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: 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.

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 8.4

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!