A whiff of peat lurks beneath like a boat carrying passengers such as anise pizzelle cookies, gooseberries, acrylic varnish, fresh mustard seeds, and clementine compote with honey along the River Styx (I hope they have money for the boatman!).
In the mouth — Starts off quiet but as the mouthfeel begins to thicken, the clementine-like citrus note I got on the nose presents itself.
Celery stalks, celery salt, and jicama, like being thrown through the CERN particle collider, smash into notes of kumquat, paraffin wax, white pepper, and asian pear.
Finish — Short to medium. Hints of white pepper and *maybe* a little more citrus.
In sum — A great whisky that you can either just sit and enjoy or pick apart. On a day like today, I wish I had more of this so I could just sit and relax!!
Known for its spicy character, Auchroisk is a natural for blends that require a little bit of a spicy or peppery zing to them. The distillery name “Auchroisk” is also known for having a plethora of mispronunciations. As I am told, the true pronunciation is “Oth-rusk.”
There you go! You’ve just learned something new. You’re welcome.
I tend to put Auchroisk, Tormore and Dailuaine in the “these are the spicy malts” category. And hey, it’s Friday, right? Shouldn’t we have a little spice in our lives on a Friday?
Also, words, words, words, blah, blah, blah… You’re likely in line for the new Star Wars film so I could start writing whatever the heck I want to right now. Maybe even toss in some swear words and dick jokes if the feeling so hits me. No one will care because… oh, wait, you can read this on Dec 19th and thereafter, huh? Ok, ok, on to the review… (darn it):
On the nose — It takes a little bit but… Delicately floral, and only hints of chiles. What follows this are notes of lemongrass, kefir leaves, coconut soup!
Melon and citrus infused simple syrup. Top this off with some hints of crushed almonds.
In the mouth — Here’s where the spice kicks in. Bright and gripping with added softer tones of chamomile, vanilla, honeysuckle, and pipe tobacco.
Meyer lemon zest with a wonderful almond paste note. This is such a great combination of fresh, spicy, inviting and yet soft.
Finish — Not long enough!!
In sum — Just a wonderfully delicious single cask of whisky. If you’ve ever thought of taking a chance on a bottle of Auchroisk, this’d be a GREAT entrée!
You do not have to twist my arm to sample a single cask of Invergordon. No sir, you do not have to do it. I will sample the $#!+ out of a single cask of Invergordon the first chance I get.
Of all the Single Grain Scotch Whiskies, it is Invergordon that excites me the most. I just find their spirit to be lovely, and yet the most robust of all the grain whiskies I’ve had (especially distillate from 1964).
“What is Single Grain Scotch Whisky?” some may ask. It’s simple yet not so simple. Just as the term “Single Malt Scotch Whisky” is not incredibly direct, nor is the term “Single Grain Scotch Whisky.”
Let’s do this backwards and even color code it for your benefit, shall we?
Single. Grain. Scotch. Whisky is — Whisky made in Scotland from Grain (or Malted Barley for Malt Whisky) at a Single Distillery. Get it? Got it? Good.
Wow, 1991. The year I graduated from High School. The year I quit smoking. The year I got rained out of my only chance to see The Ramones. All of it 24 years ago? Oy.
On the nose — This one stings the nostrils a bit. *puffs some air into the glass to reveal notes of gingerbread houses held together by hard frosting and hope*
The interesting scent of engine oil acts as a bottom note. Floating above that are very present tinned peaches, sugar cane, candied ginger, coconut shreds, and rubber dish gloves.
In the mouth — Tastes like the smell of a good ice cream shop. A chill in the air, fresh dairy, vanilla beans, wafer cones, sugar cones, chocolate nibs, and rainbow sprinkles.
There’s a heaviness to this one, too. Think overheated cooking oil, heavy damp leaves, charred wood, and buckwheat honey.
Finish — Wonderfully long with a slight ginger pepperiness that seems to never leave.
In sum — Another reminder of what Invergordon is my favorite Scotch Grain Distillery. I think I need to spend some birthday/Chanukah money to get my hands on a bottle…
While this is my very first Advent Calendar countdown I know that the tradition of following an Advent Calendar goes back quite some time. And year after year young boys and girls around the world would get their little chocolate Advent Calendars, and get a new sweet each day until Christmas. Fun!
This year, however, I think , may be different for nearly everyone between the ages of 5 and 75. I think many (myself FIRMLY included) fall into this camp:
Doing all I can to NOT think about the upcoming Star Wars film, I will get “into the spirit.” Not the Christmas spirit (that wouldn’t be very Jewish of me now would it?), rather, I will get into the WHISKY spirit!
Today is another interesting one from The Malt Whisky Company. This is not a single cask but a cask strength (60.9% ABV) NAS release of Tullibardine matured in bourbon casks.
On the nose — A bit quiet at first but if you give it a minute you’ll be rewarded with quite present notes of an apple orchard on a warm late September afternoon. Crisp apples and groundlings swell the air with sweetness. Toffee, and honey, and cooked rhubarb all in buttery pie crust.
Some of the more bourbon-y characteristics come to the fore now: pencil shavings, coconut flesh, and is that a hint of mint my nose doth detect a glint?
In the mouth — In a word: Bright.
In two words: Bright, peppery.
In a set of words that is complete in itself (also known as a sentence): While the whisky starts off with a very bright pop of apple sweet-tartness, there is a growth of pepper that moves from the tip of the tongue to the back of the palate. However, this is whisky is in no way hot. (yay!)
Let’s take another sip…
The notes in the mid palate are much heavier when you focus on them: warmed honey with a hint of sea salt, white chocolate, Celery salt and shredded celery root, and Vanilla mocha. Also revealed is a note of yellow cake with white frosting.
The mouth feel is slightly oily with a touch of an effervescent feel on the tongue which is quite nice.
Finish — The pepper that grew to the back of the palate sticks around, yet the flavors are medium in length.
In sum — I will not lie here, this whisky seems a bit all over the place. However, I am an adventurous person and found it’s scatteredbrainedness to be quite fun.
I could find myself with a bunch of friends finishing a bottle of this in a couple of days and having a really good weekend doing it!
On the fifth day, G-d filled the seas with fishes and other water animals. In to the air above the earth s/he put many birds of all kinds and colors and sizes.
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
5 Golden Rings
4 Calling Birds
3 French Hens
2 Turtle Doves
1 Partridge in a Pear Tree
Actually she brought me nothing because Chanukah is early this year…
On the 5th day of the Scotch Whisky Advent calendar, we are having a 9yo single cask of Caol Ila bottled by A.D. Rattray. The color is quite light so I am assuming that this is a refill bourbon hogshead which suggests the flavors will be more spirit driven rather than cask driven.
This dram shall set us free:
On the nose — A good bit of cayenne spice upfront mixed with puffs of schoolroom chalk and well cooked bacon. Now the bacon overtakes and seems to have been smoked with applewood.
Pink salt and crushed green peppercorns on a plate in the middle of a hot/dry attic (so there is some wood presence here!).
In the mouth — Incredible mouth feel here. Oily, ooey, chewy, mouth coating goodness. This dram is why I’m a lover of Islay whisky. More applewood smoke, and the taste of the smell of a French patisserie. Biscuits and salty tarts galore!
A lovely note of lavender is quite present here, too. Nice.
Burnt edges of waffles covered in warm salted honey.
Finish — Near endless. Salty, spicy and sweet.
In sum — I need a bottle. It’s as simple as that. This is perhaps the best Caol Ila I’ve ever had (not bottled by me). Man-o-Maneshewitz!