Port Askaig 15yo, Oloroso Sherry Cask, Speciality Drinks
ABV: 45.8%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°

Bottling: Speciality Drinks Ltd.
Cask type: F
irst-fill Oloroso Sherry Casks (5,000 btl.)

 

Colour: Amber.
Nose: Peat smoke, pleasantly mixed with floral notes and vanilla. Sherry arrives with dark fruits - cherries, dates and raisins. Pleasantly sweet with toffee and subtle malted barley, with a hint of antiseptic notes in the back.
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate with a lovely balance of smoke and sweet sherry flavours. Dark fruits with raisins and cherries, immediately followed by a warming spiciness of pepper, nutmeg and allspice.
Finish: The finish is medium-long and warm with subtle peat smoke, creamy honey and vanilla. Dry oak and lingering nutty flavours on the tail.
With water: There's almost no change on the nose when a few drops of water are added. Maybe the flowery notes become more intense while the sweetness is tamed a bit. Significantly more smoke on the palate with slightly enhanced oak spices while the lingering sweetness remains. The finish shows medium length with a pleasant mix of sweet honey, warm oak spice and smoke.
Comments: A beautifully composed islander. Lovely balance of sherry derived fruitiness, with a delicate sweetness and peaty smokiness. A fruity, peppery and lively expression as a digestif.

 

I thank Kirsch Whisky - The House of Whiskies for the sample and the photograph!


East Shore Islay Malt 8yo, 2008-2016, Fairy Tales - Special Edition
ABV: 58.5%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: eSpirits Whisky for Liquid Treasures
Cask type: Bourbon Barrel

Colour: White wine.
Nose: The nose starts off with fresh cut peat and subtle smoked fish. This is complemented with barley sugar, vanilla and a touch of lemon. Subtle notes of tar and burnt matches arrive along with tender medicinal flavours and gauze bandage.
Palate: Surprisingly sweet on the palate with delicate barley sugar and lingering fruits, such as bananas, tangerines and gentle yellow pear. This is accompanied by an intensely warming spiciness of pepper, oak, nutmeg and allspice, complemented with lingering peat. Quite intense and delicate.
Finish: The finish is medium long, warm and creamy with barley sugar, subtle vanilla, peat and tender dry oak.
With water: The fruitiness is significantly tamed when adding a splash of water. There's more medicinal flavours coming through with gauze banadage, peat, ash and tar. Dry oak in the background. Still sweet on the palate with barley sugar, vanilla, accompanied with a slightly tamed spiciness of oak, pepper, and allspice. The lovely fruitiness, however, is almost gone. The finish shows medium length with a tender warming spiciness of pepper and peat, with more drying notes of oak on the tail.
Comments: A young and boisterous Islay malt. Very present on the nose with lots of maritime character and a subtle fruitiness. Surprisingly very sweet on the palate with an already good balance of fruitiness and spiciness, nicely wrapped in lingering peaty flavours. Water tames the lovely fruity notes bringing more oak and peat to the fore.

I thank Dailydram.de for the sample and the photograph!


Michel Couvreur, Candid, The New Disclosure Expression

ABV: 49,0%
Region: Scotland/France (Burgundy)
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Michel Couvreur
Cask type:
Sherry Casks

 

Colour: Reddish amber.
Nose: The nose starts off with a delicate sherry sweetness, toffee and fudge, accompanied by gentle peat smoke underneath. Hints of smoked ham and subtle herbal notes in the back.

Palate: Deliciously very sweet with sherry, caramel and juicy oranges, followed by lingering nutty flavours. Warming spiciness arrives with pepper, oak, nutmeg and a hint of aniseed. Slightly bitter orange peel, dry cocoa and a touch of peat towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is medium long, subtle sweet and warming with pepper, dry oak and a lingering nuttiness. Gentle peat smoke with a touch of sour grapes on the tail.
With water: Water significantly tames the lovely sweetness and sherry flavours on the nose while oak, spice and peat smoke are coming to the fore. Stays sweet and fruity on the palate with sherry and lots of nutty flavours. Subtle more warming spice and prickling oak towards the finish. The finish shows medium length with creamy notes of sweet caramel, spice, peat and a touch of walnuts.
Comments: A powerful and rich malt whisky significantly influenced by the sherry casks. Nice balance of sweetness, spiciness, dry nutty flavours and gentle peat smoke. A well-structured dram with character and delicacy. Worth exploring, not only for the sherry aficionado!

 

I thank Frank Jerger from Whisky for Life for the sample and the photograph!


Michel Couvreur, Pale Single Single, Floral Malt Whisky

ABV: 45%
Region: Scotland/France (Burgundy)
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Michel Couvreur
Cask type:
Oak Sherry Cask (950 btl.)

