Yellow Spot

Yellow Spot 12 Year Old

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Nose: Lots of pineapple lumps and banana lollies, along with a deliciously pervasive sense of golden syrup on buttered and toasted crumpets.  Canned stone fruits such as peaches and apricots also feature heavily.  Also some notes of both custard and pecan pies showing up after the whiskey is left to breathe for a moment.  Definitely sweet on the nose, but not sickeningly so. Palate: Sponge cake is the first thing that comes to mind, with those crumpets dripping with golden syrup from the nose coming through as well.  Also some fruit jellies, and a late burst of oak spices coming…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

More than likely. It's not brilliant, but very good - and intriguingly different enough to warrant further examination.

Green Spot

Green Spot

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Nose:  Grassy with notes of a caramel milkshake.  The nose is extremely light, even for a triple distilled whiskey. Palate:  Warm buttered Madeira cake with citrus icing.  Juicy green grapes.  Fresh apples and pears. Mouthfeel:  Smooth and creamy.  No burn.  Reasonable weight. Finish:  Practically non-existent.  Some slight fruit notes, but the whiskey is pretty much done once consumed. [divider] The Green Spot is a No Age Statement single pot-still Irish whiskey that has been matured in a mixture of first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels, refill ex-Bourbon barrels, and ex-Sherry casks.  All of the whiskey has been aged for between 7 and 10…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Probably. This wasn't a fantastic whiskey, but was decent enough.

Bruichladdich: Islay Barley 2004 – Feis Ile 2010 Bottling

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2004 for Feis Ile 2010

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Nose:  Burnt sugar, raisins, dried red berries, vanilla, and burnt fruit cake. Palate:  Both sweet and sour.  Pretty much the same as the nose - definitely heavy on the berries and vanilla.  Also quite a solid malty creaminess enveloping the other flavours. Mouthfeel:  Mid-heavy weight, dry, creamy, with an alcoholic tingle right on the tip of the tongue. Finish:  Pretty long.  Some heat from the higher than average alcohol.  Not as sweet as the palate - some dried cake at the back of the throat.  The finish doesn't last a long time, but the impression the whisky leaves behind lasts…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely. This is a stunning whisky made even more desirable by its rarity.

Glenmorangie: A Midwinter Night’s Dram

Glenmorangie A Midwinter Nights Dram

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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.

Bushmills: 16 Year Old

Bushmills 16 Year

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Nose:  Honey, buttered fruit toast, sultanas, and canned pears. Typically crisp and light on the nose for an Irish whiskey. Palate:  Rich, fruity, sweet, and spicy.  Plenty of boysenberry on the palate, along with sweet malt and honey notes; there's also some canned fruit salad, some mixed-berry jam, and some Christmas-spiced gingerbread.  There's also a hint of something dry and slightly bitter - cacao maybe.  Strangely acidic on the first pop of the cork, but that completely disappears with a bit of a breather. Mouthfeel:  There's a decent weight to this whiskey - especially for one that is triple distilled. …

Would I Drink It Again?

Total

Definitely - this whiskey is delicious.

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…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

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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. [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.

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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. [divider] An earlier release of this bottling got 96 points in Jim Murray's 2014 Bible.  This one…

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…

The Ninja's numbers - A completely subjective score.

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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.

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