Posts Tagged With: malt

Tasting Notes: The Pogues Irish Whiskey

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The Pogues Irish Whiskey

Released by West Cork Distillers, The Pogues Irish Whiskey is a blended whiskey that has been matured in oak barrels for just three years and one day (i.e. exactly as long as needed to technically call it “whiskey”). The packaging notes that the whiskey is “bottled by West Cork Distillers”, but being a blend and without a statement to the effect, there is no apparent information as to whether or not it is crafted and distilled there too – but you’d hope so! The blend is reportedly a 50:50 split of grain and malt Irish whiskies and was crafted by two entrants in the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame: Irish master blender Barry Walsh and longtime Springbank maestro Frank McHardy. The packaging and bottle is branded with The Pogues lyric “I am going where streams of whiskey are flowing”, so with that, let’s pour some and get it flowing…

ABV: 40%

 

Nose
M: So many woody smells in there and a sweet lingering something. It’s kinda oaky, kinda piney, kinda something else. Whatever it is, it stands out.

Taste
M: A bit harsh upfront with the booze but the woody flavours fade away to some vanilla sweetness. Slightly orangey towards the end.

Finish
M: A decent coating of the throat but the flavours do not really hang around. It’s a chest warming boozy delivery but thankfully, without burning a hole though it.

Verdict
A totally woody nose (which is surprising given its young, young age), which makes way for sweet vanilla, chewy malts and gentle fruit. The classic Irish whiskey ‘mouthfeel’ is there (just) with a little fruit and spice along the way. A touch of water helped to tame the harsher delivery, and whilst it didn’t reveal any other flavours, it did bring out the vanilla sweetness a bit more. It’s an enjoyable sipping whiskey. I’ve grown up with The Pogues’ music accompanying many a boozy evening and was hoping that they wouldn’t put their name to something terrible… and they haven’t. It didn’t blow my mind or anything like that but it wasn’t unpleasant in any way either, but that’s just personal opinion. The fact that it has some slick branding behind it and the backing of an Irish musical and cultural institution will undoubtedly shift the units and I’d be surprised if there were not further releases or variants of this made in the future, following its initial decent sales and positive reviews. At the price point for a good Irish whiskey, it would certainly make for a good gift too… particularly for when the bells are ringing out…

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Tasting Notes: Glen Scotia 16

Glen Scotia 16yo

Glen Scotia distillery is based in the “Victorian Whisky Capital of the World” Campbeltown. It is one of the three remaining functioning distilleries in the town and claims to still focus on creating the same characteristics of the single malts that made the region so famous in the 1800s. The distillery was recently bought by the Loch Lomond group, which is just down the road – albeit that round is the A83 and is some snaking 100 miles long! The 16 year old whisky is labelled as a special edition and was recently launched as a ‘travel retail only’ expression, thus making it a little more difficult to get hold of and a little more expensive than it’s 15 year old sibling from their core range. The whisky has been “gently matured” in a mix of Bourbon and American Oak casks. 

ABV 46%


Nose

M: Very delicate. Very light. There’s a combination of super sweet smells plus a really floral scent that reminds me of parma violets. A little bit of saltiness too.

S: Some kinda mint choc chip ice creaminess and moscavado sugar.

Taste

M: That sweet floral tang becomes a zingy sherbet and spice which eases up to a more buttery flavour – like the end bit of a Werther’s Original?!

S: Really sweet and fruity, like candied oranges.

Finish

M: So fresh and so clean. Sugary sweets melt and leave some salted milk chocolate on the way out.

S: Those sweet flavours tail off and leaves that kinda piney woody finish.

Verdict

M: This whisky is like a sweet sweet dessert, but without being filling or heavy. The flavours really remind me of a whole bunch of different childhood favourite sweets, but with a touch of saltiness and plenty of booze to boot! It’s quite an unusual single malt experience to come across when you’re used to big, deep, and dark flavours from whisky that’s been in a barrel for 16 years. I could get through a lot of this stuff. It has left me wanting more, and the supporting Campbeltown story has got me even more intrigued in the history of the region and what those classic malts must have tasted like from times gone by.
 

S: It’s kinda hard to believe that it’s been maturing for 16 years. I mean, really? It’s still so fresh and tastes ‘young’. I’m glad I’ve tried it and I did enjoy it but not enough to make me go out and buy a whole bottle.

Glen Scotia Flight Pack

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Tasting Notes: Lagavulin – 16 Years Old

Lagavulin 16

Lagavulin is widely recognised as one of the leading names in whisky throughout the globe and regularly falls within the same breath as its fellow southern Islay neighbours Laphroaig and Ardbeg. The 16 year old is the core expression of Lagavulin and has (deservedly) garnered cult status amongst whisky fans and peatheads worldwide. Each facet of the dram is distinctive and should be savoured.

ABV: 43%


Nose

M: It’s hard to describe without using its own name – its simply, big Lagavulin smoke.

R: So I get a real outdoorsy smell from this. Like a camp fire.With like a caramel-ishness.

 

Taste

M: Caramel sweetness and big rich, fruity flavours at first that are then instantly battered by full malty smoke and oak.

R: I find it kind of evaporates on the tongue very quickly, then fills your mouth with smoky deliciousness.


Finish

M: Brown sugar sweetness upfront and then the smoke builds and builds as it coats the throat on the way down, leaving a peppery spiciness in the smoky aftermath.

R: It’s like it’s light and delicate but simultaneously potent and powerful.


Verdict

M: Amazing. It’s hard to describe as it’s just distinctly Lagavulin. Regardless of whether or not you like smoky whiskies, one encounter with this dram and you can understand why it has cult status. “Mother’s milk” as Ron Swanson would put it.

R: Final verdict, for me, it’s not an every day kind of whisky. It’s the sort of thing you need to be in the right mood for. It’s an evening in front of the fire, with dressing gowns and cigars and a leather bound book kind of drink. One other point. I had a bit of a sinus headache when I poured the glass. It’s gone now.

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Lagavulin Bay

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