Dram Review: Fuji Gotemba Kirin Fuji Sanroku 18 Years Old

[43.0%・18 Years Old・Official Bottling・General Release]

Kudos to the Baxter Inn for securing a bottle directly from Japan. This is not a bottling from the ‘Big Four’ Japanese Distilleries but instead it’s produced in Fuji Gotemba distillery, owned by the beverage giant Kirin and it is just as highly sought after by the people in the know. The rarity of this particular expression stems from the fact that Fuji Gotemba mostly produces grain whisky for blending purposes and as such this 18 year-old single malt is a rather limited release. Only a small number of this expression would have made it across to Australia and I felt in luck that a nip of this didn’t cost me too much!

Nose:

This beauty starts off with forest pine and maple syrup on the nose. A lovely monogamy note to it. A hint of ripe strawberry nectar with some poached raisins. Let it breathe and a moist woodiness sips through. Sugary caramel and a bit of youthful ginger note, ripe apple flesh.

Palate & Finish:

The palate is first hit with sweet raisin notes with a faint hint of woodiness, the bitterness native to many Japanese whiskies. Lemon preserve, apple peels and hint of mandarin essence. The citrusy edge slides in seamlessly. There is a creaminess on the backend alongside chilli and pepper notes.

The dose of creaminess lingers on in the finish with soft spices and tender maltiness. Bits of caramel sweetness and dried fruit peel bitterness supported by that slight woodiness. There’s a lot of depth with this piece.

Thoughts:

A.K.A. “The Thirty Seventh View of Mount Fuji”

☆ [Recommended]

Nicholas

Whisky Review: The Glenlivet Nàdurra Aged 16 Years Batch 0313W

 

Nose:

Starts with a spicy hit on the nose, followed by elder flower scent and milky vanilla. A nice creamy floral fragrance we have here. At the back there are some dry timber planks and black pepper to give more complexity.

Palate:

A silent initial touch on the palate, superb oily texture. Gradually the aroma releases and sweet fresh pineapple juice went overflowing. Subtle hint of Jasmine flower, vanilla and some freshly grated ginger to put up more spice. Smooth oaky notes towards the finish, with some random tingling sparks of chili pinches, lovely touch.

Finish:

The finish reminds me of a caramel ginger cake that I recently came across, light and stimulating, sweet and savory.

Thoughts:

Light, sweet and gingerly whisky. Great dram especially for who are looking for a Speyside cask strength to wind down the night. Good texture. I enjoyed how the spicy sweet core anchored well onto the palate while the rest is feathery light and smooth… Cheers!

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

[54.8% • Original Bottling • Cask Strength • Aged 16 Years • Non Chill Filtered • Limited Release]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Glenfarclas Aged 15 Years (circa 2006)

Style: Sweet and Creamy

Nose:
Roasted pop corn dipped into creamed honey. A faint hint of tropical fruits, coconut and pepper spice. More gentle malty notes coming out at the back. Smooth and harmonious.

Palate:
At the first sip a quick rush of raisin sweetness combined with some fresh oaky noted to create a delicious roast marshmallows theme, yum yum! Subtle tannins danced for a short while and invited more spicy notes to give a really good texture. Some fuzzy, juicy malt comes in towards the end.


Finish:
Aftertaste of bonfire roasted marshmallows, the milky sweetness is so chewy and won’t go away. Some touches of raisins, chocolate and toasted almonds to make the finish more flavorful.


Thoughts:
Clean, crisp honey juicy sweet profile created by a number of subtle elements with good complexity as well as striking the right balance. In Glenfarclas 15, it is not only fresh but also elegant. Great daily whisky that I can always go back to it.

[46% •  circa 2006 • Original Bottling • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • General Release • *]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Talisker Aged 20 Years (Bottled in 2002)

[62.0%・20 Years Old・Distilled in 1981・Bottled in 2002・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 9000 Bottles]

I tasted this vintage Talisker a while back at Baxter Inn, where noise-cancelling earphones really came in handy.

Nose:

Smoky and earthy on the nose, aged ham and subtle meat rub spices. Toffee, almonds with notes of poached dark fruits on the back end. Let it breathe and some Chinese five-spice cured beef along with heavy oak notes surface.

Palate & Finish:

An intense sweetness upon first sip alongside the signature maritime breeze. Toffee and a subtle hint of almond butter and polished wood notes.

Full but delicate oak spices in the finish, notes of molasses, a bit nutty.

Thoughts:

A.K.A. “Seaside Gourmet Shop”..

A legendary dram worthy of every compliment.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

Nicholas

Whisky Review: Glenmorangie Private Edition “Ealanta”

Style: Citrus Fruits, Perfume Oak and Elegant

Nose:

At the nose, there is a delicate touch of orange peels with icing sugar and floral nectar. Gradually it makes a creamy vanilla turn and introduces a unique incense of timber shavings which is so light and so alluring! The beautiful scent is complimented with a refreshing spice of black pepper notes and the slightest hint of cloves…

Palate:

The palate begins with a delicious running flow of floral nectar. Citrus orange peels, cinnamon, almond nuts and tingling spices combine together perfectly to hit a bright and resounding tone! Then in comes a deep wave of timber fragrance, juicy vanilla-infused oaky notes with lovely tannins, mixed spices, shrine wood and subtle dried fruits. So complex, lofty and effortlessly elegant…

Finish:

Ongoing fragrance of oak with an extra charred touch at the finish, sweet vanilla oil, lightly roasted vanilla almonds and some subtle tropical fruits to make it sweet and relaxing.

Thoughts:

Glenmorangie Ealanta is the World Whisky of the Year in Mr. Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2014, and for a good reason too. Stunning complexity and fragrance, and to me, the maturation of the oak/wood element reaches perfect optimization and the presentation is beyond imagination: For one moment I forgot all about vanilla sweetness versus bitterness; I forgot about wood freshness versus over-baked notes; I am only wondering if I am inhaling the air of the Mark Twain Forest, Missouri.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[46% • Original Bottling • 1993 Distilled • 2012 Bottled • Non Chill Filtered • Limited Edition • Matured in Missouri White Oak Casks • **]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: New World Projects Oak Barrel Whisky Fair 2014 Bottling

A.K.A. “The Australian Dream”

Musky nose, it has a powerful floral note with a hint of bubblegum. Light grapes and cloves. Creamy dark chocolate with bits of tobacco and Chinese hawthorn berries.

Strong, intense palate of syrupy dark berries and blood orange notes. Rich cinnamon and hot spices. A hint of icing sugar. Tobacco leaves on the backend.

The syrupy sweetness live long and strong. Hint of strawberries. The oaky note is subtle but accentuates the experience.

Pride of Starward. The Australian dream.

https://instagram.com/p/5_0MXwL8Xc/?taken-by=whisknick

-NL


Tasting Notes:

Starward Oak Barrel Whisky Fair 2014 Bottling  ☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

Style: Musky and Complex

Nose:

Immense red licorice sweetness with great refreshing spice at the first whiff. Rose syrup weaves beautifully with a touch of sour mash, milk chocolate, vanilla and malt. A very complex nose. Musky and soothing.

Palate:

Floral nectar sweetness land gently on the palate, a very soft and pleasant mouth-feel. Then here comes the waves of searing spice to reveal its strength. Delicious chocolate fruit tart and vanilla follows to enrich the flavor. So musky! Slowly it mellows down to release malty and oaky notes.

Finish:

Floral nectar presence towards the end, combined with the oak and malt to produce a mellow lingering sweet finish…

Thoughts:

The beautiful thing of this whisky is how the strength supports the complexity and amplify the flavors. I can feel the aroma lifting and circling in my mouth and goes all the way up to my nose. The muskiness, the fragrance, soft lower tones, sharp higher tones are all done perfectly…

-Esmond

Dram Review: Hakushu Heavily Peated Bottled in 2012

[48.0%・Bottled in 2012・Original Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

A delicate sweet smoke on the nose, cucumbers and forest pines. It doesn’t feel like it’s heavily peated, the peat is clean. The freshness of green fruits is truly lovely with just a hint of vanilla and a brush of honey. The woody peat and green papaya notes come out after a while with just a sprinkle of peppery spices. This beauty is rather shy, taking her time to lure you in. Then on the very back end, fragrant sweet pasture, salted caramel and a lime zing. It should really be bottled into a perfume.

Palate & Finish:

A refreshing sweetness of cucumbers, green apples and limes hits the palate first, then the salted caramel fudge comes on to add to the chewiness. The peat then develops subtly to add more substance to this sophisticated gem.

The finishing is as tender as a warm spring night, with the fresh peat and the oak married together in harmony. The light spices behave youthfully and playfully and it’s just plain wonderful.

Thoughts:

A.K.A. “Tender is the Oriental Night”..

☆ [Recommended]

Nicholas

Whisky Review: Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask Cask No. S090122062

A.K.A. “An exhilarating ride to sherry town.”

A whiff of orange peels and char smoke on the nose. Dried flowers, balsamic vinegar and a generous pinch of crushed pepper. Subdued raisins with a hint of tobacco. Nuts and cloves. The floral note amplifies with time, bringing some brown sugar sweetness in the mix along with orange essence.

Sweet brown sugar note on the palate with raisins bringing about the fruitiness. Notes of stewed dark fruits subtle but steady. Buttery caramel; warming cinnamon spices with a tiny pinch of chilli seeds.

The oak presence is quite evident in the finish; dark chocolate sauce; I would imagine the aged tobacco note makes it rather suitable to pair with a cigar.

https://instagram.com/p/59Roh5L8aV/?taken-by=whisknick

Nicholas

 

Dram Review: Laphroaig Aged 25 Years 2013 Cask Strength Edition

[45.1% • 25 Years Old • Bottled in 2013 • Official Bottling • Limited Edition]

Nose:

Fresh dill and tea smoked trout on the nose. Bacon and banana jam. Let it breathe and it develops a woody peat with a hint of sea salt and lard, and a pinch of cumin, pepper and tea leaves. A subtle floral note, a lone flower on a rocky beach, perhaps.

Palate & Finish:

It’s sweet on the palate, lemon preserve and light honey. Apricots and red apples along with a hint of dark chocolate. A wet peat developing with some lively spices on the mid-palate, rather peculiar for a dram at this age.

A sweet finish of light flowing honey with an underlying peat that doesn’t seek for attention and certainly doesn’t try to engulf.

Thoughts:

A.K.A. “The Lingering Youthfulness”.

The Laphroaig 25 is like an elegant lady reminiscing about her feisty and alluring past.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

 

Dram Review: Glen Grant Aged 10 Years

[40%・10 Years Old・Bottled Circa. 2015-2016・Official Bottling・General Release]

Nose:

A crisp and enticing nose, a generous dose of toasted vanilla and charred oak. It has a slight fruitiness within, red apple freshness without being too sweet. A tad earthy with some dry barley notes on the backend.

Palate & Finish:

Clean subtle fruitiness at first, a bit of dry oak spice influence before the apple and apricot nectar blossoms. The caramel fudge slowly developing on the back end of the palate.

A clean fruity finish with just a subtle hint of sweetness. The barley notes resurface and it’s all quite wonderful.
It really does punch above its weight.

Thoughts:

Clean, crisp and consistently curated.

Nicholas