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.

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!

Bruichladdich: Octomore 8.4

Bruichladdich Octomore 8.4

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Nose: Like a banana sponge cake with lemon & coconut cream icing. A touch of cinnamon, and some earthy notes - with slightly medicinal salty peat overtones. Palate: Coconut, toffee, cloves, and oak spices, battle with old leather, barbequed meats, and iodine. Touches of vanilla and cinnamon throughout. A little bit salty, yet still sweet. Mouthfeel: Mid-weight, oily, almost effervescent on the tongue at first - not any real burn though. Finish: Medium length (which is short for Octomore), salty, spicy - more an impression of the palate slowly dying than any particular flavours of its own. The fourth, and…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Maybe - although a decent whisky, this really isn't my style. You can make one hell of a good BBQ marinade with it though!

Bruichladdich: Octomore 8.3

Bruichladdich Octomore 8.3

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Nose: Malty, with oodles of honey and vanilla. Smoked meats and canned pears round out the nose for me - apart from the volcanic blast of smoke that is released when you first pop the cork. Palate: If you like smoke, you'll love this whisky - I'm not just getting your usual campfire smoke or peat-bog embers or your charred soot/tar smoke - but all three as separate and distinct flavours in your mouth at once. A little bit spicy and bitter at the front of the mouth - like a mixture of over-roasted coffee and seaweed; it settles down…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

For sure - this is a pretty good whisky.

Bruichladdich: Octomore 8.2

Bruichladdich Octomore 8.2

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Nose: Red berries, mixed berry jam, plums; sweet, but not sugary - more of the fruit smoothie sweetness than the dried fruits often talked about with sweeter fruity whiskies. Also notes of honey-laden fruit salad with melons, grapes, and apples. Plenty of fresh clean campfire smoke intertwined with all the fruit. Palate: All that sweet fruitiness from the nose has marched right along to the palate. The smoke is now even more present, and has brought with it some BBQ jerky. A little ashy, with just a hint of dark chocolate. Mouthfeel: Thick. Oily. Creamy. Everything you dream a whisky…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely. This is a stunning whisky!

Bruichladdich: Octomore 8.1

Bruichladdich Octomore 8.1

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Nose: Fresh citrus, vanilla, quite herbacious. Plenty of smoke as you'd expect from an Octomore, although there's also notes of iodine - which depsite being common with Islay malts, is not a common note for me with Octomore. Palate: Citrus an melons are present, although almost drowned out by big notes of vanilla, and big punching earthy and grassy notes. Plenty of smoke encapsulating the whole thing. Mouthfeel: Mid-weight - which is honestly a bit light for an Octomore. Not a lot of burn despite the alcohol percentage. Finish: Long, earthy, with a perppery spiciness to it. There's also this…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Yes. Probably wouldn't buy a bottle though - there are a lot of other Octomore releases that I like a fair bit more.

Riverbourne Supremacy (Batch 4)

Riverbourne Supremacy Batch 4

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Nose: It's quite sweet on the nose - almost jelly lolly sweet. Quite a decent dose of moss and eucalyptus notes as well. The nose reminds me of opening a bag of fruit gummy bears down by the lake after a BBQ as a kid. Mouthfeel: It's a bit of an interesting mouthfeel on this - its a medium-weight whisky, nowhere near as thick and meaty as say a Bruichladdich, but it feels like it's got a solid strength behind it. It may only be a mid-weight, but it is viscerally there, and doesn't dissipate no matter how long you…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Most definitely - this is a fantastic whisky.

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,…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

Nose
Palate
Mouthfeel
Finish
Balance

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
Finish
Balance