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Stories from April, 2015

Caol Ila Unpeated Stitchel Reserve 2013 Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Caol Ila

Diageo’s Special Releases are quite an event on the World of Whisky. I really stopped paying attention to them a few years ago, tired of prices going up and up and age of the whiskies down and down… but still… if you have the money and don’t have anything better to do with it they are usually fantastic drams.

So after a few years with no so unpeated whiskies, this Caol Ila really delivers what it promises. Let’s review it

“Unpeated, really unpeated but crazy delicious whisky. The taste is really awesome, damn Diageo... I will have to spend my money”

90
Caol Ila Unpeated / Stitchell Reserve / Bot.2013 Islay Whisky
2013's unpeated release of Caol Ila is named for distillery manager Billy Stitchell, who is retiring after almost 40 years at the distillery. This year it's been bottled without an age statement and despite being 'unpeated' there's a definite smoky tang to the whisky, although less so than in previous years.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. honey, citrus, toffee, spices, vanilla, salt.

Palate (91): powerful, oily. honey, salt, citrus, spices, pepper, candies, cinnamon, wood.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Caol Ila Unpeated / Stitchell Reserve / Bot.2013 Islay Whisky with 90 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Miguel says…

Lovely! I am a peat head but this whisky is fantastic even if there is no trace of peat in it. Make if half the price and it is a good deal.


Bruichladdich The Organic Multi Vintage Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Bruichladdich

I usually love the subtle peatiness of Laddie whiskies and some of their unpeated drams are quite enjoyable. As you know Bruichladdich was reopened a bit after the new millenium and it has been under a new “regime” for a few years.

“It is too young for my taste... I miss the good old days of a bit peated Laddies... the good old times...”

87
Bruichladdich The Organic Multi Vintage

This dram has a gold-like color.

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

Palate (87): powerful, oily. honey, floral, citrus, fruits, vanilla, salt.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bruichladdich The Organic Multi Vintage with 87 points over 100.

Miguel says…

This is one of my biggest fears with NAS whiskies… that under the excuse of picking the very best casks without caring about age you usually end up buying whisky that would be better inside of a cask for a few years more. This Bruichladdie whisky will be awesome in ten years more but right now is too young for my taste.


Old Hobart Overeem Sherry Matured Cask Strength Whisky Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Overeem

Tasting this one blind, I knew it was something sherry related just by looking at the color of the glass… but it really took me by surprise how good it was. Really Overeem whiskies always went under my radar because of their price.

“Old yet vibrant with floral aromas. A fantastic sherried whisky with a very drinkable bottling strength”

92
Old Hobart Overeem Sherry Matured (Cask Strength)
Single cask malt whisky matured in an ex-Sherry quarter cask before bottling at cask strength by this Tasmanian distillery

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (92): more than average. honey, floral, sulphur, wood, citrus, vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, candies.

Palate (92): powerful, oily. honey, candies, wood, spices, cinnamon, vanilla, citrus.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Old Hobart Overeem Sherry Matured (Cask Strength) with 92 points over 100.

Miguel says…

A fantastic whisky… but you will not see me drinking it. Just buy any A’bunadh and enjoy a nice night out with the family with the rest of money that you will save.


Cameronbridge 34 years old 1978 Dimensions Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Cameronbridge

Very old grain whiskies are something nasty and spesky… you shouldn’t drink them. But I did the supreme sacrifice in your name and tasted this Cameronbridge. Well! What can you expect of a beverage created in something more close to an oil refinery than a whisky distillery? Move on, move on… it is all mine :)

“All you can expect from a very old grain whisky. I really love this style of candies, fruits and spices”

92
Cameronbridge 34 Year Old 1978 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor)

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (92): more than average. honey, flowers, vanilla, candies, ginger, cherries, wood, cinnamon.

Palate (93): powerful, oily. honey, spices, wood, candies, flowers, cinnamon, ginger, pineapple.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Cameronbridge 34 Year Old 1978 - Dimensions (Duncan Taylor) with 92 points over 100.

Miguel says…

Just to think that a few years ago you could buy this stuff for less than £100… a damn fantastic whisky if you want my opinion.


Ardbeg Renaissance Review

By Miguel in Ardbeg

I have had this sample for around 2 years and never found time to taste it. Till a few days ago… I like a lot the Ardbeg whiskies profile and some of my best vivid memories of whisky are related to Ardbeg… but when I tasted this one…

“The best most fantastic peated whisky that I have had in a lot of time...”

93
Ardbeg Renaissance
Here at last! It's the Ardbeg Renaissance, the end of the series that began with the 'Very Young' 6 years old. This is the first 10-year old Ardbeg that is entirely comprised of spirit produced after Glenmorangie's takeover of the distillery in 1997.

And it is bottled at cask strength. A great Ardbeg that you can still buy.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (93): more than average. peat, citrus, honey, salt, smoke, vanilla. The fucking peat perfection!

