Bruichladdich’s “The Three Tens”: The Laddie 10 year old, Port Charlotte 10 year old and Octomore 10 year old


Bruichladdich have released a new trio of whiskies they call ‘The Three Tens’ – three ten year old malts, an unpeated Bruichladdich, a peated Port Charlotte and a heavily peated Octomore.  In this post, I review all three whiskies.  Continue reading “Bruichladdich’s “The Three Tens”: The Laddie 10 year old, Port Charlotte 10 year old and Octomore 10 year old”

Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008

PC Ilsay Barley.jpg

Recommended use: Enjoy neat

Malt Mileage Rating: stars 4.5

Type: Single malt whisky 

Origin: Islay, Scotland 

ABV: 50%

Price: £65

Cask No: 14/098-35

Distilled: 12/2008 

Drawn: 30/9/2014

Continue reading “Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008”

Beam Suntory smoky whisky tasting and some tips on how to nose and taste whisky


On 2 December 2015 Malt Mileage had the opportunity to attend a Beam Suntory event at the Henry Bucks menswear store in Melbourne, “Peated Malts of Distinction – a journey through five world class smoky whiskies”.


Beam Suntory’s core smoky whiskies were on tasting, paired with a delectable assortment of cheeses. The whiskies included Ardmore Legacy Highland malt whisky, Connemara Irish whiskey, and, Islay malts Bowmore 12 year old, Laphroaig Select Cask and Laphroaig Triple Wood. On the night we were guided through the whiskies by Brendon Rogers, whisky ambassador for Beam Suntory. Brendon proved to be extremely knowledgeable in whisky production and maturation.

wp-1449296757068.jpgBrendon reaffirmed the importance of good tasting practice to fully appreciate a whisky, and shared with the group how to nose and taste a whisky; an important but often overlooked aspect of whisky tasting. This good tasting practice seemed to be in line with accepted practice, including much of Richard Paterson’s approach to whisky tasting, and included: (1) agitate a whisky by swirling it in the glass before nosing or tasting it, not only does it look cool but it also seems to enliven the whisky after its time resting in the bottle; (2) use the right glass, preferably a Glencairn in my opinion, to catch all those beautiful aromas and hold them in the glass ready for your nose; (3) don’t stick your nose in the glass when first nosing a whisky, but hold the glass just under your nose and breath in through your mouth to smell the whisky and also reduce the aroma of alcohol (think of it as whisky foreplay); (4) when tasting the whisky, swish it gently around your tongue and savour it; and (5) after swallowing a whisky, breath in and then out to really get the flavour of the finish. It was great to see this knowledge being shared with whisky consumers, in addition to the great work of Richard Paterson in his online videos.

The star of the night, for me, was the Laphroaig Triple Wood – a complex smoky malt with beautiful notes of oloroso sherry and Spanish oak cutting through the peat and American oak driven vanillas – one of my very favourite Islay malts which I return to time and time again at home. The Bowmore 12 year old and Ardmore Legacy hit the spot too, though they did not light my night on fire like the Triple Wood did. As for the Connemara and the Select Caskimage, they seemed to be the least enjoyed among the people within my vicinity; far too mild mannered, though this is to be expected in such “breakfast drams” such as the Select Cask.

Overall, this Beam Suntory tasting was a fantastic night with one stand out whisky – the Laphroaig Triple Wood – that makes me praise whoever first decided to store peaty whisky in used sherry casks. Peaty malt and sherry wood: a brilliant composition if done properly which is probably one of the world’s best flavour combinations for the devout peat head. Amen. Try the Laphroaig Triple Wood with some blue cheese to accentuate the peaty smack in the face.

Ashton Virgin Sun Grown Torpedo cigar (Dominican Republic)


Rating: ★★★★★

Recommendation: Buy it

The Ashton Virgin Sun Grown (VSG) line is blended by Carlos Fuente Jr using Dominican tobacco which has been aged 4 to 5 years. The wrapper tobacco, grown on a private estate in Ecuador, is said to heavily contribute to the flavour profile of the cigars in the line. Taken from the higher primings of the tobacco plant, the theory is that the leaf matures slowly as sunlight is filtered through the layer of cloud which commonly covers the land.

The flavour of this cigar is robust and intense with heavy notes of splintered cedar, muddied bark, resinous wood and earthiness, sediment rich Turkish coffee, roasted coffee beans, the darkest chocolate, potent dried oregano, dried whole walnuts, and, a bitter chicory finish. Soapy suds form on the back palate, joined by mild floral notes. A sweetness balances the quite earthy and woody flavour journey, from first puff to last. This is a balanced and full flavoued cigar with a slightly oily touch to the lips.  Spectacular. 

