nose.

Palate (89): powerful, oily. peat, nuts, wood, honey, spices, vanilla, citrus. Slightly unbalanced sherry taste but still very nice.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Highland Park Thor - 16 Year Old with 89 points over 100.

Smatts Silver Rum Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Smatts

“No. Better avoid this one.”

74
Smatt's Silver Rum
Perhaps the first 'super-premium' white rum from Jamaican producer Smatt.

I dunno what they were thinking about when they bottled this rum, but this stuff is really evil.

If you insist in drinking white rums, at least try El Dorado 3 years old.

This dram has a white-like color.

Nose (70): average. floral. Very new make. It doesn't even smell of rum.

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

Finish (75): short. burnt sugar, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Smatt's Silver Rum with 74 points over 100.

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Green Label 15 years old Trinidad Rum Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Green Label

“Nice rum with lots of spices and tropical fruits notes.”

84
Green Label 15 year Trinidad Rum
A specially bottled 15 year old Trinidad rum, this is a single cask rum which has had nothing taken away nor added except for water to bring it down to bottling strength.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (83): more than average. wood, molasses, spices, fruits.

Palate (85): smooth, powerful, oily. molasses, burnt sugar, spices, wood, tobacco, pepper, fruits, papaya.

Finish (84): average. molasses, burnt sugar, sugar cane, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Green Label 15 year Trinidad Rum with 84 points over 100.

Tanquery Nŗ Ten Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Tanquery

“Floral and herbal with a nice sweet taste. Great gin.”

77
Tanqueray Gin No.10
An exceptional small-batch gin, named for the pot still in which it is made (Pot still number ten).

This dram has a white-like color.

Nose (76): average. juniper, floral, sweet, citrus.

Palate (80): powerful. juniper, herbs, floral, sweet, citrus, spices.

Finish (76): average. herbs, floral, juniper, sweet.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Tanqueray Gin No.10 with 77 points over 100.

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Hakushu Heavily Peated Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Hakushu

“A real whisky experience from Japan with lots of fruits and spices over a delicate peat layer.”

90
Hakushu Heavily Peated
Very interesting single malt from Hakushu Japanese whisky distillery.

Part of the Suntory stable, Hakushu creates peated malts that are used in Suntory blended whiskies. This heavily peated malt was bottled as a single malt and offers a really interesting proposal that won't disappoint you.

A fruity peaty experience. If you like you should try something from Caol Ila or Bunnahabhain.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. peat, fruits, pears, strawberries, citrus. Really surprising nose.

Palate (90): smooth, powerful, oily. Peat, sweet, fruits, floral, pepper, citrus. Very spicy.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Hakushu Heavily Peated with 90 points over 100.

Kingsbarns distillery: Your own whisky distillery

By Miguel in News

Did you ever want to own your part of a whisky distillery? This Kingsbarns Distillery crowdfunding is your chance right now.

Kingsbarns Farm Distillery

Doug Clement, the founder of the proposed Kingsbarns distillery said:
We are talking to several whisky industry players and potential funders from as far afield as Canada, China & South Africa but having seen the recent fundraising success of another proposed distillery on Crowdcube we thought it might work well for us too. Crowdcube will enable us to reach a much wider audience than the traditional investment community we have been focusing on thus far. Through their platform we hope to show the world the opportunity to become a part of our enchanting craft distillery at Kingsbarns by the home of golf, St Andrews. Since we launched on Crowdcube on Friday we have already received £110,000 of new investment which represents 6% of our fundraising target of £1.85 million so the initial signs are very encouraging.

What we are doing is filling the glaring gap in Scotland’s malt whisky geography both here in the Kingdom of Fife & Lowland whisky region itself. Our region is world famous for its golf and we plan to make it famous in the years to come for its Scotch Malt Whisky too!

I have been asking Doug about the project as althought I think it is a very nice idea I see lots of black spots on the project.

What happens if you don’t reach the funding objective?
All monies are returned if we do not reach our fundraising objective of £1.85 within the 90 days although we may be able to raise finance on similar terms from sources outwith Crowdcube such as Scottish Enterprise

What gets the people crowd funding the project?
People crowd fund for many reasons. The main ones are that they see an opportunity to invest in something they are passionate about or that they find the rewards combined with the projected return on investment attractive. It enables a lot investors of any budget to get involved in projects.

Is this an investment? If so how long until people can see benefits
They would get an immediate return with the rewards offered, the possible financial return would take a little longer. Dividends could be payable from year 3 of opening and could increase substantially from year 7 when mature whisky is sold. The company could be sold at any time and indeed offers to buy the company have already been received.

How do you plan to “survive” until the first whisky is ready?
Through revenues from the visitor centre, sales of non matured spirits (gin, schnapps, liqueurs) and bought in whisky. Conservative projections show that the company should be cash positive from a very early stage

I understand this is a venture for a “small distillery” but what is the target pure alcohol production per year?
30,000 LPA per year with maximum capacity of 100,000 should demand be required.

