Gauntleys World Of Whisky
When it comes to Whisky the first thought that springs to mind is Scotland, then perhaps, the United States and Japan too, however, once you fall into the rabbit hole, it suddenly becomes clear that there is a whole world of whisky out there waiting to be discovered!
A basic rule of thumb is, if a country can distil a spirit from Barley (or other grains) then in theory, there is a strong possibility that it will produce a whisky, be it single malt or 'grain'. In an endeavour to show the diversity we have grouped together our wonderful, yet quite varied selection of intriguing world whiskies!
Tasted: Dec 2010 A blend of unpeated Indian malted barley and peated Scottish malted barley. Distilled separately.
The nose is not as sweet and sickly and a lot better balanced than the 40% Amrut I tasted awhile ago. It’s quite young with plenty of clean, peppery, marc notes. With time it does become sweeter with some sweet barley and almost sherried fruits; although I believe that no sherry casks are used. With time hints of dusty orange and briny peat.
The palate is full and oaked. The coastal peat character is more up front and followed by the sweet barley. It’s a touch on the fiery side but that is tempered to a certain extent by the chocolatey malt. Gently smoked with a very peppery middle similar to Talisker crossed with a sort of Bunnahabhain floral character. The piquant alcohol masks the finish somewhat but there is plenty of dry peat and marc notes in the after taste.
With water the oak retreats on the nose allowing more of the peat and chocolate orange notes to emerge, although it does become sort of vague-ish. On the palate it is however it becomes a bit watery and the finish reminds me of pot pourri! An entertaining dram as long as you avoid water.
Tasted: Feb 2014 Full and aromatic on the nose with buckets of sweet barley, honey and dusty oak. A little citrus note along with a touch of gin-like botanicals emerges and adds a lovely freshness to the aromas which was missing in the earlier 40% bottling.
The palate is soft and very honeyed with the demeanour of a mature Spey. Beautifully soft with sugar coated barley, gentle spice and hints of liquorice and citrus. The increased abv gives it a better balance. It has a slightly perfumed finish with the citrus lingering and joined by that botanical note.
Btl: 2015 Tasted: Sept 2015 The nose opens with kerosene and very herbal and oily peat. Sharp citrus notes collide with the dense oak and barley. With time some sweeter peat, honey and heather emerges along with a late cold tea note. It's sort of like Highland Park on steroids.
The palate show a little more delicacy with the herbal honey and heather notes up first. The peat seems quite hidden but it begins to creep through. Hints of parma violets, barley and malt follow, leading to a mouth-watering but not astringent finish which also shows a light, salty minerality and lingering sweet barley, a smidgen of oak and dusty peat.
Blanton's was the first ever Single Barrel Bourbon in the world, and it set the standards for others to follow. This fantastic product was named after the late Colonel Albert Bacon Blanton (1881-1959), who managed the largest distillery of its day.
Barrel 179. Warehouse H. Rick 44 Tasted: Dec 2010 Quite a rich nose with no shortage of crisp almost peaty rye to balance the fat wheat and sweet but edgy corn meal. Oily and elegant a sort of Evan Williams meets Sazarac character. The oak is relatively restrained allowing the complexity of the nose to entice. With time some violet notes become apparent, but the rye spices keeps the nose edgy.
Like the nose the palate opens with the crisp rye followed by toffee popcorn and piquant alcohol. The oak moves in bringing some gentle spices and natural caramel. Although the finish is reasonably long and laid back it is pretty dry. The combination of rye and oak see to that ï¿½ definitely edgy!
With water it knocks back the rye intensity on the nose, bringing out the hidden coffee/ cream and orange nuances. Really spicy and rounded now with the rye only noticeable at the periphery. The palate is sweeter as the subdued rye allows the corn to play and personally I miss the impact of the rye. Possibly a bit longer now with that classic earthy finish.
Batch F13 4426880 Tasted: Apr 2021 A silky soft nose of vanilla and corn. Sweet honey, orange and hints of herbal rye spice appear. Very polished and well made.
The palate opens with soft, milky, vanilla oak and subtle corn, citrus and tosty biscuity notes. The rye builds well on the middle brining bitter spice, chocolate and earth. Long, herbal, peppery rye finish. Really intense finish with a bitter coffee after-taste.
Tasted: Dec 2014 The sweet but spicy rye emerges first all set against a lovely bedrock of corn, lightly floral and honeyed fruit and subtle vanilla oak. The rye becomes a little herbal with time and hints of earth, liquorice and light treacle emerge.
