Whisky Review: Signatory Vintage Caol Ila 1983 Aged 32 Years

Style: Delicate, Sweet and Smoky

Caol Ila in the calmest form – peat smoke, tropical fruits syrup and cereal interweave silkily with finesse and composure. Spearmint shoots through with minimal burn. Crayons, brine, white flowers and pulled pork rumbling beneath the surface, mineral notes, aloe vera and lemon tea teasing at the back. Finish with a pinch of chilli spice. Elegant.

Lemon aloe vera overflowing on the interwoven layer of peat, stewed tropical fruits and cereal malt. Absolutely delicious. Peppermint humming merrily, vanilla cream and yuzu jam going under. Flint stone and smoked ham forming a beautiful base. A soft acrylic overtone, malt going dry towards the end. Gentle, neat and tidy. Excellent.

Smoked lemon tea, citrus confectionaries and thick-cut ham. The flavours are slowly mellowing down with some extra bubbly chocolate cream.

Interestingly, this wasn’t rated very highly in my 80s Caol Ila tasting I held a while ago. But when this bottle is assessed individually and has my full attention now, all the nuances, twists and turns manifested beautifully in front of me like a landscape oil painting and it is pretty magnificent. Then I realised – it is not that this Caol Ila isn’t great, but the others in the lineup are even better. But for now, I am pretty happy with this one.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[49.3% Independent Bottling 1983 Distilled 2016 Bottled Hogshead Cask Number: 5292 Bottle Number: 91 of 249 Non-Chill Filtered Cask Strength Non Coloured **-]


You’re invited: The Spanish Acquisitions

G’day guys,

As the theme suggests, this upcoming sharing session is all about whiskies I brought back from Spain recently. 

Thanks to Scott and the guys at the Oak Barrel, we are again fortunate enough to use their place for the sharing session. The line up for the night (we kick things off at 6:30pm on Friday 5 May 2017) consists of the following six bottles (plus a mystery welcome dram)..

Compass Box Delilah’s 40%

Bruichladdich Cuvee 382 46%

Mackmyra Preludium: 04 53.3%

Eld Vatten Invergordon Cask #SE036 55.5%

Lark Single Cask LD138 58%

Classic of Islay Cask #1704 56.4% 

Serves are 21ml each. 

Please inbox me for cost info and to reserve your place, we hope to see you then!

Until then..

Dram well and be thankful.


Dram Review: The Nectar of The Daily Drams Distilled in Ireland Aged 26 Years

[55.8%・26 Years Old・Distilled in 1989・Bottled in 2016・The Nectar Bottling・Single Cask Release]

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Mr. Mario Groteklaes of The Nectar during Whisky Live Singapore a few months back. What a legend with a wealth of whisky knowledge!

Mario brought three of his current releases to the show, all bottled to celebrate The Nectar’s 10th anniversary; this particular bottling is a 26 year old that has been matured in a rum cask. I was told it came from the Northern Ireland.


Lime zest and green kiwi from the get go on the nose, it is certainly a much welcomed refreshing scent at a whisky show after everyone has had a few generic drams. The combination of vanilla stalks and cedar wood note are very charming.

Palate & Finish:

Lime flesh cured in a rich sticky sugary syrup that provides a crescendo both in sweetness and acidity, it’s not unlike those energy gel one takes before a marathon, the juice conveys that simple glucose, both in terms of mouthfeel and intensity of the sweetness.

As the sweetness prolongs, the palate evolves as well, it gives a delicious egg tart note that provides a custard-y satisfaction; and as the sweetness mellows green apples and pine needles surface for a lighter but still lingering finish that doesn’t leave one feel glutted.


Fresh, sweet and rewarding.

☆ [Recommended]


In case you weren’t there: Our Picks from the WOW Whisky Show 2016

We had a lot of whiskies over the past two days at the Sydney World of Whisky Whisky Show. We didn’t get to taste everything of course but we did manage to put together a short list of our favourite whiskies.

Berry’s Clynelish 17 Yo Cask Ref 4050


Just simply a textbook Clynelish, right away there is the signature waxiness on the nose, a delightful floral note to go with the bright citrus element. The fruitiness on the palate is well presented, with the oak influence coming in cleanly. I have tasted a few of these independently bottled Clynelish at around this 17 Yo age mark lately and they are all delicious, this one is no exception.


Starward Limited Release for Vintage Cellars Pedro Ximinez Sherry Cask #2

I have not tried the first release yet but my first impression of Batch 2 is positive. Muscovado sugar, apple crumble, strawberry preserve…. just all around jammy goodness with a good dose of tannins to dial it back towards the backend. Not a bad PX cask at all. Esmond wrote a review a while back on the first release, here’s the link.


BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 1

I first tasted this a couple of months ago and right as I was nosing it I knew it’s something magical. You can read my thoughts on the BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 1 here.

It has a rich sweetness that’s most satisfying, mellow for a cask strength. It seems like BenRiach put in a lot of work into making the Batch 1 something extraordinary.

It was not surprising that all our friends seem to think this was the pick of the show… and that’s before we found out it costs only $118 at the show. I am calling it now, this is the bargain of the year.


– NL & EC

Whisky Review: Limeburners “Directors Cut” M134

Tasting Notes

Limeburners “Directors Cut” Barrel M134 ☆☆

Style: Musky and Muscat-Sweet


Sprinkles of chili powder leads the introduction and followed by some adorable creamy beeswax which evolves to honey-coated mochi (Japanese rice cake) and cream brûlée. Subtle, dry raisin notes more apparent when giving it sometime to breathe, generating some appetizing acidity to make the nose very stimulating!


Sugary grape dessert wine at the first touch of the palate. It lingers for a short while until the sugar-coat dissolves… Hot chili burns a searing path and punches with real strength. A generous slice of strawberry plum cake with a special mix of spices as undertone, subtle hints of cloves, pepper, ginger, cinnamon and rhubarb… Complex, earthy and fresh!


The fury of spice dissipates and the finishing is a jolly good Muscat with drops of ginger juice. Stamps of oak come and fade, long sweet relishing finish.


Heavy, aromatic, spicy whisky and with enormous strength to back it up… Such a masculine character! Personally I really enjoyed the unique waxy touches and the spicy lower tones… It is a signature that seldom other whiskies can offer. For cask strength drinkers who are looking for something special, this is a must-try dram!

(2014/61%/NAS/Barrel No.:M134/NCF/NC/Bottle: 40 of 101)



Whisky Review: Teeling 21 Years Old

Tasting Notes:

Teeling 21 Years Old Silver Bottling ☆ [Recommended]


A mix of fruity and floral notes at the nose, freshly picked peaches, sweet but not too thick… The fruity sweetness is supplemented by some drier touches, aroma of sandalwood and barley to offer a bit of natural rawness.


Wondrously sweet and sappy flow of peach nectar, the soft nectar-y texture is exquisite! Sporadic sparks of spice to keep it sharp and lighten the sweetness. Shining malty notes at the middle, more fruity aroma is released… The oak sinks in heavily towards the end and created some intriguing peach pith notes here.


Chocolate peach tart finish, simply put, delicious chocolate, delicious peach and delicious tart, it doesn’t get better than this!


It baffles me when I was told that the maturation of this darling is a combination of bourbon cask and Sauternes wine cask. I had money on a well a matured PX… Vibrant, very sweet but not overwhelming. The smooth sappy texture and extravagant fruitiness is just exceptional. Solid Irish whiskey.

[46% • 2014 • 2062 of 5000 Bottles • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • Limited Release • Batch: 3]