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Stories from May, 2013

Jura 50th anniversary Tweet Tasting #Jura50TT

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Isle of Jura

Jura Distillery is making its 50th anniversary of its reopening this year. So they decided to do an awesome tweet tasting with fifty bloggers from all around the world and organized by Steve Rush from The Whisky Wire.

I have been a big fan of Jura since I rediscovered their sherried whiskies a few years ago. In each of them you can feel the great nose of Mr Richard Paterson. Great whiskies they are in fact.

So who of you would say no to a tasting of five Jura whiskies? Not me really.

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On the way from Scotland to home one of the samples got broken. RIP dear friend.
I have to say that I had already tasted the 30 years old Camas An Staca and I was quite happy about it. But about the rest I have no clue about what we were drinking.

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Tomintoul Tweet Tasting #Tom1981

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Tomintoul

Yesterday, I got invited to a fantastic Tweet Tasting organized by Tomintoul and directed by Robert Fleming, master distiller for Tomintoul.

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The tasting was to introduce their 21 years old whisky and a new single cask expression released recently: 1981. As I have tasted so little of this distillery I thought it was a fantastic chance of increasing my knowledge on the gentle single malt whisky. So two days ago I received a small parcel with no external annotations and voila!

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So I just obeyed the instructions and “YOU MUST NOT RESIST THE URGE TO DRINK THEM”… well, ok, the tasting was supposed to be May, 29 but… what the hell! :) An order is an order :)

Just kidding, of lately I really lack of time so I just unwrapped them 10 minutes before the tasting and poured them. So, the whiskies….

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#Balblair: 1997, 1990 Peated Cask and 1975

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Balblair

Damn postal service! Alembic Communications invited me to #Balblair whisky tasting at May, 2nd but unfortunately the parcel didn’t arrive in time as May, 1st is holiday on Spain.

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So here I am on my own tasting. #Balblair tasting was composed of three drams: Balblair 1997 2nd edition, Balblair 1990 Peated Cask sold in exclusive by Master of Malt and Balblair 1975.

So, the whiskies…

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Highland Park Loki Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Highland Park

Well, here it is!
I have been wanting to taste this Highland Park Loki dram since I bought the sample a few weeks ago. I didn’t buy Highland Park Thor because I thought it was a clear rip-off and after tasting it I clearly reaffirmed on my opinion.

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But with this Loki… something happened. Just forget about the horrible amount of money that Highland Park spent on promoting the stuff ( save a bit and send me a sample next time! ), just forget about all the buzzing around the whisky PR. The thing that turned me into buying one of the most mis-priced whiskies I have had lately was Serge Valentin‘s review at Whiskyfun. I really trust Serge judgement and although we don’t have exactly the same tastes I know he enjoys good whiskies and so do I.

So the problem was there, the whisky was also clearly another rip-off but after a 92p review by Serge it would be sold out before I could be able to taste it, so I ate my own words and ordered a bottle ( I am a collector nor an investor ) and decided to give it a try.

So much bullshit has been written about this whisky that I wasn’t even sure what to expect: enigmatic, elusive, chameleonic, … So there I went. The whisky…

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Talisker Storm Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Talisker

Talisker is a single malt whisky produced at the Isle of Skye on the North of Scotland. Talisker has really worked hard to have his whisky related to the maritime tradition of Skye habitants and this whisky is just an step further.

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Talisker Storm was introduced in the range at beginnings of 2013 as a “more Talisker” dram. In contrast with their introductory Talisker 10 years old, Storm has no age statement. Really I care very little about age statements but the problem ( the big problem ) with all the round of NAS whiskies we are seeing lately is that although first batches of most of them are reasonably good the producers may be tempted ( by the dark side ) to introduce younger and younger whiskies into the mix so they can reply faster to demand.

I am not stating on the other hand that older means better as good cask control and ageing is absolutely a must if you don’t want to end with an overwoody whisky ( Chivas 12 years old anyone?! )

Anyway… the whisky

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Glenlivet #Alpha Tweet Tasting

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Glenlivet

Hello there,
Yesterday, we had another great tweet tasting with The Glenlivet and Steve from The Whisky Wire. To be honest I were not going to apply to this tasting because I had already tasted the Glenlivet 12, 15 and 18 ( oops, looks like I didn’t taste it ) and although Alpha was somewhat appealing I though I was just a marketing move.

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But I was offered a seat and who of you would reject free whisky, and what the hell, I really want to revisit the Glenlivet range. After touching the miniature of Alpha I started to get excited about the idea of such a mysterious whisky label and I have ordered one full-bottle for myself ( The Whisky Exchange is still stocking Alpha. One per client. )

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Ardbog: Tasting the newest Ardbeg Whisky

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Ardbeg

I am a huge fan of Ardbeg since the moment I tasted for first time their 10 years old whisky. I love so much the peat, the honey and the motor aromas that I always have two bottles of Ardbeg around: one of 10 years old and one of Uigeidail when I need a bit more of peat-power.

So there I was at home when the whisky fairy knocked on my door and let a big envelop from Glenmorangie. Umm, could it be… Woof! Woof!

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Right! This is Ardbog! The latest whisky from my beloved Ardbeg to celebrate with all their fans worldwide the Ardbog Day on June, 1st 2013. With the whisky comes also a coin that features JackieShortie on one side and a boat with many rowers on the other side. A delightful allegory of the hordes of fans that will travel to Islay to enjoy Feis Ile festival.

So, the whisky.

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Viva Mexico! My first Tequila roundup

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Tequila

Hello Amigos!,

Barely a month ago I drank an ice-cold Tequila Sunrise after lunch, and so impressed I was that I decided I had to learn more about Tequila. So here it is this huge ( and I mean HUGE! ) article about Tequila, Mezcal and Mexico. I have tasted twenty tequilas for the occasion and to my surprise ( and your perhaps ) I have tasted one better than many Scotch whiskies I have tried in the last three years.

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So, click play on the video to get the spirit into you and keep reading with me.

So, what the hell is Tequila? Point one, forget any stuff that you have previously drank and made you unconscious.

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WTF 004: The Older, the Better, right?

By Miguel in Tasting , Kilchoman , North British , Glengoyne , Glenglassaugh , Glenrothes

Hello friends,

Welcome to another blind tasting session with lots of interesting surprises. Three really old whiskies followed by two new whiskies introduced recently. This is exactly the other way round I like to do tastings but surprisingly I was shockingly impressed with the little ones.

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So, in case you missed it, WFT Tasting sessions ( like this and this one ) is just a way to force myself into tasting stuff that I wouldn’t otherwise… I love young peated whiskies, mid age sherried monsters and those lovely very old bourbon cask matured whiskies. So I tend to taste more of this stuff and less of other proposal that are quite interesting but go under my radar.

Soooo, worry no more. I just introduced my hand blindly on the samples’ box and grabbed four or five random, and I mean random!, samples of whisky, bourbon, rum, vodka… Life is like a chocolate box, you never know what you are gonna get.

So, the whiskies…

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Small oak cask for whisky maturation: Second attempt

By Miguel in Tasting , DYC , Bell's

The story of four litres of whisky, one American oak cask and a free morning.

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If you read my previous post about this cask you know how it ended. If you don’t, I will try to be brief about it, I fucked spoiled two awesome Laphroaig 10 years old Cask Strength by ageing it a bit more of what it was needed.

So, now that you know where we came from, keep reading about what I did.

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Review of the new Big Peat Private Bottling

By Miguel in Tasting , Big Peat , Douglas Laing

Hello Peat fans!,

Douglas Laing was kind to send me a sample ( a very cool pen that my kids love ) of their newest Big Peat whisky, a Private Bottling limited to just 250 bottles.

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If you recall, Big Peat is a vatted whisky made using Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila and Port Ellen single malt whiskies. They have an standard everyday bottle at 46% ABV and Douglas Laing releases yearly editions around Christmas bottled at cask strength.

This Private Bottling edition is bottled at 50% ABV which is a very interesting move over the crappy 40% ABV the industry usually works with. They have also made an stunning and quite different whisky bottle with this one, no more ruined corks :)

So, the whisky…

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Ardbeg Ardbog

By Miguel in News , Ardbeg

UPDATE: Read here Ardbog review

The Limited Edition Ardbog will be launched at Ardbeg Day (June 1st). It is bottled at 52.1% ABV.

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Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distillation and Whisky Creation at Ardbeg, explains:

“The overall combination of effects in Ardbog truly conjures up the impression of ancient, primeval, salty peat bogs, but reassuringly this is combined with some classic, intense Ardbeg notes of leather, toffee and smoke.

“As with all Ardbeg it is about getting the balance of many flavours right so others such as mocha coffee, cloves and even anchovies play their part!”

Ardbog is matured for ten years in traditional American oak ex-bourbon barrels and rare ex-Spanish Manzanilla sherry butts. This gives Ardbog a distinctively salty texture accentuating the salty, briny flavours already prevalent in the whisky.

“At its heart our hallmark smoky yet fruity and floral spirit has been matured in Spanish ex-Manzanilla sherry casks for ten years, which has then been wrapped with traditional Ardbeg of the same age that is matured in American ex-bourbon oak casks. The Manzanilla maturation weaves salty flavours through the whisky which is then balanced with the maple syrup creaminess of the first-fill ex-bourbon casks.”

I just hope it is not awfully expensive.

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