Glenfiddich: XX

Glenfiddich XX

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Nose:  Christmas cake with maraschino cherries and plenty of brandy soaked sultanas.  Quite sweet - heading towards the golden syrup end of the sugary spectrum.  Also some vanilla, and hints of some sweet spices. Palate:  Sweeter and less fruity than the nose - also a lot less heavy than the nose would suggest.  A few sultanas are still to be found, although they seem to have dumped the brandy.  A little nutty as well, and just a trace of vanilla. Mouthfeel:  Surprisingly light in the weight department.  Despite the higher alcohol, there is only a very very slight tingle on…

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Glenfiddich: IPA

Glenfiddich IPA

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Nose:  A fresh winter fruit salad of mixed apples, pears, and grapes, with a side serving of milk arrowroot biscuits and some subtle sweet spices. Palate: The winter fruit and malty biscuits come through from the nose, now joined by citrus zests - more lemon and lime than orange.  Also joining the nose is a decent serve of hops - soft and sweet, but with a slight tang; even a touch floral perhaps.  A hint of vanilla also creeps into the palate. Mouthfeel: Not the thickest whisky I've ever had, but a decent heft is present nonetheless.  A touch creamy…

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Bruichladdich: Port Charlotte Scottish Barley

Bruichladdich Port Charllote 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,…

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Warenghem: Amorik Classic

Warenghem Amorik Classic

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Nose:  Light & sweet.  Lemons and limes.  Quite malty. Palate:  Lots of malt, lots of oak spices, traces of vanilla and honeyed breakfast cereal.  Also a slight lemon hint. Mouthfeel:  Thin, warm, quite sharp.  There's a decent amount of alcohol on the tongue for a whisky of its strength. Finish:  Short-medium length.  Heavy on the malt with traces of vanilla and honey.   This is a decent-enough whisky with fairly basic notes on the palate - it doesn't really distinguish itself in any way, but likewise is not obnoxious at all.  A completely drinkable whisky, but not one that I'd…

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Bushmills: Black Bush

Bushmills Black Bush

Nose:  Stewed apples and berries, sultanas, fruitcake, and golden syrup.

Palate:  Smooth, sweet, nut-laden Christmas cake, red fruits, and sweet spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Some of the malt comes through nice and rich, along with some punchy sweetness from the grain.

Mouthfeel:  Mid-weight, slightly oily, slightly creamy, almost juicy, very smooth – no burn at all.

Finish:  Lingering for a short time, sweet red fruits, even more sweet spices.

 



Punchier than most blended-malt scotches, but smoother and richer than most mixed blends; Black Bush is an extremely easy drinking whiskey – one that you could just as easy drink in summer out on the balcony, or watching the footy, or at the pub whilst hanging out with a group of mates.

I’m generally a big fan of whiskies from the Old Bushmills distillery, and although it doesn’t have the weight or complexity of the 16, or 21 year olds; the Black Bush is still an excellent dram.  Black Bush was one of my first whiskies, and definitely the first ‘regular’ in my collection; and still resides there all these years later despite many many bottles of more expensive whiskies – I don’t know whether it’s my half-Irish ancestry, or Black Bush’s rich flavours yet easy accessibility that keeps it there.

The distillery is located in the beautiful township that shares the same name, up north near Giant’s Causeway, and for a very long time has been the only commercial distillery in Northern Ireland.  The Old Bushmills distillery reputedly got its license to distil in 1608 – making it the oldest whisky distillery still in existence.  The company that originally built the current distillery was founded in 1784, and after several closures and a devastating fire has been in continuous operation since 1885.  According to some historians, evidence of distillation at or near Bushmills dates back to 1276 – clearly whisky is in the blood around those parts!  It is the only currently operating distillery in Ireland that was in existence prior to 1975, and one of only two distilleries currently operating in Northern Ireland – with the Echlinville Distillery opening in 2013 (the first new distillery to be licensed in Northern Ireland in 125 years).