Palate (93): . peat, earth, citrus, honey, vanilla, coffee, salt.

Finish (93): longer than average. peat, salt, honey.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Ardbeg Renaissance with 93 points over 100.

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Miguel says…

Speechless, I love this kind of peat. Definitively one of the best whiskies I have tasted so far this year ( if we ignore the Lost Blend from Master of Malt ). Glad that I got a bottle when it still had a decent price. Stuff for enjoying.


Strathclyde 36 years old 1977 The Sovereign Review

By Miguel in Uncategorized

Tasting today a very old Strathclyde from Hunter Laing, I have tender love to such old grain whiskies… when they are young usually grain whiskies tastes of nothing at best but put them a few decades on a oak cask and the result is usually surpraising.

“Quite an experience. I think it is my first sherried grain whisky... delightfully sherried if you ask me”

92
Strathclyde 36 Year Old 1977 (cask 9912) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing)

This dram has a mahogany-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. honey, varnish, spices, citrus, cinnamon, candies, raisins.

Palate (93): powerful, oily. honey, sulphur, raisins, wood, citrus, cinnamon, salt, spices, candies.

Finish (92): longer than average. honey, raisins, sulphur, citrus.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Strathclyde 36 Year Old 1977 (cask 9912) - The Sovereign (Hunter Laing) with 92 points over 100.

Miguel says…

It is always a pleasure to taste this kind of whiskies.


Old Pulteney Navigator Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Laphroaig

Back to tasting at full speed… today it is turn for an Old Pulteney. I really never enjoyed much their whiskies and when Jim Murray named Old Pulteney 21 years old the best whisky in the world I was slightly disappointed when I tasted it.

“Not my kind of whisky... but it has a taste that remind me of a smoky & salty Balvenie 12 years old. Interesting”

87
Old Pulteney Navigator Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Released in 2013 to coincide with their sponsoring of a yacht in the Clipper Round the World Race, Old Pulteney Navigator was created to reflect the distillery's rich maritime heritage. It is matured in ex American bourbon and ex Spanish Sherry casks and bottled at 46%.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (86): more than average. honey, citrus, wood, spices, cinnamon, salt, smoke.

Palate (88): powerful, oily. honey, wood, vanilla, spices, toffee, cinnamon, smoke, salt.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Old Pulteney Navigator Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky with 87 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Miguel says…

So with this Navigator I have the same feeling. It is a good whisky but it doesn’t hit the key with me… I am not particularly fond of peated sherried whiskies, except if it is a Laphroaig


Lagavulin 5 years old malt Signatory

By Miguel in Tasting , Lagavulin

Bottled from an undisclosed distillery by Signatory, I bought a bottle of this eyes closed… I read somewhere that it was a Lagavulin, and being a huge fan of their fantastic 16 years old malt… and given that the bottle price was 30€… it was a no brainer.

“It is amazing... so you and still so much like itself! You can't miss this one if you enjoy peated drams ( and Lagavulin )”

90
Vintage Islay 5 Year Old Malt (Signatory)

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. peat, floral, honey, smoke, vanilla, spices. Lagavulin!

Palate (90): powerful, oily. peat, earth, honey, citrus, smoke, vanilla.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Vintage Islay 5 Year Old Malt (Signatory) with 90 points over 100.

Miguel says…

I would really advise you against any other such young whisky but being a peated dram… usually the younger the better. And this is unmistakably a Lagavulin whisky. Aye!


Goldlys 12 years old Oloroso Finish 1st Release Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Filliers

The blind hand got this samples from my samples’ box and we have here a Belgian malt whisky finished in Oloroso cask. This malt whisky was distilled by Filliers, one of the first distilleries in Belgium to distill malt whisky, even before Belgian Owl.

“Not a bad finish but I am not really a big fan of finished whiskies, in this Goldlys there is just too much oloroso but in the wrong way”

87
Goldlys 12 Year Old Oloroso Finish (1st Release)

This dram has a amber-like color.

Nose (88): more than average. honey, citrus, raisins, wood, leather, sulphur, vanilla.

Palate (87): powerful, oily. honey, leather, wood, sultanas, citrus, spices, wood.

Finish (86): longer than average. honey, wood.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Goldlys 12 Year Old Oloroso Finish (1st Release) with 87 points over 100.

Much in the way of Glenmorangie finishes… if you like them, go ahead, you will enjoy this dram… but I still have nightmare about damn LaSanta.


Teeling Single Grain Whisky Review

By Miguel in Tasting , Teeling

I am writting a post about why I halted my whisky acquisitions, but drams like this make me keep faith and hope in the future. This single grain whisky from Teeling, a new irish whiskey distillery on the game, is really … well, let’s review it.

“Pretty amazing single grain whisky! So much spices and sweetness in a single bottle... I love it!”

90
Teeling Single Grain
Irish single grain whiskey from Teeling! There are only a few Irish single grain whiskies out there at the moment, but Teeling went ahead and made theirs unique by maturing it in Californian Cabernet Sauvignon casks.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. honey, toffee, vanilla, citrus, cinnamon, corn.

