Teaninich 10 Year Old – Flora and Fauna (70cl, 43.0%)

Highland

 

 

teaninich-whisky-distillery

The almost unknown Teaninich single malt comes from the village of  Alness in Ross Shire ,and it is a near neighbour to the much more famous Dalmore distillery. It was founded and built in 1817 by Hugh Munro on his estate of Teaninich Castle.Despite an initial difficulty of procuring barley owing to a high demand from illegal distilleries, by 1830 Teaninich produced 30 times more spirit than it did at its founding. At that point Munro sold the distillery to his younger brother Lieutenant-General John Munro. As an officer he spent most of his time in India, so he decided to rent the distillery out to various people until1898 Robert Innes Cameron took a stake in the distillery, and Munro and Cameron renovated and extended the distillery, investing £10,000 in the process. In 1904 Cameron, who also owned stakes in Benrinnes, Linkwood and Tamdhu, took over the distillery completely. After Cameron died in 1933 the distillery was sold to Scottish Malt Distillers. In 1970 the distillery was greatly expanded, and an entire new building with six new stills was taken in operation. The four older stills remained in operation alongside the new stills. The old side of the distillery was then updated over the next decade. First, new installations for milling, mashing and fermentation were built in 1973, and in 1975 the distillery added a dark grains plant, which produces cattle feed from the draff. In 1984 the old side of the distillery was mothballed, and the new side followed the next year, temporarily ending production. The new side of the distillery resumed production in 1991. In 2000 a mash filter press was installed in the distillery, which is unique in Scottish malt whisky production; all other Scottish whisky distilleries use mash tuns.

In April 2013 owner Diageo announced a new renovation of the distillery. They also announced a new distillery with 16 new stills will be placed next to the old distillery. The new distillery is planned to have a different name than Teaninich, and produce a separate whisky.

The distillery mainly produces malts for blending, and it is used in Haigs Dimple and Johnnie Walker Red Label. There is no visitor centre and there are no official bottlings of the malt.

Since 1992 a 10-year-old malt has been available in the Flora and Fauna series from Gordon and MacPhail along with offerings in their  Connoisseurs Choice range.

But now to the whisky !!

1-dsc_0088

I must confess to have been a fan of this 10 years old for some time and let me explain why

I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass, added a half teaspoon of water and left the whisky covered to develop for ten minutes.Incidently this is a whisky that water should be added to, to gain the full experience of this subtle whisky.

The whisky pours a  light golden colour, leaving long legs flowing down the inside of the glass.

The nose is initially quite aromatic with notes of citrus and vanilla  coming forward. This is followed by a little cedar wood, a touch more of vanilla and fresh cut thyme

A really warm  citrus opening to the whisky. Very easy on the senses!!

The flavour is initially quite dry and soft with hints of soft malt,barley grist,and a touch  of white  chocolate but as the whisky develops on the palate  citrus and barley sugars gain momentum.

This is followed by notes of citrus,  biscuit, and freshly cut grasses in a fairly long dry finish.

Superb whisky which makes one wonder why this beautifully balanced, well made single malt  is not more widely available.

Cheers!!

Advertisements

Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old (70cl, 43.0%)

Highland

Bildresultat för dalwhinnie distillery

 

This is a bit of a strange one as I had frequently bypassed Dalwhinnie whiskies in the past , I think it was due the fact that Dalwhinnie seemed to be omipresent in every bar in Scotland for a time. However it appeared in our cupboard one day and I remembered Dalwhinnie 15yo being recommended to me by an old friend who is very good at these things. He was also born in Dalwhinnie !! So my curiousity was aroused and I endeavoured to see what my friend meant about this representative of the Diageo Classic Malt range!!!

Dalwhinnie distillery is owned by is owned by the Diageo spirits conglomerate having been founded in 1897, John Grant, George Sellar and Alexander Mackenzie founded the Strathspey distillery. Production started in 1898 but unfortunately the partnership was bankrupt the same year.. The site was chosen for its access to clear spring water from Lochan-Doire-Uaine and abundant peat from the surrounding bogs. Set in splendid mountain scenery, Dalwhinnie is the one of the highest distilleries in Scotland at 1164′ above sea level. The name Dalwhinnie is derived from Gaelic word Dail-coinneeamh, which means meeting place, referring to the meeting of ancient cattle drovers’ routes through the mountains.

The distillery was sold to AP Blyth in 1898 for his son who renamed it Dalwhinnie. Later in 1905 the Cook & Bernheimer took control over the distillery. The distillers were looking for malts to produce blended whiskies for the US market. This was the very first US investment in the Scotch whisky industry. The US adventure continued until the prohibition in the US in 1920 and the distillery returned to Scotland when it was purchased by Lord James Calder, shareholder of whisky blender MacDonald Greenlees. MacDonald Greenlees was later acquired by Distillers Company; Dalwhinnie later became part of the blender group James Buchanan.

A fire in 1934 stopped production for 3 years, and the reopening in 1938 was short-lived because the second world war brought restrictions on the supply of barley. Since reopening in 1947, the distillery has continued to operate through to the present day, although on-site malting ceased in 1968.

dalob-15yov1

I poured the whisky in to a Glencairn glass , added a teaspoon of water and left the whisky to develop for ten minutes. The whisky pours a light amber colour with a medium consistency. On rolling around the glass the whisky leaves long legs which bead on the inside.

The nose is initially quite aromatic and floral, with toffee, honey, barley sugar , and perhaps citrus coming through but then honey seems to reassert itself more and more .

The flavour is a quite soft and light with  smooth malt and a slight nuttiness combing with honey and vanilla sponge. A touch of salt and cracked pepper but the predominant flavour is of honey with perhaps a whiff of smoke now.

The finish is long with hits of citrus and honeyed malt lingering on the palate.

Very elegant smooth whisky,  Clean flavours, gentle and totally in balance.

Wonderful !!!

Diageo should be applauded for letting this whisky run its course to its full 15 years. It is gentle yet crisp and fresh and is totally flawless.

This is a very fine example of a highland whisky which I would recommend to any one

Cheers!!

Mackmyra Special 8 Sauternes Cask (70cl, 46.0%)

Swedish whisky

mackmyra-special-8-sauternes-cask

I poured the whisky into a Copita nosing glass, added a three quarter teaspoon of water and left the whisky covered to develop for ten minutes. The whisky pours a very light golden colour, leaving light legs flowing down the inside of the glass.
As can be imagined the nose is initially very intense with notes of citrus and honey coming forward.

This is followed by very pronounced notes of bananas, apricots and mangos. A perfumed floral elegance then builds steadily. The flavour is initially quite soft and sweet with hints of lemon and as the whisky develops on the palate a spirity kick with a slight herbal acidity then appears. There is a lot going on here and the whisky becomes quite complex
The finish is quite long with seville oranges and sauternes notes, drying with a touch of honey then a crisp ending

This release uses a mix of bourbon casks, sherry casks , casks made of new Swedish and American oak and finished on French Sauternes cask. The  addition of water accentuated the flavour of the whisky

This is a very complex, light whisky which would probably gain  by being left to mature for a longer period.

Allt-á-Bhainne 11 Year Old 2000 – Provenance (Douglas Laing) (70cl, 46.0%)

Speyside

images

I think it is safe to say that Allt-á-Bhainne is probably one of the least known Speysiders around. The distillery is located near Dufftown in the Speyside region. It was built in 1965 to supply the blended whiskys of the Chivas Brothers who in turn were sold to the Pernod Ricard Company in 1981. Almost all of the production goes for blending for brands such as 100 Pipers and Chivas Regal. There is no visitor centre which also adds to the under the radar feeling!!! There is no official bottling but a few independent bottlings are around from such as Gordon and MacPhail, Cadenheads, Murray MacDavid and of course the Douglas Laing Provenance range but often you really have to seek this one out

This particular offering, an 11 year old Allt-á-Bhainne distilled in the Summer of 2000 and aged in a single sherry butt before bottling for the Provenance range in Winter 2011 came from a shop on Deeside in Scotland inclusive of a heavy layer of dust on the box!!!

But now to the whisky .

allt-a-bhainne-11-year-old-2000-provenance-douglas-laing-whisky

I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass, added a teaspoon of water and left the whisky covered to develop for ten minutes.Incidently this is a whisky that water should be added to, to gain the full experience of this subtle whisky.

The whisky pours a  honeyed golden colour, leaving long legs flowing down the inside of the glass.

The nose is initially quite aromatic with notes of honey and digestive biscuits  coming forward. This is followed by a little cedar wood, a touch of vanilla and perhaps more honey and cumin spice.

A really warm  and floral opening to the whisky.

The flavour is initially quite slow and soft with hints of honey , barley grist, hazelnuts and a touch  of milk chocolate but as the whisky develops on the palate the honey and barley gain momentum.  This is followed by notes of biscuit, a little ginger spice but honey and milk chocolate predominate here.

The taste finished with a ribbon of ginger snap and a faint wisp of smoke running through.

The finish is long and warming with notes of oak and sherry.

This whisky is absolutly wonderful, soft but not at the expense of flavour . It actually feels as though you are  drinking liquid Toblerone, it has that same honeyed chocolate luxurious feeling !!!!

Exceedingly well balanced and well made and most highly recommended for those who enjoy Speyside whisky

Cheers!!

 

Mackmyra Special 6 Summer Meadow (70cl, 46.8%)

Swedish whisky

mackmyra-special-6-summer-meadow-whisky

I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass, added a half teaspoon of water and left the whisky covered to develop for ten minutes. The whisky pours a very light golden colour, leaving quite strong legs flowing down the inside of the glass.

The nose is initially quite floral with notes of citrus malt and spirit coming forward. This is followed by vanilla a little cracked pepper then back to citrus and as the aroma develops becomes quite intense and spirity.

The flavour is initially quite soft with hints of caramel but as the whisky develops on the palate this becomes more pronounced. Dried fruit flavours teamed with toffee, citrus, vanilla  and a slight touch of mint  build and build.There is a lot going on here and the whisky in its self is quite well balanced.

The finish is quite long with citrus and vanilla notes, drying, then back to caramel

This release uses both bourbon and sherry casks and the add the addition of water neither added to, or detracted from the flavour of the whisky

This is a good well made, if basic whisky which would probably gain by being left to mature for longer.

Mackmyra – 5yo Private cask (61%)

Swedish whisky

Mackmyra’s history started in 1998 at a Swedish winter resort, where eight friends from the Royal Institute of Technology met up for a ski trip. Noticing all of them had brought along a bottle of malt whisky for the host, a conversation started about the manufacturing of a Swedish whisky. The following year a company was founded, and after years of experimenting with 170 different recipes, they finally settled on two recipes in 2002.That same year a new distillery was built in the old mill and power station at Mackmyra, which went on stream in October. The first limited edition single malt whisky, Preludium 01, launched in February 2006 and sold-out in less than 20 minutes.

Mackmyra has two active distilleries. The first went on stream at Mackmyra in 2002, featuring a full-sized pot still from Forsyth’s in Rothes, Scotland. Swedish stainless steel washbacks and a German mash tun, with a production capacity of 600,000 bottles a year.

A second distillery, about 6 miles east of Mackmyra village, was built and went on stream in 2011. The project cost has been estimated at SEK 50 million, featuring two full-sized pot stills with a production capacity of 1,8 M bottles a year. It’s seven stories high, using gravity to power many internal processes within the distillery, resulting in about 45% less energy use compared to the first distillery.

14881416_10209852864671228_2106096707_o

I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass, added a teardrop of water and left the whisky covered to develop for ten minutes. The whisky pours a light golden colour, leaving long legs flowing down the inside of the glass.

The nose is initially quite floral with notes of caramel honey and grass coming forward. This is followed by more mineral tones and as the aroma develops hits of elderflower and red fruit come through initially softly but this becomes more prominent through the development. At the very finish there are waves of white stone fruit and pear. A really fresh and floral opening to the whisky.

The flavour is initially quite soft with hints of honey but as the whisky develops on the palate this becomes more pronounced. Floral flavours teamed with barley grist  and caramel  build and build. There is a lot going on in this very well balanced whisky. The taste finished with a ribbon of honey running through the dominating biscuit and floral flavours.

Excellent whisky and without doubt the best I have tasted from Macmyra

Fierce beer – Night Shift (6.5%)

Beer

cvirtslxeaamgfx

Another month and another release from the amazing Fierce beer brewery in Dyce.

As the nights draw in and the weather changes I find myself moving from lighter beers to something a little darker. Happy Fierce have provided, with a darker take on the 5% pale ale…called day shift.

This black IPA also sports probably the most outlandish label I’ve seen on a beer bottle. I don’t think I remember seeing a vulture in a gimp mask on any bottle of beer or to that end anything I’ve purchased before!

20161025_171643

The beer pours a dark brown almost black colour with an almost mahogany hue around the edges. The head is beige and remains on the beer long after pouring.

The nose is full of citrus pine, soft roasted malt aromas and this followed by notes of roasted pineapple. As the nose develops notes of fresh herb and dark chocolate come through but this is all bound together by an overarching citrus hop aroma.

The flavour is initially very smooth almost like a stout but as it develops a huge punch of resinous, bitter hop flavour comes through. Notes of roast malt and chocolate come through the middle of the taste. The finish is long lasting, with that huge resinous and bitter citrus flavours which dominate throughout.