 

Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Fresh and clean on the nose with a decent floral note. Quite fruity with lemons, apples and pineapple. Sweet vanilla and a touch of sourness followed by spiced oak in the back.
Palate: Sweet and creamy on the palate with vanilla, apricots and pineapple. This is complemented by a pleasant warming and almost prickling spiciness of oak, white pepper and allspice. Slightly dry notes of oak towards the finish. Mouth coating and nicely rounded.
Finish: The finish is long and lovely warming with white pepper and subtle oak. Becomes slightly bitter and tannic on the tail.
With water: Very fresh and floral on the nose when a few drops of water are added. The lovely fruitiness remains while vanilla is slightly tamed. Less sweet on the palate with a significantly enhanced spiciness of oak, pepper and allspice. Very prickling and warming with creamy vanilla towards the finish. The finish is a bit shorter with lingering notes of creamy fruit and vanilla, followed by dry oak on the tail.
Comments: A light, clean and fresh single malt with a delicate balance of tropical fruit, creamy vanilla and oak spice. Certainly not the best MC whisky I've tried so far but a well-made and attractive all day dram.

 

I thank Frank Jerger from Whisky for Life for the sample and the photograph!


Michel Couvreur, Coeur de Cave 13yo, 2017, Batch No. 2

ABV: 51.5%
Region: Scotland/France (Burgundy)
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Michel Couvreur
Cask type:
Bourbon, PX-Sherry & Oloroso Casks (450 btl.)

 

Colour: Bright amber.
Nose: Concentrated sherry notes on the nose along with a delicate sweetness of vanilla and toffee. Raisins, Demerara sugar and a pleasant touch of dark chocolate emerge, followed by a hint of earthy notes and subtle oak spice in the back. Gloriously aromatic with an elegant intensity.
Palate: Bold, rich and intense on the palate with a massive sweetness of sherry, raisins and caramel. Lots of lingering nutty flavours arrive, nicely mixed with a warming blend of pepper, spiced oak and slightly bitter notes of leather, supplemented by a herbal touch towards the finish. Mouth coating and well rounded.
Finish: The finish is medium long to long, slightly warm and creamy with caramel and burnt brown sugar, followed by slightly drying notes of oak and bitter dark chocolate on the tail.
With water: Vibrant, with a tamed sweetness and less sherry flavours on the nose when water is added. In contrast, the oaky spiciness is slightly increased. Still sweet on the palate with sherry, raisins, followed by lingering nutty flavours. Sugar sweetness returns, before spicy notes of oak and pepper take over leading to a warm and gentle finish. The finish is medium long, creamy with vanilla, slightly bitter nutty notes and a hint of leather on the tail.
Comments: A beautifully composed and delicate dram. Nicely complex, elegant and well-balanced. The rich and sweet character blends quite well with the richness of the sherry casks and the intriguing warm oak spices. An additional 5-months maturation in over 80 years old Harvey's Fernando III-Oloroso Sherry casks has added depth, complexity, rich sherry flavours and this splendid nutty flavours. An excellent single malt at a reasonable price. 

 

I thank Frank Jerger from Whisky for Life for the sample and the photograph!


Michel Couvreur, Intravagan'za
ABV: 50%
Region: Scotland/France (Burgundy)
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Michel Couvreur
Cask type: Sherry Oak Casks

 

Colour: Yellow gold.
Nose: The nose starts off with flavours of dark grapes, raisins, and sherry. Very sweet, liqueur-like with dominating notes of walnuts. Reminds me of trail mix. An enticing nose!
Palate: Lovely sweet on the palate with a delicate mix of dark grapes, raisins, Demerara sugar and sherry flavours. A pleasant nuttiness emerges with walnuts in particular, coated with dark bitter chocolate, followed by a hint of pepper and oak towards the finish. Very nice!
Finish: The finish is medium long with grapes and a touch of marzipan. Slightly salty nutty flavours, lovely mixed with coffee and dark bitter chocolate on the tail.
With water: Lots of grapes, even pomace-like flavours emerge by adding a few drops of water. The walnut aroma is still very present, followed by a slightly floral note. Sweet with luscious grapes, raisins and sherry. Water brings in some spiciness with white pepper and prickling oak. More vibrant on the tongue. The finish is medium long, sweet and creamy with grapes, walnuts and a slightly warming spicy edge. HInts of dark chocolate on the tail.
Comments: A very aromatic, well-sherried "whisky" (less than 3 years old) with a distinct and lively walnut character deeper within. Very flavourful with a pleasant balance of fruit, chocolate and walnuts. Reminds me a bit of sweet walnut liqueur. Water opens this dram quite nicely bringing spiciness and vibrancy to the fore. Enticing and very tasty!

 

I thank Frank Jerger from Whisky for Life for the sample and the photograph!


Michel Couvreur, Blossoming Auld Sherried, Single Malt
ABV: 45%
Region: Scotland/France (Burgundy)
Price per bottle: °°°°
Bottling: Michel Couvreur
Cask type: Sherry Oak Casks (Bottle Code L. 006)

 

Colour: Dark amber.
Nose: Deep and rich with lots of sherry, prunes, and raisins. Behind that there's caramel coming through, mixed with herbs, lovage in particular, and hints of damped wood in the back. An enticing nose!
Palate: Rich sherry flavours on the palate with a delicate sweet fruitiness of dark cherries, figs and raisins. Herbal notes of lovage arrive, accompanied by caramel and walnut flavours, nicely wrapped in dark chocolate and a warming spiciness of cinnamon and slightly dry oak. Pleasantly mouthfilling!
Finish: The finish is gloriously long, smooth and creamy with caramel, slightly dry herbal notes and a touch of bitter oakiness on the tail.
With water: The delicate and rich sherry flavours still dominate on the nose when a few drops of water are added. In addition, there is more spiciness coming through with oak and pepper pushing the fruitiness in the background. Rich and quite intense on the palate with a warming mix of oaky spiciness, pepper, lots of fruity sweetness, figs and raisins in particular, and slightly bitter dark chocolate. The finish is still long but becomes drier towards the end with oak, herbs and lingering walnut flavours.
Comments: A classic old-school sherried whisky. Well balanced, rich and complex with a beautiful long finish. If you like sweet and fruity, nutty and chocolatey notes found in old rich sherry, this dram would be a perfect choice. To be enjoyed neat as an after-dinner or late-night whisky. Certainly a must have for the sherry aficionado!

 

I thank Frank Jerger from Whisky for Life for the sample and the photograph!


Lysithea I, 102° P.1.2' 1816.4'', 8yo, 2008-2016
ABV: 59.2%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Scotch Universe
Cask type: American Bourbon Barrel
 
Colour: White wine.
Nose: The nose starts off with peat smoke and subtle seaweed. This is followed by a delicate malty sweetness and fruity notes of lemon and quince. Slightly grassy with a hint of medicinal flavours and tender wood smoke.
Palate: Bold and intense start on the palate. Sweet at first with malted barley, vanilla, honey and cereals. This is followed by peat smoke and a pleasantly warming spiciness of oak, pepper, cloves and caramelised ginger. Becomes dry with a bold peppery note towards the finish.
Finish: The finish shows medium length with warm and dry notes of oak, cloves, barley sugar, hints of pepper and subtle wood smoke.
With water: Water brings in more freshness on the nose emphasizing the sweetness of vanilla and malted barley. Still slightly fruity with a tamed smoky peatiness. Still intense and sweet on the palate with a significantly vibrant spiciness of prickling oak, black pepper, anise and cloves, balanced with lingering vanilla. The finish is medium long, warm and dry with prickling oak and a tamed sweetness on the tail.
Comments: A delicate, elegant and very aromatic Islay single malt. Not overblown peat wise, just very well balanced and lovely sweet. Nicely complex with an already well-integrated alcohol. Vibrant and full of character, best to enjoy neat. Certainly one for the hip flask for a seaside walk.
I thank Michel Reick from Scotch Universe for the sample and the photograph!

Callisto I, 110° P.1.2' 1846.4'', 9yo, 2007-2016
ABV: 57.3%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Scotch Universe
Cask type: American Bourbon Hogshead
 
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: The nose starts off with peat and burnt rubber notes. Quite intense. Behind that, a lovely mix of malted barley sweetness and fruity flavours arrives, mainly citric fruits and yellow pears. Hints of anise with a meaty note of slightly smoked bacon in the back. Bold, rich and very attractive!
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate, too. Dry coal and tar, lovely interwoven with sweet vanilla, malted barley, honey and cereals. This is immediately followed by a significantly warming spiciness of oak, black pepper, anise. Becomes very dry with a bold peaty note towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is very long, warm and dry with peat, black pepper, spiced oak, and cloves. Cold smoke, mixed with coal tar and a hint of honey and barley sugar on the tail.
With water: Water brings in more freshness on the nose and slightly tames the peaty and coal-like flavours. The spiciness is increased with oak, pepper and cloves while a slightly floral note appears. Still bold and intense on the palate with a warming spiciness of oak, pepper, and cloves. Quite prickling on the tongue, supported by a lovely malty sweetness, vanilla and crisp peat. The finish is long, lingering sweet with honey, barley sugar and vanilla. Becomes dry on the tail with spiced oak.
Comments: This is a bold, rich, and intense dram. Unmistakably and 100% Islay! Fresh, peaty, peppery, lively. A muscular experience with a lovely balance of sweetness. A beautiful uncompromising Islay single malt. A bit burning on the tongue, but more enjoyable when neat - at least for me. One for the hip flask for a seaside walk on Islay!
I thank Michel Reick from Scotch Universe for the sample and the photograph!

Port Askaig 8yo, 2016, Speciality Drinks
ABV: 45.8%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °
Bottling: Speciality Drinks Ltd.
Cask type: --

 

Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Fresh on the nose with an unobstrusive marine and phenolic character. Tender smoke and peat embers are nicely mixed with malted barley, cereals and delicate citric fruits. Seaweed with a briny and medicinal kick in the back.
Palate: Rich, bold and intense on the palate. The medicinal influence continues with peat fire, seaweed and smoked ham, while sweet and creamy tones of barley malt, vanilla and cereals appear almost at the same time. This is supported by lingering lemon notes and a warming spiciness of black pepper, cloves and oak.
Finish: The finish is long, dry and warming with lingering peat, cold smoke, and prickling oak with a lovely delicate fruity aftertaste.
With water: Water tames the sweetness and fruity notes on the nose while bringing more peaty, dry, medicinal, and seaside flavours to the fore. Less intense and warming on the palate, although still peppery. There's more peat and dry oak present while the sweet and fruity elements are significantly tamed. The finish is shorter and dry with oak, cold smoke, peat and a touch of barley sweetness on the tail.
Comments: An already well composed and beautifully balanced islander. Pleasant interplay of marine Islay aromatic with a malty sweet and lemony heart. An enticing seaside experience at a very attractive price. Definitely one for the hip flask for a brief seaside walk at Port Askaig Bay watching the ferry to Isle of Jura.

 

I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph!


Andromeda I, 97° LP.1.2' 1898.1", 2008-2016

ABV: 58.7%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Scotch Universe
Cask type: Ex-Laphroaig-Barrel
 
Colour: White wine.
Nose: There's immediately peat and smoke on the nose with seaweed, creosote, coal tar soap and medicinal flavours. Subtle malty sweetness arrives nicely mixed with yellow fruits - lemon and quince. Tender spiced oak, hay and hints of juniper in the back.
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate. Extremely warming with peat, subtle smoke and cracked black pepper, even chilli! Once the spicy warmth fades, lingering sweet notes of barley sugar, quince and creamy vanilla arrive, before dry oak and notes of juniper take over.
Finish: The finish is medium long, warm, and creamy sweet with vanilla and malted barley. Dry and ashy on the tail.
With water: Water tames the peaty and medicinal flavours, bringing more lemon, malted barley and oaky tones to the fore. Significantly drier on the nose. Lively, still vibrant on the palate with a tamed spiciness. Yellow fruits, barley sugar, coal tar and juniper towards the finish. The finish shows medium length with a creamy sweetness of malted barley and vanilla, followed by prickling oak and dry notes on the tail.
Comments: A pleasant fine smoked Highland dram. Strong, intense and already complex. Displays an assertive medicinal character. Young and boisterous, flanked by lovely sweet and fruity elements. A perfect outdoor companion for a barbecue.
 
I thank Michel Reick from Scotch Universe for the sample and the photograph!

Double Velocity of Light, 122 U.1.1' 1891.2", 2006-2016
ABV: 55.9%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Scotch Universe
Cask type: First Fill American Bourbon Barrel

Colour: White wine.
Nose: Fragrant and fruity on the nose with vanilla, apricots and a touch of bananas. Notes of malted barley arrive, lingering nicely with grassy tones and a hint of oak in the back. The high alcohol content is always present, but not really pungent.
Palate: Strong and intense on the palate with a sweet start of vanilla, followed by yellow fruits - apricots and subtle pineapples. Very warming with white pepper and oak spice. Once the warmth fades, creamy notes of honey and a touch of toffee linger towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, warm and creamy with vanilla, toffee and stewed apricots. Becomes pleasantly dry on the tail with prickling oak.
With water: There's more yellow fruits coming through with a splash of water. Fragrant and sweet with vanilla and more malted barley. Still strong on the palate although the vanilla and toffee sweetness dominates. Less fruity with a spicy core of white pepper and prickling oak. The finish is long and slightly warming with creamy apricot jam, toffee and dry oak.
Comments: This is a young, lively and very strong Speyside single malt. Fragrant, fruity and sweet on the one hand, but uncompromising, powerful and intense with a significant alcoholic bite on the other. Not everybody's darling I suppose. But I like it!

 

I thank Michel Reick from Scotch Universe for the sample and the photograph!


Pollux I, 97° U.2.2' 1967.2'', 2008-2016
ABV: 59.0%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Scotch Universe
Cask type: Oloroso Sherry Butt


Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Rich and intense on the nose with a sweetness reminding me of molasses. Fruity with red fruits, strawberries and red currant in particular. Notes of dark chocolate arrive, lingering with hints of almonds and tender oak spice in the background. The alcohol is present but relatively well integrated and not pungent.
Palate: An intense and dry start on the palate. Then sweetness arrives with barley sugar, toffee and raisins, followed by milk chocolate, sherry and warming spices of white pepper and tender oak. Caramelised ginger and tobacco leaves towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is medium long, warm, slightly peppery and dry with oak and nutmeg.
With water: More fruits but less sweetness on the nose with a splash of water. Surprisingly, the alcohol is more present now, supported by prickling oak. Intense, yet vibrant on the palate with prickling oak, cracked black pepper, even chili. Multi-layered and very warming with a tamed fruity sweetness. The finish still shows medium length. Warming and less dry with sweet barley sugar and oak spice.
Comments: A powerful dram with a pleasant nose and delicate palate. Although almost 60% abv, the alcohol makes it not too sharp and the oloroso cask has already mellowed enough. However, not the heavy sherry flavours but the filigree red fruity notes, toffee, almonds and oak spice dominate here. More complex especially on the palate when diluted.

I thank Michel Reick from Scotch Universe for the sample and the photograph!


Solar Flare Alpha, 253° L.1.2' 1815.4:1798.5'', 21yo, 1995-2016, Peated Blended Malt
ABV: 53.8%
Region: Islay & Islands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Scotch Universe
Cask type: Refill American Bourbon Barrel
 
Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: A bit reluctant on the nose with respect to smoky and peaty flavours. There's only a slight peatiness, lovely mixed with subtle smoke, sweet notes of vanilla, malted barley and a touch of yellow dried fruits. Pleasantly spicy with oak, pepper and a delicate herbal note, heather maybe.
Palate: Surprisingly sweet on the palate with creamy vanilla, barley sugar, cereals and stewed peaches. This is accompanied by liquorice and a bold spiciness of oak, cloves and pepper. Nicely warming, oily and mouth coating. Some flowery notes with a touch of herbs towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, warm and slightly dry with pepper, spiced oak, cloves. Again flowery notes, heather and herbs flash up on the tail.
With water: Fresher on the nose with a splash of water. Sweet malted barley with more peat and smoke in the back. Less warming but still sweet on the palate with vanilla, barley sugar and prickling oak towards the finish. The spiciness is a bit tamed. The finish is long, sweet and creamy with heather honey, barley and a touch of peat on the tail.
Comments: This blend of two old single malt whiskies from two different distilleries, one from Islay and one from the Island, is a bold, intense and nicely complex composition. The smoky and peaty flavour of the Islay malt is a bit tamed and together with its touch of fruitiness matches perfectly with the sweet, herbal and oily character of the Island whisky. Not straight forward but a delicate blend with rough edges where the connoisseur has to pay full attention.
I thank Michel Reick from Scotch Universe for the sample and the photograph!

Kepler-186f, 187° U.7.1' 1775.1'', 15yo, 2001-2016
ABV: 54.4%
Region: Highlands
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Scotch Universe
Cask type: First-fill Port Pipe

Colour: Reddish amber.
Nose: Sweet and fruity on the nose with red berries, subtle plums and cherries. Becomes sticky fruit compote with time. Behind that fruity curtain lingering spicy notes of cinnamon, oak and tobacco leaves arrive. The alcohol is present but not pungent.
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate with a lovely sweet fruitiness of red berries, brambles, dark cherries and plums. This creamy and thick fruit jam is accompanied by a nicely warming spiciness of oak, pepper, and cinnamon. Delicate wine aroma with a prickling alcoholic bite. Very mouthfilling indeed!
Finish: The finish is long, warm and creamy with sticky fruit jam, cinnamon and spiced oak. Becomes slightly bitter on the tail with notes of grape peel.
With water: On the nose, the fruitiness is significantly enhanced with a few drops of water, bringing more fresh red berries to the fore. Very fruity and sweet on the palate. Nicely balanced with cinnamon, pepper and prickling oak spice. The finish is a bit shorter, creamy sweet and soft with red fruits, honey and oak.
Comments: A beautifully composed and savoury dram from this new, internationally active independent bottler. Rich, elegant, lovely complex and well-balanced. The sweetness and fruity character of the port pipe blends quite well with the intriguing warm oak spices and pleasant alcoholic bite. Very sweet and quaffable with an increased fruitiness and slightly tamed spiciness when diluted. A perfect choice after a good meal.

I thank Michel Reick from Scotch Universe for the sample and the photograph!


A Dream of Scotland 18yo, 1998-2016, Speyside, Cask Strength
ABV: 51.6%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Brühler Whiskyhaus
Cask type: -- (236 btl.)

 

Colour: Sweet white wine.
Nose: Fruity on the nose with cherries and peaches. The alcohol is very present, but not pungent. Behind that caramel and honey emerge, followed by ripe yellow melons, chocolate and a whiff of oak in the back. Fragrant and mellow. Needs time to develop its full flavour profile.
Palate: Strong on the palate with the alcohol being very present. Quite spicy with oak and pepper. Once this warming spiciness fades, lovely fruity notes of cherries, peaches and melons arrive, nicely mixed with caramel, butterscotch and a slightly bitter touch of grape peel and dark chocolate towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, quite warm and sweet with sticky fruit, creamy honey and a touch of dark chocolate. Becomes dry on the tail with gentle spiced oak and a whiff of bitter notes.
With water: Water significantly tames the alcoholic bite bringing the lovely fruitiness of cherries, peaches and melons to the fore. Vanilla, toffee and butterscotch in the back. Very delicate. Stays spicy on the palate with oak, pepper and slightly bitter grape peel. The alcohol is tamed but the nice fruitiness is also less present. The finish is long, creamy and sticky sweet with lovely fruits and a whiff of bitter oak and dark chocolate on the tail.
Comments: A tasty and delicate single malt from an unknown Speyside distillery. Filigree fruitiness restrained by the high alcoholic strength. With time, however, mouth-watering fruitiness and sweetness dominate making this dram a very candy and palatable one. Well chosen cask by Marco Bonn from the Brühler Whiskyhaus.


Port Askaig 100° Proof, 2015, Speciality Drinks
ABV: 57.1%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Speciality Drinks Ltd.
Cask type: --

 

Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Fresh on the nose with peat and a slight hint of smoke. Delicate citric notes emerge, lovely mixed with malted barley and cereals. Some coastal aromas with smoked ham and dried apricots. Tender oak spice, black pepper and a whiff of cloves in the back. Subtle briny and minerally.
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate with sweet barley sugar, cereals and subtle apricot jam. This is complemented by a rather strong spiciness of pepper, even chilli, and oak. Quite warming with a slightly cracking peat fire and lingering smoke. Once the peaty warmth fades, lingering notes of citric fruit and ginger appear followed by a vegetal touch towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, warm and spicy with black pepper, cloves and ginger. Becomes slightly dry on the tail with oak, dark chocolate and lingering peat smoke.
With water: Significantly tamed on the nose with a splash of water. Water brings more citric fruit and cereal notes to the fore while the peaty flavours are tamed. Still warming spiciness on the palate, however, a bit tamed. Sweet maltiness, cereals and black pepper, lovely mixed with oak, cloves and lingering peat. The finish is long and becomes very dry with oak, and espresso, followed by delicate dried fruits of apricot and peach on the tail.
Comments: A clean, lingering sweet, peaty, and significantly spicy Islay single malt at cask strength. Lovely fruity texture, well balanced by a nice peat fire and an intensly warming spiciness. Quite quaffable both neat or diluted with a few drops of water. Although the distillery is not mentioned on the label I would assume it's Caol Ila. Good value for money, too.

 

I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph!


Port Askaig 19yo, Cask Strength, Speciality Drinks
ABV: 50.4%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Speciality Drinks Ltd.
Cask type: --

 

Colour: Straw.
Nose: Fresh with a lovely coastal nose - brine and minerals. Peat and subtle smoke, pleasantly mixed with a fine citric note behind. Cereals and malted barley arrive, followed by a touch of green apples and smoked bacon in the back. Classic briny with a kick of antiseptic note.
Palate: A lovely mix of barley sweetness with peat and a touch of smoke. Oily with a warming spiciness of pepper, oak, cloves and camphor. Becomes quite intense with the second sip. Behind that peaty and spicy warmth, a lingering fruitiness of lemons and grapefruit emerges, followed by gentle medicinal notes and dry wood smoke.
Finish: The finish is long, sweet and warming with lingering peat, medicinal notes, subtle smoke, cloves and dry oak on the tail.
With water: By adding a few drops of water, significantly more smoke and spiced oak are coming through pushing the malty and fruity flavours in the background. Creamy, soft and sweet on the palate with acacia honey, grapefruit and subtle peat. Less warming spiciness which also increases with a second sip. The finish is still long and warming. Oily but less sweet and significantly dry on the tail with oak, cloves and a hint of pepper.
Comments: A classic, peaty, slightly smoky, medicinal and dry Islay single malt. Clean and oily with a sweet and subtle fruity texture, pleasantly balanced by a nice and warming spiciness. Lovely stuff. The ideal outside companion in a hip flask on a rainy day.

 

I thank Kirsch Whisky Import for the sample and the photograph!


Speyside 22yo, 1993-2016, Ocean Wonders - Special Edition
ABV: 63.9%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: eSpirits Whisky for Liquid Treasures
Cask type: Sherry Butt

 

Colour: Mahogany.
Nose: The nose starts off with a full potpourri of sweet sherry derived flavours, just like the dark colour suggests. There's lots of dried dark fruits, dates, figs, rum soaked raisins and a whiff of old furniture polish. Sweet and intense, with lingering nutty notes and fine oak in the back. Very appealing!
Palate: Rich and powerful on the palate. Again lots of sherry, but this time the sweetness is a bit dry on the tongue with cherries and raisins, followed by a warming spiciness of crisp oak, cinnamon, marzipan and dark chocolate. Very mouth-coating.
Finish: The finish is warming and shows good length. Pleasant notes of fruitcake nicely linger with walnuts and tender cocoa flavours towards a drying end.
With water: There's more sherry sweetness coming through on the nose by adding a few drops of water. However, this is overshadowed by a slightly unpleasant whiff of sulphur. The opposite on the palate: less sweetness, tamed fruitiness, but more dry and bitter notes, complemented by a touch of sulphur. The finish is medium long and dry with walnuts and oak on the tail.
Comments: A flavourful, rich and intense sherried whisky from an unknown Speyside distillery. Demonstrates a good balance of sweet fruitiness and warming spiciness with a certain level of complexity. Although it's almost 64% abv water should be avoided as it kills the lovely sweet and fruity sherry derived flavours on the palate inducing an annoying level of sulphurous notes.

 

I thank Dailydram.de for the sample and the photograph!


Speyside 23yo, 1992-2015, Whisky-Doris
ABV: 48.7%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Whisky-Doris
Cask type: Bourbon Hogshead (#7376, 291 btl.)

 

Colour: Straw.
Nose: An immediate fruity start on the nose with lots of apricots, melons, peaches, and a touch of banana. Lingering notes of vanilla and toffee emerge, accompanied by subtle pepper spice, ginger and a whiff of oak. Tender notes of icing sugar in the back.
Palate: Bold, rich and spicy on the palate with waves of apricots and peaches, alternating with an intensive and warming spiciness of pepper, oak and crystallised ginger. Slightly bitter notes of lemon peel linger with fine vanilla and a touch of beeswax towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, slightly bitter and dry at first but releases sweet and spicy flavours of peach jam, sticky honey with time. Mellow and meaty on the tail.
With water: Water brings out more fruit on the nose while the spiciness is tamed significantly. Still bold and rich with an increasing spiciness on the palate. Hot and dry flavours of pepper, cloves and oak, followed by vanilla and tender yellow fruit towards the finish. The finish is long and warm at first, becomes fruity and creamy with sticky sweet honey and apricot jam on the tail.
Comments: This is by no means just an old Speyside fellow. This is a rich, well-balanced and assertive dram. Fascinating waves of an attractive sweetness alternate with an intensive bourbon cask derived spiciness and dry fruitiness. A lovely mature malt which skilfully blends maturity and complexity. A good whisky which needs some time in the glass to breathe.

 

I thank Whisky-Doris (Versandhandel Doris Debbeler) for sample and photograph!


Speyside 38yo, 1977-2015, Whisky-Doris
ABV: 47.0%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°°°
Bottling: Whisky-Doris
Cask type: Sherry Butt (#25, 578 btl.)

 

Colour: Very dark amber, almost mahogany.
Nose: The nose starts off with classic sherry flavours of ripe red fruit, dates, raisins and demerara sugar. Liquorice with gentle marzipan and chocolate cake. Tender spicy with black pepper and oak, nicely mixed with notes of tobacco leaves and cardamom in the back. A gorgeous nose!
Palate: A muscular, rich and firm start on the palate with less sweetness than expected from the nose. Sherry flavours, lovely mixed with ripe fruit, rum soaked raisins and marzipan, complemented by a strong and warming spiciness of oak, cracked black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bitter notes of orange peel, dark chocolate, tobacco leaves, and espresso linger with lots of herbal black tea towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is pretty long, magnificently oaky, warm and spicy. Lovely nutty flavours pleasantly mingle with notes of espresso, tobacco leaves, dark bitter chocolate and herbal black tea on the tail. Slightly dry and astringent.
With water: Water slightly tames the spiciness bringing more fruity flavours to the fore. There's also a slight increase of sweetness on the palate with water, while the massive load of spicy flavours seems to be significantly tamed. Subtle tingling with oak and green walnuts on the tongue. The finish is long, sweet and creamy with tender herbal notes of strong black tea.
Comments: A subtle sweet, assertive, rich and satisfying old malt from this unknown Speyside distillery. Quite spicy neat, while a dash of water sweetens the palate. In good shape for it's age and still not loo long in cask. An impressive afterdinner drop. Highly attractive!

 

I thank Whisky-Doris (Versandhandel Doris Debbeler) for sample and photograph!


”buair an diabhail” Vol. X (tempt the devil), 2016, The 10 years TWC limited edition
ABV: 57,0%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: The Whisky Chamber (TWC)
Cask type: Ex-Bourbon First-fill Barrel (200 btl.)

 

Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Fresh and intense on the nose. There's bold peat smoke at first, phenolic, with lingering notes of vanilla, toffee and fruity elements of lemon and orange peel behind. A bold medicinal character of seaweed and bandages, with subtle cereal notes in the back. Very appealing and refreshing.
Palate: Oily palate. Significantly strong with a peaty punch at first, followed by an intense and warming spiciness of pepper, oak, cloves and allspice. Once the warmth fades, delicate sweet and fruity notes of green apples, lemon zest and honey arrive, lingering nicely with crisp cereal and oatmeal towards the finish.
Finish: The finish is long, warm and lovely sweet. Slightly austere, with gentle peat, toffee, malted barley and subtle wood smoke on the tail.
With water: Very fresh and clean on the nose with a few drops of water. Smoke and peat become the dominant flavours here. On the palate, however, these pungency is significantly tamed with a lovely balance of warming spiciness and barley sweetness. The finish is long, toffee sweet, and warm, in which the flavours are lovely wrapped in gentle peat smoke.
Comments: A significantly intense, complex and flavourful whisky, with an instant punch of peat. A harmonious balance of peat, smoke, spices and delicate flavours of a first-fill bourbon barrel, with a warm heart. Vibrant and full of character. Best neat.

 

I thank Thomas Ide from The Whisky Chamber for sample and photograph!


Islay Malt 6yo, 2009-2015, Charlie - Special Edition
ABV: 52.7%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: eSpirits Whisky for Liquid Treasures
Cask type: Port Cask

 

Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: The nose starts off with peat, smoke, and crisp barley, complemented by clean citrus notes and green banana. A bit of tar and burnt heather arrive along with a touch of ash and bitumen. Very clean and fresh with a lingering sweetness of barley sugar and a gentle maritime edge.
Palate: Quite sweet on the palate with delicate barley sugar, lemons and gentle orange peel, complemented by subtle peat and smoke. Suddenly, a massive load of warm even hot spice takes over with lots of pepper, subtle chilli and bitumen. Quite intense indeed!
Finish: The finish is long and warm with lingering citrus fruits and delicate malted barley on the tail. This is all gently covered by a whiff of peat smoke.
With water: Water slightly increases the freshness on the nose with peat smoke, maritime notes and malted barley, complemented by subtle citrus notes. On the palate, there's more sweetness coming through with lingering malt and orange fruit, accompanied by peat smoke and gentle oak spice. The finish is still long and subtle warm with more peat smoke and tar on the tail.
Comments: This is a superb Islay malt. Quite impressive on the nose and palate with lots of delicate sweetness, gentle fruitiness and a nice maritime character. The port cask influence is slightly present with a delicate sweetness and lingering citrus and orange fruitiness. Well balanced, very harmonious and tasty, with an ever-present and lingering peat smoke.

 

I thank Dailydram.de for sample and photograph!


Islay Malt 2007, 2007-2014
ABV: 51.9%
Region: Islay
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: eSpirits Whisky for Liquid Treasures
Cask type: Barrel (159 btl.)

Colour: White wine.
Nose: The nose starts off with crisp barley, peat and smoked fish, complemented by barley sugar and a clean citrus note. A bit of tar and burnt heather arrive along with a touch of ash and bitumen. Very clean and fresh with a lingering sweet roundness of vanilla custard, as well as a maritime edge. Delicate!
Palate: Quite sweet on the palate with delicate barley sugar, vanilla cream and gentle yellow pear, before a massive load of spice takes over. There's lots of pepper, chili and peat, complemented by lingering cold smoke. Rather youngish with burnt herbs and pleasant liquorice sweets in the back. Very intense and delicate.
Finish: A long, clean and sweet finish with barley sugar and warm spice, cracked black pepper and oak, covered by gentle peat smoke and ash.
With water: A slightly increased freshness on the nose, peat smoke, maritime notes and malted barley, complemented by gentle vanilla. Water wipes out the lingering sweetness of barley sugar bringing more intense spices to the fore. The sweetness, however, returns on the finish with lingering malt and honey, accompanied by peat smoke and gentle oak.
Comments: A beautiful Islay malt. Very present on the nose with lots of maritime character and a delicate sweetness, especially on the palate. Youngish indeed but already well balanced with a nice combination of sweetness and spiciness permanently surrounded by lingering peat smoke. Very harmonious and tasty.

I thank Dailydram.de for sample and photograph!


Speyside 1993, The Nose Art, 1993-2014, Whisky-Doris
ABV: 50.3%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Whisky-Doris
Cask type: Bourbon Hogshead (#1794, 263 btl.)

 

Colour: Rich gold.
Nose: The nose starts off with lots of passion fruit, yellow ripe fruit, banana and especially mirabelle is coming through, complemented by delicate honey and lingering vanilla. The fruitiness increases with time with an additional touch of pleasant exotic spice and a whiff of marzipan. Very complex nose!
Palate: Fine-textured and sweet. Rich honey flavours and exotic fruits are immediately present along with pleasant vanilla. This delicate mouthfeel is completed by a lingering spiciness of oak, white pepper and a hint of cinnamon and marzipan. Bold, intense and quite oily on the palate with a slightly dry aftertaste.
Finish: Medium-long, sweet and smooth with a little dried fruit. Nicely warming oak spice, pepper and lingering cinnamon on the tail.
With water: There's almost no change on the nose while the fruitiness decreases on the palate with more spice - pepper and chilli - coming to the fore. The finish is a bit shortened but still warming and delicate.
Comments: This is a very sophisticated malt with an impressive complexity and charm. The honeyed richness of the malt combines beautifully with the exotic fruitiness and lingering spiciness of the bourbon cask. A perfect composed dessert dram.

 

I thank Whisky-Doris (Versandhandel Doris Debbeler) for sample and photograph!


Speyside King, Single Cask Bottling 2015, Best Dram
ABV: 46.9%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Best Dram
Cask type: Sherry butt

 

Colour: Pale gold.
Nose: Freshly ground malt and grain, followed by lovely aromas of succulent ripe sweet red apples. Hints of sherry and raisins. Very lively and prickling.
Palate: Soft and full with plenty of sweet fruit. Summer grain and sweet ripe apples with a hint of banana. Topped with prickled spice right in the middle of the tongue.
Finish: Long and lingering sweet. Warm with some oak spices to give a dry finish.
With water: Turns into green and grassy notes with less sweetness and more spice.
Comments: Beautifully mature and elegant. Juicy, soft, round and sweet. Very pleasant on the taste, no water needed. A sensitive dram, however, nothing for the sherry aficionados.

 

I thank the German independent bottler Best Dram for sample and photo.


Speyside Mysteria Vol III 20yo, 1995-2015, Best Dram

ABV: 52.6%
Region: Speyside
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Best Dram
Cask type: Sherry cask

 

Colour: Deep gold.
Nose: Starts quite fresh with toffee and dry sherry. A touch of buttery vanilla lies beneath, followed by hints of butterscotch and syrup coated melon with time.
Palate: Oh yes! Now there is creamy and fruity sweetness with yellow melon and vanilla. Intense sherry flavours on the middle with the oak showing a mouth-watering spicy character. Optimally integrated alcohol and pleasingly drinkable.
Finish: Mouth-filling, warm and long with lingering fruity sweetness and dried oak.
With water: The spiciness now dominates as the sweetness almost completely disappears. Finish with lingering yellow dried fruits.
Comments: This Speyside dram is a real mystery. Quite reserved on the nose it requires definitely time to develop its full character. Then there is an exciting explosion of sweetness, fruit, vanilla and spice on the palate. Complex, full of character with less strong sherry influence. A superbly balanced whisky with no need for dilution.

 

I thank the German independent bottler Best Dram for sample and photo.