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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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You can read here older articles posted in A Wardrobe of Whisky since 2009.
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Original Grain's The Barrel Watch Review

By Miguel in Recommended

So, I bet you are right now wondering why do I am reviewing watches in a Whisky blog… and it is a very cool question. I am reviewing Original Grain’s The Barrel watch because the watch is actually made of reused whiskey casks!

Original Grain The Barrel Watch Whiskey Barrel Wood Watch

When Andrew Beltran, founder of Original Grain, told me about the watch, I was really curious about the idea of a wooden watch… so when I actually got the watch I was hugely and positively surprised. Let’s review it!

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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 :)


Malt Maniacs Awards 2014 Whiskies

By Miguel in Recommended , Whisky

It is December, 15 and today Malt Maniacs Awards are published. You and me have been waiting almost a full year for a new incarnation of the very best whisky award in the world: Malt Maniacs Awards 2014.

mma-2014

If you are reading this you probably know about them, but just in case. Malt Maniac Awards are ran by a group of whisky afficionados with no links with the Whisky industry. They accept up to four ( or five ) whiskies from each brand/distillery and then they will split all the whiskies into individuale label-less samples… just a number. So each of the judges tastes each whisky completely clueless and blind and then all the scores are submitted back and after a few crazy math formulas the final score is computed.

Basically whiskies over 90 gets a Gold Medal, between 85 and 90 gets a Silver Medal and below that and over 80 gets a Bronze Medal. It is a very rare honor to get a Gold Medal and unfortunately most of them are special single cask whiskies for a group of persons.

And the winner is…

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Malt Maniacs Awards 2012 results

By Miguel in Recommended , Whisky

With a few days of delay here they are! Malt Maniacs Awards 2012.

They hold our 10th edition of Malt Maniacs Awards and as they say: “it is with great pleasure we now present to you the results of our labours over the last two months as 10 strictly amateur judges from our collective have tasted, nosed, sampled and re-sampled all the entries and submitted their final scores.

Ten judges, almost two hundred numbered samples, two months, only ten Gold medals.

What I like most of Malt Maniacs Awards is the fact that everything is run blindly. It is really a great way of awarding the best whiskies and forget about the PR. As usual, hurry up if you want to buy any of the awarded whiskies for their original prices ( that’s the downside :( )

So here they are the whiskies awarded…

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Find cheapest whisky prices at Best Whisky Deals

By Miguel in Orders , Recommended , Distillery , Brands , Whisky

Have you ever bought a bottle of whisky and then find it a hell cheaper in another place? Be welcome friend.

I have been working really hard to create Best Whisky Deals, the whisky price comparator between the most relevant UK whisky retailers. Just search for a bottle and you get the prices shorted from best to worst of the shops that are stocking it.

Also as a bonus, you can read tasting notes on more than 600 bottles from several whisky blogs, A Wardrobe of Whisky between them.

You can browse whiskies by distilleries, bottlers, regions and styles. But what I find most useful is the fact that you can check bottles by awards. So if you feel uninspired when buying whisky this little page can help you or get inspired with house favorites.

best-whisky-deals-price-comparator-uk

With more than 9000 whisky bottles indexed, if you can’t find it at Best Whisky Deals, you can’t buy it at the UK. By the way, all listed shops do worldwide deliveries so don’t hesitate to order from outside Britain.

Next time you order whisky make sure you order through Best Whisky Deals and save money and time.


The Peat Paradise: Islay from Bunnahabhain to Port Ellen

By Miguel in Tasting , Recommended , Featured , Laphroaig , Caol Ila , Lagavulin , Port Ellen , Ardbeg , Bunnahabhain , Kilchoman , Bowmore , Bruichladdich

Islay is an island in the west of Scotland that produce a style of single malts that you either love or hate: peated whiskies.

Gregor Haslinger Islay photo
(Photo on top of one of the Jura Pups looking south overseeing the Isle of Islay by Gregor Haslinger)

You may wonder why such an small island have so many distilleries and I hope this article enlighten you and share with us the passion for peated whiskies.
I have tasted already many of the whiskies created at Islay but I really wanted to taste them all in a row so I can compare them side by side. I hate when I taste blindly a whisky and I can’t decide if it is a Caol Ila ( most are ) or an Ardbeg.

So come with me in this trip around Islay in nine drams. Oh man! I am sure you can smell the smoke from there.

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Port Charlotte PC8 Ar Duthchas Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Recommended , Bruichladdich

“Sweet peat-ambrosy. I have enjoyed this one even more than Octomore.”

92
Port Charlotte PC8 Ar Duthchas
The new Port Charlotte from Bruichladdich is here, arriving the same week that it was named Best Whisky at the 2009 Whisky Fringe in Edinburgh. Last year's PC7 was regarded as a return to form, it looks like this is another improvement.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (92): more than average. sweet, peat, honey, vanilla, toffee, floral, milk chocolate. More soft and sweet than Ardbeg.

Palate (94): smooth, powerful, oily. peat, honey, citrus, salt, apples, a little cocoa.

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Port Charlotte PC8 Ar Duthchas with 92 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Compass Box Flaming Heart 10th anniversary Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Recommended , Compass Box

“Lovely whisky from Compass Box. This Flaming Heart is very nice but the 4th release is even better”

90
Compass Box Flaming Heart 10th anniversary
Bottled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Compass Box whisky company, for whom the epithets 'tireless', 'innovative' and 'pioneering' might have been invented, this Flaming Heart is a vatting of Highland Malt from a village near Brora (nudge, nudge), with some smoky Island/Islay malts. The label and packaging, it goes without saying, are stunning. Bottled at a good natural drinking strength, this should be fabulous.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. peat, citrus, honey, floral, vanilla, salt.

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

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

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Compass Box Flaming Heart 10th anniversary with 90 points over 100.

Bn1 Elements of Islay Tasting note

By Miguel in Tasting , Recommended , Bunnahabhain

“Lovely sweet with the biggest peat punch you can imagine in a Bunnahabhain whisky.”

91
Bn1 Elements of Islay
The first Bunnahabhain from Speciality Drinks for their Islay bottlings range.

Bottled at cask strength and simply delicious. You won't be disappointed by the sweet honey peaty experience that this Islay single malt delivers.

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (92): strong. honey, malt, peat, citrus. Really sweet with just one touch of peat.

Palate (91): smooth, powerful, oily. some peat, honey, citrus, floral. Peatpunched!

Finish (89): longer than average. peat, floral, earthy.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Bn1 Elements of Islay with 91 points over 100.