Tag Archives: Cayenne

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar dram # 7 – Samaroli 1997 Strathisla 18yo, cask # 47821

 

Region – Speyside – 45% ABV

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015Advent Calendar day # 7 brings us another Samaroli. You may recall the Samaroli blended malt we tasted in day 3. Cracking stuff (though a bit soft at 43% ABV).

Strathisla is a very classic Speyside whisky owned by Chivas Bros/Pernod Ricard. The regular bottlings of Strathisla are known to be dense and rich (with some good sherry cask maturation) but most of the juice goes into various Chivas blends.

Today’s dram is a Strathisla that spent 18 years in an American Oak bourbon barrel.  The color is incredibly light which tells me that this is a refill cask (3rd or 4th use, my guess).  The richness of the European Oak sherry cask will likely not be in here but let’s not assume (we all know what happens when we assume).

Let’s try it:

http://www.jewmalt.com/scotch-whisky-advent-calendar-dram-3-samaroli-glentauchers-benriach-19yo/On the nose — Light, delicate, floral… think white tea (Bai Mu Dan).  Some hints of sugary Smarties (the US version, not the UK version).

Candied lemon rind, focusing more on the candy and less on the lemon. Clean dry cardboard in the background.

In the mouth — Here’s where it ramps up a bit. Soft peat at the fore with an allspice backbone.

Fennel seeds and shaved fennel.  A touch sour in the mid palate and hints of fresh malted barley.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015Luxurious mouthfeel here.  Apple sauce with cinnamon and cayenne bring us to the finish.

Finish — That cayenne note is solid all the way through this long finish and sticks around as notes of peony and apple blossoms slowly fade away…

In sum — When longing for a Strathisla, I would not reach for this. When looking for a cracking dram that’s solid through and through regardless of origin, this one fits the bill.  This is like a complicated puzzle that, when assembled the way it is, presents a wonderful picture.  Great stuff people!

Glenglassaugh 30yr 55.1% – a true celebratory malt

Speyside region – 55.1%ABV – 70cl Decanter (yes folks, a decanter.) – £390 | €469

I’ll be upfront here.  Many folks out there will not have the chance to try this stuff.  It’s rare and it’s very expensive.  Before you start calling me a Daddy Warbucks I will tell you that I reviewed this dram from a sample.  A big, *BIG* thank you goes out to Alan for the sample!  Cheers He’bro!

Why am I so excited about a bottle I could never afford?  Well, because A) some of you good people out there can swing the squids for a bottle and B) Glenglassaugh is a newly re-opened distillery and if this whisky is any indication as to what we’ll see coming out of their stills & casks, well…  let’s say we should all be excited.

On to the whisky!

On the nose Light & fruity nose filled with a mist of lemons (better yet, Etrog) and white pepper.

A hints of lovely oak to it.  Sweet flowers and Sharpies (black markers).

Honey salted butter (unmelted butter – a fresh stick).

Black licorice.

Sugar cubes and almond oil.

On the mouth Fruity – Apples and berries.

Loads of toffee and burnt tea leaves.

Rose water (oh, I love this!).

This is getting hotter by the second — cayenne and jalepeno notes pop in right as it heats up – brilliant.

Black grapes and cherry skins.

The mouthfeel went from oily and chewy but we go quickly over to thin and hot.

Finish Prickly pears both in taste and feel “prickly” tongue and cheeks.

In sumI am thankful to have had a chance to taste this stuff.  I was only 6 years old when this was distilled.  That aside, there’s a reason this is an award winning whisky.  Powerful and truly enjoyable Scotch whisky!  Another dram to break out for the most special of life cycle events such as the birth of a child, marriage, bar/bat mitzvah (for my heebs out there), Christening (because I’m an equal opportunity whisky lover), etc…

Last month I had the good opportunity to interview Stuart Nickerson (Managing Director of the newly re-opened Glenglassaugh distillery).  If you’ve not yet had a chance to read it, you may want to do so right now.  Part 1 & Part 2