By @markjedi1 on 5th Mar 2012, show post
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Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 454: Kavalan Distillery Reserve Rum Cask
When I visited Taiwan in January 2019, I brought two Distillery Reserve releases from the Kavalan Distillery: a Peaty Cask and a Rum Cask. The Peaty Cask stayed in Belgium, the Rum Cask went to Holland. But when my buddy Manny saw my tasting notes online, he decided to bring his bottle with him on his next visit to Belgium to open it up together. That’s what friends are for.
5 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 455: Milk & Honey 2018 Single Cask for the Barrel Baron
I had the privilege of tasting this from Marcel in November last year. Not that he needed my opinion to decide whether or not to bottle it. This whisky speaks for itself from the first to the last drop. But how nice that The Barrel Baron – who after all can still be considered 'a new kid on the block' – has gotten hold of this beautiful cask.
5 months ago 2Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 456: Milk & Honey Apex Cognac Casks
Apex means top, with which the Master Distiller of Milk & Honey, Tomer Goren, wants to indicate that these whiskies are among the best of what he has already created. There are currently several expressions: Cognac, Rum, White Wine, Pomegranate Wine, Peated STR Cask and the acclaimed Dead Sea. Today I taste their Cognac Cask, which is actually their Classic which was given a finish on former casks of an undisclosed small cognac house.
@markjedi1, Your Milk & Honey reviews make me quite envious and I love to live vicariously through them. I’ve only tried one each of the Apex and Elements series’, though I have 2 of the latter pending.
I had the fortune to visit the distillery in 2019, and though I was not able to fit their premium tour times into my schedule, I mentioned Connosr and after the regular tour (and everyone else left) they took me into a special barrel room where I got to taste some whiskies straight from the cask. Of course I also filled my own distillery bottling which is quite good.
In general the Apex bottles that have made it to Canada are not in my price range ( I got the pomegranate cask on sale). I let the Dead Sea one go. Perhaps in the future if I visit the distillery again I might be able to try a similar expression…
5 months ago 5Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 457: BenRiach 14 Year Old 2008 Art Malts
Art Malts, aka my good friend Steven Ver Eecke, does it again... only 36 bottles of this 14-year-old BenRiach saw the light of day. And will you look at that color! This is from a bourbon barrel, mind you. Amazing. I got to taste it in preview at the cozy festival When Whisky Meats BBQ (no typo). I hurried to order it. Enjoy!
5 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 458: A Trio of Lindores
Last summer the long-awaited first release of this new Lowland distillery appeared (at least the one that was made available to the general public), a vatting of bourbon, sherry and wine casks. At the end of the year another bottling was released: The Casks Lindores ‘Bourbon’. And just now we got our hands of the 1494 Members Release that contains malt that matured on quarter casks. That makes for a very interesting head-to-head tasting, I’d say.
4 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 459: Lindores Exclusive Casks: Bourbon vs Sherry
Lindores, like many other distilleries, also started releasing single casks. The first two – a bourbon cask and a sherry butt – are the ones that I would like to try. It’s not a veritable head-to-head, of course, for they are quite different.
4 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 460: Strathenry 5 Year Old 2016 Carter’s Whisky
Strathenry? Never heard of it. InchDairnie? Huh? Carter's Whisky? Uh... who is that? Don't panic! InchDairnie is a new distillery, built in 2014, with the aim of providing some blenders with enough malt whisky for their product. They will not bring their own whisky, which they understandably call InchDairnie, to the market until 2029. They have named the recipe for the blenders Strathenry and MEUG, the most fun Flemish taste agency, has been able to get hold of a cask. And who is Carter, you ask? Carter's Whisky is a delightful pun on ‘kaarterswhisky’, which is Flemish for ‘card players’ whisky', referring to the utter drinkability of this malt.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 461 : Invergordon 49 Year Old 1972 The Roots
A new Belgian bottler has emerged: The Roots. But Joren Nuyts, the sympathetic guy behind this new brand, will not limit himself to whisky. We can also expect other spirits, he told me. And he immediately put his money where his mouth was, because his first release concerns triplets: a Scottish grain, a very old cognac and a solid rum. What? The first release is not Scottish single malt? Gutsy! I immediately put those triplets on the lips, curious as I am. I start with the grain, an Invergordon of no less than 49 years old, distilled when the undersigned was a toddler of 2.
3 months ago 0
@markjedi1 - nice review and they sound like a promising independent bottler.
