Monday, April 16, 2018

Tasting: Little Book - The Easy

Little Book ”The Easy” is the first release in a new annual series from Jim Beam. Little Book is created by Freddie Noe (Master Distiller Fred Noe’s son), and accordingly to Jim Beam, named after the nickname that Freddie’s granddad, Booker Noe, gave him.
Little Book is a blend of 4 year Bourbon, 13 year corn whiskey, 6 year 100% malt whiskey and 6 year high rye bourbon. It’s a limited release, uncut and unfiltered. Each future Little Book releases will be of a different blend, caring a new name. 

Little Book. The Easy
Blended Straight Whiskey
Cask Strength. Non-Chill Filtered/Natural Color

Distillery: Jim Beam
Mashbill: Not revealed
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: NAS
ABV: 64,1%
Price: $80USD

Points 90/100

This Whiskey got an almost sherry nose upfront, mixed with a solid amount of wheat-bread and oaky barrel-char spices, followed by dark as night intense fruity notes of cherry, prune, plum and raisins. I usually find the caramel and brown sugar notes to play a leading role in most bourbons. But in this one, it runs like an underlying note just beneath the surface. Very accommodating, but yet complex nose. Man, I could nose this whiskey for the entire evening! 

Really creamy full bodied mouth-feel, that starts out very dry, building itself up. This beast just keeps going, unfolding itself, layers after layers, and I’m having a hard time keeping up with it, because it really took me by surprise and caught me off guard. Sweet wheat with more of that dark cherry flavor coming through once again. Really oaky, though it never overpowers the palate and is extremely well integrated. Solid cigar smoke, butterscotch, sweet corn, red pepper and cinnamon is dancing around on the palate, until it very slowly starts to fade away, leaving your mouth filled with tanned leather and sweet sugary candied nuts.    

Long. Tanned leather and sweet sugary candied nuts.

(This review was written as part of a blind tasting)

Review By: Hasse Berg
Photo By: Linus Jonsson

The Adventures Of Whisky Pete - Part - #86

Hirsch 21 years old rye.

Happy Monday folks... 


Monday, April 9, 2018

Tasting: Douglas Laing. The Gauldrons - Batch #1

On Halloween night 2017 Douglas Laing launched the newest addition their Remarkable Regional Malt Series; The Gauldrons.

The Gauldrons is the sixth release in Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malt Series, now contains 6 blended malts, each representing its respective Scotch whisky regions. The Gauldrons enters as the representative for Campbeltown.

The range includes Timorous Beastie from the Highlands, Scallywag from Speyside, The Epicurean from the Lowlands, Rock Oyster from the Islands and Big Peat from Islay.

The Gauldrons is, just like the other Remarkable Regional Malts, a vatted/blended malt, bottled without colouring or chill filtration. Each batch of The Gauldrons will be numbered to allow bottlings to be compared and contrasted as the Campbeltown spirit develops in cask over the years.

There are only 3 active distilleries in Campbeltown; Glen Scotia, Springbank and Kilkerran, so the whiskies that were blended together to create The Gauldrons kind of goes without saying

Douglas Laing states on their website that; “The Gauldrons is inspired by the eponymous dark sandy coves on Campbeltown's west shores and literally means "bay of storms". It was here King Robert the Bruce, having been defeated by his enemies, was encouraged, whilst watching a spider building his web with great patience but great difficulty, to try, try and try again. It is this ancient legend which is reflected in The Gauldrons packaging which features an intricate spider illustration.”

Douglas Laing. The Gauldrons – Batch #1
Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Non Chill-Filtered/No added colouring

Distillery: Undisclosed Campbeltown distilleries
Bottler: Douglas Laing
Region: Campbeltown
Age: NAS
Proof/ABV: 46,2%
Dk price: $100USD/600dkk

Points: 82/100

A maritime wave of sea salt and cut clean peat smoke is being counterbalanced by heather, sweet vanilla and a splash of citrus and apricot to round it off.

Dry oak at first, that quickly transcends into a raw sugar flavor with honey, pear, and a bit of nutmeg and black pepper in the back.

Short with salty peat smoky.

The Gauldrons is a bit underdeveloped but nonetheless an enjoyable dram with a great balance, and I’m looking forward to seeing, where the future batches will take Douglas Laing.