Try it with a peaty malt, such as Ardbeg 10 year old or Perpetuum. 

A must buy for any cigar aficionado! Full marks.


Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill (Cuba)

romeo WC

Name: Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill (Cuba)
Rating:  ★★★★
Origin: Cuba
Cigar info: The Romeo y Julieta Wide Chuchill is a stubby 13 centimeter long cigar with a 55 ring gauge so you can expect some complex, intense and sharp flavours to leap out of this rolled bunch of tobacco. Romeo y Julieta are perhaps one of the world’s most well-known Cuban cigar brands, with a “house” flavour commonly associated with wood and cedar. The Wide Churchill is an addition to the Romeo y Julieta family that seems to play on the wide ring gauge to differentiate itself from the rest of the familia. As the below tasting notes show, you can expect an interesting flavour packed experience with this cigar that surpasses what you might have tried in a Romeo y Julieta No 1, No 2 or No 3. This is a cigar for the serious cigar aficionado, not just the fellas who might puff a cigar once in a blue moon or for something to do on a bucks night.   
Draw: Excellent
Burn: Excellent
Construction: Excellent
Strength: Medium
Flavours: There is no mistake that this cigar is a Romeo y Julieta. With each puff the taste of wood and cedar dominates, and then fades into a spicy finish full of black pepper, cocoa, espresso and the bitter bite of chicory and rocket. With each puff memories of my grandfather’s Italian salad came to mind, which was made from more bitter and woody salads than you can poke a stick at and drizzled in olive oil. As the cigar progresses it becomes more intense and flavour packed, with notes of black Spanish olives, burning wood, burnt herb bread, oregano, charcoal, ash and more of the wrapper on the finish. Overall, this is a solid and rounded smoke of medium strength that maintains a consistent woody profile beneath some interesting fireworks of flavour.  
Format: Robusto
Match with: This cigar paired nicely with a fine sipping rum that had enough age and oak influence to accentuate the woody style of Romeo y Julieta, but at the same time cut through the tobacco smoke and dance in tandem with the spices. Try it with Pusser’s 15 year old, Appleton Estate 21 year old or Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros. This cigar would also pair nicely with a peaty malt, such as a Bowmore with its undertones of peppermint.  
Bottom line:

Buy it, if you are after a solid and balanced cigar with rounded flavours that are emblematic of Romeo y Julieta cigars but also push the boundaries with more kick, spice and complexity than the standard range of the Romeo y Julieta family. This cigar may not blow your head off with flavour, but it was an easy smoking bundle of Cuban joy.   

La Gloria Cubana (Dominican Republic)


Name: La Gloria Cubana
Rating:  ★★★★
Origin: Dominican Republic
Cigar info: Almost a decade after Senator Ernesto Perez-Carrillo fled Cuba in 1959 he rekindled a bit of his homeland in Miami’s Little Havana in 1968, when he began to make La Gloria Cubana cigars. Needless to say, it seems they were a hit and production of these cigars continues to this very day in both Miami and the Dominican Republic.

La Gloria Cubana contains long filler tobacco from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Nicaragua, which means that this 7 inch Churchill is a bunch of long full leaves all lovingly rolled together and wrapped in a dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper – that bad boy, as you will see from our tasting notes, is responsible for much of this cigar’s flavour. The ring gauge is a standard of 50.

Draw: Excellent
Burn: Excellent
Construction: Excellent
Strength: Mild-Medium
Flavours: The dark Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper clings against my lips, coating it with an oily film and a sour taste that is pleasant and offers hues of woodiness. Dark chocolate and unsweetened espresso accompany the oiliness, with notes of mild campfire, charred twigs and a bitter finish of chicory infused within the tobacco smoke. Mid-way the cigar becomes fuller, gaining soapy notes for a few puffs which then recede and are taken over by a consistent woodiness and earthy sourness – that chicory bitterness remains, though the chicory is wilder and reddened with an intensified sourness while a puckering red wine cask finish reminds me of the woody dimension of some Pinot Noir wines.  The filler tobacco seemed to balance out the bitterness and sourness of the wrapper, to create an enjoyable and imminently puff-able cigar. This is an elegant cigar that is mostly consistent throughout, though the sourness intensifies towards the end. Excellent.
Format:  Churchill
Match with: This cigar pairs nicely with a soft red wine, such as a light Pinot Noir, or a wine cask finish whisky – try it with Glenmorangie Companta or Benromach Sassicaia
Bottom line:

Buy it, if you are after a balanced cigar with a bitter chicory finish and shades of earthy woodiness that showcase the flavours of a lovely Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper. These wrappers can sometimes be quite sour or bitter and thus overbearing on the palate, but La Gloria Cubana seem to have selected a wrapper that integrates nicely with the filler tobacco but which holds its own and becomes prominent on the finish. Superb.

