Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Heavily Peated but not from Islay?

Through a couple of #dample swaps I managed to get my hands on a couple of unusual heavily peated drams - now as most of you know I love peated drams - Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Port Charlotte etc but these two are a little different - neither are from Islay and one isn't even from Scotland!

My favourite peated dram of the last year or so was Port Charlotte Islay Barley - this was labelled "Heavily Peated" at 40ppm which I reviewed here. These two drams sit either side of that phenol level, one is 30ppm and one is 50ppm.

So what are they?

First up at 30ppm from Japan is Hakushu Heavily Peated - a 46% NAS from Suntory's second distillery in the Southern Japanese Alps

Distillery: Hakushu
Whisky: Heavily Peated

Characteristics: 48% NAS NCF Pale Gold (looks naturally coloured) 30ppm
Source: #drample swap with @GeoffGilmore1

Nose: light smoke, a distant fire? Damp soil, wood shavings but all very light!
Palate: honey sweetness with a big kick of spice, very smooth on the tongue, a little salt and maybe some citrus?
Finish: long, warming and very smokey, some citrus again but lingering smoke!

Next up at 50ppm is Edradour's Ballechin 10yo Heavily Peated.

Distillery: Edradour

Whisky: Ballechin 10yo Heavily Peated

Characteristics: 46% 10yo NCF Rose Gold Non-coloured 50ppm
Source: #drample swap with @The_Cask_Blog

Nose: in-your-face Smokey Bacon! A big peaty kick in the nose with little hints of tropical fruit.
Palate: very light almost watery, slightly spicy - unusual and not what I was expecting! There's all sorts on the palate - orchard fruit, red fruits but all very fleeting - the smoke covers all - it's also very drying.
Finish: as it goes down your throat it gives you a big kick of smoke to let you know it's there!

Comments: two completely different drams, overall I think I prefered the first - the Japanese one - it might have 'only' been 30ppm but I think it carried it off much better and had a bit more about it. The Edradour was far 'peatier' at 50ppm but was quite rough in it's approach - like Octomore's little brother! Both were hunting out if you like peated drams and want to explore a little away from Islay!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

#BlindTasting Series 3 - Part 1

If you've followed us so far on our #BlindTasting journey of discovery you'll know that is a great fun set of evenings here the five of us try to identify drams from each other. sometimes we can get quite close, sometimes we are completely flummoxed. But the key things are we are trying the drams blind with no preconceived ideas and we are having lots of fun!

This is Series 3 Part 1 so the 7th session we've had, we're still trying to catch each other out but so far haven't managed to find that elusive Mongolian Whisky - and help in obtaining a bottle would be gratefully rewarded!

Just before the Lunar New Year, "Zeest" company announced it has started the import of "Chinggis Khan" Scotch Whiskey. The whiskey comes in two qualities: the three year old Silver Label and the twelve year old Gold Label.

As you may have seen parts of Britain have been battered by #BeastFromTheEast resulting in millimeters of snow in parts of the country, unfortunately this put our usual intrepid Post Office Mail people off their stride and unable to deliver our precious #dramples in time. So instead of the usual A, B, C, D & E drams to try we were limited to just As & Bs - that did not hamper us though we just went for all 3 As and 2 Bs to make our usual compliment of 5 drams for the night!

We started with the obligatory group photos:

Brian's Photo

Grimm's Photo

Mike's Photo

Alistair's Photo

John's Photo

So we started off with A7 from myself:

Alistair was on to something here....


First point of the night to Mike!

We're still looking for the elusive Mongolian Whisky!

A very 'spicy' finish

The boys were struggling so I offered a clue...

Mike got it and was upset because he'd tried the same dram only a few days before!

A7 was indeed Compass Box's Spice Tree!

Onto the second of the night, John's B7...

Alistair thought he was on to this one straight away....

 It was very good whisky, but English?

 Then came a shock...

So B7 was Forgan's 7 month old Corn Whiskey...

An interesting coincidence with the Spice Tree from earlier!

Wow, well after that one, it was on to B8 from John....


John confirmed our guesses!

And Wings got it again!

B8 was Douglas Laing's Provenance Glengoyne 2008

Then due to the postal issues it was back to me, and with a quick switch of order to A9!

A9 was Arran's Port cask finish

The final dram of the night was, again one of mine, the A8

More of which later....

It was feeling familiar to Grimm....

That's because he'd had a sample only the week before! (Link here)

So #Blindtasting A8 is a Creative Whisky Company young, single cask, heavily peated Bunnahabhain and it's bloody fantastic!

A really fun night with some great and unusual whiskies - thanks to the lads for making fun!

Another great night of whisky followed by some great food....?