The palate opens with the soft corn with hints of dark treacle. The dry, earthy, dusty rye builds along with a touch of pepper. The sweet oak emerges on the middle but is wonderfully balanced. Very long and spicy with the dry spices lingering. Very impressive. (Tasting Note from the 2014 Release)
Tasted: Nov 2016 The aromas are quite mature and subtle, opening with some slightly herbal rye and delicate spice notes. Lightly toffee’d corn appears along with some restrained, charred oak, dark chocolate, dusty spice, pepper, rose petals, liquorice and almost Cognac-esque dried fruit.
The palate opens with some luscious, subtle treacle and maple syrup along with coffee and chocolate. Bananary corn, gentle oak and hints of wheat flakes follow along with some pleasantly subtle oak and bitter spice. A little rose petal marc note hints at some youth but overall it’s very well balanced. Long, intense and spicy with the oak lingering.
Nose: Brash, pungent and almost peaty in character. Lots of earthy wheat and manure. Kentucky on Islay? Lightly perfumed orange fruit emerges along with hints of citrus soap. The oak is firmly in the background and the light grains nip. Strangely attractive!
Palate: Soft and slightly leathery with tobacco and lightly coffee’d spices. Relatively corn fat but the nippy rye balances. Again lightly oaked with some earthy wheat.
Finish: Very long with a mouth-watering spicy rye grain finish and a lightly sweet oak finale.
Conclusion: Very interesting. Lovely interplay between the corn, wheat and rye. Lovely spicy/ nippy finish.
Re-Tasted: Aug 2017 The nose is quite spicy with a good chunk of herbal rye but softened by the corn. There seems to be more rye influence here than I remember. Hints of earth, coffee’d oak and subtle wood tannins follow along with a developing floral note.
The palate opens with the soft corn and vanilla, followed by the gentle, herbal and spicy rye, cocoa and violets. Girtty but soft tannins on the middle and it becomes fairly coffee’d too. Long, herbal rye finish.
Btl: Nov 2014 Tasted: Sept 2015 Light, fresh and aromatic aromas. Quite herbal and a little high toned with hints of rose petals, barley and chunky vanilla. The Madeira is quite subtle but adds a hints of dried fruit, biscuits and nuts.
The palate is light and elegant with plenty of herbal barley, followed by edgy citrus, vanilla and a touch of honey and rose petals. Some gritty, spicy tannins appear on the middle and linger throughout the finish, which is a little austere and minerally.
Sept 2011 Bottling Tasted: Dec 2011 A very high toned nose with plenty of peppery marc-like notes, cider apple, compressed apricot and pumpkin(?) along with a touch of sultana and dried fruit from the finishing cask. The nose shows a lovely depth and a sweet malty core. Later hints of sugared almonds and tobacco leaf appear.
The palate opens with some soft, sweet-ish barley followed by the youthful pepper and some tart citrus. A pleasantly intense middle with the finishing cask adding some blindingly lovely dried fruit of an almost Armagnac quality. Late oils arrive as does a slight bittering from the oak. One can definitely see some mature spirit at the core of this bottling. Still seriously good
Vatting of Bourbon and ex-peated Scotch Whisky casks. Btl: Feb 2012 Tasted: Sept 2012 The nose opens with a plethora of sweet, briny peat followed by crisp green apple, citrus and vanilla. The nose displays a lot more peat character than the last time I tasted it and is distinctly Islay in tone. I would hazard a guess that some ex-Laphroaig casks were used as there are some medicinal and tar notes.
The palate is soft, gentle and quite youthful, opening with honey, lightly baked apple, crisp green apple and vanilla. There is more of the rose petal spirit character on the palate and the peat is subtler an more earthy in character. Very long with some sweet smoke coming through along with a touch of brine and light spice. Lovely after taste - lightly oiled creosote. Wonderfully fresh and very enjoyable.
Tasted: Sept 2016 Herbal and winey with juicy strawberry and syrup coated raspberry. Slightly earthy and straw-like with hints of earth, milk chocolate and spice. Pleasant balancing edgy freshness from the spirit.
The palate is juicy and fruity, opening the syrup coated red fruit, followed by earth, straw and developing balsamic notes on the middle. A smidge of barley and citrus can be detected and the alcohol adds a counter-point to the sweet fruit. Long with some slightly bitter dark chocolate and lingering warm spice and port notes.
Spirit aged 8 - 12 years Tasted: Apr 2018 A youthful and crisp nose of spicy grain and chunky sweet corn and oak. Lightly violety and although not as deep and complex as the old 12 year old, and obviously younger, it still displays the classic Elijah Craig intensity.
The palate opens with the youthful, spicy rye and subtler sweet corn and oak. Like the nose it is definitely younger, but still quite intense with a light, bitter chocolaty tannin middle, however the corn balances that bitterness well. Good, crisp, spicy, mouth-watering finish with just a smidge of toasted toffee corn in the after-taste.
