Puni Alba (2016 Batch 1)

Alba Puni

Nose:  Spicy, dried fruits, mixed herbs, dates, and smoked almonds.

Palate:  Earthy, herby, a little spicy – also a little sweet.  There are some berry and plum notes.  Some faint cereal notes – a mixture of Weet-Bix and All-Bran.  Traces of the peat casks that some of the whisky was slumbering in hang around.

Mouthfeel:  A decently medium weight in the mouth with a soft and silky feel.  A slight alcohol burn.

Finish:  This whisky has a fairly long finish.  Spicy, full of peat, and the earthy notes from the palate continue right through.

[divider]

This whisky is a non-age statement un-peated Italian blended whisky that was aged in a combination of ex-Islay peated Scotch whisky casks, and Marsala wine casks.  It was bottled at 43% ABV with no added colouring, and no chill-filtration.

This is an interesting whisky; a blend of malted barley, malted rye, and malted wheat that was aged for three years in Sicilian ex-marsala casks before being finished in ex-Islay peated Scotch casks.  The spice from the rye is quite prominent throughout, as is the peat notes from the peated ex-Islay Scotch casks that it was finished in.  There is also a sweet fruitiness that lasts most of the journey as well, undoubtedly from the three years it spent in the Sicilian wine casks.

Although I first tasted this whisky at Whisky Live, it is hard to truly appreciate a whisky when you’re drinking that many of them so close together.  Never the less, it captured my attention, and after acquiring a bottle of it, I presented it in a couple of European whisky tastings that I held – where it was generally warmly received.  Although it was against some other intriguing competition from Goldly’s (Belgium), Slyrs (Germany), Millstone (Netherlands), Floki (Iceland), Mackmyra (Sweeden), and Santis (Switzerland); there were a few people that rated it as their favourite, and most people thought it was reasonable or better.  After the tastings, I sat down with what was left and gave it some due consideration on its own.

If you haven’t seen a picture of the Puni distillery, prepare to be amazed – the distillery building is more what you’d expect from a modern-art gallery than a whisky distillery.  Absent are the pagodas and chimneys, present is an almost mesh-like cube situated in the idyllic countryside of the northern Italian Alps.  The distillery gets its name from the nearby Puni river.  The surrounding region has been growing rye since the times of the Roman Empire, and it is this rye that Puni has malted and used in this whisky.  The amazing cube distillery building houses not just the distillery, but also warehousing where some of the Puni whisky slumbers, whilst the distillery also uses abandoned WWII-era underground bunkers to age the rest.

Whilst I could not say that this whisky has been one of my favourites, I am by no means going to struggle to finish my bottle of it – it’s both a pleasant whisky, whilst also being full of character.  The world would definitely be a better place if more whiskies had both of these attributes.

Nose:  Spicy, dried fruits, mixed herbs, dates, and smoked almonds. Palate:  Earthy, herby, a little spicy - also a little sweet.  There are some berry and plum notes.  Some faint cereal notes - a mixture of Weet-Bix and All-Bran.  Traces of the peat casks that some of the whisky was slumbering in hang around. Mouthfeel:  A decently medium weight in the mouth with a soft and silky feel.  A slight alcohol burn. Finish:  This whisky has a fairly long finish.  Spicy, full of peat, and the earthy notes from the palate continue right through. [divider] This whisky is a non-age…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Probably; I may even buy another bottle - although it's worth noting considerable differences between batches.

Glenmorangie: A Midwinter Night’s Dram

Glenmorangie A Midwinter Nights Dram

Continue reading “Glenmorangie: A Midwinter Night’s Dram”

Nose: Sultanas, red apples, brown sugar, marmalade, and sponge cake. Palate: Much the same as the nose, but with some added almonds and citrus peel - and perhaps just a slight touch of cinnamon and vanilla. Mouthfeel: On the heavier side of mid-weight.  Silky smooth, and slightly oily, with not a hint of alcohol Finish: Mid-length, a reasonable amount of heat, with traces of red apples and a touch of marmalade. [divider] Bottled at 43%, the Midwinter Night's Dram was a limited release by Glenmorangie in 2015.  It is a no-age statement whisky that was aged in ex-Bourbon casks before…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Definitely. I imported several bottles after first trying it, and will import more again if I can.

Glenfiddich: XX

Glenfiddich XX

Continue reading “Glenfiddich: XX”

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…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish
Balance

Glenfiddich: IPA

Glenfiddich IPA

Continue reading “Glenfiddich: IPA”

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…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish

Bruichladdich: Port Charlotte Scottish Barley

Bruichladdich Port Charllote Scottish Barley

Continue reading “Bruichladdich: Port Charlotte Scottish Barley”

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.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish
Balance

Warenghem: Amorik Classic

Warenghem Amorik Classic

Continue reading “Warenghem: Amorik Classic”

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. [divider]   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…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish

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.

 

[divider]

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.   [divider] 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…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish

Bruichladdich: Laddie Classic Edition_01

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie Edition_01

Continue reading “Bruichladdich: Laddie Classic Edition_01”

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…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish

Jameson: Caskmates – Stout Edition

Jameson Caskmates Stout Ediition

Continue reading “Jameson: Caskmates – Stout Edition”

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…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish

Sullivans Cove: Double Cask

Sullivans Cove Double Cask

Continue reading “Sullivans Cove: Double Cask”

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…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish