First Impression: Karuizawa 10 Yo

A whiff of packed raisin fructose arrives initially on the nose, surrounded with nips of pears, figs and wood chips. There is an understated layer of malt and vanilla cream, just enough in dosage that it adds to the depth but not so much that the tone gets weighted down. It’s rather dreamy really, a…

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Whisky Review: Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release

Took me a while but finally got some time to sit down with Dr. Bill Lumsden’s second creation of the year.Whisky tablets with a silky peat note on the nose. Unmistakably Ardbeg with the oily iodine note taking the lead and bright citrus fruits subtly poking out. French vanilla and Chinese herb twigs in the…

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Whisky Review: Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 Edition

What else but prune juice of course on the nose, a mellow sherry influence with the woodiness adding to the depth. Well balanced acidity and sweetness. The flavours are well blended together but each element remains concise. The European oak note is sophisticated in particular. Smoked almonds in the background and this may be controversial,…

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First Impression: The Ichiro’s Malt 15 Yo The Final Vintage of Hanyu

A whisky named the final vintage of Hanyu is always going to be a collector’s item well sought after, even though it might not be the Hanyu you hope for.Toasted cereal and barbecue salt on the nose with an underlying layer of vanilla grain. Banana toffee surfaces with a hint of sandalwood. Pineapple flavoured gummy…

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Whisky Review: Ardbeg “Dark Cove” Committee Release

Tasting Notes  Ardbeg Dark Cove Special Committee Only Edition ✓ [Recommended if you like the style/distillery] Style: Sherry and Coastal Nose: Starts with a hint of smoky honey ham, quickly followed by peat, peppermint and lemon citrus. Then we hit the main rhythm of “darker than milk chocolate”. A bit of malt, some mineral and sea breeze…

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First Impression: Compass Box “The Double Single”

Barley sugar and grain spices on the nose, no wonder they named this the double single, it’s a clever blending of two whiskies, one single grain from Port Dundas and one single malt from Glen Elgin. Well rounded with hint of meatiness to go with a grapefruit note.Caramel fudge with a mouthwatering lemony sweetness on…

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First Impression: Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Brora 1982

How gorgeous are those legs?Barley sugar with a waxy undertone. A classic Highland dram that celebrates the lightness of whisky crafting back when times were simpler. Honey with a light hint of candied ginger, pear sweets with a hint of smoke that lingers on the backend. The tenderness of it comes from casks that have…

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Whisky Review: Yamazaki The Owner’s Cask 1986 Butt/Mizunara

[51.0%・Distilled in 1986・Bottled in 2009・Cask No. 6B 0021・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release] Nose: Balsamic vinegar reduction laced on poached red apples that are fully ripen, with a creamy maltiness within. There is a stunning shrine woodiness, something that only develops after years of quiet maturation in a mizunara cask. Palate & Finish: Intertwining sweetness on the…

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Whisky Review: Kavalan Solist Manzanilla

Melted vanilla ice cream on the nose with the rich, concentrated fruitiness from dried Filipino mango slices. The White oak note forms a bridge for the fruitiness to transition to a salty note. A direct and bold approach without unnecessary detours.A big and sturdy delivery on the palate with the sherry characters oozing out. Poached…

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First Impression: Ardbeg Perpetuum Distillery Release

Plenty of vanilla flavoured milk on the nose with a proper coastal influence, iodine with a surprisingly soothing peat note. There is a touch of tropical fructose, lychee and white pepper with a rather refreshing white tea note. The sherry influence is faint but vaguely noticeable.A rich delivery of vanilla note and caramel on the…

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