Although Black Bush won’t knock anybody’s socks off for any one reason, it is a superb easy-going all-rounder whiskey, and one that will likely always remain as a regular in my cupboard.

Nose:  Stewed apples and berries, sultanas, fruitcake, and golden syrup. Palate:  Smooth, sweet, nut-laden Christmas cake, red fruits, and sweet spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. Some of the malt comes through nice and rich, along with some punchy sweetness from the grain. Mouthfeel:  Mid-weight, slightly oily, slightly creamy, almost juicy, very smooth - no burn at all. Finish:  Lingering for a short time, sweet red fruits, even more sweet spices.   Punchier than most blended-malt scotches, but smoother and richer than most mixed blends; Black Bush is an extremely easy drinking whiskey - one that you could just as…

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Bruichladdich: Laddie Classic Edition_01

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Edition_01

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Nose: Lots of fresh malt on the nose of this one, along with apples - both red and green, some pears, a light touch of both vanilla and honey, and the faintest waft of some floral notes. Palate:  The palate pretty much continues on from the nose - everything that is present is in the nose makes an appearance in the palate, with perhaps a bit more fresh malt, a light touch of sea-breeze saltiness (very light), a touch of nutmeg, and the slightest sense of something nutty such as slivered almonds.  There's also a bit of oak spice right…

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Jameson: Caskmates – Stout Edition

Jameson Caskmates Stout Ediition

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Nose:  Fresh cut grass, winter fruits, lemon peel, a few almonds, and a dusting of cocoa.  A smattering of standard pot still spices are also present Palate:  Sweet typical pot still flavours of honeyed spices, sweet sticky malt with a dash of burnt golden syrup, a small layering of winter fruits, dark chocolate Tim Tams, and the weakest pinch of hickory smoked salt. There's also some dark, but sweet, hops flavours - a rather unusual taste in a whisky. Mouthfeel:  Thick, dry, and oily in equal measures that complement each other rather than fight each other.  A slight burn down…

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Sullivans Cove: Double Cask

Sullivans Cove Double Cask

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Nose:  Vanilla, honey, winter fruit - pears and apples, nutmeg, and faint notes of citrus, and cinnamon - with a very slight malt smell at the back. Palate:  Creamy malt, honey butter, pears, green grapes, sweet spices, vanilla, and light notes of lemon boiled lollies. Mouthfeel: Creamy yet also juicy, medium weight, slightly warm.  Neither oily nor dry. Finish: Crisp, slightly sweet and spicy, traces of vanilla.  Most of the flavours die down after a not particularly long time, but sweet spices and the vanilla hang around for quite a while.  My mouth keeps watering for the entire time the…

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Compass Box: The Peat Monster

Compass Box The Peat Monster

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Nose:  Fresh cut grass, honey, peat smoke, and mixed citrus peel. Hints of dried apricots and dry apple chips. Palate: A big peat smoke impact here, some cured meats, beach water and the mouthful of seaweed you get when dumped in the surf. Hints of fresh and sweet botanicals. Fairly medicinal, but not overpoweringly so. Mouthfeel: Reasonably thick, but not chewy or creamy. A small alcoholic tingle that sits on the tip of the tongue, but goes no further. Somehow it seems to fill the whole mouth - up to the roof of your mouth - whilst it goes down…

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Glenfarclas £511.19s.0d Family Reserve

Glenfarclas £511.19s.0d Family Reserve

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Nose:  Stewed berries, black plums, golden syrup, and traces of vanilla pods and burnt caramel.  Strong and rich - abundantly sherry casked. Palate: Raisins, golden syrup, marmalade on burnt toast, Christmas cake, oak spices, slivered almonds, and traces of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Quite earthy, and surprisingly little sweetness compared to the nose.  More alcohol is present than I expected from 43% ABV. Mouthfeel: Fairly thin rolling over the tongue, slight burn on the tip of the tongue - disappearing as it heads down the throat.  Very dry, and no oils at all. Finish:  Spices, roasted nuts, damp earth, dried green…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

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