Whisky Review: Laphroaig Cairdeas 2014 Edition

Style: Peaty and Fruity

Nose:

Starting with a fresh breath of citrusy marmalade and salted caramel pecans. Smoky and ashy peat burst into the scene with a big lick of orange vanilla cream. Nice interplay between fresh orange and dry chargrill notes.

Palate:

Delicious orange honey waltz in smoothly, backed by tender milky vanilla cream and spicy cinnamon sticks. A lovely pure amontillado moment struck right in the middle – sweet, nutty and dry! The sweetness is then overtaken by charcoal fume which is rising with the spice. Slightly salty on the palate and the vanilla returns in a toasted version. Bonfire, roasted oak and burnt twigs towards the end.

Finish:

Tongue drying fume finish. Spicy and ashy with an undertone of diluted orange lemonade, sweet but fairly thin. Peat washed up onto the shore with slight saltiness on the back, soft and tantalizing.

Thoughts:

I love Laphroaigs at this abv level, the trademark smokiness goes really well with the extra bite of strength. While the amontillado provided some sweet fruity touch, it also enhance the masculinity of the whisky with its dryness. It is a Laphroaig which is not only slightly sweet, but also raw and robust with an enormous character. Enjoyable.

☆ [Recommended] 

[51.4%・2014 Bottled ・Original Bottling・No Age Statement・Non Chill Filtered ・ Limited Edition]

-Esmond

 

 

Whisky Review: Yamazaki Heavily Peated 2013

Tasting Notes:

Yamazaki Heavily Peated

Style: Fragrant and Oaky

Nose:

Aroma of lively vanilla honey dripping onto barley, Autumn forest and shrine wood. Fresh beat from zested orange, pineapple and white pepper. A rather woody body which is slightly smoked and peated, faint notes of white flower and nectar.

Palate: 

Strike a few keys lower at the palate. Starts with a lick of orange vanilla syrup which is swiftly overrun by the mouth drying and bitter-ish oaky notes. Minimal, tantalising spice burn with an injection of smoke. Evasive almost Illusive soy sauce and wood incense fading in and out. Timber runs rampant, the peat is engulfed and hardly detected.
Ongoing dryness and the bitterness from the oak certainly exerted their influence throughout. The tone remain rather suppressed as very little honey sweetness was able to get through.

Finish:

Wood shed , roasted barrels, coffee beans combine and conjure a fairly heavy end note.

Thoughts:

I find it is more heavily “oak-ed” than peated”. It is a whisky which is both light and heavy – light bodied but with heavy woody notes, flavours resembles of tree barks, dried twigs and forest scent which dominated the proceedings. While the peat, orange and vanilla notes are more of some side decorative touches. That being said, there is still definitely a stronger peat presence comparing to other Yamazaki(s), giving it some extra dryness that others do not offer.

(48%/2013/OB/LR/NCF)

-Esmond

Whisky Review: The GlenDronach Single Cask Aged 18 Years #244

Style: Sherry and Spicy

Nose:

Starts with dark chocolate soufflé on fire, thick and spicy. Then it is followed by some cupboard-aged dried dates, pencil shavings and sour cream. Solid, sweet aroma of brown sugar sitting back supported and cushioned all of the dryness and spiciness.

Palate:

Bright spicy and sugary raisin notes dissolves to a lovely, consistent flow of syrupy grape juice. Sharp chilli spiciness, but there is a hint of black pepper as well. Dry timber joins in the middle to give another extra touch of dryness. Brushes of caramel with a blend of chocolate, red liquorice and coffee beans towards the end.

Finish:

Remaining notes of dried prunes and spiced chocolate. The red fruit infused malt is lighter, sweeter and fresher at the finish. Perhaps more space was given at the end for each element to breathe. Touches of subtle vanilla gives some creaminess and contribute to a rather long and sweet finish!

Thoughts:

Finally a Glendronach review! Unlike some of my whisky buddies, I am not the biggest fan of sherry bombs… But still, I agree that sherry cask is whisky’s best mate in terms of whisky maturation. This single cask is a great example: Delicate sweetness, complexity, exquisite texture are all wonderfully done. Although it is quite a spicy dram, the oak influence was exceptionally and played a big part here to enhance the complexity…extra dryness without disrupting the sherry, great composure. Good night cap.

☆ [Recommended]

[56.9% • 2014 Bottled • 18 Years Old • Original Bottling • Non Chill Filtered • Non Coloured • Limited Release • Cask Strength • Cask Number: 244 • Batch 12 • Bottle Number: 245 • 399 Bottles • Oloroso Sherry Butt Matured]

-Esmond