Showing posts from September, 2016

[Tasting Session] Blind Tasting 24/09/16

I had not been to a tasting session for a couple of months so when I realised there was a blind tasting on in Manchester, I had to sign up for it. It is actually the second blind tasting I attended at the Whisky Shop. The first one was in February and revealed some interesting whiskies, in a positive way for the cheaper Cutty Sark Storm, which I genuinely believed was a single malt, or in a less positive way such as the Glenfarclas 2000 vintage bottled for the Whisky Shop, which I found rather disappointing. The added twist on Saturday's session however was that Phil, who conducted the tasting, didn't know either what had been decanted.  I think that once who've got a bit more into whisky and have tried a few different bottles coming from different regions (or countries), a blind tasting session is a great way to test your nose and palate, taking your knowledge out of the equation. No previous checks on the region, the distillery, the ABV, the fact it is a blend, grain,

[Review] Johnnie Walker - Black Label 12 years old 40%

Having been quite busy in the last couple of days, I have been looking for an easy-drinking dram to enjoy without having to spend hours nosing it or trying to pick all sorts of different flavours neat or with a few drops of water, so no Aberlour A'bunadh, Spice Tree or Caol Ila 19. I didn't want anything too peaty or too strong-flavoured. Bourbon, why not, but after a small Buffalo Trace I realised it was a bit too sweet for my mood, and that led me to my bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label. When I say "led me", my bottle of Buffalo Trace is sitting just next to my bottle of Black Label, no other real link between both bottles otherwise. I bought the Black Label a few months ago now, and I probably enjoyed some kind of offer on it as you can pick up a bottle for just over £20 in the UK. I had never had Johnnie Walker before, again, it was a brand I associated more with mixing blend than anything else, until a few of my whisky-drinking friends told me the Black Lab

[Experiment] Islay peat experiment

To some people, peaty whiskies are disgusting and they all taste the same. So tonight I decided to have a closer look at peaty whisky, Islay drams in particular, to see if the peat taste is the same in the many different bottles available. I therefore tasted 5 (small) drams one after the other so see how they compared. I have personally always enjoyed peat but I do tend to take my time with each dram and do not always spend an evening solely with peaty whiskies, hence the idea of sampling several whiskies side by side. I went for 5 bottles which are pretty much the entry dram from each of the 5 distilleries: Bowmore -  12 , 40% Caol Ila -  12 , 43% Kilchoman -  Machir Bay , 46% Lagavulin -  16 , 43% Laphroaig -  Quarter Cask , 48% Here is what I found out after my 5 samples: Bowmore : The peat is quite sweet and fruity with hints of exotic fruit. Caol Ila : The peat is warmer and saltier (the saltiness of the dram is what struck me since opening it!) Kilchoman

[Review] Lustau - Very Rare Oloroso Sherry (M&S)

Something a little bit different today. I know the idea for the blog revolves around whisk(e)y but I thought I would also give other drinks a go. Now before you wonder, there is actually a whisky connection with the bottle I am about to write about. Most distilleries use ex-Bourbon barrels to age their new-make spirit but many of them also use different types of casks to "finish" their whisky, from ex-Port, to ex-Moscatel, to ex-wine... However, there is one type of cask that you will find more frequently used to finish a whisky if not used for the entire ageing process: ex-Sherry butts.  Sherry is a fortified wine made mainly in Southern Spain. "Fortified wine" means that we start with standard wine to which, once it has been fermented, we had some spirit to make them more stable and of course enjoyable. There are several types of Sherry produced, Fino (light, crisp and dry, best enjoyed chilled), Manzanilla, Amontadillo, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Pedro Ximénez (PX

[Review] G. Rozelieures - Whisky de Lorraine 40%

That's it, my holidays are over, but despite the fact I didn't get round to reviewing a couple more bottles left in my dad's cabinet, I managed to bring back a few gems back in the UK. My aim for the summer was to track down some more French whisky to see what my own country was capable of producing compared to the Scottish benchmark. You might remember my first review of Glann ar mor Kornog  back in October 2015, but I haven't really had the chance to come across much more French whisky since. I did however managed to find 2 or 3 bottles whilst back there in August. The first one I am going to review today is a whisky produced in Lorraine (North-Easter region, near Germany) called Rozelieures - Whisky de Lorraine. Even if the whisky distillation only started in 2000, Hubert Grallet was rather familiar with the distillation process as his family has been distilling since 1860, especially mirabelle plums. He teamed up with Christophe Dupic (cereal farmer) in a daring