Monthly Archives: August 2017

A wee new Highland Expression

Halò, Single Malt Mates,

I loes expressions that are labeled Flora and Fauna. The nose, palate, and finish of same is usually fantastic.

I had a Mortlach expression which was so good they sold out and to date have refrained from bottling any more.

Mair’s the pity.

Anyway Here is a new Flora and Fauna from Blair Athol:

Blair Athol

12 Year Old Flora and Fauna 43% 70cl

WAS £48.95

£44.95
(Inc. VAT)

Description
Blair Athol’s house style is quite heavily sherried. You don’t see much of it on the market though, as it all goes in to Bell’s blended whisky. Nice wee place, worth a visit if you are staying in Pitlochry

Details
Producer Diageo
Age 12 Year Old
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 43%
Bottler Official

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Apricots and raisins, sweetness, tablet, cocoa chocolate, sandal wood and and a dash of smokey embers.
Palate: Red berries, blackcurrants, raisins and a mulled wine note. With a bit more time, grape juice, sandal wood, cumin and paprika.

Sounds delish doesn’t it. It will pair well with fish, meat, seegars (cigars in Yank) and of course chocolate.

I hope you will try it. I am looking forward to getting some in a few months if it is still around.

A real problem. What is common today can be a collectable tomorrow.

May the best ye hae ivver seen be the warst ye’ll ivver see.
May the moose ne’er leave yer girnal wi a tear-drap in its ee.
May ye aye keep hail an hertie till ye’r auld eneuch tae dee.
May ye aye juist be sae happie as A wish ye aye tae be.

In English
May the best you have ever seen be the worst you will ever see.
May the mouse never leave your pantry wlth a teardrop in its eye
May you always stay whole and hearty until you are old enough to die..
May you still be as happy as I always wish you to be.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slainte Mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master
A real collectable

Whisky Alert

Halò, Single Malt Mates,

Here is the winner of the 2017 Spirit of the Whisky Fringe hosted by Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Glenrothes 2000 wins the 2017 The Spirit of Whisky Fringe Award!

Glenrothes
2000 UK Exclusive Single Cask # 2364 Batch 1 58.7% 70cl

Details
Producer Berry Brothers and Rudd
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 58.7%
Bottler Official
Region Speyside
Vintage 2000
Country Scotland

Description
If you’re a fan of whiskies that have lashings of sherry influence then you might want to take note of this new single cask release from Glenrothes. Limited to 575 bottles it has been bottled at natural cask strength.

Since this is a collectable with only 575 bottles they haven’t bothered to supply tasting notes. Here is a similar Glenrothes expression’s tasting notes:

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Unusually fragrant, soft in style, wafts of citrus and honeycomb, followed by red fruits.
Palate: Very soft silky creamy mouthfeel. Red berry fruits and nuttiness, followed by a long citrusy finish with hints of vanilla, honey and a faint sherried note.

This is a UK only cask strength product, but it is possible one of the three major vendors will sell it to you. A real collectable…

Or better yet you could visit Scotland and buy it there. What fun!!! I’d do it in a minute if I could….

Here’s to the men of all classes, Who through lasses and glasses Will make themselves
asses!

May the hinges of friendship ne’er rust nor the wings of love lose a feather!

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you.

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee Glen Moray

Halò, Single Malt Mates,

This expression made it to the top ten whiskies featured in Royal Mile Whiskies’ Whisky Fringe. A brill feat indeed.

The last port finish I enjoyed was the Balvenie 21 which I had the honor of sharing with the heir apparent of the Clan MacBean Chief. I am rather fond of that moment.

I also shared a wee dram of another guid single malt with the current Earl of Caithness, another fond moment, but I digress.

When mo Clann and I were in Elgin, we could have visited this distillery but sadly didn’t. Mair’s the pity.

Anyway, here is the Glen Moray:

Home >
Glen Moray

Glen Moray

25 Year Old Port 43% 70cl
Details
Age 25 Year Old
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 43%

Description
This 25 Year Old Glen Moray is matured in ex Bourbon casks, before being finished in ex port casks. It is a distillery that has been going through something of a reinvigoration, with more single malts being released by them, which is great for whisky geeks like us. Indeed!