One of the finest whiskies I've ever had was a 42 year old Invergordon. It was like a fruit bomb but with so much else going on. Amazing stuff! This sounds just like I remembered that one being.
3 months ago 3Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 462 : Balblair 16 Year Old 2006 Hand Bottled at the Distillery
My buddy Marcel Kip from the Netherlands visited the Balblair distillery some time ago and he asked me if he could do me a favor with an exclusive hand-bottled malt. Of course I immediately agreed and let him bring me such a bottle. And then to think that in September 2022 I will visit Balblair myself... Perhaps by that time it will be a different cask and I can return the favor. The label does not mention a cask type, but judging by the color, this may have been a bourbon barrel.
3 months ago 2Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 463: Trip to Scotland Part 1 of 4
In September I took Dearly Beloved and my good friend Manny on a trip across the Scottish Highlands. We visited no less than 14 distilleries and enjoyed some sightseeing as well. After all, Scotland is the most beautiful country in the world. In this first part of a four part series we visit Teaninich, Dalmore, Invergordon, Glenmorangie and Dornoch. Enjoy!
3 months ago 4Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 464: Trip to Scotland Part 2 of 4
In September I took Dearly Beloved and my good friend Manny on a trip across the Scottish Highlands. In this second part of a four part series we visit Clynelish and the recently re-opened Brora before driving all the way up to Wick for a quick stop at Old Pulteney. The next day we are happily surprised to find the brand new 8 Doors Distillery in John O’Groats before taking the ferry to Orkney to visit Scapa. Enjoy!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 465: Trip to Scotland Part 3 of 4
In September I took Dearly Beloved and my good friend Manny on a trip across the Scottish Highlands. In this third part of a four part series we enjoy the beauty of Orkney, are hosted to a fantastic private tour of the Highland Park distillery, return to the mainland to visit Wolfburn in Thurso and then trek across the mighty Highlands. Enjoy!
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 466: Trip to Scotland Part 4 of 4
In September I took Dearly Beloved and my good friend Manny on a trip across the Scottish Highlands. In this final part of a four part series we visit the cozy Balblair distillery before standing in awe in front of the huge Glen Ord Maltings. Next door is the renovated Singleton distillery with an amazing visitor center. Lastly we enjoy a wee dram on our final night at Fort George near Inverness. Enjoy!
@markjedi1 thank you very much for your lovely 4 part video travelogue throughout Scotland, and for all of your videos. Your decades long enourmous enthusiasm for whisky is a thing of great beauty, and your wife wears the contented look of a well-loved woman. This is a great blessing both for you and for her.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 467: Linkwood 13 Year Old 2008 Liquid Art
Our good friends at Liquid Art have found another single cask that they considered bottle-worthy. And it must be, for this is a Linkwood from 2008 that was allowed to spend it’s hibernation on a bourbon cask. I will put this pale Speysider to the test with great pleasure.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 468: Lough Ree Distillery The Bridge Barley Harbour
The Irish Lough Ree Distillery has some casks of single malt quietly maturing, but in the meantime they release sourced whiskey from, among others, Cooley, The Great Northern Distillery and Bushmills under the banner ‘The Bridge’. Let’s try the Barley Harbour, which is basically a 6 year old Bushmills.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 469: Four Macallan in a Row
In this Rambling I’ll taste no less than four Macallan in a row: Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak, Macallan A Night on Earth in Scotland, Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao and Macallan Estate. And guess what… the classic 12 on sherry remains the quintessential Macallan indeed!
2 months ago 1Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 470: D.R.K.N.S.S. by Asta Morris
D.R.K.N.S.S. or simply ‘Darkness’ is a PX sherry matured secret Lowland single malt bottled by the Belgian indie bottler Asta Morris, my good friend Bert Bruyneel. Allow me to introduce a new term to describe this whisky: ‘slobber whisky’. For it simply is that quaffable and delicious.
2 months ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 471: The Dalmore 12 Year Old
I recently visited The Dalmore distillery. And in my backpack was a bottle of The Dalmore 12 Year Old and a glass. I’m sure you can guess what happened next…
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 472: Tomintoul 16 Year Old
Tomintoul is a young (°1964) and lesser-known distillery that is quietly working to put itself on the map. Although they still supply the vast majority of their production for the blends of Whyte & Mackay, they also bottle single malt. In May 2021, I participated in an online masterclass, organized by importer Cinoco, and this was in the line-up. It charmed without being really great. But for 50 EUR you do have an honest entry-level malt, made of mainly first fill bourbon-aged and only a little sherry-aged Tomintoul.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 473: Highland Park 15 Year Old Viking Heart
When we were guided through the shop after the tour at Highland Park, my eye fell on this ceramic bottle from Highland Park. I took it home because it was Dearly Beloved's favorite of the tasting. Time to thoroughly test it myself.
about one month ago 2Who liked this?
