Old St Andrews “Twilight” 10 year old

Type: Blended Malt Scotch whisky

Origin: Scotland  

ABV: 40% 

Malt Mileage rating: stars 4

Reaction: 😃 Continue reading “Old St Andrews “Twilight” 10 year old”

Springbank 15 year old

Springbank 15 year old

Springbank 15 year old is single malt Scotch whisky that is aged in ex-sherry casks for at least 15 years, before being bottled at 46% alcohol by volume.

David Allan of the Springbank distillery says that Springbank 15 year old is matured in ‘ex oloroso sherry casks …which come from Miguel Martin in Jerez, Spain’. Despite the casks being from Spain, Allan clarifies that ‘a lot of wood used for sherry casks is actually American oak’. Continue reading “Springbank 15 year old”

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.3 Islay Barley

Octomore-07.3

Recommended use: Serve with a splash of spring water 

Rating: stars 5

Recommendation: Buy it

Type: Single malt

Origin: Islay, Scotland

ABV: 63.0%

User rating for Octomore 7.3 Islay Barley (VOTE HERE): 

Bruichladdich Octomore 7.3 is a heavily peated single malt whisky that boasts a PPM of 169. Having been distilled from a wash that is made from barley grown on the Isle of Islay in Scotland, and then matured in American oak barrels by the sea on Islay, I am expecting a salty jab in the face and a knockout blow of peat from this whisky. What I found, as the below tasting notes show, was that this whisky is not dominated by salt and peat; rather, the salt and peat buoys flavours from the American oak and malt – it is complex, balanced, and yet seriously ferocious.  

Nose:

Peat smoke, coastal notes, rubber gloves dusted with talc, powered vanilla and chocolate, apple, peach, green pineapple, mars bar, fudge, caramels and denser milk chocolate emerge with walnuts, leather and freshly varnished pine with white chalk. 

Taste:  

Served neat at an alcohol by volume of 63.0%, the ethanol snaps at the palate like grandpa’s perfectly executed moonshine. Then the palate adjusts. It is astringent, and as the vapours evapourate off the palate like a hot steam, find sea salt, heavy peat, maritime notes, toffee apple, caramel, honey, fresh apricot, cigar tobacco and wood tannins. 

Finish:

Curiously, vanilla cupcakes emerge on the finish with heavier notes of salt than on the entry and a twist of minerality. There is plenty of peat smoke and underlying smoked notes, very Russian Caravan and lapsang souchong, with candied ginger and a lingering metallic taste and the faint glow of eucalyptus.  

Bottom line:

Buy it! Bruichladdich Octomore Edition 7.3 is a peaty sea monster, a Godzilla of a dram, bashing its way out of coastal waters to bombard the palate with all the unbridled anger you would expect of a youthful Islay malt – peat, sea spray, smoke – but with the calming sweetness of American oak.   

Benromach 10 year old 100 proof 57%

Benromach-100-Proof-10-Year

Rating: stars 4.5

Recommendation: Buy it! 

Type: Single malt whisky

Origin: Speyside, Scotland

ABV: 57%

Reaction: 😀

Nose:

Chocolate and stewed fruits, cooked strawberries, drying grapefruit, nuts and balsamic; this a lusciously sweet and yet drying bouquet with waves of Oloroso sherry and wood dominating over mild smokiness. 

Taste:

Sweet sherry, dried fruit (dates, raisin), wood and undercurrents of honey unleash on the palate with a medicinal and herbal eucalyptus/menthol hue that is interlaced with peat smoke. The malt becomes more potent towards the finish. This is a serious flavour packed malt with an angry slugger’s punch – Kapow! 

With time it becomes clear that the peat is the backbone, supporting sherry, dark chocolate and the herbal eucalyptus/menthol

Finish:

The finish is slightly drying with underlying creaminess, dark dried fruit and wisps of smoke remaining on the palate.

Bottom line:  

Buy it! This is a complex malt with a big sherry nose and palate that seems to inspire a wrestling match between the dry notes and sweet notes, as they vie for supremacy on the palate amidst mild peat smoke and a herbal hue. Tasting this whisky is almost as phenomenal as watching Hulk Hogan and the Macho Man Randy Savage, back in the – *ahem* – “olden days”. Oooohhh yeahhhh!