Location: Scotland,

Region Speyside

Ingredients: Malted Barley Yeast and pure spring water

Cask Type: Ex Bourbon Cask, Ex Port Cask

Bottled by: Official Distillery Bottling

Size: 70cl

ABV: 43%

Staff Tasting Notes
Nose: Huge initial wafts of leafy, grassy freshness and some rum like smooth varnish qualities, before overripe strawberries, raspberries and other summer fruits bursting with juiciness enter the fore.
Palate: Rich berries most notably strawberries, make a huge initial impact. More complex and subtle flavours of barley sugar, fruit juices and gentle mulled spices contribute to this full-bodied whisky, which continues to become ever juicier.

25 year old whisky is always good. Some don’t think so but the proof of the puddin’ is in the eating. As we Yanks say. The only way you will find out is if you try one. I hope that you do and enjoy the dram as much as I do.

Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”
-Joseph O’Leary

Here’s tae the heath, the hill and the heather,
The bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slainte Mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee Kirkerran and Lamb pairing

Halo Single Malt Mates,

To-nite, I decided to have some guid Lamb for dinner.. So I looked over my wee inventory of guid single malt and decided to try a Cambeltown, kilkerran bourbon wood.. Which is a collectors item by the way. it has been discontinued by the Distiller Glengyle.

Master of Malt is the only online vendor currently carries Kilkerran of the three UK majors. They are currently sold out.

This is the best approximation of the whisky I used:

Kilkerran 8 Year Old (70cl, 56.2%)

$51.26

Kilkerran 8 Year Old Bottling Note

A limited edition cask strength 8 year old Kilkerran single malt whisky from Glengyle distillery in Campbeltown. Matured exclusively in bourbon casks, it’s bottled at 56.2% without chill filtration

Kilkerran 8 Year Old Details
Country Scotland
Region Campbeltown
Distillery Glengyle
Bottler Glengyle
Age 8 year old Whisky
Style Single Malt Whisky
Alcohol 56.2%
Volume 70cl

Tasting Note by The Producer

Nose: The peat aroma from the lightly peated barley is apparent from the off and some of the green apples which are becoming a feature of Kilkerran are also present. This whisky is like a favourite dessert, rhubarb crumble, stewed rhubarb, vanilla and all butter shortbread.

Palate: There’s an earthiness and saltiness, exactly what you want to taste in a Campbeltown dram. This is combined with icing sugar and puff candy which gives a sweetness to the whisky, along with milk chocolate and walnut flavours.

Finish: The peat remains, along with a sootiness, pencil shavings and a liquorice influenced maltiness.

The lamb smoothed out the peatiness and the finish was really good. The nose and palate were exceptional with the lamb.

I really liked it. And I hope you will try a similar pairing…

My son is really getting into Cambeltowns and gave this expression to me. If a Kilkerran is unavailable you can try a Glen Scotia 12 or 15 which are usually available in the States..

Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”
-Joseph O’Leary

Òlamaid deoch-slàinte!
(Let us drink a toast; literally, Let us drink [to] health)

Here’s to the men of all classes, Who through lasses and glasses Will make themselves
asses!

To the rapturous, wild, and ineffable pleasure
Of drinking at somebody else’s expense.
—Henry Sambrooke Leigh

Slàinte gu Soírraidh!

Your Scotch Spirit Master

Whisky Alert Whisky Alert

Halò, Single Malt Mates,

I have just stumbled upon a rare collectors item from Craigellachie.

Hunter Laing, an independent bottler, bought a single cask of whisky from Craigellachie which was aged in sherry for 20 years! 20 years!!!

This means there will be only the bottles from that particular cask available for sale. 305 actually. Another site said 543. When they are gone then finis!

Here is the whisky:

Craigellachie 20 Year Old 1995 (cask 12362) – The First Editions (Hunter Laing) (70cl, 54.4%)

$94.66

Craigellachie 20yo #12362 Bottling Note

Single cask Craigellachie, aged in a Sherry butt for 20 years! This was distilled in 1995 and bottled in 2016 by Hunter Laing for their First Editions range, with 305 bottles produced (and decked out with a label inspired by old books).

Craigellachie 20yo #12362 Details

Country Scotland

Region Speyside

Distillery Craigellachie

Bottler Hunter Laing

Age 20 year old Whisky

Distillation Date 1995

Style Single Malt Whisky
Bottling Date 2016

Maturation Sherry

Alcohol 54.4%
Volume 70cl
Cask Number 12362

.
Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Baked apple, chocolate sauce, white pepper and coriander.

Palate: Sugared peels, walnuts, meaty malt and cinnamon.

Finish: A slight mineral-y edge lasting.

