Whisky Review: Yamazaki Heavily Peated 2013

Tasting Notes:

Yamazaki Heavily Peated

Style: Fragrant and Oaky

Nose:

Aroma of lively vanilla honey dripping onto barley, Autumn forest and shrine wood. Fresh beat from zested orange, pineapple and white pepper. A rather woody body which is slightly smoked and peated, faint notes of white flower and nectar.

Palate: 

Strike a few keys lower at the palate. Starts with a lick of orange vanilla syrup which is swiftly overrun by the mouth drying and bitter-ish oaky notes. Minimal, tantalising spice burn with an injection of smoke. Evasive almost Illusive soy sauce and wood incense fading in and out. Timber runs rampant, the peat is engulfed and hardly detected.
Ongoing dryness and the bitterness from the oak certainly exerted their influence throughout. The tone remain rather suppressed as very little honey sweetness was able to get through.

Finish:

Wood shed , roasted barrels, coffee beans combine and conjure a fairly heavy end note.

Thoughts:

I find it is more heavily “oak-ed” than peated”. It is a whisky which is both light and heavy – light bodied but with heavy woody notes, flavours resembles of tree barks, dried twigs and forest scent which dominated the proceedings. While the peat, orange and vanilla notes are more of some side decorative touches. That being said, there is still definitely a stronger peat presence comparing to other Yamazaki(s), giving it some extra dryness that others do not offer.

(48%/2013/OB/LR/NCF)

-Esmond

Whisky Review: The Yamazaki Puncheon

Thick fluffy peach-vanilla spiced with a quick spicy touch of pepper and cloves. Tender fragrance of honey milk soap diffusing in a heart warming fashion. Tight notes of orange zest, rather raw and bitter-ish at the back.

A delicious blend of pineapple juice and vanilla cream! Fruitiness went into an aromatic burst, followed by soft coconut milk and burnt caramel. Cleansing spice flares up to give a nice texture. Honey malt sweetness and a gentle touch of oak lingers.. Aftertaste of honey toast with a hint of burnt spice. Subtle floral fragrance and vanilla oak gently fluttering from back to front.

To me this is a rather typical whisky that does not make big statements or play in any specialities, no wow factor. But it struck me the other night when I did a whisky flight. This Yamazaki is simple, sweet and light, but the flavour unbelievably refined, with stunning finesse! As if every particle in the dram has been super-charged with the lovely flavours which reaches its fullness… This is the reason why I have a lot of respect to this distillery located near Osaka, Japan.

(48%/OB/nas/2011/+-/ncf)
-EC

Whisky Review: SMWS 66.66 Ardmore “Ginger Makes Fred Smile”

Tasting Notes

SMWS 66.66 Ardmore “Ginger Makes Fred Smile” ☆ [Recommended]

Style: Ginger and Spicy

Nose:

Huge, dry notes at the front – Autumn leaves in early winter breeze, followed by a robust scent of vanilla yogurt, full cream milk with a swirl of honey and figs. Ginger spice kicks in with a hint of ashy peat and salted caramel.

Palate:

Honey caramel first touch and the devilish ginger steers in and took charge. Flooded with spiciness like a sea of fire… This is one of the spiciest Whisky I have ever tasted! Leftover an underlying layer of smoking wood ash and peat, then my attention was then brought back to the sweetness which has never left – chocolate fudge, toffee, toasted oak and sweet malt lingering, ginger bite towards the end.

Finish:

Fantastic finish – freshly peeled ginger skin! Dry, sharp, raw and earthy! Soft chocolate notes has sustained well to support the texture.

Thoughts:

Big big fan of this whisky. Enormous character with a marvellous charge of dryness and spiciness with great strength, which is adequately supplemented by the swaying caramel sweetness, striking the perfect balance… My favourite go-to SMWS bottling so far, it is already half way through in less than 2 months! Boy I should have bought more than one bottle of this…

[61.8% • 2014 • Aged 10 Years • Independent Bottling • Cask Strength • Single Cask • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • Limited Release • 261 Bottles • First Fill White Wine Hogshead]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Heartwood Convict Resurrection

Tasting Notes:

Style: Sweet and Very Spicy

Nose:

Spicy punch followed by robust cherry and dried plum notes, a nice fruity breeze at every breath. Moments of dryness reminds me the delicious scent of popcorns and parched rice!

Palate:

Cherry liquorice with fiery chilli, in unbelievable strength!! The spice erupts and ignite like burning flames! The liquorice dissolves and juicy blackcurrants and blue berries rolls in. A slight touch of caramel which slowly melts with the chocolate sauce towards the end.

Finish:

Reminiscent of cherry and blackcurrants mixes with chocolate malt biscuits and oak. Rather soft and humble finish with a good mix of flavours.

Thoughts:

Super strong whisky, no doubt as it has a whopping abv of 72%. Adrenaline pumped, sweated and nostril flared, this is a wake-up whisky (and too bad I am reviewing this before I sleep) as it works miles better than coffee! The sweetness from port was big enough to support and control the crazy strength. I love the oscillation – just as I think it is getting too spicy, the sweet cherry notes come to the rescue, and vice versa.

(72%/2014/14 years old/NC/NCF/CS/SC/Cask Number:HH0239/115 of 450 Bottles)

-EC

 

Whisky Review: Rosebank Aged 21 Years 

Tasting Notes:

Rosebank Aged 21 Years ☆ [Recommended]

Nose:

Sweet apple frangipane tart surrounded by cloves and ginger at the nose. Strong bite of orange peel with pencil shavings brings out an extra floral touch of the dram. Very very powerful aroma, complex and enjoyable once you take a moment and cut through the strength.

Palate:

Condense fruitiness at the palate like an autumn fruit cake. Delightful interplay of ripe blue berry, apple and pear notes. Interesting spicy backbone contributing some freshness here… Vanilla creaminess comes in the middle and quickly followed by the incense oaky touches. Light texture like rose water, but carrying an unexpected big punch of strength and intensity!

Finish:

Echoes of fruity fragrance at the finish. Sweet as honey but it is so light that not the slightest burden has been given to my tongue. Incense candle burning slowly that can keep you satisfied on and on…

Thoughts:

A heavy but light whisky for me. Heavy, intense and fumy cluster of flavours delivered in the lightest manner. The condensation of a complex fruitiness profile is impressive, and the sharp spicy undertone did a good counter-balance to make everything possible. Lively, fruity dram with plenty of strength from a closed distillery (with many have high hopes of resurrection). Enjoy it while you can!

[55.3%・2014・Original Bottling ・Cask Strength ・ Non Chill Filtered ・Non Coloured ・Limited Edition ・2846 of 4530 Bottles ・Limited Edition ・ Closed Distillery]

– Esmond

Whisky Review: Teeling 21 Years Old

Tasting Notes:

Teeling 21 Years Old Silver Bottling ☆ [Recommended]

Nose:

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.

Palate:

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.

Finish:

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

Thoughts:

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]

-Esmond