30Mar
Bruichladdich Port Charllote Scottish Barley

Bruichladdich: Port Charlotte Scottish Barley

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Nose: Smoky, sweet, salty - quite coastal.  Hints of citrus - mainly lemon; and traces of nature reserves (from where I grew up).  Quite soft and subtle for the peat level. Palate: Smoky and salty, vanilla and lemon - a slightly floral hint lurking too.  The smoke is clean and bushfire-like rather than the usual Islay medicinal peat.  the smoke levels are consistent with what you'd expect from the peat levels of this whisky, but the rest of the palate is remarkably mild and smooth.  Somehow the palate is both delicate and solidly heavy at the same time. Mouthfeel: Thick,…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

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13Mar
The Ten Number 3 Clynelish

The Ten #3: Clynelish 2008

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Nose:  Young sweet malt, fresh cut grass, honeyed oats, and icing sugar. Palate:  Fresh toast, oats, hints of honey, and faintly tropical.  Slightly grassy as well. Mouthfeel:  Dry, slightly warm, mid-weight, quite waxy. Finish:  Short, dry, some slight wood spices, and a bit waxy. Balance: Just about perfect - this whisky is fresh and reasonably light all round, with perhaps just a touch more weight on the tongue than the rest of the whisky would suggest.  A consistent whisky right from the first nosing through to the finish. The first thing I have to mention about this whisky is the…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
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Balance

8Mar
Auchroisk 1996 Berrys Own

Auchroisk 1996 Berry’s Own

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Nose:  Very sweet.  Jersey caramels, fairy floss, golden syrup on pancakes, and sugared fruit jelly lollies.  Quite the fairground. Palate:  Vanilla, caramel toffee & caramel fudge, oak spices, nutmeg, and fresh timber.  Surprisingly light on flavour given its ABV. Mouthfeel:  Thick, dry, and warm.  A slight burn on the tip of the tongue that dies off quickly. Finish:  Medium length.  Burnt toffee; dry and slightly bitter.  Hints of salted walnuts, and traces of floral notes after a while. Balance: This whisky a bit all over the shop.  The mouthfeel could be said to match nicely with the nose, but the…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
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Balance

6Feb
William Grant Cruinich 21

William Grant & Sons: Rare Cask Reserves – Cruinnich

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Nose:  Grape juice, pears, oak, vanilla fudge, brown sugar, and faint notes of paint thinner. Palate:  Heavy on the oak flavours - quite woody up front, and full of oak spices at the back end.  Pretty sweet, with some slight fruity salad notes.  Hints of vanilla fudge or cake icing. Mouthfeel:  Fairly light and mellow.  Very dry.  There is no burn at all.  Lacking any significan body for a whisky of its age. Finish:  Oak spices, and (very) faint traces of vanilla.  The finish is so short it is practically non-existent. Balance:  This whisky is pretty consistent all the way…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
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Balance

26Jan
Stone Pine Dead Mans Drop

Stone Pine: Dead Man’s Drop [Rum]

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Nose:  Fruit cake, liquorice, vanilla, candied fruit peel, and almonds. Palate:  Mountains of candied orange, fruitcake, and vanilla; along with a few chocolate-covered liquorice bullets.  Also something sweet spice - that adds a little bit of zing.  Seriously sweet and fruity, with a touch of spice. Mouthfeel:  Thick and chewy.  It covers the whole mouth in a deliciously solid layer of rum. Finish:  Long and so very sweet.  Oodles of fruit cake on the finish, with more spice than on the nose or palate. Balance:  This is seriously well balanced - strong and smooth from the very first whiff till…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
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Balance

25Dec
Bruichladdich Octomore 1.1

Bruichladdich: Octomore 1.1

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Nose:  Salt, seaweed, hay, wood shavings, and fresh malt.  Also some aniseed, and wet tar. Small hints of icing sugar and sherbet are also there. Palate:  Brine, peat, straw, jalepenos, mixed beer nuts, and well-charred barbequed meats.  Did I mention the brine and the peat?  They make up the majority of the flavour. Mouthfeel:  Mid-weight, and quite oily.  Quite a bit of burn. Finish:  Salty, extremely peaty, and barbeque ash.  Quite a long finish, with a decent amount of burn.  The finish is surprisingly dry considering the mouthfeel is so oily. Balance:  It's not really balanced at all; sweet and…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
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Balance

24Dec
Bruichladdich Octomore 2.1

Bruichladdich: Octomore 2.1

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Nose:  Brine, lemon, recently mowed grass, peat, and polished wood.  Also traces of freshly oiled leather, and a slight hint of green apples.  Quite fresh and light. Palate:  Sweet malt, grass, burnt barbeque marinade, mixed citrus lollies, and fresh mint & other herbs.  There's a thick layer of strong and sweet peat blanketing everything.  Quite creamy. Mouthfeel:  Slightly less thick than the 1.1, but still what I'd say is mid-weight.  Slightly dry and creamy.  A small amount of burn, but quite a bit less than the 1.1. Finish:  Reasonable length, but shorter than most Octomores.  Quite sweet.  Fresh grass, lemon…
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18Dec
Bruichladdich Octomore 2.2

Bruichladdich: Octomore 2.2

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Nose:  Wet timber, moss, ripe grapes, and mixed red-berry jam.  Also, unusually for an Octomore, there is quite a prominent amount of newmake spirit and paint-stripper on the nose.  Also a hint of some portwine jelly.  Given a bit of a breather, the paint-stripper and newmake spirit dies right off, with the berries and jelly becoming far more prominent. Palate:  Very sweet, with a hint of peat.  The grapes and mixed red-berry jam from the nose are quite bold on the palate.  Thankfully the paint stripper has departed, although there is still a hint of some newmake spirit at the…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish
Balance

12Dec
Bruichladdich Octomore 3.1

Bruichladdich: Octomore 3.1

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Nose:  Sea salt, smoke - more barbeque than peat, lemon, vegetal notes, vanilla slice, and crackers.  Some fresh malt is also lurking around the back there. Palate:  Very vegetal, and the peat that was practically non-existent on the nose is boisterous on the palate.  Still slightly salty, but also a bit sweet - and reasonably malty.  Very medicinal for an Octomore - not even close to Bowmore levels, let alone Laphroaig, but notable for an Octomore.  There's a bit of green apples and grapes as it heads across the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel:  Quite thick on the tongue.  Not…
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