This is a cask strength whisky. Cask strength expressions are becoming the rage these days. If it is not chill filltered it would be considered to be pure whisky. If it is chill filtered so what?

If I had the quid, I would buy it. Maybe next year. If you do, buy two as the supply is limited.
The whisky exchange and now Royal Mile Whiskies are looking for collectables to sell. So wait long enough and you can clean up!!! Assuming people will buy what you have naturally.

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi’tippeny, we Fear nae evil;
Wi’usquabae, we’ll face the devil!

Here’s to the men of all classes, Who through lasses and glasses Will make themselves
asses!

To the rapturous, wild, and ineffable pleasure
Of drinking at somebody else’s expense.
—Henry Sambrooke Leigh

Slainte gu Soirriadh

Your Scotch Spirit Master

Whiskey Alert! Everyone is getting in on the whiskey act.

Halò, Single Malt Mate

But Scotch Spirit Master, I thought your site was only about Scotch Whisky! Nae lads and lasses, I write about whiskey both Irish and otherwise every now and then, Like Now.

It seems there is a distillery in Taiwan. Taiwan for God’s sake! This distillery makes sherried whisky in the Scottish way. Les Français would say La méthode écossaise. It caught my attention because I love sherried whiskies.

With the name Omar you would think the Arabs made this. Nae Laddie, the distillery is in Taiwan.

Here tis:
Omar
Sherry Cask 46% 70cl

Details
Producer Nantou Distillery
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 46%
Bottler Official

Description
A big, full sherry influenced whisky from Taiwan. Omar whisky was first released in 2015 and is made at the Nantou distillery. It was been bottled at 46% without chill-filtration.

It is so new there are no tasting notes.

I wouldn’t pass it up if someone offered me a free dram. You can try it if you like.

Here’s tae the heath, the hill and the heather,
The bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slainte Mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee new acquisition

Halò, Single Malt Mates,

To treat myself, I have acquired a new Glenfiddich . I currently loes the 15 but hadn’t considered the 18 because I thought the Glenlivet would be better. Silly me.

Turns out the Glenlivet 18 is smooth as silk and a great dram, by the way. The spirit is matured in European Oak Casks and exfil sherry casks but the European oak wins out and the palate has a burst of sweet orange according to the Distiller. European oak is a different species than American oak and gives a different nose palate and finish than American oak does.

Master of Malt says this:
Palate: Full and rich with notes of chewy, tannic oak. Manuka honey and walnut with Cox’s apples and orange peels. Cut herbs – fennel and spearmint.

But I digress.

This is the Glenfiddich 18.

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old
70cl / 40%

Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillery Bottling

Facts

An elegant nose, faintly sweet, scented with apple and wood. Glenfiddich 18yo is a robust and full-bodied single malt whisky, yet remains remarkably soft, rounded and long lasting.

This 18 year old from Glenfiddich’s core range was matured in a mix of Oloroso sherry and bourbon casks.
Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Loads of fruit. Zesty grapefruit, baked toffee apples. Dry, chocolate Flake-y wood and cinnamon.

Palate: Candied fruits and Glenfiddich freshness balances richer notes of dried apricot, more cinnamon and toffee, ginger and dry Sherry.

Finish: Peels and a touch of salted toffee.

Overall: A wonderfully rich and enjoyable Glenfiddich single malt.

As you well know, I have a soft spot for Sherried whisky. As My palate matures, after 30 years by the way, I find that I am even enjoying Islays, and peated Cambeltowns. Imagine that!

Nowadays, if it is a single malt scotch I like it. IF you follow my tasting methods you will find your palate maturing as well.

So the moral of this story is: If you don’t like a single malt at first, then try some you do like and go back to the one you thought you didn’t like. The result will hopefully surprise you.

Òlamaid deoch-slàinte!
(Let us drink a toast; literally, Let us drink [to] health)

Here’s tae the heath, the hill and the heather,
The bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you.

Your Scotch Spirit Master

a wee exotic pairing

Halò, Single Malt Mates,

I had the brill idea to give my son a Glen Moray Chardonnay finish whisky for his birthday.

Being a good lad, he shared a dram of  it at dinner where I enjoyed pot roast.

Pairing the whisky with pot roast was like drinking 80 proof Chardonnay at dinner. Oh happy thought!

