By @markjedi1 on 5th Mar 2012, show post
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Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 246: The Celts 22 Year Old 1996 for MMM
For our second single cask release in the Tribe Series, Jurgen Robyns designed another great label: the fierce Celts. And as with the Picts, our previous release, it is again a secret Speyside scotch, from a distillery that was founded in 1892 in the valley of the deer, literally a stone’s throw away from the famous distillery that produced our Picts. Nuff said! It matured on a bourbon cask for 22 long years. And it is simply marvelous, thank you very much.
9 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 247: Auchentoshan The Bartender’s Malt 02
I felt the first Bartender’s Malt was somewhat mediocre and should be seen only as a malt to be used in cocktails. Last year the second edition finally arrived, again the result of a so-called New Malt Order contest. Twelve bartenders from five different countries were responsible for the composition. The youngest in the mix is 6 years old, while the oldest is more than 40! Again a whole range of casks was used and it was bottled at 50%.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 248: Auchentoshan The Bartender’s Malt Saint Petersburg Edition
It is not an easy feat to find this edition of the Auchentoshan Bartender’s Malt, for it was only launched in Russia and is actually single sherry butt #134. This 12 year old malt – the Saint Petersburg Edition –is bottled at 47%. The cask was selected by bartender Kirill Ivashkov. It was a gift from Kit Yalta – brand ambassador from Moscow – when he visited me in October 2018. Nice detail: I helped Kit land that job so many years ago. What goes around, comes around.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 249: Auchentoshan 29 Year Old 1988 PX Finish
In January I visited Taiwan (business trip with Catawiki). At the airport of Taichung – ready to come back home – I suddenly saw a bottle in the duty free range that was smiling at me. I had not seen it before. For the Toshan Man, this is always a special moment, as you can understand. Despite the price tag of 400 EUR (hey, it is 29 years old, mind you!) I could not leave it on the shelf, obviously. And what a belter of a whisky it turned out to be!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 250: Auchentoshan 27 Year Old 1990 Single Oloroso Cask for CWS
CWS is short for Chief Whisky Society, a whisky club from China. They selected this single oloroso sherry cask as an exclusive to their members. If it were not for my new friends in Taiwan, I do not believe I would ever have gotten hold of it. Luckily I got my hands on two bottles. One for the Toshan Temple and one to savor.
8 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 251: Mackmyra Äppleblom
Äppelblom is Swedish for apple blossom, in the case of this new release from Mackmyra it refers to the fact that the whisky was finished in casks that previously held calvados from Christian Drouin, one of the best calavdos producers in the world. This Mackmyra Äppleblom is a so-called ‘‘säsongswhisky’ – seasonal whisky – like the Skördetit, Iskristall, Blomstertid, Midnattssol, Midvinter, Sommartid, Vinterdröm and Vinterrök. I am expecting a very fruity whisky with apple in the lead, obviously.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 252: Benrinnes 23 Year Old 1995 Italian Car Series
This is already the fifth edition in Jan Vissers’ so-called Italian Car Series. Yes, Jan has a soft spot for Italian race cars. The label sports a so-called ‘Sharknose’, a Ferrari 156 that Belgian racer Willy Meiresse drove to victory in the 1962 Grand Prix of Naples. It’s a single hogshead that was put to sleep on 17th October 1995 and bottled at a cask strength of 49.6% on 27th March 2019. If there were a Grand Prix for Benrinnes, this one would be on the podium indeed. Top class.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 253: Writers’ Tears Red Head
Writers’ Tears is, as it clearly says on the label, ‘distilled, matured and bottled in bond for Walsh Whiskey Distillery Ltd’. That means this is sourced whiskey. Logical, as the Walsh Whiskey Distillery was only founded in 2016 by Bernard and Rosemary Walsh. It will be a while yet before they can release their own distilled whiskey. In the meantime, we enjoy the oloroso sherry cask matured Writers’ Tears Red Head.
8 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 254: Arran 12 Year Old 2006 Private Cask for Whisky Shop Zammel
Lucie Stroesser is well known to most whisky lovers. Until recently she was the Brand Ambassador for Arran. One of the last tastings she hosted, before returning to her native France, was in Belgium. Shop owner Jan Vissers asked her to bring some cask samples to select the next private cask for his Whisky Shop Zammel. He selected a 12 years old sherry hogshead, distilled on 26th July 2006 and bottled on 14th January 2019. And it blew me away!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 255: Wagging Finger New Make Spirit
You know I have a weak spot for new make, I’m sure. I have been able to try quite a few. The Dutch distillery Wagging Finger is best known for their lovely gin and they’ve recently also launched an Old Geneva, but I will try their spirit that has just been put to sleep to become whisky. The spirit in front of men now was distilled on 6th February of this year and cut to 50%. It is lightly peated: 20 to 25 ppm. I predict it will become a lovely whisky.
7 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 256: Kavalan Distillery Reserve Peaty Cask
One of the nicest souvenirs one can bring from a distillery visit is without a doubt a bottle that you can only buy there. So I brought one for my buddy Manny and myself a Distillery Reserve from Kavalan. They come in 300ml bottles from different cask types. When I was there in January, they had a rum cask and a peaty cask. The rum cask Kavalan went to Holland, the other one stayed in Belgium and is now open on my desk. Funny detail: I have bottle 002 of 301. Bottle 001 was not available as it went into the distillery archive.
7 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 257: Kavalan Vinho Barrique 2013 ‘Vina’ for Taiwan
This is a limited edition that was released by Kavalan especially for the Taiwanese WhiskyClub.co, presided by my good friend Joseph Wang. I have him to thank for the bottle. It got a very special label and is dubbed ‘Vina’, which is the goddess of vineyards. Must have been one sexy lady, judging by the back label.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 258: Kavalan 2006 Virgin Oak for The Nectar
The boys and girls of The Nectar, Belgian bottler, knocked on many distilleries’ doors for a special cask for their tenth anniversary last year. Many of those can be found on my blog, but this one was sold out before I was able to get my hands on it. Luckily I found a bottle via social media recently and am very happy that I was able to buy it, as it is a belter of a Kavalan. On virgin oak, no less. That’s a first for me. What a color!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 259: Glenrothes 20 Year Old 1997 for WhiskyClub.co Taiwan
WhiskyClub.co from Taiwan has, in collaboration with the Kuva Spirits Collection, bottled a cask of Glenrothes 1997. No less than 300 bottles from this first fill sherry but were bottled, but… in three batches of 100 bottles, each with their own unique packaging! That’s a first, as far as I know. There are 100 bottles in a black wooden tube, 100 bottles in a white leather tube and finally 100 bottles in a bamboo tube. The guy behind the release, my friend Joseph from Taipei, allowed me the choice. I felt the bamboo release was quite appropriate. But what about the liquid inside?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 260: Bunnahabhain 10 Year Old 2007 Feis Ile 2018
For Feis Ile 2018 Bunnahabhain released two different bottles: a 10 years old on oloroso and a 15 years old on Spanish oak. I was able to get my hands on a bottle of the former, the 10 Year Old Moine, and poured it during my Feis Ile Masterclass in Ghent. It ended up in the top three. Only 1881 bottles were released, a nod to the foundation year of the distillery.
6 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 261: Kilchoman 11 Year Old 2007 Feis Ile 2018
For Feis Ile 2018 Kilchoman vatted 4 bourbon barrels, which resulted in a limited release of 744 bottles which sold out in a flash. Thanks to the Whisky Amigos (Belgian friends) I was able to get one. It was the oldest Kilchoman on the market with its 11 years old age. Distilled in March 2007 and bottled in May 2018. Let’s get to it!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 262: Lagavulin 18 Year Old Feis Ile 2018
In 2018 Lagavulin launched for the third festival an a row and 18 Year Old. I have to admit that those Feis Ile release, the distillery exclusives and mostly the Jazz Festival bottlings are very much to my liking. I wonder if this 18 years old from 2018 is also a winner. It is a vatting of refill hogsheads and sherry butts.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 263: Port Charlotte 16 Year Old 2001 The Heretic
The Heretic was the Feis Ile 2018 release from Port Charlotte (from the Bruichladdich Distillery, of course) and is, according to the label ‘the last of the first’, meaning the last casks of the first distillate. It’s a vatting of American oak, rum casks and even French wine casks.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 264: Caol Ila 10 Year Old Feis Ile 2018
Caol Ila released a 22 years old malt for Feis Ile 2019, but despite my shout out on social media, I have not (yet) been able to get one. Last year, my buddy Manny was on Islay, so I knew that the Feis Ile 2018 release – a Caol Ila 10 Year Old – would find its way to Ghent. It is a vatting of 8 casks: Refill American Oak Hogsheads and Rejuvenated European Oak Butts – whatever that means. Pierrick Guillaume, the French Master Distiller, selected the cask himself.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 265: Smoky Scot
While there is no mention of the distillery on the label anywhere, it is clear that this Smoky Scot is an Islay whisky. In fact, this is a 5 year old Caol Ila that matured on bourbon casks, before being bottled at 46% by Aceo Ltd. And guess what? It’s a stunner and absolute bang for your buck!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 266: Ardbeg Grooves
This Ardbeg was the limited release for Ardbeg Day 2018. I have to admit that I was a bit Ardbeg-tired as I felt the special releases did not live up to the standard range. So my expectations for this Grooves were not that high. By the way: Grooves refers to the… err… grooves that appear when charring the red wine casks that were used for this release. But despite my misgivings, this turned out to be a fun and interesting expression!
