Tag Archives: Mint

Because it’s a Wednesday, I feel like having some 66yo Glen Grant in my glass. 1948 was a good year, no?

 

Region – Speyside – ABV – 46.6% ABV

Glen Grant 66 years old 1948 cask # 1369

**UPDATE** Shortly after I posted about this whisky, an announcement has been made that a 65yo Glen Grant will be bottled/released by the same Wealth Solutions/Gordon & MacPhail team. I *just* received this email. Kismet!

I’ve been sitting on this sample of the Wealth Solutions/Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 66yo single malt for a bit over a year now.

There was never one singular moment in time that seemed like the right time to taste this. I’m not sure there would ever be *THE* right time to taste it.

Because of this, I’ve decided not to wait for the right time and just live in the now.

What’s happening now is happening now-now.

Back in May of 2014, there was quite a to-do when this single cask was released:

It makes good sense that this would be released with such fanfare. How often does 66yo whisky get released?

Answer: not often. It’s kind of a big deal.

Without further ado, here is my review of the 1948 Glen Grant, 66yo, cask # 1369:

On the nose — Well, it smells as amazing as you might expect. How does one explain what a 66yo whisky smells like? It goes beyond tasting notes (though we will get to that). You can smell the age here, but it’s not age, it’s oaken maturity.

The initial note that hits me is cocoa butter.  After this I detect muddled mint.  Hay clippings and clean horse stables.

Hidden far beneath a veil of lace-like peat is a wonderful note of key lime sorbet. Grape seed oil.

The warm soft bellies of my kitties – comforting.

In the mouth — Very light, fairly bright. The oak comes through but this in no way is popsicle stick dry. Medium oily mouthfeel.

Fruity, like an astro-pop and spearmint chews. The farmyardiness is gone and is replaced with a floral presence. Wild flowers, not pretty “forgive me” flowers.

Wonderfully nutty and the cocoa butter is detected in flavor, too. Getting more floral now as we near the finish.

Finish — Chamomile and hibiscus and UK smarties. Long. Wonderful.

In sum — Sort of amazing. It’s nice to know that after 66 years the wonderful Glen Grant character is quite present.

The fact that I am lucky enough to have been given a sample of this fine whisky blows my mind. Many, MANY, thanks to the good people at Wealth Solutions for thinking of me.


There actually is a “why” to explain my reasons for tasting this one right now. I raise this glass and experience to a very sick friend. A toast to you in the hopes that you may heal soon.

SCOTCH WHISKY ADVENT CALENDAR DRAM # 22 – Malt Whisky Company’s 21yo Tobermory, Cask # 13

 

Region – Island (Mull, to be exact) – ABV – 57.3%

Scotch Whisky Advent CalendarNot to be confused with Martin Mull, the Isle of Mull is home to a single distillery: Tobermory.

Tobermory is owned by Distell (the same company that owns Bunnahbhain and Deanston) and produces a non-peated whisky known as “Tobermory,” and a heavily peated whisky called “Ledaig.”

Ledaig is pronounced “Le’Chig.” …exactly as it’s spelled.

We’ve had a few really nice whiskies from Malt Whisky Company. I am very curious to know what this 21yo tastes like. Even at 21 years of age, this whisky has a nice, high ABV – 57.3%!

Scotch Whisky Advent CalendarQuick note: the little bottle says cask # 13 but it also says that the cask was “Bourbon & Sherry.”

I am assuming that means this spent most of its life in a bourbon cask and then was finished in sherry…

On the nose — It’s got this wet cardboard note upfront but it mixed with some heavier dark fruit notes such as fig and prune.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015There’s a truffle-like earthy-meets-petrol scent here, too.  (Truffle-Shuffle?)

I know Tobermory is supposed to be unpeated but I could swear I detect a hint of peat here.

Wasa Crackers and bitter chocolate can be found here if you *really* inhale.  So can Eeyore’s Thistles.

In the mouth — A mixture of sweetness and acridity (not acidity, acridity) in one fell sip. Man, I like this! Prickly mouthfeel.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015Good sherry-wood presence without being a tannin bomb. Kefir leaves, dark chocolate, mint sprigs, ginger beer. Really browned banana. Decomposing earth – like a late fall walk in the woods. Solid.

Finish — Bruised fruits and fizz, green peppercorn, long lasting to boot!

In sum — Aside from the wet cardboard note that I expect in every Tobermory (and don’t particularly enjoy), this was solid. The flavors were massive and present and wonderful.

A slightly older Springbank – 1972 (bottled in 1994)

Campbeltown Region – 46%ABV -$/£/ € A lot (good luck finding a bottle – this was bottled 17yrs ago)

Many years ago, the Campbeltown region of Scotland was the epicenter of Scotch whisky distilleries.  Today, there are only 3; Springbank, Glen Scotia and Kilkerran.

Springbank is an unusual distillery as it creates 3 different whiskies using three very different distilling practices.  The three whiskies that Springbank produces are: Springbank, Hazelburn and Longrow.

Hazelburn is an unpeated whisky that is distilled 3 times (like most Irish whiskies).  Longrow is a heavily peated whisky that is distilled twice.  And lastly, Springbank is a lightly/moderately peated whisky that has been distilled 2-1/2 times (the only distillery that uses this practice).

What, 2-1/2 times distilled?  What on G-d’s green earth does that mean?  How is that possible?  Jason over at Guid Scotch Drink gives a good explanation of this process.

Let’s move from the whisky lesson over to the whisky review…

On the nose –  Mint, perhaps unlit menthol cigarettes (with the addition of dried tobacco).

Sour sugar and a lovely mix of golden raisin and beeswax.

Delicious golden delicious apples both of the fresh and baked variety.

Lightly malted, salted and citrusy (the salty citrus combo reminds me a bit of a margarita sans the agave notes).

Fresh poured and paved road tar.

This is a confident nose.  Not aggressive in anyway just present in every way.

On the mouth Very shy upfront (even a bit watery).

More mint and a touch of smoke with a thin/watery mouthfeel.

Some slight fizz on the center and sides of the tongue with some nondescript fruit notes… maybe some apricot.

A good bit of salt as we get closer to the end and a bit more [dried] fruit.

Finish Dry on the finish and I would venture to say there’s a bit of sweet creamed corn in here (an odd note).

In sum A nice older dram to get my nose on, that’s for sure.  Truth be told, while the nose was grand, I was let down by in the tasting of it.  I hoped/anticipated that the palate would have had the same confidence as the nose.  I guess I shouldn’t complain though.  I consider myself lucky to even have a chance to taste a whisky that was distilled before I was born (even if it was only by one year)!

Special thanks goes to Marshall N and the good folks at the LA Scotch Club for the sample!

Arran 8yo Single Sherry Cask #1536, bottled by Arran

Islands region – 59.3%ABV – Somewhere around $75

Spring is here, spring is here!!

G-d damn it if this winter didn’t beat the crap out of me (and anyone else living in the North East of the good ‘ol US of A).

I kid you not when I tell you that at one point this winter we had a snow bank at the end of our driveway that was higher than 10 ft (for those folks who use the metric system, that’s a shit tonne of centimeters!).  Storm after storm, foot after foot of snow, shovel after shovel, vertebrae after vertebrae breaking work… Oy.

Thankfully, the storms of 2010/early 2011 are now a not-to-distant memory and we can (I can) finally move on.  Passover, for us, brought about a good deal of spring cleaning (inside & out of the house) which is still going on but, it feels fantastic!  The warm sun hitting this t-shirted bloke feels right good!

The flowers are popping, there’s a new scent in the air brought about by the various flora that surrounds my woodsy/swampy area.  A combination of scents, really — Wafts of skunk cabbage, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, dandelions, pollen (times a gazillion), chainsaw oil, armpit sweat, sunblock… it’s all in the air and it’s LOVELY!

Spring has a good way of making one feel anew.  I don’t know about you but all winter long I felt as if I was just doing what I could to survive through it.

Like a snake, the spring time allows you to feel as if you can shed the recent past and start again with new skin.  Maybe this year will be different, somehow better than last year.  That, of course, is not something you can just hope on.  You have to work to make that come true.  But perhaps the feeling of this new season might help to give you that strength.  Forge ahead, embrace life and cling on (Klingon) to the unexpected for it’s what helps us all to live.  Not survive but live.

Arran single sherry cask #1536:

ColorOversteeped tea with a slight ruby hue to it.  Lighter than expected given the fact that this has spent all it’s life in a sherry cask (2nd fill perhaps?).

On the noseFragrant, flowery, salty and slightly dusty and woody (sort of like an old church pew type note).

Actually, the more I nose it the more dust I detect.  Really dusty stuff…

Fruity too (think red plum without the tart).

Chocolate covered raisins.

On the mouthVery juicy entry, nice hot attack without losing the flavor.

Think of a red fruit and, it’s in there.

This is insanely sweet and fruity.

None of the dust I got on the nose.

Notes of lime and even a touch of mint (a fun little combination of flavors).

A very different sherry matured whisky profile.

FinishLots of lime of the finish – like a lime ricky.  Very long.

In sumThe fruits and raisins on the nose were nice but I found the dusty element to be almost overpowering.  It’s all about the taste and finish with this one.  Flavorwise, this was delicious; one to enjoy with an assortment of desserts.  If you’re going to go sweet, go all the way baby!

A week dedicated to Glenglassaugh – first up, Clearac 50% ABV

Highland Region – 50%ABV – 200ml – $29.99

Soon to be released in the US will be a series of four 200ml bottled of Glenglassaugh spirit drinks.  Today I am tasting, along side my good friend Jason Johnstone-Yellin of Guid Scotch Drink, the Glenglassaugh “Clearac”.  A new, unpeated, un-matured spirit – straight off the still.

If you’ve never tasted or experienced new make spirit or an unmatured malt distillate, please do not go into it thinking you’re going to taste whisky.  This is not whisky.  Whisk(e)y gets a good 60% (or more) of it’s flavors from the barrel during the maturation process.  What I am reviewing today is an unmatured spirit which is unaffected in any way by oak barrels.

So, what should we expect?  Well, I would expect beer like, or, malty notes and gobs of sweetness.  Let’s see what we get:

On the nose Big beer notes right up front — like a good Belgian beer (think Duvel or Leffe).

Beneath that there are some very fruity notes.

Berries (lighter, more sour berries, like gooseberry).

Baked pear.

There’s also notes of unsweetened iced tea.

This is a bright, fresh nose.

On the mouth Pears, all the way (bartlett).

Nice mouthfeel, slight chewiness (chewy like gum, not like Chewbacca).

Some minty notes.

Malt is there for sure but this is really more fruity than malty (complete opposite of the nose).

Finish Short to medium with a slight saltiness at the very end.

In sum When I go back to the nose after taking a sip, those malty/beer notes seem much more prevalent.  The flavor is where it’s at.

As mentioned, this is NOT whisky.  However, let’s look at this as if we were chess players (as some of you may be).  Think a few steps/plays out or, perhaps 10 years out.  This liquid, matured in ex-bourbon barrels?  Now we’re talking!  This is going to be some fine tasting whisky!

By the way, as I mentioned, I’m doing this week along side the Guid Scotch Drink blog.  You can read Jason’s notes here.