Here is the whisky:

Glen Moray
10 Year Old Chardonnay 40% 70cl

Cost . £29.95

 

Details

Producer La Martiniquaise
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 40%

Description

Historically, distillers would have used many different casks to mature their whisky. Port Pipes, Sherry Butts, Ex Bourbon Casks, and wine casks. More recently (in the past 50 years), Sherry casks and Bourbon casks have become the norm, so it’s nice to see Glen Moray Distillery releasing a full maturation, ex Chardonnay casked whisky. Glen Moray is in Elgin, in the heart of Speyside and they have been producing whisky since 1897.
Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Apples, mixed in with a key lime pie, cinnamon, sugar, pear drops and a bubblegum note.
Palate: Carmelised fruit and butterscotch. A soft, elegant whisky with a nutty, vanilla, oaky and floral finish.
When I was last in Scotland, we stayed in Elgin a week.. Somehow we missed Glen Moray. Mair’s the pity..
I was very impressed with the palate and finish when paired with the pot roast. I suggest you try it.  I think you will like it..

Here’s to the men of all classes, Who through lasses and glasses Will make themselves asses!

To the rapturous, wild, and ineffable pleasure

Of drinking at somebody else’s expense.

—Henry Sambrooke Leigh 

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.

Great health and every good blessing to you.

 Your Scotch Spirit Master
Mo Clann agus Mi

An awesome wee pairing

Halò, Single Malt Mates,

I cawn’t get enough of pairing Talisker 10 with Scottish Smoked Salmon.

The whisky becmes smoother and the finish lasts longer with the salmon augmenting the palate and finish.

Here in the States I can get Scottish Smoked Salmon package at Albertsons Grocery Store.

Most everyone else I try it with likes it too..

Here is the whisky:

Talisker
10 Year Old 45.8% 20cl

 

Details

Producer Diageo
Age 10 Year Old
Bottle Size 20cl
Alc. Volume 45.8%
Bottler Official
Region Island

Description

Talisker, the famed distillery on the Isle of Skye produces a peppery, sweet and smoky whisky. A complex dram, but with a medium level of smoke, so as not to scare off people who are still getting used to peatiness.
Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Hints of dried cocoa leaves, castor oil and smoked chipotle chilli peppers. A hot and heavy on first nose. Freshly ground pepper, crushed over smoked kippers with an earthy, peaty note. Bewitching, heady and intoxicating.
Palate: Pepper and peat notes followed by a balancing syrupy sweetness. Ginger snaps, spice and a dash of honey. A full, flavoursome, smoky, complex dram. It’s a joy of a dram.
It is unbelievable how whisky pairs with guid food..Cheese, meat, fish, and spicy food pairs well with different expressions. Chocolate pairs with them all.
I hope you try guid pairings and enjoy them as much as I do.

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi’tippeny, we Fear nae evil;
Wi’usquabae, we’ll face the devil!

Lang may yer lum reek wit’ ither peoples coal!

Slainte gu Soirriadh

Your Scotch Spirit Master

 

A wee new expression and a whisky fact

Halò Single Malt Mates,
Time was only peat was  used to heat barley before it was ground into grist to make the spirit.
The peat smoke contains phenols which are alcohols and have a similar boiling point of the alcohol that makes our drinks. So when distilled, a peat heated barley will have a smokey peaty taste.
Nowadays peat is not always used and you have some distilleries advertising a non peated product. As always, things change and some are opting to use peat heated parley for their grist… Here is one:
BenRiach
10 Year Old Curiositas Peated 40% 70cl

In stock

Details

Producer Brown Forman
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 40%
Bottler Official
Region Speyside

Description

Traditionally, all whisky made in Scotland would have been smoky. It’s only as tastes changed, and smokeless fuel became available, that whisky flavours began to change. We think it’s great that distilleries like BenRiach are starting to create smokey single malt whisky again.
Staff Tasting Notes
Nose: Some sherry notes coming through: onion chutney, burnt caramel, pickle, dates, raisins and plums.
Palate: Tablet, cherries, buttery, very creamy and a cheesecake biscuit base mouthfeel. More chocolate, and milky notes on the finish.
I, your humble Scotch Spirit Master, currently own two Sherried BenRiachs. Delightful.
Thanks to my son Matt, I have expanded my palate to even liking peaty expressions like this one.
I believe if you follow my suggestions you will learn to like any guid single malt.
I have another caveat. I like any whisky or whiskey if it is free…

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi’tippeny, we Fear nae evil;
Wi’usquabae, we’ll face the devil!

May the hinges of friendship ne’er rust nor the wings o’ love lose a feather!

Slainte gu Soirriadh

Your Scotch Spirit Master