Bruichladdich: Octomore 9.1

Octomore 09.1

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Nose: Soft, malty, earthy. Weet-bix with creamed honey. A touch of burnt gingerbread. There's smoke lingering, but it's only really in the background. Palate: Lots of vanilla, and big on the malt-biscuit notes as well. A little bit nutty, and thoughts of wet grass in there somewhere too. There's also some floral overtones as it passes to the back of the tongue, and wafts of strong black tea turning into a deeply vegetal smoke. Mouthfeel: Soft, creamy, velvety. Typical Octomore - nearly 60% shouldn't be this soft! Finish: The honey hides, and the malt biscuits are now coated in dark…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely - a solid whisky.

Black Gate: BG072 – Cask Strength

Black Gate BG072 - Cask Strength

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Nose: Bushfire smoke. Wet earth. Fresh roadworks. Palate: Raw peaty spirit - but not green at all. Dirty, earthy, smoke - pure unadulterated bushfire. A little salty. A little sweet. Faint traces of winter fruits. Mouthfeel: Thick and warming. No burn at all - even at this cask strength. Finish: Long. So very very long. Smoke hanging around until next century. Bottled exclusively for the RTD Spirits Covid-19 Black Gate whisky tasting that took place (virtually) on the 20th June 2020. This special-release whisky was bottled at a cask strength of 69.3% ABV with no colouring and no chill filtration…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely - one of my regrets in life is that I only bought 2 bottles of this whisky!

Black Gate: BG069 – Cask Strength

Black Gate BG069 - Cask Strength

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Nose: Vanilla fudge, sultanas, and milk arrowroot biscuits. Quite a bit of peat comes through as well. Palate: Dark dried fruits - lots of berries and sultanas; along with hints of vanilla. Surprisingly sweet. Traces of smoke all through - but not overpowering. Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy. A little bit dry. Finish: Christmas cake with hints of smoke. The finish lasts forever. Bottled exclusively for the RTD Spirits Covid-19 Black Gate whisky tasting that took place (virtually) on the 20th June 2020. This special-release whisky was bottled at a cask strength of 68.8% ABV with no colouring and no chill…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

I'd love to - although the tiny release will make that unlikely.

Black Gate: BG081 Cask Strength – Single Cask Rum

Black Gate BG081 - Cask Strength

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Nose: Maple syrup, sultanas, and hints of icing sugar. Palate: Christmas cake with a cocoa dusting, with a side-serving of dried pears covered in honey. Mouthfeel: Thick with no hints of burn despite ABV. Finish: It has a decent length - although not as long as the BG073CS. Quite sweet - with honey notes lasting till the end. This Covid-19 special release bottling of Black Gate's BG081 single cask rum is bottled at a massive cask strength of 66% ABV with no additives. It was a limited run of 10 bottles that were sold at a virtual Black Gate tasting…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

In a heartbeat - although as a limited one-time release, that is unlikely.

Black Gate: BG073 Cask Strength – Single Cask Rum

Black Gate BG073 - Cask Strength

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Nose: Sultanas, Golden Syrup, Nutmeg, toffee – strong and dark. Palate: Lots and lots of juicy sultanas and raisins.  Some golden syrup – although not as much as on the nose.  Hints of cocoa and sweet spices. Mouthfeel: Whoa – this is strong and thick.  A little burn on the tongue – but not as much as you’d expect from the ABV.  Quite dry. Finish: Sweet spices, dried fruits, and some brown sugar.  It lasts a long time – the spices just don’t quit. This Covid-19 special release bottling of Black Gate's BG073 single cask rum is bottled at a…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

If I could, I would - I regret not buying a bottle when I could!

Black Gate: BG047 – Cask Strength

Black Gate BG047 - Cask Strength

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Nose: Quite sweet - lots of candied strawberries and Iced Vovos. Palate: Not as sweet as the nose would suggest; with some spices coming in. Berry pannacotta with cream and sour cherries. Mouthfeel: Super thick, and quite oily. A little bit of alcohol burn. Finish: The sweetness from the nose is back again. Dried berries and sweet desert spices. This one has a medium-long finish. Bottled exclusively for the Whisky Freedom / NTD Spirits Covid-19 Black Gate whisky tasting that took place (virtually) on the 20th June 2020. This special-release whisky was bottled at a cask strength of 67% ABV…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Without a doubt. A superb whisky.

Craft Works: Rage

Craft Works Rage

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Nose: Sweet and spicy. Loads of red berries with hints of herbs and pepper. Just a touch of nougat and red wine jelly. The nose comes out of the bottle hitting you like a sledgehammer. Palate: If the nose was sweet and spicy, the palate is spicy and sweet - loads of herbs and pepper, a touch of chilli, and some liquorice. Then comes the fruit - loads of raspberries, cherries, and blackberries, with a sweet malt and brown sugar note hanging in there somewhere too. Mouthfeel: Thick and oily. Finish: This finish is quite long, and full of flavour.…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Definitely. It's intriguing well past the last drop in the glass.

Country to Coast (BFG)

Country to Coast

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Nose: Straight off the bat you get slammed with a big punch of campfire smoke and dessert spices. Once that settles, it's like a Christmas cake doused in vanilla custard - lots of dark fruits including plenty of raisins, a hint of candied citrus, and a serving of sweet vanilla. Palate: If ever there was a whisky that tasted exactly how it nosed, this is it - just throw in some red berries, and maybe a slivered almond or two, and the palate is the nose. Mouthfeel: Thick, oily, and not a hint of alcohol despite it's ABV. Like liquid…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely - it's an amazing whisky. I bought a second bottle to do just that!

Craft Works: Grumpy Old Man On A Hill

Craft Works - Grumpy Old Man On A Hill

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Nose: Fresh malted barley, fresh cut grass, Milk Arrowroot biscuits, cornflakes (the breakfast cereal), and creamed honey, and just a hint of lemon icing. Palate: Malted barley, biscuits with lemon icing, vanilla slice, and cornflakes. Mouthfeel: Quite thin, but it doesn't feel delicate at all. The slightest tingle, but no burn. Finish: Biscuits for days. The lemon icing turning more into lemon boiled lollies; faint traces of vanilla, and some bushfire smoke hanging around. Despite the lack of weight in the mouth, the finish is reasonably long. In the spirit of complete transparency - although I have bought, and loved,…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely - this is such a delicious, and easy drinking whisky.

Craft Works: The Capertee Cellar Door Release #2

Craft Works The Capertee 2

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Nose: Quite green. Lots of fresh malt and barley. Milk Arrowroot biscuits, a touch of honeydew melon, and just a hint of lemon icing. Palate: To be honest, I'm having a little trouble nailing down the palate on this one. There's no doubt this is still a very young whisky, but once you get past the green notes of malted barley; there's quite a lot going on here. The melon from the nose is still here. Along with the lemon icing, grapes, and a touch of mandarin. It is also a little bit herbal - and with a bit of…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely. Although not a whisky you're likely to reach for every night, this is hopefully an example of some amazing things to come from a young distillery.