By @markjedi1 on 5th Mar 2012, show post
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@Nozinan Like Obi-Wan tells Han Solo in Star Wars: 'In my experience, there's no such thing as luck' :-)
about one year ago 2Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 273: The Fenians 16 Year Old 2002 for MMM
Every year Manny and I try to put an odd one out in our series. This year… an Irish single malt! We dubbed it the Fenians. Originating in Irish mythology with the Fianna, the term derives from groups of legendary warrior bands following Fionn mac Cumhail. Fenian today is seen as a derogatory sectarian term in Ireland to refer to Irish nationalists and/or Catholics, particularly in Northern Ireland. The term has been used similarly in Scotland as a slur to refer to Scottish Catholics or Scots with Irish ancestry. We are very proud on our Irish discovery, for this fruit bomb will keep a smile on our face throughout the Indian summer to come. Delicious with capital D!
about one year ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 274: Ballantine’s Finest
It does not hurt to go back to basics from time to time. We whisky aficionados tend to be spoiled (usually by ourselves, obviously) and overlook the whisky that made the category great: blends. So let’s give this one a go: Ballantine’s Finest, still one of the world’s bestselling Scotches.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 175: Mackmyra Vintersol
It’s brand new, this Mackmyra Vintersol. It means Winter Sun which explains why it will only be available in Sweden – via Systembolaget – as of the 4th of October. It’s another one of those Seasonal whiskies by Mackmyra, this time finished in port casks from Quinta Do Vallado – one of Portugal’s oldest port producers in the Douro Valley, founded in 1716. The finish lasted 16 months!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 276: Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice & Fire
Diageo clearly is not yet finished with Game of Thrones. After last year’s Johnnie Walker White Walker, they now present two blends: A Song of Ice around Clynelish and A Song of Fire around Caol Ila. I was not very enthusiastic about the White Walker and hope these two will finally hit the spot.
about one year ago 3Who liked this?
@markjedi1 Very insightful and entertaining ... Your inflections say so much more about your impressions on these two blends than your commentary.
about one year ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 277: Johnnie Walker Ghost & Rare Glenury Royal
The third expression in the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare series has arrived! This time, the leading ‘ghost’ malt is Glenury Royal, joined by Pittyvaich and the grain whisky Cambus, while the ‘rare’ are Inchgower, Glenlossie, Glen Elgin, Glenkinchie and the grain Cameronbridge. The result is decadently delicious.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 278: Glen Flagler 5 Year Old
In 1964 Inver House Distillers built a grain distillery on the industrial estate Moffat at Airdrie, some 20 kilometers east of Glasgow. The grain whisky would be called Garnheath. But like at many grain distilleries at the time, some pot stills were installed, to produce three types of malt as well: Glen Flagler, Killyloch and Islebrae. Obviously they are very hard to find, knowing that the distillery was closed already in 1985. Fast forward to 2019 : a bottle of Glen Flagler 5 Year Old finds its way to me. I never pass up the opportunity to taste liquid history!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 279: Auchentoshan 19 Year Old 1996 The Maltman
I tried this malt years ago for the first time during a whisky dinner in The Hielander, the famous Scottish restaurant in Alkmaar, Holland, with the indomitable Wullie Macmorland behind the stove. I was so enchanted with it that I ran to the shop the very next day to buy a bottle. But as there was only one, it went into the collection and remained unopened. Fast forward to 2019 and my buddy Manny finds another bottle in another shop. Did I want it? Obviously. So now I can retry the malt without ‘damaging’ the collection. This Auchentoshan first matured on bourbon casks and was then finished for several months on an Amontillado sherry cask.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 280: Auchentoshan 18 Year Old 1978 Scott’s Selection
In my book, this is now a golden oldie. I have had it in my collection for a while, but only the one bottle so I have not yet tried it. Thanks to social media I found someone offering up samples (in one of these so-called bottle share groups) and was able to secure a big sample, so that I can finally find out if this is any good. Boy, am I glad that I did! By now it has spent more time in the bottle than it ever did on the cask.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 281: Speyside Blended Malt 25 Year Old 1993 - Whivie’s 10th Anniversary Release
‘Whivie’ is my personal whisky blog and it celebrates its 10th anniversary. Obviously this is something I cannot let pass without celebration. So I searched for a nice whisky to conclude the first decade with. A good single malt would be the obvious choice, but then this sherry cask came my way. It was filled – in 1993 – with not one, but two single malt spirits. Blended at birth, as they say. The cask matured for a quarter century before Whivie was allowed to draw 100 bottles from it.
It goes without saying that I am pretty proud of this release. It’s a heavenly blended malt. It will be available as of 28th October 2019, ten years to the day of the launch of our blog. Slàinte!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 282: Auchentoshan 22 Year Old 1996 Douglas Laing Old Particular Halloween Edition
On a blue Monday this Halloween edition from Douglas Laing was announced on social media, but by the time yours truly got home after a hard day’s work (yeah, right) it was already sold out. Darn. But I got lucky as a few days later Douglas Laing announced that a few more bottles would be put online. This time, I was ready, so I scored two bottles. Hurray! It was distilled on the 31st of October 1996, hence… Halloween!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 283: Auchentoshan 9 Year Old 2009 Distillery Cask #4389
Every time Auchentoshan opens a new cask for the visitors, I’m right there to order a few bottles. For each and every one of them is good to excellent. Having said that, I do not have an open bottle of this one (of which the cask is already replaced again), but luckily my buddy Anthony also brought a bottle from his recent visit and offered me a generous sample. It’s an Auchentoshan 2009 oloroso sherry cask #4389.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 284: Auchentoshan American Oak Reserve vs Auchentoshan Dark Oak
Auchentoshan has just release two brand-new malts in the duty free range. The American Oak Reserve at 40% is composed with only first-fill bourbon barrels, while the Dark Oak at 43% is a combination of bourbon barrels, oloroso and PX sherry casks. It goes without saying that I had to try them, right?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 285: Talisker 41 Year Old 1978 Bodega Series
Hello there, Talisker 41 Year Old Bodega Series. This is the second release in a triptych of sherry finished malts from stocks of 1978. Last year saw the release of the Talisker 40 Year Old Bodega Series, finished on Amontillado casks from the Delgado Zuleta bodega. This release is finished on Manzanilla casks from the same bodega and is thus the oldest (and most expensive) Talisker to date. Part three is probably for 2020. With a price tag of around 3.500 EUR (well, it comes in a very nice box) it certainly is not for everyone and that it is a pity. For it is simply divine.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 286: The Vikings 11 Year Old 2007 for MMM
We have arrived at the fourth and final release in MMM’s – Mark & Manny’s Malt – Tribe Series. Tradition dictated that Manny and I search for a smoky whisky and this year is no exception, but contrary to what you might expect we did not go for an Islay or Island whisky. No, we discovered this extraordinary cask… in the Highlands. We are very happy that we can conclude our Tribe Series with such a lovely single cask. It was a year that will be hard to trump, but the hunt for new casks for our fifth year has already started.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 287: Glen Elgin 13 Year Old 2000 Spirit of Scotland
Glen Elgin can be found – as the name suggest – near the city of Elgin in Speyside. Together with Mannochmore and Glenlossie, it’s an integral part of the blend White Horse. There are hardly any official releases and the core range consists of only the rather boring Glen Elgin 12 Year Old which can be purchased for less than 40 EUR. I will, however, be trying a 13 years old from 2000, selected by Van Wees in Holland, but bottled by Spirit of Scotland. FYI: this is the ‘b-label’ of Gordon & Macphail, although they have released quite a few gems under this label.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 288: Glengoyne 12 Year Old 2005 Single Cask for The Netherlands
For the 100th jubilee of the Dutch importer De Monnik Dranken, the distillery manager Robbie Hughes selected this Glengoyne single cask from 2015. It was presented a little over a year ago, but only now reached my neck of the woods thanks to my Dutch buddy Manny.
@markjedi1 This sounds delightful. Thanks for the review, Mark. It would be great to get something like that here in Ontario, although the LCBO would surely find a way to screw it up and/or price it beyond the reach of the ordinary whisky enthusiast.
@OdysseusUnbound you mean like this 12 year old Highland Park LCBO exclusive?
@Astroke Exactly! $250!? What a deal!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 289: Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc Finish
In November 2019 Auchentoshan launched an Amazon Exclusive with their Sauvignon Blanc Finish, a fresh and new triple distilled Lowlander which, according to the tagline on the box, is ‘crafted to be enjoyed chilled’. Wait! What? Seriously? I am not very fond of cooling my whisky (nor do I have good experience with it), so I was pretty skeptical. But when the bottles arrived early December, I got to work. And behold: it is good, but when chilled it is very surprising indeed!
Fascinating. Of course, we don’t get Amazon exclusives here in Canada. pity.
I was wondering, have you tried putting the bottle in the fridge or freezer to chill it without adding ice? If so do you get the same or different result?
@Nozinan Actually, I have not. I'll give that a try. I'm sure it will be different at different temperatures. Ron Welsh, the Auchentoshan Master Blender said following: 'The Auchentoshan Sauvignon Blanc was great when it came out the freezer, no need for ice. As you warm up the filled glass with your hands the whisky starts to open up, allowing different aromas to appear. Everyone has different tastes, so serving it this way allows the consumer to find their own favourite temperature for drinking. I always seemed to finish the glass before I could test every temperature. I’m sure everyone will enjoy it.
Just remember when serving chilled, not to drink it all at the ‘just served’ temperature, take time to enjoy the whisky opening up and revealing new flavours as it warms up.'
about one year ago 4Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 290: Auchentoshan 2010 Bordeaux Cask for the Toshan Man 50th Birthday
Turning 50 is something you can celebrate only once, right? Being the Toshan Man – lover and collector of Auchentoshan – I could not think of a better gift than my very own official release! The good people at the distillery allowed me to choose my own Toshan Man 50th Birthday Bottling from three cask samples. And after some 4 tasting sessions, my cask of choice was an excellent Bordeaux wine cask that was filled with that wonderful triple distilled spirit in 2010. After almost ten years of maturation, it still boasts a whopping 61.8%. And yes, I got me 50 bottles!
A very Happy Birthday to you! Welcome to the 50 club! The quality of the group has just improved exponentially.
If you can spare a drop or 2 from those 50 bottles, perhaps we could plan to meet and taste this when we've both completed our second set of 50 years in 2070 (or any dram other than Lambertus any time before that).
For now, the only Auchentoshan I have in my home is the remainder of a sample of Valinch that @Astroke kindly gave me quite a while ago. I will do my best to raise a toast to you with that (after work, of course).
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 291: Miltonduff 36 Year Old 1981 North Star Spirits
Miltonduff is one of those distilleries you do not often come across. There are hardly any official releases. The lion’s share goes to the blenders, with Ballantine’s as the best known one. In my glass is a Miltonduff from 1981 that slept in the cask for no less than 36 years and was bottled by Iain Croucher, the Glaswegian who launched the very popular North Star Spirits a few years ago.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 292: Sirius 31 Year Old 1988 North Star Spirits
Next to the popular Vega, a blended malt of which 6 editions have been released so far; and Spica, a blend of which two expressions have hit the market; North Star Spirits now surprises us with the brand new Sirius. To make a grand entrance, Iain launched this series with a 31 Year Old blended malt, of which all components were distilled in 1988 : Sirius!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 293: Auchroisk 15 Year Old 2000 Old Malt Cask
Auchroisk is a pretty young distillery, only founded in 1974. It’s a workhorse for the blenders and hardly sees the light of day as a single malt. This is a single cask, released a few years ago, in the famous Old Malt Cask series by Hunter Laing. It’s a bit young for the Old Malt Cask series, no? Anyway. Let’s taste!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 294: Auchroisk 16 Year Old 2002 First Editions for Whisky Festival Gent
The International Malt Whisky Festival Gent offers visitors a unique festival bottling. This year it was a single cask of Auchroisk 2002, of which 246 bottles were released. It was bottled by Edition Spirits, a company that has been usurped by Hunter Laing (it was the company of the sons who tried to go it alone, but daddy stepped in).
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