Showing posts from November, 2016

[Review] Nikka - All Malt 40%

A bit of Japanese whisky on the blog today. Apart from the post I wrote about my Nikka tasting session  at the beginning of August, I haven't reviewed any individual Japanese whisky. And the reason why is quite simple: the price. Japanese whisky is not something new; The Nikka company, for instance, starting production before WWII. However, it was pretty much unheard of in Europe until very recently, but for whatever reason, its popularity has absolutely exploded. And as usual with high demand and rather limited availability, prices have gone through the roof. If you want to get hold of a bottle of Yamazaki 12 for example, it will cost short short of £100. That's without mentioning the Yamazaki 18 which will set you back around £350 at auction. Even the NAS bottles will cost around £50. Personally, I do not think the hefty price-tag for these whiskies can be justified, no matter how good they might be. As mentioned above, a lot of it is to do with rarity and trend, and I don&#

[Review] Glen Scotia - Double Cask 46%

Some of you might remember a post I published in July which presented one of the tasting sessions I attended in Manchester. The Glen Scotia Double Cask was part of the line up and it left quite a positive impression on my taste buds. Even if, for me, Ardbeg Dark Cove was the star of the night, the Double Double was a solid contender. That is the reason why I decided to buy a bottle a few weeks later. Despite the fact that Campbeltown was once a booming whisky region, with nearly 30 different distilleries, it is now the smallest whisky-producing area in Scotland with only 3 working distilleries: Springbank (which also produce Longrow and Hazelburn), the newly re-opened Glengyle and Glen Scotia.  Glen Scotia is not a distillery I was too familiar with before tasting this bottle in July. I remember having seen some of the older bottles with the previous design, which presented some kind of Highland cow on the bottle and packaging... Not that appealing I must say. The Double Cask howe

[Review] Laphroaig - Quarter Cask 48%

My last post made me realised that despite having mentioned the Quarter Cask (QC) a few times in different posts, I had not actually reviewed it on its own, hence tonight's review. The QC was the first Laphroaig I bought and properly tried. I have actually not even really tasted the standard 10 years old, something I will have to remedy soon. I remember when I bought the bottle. I had experienced the Bowmore Small Batch followed by the Caol Ila 12 and thought it was time to go further in my 'peat journey'. Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Lagavulin therefore seemed to be obvious contenders. Ardbeg and Lagavulin being more expensive I decided to opt for Laphroaig and as the QC was on offer for around £30, I picked one up.  I was also intrigued by that quarter cask business. I googled it to get more information, and found that after maturing their whisky in standard ex-bourbon barrels, Laphroaig transferred the spirit into quarter casks for a further period of maturation. The quarter

[Food] Laphroaig Quarter Cask Cod en papillote

A second food post on the blog today, and yes the whisky involved is a favourite of mine, as per my first post: the Laphroaig Quarter Cask. And it does involve fish again, this time a cod fillet. I do tend to use the Quarter Cask when I am cooking with fish as I think it imparts a really nice flavour onto the dish. I know I have not reviewed it yet as a dram on its own, but I can pick up the traditional Laphroaig medicinal peat flavour as well as a decent amount of malty cereal and fruity notes, which are, in my mind, perfect for cooking with.  If you thought my Quarter Cask Salmon Spaghetti dish was quite easy to make, today's dish is even simpler, and probably much healthier too. The main idea is to cook the cod fillet en papillote, which means you just have to put the fish on a piece of foil and wrap it in like a parcel. The fish will then cook in the oven in its own juice and steam. So let's have a look at what I actually did: -cut a large piece of foil and lay it flat

[Review] The Balvenie - 12 years old DoubleWood 40%

It is not the first time that I review a bottle of Balvenie as I have already reviewed the 14 year-old Caribbean cask a few posts ago.I remember being a little disappointed by the Caribbean Cask as I did not really find much rum influence in the whisky, my initial nose and taste being mainly vegetal and caramel. However, the more I go back to it and the more I enjoy it, I might even re-review it at some point and compare notes. Today is not about the 14 year-old though but about the standard 12 year-old. The 12 is Balvenie's entry level dram.It is called the DoubleWood as it was matured in two different types of casks: traditional oak whisky cask (ex-Bourbon) and then first fill European oak sherry cask. I don't know how many of the 12 years (minimum) the spirit has spent in one or the other but it doesn't state sherry cask finish, therefore I would think the time in ex-sherry cask should be at least a year or two. That definitely sounds interesting particularly when we co