Tag Archives: Peat

Rest and Be Thankful Whisky Co.’s single Sauternes cask Octomore, Cask # 16746

 

Region – Islay – ABV – 63.8% – now sold out but was $228.

A bit of a rarity here – an independently bottled single cask of Octomore which was bottled at 6 years of age at the nice ABV of 63.8%.

Being that Comus 4.2 (Bruichladdich’s 5yo Sauternes cask matured Octomore) was easily my favorite Octomore (still to this date), when I saw this bottling released, I had to have one.

The difficult part for me was in purchasing a bottling from an independent bottler I was not familiar with.  The packaging seemed nice enough and, hey, single cask Octomore? I had to give them a go, right?!

What was the result you may ask?:

On the nose — A fair amount of peat on this one (it is peated to 167 ppm). Not too overwhelming though.  Some bicycle inner-tubes come across at first but this is backed crushed almonds as well as raw filberts.

Rest and Be Thankful Octomore SauternesPear drops, too. Proper English scones. Sun dried water balloons. With water I detect some hot cinnamon, too.

In the mouth — Without water it’s incredibly hot and tight with obvious pear and more sun dried water balloon notes.

Water is needed with this one.

Rest and Be Thankful Octomore Sauternes

With water it’s got a great and oily mouthfeel. Quite sweety and peaty with more focus on the peaty. It’s quite phenolic. Think burning o-rings (viton as well as silicon), and new nitrile gloves.

Some tropical fruits here, too. Think passion fruit and persimmon, and a touch of papaya and even a little guava.

Finish — Long and peaty with hints of marzipan, lemons and even a little slivovitz.

In sum — Not sure if it could have used less or more time in the cask.  I never do score but if I were to compare this to Octomore Comus, and Comus were a 10 (on a scale of 1 to 10), this would be a 7. Defo one for colder weather and one to share with friends.

 

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 # 10 – Samaroli “Islay” 9yo, cask # 80006

 

Region – um, Islay – ABV – 43%

Unnamed Islays seems to be the way things are going now when it comes to independently bottled cask of Islay whisky. Most, based on comparisons to “Original Bottlings,” or “Owner Bottlings,”  seem to be Caol Ila, Ardbeg or Lagavulin if you’re really lucky. All I’ve tasted have been great <shameless plug> including the 3, soon to be 4 “Undisclosed Islay” Single Cask Nation releases </shameless plug>.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015This one is the first, however, that I will taste that is not bottled at full cask strength.  Another 43% ABV for this Samaroli.  Samaroli = elegance in my mind though I’ve rarely seen anything lower than 45% ABV until now.

Let’s see what happens with this 9yo at 43%:

On the nose — Soft peat wreathed in lavender rests on a bed of licorice nibs. Heather to the fore with gorse in the distance.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015Some iodine and hospital beds make themselves known as does beach pebbles and blue slate.

A flinty minerality brings me in to sip…

In the mouth — Initial pepper sting that sticks to the tip of the tongue as the oily build dances about mid-palate. If I had to guess, I’d say this is a Caol Ila.

Very edgy stuff, not rounded in any way, which is nice. You get the softness from the lower ABV but the edginess from the youth of the whisky.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015Think flint stones (not Flintstones) meets burnt brush and driftwood meets seaweed and burning peat meets dandelion jam and lavender with a hint of lemon rind.

Finish — Lasting, citrusy and sooty

In sum — What a way to enjoy a younger Islay whisky. Though I normally prefer the brash in-your-face-ness of young Islay whisky, the water tamed it to the perfect just-sit-and-relax ABV. My initial reaction was “another 43% whisky from Samaroli, really?” However, this was simply loverly whisky. I enjoyed the interplay between youth and elegance (by way of lower ABV).

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!

Springbank 15yo — visiting what has become one of my favorite whiskies.

 

Springbank 15 year old single malt scotch whiskyRegion — Campbeltown — 46% ABV

Springbank 15yo is a whisky that I find myself revisiting over and over and over again.  I think it’s perhaps one of my favorite whiskies, like… ever.

While I may revisit it many times over, I’ve not revisited it from a let-me-disect-it-and-post-it-on-my-blog point of view.  I just spend a lot of time enjoying it.  Isn’t that what whisky is all about anyway? Enjoyment?

The last time I reviewed Springbank 15yo was June 17, 2011

So, here we are almost 4 years later.  Let’s see what the 2015 version is like.

On the nose — Lots of lime and orange marmalade (mostly orange) at first but it’s got a veil of peat it’s hiding behind.

Springbank 15yo Scotch WhiskyBlue slate wet with rain water and a stick of hard and powdered chewing gum you found from that package of Topps baseball cards released in 1980-something.

A hint of mint but a good dose of coastal breeze and dying beach grass.

Springbank 15yo Scotch WhiskyOn the mouth — Chewy and thick with bold notes of Duerr’s coarse cut orange marmalade.

A touch of peat is present but so is some now-cold potpouri.

There’s a touch of oak to let you know you’re dealing with a 15yo whisky but the oak’s true impression upon the juice is that of dark fruits, spiced citrus drops and still more marmalade.

Oh, and burning sticks as we reach the now drying finish.

Springbank 15yo Scotch WhiskyFinish — Drying and pleasant with a good deal of orange spice with the tiniest hint of clove.

In sum — What’s difficult to explain about this whisky — about all Springbank whiskies — it’s how unique the spirit itself is.  Yes, there are lots of notes here that you’ll find in other whiskies but you’ll never taste a more unique spirit than Springbank.  It’s too difficult to put it into words, sorry.  If you’ve never had Springbank before, it’s worth seeking out.

If I could, I would likely drink the $(*& out of this whisky every single day.  It’s that good.