Posts Tagged With: Grain

Tasting Notes: Compass Box – Asyla

Compass Box Range – Asyla

When reading any material about the current trend/boom of premium blended whisky, you will not have to look too far before discovering the influence of Compass Box. The London-based scotch whisky bottlers (yep – they are London-based, but they have an office in Edinburgh though, so that’s legit, right?) have very much been at the forefront of the current movement, amongst other initiatives within the whisky market (which we will look at in another post). The independent bottlers have developed five unique scotch whiskies that sit with their core signature range, of which this sits at the lightest end of the spectrum. The “Asyla” blended scotch offering takes its name from the plural of “asylum” and contains a 50:50 blend of malt whisky to grain whisky. To be precise, this release contains 50% Cameronbridge grain whisky (American Standard Barrels “ASB”), 5% Glen Elgin malt (Hogshead), 23% Teaninich malt (ASB) and 22% Linkwood malt (ASB) – all bottled together at 40% ABV. As per Compass Box’s Scotch Whisky Transparency initiative, the full details of the contents, maturation process and flavour profiles are all available on their website – click here to find out more.

 

Nose: Very vanilla rich. Light and delicate flavours at play here. A pinch of fruitiness makes its way through and the boozy burn is quite grain heavy – adding some depth and subtleties to all of that upfront vanilla/custard.

Taste: The vanilla flavour continues strongly here – again, with the grain and bourbon barrels presumably doing the hard work here. Lots of flavours in the background for a light dram – showing some of the fruits (apples and white grapes) under that custard coating.

Finish: Very light and leaves the throat with a slight coating. Vanilla/custard sweetness lingers and a little booze tingle makes it a very more-ish finish.

Verdict: Well, they describe this as their “everyday / before dinner / Sunday afternoon whisky” and we couldn’t agree more. If anything, we’d call it a breakfast whisky. Really light and delicate. Incredibly more-ish. Sweet, creamy (without the heavy body) and so inoffensive you’d barely notice you’d had one but for the smile on your face afterwards. (Big fans, if you couldn’t tell!)

J&M

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Tasting Notes: Tullamore DEW Special Reserve 12 Years Old

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Tullamore DEW 12 Years Old

Tasted as part of the recent Dram Team subscription package, this whiskey is actually only readily available as a travel retail bottling from Tullamore DEW – or “Tully” as their fans more often refer to it. What this “Special Reserve” contains is a blended batch of pot still, malt and grain whiskies that have been matured in a combination of ex-sherry and ex-bourbon barrels over the course of 12+ years.

40% ABV

 

Nose

M: Bit more going on here than their standard offering. This has a woodier, maltier nose. The distillery’s characteristic sweetness is there, but dark sugars are here now in place of the lighter, vanilla sweetness. Sweet biscuity-like flavours are there too, like hobnobs and digestives. The alcohol gives the nose a fair tingle too.

 

 

Taste

M: That digestive biscuit flavour really comes out when it hits the tongue. There’s a sort of wholemeal-meets-cereal flavour that dominates. After a little bit of time there seems to be a bit of honey poured onto that porridge mix of flavours bringing out a sweetness and a little oaky tang at the back which leaves a few, gentle, spiced elements on the way down.

 

 

Finish

M: The booze intensifies a little down the throat meaning that those malty, biscuity flavours fade away pretty quickly. Fairly lingering finish.

 

 

Verdict

M: This was a really enjoyable dram. It has still got that Irish sweet, silky texture about it but the wood and grains seem to have a lot more of a say than the standard bottling’s toffee blast. Thankfully there is not so much of the dreaded “creamy mouthfeel” here from this Irish whiskey either, though it is still satisfyingly smooth. The influences of the oak from the 12+ years of maturation really help round this whiskey out into an easy sipping drink with a little something more about it. Very easy drinking.

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Tasting Notes: Tullamore DEW

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The Legendary Tullamore DEW

Tullamore DEW is one of the most recognisable Irish whiskey brands, seen the world over. In fact, it is the second largest Irish whiskey brand, only pipped to the post by that “James” guy, or whatever he’s called… The distinctive squat bottle and clover-green label contains their “original” expression, which is a blend of triple distilled pot still, malt and grain whiskies made to their own recipe since the early 19th Century. The blend has been matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon barrels and sherry casks. Story has it that the DEW is not the water that goes into the whiskey, but the initials of one of the distillery’s previous owners.

40% ABV

 

Nose

M: Honey and toffee in abundance. Has it had a swirl of the old caramel stick? Maybe. There’s also a light, floral nose behind the sugary sweetness and a just a smidge of a malty grist too.

 

Taste

M: Delicious sweetness and toffee comes in again. Just like a boozy toffee penny. There’s not too much else going on than that sweetness, but it gets to the point, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

 

Finish

M: So quick and smooth. Super silky, in fact. Like a vanilla ice cream kind of finish. Hardly leaves a tingle of booze at all.

 

Verdict

M: Overall, this is very easy drinking. Inoffensive really. As the world’s second largest Irish whiskey blend and having been triple distilled, it obviously carries with the “Smooth” and “Creamy mouthfeel” characteristics – not that I like saying those words at all. Personally, this is what I’ve always been led to be believe that “Irish Whiskey” should taste like. I’d be very interested to do a blind taste test side by side with a Jameson Original to see if I could distinguish the two. Like I say, it’s a very easy drinker. Definitely too easy. Dangerous when you could too easily drink a lot of it – which I guess is the point and fits the stereotype. It certainly warms the soul, even if not the tastebuds.

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