*Thank you to for the stick! 

Nub 464 Cameroon Torpedo Cigar (Nicaragua)


Name: Nub 464 Cameroon Torpedo Cigar
Rating:  ★★★★
Origin: Nicaragua  
Cigar info: The Nub 464 Cameroon Torpedo Cigar is handmade using a Nicaraguan binder and filler, and, a wrapper from Cameroon.  The tobacco that is grown in Cameroon, and subsequently used as cigar wrappers, is the Sumatran black tobacco plant which was introduced into the African nation after World War II.

The idea behind the Nub cigar, and the reason it is so short at 4 inches, is because it is designed to give a smoker the “sweet spot” taste of a cigar from the first puff, a point which typically occurs an inch of so into a full sized cigar. With its fairly wide ring gauge the cigar delivers a cool smoke with lots of complex flavour, rather than the hot draw that is commonly experienced as some cigars near their end. Be sure to cut this cigar conservatively and not shave too much off at first, and adjust as needed. It smokes just as long as most regular sized cigars, despite its size.       

Draw: Excellent
Burn: Excellent
Construction: Excellent
Strength: Medium
Flavours: After experiencing 42°C heat in Melbourne, the city went cold – people had exchanged their shorts and thongs (what we call flip flops, sorry to erase any erotic images from any American minds) for jackets and jeans. With my belly full of ribs from TGI Friday’s and the weather being suitably cold for a warming cigar, I had an urge to toast a cigar. I plucked a Nub cigar from my humidor, got the dog on a lead, and off I went to enjoy a beautiful Melbourne night. So there I was walking along Melbourne’s SouthBank puffing away my Nub cigar, walking a tiny Chihuahua and taking meticulous tasting notes on my smart phone. 

With the first few puffs, very little harshness was noticeable. It was almost as though I was smoking a block of 99% Lindt dark chocolate – cocoa, buttery cereal notes and the darkest espresso coffee hit my palate. Each draw produced a faint flicker of bonfire, which quickly faded into that 99% cocoa dark chocolate flavour profile which lingered on the palate for a few minutes. The cocoa was entangled with buttered burnt toast, and with each draw the cigar’s flavour profile became more and more interesting with an increasingly grassy and earthy theme. The taste of fresh coriander stalks bundled with bunched parley and mild spice soon became interlaced with the cocoa, then came poppy seeds in bursts together with alfalfa, snow pea sprouts and seeds, and, the distant taste of bitter orange with dried citrus peel. The finish also became more complex, and together with the cocoa were notes of twig, mild campfire and the curious aftertaste of a whipped cream éclair with the flavour but not sweetness of a banana lolly/candy. Gin came to mind as I reached the end of the cigar, with its botanicals.

The Nub was a very enjoyable cigar with prominent notes of cocoa, coffee, wood, mild earthy herbs, spice and a soft creaminess. Delicious.    

Having my second Nub cigar, the flavours were very consistent as the first though I could detect more fennel at first, then earthy espresso, bark, nutmeg and bay-leaf, rosemary, charcoal, sweet paprika, white ash, pencil shavings and sooty overtones. Overall it was enjoyable, elegant and very complex. The bite of rocket leaf and a somewhat meaty/ savoury flavour also became more noticeable. This is a seriously complex cigar.

Format: Torpedo
Match with: The Nub would pair nicely with a variety of spirits, whether peated whisky or gin. It seems like a versatile cigar with a flavour profile that would accentuate a number of drinks, including a coffee with a nip of cream liqueur, a Navy style rum rich in coffee and brown sugar notes, any number of peated whiskies that do not have overbearing maritime notes or a good quality sipping gin, whether William McHenry & Sons London Dry Gin, Bulldog Gin, Hendrick’s or if you’re game, a gin martini with an olive or lime twist. My pick of the lot for this cigar would be to pair it with a gin martini, or a peated malt. 
Bottom line:

Buy it, if you want to try the delights of a Cameroon wrapper and you enjoy a cigar that offers big chocolate and coffee notes with undertones of wood and a complex tapestry of earthiness. It is a cigar rich in flavour, but easy to smoke. 

*Thank you to for the stick!