First Impression: Black Gate 520s

[67.0%・2 Years Old・Distilled in 2013・Bottled in 2015・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 159 Bottles] Nose: Big musky aromas from the “Australian Sherry casks”, a dusty note that is a key signature note of early Black Gate releases.  Dried flowers and poached fruits with toffee treacle and the quintessentially Australian diesel note. Palate & Finish: A full on…

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First Impression: Fannys Bay Barrel 13

[65.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release of 39 Bottles] Nose: The nose is on the spirit-y side but it has attained quite extensive cask characters with chocolate sauce and an abundance of grapes and blackcurrants whilst being herbal and dusty.   Palate & Finish: An explosion of sticky sweetness from the raisins and cola.  The…

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First Impression: Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu X Kusuda 2017

[57.5%・Distilled in 2011・Bottled in 2017 ・6 Years Old・Original Bottling・Limited Release of 1270 Bottles] Nose: Dignified with the fine French oak influence; a polite presence of wine tannins alongside freshly plucked strawberries conveying that clean sweetness and dressed with ginger flowers. Palate & Finish: A subtle macaron-like sweetness as the jammy strawberries intensify then effortlessly dissolve,…

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First Impression: SMWS G8.7 Cambus “Caribbean Banana Fritters”

[59.7%・27 Years Old・Distilled in 1989・SMWS Bottling・Single Cask Release of 240 Bottles] Nose: Wood vanish up front, beneath the top layer of grain spirit lies the banana toffee.  The grain is aggressive with a curious dose of tiger balm.  In time, the buttery note and orange peels reveal themselves. Palate & Finish: A masculine delivery of…

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First Impression: SMWS 2.98 Glenlivet “Frothy Cappuccino”

[58.2%・13 Years Old・Distilled in 2003・Bottled in 2017・SMWS Bottling・Single Cask Release of 166 Bottles] Nose: Syrup drenched walnuts with a lemony undertone.  Thick caramel intercepted by a sharpness from the spirit and the wood. Palate & Finish: Cask-led vanilla with a thick creaminess which as the name of the dram has suggested, feels frothy.  Orchid fruits…

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Whisky Review: Glenfiddich 15 Years Old Distillery Edition

Style: Sweet and Delicate Nose: Elegant autumn apple on the nose. Baked pastry, lemon tart underlined by subtle barley husk and honey brushes. Going deeper we have almonds and cinnamon dust comes with considerable chilli spices at the back. Icy and crisp. Palate: Warmer as we have a bigger malt presence on the palate. Vanilla…

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Whisky Review: SMWS 116.20 Yoichi 余市 “Fascinating complexity and finesse”

Style: Vanilla and Complex Nose: Vanilla toffee and hot toddy spiced up by white pepper on the nose. Round melon sweetness and wood shavings lightly smoked with gentle peat. A positive vibe. Caramel pudding followed by incredible amount of wood incense. Anise, cinnamon stewed with fruits which has been lurking deep with the malt. A…

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First Impression: Ocean Whisky Karuizawa Aged 21 Years

[43.0%・21 Years Old・Distilled in 1967・Ocean Whisky Bottling・Limited Release of 498 Bottles] Nose: Subtle and elegant.  Beeswax, red cherries, soft fruits and fine raisins carried through a mellow oak influence.  Some red apples in time as well as the comforting barley sweetness gradually comes on. Palate & Finish: Certainly more lively on the palate, bright oranges…

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First Impression: Fannys Bay Barrel 10

[60.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release of 39 Bottles] Nose: A heavy “Australian Sherry cask” here, dark chocolate and raisins with the tone setting quite low.  Though at 60% and quite young the new make notes have been masked rather well by the alluring fragrance from the wood.  The dram captures the sweetness and acidity…

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First Impression: Fleurieu Whisky Kisses

[55.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 600 Bottles] Nose: The nose is heavily influenced by the musky Sherry casks, muscat grapes with a rather big Chinese herbal tone that leaves quite an impression.  The earthiness and coal smoke form the structure, though that does go well with the molasses and toffee treacle; together with the…

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