By @markjedi1 on 5th Mar 2012, show post
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Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 221: Oban 21 Year Old 1996 Diageo Special Release 2018
Someone whispered into my ear that the Oban 21 ‘does not deliver’. That’s a pity. But allow me to try it for myself. Lo and behold: it is a sniper. It starts somewhat closed, almost sneaky, but given enough time, this one is actually a grand malt!
8 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 222: Pittyvaich 28 Year Old 1989 Diageo Special Release 2018
Pittyvaich was built in 1974 to make malt for the popular Bell’s blend. The distillery was short-lived, however, closing in 1993 after just 19 years of operation. That’s less than the time this malt spent in the cask! There was already a 20 Year Old in the Special Releases in 2009. Now they offer a new one – from the same year 1989 – as a 28 Year Old. For me, this was the biggest surprise of this year’s series!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 223: Mortlach’s new range – 12, 16, 20 Year Old
For the longest time, Mortlach 16 Year Old in the Fauna & Flora series was the only one available. But in 2015 it was replaced by a new range in 50cl bottles… at prohibitive prices. The result: the bottles gathered dust on the shelves. Diageo had to rethink their Beast of Dufftown strategy and came up with a new range with a price tag that mortal man can again afford. Hurray! Let’s have a look at those three new releases!
8 months ago 2Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 224: Arran Rum Cask Finish for Belgium
At the end of 2017 Arran launched a small batch of 900 bottles, exclusively for Belgium, of an Arran 2007 Rum Cask Finish. Cut to 46%, this is a surprisingly easy-going malt, which – if you are looking for complexity – is a bit of a let-down. If, however, you are looking for a sweet and soft after dinner dram, then this is for you.
The video can be found at youtu.be/x21PCw7FuH8 (for some reason, the Connosr site does not allow me to enter the video URL...).
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 225: Glen Keith 22 Year Old 1995 Lads of Lobland
This is the 8th and final release in the Lads of Lobland series by the Belgian Bring Your Own Bottle Club – or BYOB-C (‘biopsy’). It was bottled in collaboration with Liquid Art. They chose a Speysider: Glen Keith 1995, matured for no less than 22 years.
7 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 226: Orkney 15 Year Old 2002 for MMM
For the fourth and final bottling in our Antarctica Series – with again a fantastic label thanks to the sharp lens of photographer Ilse Everaert – we travelled to an Orkney distillery. This sherry cask had been sleeping for 15 years and offers a beautiful malt that bursts with fruit, but remains very close to the distillery character at the same time. With an ABV of 53.2% it would even set the heart of a Viking on fire! A worthy conclusion to MMM’s Antarctica Series.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 227: Talisker 18 Year Old
‘Talisker, the only distillery on the Isle of Skye’. Well… Seems to me owner Diageo will be relabeling their bottles soon, since Torabhaig opened its doors in January 2017. They can simply replace the word ‘only’ by ‘oldest’, I suppose. Having said that, their whiskies are obviously top notch and I am fortunate enough to try the excellent Talisker 18 Year Old, bottled – as Talisker is wont to do for most of their releases – at 45.8%.
7 months ago 3Who liked this?
@markjedi1 - Nice review! One of the best I've had for sure. In fact, I may have to get another for xmas . . .
7 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 228: Bowmore No 1
The Bowmore No. 1 should be seen as the new entry level malt. It is friendly priced, bottled at drinking strength and easy to find. No age statement, but I guess that is no longer an issue, or is it? It matured exclusively on first fill bourbon casks.
@markjedi1 Thanks for your review, Mark. But I have to ask: aren’t all whiskies bottled at drinking strength?
@OdysseusUnbound I have had this remark made before. It is a term I use to describe whisky that is bottled at 40, 43 or 46%, thus NOT cask strength or high strength, but diluted. That is what I mean with drinking strength. Sorry for any confusion :-)
7 months ago 2Who liked this?
@markjedi1 I’m sure I’ve made the same comment before. It’s just my attempt at humour...in the Steven Wright sense of the word.
e.g. I intend to live forever; so far, so good
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 229: Laphroaig Select
The Laffie Select jumps on the bandwagon of the NAS hype. The name Select points to the selection of casks that was used for the composition of this new release, being oloroso sherry butts, PX seasoned hogsheads, quarter casks and straight American white oak (probably virgin wood). According to the website, this enabled them to discover 6 new taste combinations. The final selection for bottling was done by their fanbase, the Friends of Laphroaig.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 230: Ardbeg An Oa
The Ardbeg An Oa is the newest release in the core range of Ardbeg, launched in September 2017. It is named after the Mull of Oa, where you can find the American Monument (if you’ve been to Islay, you know what I mean, if not: Google is your friend). This one matured on a combination of 7 cask types, including virgin oak, PX sherry and 1st fill bourbon casks and is bottled at 46.6%.
6 months ago 1Who liked this?
@markjedi1 - Never really fancied this but you've peaked my interest with that review. Thanks.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 231: Talisker 175th Anniversary
Talisker was founded in 1830. So in 2005 owner Diageo decided to have a commemorative release: the 175th Anniversary. Maureen Robinson, one of Diageo’s master blenders, composed this whisky with Talisker that had matured for at least ten years, but some casks even go back to the 1970s. It is clear that something special was taken out of the warehouses fort his 175th anniversary. What a whisky!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 232: Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1982 Signatory 30th Anniversary
For the 30th anniversary of independent bottler Signatory, Andrew Symington and his team selected a wide range of exquisite single casks and released them in luxurious boxes with two complimentary glasses. Let’s try the ultimate release in this series: the Port Ellen 35 Year Old 1982. Flabbergasting, but expensive. Then again… you only live once.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 233: Aberlour 15 Year Old Cuvée Marie d'Ecosse
While on holiday in France, I visited a whisky shop in Marseille and found that the Aberlour 15 Year Old Cuvée Marie d'Ecosse is a bestseller there. So I got me a bottle, found a lovely spot in the heart of the beautiful city on the Côte d'Azur and gave it a try. Despite the fact that it is only sherry finished, the whisky offers up beautiful candied notes and is indeed a lovely dram.
5 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 234: Strathmill 10 Year Old 2007 The Ultimate
Did you know that Strathmill only got that name in 1994? Before that, she was called Glenisla-Glenlivet named after the Isla river nearby. But two decades ago she was renamed Strathmill in honor of the mill that was built there in 1823. There are hardly any official releases, because the lion’s share of production goes to the blenders with Justerini & Brooks as biggest customer. I, however, try a very young independent Strathmill 2007 from the Dutch company Van Wees in their series ‘The Ultimate’.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 235: Strathearn 2014 Private Cask
Strathearn is a new Highland distillery – ‘probably Scotland’s smallest’ as they claim – that started production in 2013. While the spirit matures to become whisky, only a handful of single casks are currently being put out for the members of their so-called Private Cask Club. This cask – ex-sherry cask #075 containing whisky from non-peated spirit – was released for the Dutch Whisky Society and was also the festival bottling of the Dutch Whisky Festival in September 2017. Only 64 bottles were released at cask strength.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 236: The Picts 21 Year Old 1997 for MMM
In 2019 Manny and I will again seek out 4 lovely single casks for our new Tribe Series and we are proud to present the first one to you: The Picts. The label was designed by a Flemish artist who was inspired by the tribes that shaped modern Scotland. And the whisky? Well, that remains a secret. Let’s just say that it was distilled at a world famous distillery – founded in 1886 – in the valley of the deer and matured for 21 long years on a bourbon cask. Nuff said.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 237: Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique
I recently had the fortune of visiting the Kavalan Distillery in Taiwan. They have a beautiful range of single casks bottlings in their so-called Solist range. This is one of them: Vinho Barrique, a wine cask. I am very fond of the bourbon and sherry matured Kavalan, but wine for me is often hit or miss. But in this case – cask W090220005 that was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2013 – it is an absolute stunner. The video was shot at the Kavalan Distillery!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 238: Kuva Hotel Taiwan – Asia’s largest whisky collection
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Taiwan on a whisky trip. While there, I visited the Hotel Kuva Chateau, which has the largest whisky collection in Asia, maybe even the world. What I saw there was beyond belief, simply flabbergasting and I simply had to share this with you. So, pour yourself a dram, sit back, relax, watch and try not to drool…
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 239: Isle of Jura 30 Year Old
It has been way too long since I last tried a whisky from the Isle of Jura. So let me go for the big guns and try a 30 Year Old that listens to the name Camas an Staca, which means as much as Standing Stones. It refers to some of the ancient stones spread over the island. The whisky matured for 27 years in American oak and then got a finish for three years on Spanish Amoroso sherry casks.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 240: Compass Box The Spaniard
The most recent release of enfant terrible John Glaser is this ‘The Story of the Spaniard’. Some 340 bottles were released for The Spaniard, a cocktail bar in New York. This is the general release for us regular mortals. It was composed with 40% Aberlour on sherry butt, 25% Teaninich on wine cask, Deanston on refill butt for 8% and refill hogshead for 7%, 5% Glen Elgin from recharred barrels and finally 15% Highland Blended malt from heavily toasted French oak. For the anoraks: that final 15% consists of 60% Clynelish, 20% Dailuaine and 20% Teaninich. You still with me?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 241: Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Port Ellen
May of 2018 saw the release of the outstanding Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare with Brora. That it would be followed by a Blue Label around that other trophy malt from Diageo – Port Ellen – should surprise no one. While the Brora edition already cost 250 EUR, this one is a little more expense. It was bottled at the unconventional 43.8% ABV. This time around the Ghost refers to Caledonian and Carsebridge (and Port Ellen, of course), while the Rare is represented by Mortlach, Dailuaine, Cragganmore, Blair Athol and Oban.
4 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 242: Macallan Concept Number 1
A new series by Macallan? Let the hype begin. Indeed, this Concept Number 1 flew off the shelves and at auctions fetched double the retail price, even in the week of the release. Go figure. The packaging is inspired on the world of surreal art. The whisky first matured in sherry cask and then got to sleep the same amount of time in bourbon casks. How long exactly, I do not know. But is it any good? For this is another NAS at drinking strength. But, hey, somebody has to pay for that new distillery, right?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 243: Talisker Select Reserve – Game of Thrones
Ah, who does not like Game of Thrones? When Diageo announced they would release 8 malts to represent the 8 Houses of Westeros (well, 7 Houses and The Night’s Watch), I admit I was very much looking forward to trying them, especially the Clynelish, Oban, Lagavulin and this Talisker. Bottled at their classic 45.8%, this Talisker Select Reserve is another nice malt from the Isle of Skye.
3 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 244: Talisker 8 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2018
In the Special Releases 2018 by Diageo, there was a brand new Talisker at cask strength with an age statement to boot: 8 years old. This young malt, matured on first fill bourbon casks, sold out pretty quickly despite the hefty price of 85 EUR (hefty for an 8 years old malt, anyway). But as it turns out… it is a belter of a Talisker!
3 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 245: Talisker Neist Point
Neist Point is the most westerly point on the Duirinish peninsula on the Isle of Skye. Since 1909 the lighthouse is a popular destination for hikers. It comes as no surprise that Talisker named one of their releases after this viewpoint. Originally it was a travel retail exclusive, but now you can find in stores or at the distillery. It is a mighty fine Talisker!
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