Showing posts from June, 2016

[Review] The Glenlivet - Cipher 48%

Not a proper full-on tasting as such today -as I haven't bought a bottle of it- but I did however get to try the new Glenlivet Cipher at Selfridges Manchester. Cipher is the latest Glenlivet release, it is exclusive to Selfridges (on the UK market) and as you might be able to work out from its name and mat black bottle, it is a bit of a mystery as far as the whisky is concerned. No information on the label regarding age, casks used, tasting notes, type of maturation... apart from the fact that it has been bottled at 48% and that it costs £110. Whether you consider it a publicity stunt, a way for a distillery to over-charge the customer or a great way to get back to the basics of smell and taste, you cannot deny that it is surrounded in mystery. It is supposed to be a limited edition too. I was told 1,200 bottles only, but doing a bit of research about it, it seems like the 1,200 limit is for the UK market only. When you consider that Cipher is available in 25 different coun

[Review] Compass Box - The Spice Tree 46%

When it's pouring down with rain outside, in a late British afternoon, what better to do than enjoying a glass of whisky. Today, not a single malt but a blended malt, previously called a vatted malt. What is the difference between a standard blend and a blended malt? It is rather simple, a standard blend will be a mix of malt whiskies (made from malted barley) and grain whiskies (made from a range of grain, corn, rye or wheat for example) whereas a blended malt is made from a mix of different single malt whiskies. And that is what The Spice Tree is, a mix of several single malts, all made from malted barley, produced in some of the northern Highlands distilleries (primarily the Clynelish distillery) 1 .  Compass Box is a small producer of blended malt whiskies which was founded in 2000. The guys at Compass Box try to make the whisky industry evolve particularly stating the provenance and composition of some of their blends. When the Spice Tree was introduced in 2005, it had firs

[Review] The Ardmore - Legacy 40%

Something very affordable today. This is one of the first few bottles I bought when I started getting into whisky. I picked up the Ardmore Legacy on offer in my local supermarket for £20 so not too dear indeed. I had never heard of Ardmore, but after Bowmore and Caol Ila, and realising that I really enjoyed a peaty dram, I came across this bottle. On the packaging it says "Lightly peated, Light and sweet, with unique Highland peat-smoke notes". Based on the description and the price, I didn't hesitate for long and put a bottle in my basket. Opening it at the time, I remember thinking it was definitely not in the same "peat-league" as the Caol Ila, but that it was still rather pleasant. Now, since I bought this bottle, I got to try and buy many others so I am now reviewing it, not as a whisky expert, but as someone with a little bit more experience. So as you might expect, the Legacy isn't a dram I tend to have very often because in my mind, I have several