Evan Williams Single Barrel 2009 (7 year old) 43.3% Cask 921 Dist: Aug 2009 Btl: Aug 2017 Tasted: Dec 2017 Spicy, earthy and rye heavy. A distinct improvement on the 2008. Hints of toasted caramel oak and sweet corn balance along with a lovely subtle citrus and mocha note. With time a touch of honey and herbal rye.
The palate opens with the sweet corn and citrus with the herbal and spicy rye arriving at speed. Hints of toffee, treacle and bitter oak appear on the middle. Lovely balance and just like Evan Williams should be. Long, earthy and toasty with a bitter spice finish.
Tasted: Oct 2012 A soft and pleasantly well balanced nose. A bit light-ish but there’s a core of un-burnt caramel with some lovely buzzy rye, plenty of violets along with a touch of light herbal/ medicinal notes. Actually this is a very appealing nose. With time hints of chocolate and dried fruit appear.
The palate is like the nose, relatively light but very well balanced. It opens with caramel drizzled banana fritter with just enough rye to give it an edge. But hang on that rye is gaining in intensity and really dominates the middle. Lovely length with the rye hanging around until the end but joined by a touch of dried fruit, violets, liquorice, chocolate and pure vanilla. The after-taste is quite dry, spicy and woody. Frankly my dear, I’m rather impressed!
2021 New Release. Tasted May 2021 The nose is actually quite subtle by KC standards. It opens with sweet violets, corn and just a suggestion of hard, spicy rye. The corn builds along with vanilla oak and subtle mature-ish dried fruit. With time pepper, cinnamon, sweet paprika and clove oil. Although the rye notes start of subtle they continue to build.
The palate opens with the sweet corn and vaniila along with subtle violets and pepper. Sweet and bitter rye notes emerge along with the expected building spices, becoming harder and spicier towards the middle. The finish is seriously hard and spicy, tongue tingling, intense and peppery with late charred oak and burnt toast. In conclusion: It's a whole load of fun!
Japanese and imported malt and grain, aged up to 12 years. Minimum of 40% Malt Tasted: Jan 2019 A light, fresh and Speyside-esque nose with youthful cereal and hints of more mature barley and malt. A touch of delightfully crisp grain appears along with apricot and late hints of honey and apple blossom.
The palate is crisp and fresh with the grain showing first, followed by youthful barley. Underpinning is some more mature barley, apricot, honey and grass. Again it's very Speyside-like with a touch of Irish esteriness. Medium length but succulent and slightly mouth-watering. A little bitter spice in the after-taste.
Dist: Dec 2011 Btl: Aug 2017 Tasted: Dec 2017 The nose is delightfully juicy and winey with redcurrant/ berry and hints of soft spice. The classic, Provencal, herbal character of the spirit comes through along with a touch of barley. Superbly balanced and elegant with late earth and vanilla notes.
The palate is wonderfully natural and earthy. Showing the same balance of Provencal herbal spirit character, barley and subtle wine notes that the nose suggests. Wonderfully berried middle with late red fruit and spice, but still the spirit character isn't overwhelmed. Long with coffee, woody spice, chocolate and lingering red fruit.
Chardonnay & Sherry casks Tasted: Oct 2019 A lovely balanced nose of slightly herbal chardonnay apple, apricot, sweet/ creamy oak and subtle dried fruit. Hints of earth, cigar leaf, raisin, dried berries and Provencal herbs.
The palate opens with the chardonnay influenced barley, malt and subtle herbal dried fruit. Hints of earth and cigar leaf follows with juicy malt and mouth-filling fruit.. Long, silky and balanced finish with hints of milk chocolate, herbs, sweet plum and grape. It's good to see a 'cigar malt' that isn't blasted with sherry!
Tasting Note To Follow
Peated malt, aged in ex-Chateauneuf-du-Pape casks Btl: 2016 Tasted: July 2016 Aromas of winey red fruits, barley, malt and sweet herbs. The peat is quite subtle and herbal with some medicinal notes in the background. Hints of cinnamon, and coffee’d spice appear with time.
The palate opens with the winey red fruit, malt, cereal and wood spice. The Provencal herbal character comes through on the middle. Long and mouth-watering with a huge hit of heather and garrigue, malt and coffee. The toasty oak notes linger along with subtle earthy peat, smoke and burnt herbs.
Water makes the nose softer and subtler (on the wine) with a little more sweet barley and apricot. The palate is maltier, fuller and beautifully integrated. Long and lightly winey now with the spicy red fruit lingering.
Unpeated malt, matured in ex Chardonnay and Sherry casks. Dist: May 2010 Btl: Feb 2016 Tasted: Apr 2016 Young and malty aromas with malt extracted and malt biscuits. Well I said it was malty! Beneath a touch of rose petals, spicy sherry can be discerned along with some winey notes. The maltiness does subside with time but that allows the sherry to come to the fore.
The palate opens with rose petal marc-like notes and malt biscuits. Very herbal with heather and provencal garrigue notes. The sherry has a slight boiled sweet character and imparts a little light coffee’d tannin and a touch of treacle on the middle. Good length with lingering heather and garrigue.
Unpeated malt, matured in ex Chardonnay and Sherry casks. Btl: 2016 Tasted: July 2016 The nose opens with plenty of grippy but soft sherrywood tannins, crisp, grain-like dried fruit and hints of, honeyed chardonnay apple, Provencal herbs and heather. Lightly malty with late hints of warm vanilla and earth. Very well balanced.
The palate is intense and woody with sherried dried fruit, treacle and malt. The woodiness is softened by the warm vanilla notes but the dried grape comes back on the middle. Long and herbal with lingering sweet malt, liquorice and lightly bitter chocolaty tannins.
Water gives the nose a beautiful, silky sheen, whilst emphasising the herbal notes and making them almost rye-like in character. On the palate it makes it wonderfully succulent and brings forward the malt and grain-like dried fruit. A little more taught French oak can be discerned now and the finish is still long and herbal.
A marriage of Old Deer and Old Bear. Tasted: July 2016 Intense, malty and herbal aromas with coffee, subtle herbal peat and red fruits. It unwinds to show hints of cinnamon, apricot, banana, pepper, rose petals and spicy dried fruit and oak. Lovely depth.
The palate is full and malty with apricot and red fruits mingling with coffee and Provencal herbs. Subtly peated with lightly oiled banana, apricot and a lovely combination of dried red fruit and dried sherried fruit comes through on the middle. Long and spicy with lingering herbs, malt and coffee.
Btl: 2021 (12 year old?) Tasted: May 2022 A fresh, edgy and citric nose with chunky vanilla oak, grilled almond and hints of coffee. Subtle estery apricot and pineapple beneath along with some oily spirit notes. That slightly spiritness makes it feel younger than it actually is.
Again the palate opens with the creamy American oak and barley. Hints of estery fruit, grilled nuts, citrus and a touch of gooseberry. Good intensity if a little spirity on the middle. Long, barley'd finish with returning fruit, spice and a touch of bitter oak.
Mackmyra Moment: Bruckswhisky DLX 46.6% 9-14 year old spirit aged in the Bodas Mines 200ltr Ex-Bourbon (Elegant Distillate) aged 14yrs 128ltr Ex Oloroso (filled with 4yr ex-Bourbon maturred spirit) aged 9-11yr 100ltr Swedish oak (filled with 4yr ex-Bourbon maturred spirit) aged 9-11yr 100ltrs Ex-Bourbon (filled with smoke tails from 2010) aged 11yr Tasted: June 2021 The nose opens with soft vanilla and grippy American and Swedish oak tannins. There’s plenty of mature barley, white chocolate, citrus, almond, sweet Gala melon and tobacco leaf. With time Darker roasted coffee, subtle smoke and mentholated herbs.
The palate tastes of the mines with minerals and citrus notes showing first. Fresh and mature barley follows along with hints of estery apricot and pear. Soft but slightly tanninc American and Swedish oak adds grip to the mid palate along with some subtle herbal and toasty/ nutty notes. All the while the intense minerality runs through it. Long and herbal with lingering barley, vanilla, soft wood spice and smoke.
8 to 12 yr old spirit aged in 200ltr ex-Bourbon, 128ltr Oloroso and 200ltr Cherry cask. Matured in the Bodas Mines. 75% of the whisky is finished in 350ltrs ex-Plantation Barbados and Jamaican rum casks. Tasted: Jan 2019 Aromas of buttery American oak and estery fruit emerge first, followed by toffee, minerals, cinnamon, herbal sherry, bruised apple, pear and subtle rummy dried fruit. The nose feels quite reserved and the rum notes are not as intense as the 2016 Vinterdrom bottling.
The palate opens with gingery spice, estery fruit and minerals. It shows a little more of the gritty Oloroso sherry and maybe a touch more rummy dried fruit. The sherry softens on the finish as a touch of American oak comes through. Long, with lingering rum and hints of apple, pear and barley.
60% spirit aged between 2006-17 and 40% spirit aged between 2004-17 Matured in ex-Philipponnat Champagne casks – 225 litre First Fill, 250 litre Second Fill and 250 litre Third Fill. Tasted : Feb 2017 The nose displays a slightly earthy character with taught oak tannins and a yeasty, champagne note. Quite malty with subtle baked apple, pear and ginger. A lovely, understated and mature nose.
The palate is fresher than the nose and opens with citrus, followed by toasty oak and vanilla. Again there is a slightly yeasty Champagne character evident, along with earth, spice, ginger root and malt. Lovely full mouth-feel and a long, malty, baked fruit finish.
Swedish Berry wine saturated 30-100ltr American oak, 30-100lts Swedish oak, 30-100lts ex-Bourbon oak. Plus New and first fill 128ltr American oak casks and 128-200ltr New and first fill Oloroso casks. Tasted: Aug 2020 The nose is slightly smoky and winey with a lovely density of rich barley and estery fruit. Hints of pine sap, lightly astringent berry fruit, vanilla, ginger and grippy oak tannins follow. With time the American oak reveals itself and the wine notes become a little perfumed.
The palate opens with warm spice and berry fruit. Hints of sherried dried fruit, chocolaty tannins, estery apricot and unsweetened pineapple follow. The middle is quite woody and grippy as the American oak comes through, however an almost salty mineral note balances and freshens. That minerality flows into the finish. Ginger, pepper and tannin after-taste.
200ltr Ex-Bourbon smoky recipe. 30ltr Smoky Fresh Oloroso. 30ltr Smoke and extra smoke, American oak & ex-bourbon, 100ltr• Smoke tail, ex-bourbon., 128ltr Oloroso new and first fill, 128ltr American Oak pre-stored elegant recipe,. 100ltr Swedish oak cask saturated with Cloudberry wine and 200ltr Ex-Bourbon elegant recipe.
Tasted: Sept 2021 This has a seriously complex nose! Soft, smoky and nutty with astringent smoke, medicinal herbs, juniper, vanilla and subtly sweet barley. Quite earthy with a winey edge and hints of tobacco leaf and Nordic herbs. The sherry comes though with a touch of dried fruit, tar and treacle and finally some winey berry fruit.
The palate opens with the subtle, juicy, treacly Oloroso but the smoke, earth and creamy vanilla come through. Earthy winey fruit follows with more smoke. Lovely intensity with subtle Nordic herbs and berry notes on the middle. Long, smoky, barley’d finish with a touch of marzipan, pepper, tobacco leaf and dark chocolate. Wow!
Bourbon/ Swedish oak Re-Tasted: Jan 2017 Full, heavy and honeyed aromas with sweet cereal, estery pineapple and hints of herbs, malt and vanilla oak. The Swedish oak imparts a slightly tight, grainy oak note.
The palate is full, oily and slightly honeyed with barley, apricot, pineapple and again hints of grainy Swedish oak. Very herbal rye-like notes on the middle and a long, crisp, slightly citric, mineral finish with a touch of gingery spice and vanilla.
See my review in episode 213 of the Good Dram Show - https://youtu.be/nuN-GOgEvoc
Distilled from barley smoked over peat and fervid juniper twigs American oak, Swedish oak, ex-Bourbon and Oloroso casks Re-Tasted: Jan 2017 The nose displays a very prominent chocolate-malt character with hints of burnt wood and faint phenolic notes. With time the trademark hint of rye-like herbal notes appears along with hints of barley and earth.
The palate is crisper and less malty and initially more cereal orientated with hints of smoked wood. The chocolate-malt comes through on the middle along with hints of heater-like scrub, peat, earth and salt. Long and very intense with a youthful briny and mentholated herbal finish infused with juniper, berries, peat and wood smoke.
Batch L15 A72 Tasted: Sept 2015 The nose displays a serious weight of herbal rye and chocolate spice which smoother the subtle corn and oak notes. Deep, spicy and very impressive.
The palate shows a little more of the soft corn and oak, but the edgy herbal rye isn't far away and powers through on the middle bring treacle and cinnamon spice notes too. Long, with the herbal rye notes lingering.
Tasted: Nov 2014 A very natural and crisp nose with a distinctive sour fruit note. There is plenty of sweet but herbal rye along with hints of earth and manure (I did say the nose was natural!) Not as heavily oaked as the straight rye with a touch of toast and coffee. With time it becomes very oily with plenty of spirit character becoming evident along with hints of thyme, aniseed and my, the rye has become very spicy!
The palate leads off with the taught rye. Lightly coffee’d with again plenty of oily spirit character and subtle oak. Hints of sour fruit and coffee come through on the middle adding to the ever present herbal notes. Beautifully balanced. The oak and corn add just the right amount of balancing sweetness. Long and herbal with a touch of cardamom and bitter chocolate in the finish.
Bottle Code: 14B06B6 Tasted: Dec 2012 An intensely fresh nose yet the grain has a lovely softness of character along with a herbal, coffee demeanour. Beautifully sweet and almost gristy! The oak is quite light, elegant and slightly buttery. With time the grain notes harden and hints of juniper, citrus, walnut and light smoke become evident.
The palate begins quite sweetly with the oak showing a similar buttery quality. The grain comes through to add a nippy freshness and the spirit becomes quite herbal on the middle and mingles with the oak sweetness. Very full and wonderfully textured, but the grain finally beats the oak with a wave of citrus. It finishes quite dry with the oak adding a light marzipan sweetness along with a lingering cocoa, light coffee, liquorice and raisin note.
Tasted: Mar 2015 Softly grainy aromas with malt, tobacco and cigar smoke. There’s some chunky vanilla oak and maple syrup notes in the background along with hints of apricot. It becomes quite smoky with time – wood smoke not peat smoke. Superb depth!
Soft band elegant on the palate which opens with sweet bourbony oak, malt and a light grainy/ coffee spice edge. Very nutty on the middle with coconut and almond along with a touch of ample syrup and tobacco leaf. Very long and spicy (dry) with the sweet, grainy note reappearing. Absolutely stunning!
A blend of Yoichi, peated Miyagikyo and coffey malt & grain Tasted: Apr 2019 The nose is quite estery with apricot, banana, vanilla and earthy smoke. Hints of citrus and botanical grain appear along with pepper, cinnamon, toffee and nutmeg. A lovely balance of malt and grain.
The palate opens with the estery fruit and barley. There is a little more toffee'd oak than the nose suggests but the botanical grain balances and adds a touch of dried fruit on the middle. Good length with hints of smoke, pepper and crisp, grain spirit.
Re-Tasted: May 2015 The nose is quite heavy on the sweet grain with hints of spicy sherry, burnt coffee, raisin, treacle and hints of herbs. Lovely depth with a late buttery and toasty vanilla note.
The palate opens with burnt raisins and sherry wood followed by sweet grain and excitable spices. Hints of treacle, dried sultana, prune and coconut appear on the middle. Very long and very spicy with lingering treacle and sweet gain notes.
Tasted: Dec 2012 Quite a herbal and ferny nose with hints of honey an lightly sherried dried fruits. With time the oak asserts itself with hints of fudge and marzipan also some orange notes appear, liberally sprinkled with chocolate powder.
The palate is soft and gentle, opening with the sherried dried fruits with hints of liquorice. Slightly plummy on the middle with a fair degree of herbal-honey. Good depth with a lightly salted, slightly nutty finish and a return of the chocolate powder in the after-taste.
Batch QBC No: 16-25 Tasted: Oct 2016 Intense aromas of sweet rye with a liquid orange coating. Grippy but sweet oak notes follow along with hints of corn, herbal rye, violets, toasted toffee and vanilla. With time a slight mentholated, almost peaty note appears.
The palate is full and vanilla'd with spicy wood and grippy tannins. Hints of corn and banana balance and the intense, herbal rye comes through on the middle along with a touch of biting, bitter spice. Long and intense with menthol, herbs and bitter chocolate on the finish, but the sweet oak and corn notes balance. It appears to be back on form after last years disappointing bottling!
Tasted: Aug 2017 A dense and very herbal nose, which bears a similarity to Langatun, although the herbal character is less Provencal in character. Oily apricot, lime, lemon, thyme and barley mingles with a subtle earthiness. With time a touch of oxidised fruit appears along with hints of cider apple and vanilla.
The palate is subtly oily, opening with the oxidised apricot and apple. Again quite herbal in character with some subtle marc-like spirit notes. Dense and barley'd middle and a good herbal and citric finish with lingering oak and subtle spice.
2016 Release Tasted: May 2016 Young and crisp aromas of barley with hints of coffee and sherried dried fruit. Relatively straightforward, but elegant with perfumed, floral white fruit, spiced orange and with time vanilla. Subtly smoked with late cocoa powder note.
The palate is fairly light, nutty and again young and straightforward with hints of barley and gentle treacle, sherried dried fruit and burnt sugar. Pleasant smoky and spicy finish with a good citric intensity and lingering vanilla, cocoa and subtle peat smoke.
Bourbon Dist: 2016 Btl: 2020 Tasted: Apr 2021 An exuberant and estery nose with pineapple, pear, apple and hints of barley, straw and vanilla. Beautifully balanced with a touch of American oak tannin and vanilla appearing.
The palate is fresh and citric to begin with. The barley and estery/ bubblegummy white fruit moves in, along with apricot, pineapple and subtle honey and vanilla notes. Lovely intensity and length with lingering barley, fruit and just a subtle spirit intimation. This bottling shows that the spirit doesn't need the addition of a sherry cask, like the first two releases had.
Aged in 200ltr ex-Bourbon, finished in 250ltr Moscatel Hogsheads.
Tasting Note to Follow
3.5 years in bourbon, a further 4-6 months in ex Islay peated whisky barrels. Dist: 2017 Btl: 2021 Tasted: June 2021 The nose opens with plenty of the juicy, estery, bubblegummy apple, pineapple, peach and pear drops. The peat is very subtle and slightly herbal, really it’s just a whiff of smoke. With time it becomes quite heathery and subtly meaty.
The palate opens with a touch more of the herbal peat smoke but there’s no shortage of distillery character - apple, pineapple, peach and pear drops. Full, juicy and sweet, with creamy oak, but some subtle citrus abetted by the alcohol adds balance. Long and fruity with a smoky spicy bite and lingering fruit and smoke. Simply gorgeous!
Aged in 200ltr ex-Bourbon, finished in STR Rioja Barriques. Dist: 2016 Btl: 2020 Tasted: Jan 2022 The nose is pleasantly aromatic with estery white fruit, apricot and marzipan. Subtler but noticeable toasty oak and winey fruit than on the first release with late notes of earth and straw.
The palate opens with more of the winey/ juicy red fruits and toasted oak. The estery distillery character is apparent with hints of apricot and barley. Lightly tannic and grippy on the middle with a slight bittering. Long, fruity, spicy, winey finish with the estery white fruits returning in the after-taste. Lovely balance.
Tasted: Dec 2016 The nose is crisp, fresh and peaty with a passing resemblance to Caol Ila. Lovely sweet barley and creamy oak beneath, which fills the nose out quite well. Lightly spiced with orange, earth and a touch of seaweed.
The palate is soft and rounded with the creamy oak up first, which takes the edge of the peat, but it comes through with a medicinal, iodine edge. Hints of earth, coffee, vanilla and toasty oak on the middle. Long, crisp, salty, medicinal and herbal intense finish.
Tasted: Dec 2016 The nose displays plenty of soft vanilla oak and sub-tropical fruit – apricot, banana, melon along with hints of grass and barley. Quite Irish in style with the oak becoming quite ice-creamy and slightly perfumed, possibly indicating first fill American oak or even new casks.
The palate shows a little more barley character, but it pretty much follows the nose with sub-tropical fruit and creamy oak. Wonderfully soft and subtly herbal and malty finish with a salty, white chocolate after-taste.
Batch 02/2020 Dist: Mar 2014 Btl: Nov 2020 Tasted: Dec 2020 An intensely oily, Guyana-esque rummy dried fruit nose with plenty of tropical pineapple, apricot and banana. Some barley and vanilla notes appear to balance the rum cask along with a touch of grass and ginger.
The palate opens with the barley, grippy oak and tropical apricot, banana and white fruit. The oak is a little tannic and grippy but that imparts a lovely dollop of spice to the middle and finish. Long and barley’d with a subtle baked pastry, vanilla, grass and bitter spice notes.
Batch 01/2019 Dist: Jun 2011 Btl: Jun 2019 Tasted: Jan 2019 A lightly, elegant and very barley orientated nose with crisp apple, pear and silky smooth, creamy oak. Very aromatic and developing a good depth. Late lemon, orange and granulated sugar.
The palate is fresh, barley’d and citric with hints of apple, pear and lemon. Subtle notes of granulated sugar and creamy, Bourbony oak on the middle. Lovely balance with a light bittering from the oak, which balances the sweetness. Long, creamy, slightly perfumed white fruit finish with lingering lemon and vanilla.
Btl: Mar 2019 Tasted: May 2019 The nose is rich and oaky but balanced by some lovely lime, hyacinth and barley notes. A touch of toffee appears along with both soft and slight gritty tannins. Late malt, peanut and gooseberry notes.
The palate opens with a oily barley and a touch of honey. The oak is noticable but not intrusive and is quite nutty and toasty. Hints of malt, toffee, bitter dark chocolate come through on the middle. Long and oily with lingering toasty oak and herbal notes.
Mashbill includes torrified oats Batch 01/2017 Btl: Sept 2017 Tasted: Nov 2017 A light and elegant nose. Quite creamy with hints of oats, dark-ish rye and malt. A wonderful layering of cereal, toasty oak and late hints of minerals and lemon.
The palate is elegant and creamy with barley, oats and creamy oak. It fills out well as the oak picks up steam, but hints of citrus counter. Subtle notes of herbal rye come through on the middle, all set agains a backdrop of creamy American oak. Long and slightly oily with what feels like corn and rye notes lingering. Lovely, fresh, mineral after-taste.