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 474: Laphroaig 10 Year Old ‘Pre Warrant’
In 1994 Laphroaig received a visit from Prince (now King) Charles, who gave the distillery a Royal Warrant, something the distillery is of course happy to mention on the label. On this bottle, that warrant is not yet mentioned. And while I'm not sure when exactly this was bottled, it must have been from before 1994 and consequently contain a whisky that was distilled in the early 1980s.
about one month ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 475: Paul John Christmas Edition 2022
I have had the honor and pleasure of discussing this Christmas Edition of Paul John live on Instagram with none other than Heemanshu Ashar, their Global Brand Ambassador. Nice, right? For this Christmas Edition they used three types of barrels: Ex Bourbon Unpeated, Brandy and Oloroso Peated.
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 476: Johnnie Walker Ghost & Rare – Port Dundas
The time has finally come. The new Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare has reached the Whivie HQ. After the Brora, Port Ellen, Glenury Royal and Pittyvaich releases (and let's not forget the Legendary Eight!) now it's time for Port Dundas! Now I must confess, when I first saw the announcement and realized that a closed grain distillery was going to play the leading role, I frowned for a moment. But after I tasted it at a whisky festival, I knew immediately that I also wanted a bottle (or three) of this one, because it has become a work of art again. This time it's a creation of the new Master Blender, Emma Walker, who followed in the footsteps of legendary Jim Beveridge in October 2021. And in addition to Port Dundas (about 2km north of Glasgow and closed since 2009), Emma Walker also used Cambus (also a closed grain distillery, since 1993) and Cameronbridge, supplemented with malt whiskies from the warehouses of Glenkinchie, Auchroisk, Dailuaine, Clynelish and (the recently reopened) Brora. It is a composition of 7 whiskies and again bottled at 43.8%. Boy, what a long introduction. Now let's taste.
30 days ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 477: Auchentoshan 24 Year Old 1998 Asta Morris
Hurrah! Asta Morris has just launched a new whisky in the Heritage reeks, the one with the blue labels, specially reserved for beautiful single casks at a certain age. And this time it's a 24-year-old Auchentoshan. You understand my joy. I was of course very quick to order and even popped it open the same day, that's how enthusiastic I was. If Crazy Bert chooses a Toshan, then I know it's going to be good. This is not his first rodeo. In 2016 he also bottled an Auchentoshan. Then it was a sherry hogshead. This time it is a former bourbon cask. Let’s taste!
22 days ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 478: Caol Ila 9 Year Old 2013 Smoking Buffalo
We had to wait a long time for it (honestly, I thought that the series was coming to an end with number 10, bottled in 2018), but here it is: the Smoking Buffalo 11, in honor of the 2022 Cup Final of KAA Gent, my local football club. It is once again a Caol Ila, this time distilled in 2013 and bottled at cask strength. I hurried to order it, not only to keep my Smoking Buffalo collection complete, but especially because I am very fond of this malt. In my opinion, you can never taste enough Caol Ila!
18 days ago 0
Whisky Ramblings 479: Two Islay from the Magnificent Five
Two years ago, Magnificent Five – a West Flemish whisky society – already bottled an Islay Blended Malt of 8 years old. It was sherry hogshead #LAP29, which suggested (rightly) that it was a teaspooned Laphroaig. And now look... they could lay their hands on sister cask #LAP30 which had been sleeping for 11 years. I put it head-to-head with another of their new releases: a sherry matured Bunnahabhain. After 13 years on a sherry hogshead, that yielded 178 bottles at 55%. I used to find the combo sherry and peat very difficult. But practice makes perfect. Nowadays I even find sherry and peat something to look forward to or even actively look for.
12 days ago 0
Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 480: Wolfburn Love Potion
When we visited Wolfburn in September 2022, we had the misfortune that the Bottle Your Own was not available. The previous cask had been emptied a few days before by the visitors and they had not yet had (made?) the time to prepare a new one. I confess, that was a disappointment. But in the shop, there was a bottle that I hadn't seen before, so I took it with me. Nice Valentine bottle, it seems to me, this Love Potion.
6 days ago 0
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