Posts Tagged With: Single

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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Tasting Notes: Laphroaig – Quarter Cask

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Laphroaig – Quarter Cask

One of Laphroaig’s no-age-statement expressions, the Quarter Cask has been matured in traditional ’quarter cask’ barrels, i.e. barrels that hold a quarter the volume of liquid of the usual cask, and so the liquid has more exposure to the surface area of the wood and so the whisky can ‘mature’ quicker than in the normal, larger casks. This may sound like a cheat’s way of doing things but after 7 or so years, the results are spectacular…

ABV: 48%

 

Nose

M: Instant smoke, peat and malt

S: A sweet smokey hit

T: Where’s the fire? In my nose… and I like it! Sweet, peaty, wood embers on the camp fire.

 

Taste

M: Big peaty hit with a digestive biscuit base and a distinct Kidalton coastline aftertaste.

S: It’s like the 10 but more…intense. A salty Islay spray blends with the peat.

T: Islay (Pronouced ‘Is lay’…ha ha) in a nut shell. The taste I associate with this blessed island. It’s an intensified 10 but more rounded, the flavours keep coming and coming, warm and tasty.

 

Finish

M: Long, smooth and smoky

S: Perhaps unexpectedly deep for a no-age-statement…the smoke rises gloriously back into your mouth.

T: As with the taste, this is the whisky that just keeps giving… a long flavoursome smokefest. I think everyone would find something different here, but something worth finding.

 

Verdict

M: An absolute belter. I always make sure that there’s a bottle of this in the cabinet! Oh, and who needs “age statements”? If it’s quality you’re after, this is it. Fresh, sweet, malty, smoky and smooth as. 9.0

S: It’s young but is an absolute knock-out! A Laphroaig wild stallion that has been tamed–best consumed on a deep winter night in front of an open fire! 8.7

T: It’s fair to say the WhiskyUnplugged boys loved this number from first sip! Just buy it – you’ll struggle to find better for the price. Just be careful if you live next to a fire station as its pungent smokeyness could induce unwanted attention from the firefighters! (Oh and well done Laphroaig for not going down the “Mit Karamel” route a la the 10 year) 8.9

 

Top tip:  After finishing your quarter cask dram, leave your empty glass overnight. Give it a deep sniff the next day…it’s like a vanilla bean explosion, heavenly sweet that even your non-whisky drinking dependants will appreciate!

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