Saturday, May 04, 2013

Ardbeg new limited edition - Ardbog


So, after a year since my last post, I'm back blogging about whisky...hoping to be able to keep up this time around...and hoping someone still reads this.
My last post in May 2012 was about Ardbeg, so it make sense to get back with a new expression coming soon from the Islay distillery.
Feis Ile is just a few weeks away and Ardbeg have announced the new limited edition Ardbog to be launched on "Ardbog Day", June 1, during the festival. The lucky ones that will make this year's Hebridean festival will have the chance to take part in some interesting activities, bog welly tossing, peat-tasting and even organoleptic orienteering tasting. Ardbog day parties will also be organised around the world to celebrate the new whisky...
The limited edition Ardbog is matured for ten years in traditional oak ex-bourbon barrels and Spanish ex-Manzanilla sherry butts, it's non-chill filtered and bottled at 52.1% ABV.
...sure this is going to be another hit!




Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Ardbeg 10 offer...

Hello all....I'm back for a quick tip, for anyone still following this blog. If you happen to go through Rome Fiumicino Airport, grab a bargain. Ardbeg 10, 1 litre bottle at a 20% discount...With the great Euro-Pound exchange rate you get your litre of peated heaven at about £26...no kidding!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I'm back, again...and malts.com, again!

I know, I know...it's been a while since I last posted here...and I also said that I would be able to keep this blog updated...sorry I couldn't...laziness, summertime, lack of time...you name it.
Anyway, no promises this time, let's see if I manage to post a bit more frequently from now on.
First, I'll make you part of my frustration on the malts.com website...
I've subscribed to this website quite some time ago, way before the lovely redesign, and on these pages you've already read my malcontent for the delayed launch of the Friends of the Classic Malts section. Now that the Friends corner has been launched I've tried so many times to update my personal details to receive updates, offers, the distilleries free entry...nothing...an error has occurred, please try again later...every time since the launch.
...and the reason I'm writing it here is that I couldn't find any 'contact us' link!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Friends of the Classic Malts website launch delayed?


Now, I don't know if it's me but the Friends' corner on the new malts.com website was supposed to launch yesterday evening...
This morning the countdown clock wasn't working, and now...16 days to go?!?!?
Not really a nice move to re schedule the launch on launch day, without any apparent explanation...it'd better be good...I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Gordon and Macphail release Mortlach 70 Year Old, the oldest single malt whisky in the world!


Last month, independent bottlers Gordon and Macphail have released the oldest single malt whisky ever bottled. It's a 70 Year Old Mortlach, distilled in October 1938 (October 15, 1938) that is already on sale for a staggering £10,000. A 20cl version will also be available at £2,500.
Mortlach is a Speyside distillery - belonging today to whisky giant Diageo - that plays a very important role into the making of the Johnny Walker blend.
Until now only a few official (pretty expensive) bottling have appeared, a 31 year old Special Release, a couple of Rare Malts Series (1972-23 yo / 1978-20yo) and a more recent Manager's Choice (1997-2009) plus the only official (affordable) 16 years Flora and Fauna, among the fair amount of independent Mortlachs around (many of them from Gordon and Macphail themselves).
This 70 Year Old release comes from an ex-bodega sherry hogshead, bottled at cask strength of 46.1 % ABV and will be available in just 54 full size decanters and 162 smaller 20cl bottles.
Now I don't know what the practice was at that time, but this must have been filled in the cask without watering it down to 63.5% (common nowadays) otherwise after 70 years it's quite a surprise that the whisky is till above the 40% legal requirements. I wonder what careful calculation takes place to avoid the risk of deciding to bottle something after many years that may not be called whisky anymore...and just to add to the ongoing whisky collectors' debate, will you ever buy a £10,000 bottle of whisky and most importantly will you dare drinking it?
I imagine there must be two distinct marketing departments in every whisky company, one for us ordinary mortals, enthusiast drinkers that, if wealthy enough, can go as far as spending maybe a few hundred quid on a bottle, and one for the collectors, a completely different target market made of different demographics, very high earners, likely to buy bottles of uber expensive whisky just for display purposes...
Anyway, more to come as Diageo are releasing their third batch of Manager's Choice single casks...

I'm back...it's Easter!

I know, it's been a while since my last post, but some urgent family matters left me with very few time to take care of my hobbies...
So, apologies if I disappeared for more than a month just weeks after opening this blog. I'll try to catch up publishing quite a few posts in the next week or so...oh, yeah, Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old (db - 40%)


Old Pulteney 12 Year Old is the multi award-winning entry malt from Pulteney distillery, the northernmost distillery in mainland Scotland, located in the northern highlands in the town of Wick. It's fully matured in ex-bourbon casks, and as they state on the tin this is meant to be 'the genuine maritime malt' being its character strongly influenced by the salt sea air.
I really like the shape of the bottle. The inspiration for this must come from the peculiar shape of the stills at Pulteney, with a big ball just above the larger part of the still. I also love the fact that the bottle is made of clear glass...it's good to see the color of the whisky without having to pour it into a glass...even though the lovely golden amber color might not be 100% natural. I'm not so sure the guys at Pulteney don't use caramel to color their whisky as there's no indication of that on the label.

Nose: grape bubblegum, dark berries (blackberry?), oak, red grapes, toffee, vanilla, eggnog liquor, liquorice after after a while...some sea saltiness...not much to be honest.
Palate: bourbon, wood, sweet oak at first, dry red wine notes, turns into grapes bitterness.
Finish: medium, quite bourbony, oaky again...with some fruitiness.
Comments: at first is all about bubblegums...remind me of Italian 'Big Babol' gums...the dark purple, grapes flavored ones, then the oak kicks in with some sweet vanilla and eggnog liquor. I wouldn't say this is an overly complex whisky and I struggled to find prominent 'maritime' notes, but you can almost feel the interaction that has happened throughout the years between the spirit character and the oak/bourbon influence...and this was to me a very interesting aspect while tasting Old Pulteney 12.
So, while this dram may not be amongst my absolute favorites, it's rather enjoyable nonetheless, with its own distinctive identity, playing an important role in my journey into the complex world of malt whisky.