By @markjedi1 on 5th Mar 2012, show post
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Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 324: Rowan’s Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon
Rowan’s Creek is a small batch bourbon that is produced by the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers company in Bardstown, Kentucky. It has won top awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and is bottled at 100.1 Proof, which translates into the rather odd 50.05% ABV. Takes some time to open up, but then reveals itself to be feisty and complex.
6 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 325: Springbank 10 Year Old
Springbank is – together with Glengyle and Glen Scotia – one of the last surviving distilleries on Campbeltown and is unique as it produces three types of malt: peaty Springbank, heavily peated Longrow and unpeated Hazelburn. The entry level Springbank is their 10 years old, of which I will try a release from 2005, meaning that the malt has spent more time in the bottle than it did in the wooden casks.
6 months ago 2Who liked this?
Nice, straightforward review for what sounds like a nice, straightforward whisky. I would like to try this one but with a couple of bottles of the 12 YO I just don't think I want a full bottle of the 10 in my cabinet.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 326: Kilchoman Triplets
I put three bourbon cask matured Kilchoman head-to-head. I make no secret of the fact that this is how I love Kilchoman, but was happily surprised by how different the casks taste. The triplets are the Machir Bay 10th Anniversary release, the Original Cask Strength 2009 and a single cask from 2007 for Belgium, all at cask strength.
5 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 327: Kilchoman Rum & Port
I put two Kilchoman on different cask types next to each other. The first is a rum-finished single cask for Belgium, which goes head-to-head with the Port Cask matured from 2014. Both are bottled at cask strength, but could not be more different, of course.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 328: Ardbeg 5 Year Old Wee Beastie
You have to admit it: Ardbeg has guts. For as long as I can remember the Ten was (and is!) the entry level malt – and a very good one too! An absolutely brilliant Ardbeg. And while they added the An Oa (a NAS release) to the core range only recently, it is now joined by one with an age statement… but a very young one, just 5 years. In traditional (is it?) Ardbeg Style, they gave it a resounding name: Wee Beastie. It’s a vatting of both bourbon and oloroso sherry casks and upon release it was priced between 35 and 45 EUR, but in some markets it was markedly more expensive.
5 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 329: Ardbeg BlaaacK
For Ardbeg Day 2020 the Islay distillery launched a sheep theme. Ardbeg claims to be very different from all other distilleries on the island and therefor calls itself the black sheep. Well, well, the boys and girls of the marketing department really earn their keep. Still, it is a very interesting release, as the malt got a finish on Pinot Noir wine casks from New Zealand. Next to this limited edition Ardbeg also released a Committee Only bottling with cream colored label and at cask strength. I’ll try the 46% release, readily available for us mere mortals.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 330: Caol Ila 16 Year Old Fèis Ile 2020
No Feis Ile this year because of Corona, but luckily we do get a Feis Ile release. This Caol Ila, limited to 3.000 bottles, was sold out in less than three hours. The malt first matured on refill bourbon hogsheads and then got a finish on Amoroso treated hogsheads (BTW: this is the type of cask that Diageo uses for the Distillers Edition of Talisker). Let’s hope – although I’m fairly confident – that it’s tasty.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 331: Lagavulin 20 Year Old Fèis Ile 2020
Because of the corona crisis no Islay Malt & Music Festival this year, but luckily a special release for Feis Ile 2020 was released. This Lagavulin, which matured no less than 20 years, took about two days to sell out. With only 6.000 bottles, that surprised me a bit. It matured on a combination of refill hogsheads and both oloroso and PX sherry casks. It’s a very inviting amber with thick legs.
**Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 332: Support Local Products **
In these times of Corona crisis it is important to support local products. So buy local! To help you out I gladly present to you ten producers of Belgian spirits, whisky and beer. Sit back and relax, for the video lasts 25 minutes. Then put on your face mask and run to your local shop to get some of this wonderful product and enjoy!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 333: Compass Box Transistor
BrewDog is an innovative, rebellious brewery in Scotland since 2007. They even have a bar in Brussels by now. They asked three whisky producers to create a whisky for a boilermaker. That’s the combination of whisky and beer – side by side. Duncan Taylor gave them Skeleton Key, the Dutch Zuidam delivered a 100% rye whisky Torpedo Tulip and Compass Box came up with this Transistor. It is created to be savored alongside the Punk IPA from BrewDog. The whisky is a blend of Cameronbridge grain with the following malts: Linkwood, Teaninich, Dailuaine and Clynelish. Parts of the whisky were matured on French oak from the Vosges.
4 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 334: Compass Box Oak Cross
Compass Box only makes blended malts, blended grains and blends. They are whisky makers, so to speak. The Oak Cross one of those blended malts that has become part of the core range – or the Signature Range as they call it themselves. It consists of 60% Clynelish, 20% Dailuaine and 20% Teaninich. It matured on casks with American oak staves and French oak heads – hence the name Oak Cross. Shot at the Abbey Notre-Dame de Sénanque in southern France.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 335: Compass Box Delilah’s XXV
Mike Miller opened his punk rock whisky bar Delilah’s in Chicago in 1993. I has been open every single day ever since. You can find more than 1.000 beers and spirits. Even the Belgian Oerbier and Duvel are served. In 2013, for the 20th anniversary, Compass Box created Delilah’s, a special blend. It was very popular and so it was re-created again in 2018, albeit with an extra maturation on sherry casks. It contains approximately 10% grain whisky – I presume Cameronbrigde. The result is this Delilah’s XXV. Shot on location in Roussillon, France.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 336: Compass Box The Lost Blend
The Lost Blend is a limited edition from 2014 by Compass Box, which was actually an homage to the Eleuthera, the very first blended malt John Glaser and his team created many moons ago consisting of Clynelish and Coal Ila. They called it the Lost Blend, because they had to retire the Eleuthera when they were no longer able to create it as one of the components – Caol Ila – was no longer available. The Lost Blend has a slightly different composition, but is even better than the original. Shot in the lavender fields of Sault, France.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 337: Compass Box No Name 1 vs No Name 2
I put two special releases from Compass Box head-to-head. The No Name 1 is Ardbeg-driven, while the No Name 2 is Coal Ila-driven. While both Islay whisky’s, they could not be more different. But both are exquisite. These are among the best stuff John Glaser and his team have released!
4 months ago 3Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 338: Waterford Ballykilcavan Edition 1.1
Waterford is the new Irish distillery from Mark Reynier, which we all remember from his years at Bruichladdich. His search for terroir – or Tèireoir as he very cleverly put on the label – continues undiminished for his new bottlings, of which the very first releases sold out in a flash. This Ballykicavan matured on a combination of American oak, French oak and French Vin Doux Natural casks. The barley, as the name suggests, comes from one single farm: Ballykilcavan. Hence the moniker Single Farm Origin.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 339: Waterford Bannow Island Edition 1.1
After Bruichladdich was sold Mark Reynier moved to Ireland and founded the new Waterford Distillery there. His search for terroir goes one. The first releases sold out immediately, but new bottlings are underway already. This Bannow Island was produced from barely from the eponymous farm and matured in a mix of casks: American oak, American virgin oak, French oak and French Vin Doux Naturel casks. It was cut to 50%.
