By @markjedi1 on 5th Mar 2012, show post
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Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 295: Mortlach 15 Year Old Six Kingdoms
This Mortlach Six Kingdoms is the final release in the (in)famous Game of Thrones series, that consists of 9 single malts and three Johnnie Walker blends. The so-called whisky aficionados give this one much grief and spit it out as yet another marketing stunt to promote the second batch of the GOT malts (the first was scooped up by collectors and thus Diageo’s strategy to reach a new and younger drinking audience failed). It was finished on ex-bourbon casks, meaning they ‘softened it up’ a bit for a broader audience. I am pleasantly surprised by both price tag and ABV, but the real question of course is: is it any good?
10 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 296: Spey Fumare
The Speyside Distillery is something of an unknown. Most of the production goes into blends in Asia. Apart from that they also produced Beinn Dhu, Black Burn, Cu Dubh, Drumguish and Glentromie whisky as well as the Speyside single malt. That was recently rechristened to simply Spey and appears to be very popular in Taiwan. Today I will try the Spey Fumare, which means smoky. As far as I am aware, this is the first and only official release of the peated version of this light Speysider.
9 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 297: Port Dundas 23 Year Old 1995 Cask Strength The Ultimate
Did you know that the Port Dundas Distillery was founded in 1811 by Daniel MacFarlane but that in 1813 Brown, Goulier & Co built a second distillery in the same industrial area north of Glasgow and actually called it… Port Dundas Distillery as well? That would be quite impossible today, of course. In 1865 they merged and in 2009 the distillery closed. I’ll try a grain from 1995 at cask strength bottled by the Dutch company van Wees under their The Ultimate label.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 298: Clynelish 20 Year Old 1996 200th Anniversary Release
In honor of the 200th Anniversary of the distillery, Clynelish released this exclusive bottling, composed with a very small amount of sherry casks that were especially put aside for the occasion in 1996. I don’t need to tell you these sold like sweets – even though it was only available at the distillery and despite the hefty price tag of 350 pounds. Today you’ll pay double or triple that amount. Oh, well. Luckily I was able to score a bottle at the original price through a friend. Let’s dig in! At the same time, the distillery also released a 10 years old single cask ‘hand-filled’ at the exact same ABV. That cannot be a coincidence, can it?
9 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 299: Clynelish 10 Year Old 2009 Highland Whisky Festival 2019
For the very first time in history you could score a hand-filled bottle at Clynelish during the Highland Whisky Festival 2019. That had everything to do with the fact that the distillery celebrates its 200th Anniversary. The original Clynelish was founded in 1819. Hence it sold out pretty quickly too, but a friend of mine was there and thus able to get me a bottle. Hurray! I love this whisky community. Together with this one, Clynelish also released a 20 Year Old at the exact same ABV. That cannot be a coincidence, can it?
**Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 300: Cardhu 18 Year Old **
Around 70% of what is distilled at Cardhu goes into the famous Johnnie Walker blends. The other 30% hits the market as single malt. We’ll try the 18 Year Old, which is very popular in France, Portugal, Spain and Greece. This has everything to do with the local warm climate, where this fruity Speyside truly shines.
8 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 301: West Cork 12 Year Old Port Cask Finish
The Irish West Cork Distillery Company was founded in 2003, but the first years were spent distilling in a shed with two small stills bought from a Swiss schnapps distillery. Since 2014 they moved to larger premises in Skibbereen. The 12 Year Old Port Cask Finish matured on bourbon barrels before it spent a few months on port casks.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 302: Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Winter Storm
The third release in Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series – the Winter Storm – took the shelves by storm (see what I did there?) and sold out in a matter of days. A second and even third batch had to be produced. What makes Winter Storm special is the fact that this Glenfiddich matured for 21 years on bourbon casks before getting a finish of three months on casks that previously held ice wine. Peller Estates from the Canadian Niagara-on-the-Lakes (that’s right, near the famous waterfalls) harvests the grapes for this wine at -10° Celsius in the moonlight. This is not just folklore, it’s when the grapes have their highest concentration of sugars. The Glenfiddich malt spend three months in these casks to become the subtle single malt that has proved so popular.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 303: Glenfiddich 23 Year Old Grand Cru
As far as I am concerned, this Glenfiddich Grand Cru could have been launched as the 5 release in the so-called Experimental Series, for after the regular bourbon and sherry maturation, this whisky was finished for an additional 4 months on first fill and second fill wine casks that were used for the fermentation of wine that would eventually become champagne. But no, this Grand Cru is released in a new ‘Grand’ series, which will see a second and third expression in 2020.
7 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 304: Blair Athol 10 Year Old 2007 Signatory Vintage
‘Hey, Mark, I have here a Blair Athol. I was wondering if you had tried it yet.’ I confess, with almost 4500 tasted whiskies on my counter, I do not know this by heart. ‘I’ll have to check my website,’ I declare. ‘It’s not on there,’ Benny declares, expectantly holding the bottle with a good measure still in it. ‘Well, then I have not yet tried it’, I smile, accepting the bottle in thanks. Let’s finish off this bottle and update our list.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 305: Images of Tomintoul Malts of Scotland
This bottle from Malts of Scotland is dubbed ‘Images of Tomintoul – Carrbridge Packhorse Bridge’, which might put you on the wrong track. Sure, the Tomintoul distillery is close to this bridge, but still 40 kilometres away. Closer, about 22 kilometres, you’ll find the Balmenach Distillery where I believe this malt was produced.
7 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 306: Secret Speyside 25 Year Old 1994 BYOB-C
I am a fan of the BYOB-C (say ‘biospy’) releases for a long time now. Next to their first series ‘Lads of Lobland’ and the ongoing second series ‘Mobsters on Mopeds’, they have also put a few one-offs out there. There was the Mortlach 2002 ‘Visit Lobland’ and the Strathearn 2015 on PX cask. Well, here is a new one, a Secret Speyside single malt of 25 years, in which BYOB-C no longer means ‘Bring your own bottle Club’, but was dubbed ‘Build Your Own Bearded Commando’, with a very original label with a custom designed GI Joe action figure on the label.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 307: Highland Park 9 Year Old 1998 Signatory Dumpy
Boy, this truly is a golden oldie, bottled in those old fashioned dumpy bottles that Signatory used in the last Century. Distilled in 1988 (the year in which yours truly got his driving permit) and bottled in 1998. The malt matured for 9 years on a sherry cask and has thus spent more than double that time in the bottle.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 308: Tormore 24 Year Old 1992 WhiskyBroker for Van Zuylenn
Tormore is a distillery that does not appear on my radar often, but thanks to a friend in Holland I was able to get my hands on a beautiful 24 years old that was bottled especially for Van Zuylen – a well-known whisky shop near The Hague. And what a lovely Tormore it turned out to be. Almost as lovely as the classified building of the distillery itself!
6 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 309: Scarabus Islay Single Malt
Hunter Laing & Co, the company that runs the new Ardnahoe Distillery on Islay, jumped on the Feis Ile bandwagon in 2019 with the release of this single malt dubbed Scarabus. I’ll have you know there is a Scarrabus (with double ‘r’) Farm very close to Bridgend. Writings show that there was even a pot still there between 1817 and 1818, but apparently it was never operational. This still does not offer us any clue as to the contents of this bottle. But we can all agree, I’m sure, that the bottle looks stunning.
6 months ago 3Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 310: Ardbeg Corryvreckan
The Ardbeg Corryvreckan is named after the world’s second largest whirlpool, just north of Islay in the North Sea. It’s a standard release from Ardbeg, always available. And while some batch variation does occur, they are always very good. I will try a release from 2009. The Ardbeg Corryvreckan is always bottled at 57.1% ABV and contains some whisky that matured on French wine casks.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 311: Vital Spark 5 Year Old 201
Vital Spark is a release from the Meadowside Blending Co, which we are familiar with because of their releases of The Maltman and The Grainman. While it is not mentioned as such on the label, it is a public secret that this third batch is a single oloroso sherry cask of my beloved Caol Ila (which is not necessarily true for batch 1 and 2!). Oh, will you look at that color…
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 312: Islay 8 Year Old 2011 Ypres Whisky Friends / Magnificent Five
The guys of the Ypres Whisky Friends have realized their first club bottling. It’s an Islay Blended Malt, although that is to be taken with a grain of salt. The cask number leaves no doubt that this is a Laphroaig, according to insiders teaspooned with a bit of Caol Ila, so that it can no longer be termed single malt. They share the cask with the Magnificent Five – also from Belgium – who took the rest of the cask, but selected a totally different packaging.
6 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 313: Lagavulin 10 Year Old Travel Exclusive
One of the fun things of going on holiday is… shopping in the duty free, of course! On the way back from my ski holiday in Austria, I discovered this young Lagavulin 10 Year Old at the airport for a very fair price. So I gave it a new home.
5 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 314: Bruichladdich 14 Year Old 2006 Liquid Art
I was fortunate enough to experience the very first presentation of this new release of Liquid Art during a live-stream. It did not take long before it arrived on my doorstep. This 14 years old Bruichladdich was bottled at a cask strength of 51.7%. Sorry for the short intro, but I’m very eager to dive into this one!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 315: Glen Elgin 21 Year Old 1998 Mobsters on Mopeds
Ah, there they are again with a new release, the boys and girls of BYOB-C (say ‘biopsy’), with the sixth release in their funny, but very taste series ‘Mobsters on Mopeds’. After the Blair Athol 2000, Cambus 1991, Ardmore 1998, Ledaig 2007 and Old Rhosdu 1993, for this spring they turned their attention on a fruity Speysider: Glen Elgin 1998. This one matured on a butt.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 316: Arran 9 Year Old 2009 Private Cask #09/844 for Belgium
This sherry hogshead from Arran – cask #09/844 – yielded 292 botttes and was selected by a bunch of Belgians: Top Whisky, Dram242, whisky restaurant De Cluysenaer and the Whiskybrowser. It was distilled on 1st December 2009 and bottled on 9th October 2019 making is just two months shy of being ten years old. Lo and behold, it’s a stunner!
5 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 317: North British 28 Year Old 1991 3006 Whisky
If you take the tram from the Edinburgh airport to the heart of the Scottish capital, you will pass this huge distillery without realizing it. The chance that you notice it is small, because you’ll probably be looking out the other window, checking out the famous Murray Field Stadium. Moreover, the distillery is not open to the public (believe me, I tried). This 28 years old North British was bottled by Jop Boer, a Dutch indie, under his banner of 3006 Whisky. It is a former brandy cask!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 318: Strathclyde 30 Year Old WhiskyBroker
They do not only produce grain whisky at Strathclyde, they also make a gin. And while it is not well-known in my neck of the woods, Seager’s Gin – named after the founder Seager Evans – is a household name in the U.K. for over half a century. I will be trying a single grain from 1987 that after 29 years was recasked from a bourbon cask into a rum barrel by WhiskyBroker, on which it slept for another year.
@markjedi1 Haha, fuck it indeed, Mark. That is exactly what I would do with a dram that good. Great review.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 319: Cambus 23 Year Old 1991 Signatory Vintage
Cambus is no more. The distillery, founded in 1813, closed in 1993 and was converted into a modern, semi-automatic cooperage. In 2014 Signatory bottled a refill sherry butt from 1991 in those beautiful decanters from their Cask Strength Collection.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 320: Port Dundas 20 Year Old 1990 Diageo Special Edition
Port Dundas closed just shy of two centuries of operation. The distillery closed the doors on the 1st of July 2009. The demolition of the iconic chimney was even broadcast live on television. We will taste an older one that Diageo launched in their yearly Special Editions of 2011. It was the first grain ever in that bespoke series. First it matured for three years on bourbon casks, then it got an impressive 17 year old second maturation on a combination of European oak, first fill bourbon casks and fomer sherry casks. The color says it all!
4 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 321: Girvan 12 Year Old 2006 Cadenhead’s
Girvan is a relatively young distillery, founded in 1963 by the family William Grant & Sons, which we all know from Glenfiddich and Balvenie, but also from Kininvie and newcomer Ailsa Bay. Girvan was founded to produce the needed quantity of grain for the blends of the company: Grant’s. We’ll try a relatively young cask that was bottle by Cadenheads in 2018. After 12 years of maturation, it still went into the bottle at 60.3% ABV.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 322: Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select
The actual name of the distillery is Labrot & Graham, which can still be found on the label. This bourbon sets itself apart because it is triple distilled! The mash bill consists of 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malted barley. The Distiller’s Select has matured for a minimum of 6 years. The brand was only launched in 1996 – as a premium bourbon – and is doing very well. It is even the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. Previous releases have been bottled at 42.2% and 43.2%, but this one sits at a comfortable 45.2% aka 90.4 Proof.
4 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 323: Sazerac Rye
Sazerac has a lot of meanings. It is the name of a big spirits company, the name of America’s First cocktail and, most interesting for us, the name of a straight rye whiskey. Supposedly, the name comes from a French importer of cognacs, Sazerac du Forge et Fils. In New Orleans, in the famous French Quarter, there is still a Sazerac Coffee House. The company Sazerac owns, among others, the Buffalo Trace distillery, where this rye whiskey is produced today.
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