Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Velvet Fig 25yo

A few weeks ago Wemyss Malts offered some samples via their Twitter and Instagram feeds for their special new release Velvet Fig 25yo - I decided to put my name in the hat and was lucky enough to be picked.

Celebrating their 15th Anniversary in 2020, Wemyss Malts are
"Family Scotch whisky makers who produce quality, small batch releases made from a meticulous selection of the finest whiskies produced in Scotland."

Velvet Fig has been around for around 7 years now, it's a 46% blended malt consisting of single malts from Speyside and the Highlands matured in ex-oloroso sherry casks. For this limited edition Wemyss have added a little un-peated Islay malt too, the ABV has dropped a little to 42.3% but all of the malts are at least 25 years old!

"A blended malt Scotch whisky that comprises of a combination of 5 ex-sherry hogshead casks of 1994 vintage Speyside and Highland single malts and 15 ex-sherry hogshead casks of 1988 vintage unpeated Bunnahabhain single malt.
The total of 20 casks were then blended together and then transferred into 14 refill hogsheads to marry for a total of 16 months."

Appearance: A lovely dark gold almost brown colour in the glass, swirls leave a lovely oily trail falling as fast thick oily legs. 
Nose: Strawberry jam notes from the sherry but not it's not a musty dunnage warehouse style. Dark fruit - dates, raisins, sweet figs, orchard fruit - stewed pears and apples. No peat! Some toffee notes after a time in the glass. 
Palate: Thick oily arrival - very warming - pronounced sour citrus note - grapefruit maybe. Very smooth and mouth coating. More of the dark fruit from the nose - raisins, sultanas, dates. After a few sips the citrus turns towards orange - still slightly sour still. The orchard fruit comes through too - dry apricot. Yummy! 
Finish: Long lingering warm fruit notes, a little spice. Strawberry jam and a little of the orchard fruit.

Many thanks to @WemyssMalts for the sample!

Highlights video:

Full video:

Friday, 21 February 2020

Side by side : The Fisherman's Retreat

Nestled in Twine Valley at the edge of the Pennine hills, 3 miles east of the town of Ramsbottom and around 15 miles north of Manchester is a family owned and run restaurant pub called The Fisherman's Retreat. Other than food and beer they have the odd conference and a wedding or two but they have a couple of little secrets...

So what are the secrets you ask? Well if you promise not to tell anyone....?

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Side by side : Independent Ruadh Maor

On today's Side by side we're looking at two Ruadh Maor drams from two Independent bottlers. "Ruadh Maor?" you ask, "Yes Ruadh Maor" I answer.....


Let see how they compare side by side!

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Mackmyra Reserve @TweetTastings

The first @TweetTastings of 2020 was advertised by Steve as something a little different and it was!

First of all it was a much larger than usual box and as well as a lovely glass contained eight 50ml bottles - 400ml of Swedish Spirit!

Friday, 14 February 2020

Ardmore 20yo

Outside of those in the know, Ardmore is thought of as small distillery producing a cheap supermarket 40% NAS called Legacy.

Although it's a single malt Legacy doesn't cost much more than a bottle of Teacher's Highland Cream blend that it goes into.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Batches : Glengoyne Teapot Dram

Distilleries often release whisky in batches, the same name but subtly different recipes, ABVs, maturation periods etc. In this new, occasional series, I'm going to review a number of different Batches in my Side-by-side format to see if I can detect any differences, does each batch get better or are they to all intents and purposes the same?

This time I'll be reviewing batches #4 and #6 of TeaPot Dram from @Glengoyne distillery, what differences are there?

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Whisky from...? Wales

Next in my little series on Whisky from...? is Wales. I've tried a few Welsh whiskies in my time, some good, some no better than toilet cleaner.... this time I'm looking at the longest established distillery in Wales - Penderyn.

After enjoying the @PenderynWhisky Port Cask finished dram a few weeks ago (more here) I was offered some more Welsh whisky from my mate Dom. I also had a bottle of their 'standard' Madeira finish on my shelf!

Monday, 3 February 2020

Side by side : Three Arran Drams

On the west coast of Scotland between the mainland and Kintyre peninsula is the Isle Of Arran, home now to two distilleries. I've visited a couple of times and always come away with something interesting!

This time I trying three limited edition drams, lets see how they compare:

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Side by side : 5 Independent Grains

Good Scottish Single Grains tend to be on the older side - twenty something and you've got something rather nice, the other side of thirty and you're usually in for something special!

For this side by side I've selected 5 single grains from 4 different independent bottlers, ranging in age from 10yo to 39yo, lets see how they compare.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Side by side : Three Highlanders

Heading up into the Highlands for this side by side, the biggest 'whisky region' in Scotland, three drams bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company.

These three all featured in the TBWC 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar - lets see how they compare: