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: 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.

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: Tokay Okay

Craft Works Tokay Okay

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Nose: Christmas Cake. In. A. Bottle. Fortified wine. Sultanas. Glazed oranges. Caramelised sugar. Rich moist cake. Palate: Still a touch green - with notes of white wine up front. After that though, there's sultanas, icing sugar, and glazed oranges. Hints of chocolate oranges as well. Almost a slight rum profile as it heads to the back of the tongue. A little bit pepper - but just a touch. Mouthfeel: Thick and oily. With just the slightest tingle. Finish: Warming. Raisins, marmalade, and burnt sugar. A little bit of oak spice, but still quite sweet. Really long. The raisins and marmalade…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Without a doubt. Whilst still young, this whisky is just plain delicious - and the finish; oh my!

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.

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.

Black Gate: BG032 Hybrid Cask

Black Gate BG032 Hybrid Cask

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Nose: Raisins, prunes, spicy fruit rolls, plums, mixed berry jam. Dark and rich with a hint of sweet spices. Palate: ¬†Basically what you get on the nose is what you get on the palate, with a boat load of black plums and some more red fruits joining the party; a hint of tart cherries showing up as well. Mouthfeel: ¬†From the nose and the palate you might be expecting a whisky with the weight of concrete, but the whisky is surprisingly not so. It's definitely not a thin whisky, but is only what I'd describe as medium weight. There's a…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Ooh boy would I - numerous bottles of this stunning whisky have been purchased by me for doing just that!