Aged in Australian wine seasons American oak. Tasted: Aug 2021 The nose isn’t as sweet as the Left Field bottling and shows more barley, citrus and almost fresh, salty spirit character. Spicy oak, dark chocolate, red berries appear along with a subtle wood smoke and late cinnamon.
The palate opens with silky red fruit interspersed with bitter chocolaty tannins and coffee. Lovely intensity and again, like the nose some fresh spirit character (apricot and quince) comes through on the middle. Intensely herbal and toasty finish with lingering pepper, ginger and clove. The after-taste is a little dry but the buttery vanilla and red fruit stop it drying out completely.
3 years in Virgin American oak, 6 months finishing in ex-Oro de Oaxaca Mescal casks. Tasted: Aug 2021 The nose opens with some obvious Mescal pulped fruit, but the dark, spicy rye powers through. Hints of wood smoke, cinnamon, pepper and sweeter rye notes emerge along with some toasty American oak and subtle raisinated fruit.
The palate mirrors the nose in that it opens with the pulped white fruit, followed by sweet rye and slightly bitter spices. The soft American oak gives it a lovely mouth-feel and the spirit nips gently at the edges. Good length with dried fruit, dry spice and returning subtle Mescal notes.
51% Malted Rye, 49% Malted Barely Tasted: Nov 2020 Aromas of youthful, oily rye and subtle orchard fruit. The malted barley fills in the gaps well. Hints of pepper, menthol and subtle, sweet vanilla oak follow. Late roasted malt and almost perfumed apricot.
The palate is intense and youthful but that oily immaturity is controlled by the malted barley and it forms a good beadrock. The rye darkens on the middle and shows a good complexity of character - rye bread, herbal rye and earthy rye along with some foresty fruit and bitter chocolate. Long toasted, slightly burnt cereal and oak spice. If it wasn't for the malted barley component it wood have been a little lean.
A blend of single malt, malted rye and peated malt - bourbon matured. Tasted: Nov 2020 A definitely interesting nose! Opens with youthful rye and chunky barley with hints of apple, red berries, red grape and smoky, oily peaty spices. Slightly earthy with a touch of chocolate powder.
The palate also opens with the oily rye. Not quite as full as the nose suggests but there's a good depth of sweet apple, roasted malt, cereal, hazelnut and astringent, oily peat. Subtle American oak notes on the middle. Long, oily, peaty, rye finish with grippy, peppery spice and subtle dried fruit.
Bartels Rawlings International Ltd Unspecified Distillery Bartles Whisky 'The Big B' Indiana Bourbon 2015 (2 year old) 46%
Single Cask Dist: 2015 Btl: 2017 Tasted: Nov 2017 Heavy, fat corn aromas. So thick you could slice them with a knife! Hints of vanilla and spice follow along with some balancing herbal rye and citrus. With time it becomes slightly earthy and chocolaty.
The palate is full and corny to begin, with hints of vanilla and subtle, herbal rye. Good depth and intensity with a lovely toffee'd banana middle. Long and spicy with lingering herbal rye and mocha.
Tasted: Feb 2013 Vibrant and crisp aromas of slightly high toned rye. Lightly earthy with a touch of rose petal marc, liquorice and fat corn. Some gentle pure vanilla oak arrives as the peppery rye nips. A lot fresher and younger than the old 8 year old bottling.
The palate is soft, opening with more of the toasted corn and oak, which keeps the rye under wraps until it emerges on the middle with a serious peppery bite. Lovely intensity with some sweet rose petal marc. Excellent length with an earthy/ dusty spice finish. Very enjoyable.
New 2016 Release. Tasted: May 2016 Youthful aromas of slightly oily malt biscuits, white fruit, apple, marzipan and a light coastal influence. Distinctly younger than the previous release with a touch of dense, off-sweet barley, almond and sweet-ish vanilla. Lovely, bracing saltiness balances the sweetness.
The palate is light-ish and young with sweet barley and a touch of burnt toast. Quite woody on the middle with hickory and bitter chocolaty tannins. Intense, salty finish with barley, cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of herbal sherry. Lovely, lightly, sweetly peated finish with lingering salt and white fruit.
Single malt matured in Australian red wine casks Tasted: Nov 2020 More noticeable wine cask influence on the nose with almost perfumed red fruit and pepper, but the barley and tropical fruit spirit character are still noticeable. Slightly mentholated and herbal with a touch of oak vanillins and spice.
The palate also displays some very obvious wine cask influence with soft red fruit and subtle grippy tannins. Barley and lightly tropical fruit, wood spice, liquorice, creamy berry vanilla and toffee notes follow. Long, spicy and herbal with lingering cereal and toasty oak.