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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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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Glen Grant 1960 Gordon & MacPhail

Glen Grant 1960 Gordon MacPhail

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Nose:  Charred oak, old grapes, celery, and sweet spices.  Quite an unusually sweet nose considering the notes. Palate:  White wine, stewed berries, oak spices, and burnt hot mocha.  Slight traces of fruit lollies and aniseed as it heads to the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel:  Thick and chewy.  Very smooth, and also quite dry.  No burn. Finish:  Dry, very dry.  Grape, and a touch of soot are present; also a slight trace of ethanol - which is a bit odd considering the age. An earlier release of this bottling got 96 points in Jim Murray's 2014 Bible.  This one was…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

I wrote tasting notes for this one a while ago, and never wrote down any marks for it - and at the cost of a bottle of this whisky, I doubt I'll ever drink it again to do so.

Black Gate: BG005

Black Gate BG005

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Nose:  Burnt golden syrup and honey jumbles make up the bulk of the nose.  Crepes with brown sugar and lemon juice are also present.  Quite a strong nose; both sweet and sour.  The longer you let it breath, the more the crepes show up. Palate:  The golden syrup from the nose comes through thick and heavy, without being burnt this time.  The crepes with brown sugar and lemon juice are also still lurking in the back, although with much less lemon juice, and now with a trace of dark honey and a dollop of rich orange marmalade.  Also the lightest…

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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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The Glenrothes: 1992 Second Edition

The Glenrothes 1992 Second Edition

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Nose:  Fruit lolllies, packham pears, desert spices, vanilla bean, slight hints of fresh coconut. A little bit all over the place, and a small amount of fresh spirit at the back of the nose - surprising given the age of the whisky. Palate:  Candied lemon, poached pears, coconut cream with vanilla essence, traces of milk arrowroot biscuits and mandarin peel, and hints of cinnamon and cloves.  Quite solid, and well balanced - much more so than the nose. Mouthfeel:  A little warm, but no burn.  Reasonably thick, and quite dry - heading towards creamy. Finish:  A long finish on this…

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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…

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Bruichladdich: The Laddie Ten

Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten

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Nose: Honey, lemon, shortbread, honeydew melon; hints of vanilla, and the slightest waft of sea-spray.  Quite a few fresh yet mellow florally notes hiding in there as well. Palate: The nose really gives it away with this whisky - mostly what you smell is what you get, which is by no means a bad thing as the nose is delicious.  The palate really does just continue on from the nose, adding some candied winter fruits and a scattering of sultanas with just a hint of oak spices present as well. Mouthfeel: Gloriously thick and dry with little to no oils…

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Teeling: Single Malt

Teeling Single Malt

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Nose:  When first opened there's a whiff of straight alcohol which quickly runs away to be replaced by grape juice, and chocolate chip muesli bars.  Also faint traces of grilled banana and pineapple lumps (the lollies, not chunks of fresh pineapple - for those of you not from the antipodes). Palate:  Vanilla, oak spices, citrus, cinnamon, honey.  Quite malty and peppery as well.  Probably unsurprisingly given the number of different casks that the spirit was finished in, there is quite a lot going on in this whiskey.  Unfortunately it never really seems to get its act together - there seems…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

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