3 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 340: Royal Brackla 12 Year Old 2006 for Taiwan
Close to Cawdor Castle – famous from Shakespeare’s Macbeth – lies the Brackla distillery, founded by Captain William Fraser of Brackla in 1812. Since 1835 she calls herself Royal Brackla after receiving a royal warrant from King William IV. This single cask from 2006 was selected by my Taiwanese friend Joseph Wang and sports the very lovely WeiWei Fong on the label – if you do not know her, she is a Taiwanese top model and Instagram sensation. Not that this means anything for the quality of the liquid of course.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 341: Dalmore 8 Year Old 2009 single cask for Taiwan
My friend Joseph from Taiwan, president of the Connoisseur Society there, regularly selects single casks. This is one from the warehouses of Ian MacLeod: a young Dalmore from 2009 that was bottled at cask strength in 2018. Beautiful label, by the way. But I cannot read anything on the backlabel. It’s Chinese to me – literally. Shot on location at the Ancient Roman Theater in Orange, France.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 342: Port Ellen 40 Year Old 1979 – 9 Rogue Casks
In May last year, I tasted my best – but unfortunately also most expensive – Port Ellen ever. It was the 39 years old The Spirit Safe, bottled in 2018. This second edition in the Untold Stories – 9 Rogue Casks – is even more limited. There are only 1380 bottles in the world. It was presented during the (virtual) Feis Ile 2020 and is a vatting of 9 casks which were found to ‘hold unusual flavour characteristics that stood out from the typical Port Ellen distillery character’ and was deemed unsuitable for the needs of the blenders at the time. But what an elegant lady. A veritable diva.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 343: Nc’nean Organic Single Malt – Batch 1
Nc’nean is a new distillery, one that holds nature in high regard. They grow their barley organically and use only renewables for energy. Even the packaging, both bottle and tube, are made of recycled material. In 2020 the inaugural release ‘Ainnir’ at cask strength was launched (1320 bottles), immediately followed by this general release – batch 1 – at drinking strength. This Batch 1 sold out pretty quickly. It’s a vatting of 14 casks, 65% STR red wine casks and 35% former bourbon casks.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 344: Macallan 18 Year Old Triple Cask Matured
In Macallan’s new Triple Cask Matured series, this is a very nice one with 18 years of maturation on three types of casks: American and European sherry seasoned casks and American bourbon casks. Just like the 15 years old, this one is cut to 43%. It was bottled in 2018.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 345: Macallan Classic Cut 2019
The Classic Cut series from Macallan was launched in 2017 and can be seen as an homage to the Macallan from an era gone by – before the launch of the Fine Oak, where bourbon casks made their introduction. It’s a yearly limited release of Macallan that matured exclusively on sherry casks – well, sherry seasoned casks to be clear – and bottled at cask strength. This is the 2019 edition, bottled at 52.9%.
**Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 346: Glenfiddich 19 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish **
A few years ago Glenfiddich launched their so-called Age of Discovery series consisting of three releases of a 19 years old Glenfiddich finished on a specific type of cask: Madeira, bourbon and red wine. The Madeira cask finish hit all the right spots!
2 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 347: Mortlach 14 Year Old Alexander’s Way
Originally the 14 years old Alexander’s Way – which refers to the fiendishly complicated process of 2.81x distilled that creates that typical umami spirit that Mortlach is known for – was only available as a travel retail expression, but today you can find it quite easily.
2 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 348: Mortlach 16 Year Old – old versus new
Let’s put the classic Mortlach 16 years old from the much acclaimed Fauna & Flora series against the more modern version, today’s 16 years old Distiller’s Dram. That’s going to be quite the party, I should think.
2 months ago 2Who liked this?
@markjedi1 - Excellent comparison, Thanks - surprised you preferred the newer version. Love the mystery couple in the background as well ha! Was the 'new' 16 from an early batch do you know? I heard later releases weren't as good.
@RianC Actually it depends on the moment, I suppose. Since filming this, I've put them head-to-head a few more times and most of the time the classic F&F comes out at my fav. Goes to show that mood, moment, etc... all play a part, eh? I unfortunately do not know what batch it was, sorry. Forgot to check and by now the bottle is already in glass walhalla.
@markjedi1 Excellent comparison, Mark. Your enthusiasm is infectious ! Too bad it's only about 11:30 am here, because now I want a drink. The "new" 16 is on my radar, but I'm really trying to hold off on new purchases until the new year.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 349: Mortlach 20 Year Old 1978 Rare Malts Selection
Ah… a golden oldie from the Rare Malts Selection, longer in the bottle by now than it ever spent in the cask. Distilled in 1978 and bottled after 20 years at a whopping 62.2% ABV. You’ll have a very hard time getting hold of this bottle now – or need very deep pockets – but I got my hands on it via a raffle and poured it as the finale in my online masterclass last October.
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