This is a gorgeous beer which fits the season very well. It’s available from Thursday so please go get some!!

 

Fierce beer – Bourbon Barrel Aged Cafe Racer (9%)

Beer

20160922_190746.jpg

Sometimes it takes something a little bit special to drag me to my keyboard. Having a little less emphasis on beer in my life was a necessary evil, but this wasn’t one I could ignore.

Especially when it arrived by special delivery on a motorbike….

Having started life as a home brewery about 200 yards from me; watching Fierce move from a stove top brewery to their current home with it’s gleaming stainless steel embellishments has been a joy!

The beer it’s self is a dark roasted coffee and vanilla porter which has been lovingly aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels. If I’m honest that sounds like a fantastic combination!!

20160922_191013

The beer pours as an oily, black almost opaque liquid which lightens to a deep brown colour around the edges.

The nose is much lighter than I expected; but intense with coffee, dark chocolate and a slight dark fruit kick from the bourbon. These move in to a chocolate and roasted malt medley finishing with a boozy desert note not unlike tirimasu. A lot going on!

The flavour is intense with cold brew coffee, and bitter chocolate. These are lifted from becoming too bitter by sweeter dark fruit and caramel notes. The bourbon and toasted oak from the barrel come through at the end, giving this beer a balance not often seen in barrel aged beer.

The finish is long with a caramel and coffee notes along with a slight touch of bourbon.

This beer is something special and very worth getting your hands on!

Launching at Thistle Street Market in Aberdeen on September 24th, go get some!!!

 

Inverleven 1990 (Gordon and MacPhail) (70cl, 40.0%)

Lowland, whisky

Sadly a distillery which has reached the end of it’s life, the stills of Inverleven fell into complete silence in 1991. Inverleven was founded by Hiram Walker and Sons in the late 1930’s at the Dumbarton complex.

The site in Dumbarton is owned by George Ballatine and Son and plays host to continuous stills. This allows the production of both malt and grain whisky. The complex produces the whisky for the Ballantines blended products. Inverleven draws its water from Loch Lomond, and sits by the River Clyde.

A 1990 vintage Inverleven, bottled by stalwart independent bottlers, Gordon and MacPhail.

inverleven-1990-gordon-and-macphail-single-malt-whisky

I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass, added a teaspoon of water and left the whisky covered to develop for ten minutes. This whisky is very light gold in colour, akin to new jewelry.

The nose is initially soft with hints of grain, and citrus up front. As the nose builds more sweetness and a light spice from the grain becomes more prominent. Towards the end of the aroma toffee and more notes of cereal round of a very laid back Lowland nose.

The taste is quite soft, laid back and maybe not as much body as hoped. There are is again a malt sweetness, followed by fudge and toffee. Citrus and a slight peppery note come through followed by vanilla and a twist of orange at the end.

The finish is soft and maybe slightly short, this whisky is pleasant and quietly complex. As an introduction to Lowland whisky this, if you find is a great first step.

Cheers!

Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka (40.0%)

Other Spirits, Vodka

My very first vodka review! This is a spirit which to be fair deserves a far greater reputation that it enjoys and I’m really excited to try this fantastic re-imagination of this under-appreciated drink!

The brain child of Dorset based dairy farmer Jason Barber, Black Cow is the world’s first pure milk vodka, made from nothing but pure whole milk from his 250 strong dairy herd.

The vodka is made by milk which is separated into curds and whey. The curds are used to produce award winning cheese, while the whey is fermented into a beer using a special yeast. This beer is then distilled, triple filtered and finished before hand bottling.

black-cow-pure-milk-vodka

I poured this vodka in to a glencairn glass and left it to develop in the glass for ten minutes. As usual for the review of a clear spirit I haven’t added any water or other mixers as I want to judge this spirit raw.

The nose is quite soft with light notes of citrus and soft spice coming forward. There sweeter notes of vanilla coming through along with fresh mint in the very background.

The taste is an burst of spirit sweetness, followed by a rush of cinnamon and candied mint. This is followed by a soft citrus and a huge wash of creamy vanilla. Just superb and very nicely rounded flavour which keeps developing long after drinking. Tangs of a bright almost herb like dill sweetness linger long after drinking.

The finish is warm and clean with a lingering creamy sensation on the tongue.

This is the first vodka I have tried in a rather long time and has completely switched me on to this fantastic spirit!

Black Cow is available directly from their website HERE!!

Go buy some you will not be disappointed!

Cheers!!