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Stories from September, 2013

Flaviar: Whisky Samples At Your Door

By Miguel in Tasting , Glenmorangie , Glengoyne , Old Pulteney , Dalmore , Glen Garioch

You know that much, if not all, of the whisky that I drink for A Wardrobe of Whisky comes from samples. You can’t imagine how hard is to get decent whiskies here in the south of Spain, well.. you can easily get great whiskies like Chivas Regal 12 years old or the all-mighty Johnnie Walker Black Label ( Oh God, Take my live! ). So as you can see most of my experience comes from samples which it is a great way of tasting new malts for a fraction of the price.

It is always good news to welcome a new samples bottler, Flaviar, on the arena. But what Flaviar does different from the rest of players?

flaviar-tasting-pack

Flaviar features a monthly subscription service where you get a pack of five samples with enough whisky for three persons to taste it. The idea of Flaviar is to be an exploration tool, helping beginners in discovering the world of spirits, while for the more experienced spirits lovers it’s a great way of discovering new drinks and keeping their spirit shelves updated without wrong purchases. If I had had such chance when I started drinking whisky… I have now a full wardrobe full of vile whiskies that I don’t dare drink ( yes, you know who am I talking about! )

As well as the pack of five 5ml samples you get also some “experts” insights as well as tasting instructions ( quite useful really for newcomers ) and fun trivia games. One thing quite fun is the fact that each pack is theme like “Schnaps of the Alps”, “There were pirates” or “Whisky’s Big in Japan” and they came in a precious little black box.
Each of the samples is labelled with the spirit inside and its strength ( note to Flaviar: Blind tastings are usually more fun, just an idea ).

flaviar-tasting-pack

My pack was called “Highlanders: There can be only one” and features five Highlands whiskies, some of them tasted some years ago in this blog. So let’s taste the whisky.

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Laphroaig Live 2013

By Miguel in Tasting , News , Laphroaig

It is again that time of the year. Whisky Festivals pop like mushrooms on the wild and here it is coolest of them: Laphroaig Live.
This year Laphroaig Live will take place at New York ( C’mon man! Come back to Jerez! ) at Thursday 26th September, 8PM ( New York Time ) or Friday, 27th at 1am if you happen to live at London. A bit late for a dram but who can let our Laphroaig friends to drink alone on the city that never sleeps

Laphroaig Live 2013

The venue for the evening is an original Hudson River Barge which, at over 99 years old, has seen cargo come and go into New York for almost a century. While the barge was taking its cargo into port, Ian Hunter – the last family owner of Laphroaig – was introducing the world to the now famous whisky. Legend has it he even introduced it to the USA during Prohibition by convincing authorities of its “medicinal” purposes! ( Amen for this man! *cought* *cought*)

As usual on every Laphroaig Live, an expert panel of guests will explore part of the history and the drams of Laphroaig and this time its links with America. ( Did you said Maker’s Mark? )

They’ll look first to the fastest growing Laphroaig expression, Quarter Cask, matured in barrels similar to those used in the early days of the distillery. To contrast this, the panellists will sample the latest expression, Laphroaig QA, which uses the American style of maturation. They will compare it to the classic American bourbon from sister distillery, Maker’s 46. The final expression will be the remarkable Cairdeas 2013, bottled for the Friends of Laphroaig. This unique expression used Port Wood for part of its maturation, resulting in an extraordinary taste and colour.

I have tasted two of them so let me give you my two cents.

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Douglas Laing's Old Particular Single Casks Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Bowmore , Glen Garioch , Auchroisk

Barely three months ago, Douglas Laing & Co owners, Stewart and Fred Laing went their separate ways in commercial terms yesterday after running the company they inherited from their father more than 40 years ago.But a few days ago, Douglas Laing announced Old Particular Single Casks, which they claim to be their best ever single malt range, and if you trust me, I think it really is!.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Single Malt Single Cask Whiskies

So this new range launched in September, 2013, the Old Particular is a set of bottles each selected from a single cask and bottled according to Douglas Laing’s philosophy: bottlings from only one casks, without added coloring and without chill filtration. No nonsenses as they used to say.
Malts featured in this first batch of bottles include whiskies from Bowmore, Caperdonich and Port Ellen ( definitively I want to taste this one! ).

It is a interesting fact that the whiskies has three different bottling strenghts. Whiskies up to 18 years old are bottled at 48.4%, over 18 years old at 51.5% and some rarities ( jewels I would say ) are bottled at cask strength ( like the Bowmore I am going to taste right now ).

So let me introduce you the whiskies of today tasting.

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Glenrothes and Westport: Tasting the new Burns Malt Whiskies

By Miguel in Tasting , Glenmorangie , Glenrothes

As you know online whisky shop TheWhiskyBarrel.com released a few months ago a quite interesting range of whiskies bottled at cask strength from a single cask which I reviewed here. Today I review their latest two additions, a Glenrothes 25 years old and a mysterious Westport 15 years old.

First of all, I really want to thank the Whisky Barrel for these samples as it has been a real nightmare to get them. DHL has broken the parcel twice, one of them destroying all the samples inside and the second time destroying a Tomatin 12 years old. Really if you need to send something use another company. Thankfully on the last try, the Glenrothes and Westport arrived safe although the parcel was damaged too.

IMG_0953

Well, anyway… Let me introduce you the whiskies. I tasted first Westport, mainly because it was the youngest.

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The Ten Most Expensive Whiskies I have tasted

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured

Sad days we live with our favourite drink prices going up and up and our income going down… well, unless you are a plutocrat. If you are rich this is perhaps the most exciting moment to get the very best ( and most expensive ) single malt ever created.

If you are feeling like this…

money money money

Keep reading and let me show the most expensive and best booze I have tasted so far. And if you are a distiller and want to send me ultra-premium whiskies so I taste and write don’t hesitate a second.

1st Karuizawa 1964 48 years old

“Gorgeous! This Karuizawa has one of the best sherried noses that I have ever seen. Not a whisky for newcomers, it needs time and lots of attention to disclose it greatness. The more it is on the glass the more I like it”

94
Karuizawa 48 Year Old 1964 Cask 3603
Bottled at a whopping 48 years old this Karuizawa is a stunning whisky bottled by Wealth Solutions from one of the oldest casks ever released.

Aged for 48years on Oloroso Butt number 3603 and bottled at an incredible 57.7% ABV.
Only 143 bottles worldwide.

This dram has a mahogany-like color.

Nose (95): more than average. nuts, citrus, wood, spices, chocolate, citrus, pine. One of the best Oloroso noses that I have ever tasted. Just grant it a good amount of time to open.

Palate (94): dry, powerful. honey, citrus, wood, spices, pepper, some smoke, nuts, cocoa.

Finish (93): longer than average. wood, spices, smoke, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Karuizawa 48 Year Old 1964 Cask 3603 with 94 points over 100.

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