Dram Review: Black Bowmore (First Edition)

[50.0%・29 Years Old・Distilled in 1964・Bottled in 1993・Original Bottling・Limited Release of 2,000 Bottles]

Nose:

Bold. Ink and dark toffee treacle, the peat is earthy and herbal with a fine jus of black cherries and prunes drawing out the shyer, soft fruits. In time there are hints of fine smoke and maple smoked bacon trailing off..

Palate & Finish:

The intensity of the prunes aligns the focus back onto the Sherry, rich, creamy mouthfeel with the dried fruits oozing out a jammy, mouth-coating texture; soft peat, oak and pepper gelling with fig jam and maple syrup.

A medium finish of dark fruits and herbs, with some milk chocolate drawing the richness to a close.

Thoughts:

Let’s set the scene here… the year was 1993, there really weren’t a whole lot of whiskies out there looking like this bottle.. you spent the kind of cash that made you go “oh god.. I did that..”, and the dram really didn’t disappoint and indeed amazed.

Much like how the 308 only has 255 horsepower or how the calibre 2121 only has 40 hours of power reserve, a lot has changed and we are all a bit spoiled now.. but this is still an important Sherried Bowmore.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Kingsbury Islay Single Scotch Malt Whisky Distilled in 1991 Exclusively Bottled For Whisky Lovers Hong Kong

[51.2%・Distilled in 1991・ Bottled in 2020・Kingsbury Bottling Exclusively Bottled For Whisky Lovers Hong Kong・Single Cask Release of 160 Bottles]

Nose:

An extravagance of tropical fruits, with vanilla. A pinch of gingery spices melting into beeswax and nougat.

Palate & Finish:

The wholesomeness of vanilla and honey is met with a glorious burst of gorgeous ripe fruits, with some more smooth caramel folded atop.

The finishing is a touch earthy actually, with some notes of seaweed to go with the mangos.

Thoughts:

You beauty!

Congratulations Chung for picking such a fruit bomb.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: The Whisky Agency and La Maison du Whisky Bunnahabhain Aged 33 Years

[45.8%・33 Years Old・Distilled in 1980・ Bottled in 2014・The Whisky Agency and La Maison du Whisky Joint Bottling・Single Cask Release of 495 Bottles]

Nose:

It is the elegant creaminess on first impression, with some syrup cured pineapples, French vanilla and a wee pinch of gingery spices.

Palate & Finish:

Sweet toffee, slightly salted, along with a robust café au lait note. Then the creaminess slowly subsides to reveal apricots and mangos.

A sweet and comforting finish of the barley sweetness, lasting.

Thoughts:

A lovey construction of a dram with the Sherry creaminess really adding to what I have come to enjoy about a well matured bunny. Not the most extravagant profile out there but surprisingly something that puts you in ease and in a good mood.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: The Whisky Agency Bunnahabhain Aged 24 Years

[48.3%・24 Years Old・Distilled in 1990・ Bottled in 2014・The Whisky Agency Bottling・Single Cask Release of 190 Bottles]

Nose:

Beautifully done polished mahogany, berries and bright candied ginger atop a buttery body, with the malt playing well in a complimentary role which in time turns into wet grass with a touch of coastal saltiness.

Palate & Finish:

Caramel with zesty oranges on the palate before the dram taking an unexpected turn with a lager like maltiness.

A shorter finish with the maltiness dispersing.

Thoughts:

A bit of variance stylistically from nose to palate with this dram, not quite coherent enough but really can’t fault the rather marvellous aromas.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Hakushu Sherry Cask Bottled in 2012

[48.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2012・Original Bottling・Limited Release of 4300 Bottles]

Nose:

Sticky figs and prunes prove captivating, roasted almonds, espresso and tannins smoothed over by the buttery leather.

Palate & Finish:

Liquor cured oranges bursting through with the bright but creamy Sherry influence, ample of wood and leather as well, hitting you right at the spot.

Dark chocolate, leather and tannins just stay on and on and a little longer still.

Thoughts:

Always revisit a dram you enjoyed, it’s been a good few years since I have had a Sherried Hakushu, and truly it gets me just how I like it.

