.north british 21yo - old particular #10797

50.9% abv, €100, single grain, non-chill filtered, natural colour

Nose: sweet, powdered sugar, fruit, pears, lichee
Palate: spicy, herbal, cinnamon, cloves, fruit, lichee, green herbs, marjoram
Finish: a hint of bitter orange zest, sweet, fruity, pears, lichee, medium long
Mark: ++/+++ 

Conclusion: I think I never tasted lichee as a note before, but now that I have found it, it is probably hard to get of for future grains. Fun.

Whisky wise, this is not exactly my cup-of-whisky; she lacks an "oumpfh" a grain can have. I think she could have profited of a longer maturation time.

Only 294 bottles have been filled from this refill hogshead.

Many thanks to Douglas Laing for supplying us with this sample

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First time I tasted Amrut single malt, I expected something in very herbal and spicy, only because the whisky was created in India. I was somewhat disappointed that it was a clear and beautiful single malt...

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Every now and then, Bruichladdich bottles a new version of their Octomore, the world's most heavily peated single malt. This seventh annual edition's malted barley has received a peating level of a whopping 208 phenol parts per million. During the Fèis Ìle 2015, this latest edition - matured in American Oak, was still being bottled at the distillery but we were lucky enough to receive a sample they were pouring in the distillery shop.

.glenmorangie - companta

Matured in Grand Cru Burgundy & Côtes du Rhône Casks, this is the latest (and perhaps last?) release in the Private Edition series of Glenmorangie. I am rather late with my note, and if you can still find a bottle for the original price, count yourself lucky...

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We recently received a package from the people of Glenmorangie with a foursome of whiskies which we have tasted in their inaugural twitter tasting #GlenmorangieLive. Amoug the four samples was their most recent release: the Duthac - first to be released of the new Legends series, targeted on the worlds Duty Free market in 1 liter bottles.

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"In the far north of Scotland, beside the ancient Royal Burgh of Tain, lies the Glenmorangie Distillery. Established in 1843, the Distillery was named Glenmorangie, Scots Gaelic for ‘Glen of Tranquillity', perfectly describing its peaceful setting on the banks of the picturesque Dornoch Firth, a vast sea estuary and a worldwide Site of Special Scientific Interest. To raise awareness for the conservation of the Dornoch Firth, Glenmorangie has partnered with the Marine Conservation Society to preserve this precious waterway"

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During the twitter tasting for which we were invited by Glenmorangie, we were presented with one of the top-shelve whiskies the brand has to offer. During the tasting, Josh Feldman taught me an alternative expression for something not dry or sweet, but somewhere in the middle: "off-dry", which I was happy to nick from him (he nicked it from F. Paul Pacult in his turn anyway), for future use.

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Coming of age in May, after which she will be bottled to be 18yo at the release in June 2015, during the Arran festival. It will be a special bottling for the Arran White Stag Ambassador programme, chosen by their tasting panel. She has matured in a refilled ex-Oloroso hogshead and will only give 214 bottles worldwide.

.the arran - premium single bourbon cask - #99/130

Once in a while a cask of whisky seems to stand out so much, it would be a shame to marry it off and lose it in a larger batch of whisky. In such case, a sack gets special treatment and is bottled on it's own and released as a premium single cask with the Arran distillery. In case of cask number 1999/130, there were only 164 bottles left to be sold at the distillery's Visitors Centre.

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Starting with the first official 16yo two years ago, followed by the 17yo last year, now the Arran have released their first official 18yo. As with her predecessors, she has matured in a selection of ex-Sherry casks and is bottles in a limited release of only 9000 bottles. Unlike the previous two, the plans for the 18yo are to remain in the core range, albeit in a (most likely) different cask composition. Rumour has it that there are plans for a similar 21yo in three years time...

.the arran - sauternes cask finish

Originally she started her maturation for about eight years in [most likely] refill ex-Bourbon casks, after which she received an extra period of [undetermined] months in an ex-Sauternes sweet white Bordeaux dessert wine cask.

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In October 2014 we were touring the Speyside area with some friends, and for obvious reasons we had booked a tour at the Balvenie distillery. After an awesome tour there was the option to sample our own 20cl bottle in the warehouse straight from a second fill ex-Bourbon, a first fill ex-Bourbon cask and / or an ex-Sherry butt. That is exactly what most of us did, prior to the fantastic tasting in the visitor's centre of their core range. It turns out that if you are a member of Warehouse 24, you get to sample another bottle, that will be added to the tasting.

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Tullibardine is expanding their terrain at this moment, with the purchase of a closed shopping centre next door. I had tried this before and was not really enthusiastic about it, but after today's re-taste I have come to a different conclusion. The matured spirit has undergone a finish for 12 months in Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes casks, 225 litres in volume.

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Some time ago, I have tasted a 21yo Portwood with a friend. I was not really flabbergasted about it, and had another go at several other moments. Never was I impressed enough to purchase a bottle, but there is always a mythical aura around the expression, to get me triggered to try it again. On a tour at the distillery, I had another chance and decided to take it home with me, because I was the designated driver...

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We bought a bottle of this - blind - when it was just released. We were looking for a gift for a good whisky friend, and the owner of the shop had some specials in the back, he was thinking of saving for a rainy day. Sorry man, your price was too good to be true. Our friend got something else...

.the balvenie - 12yo - single barrel #12760

Twelve long years in one ex-Bourbon barrel that was used for the first time after emptying the Bourbon out of it and shipping it to Scotland. After maturation only 300 bottles are drawn from each cask and sold in this Single Barrel range. The remainder of the cask is undoubtedly used in the Grant's blends or the Balvenie DoubleWood expression.