Dram Review: Samaroli Coilltean Caol Ila 1995

[45.0%・10 Years Old・Distilled in 1995 ・Bottled in 2005・ Samaroli Bottling・Cask No. 1118 & 3263・ Limited Release]

Nose:

The softest honey and caramel fudge, tender white fruits with a gentle touch of iodine dressed in Italian herbs and fennel seeds, coastal seaweed, crystallised sea salt and a barbecue saltiness now surfacing, making it a savoury affair.

Palate and Finish:

Golden syrup atop crisp pears and juicy aloe vera, with peat, ash and roasted hazelnuts bursting out from the sweetness, a spirit crispness driving a rather peppery note on the mid-palate.

Wee bit earthy with a woody and peppery aftertaste and traces of orchard fruits.

Thoughts:

On the back label it reads “this whisky has been selected with love”, and a honest representation indeed.

A pale coloured dram that packs a spectrum of flavours beyond its age, combining nuances I wouldn’t have expected, could it be from the vatting or could it be from years of mellowing and refining?

☆ ☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Samaroli Longrow Natural Strength Sherry Wood 1974

[56.0%・Distilled in 1974・Bottled in 1987・Samaroli Bottling・Limited Release of 408 Bottles]

Nose:

A charming combination of a lucid sugary delivery infused delicately with fresh cropped grass orientated peat. The Sherry influence is restrained, presenting itself in the form of stewed apples with a fascinating edge of soft cheese, served upon a fine layer of buttero leather.

Palate & Finish:

Sensational swirl of dried dates, caramel and blackcurrant sauce conveying the cask’s brilliant Sherry elements, some citrus notes as well with a most pleasing peat eases on followed by those tender leathery notes.

A long and emotional finish, velvet like peat dressed with vanilla and Christmas fruits, sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt to close.

Thoughts:

Such a complex and lovely dram even by vintage Longrow’s standards, navigating through all these colourful nuances and conveying them coherently.

Such class, a dram that begs you to look further.. and look further still..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

 

Dram Review: Samaroli Balvenie Unblended Malt Scotch Whisky 1974

[56.0%・Distilled in 1974・Bottled in 1987・R.W. Duthie & Co Bottling for Samaroli・Limited Release of 408 Bottles]

Nose:

Unmistakably Speyside and fairly Balvenie-esque in a splendidly clean manner, light honey and orange essence, a hint of pineapple sweetness followed through with a clean grassy note. The slightly sweet aromas remaining soft and in time expand with notes of yellow fruits and orange peels sipping from a gentle fragrant base.

Palate & Finish:

A mouthful of velvety vanilla arrives first, dressed subtly with the typical Balvenie spices as a clean grassy note impresses on the delivery. Later on the dram really opens up to some beautiful notes, white chocolate swirled with white peaches as vibrant spices splash onto vanilla sauce and lemon jello.

The follow through is slightly on the spicy side and carries into the finish, but the malt thereafter is rather wonderful.

Thoughts:

Oftentimes an indie Balvenie (if you come across one in the wild) tends to carry those seemingly inherent traits of the distillery and this dram is certainly that, in this fundamentally clean way that is most attractive.

Perhaps it’s OBE but I find myself rather enchanted to these subtle nuances the Maestro had so ingeniously curated… there is just something more to the dram than just being a very good, very clean 1970s Balvenie.

To paraphrase Messr John Mayer, the Balvenie 1974 is sort of like a Tiffany dial Aquanaut, when you are dramming it you got to look closer… look closer… look closer still…

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Glen Grant-Glenlivet 9 Years Old (Bottled by J. & A. Mitchell & Co. Ltd for Samaroli Import)

[45.7%・9 Years Old・Distilled in 1969・Bottled in 1979・Bottled by J. & A. Mitchell & Co. Ltd for Samaroli Import・Limited Release of 360 Bottles]

Nose:

Strikingly fruity but also there is a remarkable presence at this strength, sweet cream brushed over corn bread, complimented by vanilla beans and wild hay. The soft white fruits subtly unfold into ripe guavas and mangoes.

Palate & Finish:

Mellow suggestions of tropical essence channeled through silky honey. Soft buttery mouthfeel bringing out traces and waves of toasted pineapples, albeit in a mildly dry manner.

Honeyed granola dressed with crystallised sugar from dried white grapes, influences of mint leaves, lemon grass, ginger and traces of minerals elongate the finish.

Thoughts:

The make up of this Glen Grant is supposedly very straightforward, an era-specific young Speyside whisky, but what it ends up conveying is a coherent sense of simple pleasure.

Now that I have had the experience of going through various cask samples and selecting a couple of casks I know just how difficult it is to see past the initial impressions and curate something authentic and timeless.

It takes foresight to understand and take advantage of the nuances of a young whisky from a distillery perhaps not too known for dramatic characters.

This is supposedly one of Mr. Samaroli’s earliest releases and initial attempts are never meant to be this outstanding, not with tailoring and certainly not with making whiskies.

This type of pure talent perhaps shows up once in a couple generations.

I am a fan.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Springbank 15 Years Old (Bottled by J. & A. Mitchell & Co. Ltd for Samaroli Import)

[45.7%・15 Years Old・Distilled in 1964・Bottled in 1979・Bottled by J. & A. Mitchell & Co. Ltd for Samaroli Import・Limited Release]

Nose:

A nose that puts the mind in peace, well placed elements of wild flowers, poached pears, pickled pears, sultana and orange peels lightly tossed with nice dressings of elder flower syrup and soft honey; it’s all rather elegant.

Palate & Finish:

The fruitiness is quite crisp, the soft nougat sweetness draws out a mild waxiness. The faintest hint of peat smoke melts into the soft, laid back malt with a fine brush of raisin syrup bringing out a dry Chardonnay note.

A seamless follow through of malt and oak carrying traces of smoke.

Thoughts:

Such an effortless and pretty nose, the palate conveys this certain bare elegance that’s more than enough for most days..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas