Dram Review: Karuizawa Aged 10 Years

[43.0%・10 Years Old・Ocean Whisky Bottling] Nose: 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…

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Dram Review: The Ichiro’s Malt Aged 15 Years The Final Vintage of Hanyu

[46.5%・15 Years Old・Bottled in 2015・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 3,710 Bottles] Nose: 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.…

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Whisky Review: Ardbeg “Dark Cove” Committee Only Edition

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 undertone towards the end. Palate: Elegant entrance of sweetness and spice. Wonderful mix of…

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Dram Review: Compass Box “The Double Single”

[46.0%・12 Years Old・Bottled in 2004・Compass Box Bottling・Limited Release] Nose: 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…

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Dram Review: Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Brora 1982

[40.0%・Distilled in 1982・Gordon & MacPhail Bottling・Limited Release] How gorgeous are those legs? Nose: 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.…

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Dram 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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Dram Review: Kavalan Solist Manzanilla

[57.8%・NAS・Bottled Circa. 2015-2016・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release] Nose: 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. Palate & Finish: A big and sturdy…

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Dram Review: Ardbeg Perpetuum Distillery Release

[49.2%・NAS・Bottled in 2015・Official Bottling・Limited Release] Nose: 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. Palate & Finish:…

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Dram Review: Kavalan Solist Moscatel

[55.6%・NAS・Bottled Circa. 2015-2016・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release] The Kavalan Solist Moscatel is one of the four new Solist releases Australia is getting this year. Along with the fino, it’s a series dedicated to the horizontal juxtaposition of various sherry strains. The last time I have come across a project similar to this was the Tomatin cuatro series…

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Dram Review: BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 1

[57.2%・NAS・Official Bottling・Limited Release] Nose: There is an elegant Speyside floral musk on the nose that puts the mind in ease. Pineapples and apricots with a appealing vanilla note. There is some youthful anise note but as a whole it doesn’t feel as young as some other cask strength offerings. There is a thin touch of…

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