6 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 267: Kilchoman 7 Year Old 2011 Madeira Finish for Belgium
Prima Vinum – a Belgian whisky shop – was looking for a single cask release of Kilchoman. But the owner, Peter Van Dijck, was faced with a dilemma, for the two samples he received were both very much to his liking. Peter could not choose and in a flurry of bewilderment he decided to mix both samples. Eureka! The vatting of both casks yielded his favourite expression and the Twin Cask Release was born.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 268: Miltonduff 7 Year Old 2011 Asta Morris
Milltonduff from Elgin is another one of those noble unknowns. Like Glenburgie, it is one of the more important malts in the famous blend Ballentine’s. And like Glenburgie, it really is worth getting to know it as a malt. This single cask – a sherry butt – was shared between Europe and Maltoyama in Japan. It’s the very first Miltonduff bottled by Asta Morris.
5 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 269: Glentauchers 10 Year Old 2006 Asta Morris
I’ve heard people pronounce the name of this distillery in many different ways, but apparently ‘Glen-toch-ers’ is the only correct one. It was founded near Keith, in the heart of Speyside, in 1897 by James Buchanan, the man who would become world famous for his Black & White blend. Currently owned by Chivas, they use it for their own blends as well as Ballantine’s (together with Glenburgie and Miltonduff). It is obvious that Bert has a soft spot for this kind of malt, for this is already the fourth single cask that he releases from this distillery.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 270: Glen Keith 24 Year Old 1994 Asta Morris
When I learned that Asta Morris was about to launch another Glen Keith 1994, I was already wringing my hands in anticipation. After all, the previous release about a year ago, was truly fabulous – but destined for Japan. Just 42 bottles remained in our neck of the woods, sold exclusively through a Dutch retailer. Those were gone in a flash and I had to make do with a sample. This time around, I was in time to get my hands on one of the 179 bottles.
An Auchentoshan 21 dram salute to our friend and The Toshan Man @markjedi1.
May the Malt be with you!
5 months ago 3Who liked this?
I am speechless.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 271: Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year Old
Bulleit (pronounce it like the ammunition) was marketed between 1830 and 1860 by Augustus Bulleit, but when he passed away, so did the brand. Tom Bulleit, the great-great-grandson of Augustus, revived the brand in 1987. Bulleit is doing so well, that Diageo purchased the brand. Next to their Straight Bourbon Whiskey, they also have a 95 Rye and – more recently – this 10 Year Old. That’s good fun. While most distilleries move away from an age statement, Bulleit goes the other way.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 272: Caol Ila 22 Year Old Feis Ile 2019
I had to wait for it for a little while, but thanks to a Scottish pal I was finally able to get my hands on this Feis Ile 2019 release from my favorite distillery on Islay: Caol Ila. Very refreshing to see that they very transparently put on the label that the whisky matured on ‘sherry-treated American Oak casks’. And guess what? It’s out of this world!
4 months ago 0
@markjedi1 You are one lucky man.... I really like all the Cal Ila CS I've tried. This sounds very different and yet oh. so. good...
4 months ago 2Who liked this?
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