Palate (90): light, smooth. honey, corn, vanilla, spices, wood, cinnamon, candies, cloves.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Teeling Single Grain with 90 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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As I said it is amazing to still be able to buy such good whiskey for less than £50. Hope loading…


My four reasons for not buying whisky...

By Miguel in Tasting , Recommended

As you can see by the number of recent posts, I have really slow down on writing about whisky and it is mainly because I have almost stopped buying whisky. I have been an anxious whisky buyer and collector for the last four years, but from six months to now I can count with one hand the bottles that I have order online. Why?

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(Game of throats. Danny Nicholson)

Well, there are several reasons that made me moderate my whisky buying habits. Let me tell you about them and five whiskies that keep my faith in this world untouched.

Prices

Whisky prices are going up everyday. Every single interesting bottle that I spot is really out of my reach. If you are really fast and lucky when ordering online you will only find that you have to pay something way above £100 to get 15 years old whiskies.

Not sure about you, but I can’t afford to spend £160 on my everyday whisky and really it is way out of my pocket to spend that on a treat whisky. I have paid on the past that money for pretty special whiskies like a 25 years old Macallan or a 30 years old Karuizawa… but today… you can’t get even a Macallan 18 years old for that money.

The only thing I can’t complain about is that Lagavulin 16 years old still cost the same… and I am pretty much done with that.

Limited releases

If things are pretty bad with prices, the result of just combining it with limited release ( that usually are unlimited ) just make everything worse.

With the excuse of being a limited release the price goes up by a good 200% or more. And again, if you are lucky and you buy it from a online retailer on the first minutes of its release.

Whiskies like the new Highland Park Odin, the Octomore new releases, the Devil PunchBowl series, the yearly Ardbeg releases. I really stopped buying them all because there is no point, they will keep coming and coming and coming, each time more expensive and more “limited”.

And well, I see the point on a 40 years old or a 30 years old whisky being expensive, I understand there are storage costs and exclusiveness… but fucking holy shit you can’t do, shouldn’t do, the same with a NAS whisky. It isn’t fair.

Whisky speculators

The third thing that is getting me down are speculators. I am really tired of people that buy a bottle of whisky just to sell it for twice the price a few days after its release. I am a whisky collector, I buy whisky because I love the way the bottle looks and because I love great whisky. Sometimes I indulge myself and open a bottle but most of my collection is close.

Am I any better that those pesky whisky speculators? Well, I want to think that I am. That I love the whisky I buy not because the profit I may make on the future but because of the greatness of the liquid that is inside the bottle.

It is very hard to compete with people that makes a living of buying and selling whisky and I really refuse to pay double the price for a bottle of whisky. I really gave up trying to buy “interesting” whiskies both because of price and because of speculators.

Economy

This has nothing to do with whisky itself, but when some retards assholes working on ECB thought it would be great for Germany to sell more cars by weakening EUR against USD and GBP, automagically my whisky turned a 20% more expensive. And that really sucks if you have been reading the previous paragraphs.

I love good whisky but I have my feet on the ground and I really can’t pay hundred of euros for a bottle of whisky no matter how good it is.

Miguel says…

So, no, I didn’t quit whisky. I kept drinking and tasting and finding hidden gems just that previously I wrote the articles mainly for myself to guide my buying options and well that really came to an end.

The fact that many of you wrote me about what were going on about the blog gives me a motivation to start writting again and helping you and me perhaps to find good great whisky for a fair price. Just that it gets harder each day :)


Old Pulteney Navigator Review

By Miguel in Old Pulteney

Woo, I need to force myself into actually writting the reviews because I write the tasting notes and just let them sit there for myself… such selfishness

Well, today I am here with a review of Old Pulteney Navigator, a duty-free whisky from this highland distillery that was the crafter of Old Pulteney 21 years old, the best whisky in the world… or so Jim Murray says…

Personally I don’t enjoy much the profile of Old Pulteney whiskies. They are nice but they don’t hit me on the soft spot as well as other drams: it is not enough peated, not enough salty, nor enough sherried. But anyway… let’s review it with that in mind.

“Not my kind of whisky... but it has a taste that remind me of a smoky & salty Balvenie 12 years old. Interesting”

87
Old Pulteney Navigator Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Released in 2013 to coincide with their sponsoring of a yacht in the Clipper Round the World Race, Old Pulteney Navigator was created to reflect the distillery's rich maritime heritage. It is matured in ex American bourbon and ex Spanish Sherry casks and bottled at 46%.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (86): more than average. honey, citrus, wood, spices, cinnamon, salt, smoke.

Palate (88): powerful, oily. honey, wood, vanilla, spices, toffee, cinnamon, smoke, salt.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Old Pulteney Navigator Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky with 87 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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As i said it is a decent whisky but not my kind of whisky. I would rather put my money somewhere else…