Glenmorangie Extemely Rare 18yr

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Glenmorangie is a distillery in the highlands of Scotland and man do they do smooth well. This expression has been aged in ex-bourbon casks for at least 15 years and then finished imagein sherry barrels. The result is a natural honey sweetness overlayed by strong fruity notes. The use of those bourbon casks really is the underpinning of the flavour profile. The sweetness and character are a result of the maturation process, the slow transfer of caramelly and fruity notes take time to develop and mellow. Once imbued, the finish in the sherry casks serves to add a subtle brightness that develops in a slow rolling tide.

The nose of this single malt gem is instantly sweet and complex, at the onset you pick up on a clear honeyed orange aroma that parlays into a light caramel undertone. It feels like you’re only getting the sweetest aspects at first but that floral orange belies a more complex palate to come.

imageThe dram is a gentle wave pleasantly rolling through the mouth with a gentle warmth. What is clear is the eminent smooth drinkability of this expression, it shimmers with hints of vanilla and buttery complexion. The captivating result from the mellowness is a mouthfeel that has a present and agreeable presence. This aspect will continue to appreciate after every sip, creating a languishing sensation of buttery caramel.

The finish builds on the enveloping warmth in the mouth and plays on the notes of the floral fruits from the nose and hums slowly away, inviting you to take another sip that play across your tastebuds again.

This is a well rounded pleasure, the only downside is the price point, it’s a bit of doozy. This is a top shelf affair the bottle and the box to match; and should tasted if and when the opportunity arises.

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McClelland’s

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So this is a single malt Scotch from Islay (pronounced “Eye-la” for some Gaelic reason). imageHaving reviewed a few single malts from this region before I one the profile and can say that this is a great introduction to the style. The style in question is characterized by peaty – smokey – with a slight slant of salty. Sometimes this signature style can be over present and imposing to the uninitiated. This not the case for this expression, it is a great entry into the island mix

To those who wish to explore in a different direction, the price point and assuaged flavour profile are ideal for new comers.

With a nose that gives an easy scent of smoke, peat and spice you are invited to try the palate that is true to the nose. It gives over to a clear mouthfeel. Once on the palate there is a clear presence of imagespice on the tongue, it’s a quick passage but it registers.  The peat and smoke develop as I swish the liquid around my mouth trying to extract any hints of other flavours. I had occasion to share this tasting with a “peat head”, and she was able to discern some accents of sea salt, once it was pointed out I confirm that the tail end of the palate has hints of salt. It’s always nice to have another palate to play out the flavours that one can miss. And sharing a dram over conversation is really the tangible expression of whisky.

The finish is quick, it goes away in a whisp, slightly underwhelming but invites a second take. The peat is almost a suggestion compared to the spicy notes that have a slight medicinal quality. But all of that fades away and leaves a slight glycerol film, not unpleasant, just too fleeting.

This is a good bottle to open up the view on what different scotches can offer, they aren’t all ambrosia and that’s a good thing, a dram for  every taste. As well the price point is attractive, it’s a good stop gap in the cupboard so you won’t drain all the good stuff.image

Aberfeldy 12

imageFirst new bottle of the new year, it’s fitting.  As a new bottle with no expectations I am imagein effect an initiate and this is true for every first tasting. Bring no baggage with you and you will benefit in your sampling. Thinking that you know how something will turnout  can only dampen the experience; either by confirming your bias; it becomes as expected or it blocks the openness required to pick up on subtleties  that take time to develop.  So I venture with a blank slate.

Tabula rasa is a good approach to an initial tasting, this is part of the enjoyment of imagewhisky, palate discoveries. The other thing that I enjoy is discovery through research, wanting to know more and reading can add to the vocabulary needed for description. Broadening what I know sometimes with other more/or less knowledgeable people with equally passionate views adds to the dialogue and enjoyment. Either by hook or crook (read; purchase, gift, exchange or random)  there is no bad way to experience a new experience.  I know with circular, but it’s my circle so grab a dram and friend and have at it.

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Aberfeldy 12yr is actually the first entry, so fitting.

Aberfeldy 12 is a single malt Highland Scotch Whisky,  the Highlands are reputed to be light and floral (I just read this post tasting) and the Aberfeldy 12 plays well into that trope.

The nose is sweet with fruitiness in the front and then mellows out to a floral orange, kinda like if Triple Sec wasn’t syrupy and maybe just a hint of young oak to balance it out.

The palate takes the floral notes and turns them into orange honey, pleasantly covering the lips with a light gloss. The mouth feel is imagea smooth and pleasant, very palatable and easy to consume. It is not a challenging whisky, but rather an inviting one.

The finish is a sweet that lasts with a touch of spice. It also lingers longer than one would expect from the light touch, kind of like a good friend at a party trying to say goodbye to everyone there. You say goodbye to them and then it takes them a while longer to actually leave (in a good way).

Aberfeldy is a product of Dewars, reputed for its blended scotch whiskies, when imageDewars acquired Aberfeldy they decided to keep a portion of the bottling  as a separate independant single malt. Well done Dewars. This is a great bottle for the newcomer to single malts, it’s inviting and easy and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s also relatively cheap for a 12 year, grab it and share it.

Slainte mhath

 

HIBIKI 17

Hibiki 17. Where to start, well HAPPY NEW YEARS, ok that’s done.

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This bottle is the second pillar that holds up my love of whisky. It is far removed from the old guard Scotish gambit; with its well established, identifiable flavour spectrum. The Japanese style is paradoxically old and young. And I love it for that.

Suntory(1899), the (Yamazaki) distillery that makes Hibiki was founded in 1924 by Shinjiro Torii. He had a vision of a Japanese whisky that was emblematic of the imagecountry and its people; harmonious and respectful of its ingredients and process. From the design of the 24 faceted bottle that represent the hours in the day and  “Sekki” the traditional 24 seasons of the old lunar calendar and the hand crafted labeling”Washi“. There is a conscious and concerted effort to produce a beautiful and harmonious blended whiksy.

Now the whisky at hand. The nose and fragrance evokes a warm and fresh aroma that is crisp to the nose with warm floral citrus and sweet honey. With a slight trace of young oak.

imageThe palate rolls up your mouth with an effervescence leaving a gentle spicy tingle on the tip of the tongue. In the mouth the there is balanced richness that lets the citrus play with the oak and honey flavours from the nose. The mouth feels is clean and pleasant, present but not imposing.

The finish continues and is long lasting with a subtle complexity highlighted with a creamy floral note that allows for some interpretation.

I think I notice the oak and honey most imagebut there is this light note of citrus blossom just underneath. I find this whisky accessible and delightful, well suited for sipping in the summer with its crisp taste it doesn’t weigh you down; rather it carries you along with whispers pleasant nothings on your palate. If you can find this bottle. buy it and enjoy it. I am down to my last dram and am grateful for the gift that it truly was.