I don’t know how are you doing on Scotland, but here on Spain there is a serious problem with unemployment and the future looks even darker. Are the visitors expectations in sync with these times we live?
Visitor numbers remain resilient here – the profile of typical visitors (golf and whisky) is very strong Whisky tourism and golf tourism is scotland and more in particular Fife is booming. There are 2.8 million visitor days to the home of golf St Andrews and its surrounding area and yet there is no ‘visitor’ distillery in our region Fife. With 8% of all tourists to Scotland visiting a distillery the potential for our craft visitor distillery at Kingsbarns is clear to see. Only a few minutes drive away is the Fairmont St Andrews Bay Hotel, the largest conference hotel in Scotland which was voted 2012 European Golf Resort of the Year and our region Fife was names “Golf Destination of the Year – Europe, 2012” at The International Association of Golf Tour Operators Awards. All the hotels and golf tour operators in the area have assured us once we are open they will send all their guests to us so our 25,000 visitor projections at £15 per head are very conservative and in a best case scenario we can expect 80,000 at £25 (the national average) per head

Here is the link of Crowdfund: http://www.crowdcube.com/investment/kingsbarns-distillery-10564

Apart of missing the rewards that I think it would be something like a discount on products or early access to whisky produced, what do you think about this venture?


Foursquare 1998 Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Foursquare

“Good rum with loves of burnt sugar and molasses notes that remind me of Zacapa rums. I like!”

87
Foursquare 1998
A single cask rum from the Foursquare distillery in Barbados (makers of a very successful spiced rum).

This was distilled in 1998 and aged for 10 years in a bourbon cask (cask 2807) before bottling in July 2008.

If you like this kind of rums, you need to try Zacapa nŗ23 rum

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (86): more than average. spices, cinnamon, sugar cane, brown sugar. Very nice spicy rum. It has something that remind me powerfully of Zacapa rums.

Palate (88): light, smooth, oily. brown sugar, sugar cane, burnt sugar, spices, cinnamon, molasses.

Finish (86): longer than average. burnt sugar, molasses, brown sugar.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Foursquare 1998 with 87 points over 100.

Ron Abuelo Centuria Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Abuelo

“Superb rum! Great taste that shows its age. Perhaps one of the oldest rum I have had.”

88
Ron Abuelo Centuria
A special limited release from Abuelo.

Mining the depths of the family stocks to find a rum suitable for a big celebration - their 100th anniversary of production, with sugar cane being grown on their estate since 1908 and still grown there today.

A great awesome rum almost as good as the awesome El Dorado 25 years old.

This dram has a mahogany-like color.

Nose (87): more than average. molasses, cinnamon, citrus, wood, sugar cane.

Palate (90): light, smooth, oily. molasses, brown sugar, spices, cinnamon, wood.

Finish (87): average. brown sugar, sugar cane, cinnamon, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Ron Abuelo Centuria with 88 points over 100.

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Bunnahabhain 19 years old 1990 Murray McDavid Mission Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Bunnahabhain

“Decent Bunnahabhain with a nice sherry touch.”

88
Bunnahabhain 19 year 1990 Mission
A release of 755 bottles, distilled at Bunnahabhain, matured in bourbon barrels and taken to Bruichladdich for bottling in 2009. A cask strength 19 year old bottled by Murray McDavid.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. peat, varnish, honey, nuts, dates.

Palate (88): powerful. peat, honey, floral, citrus, spices, nuts.

Finish (87): average. wood, floral, honey, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bunnahabhain 19 year 1990 Mission with 88 points over 100.

Elements 8 Platinium Rum Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Elements

“Very young rum with nice notes of burnt sugar and a oily bouquet. Nice.”

79
Elements 8 Platinum Rum
A premium white rum from St. Lucia.

Element 8's smoothness, quality and eye-catching packaging have made it a style bar favorite.

If you insist in drinking white rums, at least try El Dorado 3 years old.

This dram has a white-like color.

Nose (78): average. floral, sugar cane, molasses. Very newmake like but at least tastes somewhat like rum.

Palate (80): light, smooth. sweet, caramel, burnt sugar, sugar cane.

Finish (80): short. burnt sugar, sugar cane.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Elements 8 Platinum Rum with 79 points over 100.

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Glenmorangie LaSanta Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Glenmorangie

“A whisky spoiled by sulphur. Better than a previous batch that I tried but still... not my kind of whisky.”

81
Glenmorangie Lasanta
Lasanta is the replacement for the old Glenmorangie Sherry Finish although, to be fair, this new one is a bit stronger at 46%. It says here that 'Lasanta' means 'Warmth and Passion' in Gaelic, which is nice.

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (79): more than average. honey, sulphur, wood, floral, almonds. Rather spoiled by a dominant bad sulphur aroma.

Palate (82): light, smooth, powerful. honey, sulphur, nuts, wood, oloroso, floral, citrus. Better that I remember, but still not a nice whisky. Just imagine a sherry monster whisky that does it best not to be a sherried whisky.

Finish (82): average. honey, sulphur, wood, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Glenmorangie Lasanta with 81 points over 100.

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