I know I know, no one really cracks a new bottle open anymore but if you get a chance to order a dram do it, sometimes it’s been so long you forget what it’s like to be treated.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: ePower Chichibu Aged 6 Years IPA Cask Finish

[60.1%・6 Years Old・Distilled in 2011・Bottled in 2017・ePower Bottling・Cask No. 4662・Single Cask Release of 249 Bottles]

Nose:

Fascinating, aged lemon peels churned with gooey vanilla paste, orange sherbet and cotton candy on a flirty floral setting.

Palate & Finish:

Orange and grapefruit sherbet on the palate dressed with some Chinese style dried tangerine peels to give that exotic and intriguing bitterness. Some banana jam as well to mellow things out.

Retains the citrus and the oak spices in the finish.

Thoughts:

I genuinely love Chichibu’s IPA cask finished casks, such fun profile that compliments the rich Chichibu spirit so well.

I distinctively remember thinking it’s honestly like nothing I have ever had before, and not in that sense of foreboding you get with new world whiskies sometimes but that sense of just pure excitement instead.

And that’s the joy of the Chichibu IPA cask for me.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: SMWS 46.41 Glenlossie “Mango and Coconut Curry”

[52.4%・23 Years Old・ Distilled in 1992 ・Bottled in 2016 ・SMWS Bottling・Single Cask Release of 270 Bottles]

Nose:

Fruit salad with a fragrant coconut note, there is a savoury element to it with Bill’s mild yellow fish curry infused with a barley smoke.

Palate & Finish:

Deliciously fruity, tropical fruits interacting with a certain saltiness from the oak, settles to something creamier and chewier.

French vanilla and golden syrup as the wood seamlessly chimes in as does a lighter tones of fresh barley.

Thoughts:

The Japanese Panel certainly picked something immensely fascinating, you have to respect them for taking the motto of leaving no nose unturned to heart..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old

[43.0%・15 Years Old・Bottled in 2020・ Official Bottling・General Release]

Nose:

Raisins and cranberries infused nougat, dried oranges and syrup soaked walnuts giving it a lighthearted bit of nuttiness.

Palate & Finish:

Strawberry jam and dark raisins, smooth without lingering on any of the characters too much.

Flowing with a wee dried ginger kick and some maraschino cherries.

Thoughts:

Smooth, flowing and easy to get, perfectly adequate as a social lubricant.

[Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

P.S. Thank you to the Macallan Hong Kong for the dram.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: SMWS 7.159 Longmorn “From Tree to Tarte Tatin”

[52.6%・24 Years Old・ Bottled in 2016 ・SMWS Bottling・Single Cask Release of 234 Bottles]

Nose:

A sense of wholesome goodness from the freshly heated up legit diner apple pie, fresh strawberries seasoned with aged lemon flakes. Aged Sherry in the works with a hint of mushroom umami to keep things classy and stately.

Palate & Finish:

Apple juice, with Maraschino cherries, polite though with just a pinch of cinnamon. A real balance from the Sherry oak influence with just a hint of pineapples.

Maple syrup brushed on ripe red apple flesh, a certain chewiness that adds to the sense of being fulfilled..

Thoughts:

Juice box for the considerate adults, for me growing up it’s Just Juice.. and when you think about it that’s kind of endearing..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: SMWS 29.192 Laphroaig “A Gruff Yet Dignified Gentleman”

[58.1%・21 Years Old・Distilled in 1995 ・ Bottled in 2016 ・SMWS Bottling・Single Cask Release of 156 Bottles]

Nose:

An assertive pipe smoke sweetened by dark honey infusion. Tree gum with perhaps a drop or two of Worcestershire sauce as the oak gradually takes control.

Palate & Finish:

Softer on the palate, smoked bacon and barbecue smoke wrapping around the softness of the stone fruits, with a good old leathery tail.

The stately notes of leather and peat intertwine in the finish.

Thoughts:

Dignified and gentle, characters I wouldn’t have necessarily taken for a 90s cask; I can imagine Mr. Nick Offerman begrudgingly liking this. Rewarding and relaxing, almost scoring two stars for me.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas