Whisky Review: Compass Box “This is not a luxury whisky”

Style: Summer Berries and Cream Chocolate Nose: Alluring blue berries dipped in silky milk chocolate on the nose. Honey drizzled on green pears, stewed fruits and more summer berries followed by teasing spice. All sweet and comfy. Then there is a shy, drier facet – acidic limestone and five spices following through, underneath sits a…

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Whisky Review: Johnnie Walker “Double Black”

Style: Creamy and Peaty Nose: Restrained tropical fruits followed by a rather big dose of iodine, sea salt and smoked bacon. Slightly damp, mossy earthiness hidden at deeper levels. Salt-rubbed pineapple emerges again after a while, diluted maple syrup painting on raw papaya. Smoke radiates from the background all the way till the end. A…

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First Impression: Heartwood The Beagle 5

[62.4%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Limited Release of 175 Bottles] Nose: The casks give off an earthy and oaky vibe, the brute strength is obviously there.  It’s syrupy, presumably a product of involvement from the thicker textured casks with a prominent fortified wine led acidity; but otherwise it’s held quite tightly and requires some time for the richness…

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Whisky Review: Hibiki 響 21 Years Old 花鳥風月 Special Edition

Style: Delicate and Complex Nose: Delicate red plums, sweet with a dab of sourness, maple syrup bacon, nicely accompanied by semi-dry vanilla painted cereal notes. Light breeze of green sappy pine, sugar cane then we have round apricots and peaches at the core. Almond flakes fade, brown sugar emerges towards to the end. All the…

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First Impression: Pure Scot

[40.0%・NAS・Bottled Circa 2017・General Release] Nose: There is a dose of juniper berries that can be picked up rather effortlessly.  Some unedited characters of the distillates are still on display with hints of olive oil and cardboard paper in the mix as well.  The caramel influence doesn’t feel entirely like it’s a product of bourbon cask maturation…

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First Impression: Black Gate BG021

[49.3%・ Distilled in 2014・Bottled in 2017・3 Years Old・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release of 213 Bottles] Nose: The thickness of old Black Gate has been replaced in favour of a more balanced delivery.  The aged lemon from the “Port” cask is in play here with subtle notes of basil, oregano, minerals and copper.  With time the familiar…

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Whisky Review: Highland Park Ice Edition Aged 17 Years

Style: Fruity and Vanilla Nose: Peppermint and heather layering on top, candy floss with fluffy vanilla cream one level down. Light touches of violets and chilli flakes. Soft icy vibe. Peat smoke sits in the middle and curiously it is a bit mossy and earthy. White flowers blossoming over solid tropical fruits while white timber…

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First Impression: SMWS 53.239 Caol Ila “Ham Hock and Blackcurrant Jam”

[59.7%・ 19 Years Old・Bottled in 2016・SMWS Bottling・Single Cask Release] Nose: The peat smoke politely arrives on scene, smoked trout and iodine fill the room with a touch of anise.  A fireplace getting started by burning scrunched up newspapers. Palate & Finish: Forest berries and sweet peat make for a friendly entry.  A chilli zing brings…

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Whisky Review: Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 15 Years Old

Style: Sweet and Complex Nose: Big trademark meaty aroma up front, red grapes filled the body quickly and then we have some dense cereal notes with a hint of salted caramel troops in, delicious scent of oven-baked potatoes at the back. Palate: Sherry glistering gracefully on the first touch, honey, aloe vera, chocolate malt and smoke.…

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You’re Invited: Not a Masterclass

Thanks to Mr. Fitzsimons and the rest of the Oak Barrel team for once again hosting our whisky sharing session, this one will be on Friday, 20 October 2017. No theme for the evening, there will just be whiskies I want to try myself.  A little single cask omakase if you will, here’s the line…

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