Monday, March 19, 2018

Tasting: Kilkerran 8 Years old Cask Strength - First edition

Kilkerran 8yrs – Cask Strength – First edition
Non-chill filtered

Distillery: Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery
Region: Campbeltown
Age: 8 Year
Proof/ABV: 56,2%
Cask: Bourbon
DK Price: $87USD/500dkk
Release: Limited Release

Points: 89/100

This is the first edition of Kilkerran’s 8 years old cask strength edition, released late 2016 as a limited edition bottling. In April 2017 The Mitchell’s Glengyle Distillery decided to release a second edition, only this time around, bottled at 55,7% ABV. The last cask strength edition from the rather new Glengyle Distillery was the phenomenal Kilkerran WIP7 Bourbon Cask expression.

We have previously had our buddy Matthias Blau writing an article about Michell’s Glengyle distillery for us. Click here to read his article.

Lightly salty green apples with a hint of peat smoke, if that’s even a thing, but man I wish it where! Followed by vanilla and buttered white toast bread.  

More salty waves and raw sugary undertones, combined with milk chocolate.

Medium finish with lingering peat smoke and hazelnut.

Overall impression:
It’s no secret that I’m a Kilkerran fan boy, and this cask strength expression doesn’t disappoint. Absolutely amazing dram, and I’m thrilled to see, that it appears like Glengyle is going to release new editions of this whisky in the future.

Photo and Review By: Hasse Berg

The Adventures Of Whisky Pete - Part #82

Necessity is the mother of invention.
Whisky Pete will always find a way... 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Tasting: Bowmore. White Sands 17 Year

Bowmore. 17 Years. White Sands
Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery: Bowmore
Region: Islay
Age: 17 Years
Proof/ABV: 43%
Release: Travel Retail only/Discontinued.
DK Price: $119USD/750dkk

Points: 86 /100

Bowmore have been flirting with the so called duty free expressions or “travel exclusive” as Bowmore likes to call them, for quite some time now. The White Sands 17 year old that I am pouring tonight, landed in the duty free shops with its NAS brothers; The Black Rock and The Gold Reef back in 2015, but has already, as we speaks, been discontinued and replaced by a new travel exclusive trio; The 10 year old Dark & Intense, The 15 year old Golden & Elegant and The 18 years old Deep & Complex. It’s quite funny that Bowmore insist on calling these whiskies “travel exclusive”, maybe they really were meant for the duty free shops only, but if it is so, let me tell you, a lot of these bottles must have been distributed to the wrong stores, because thousands of them ended up in online stores.

Bowmore don’t seem to have any kind of problems what so ever, when it comes to stock shortages. In contrast to many other scotch distilleries Bowmore’s expressions seems to grow older and older over the years. They're core range currently holds 12,15,18 and 25 years old whiskies and Bowmore have recently released their fifth and final edition of their exclusive Black Bowmore 1964 distillation flashing a 50 years old age statement.

I do appreciate the fact that Bowmore's new travel exclusive trio are all age stated whiskies, but just like their White Sands, I would really have appreciate it, if Bowmore haven't bottled them at their usually conservative 40 – 43% ABV.

We have previously described Bowmore Distillery. Click here if you want to learn more!

Deep layers of gentle cigar smoke followed by hay, honey, orange peel, leather and a bit of salt water.

Light vanilla and toffee at first, then a taste of grapefruit mixed with malt takes over, slowly heading towards the finish.     

White chocolate and gentle smoke that lingers.   

Overall Impression:
I enjoy the White Sands more than they're previously travel exclusive Mariener 15 - I have been avoiding Bowmore's NAS expressions, ever since they're absolutely failed Legend - but it's all a bit tamed and polished. I have no right to call a Bowmore whisky out, as not being a true Islay Whisky, but it's pretty far from the Islay I hold so dear. Personally I would rather keep an eye out for a younger cask strange expression Bowmore, that you can usually pick up for the same amount of money, from one of the many fine Independent Bottlers out there, who by the way doesn’t  add additional coloring to their whiskies, as Bowmore has done with the White Sands.


The Adventures Of Whisky Pete - Part #81

Whisky Pete absolutely loves this old Bowmore 17 years old.

Color me happy!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Tasting: Deanston 12

Deanston 12 year
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Un-Chill Filtered

Distillery: Deanston
Age: 12 years
Region: Highlands
ABV: 46.3%
US Price: $46
Release: Ongoing
Cask: Ex-bourbon

Points: 86/100

Deanston distillery is a relatively young distillery having been built in the 1960s. The building was originally a cotton mill that started in the late 1700s before being transformed into the distillery it is today. Deanston has a number of unique qualities. For example, they are the only self-sufficient distillery when it comes to electricity, they have upwards sloping lyne arms on their stills and they were one of the first distilleries in Scotland to produce an organic whisky. With that said, Deanston is not a very well known distillery. That has started to change noticeably over the last year or so and they are responsible for some amazing whisky.

While the Deanston 12 year is not necessarily their most introductory expression (they produce Deanston Virgin Oak which is even more affordable and from what I hear quite good) it is excellent and showcases the quality whisky they are producing. This is easily becoming one of my top 12 year olds and is without a doubt a fantastic daily sipper.  Simple but not boring with rich and bold flavors. A quality dram!

Sweet with vanilla, honey and dry hay. Malty, light citrus, and a darker fruit note in the background, maybe raisins.

Malty cereal upfront followed by vanilla, spices and toasted oak. Nutty with cocoa notes. Full body with thick mouthfeel that coats the palate.

Sweet and spicy with a lingering note of burnt wood.

Photo & Reiew By: Cody Diefenderfer

The Adventures Of Whisky Pete - Part #80

Feeling really special right now. Wishing I had a few more people to share this with. 

1792 full proof is exponentially better than some of the expressions, which are all great by the way 


Monday, February 26, 2018

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover - Independent Bottlers - Part #2

Indie Bottler; Maltbarn. 9yrs Bruichladdich bottling
Independent bottlers or Indie Bottlers are simply put, companies that select and buy "source" casks of whisky directly from whisky distilleries - mostly Scotch and Irish distilleries - bottle and marketed the whisk(e)y under their company brand name. In contrast to the American so-called NDP's, the independent bottlers almost always state the original distillery's name and the age of the whisky. A lot of the independent bottlers focus on Single Casks, bottled at Cask Strength or at a general “high” ABV. Very often using the non-chill filtering method and often doesn’t add E155a caramel coloring to “their” whisky.

Some Indie Bottlers select and bottle the whisky as it is, others age the whisky furthered in their own warehouses, and some double mature/cask finish selected casks in ex-sherry, port, wine or other alternative casks. But under the Scotch Whisky Regulations of 2009 the parliament put a pin in the non-Scottish located Indie bottlers possibility to do so, but more about this a bit later.

Other Indie Bottlers got their own master blender, who are marrying/blending different casks together to create their own preferred style of whisky, as we know it from Douglas Laing and their Remarkable Malt Series.

Indie Bottler; Chapter 7. Peatside 2009. 6yrs.
Though the Indie Bottlers are highly informative about the content of the bottle - a lot of information’s are usually found on the bottle itself or further details can be found on their websites – a part of the whiskies that are bottled by indie bottlers are marketed without the identification of the source distillery. The distiller is unnamed because the distilleries who produced the whisky, only want their name associated with whisky marketed by themselves. Those bottlings are referred to as “undisclosed” or "secret" whiskies, and the bottler will give these whiskies a name on its own. Another method to protect the distillery name is the so-called tea-spooning method, where a single tea spoon of another malt is being added to the cask, so the cask no longer can be called a single cask or single malt, and the distillery’s name or rather names stay undisclosed.

Some independent bottlers leave clues to the whiskies origins. Strongly indicating who the whisky is sourced from, without breaking their contract agreement. For example, The Maltman’s Hazelgrove. Not really that hard to guess, where that cask came from… nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more

The infographics on Douglas Laing's Old Particular botteling
Some Indie Bottlers offers their consumers all the information’s regarding their whiskies as they possibly can, without breaking the current law. I’m well aware that most people “just” wants’ to enjoy their whisky, and that’s essentially what whisky is all about, but I’m a bit of a whisk(e)y geek and I loves every dirty little details that I can possibly get my hands on, regarding the whiskies that are being poured into my glass.  

If it wasn't for Indie Bottlers we wouldn't be able to taste whiskies like, for example, Strathmill that doesn't have any official bottles, and do not market any brands themselves, but only exist to "serve" blended whiskies. Another thrilling fact about the Indie Bottlers is, that some of the older Indie Bottlers like Signatory, Hart Brothers and finally the oldest Indie Bottler in the game; Gordon & McPhail, have stocked up on and are/have released several bottlings from closed distilleries like Little Mill, Brora and Port Ellen just to name a few.

Indie Bottler; TBWC. 2yrs Rye From St. George & NYDC.
As mentioned, under the Scotch Whisky Regulations of 2009, it became unlawful for Single Malt Scotch Whisky (only Single Malts – not blends) to be exported from Scotland other than in a bottle labelled for retail sale.

5.1 As it is illegal to mature Scotch Whisky outside Scotland, Regulation 7 also makes it illegal with immediate effect (as from 23 November 2009) to export any type of Scotch Whisky in an oak or other wooden cask. It is permitted to continue to export Scotch Whisky in bulk using inert containers such as appropriate plastic drums or steel containers.

5.2 However, Regulation 7 makes it illegal as from 23 November 2012 for Single Malt Scotch Whisky to be exported from Scotland other than in a bottle labelled for retail sale.

This regulation act put an end to the non-Scottish located Indie Bottlers opportunity to double mature, store casks and bottle Single Malt whisky in their own facilities outside Scotland.

Article & Photos by: Hasse Berg

The Adventures Of Whisky Pete - Part #79

Protector of the peat... Whisky Pete can't wait to go back to Laphroaig.