Review By: Hasse Berg
Photo By: Matthias Blau (All rights reserved)  

The Adventures Of Whisky Pete - Part #85

Whisky Pete got to meet Cheech! No way! 
Signed a bottle of TresPapalote Mezcal!


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Tasting: Aberlour. Double Cask Matured - 16 Years

Aberlour. Double Cask Matured – 16 Years
Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery: Aberlour
Age: 16 years
Region: Highland
ABV: 40%
US Price: $94
Release: Ongoing
Cask: Traditional oak & Sherry oak.

Points: 82/100

Aberlour is famous for their absolutely fantastic cask strength sherry monster, the NAS A’Bunadh, that have become a true fan favorite among whisky fans, and their affordable 10 year old core range expression, offers great value for your hard-earned money. Between the 10 and the A’Bunadh stands the 12, 16 and 18 years old Double Cask Matured that, as the name alludes, all have been matured in two cask types; traditional oak and sherry.

The 16 years old that I’m about to review comes in at 40% ABV.

Fruity, malty and sherry sweet notes lure you in, with figs, raisins, dark chocolate and cinnamon.

A bit light headed until the sherry flavor steps into the picture and pumps up the volume, so to speak. I find the sherry notes to be very well integrated in the A’Bunadh, but in this 16 years old expression the sherry note is “over-flavoring” the palate and are too upfront and dominating for my taste, which is a damn shame. Below the surface, there’s syrup, honey and vanilla.      

Medium long finish with oak spices and black pepper.

Overall impression:
I honestly don’t believe that the four extras years in wood have done much good for the 16 years old expression in comparison to the 12 years old. In fact, just the opposite, because the sherry flavor in the 12 isn’t by far as dominating, as it is the case in this 16. So from here on out, I’m defiantly going to save the extras $28USD I paid for this one, and stick with the 12 year old in the future.   

Photo & Review By: Hasse Berg

The Adventures Of Whisky Pete - Part #84

Whisky Pete had the honor of sampling Highland Park's Fire. 

Being a very long time fan of Highland Park as well as the Valhalla series, he coulden't wait! 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Tasting: Fary Lochan. Forår (Spring) Batch #2

The founder and distiller of the small craft Danish whisky distillery Fary Lochan; Jens-Erik Jørgensen sadly passed away In 2016, when he lost his fight to cancer, at the age of 53.

Jens-Erik's three children and his wife Anne Birgitte has taken upon themselves to run Fary Lochan, keeping Jens-Erik's dream and heritage alive.

Fary Lochan Forår (spring) Batch #2 was released Marts 2017 and marks the first whisky without Jens-Erik. Forår is a blend of 4 single barrels; One quarter cask ex-bourbon barrel and three ex-bourbon barrels. Before marring the four casks together, they were matured for an unknown period of time in a used Laphroaig cask. The age of the barrels varies from 4,5 to 5,5 years.

Fary Lochan uses fresh nettles to smoke their malt to a PPM level at 7 - almost the same level as Springbank uses in their standard offerings. Forår is bottled at a rather high ABV 47% none the less.
True to Fary Lochan’s believes Forår was released as a very limited batch. Only 1.500 50cl. bottles, all individual numbered, and a 1.000 5cl bottles were released.

Last year I reviewed Fary Lochan's previous release, their Efterår (Fall) Batch #2, and wrote about the distillery in our 2016 edition of Around The Whiskey World In 7 Days.

Fary Lochan. Forår (Spring) Batch #2
Danish Single Malt Whisky

Distillery: Fary Lochan
Region: Denmark
Age: 4,5 – 5,5 years
Proof/ABV: 47%
DK Price: $99USD/595dkk
Release: 2017

Points: 81/100

Refreshing, crisp and crystal clear in its expression. Inviting lemon grove fragrance and heather followed by sweet malt, vanilla and a touch of milk chocolate.

Surprisingly earthly, herbal and dry.
A dominating taste of grapefruit with basil, anise and light smoke that accompany you through the finish.

Medium long zesty sweet finish. Black Ceylon tea with honey.

Though the style of Fary Lochan’s whisky is unmistakably inspired by Scottish traditions, they defiantly got a style of their own, and the Danish terroir adds a unique Scandinavian touch to it.

Fary Lochan’s Forår/Spring is a big step above they’re previously Efterår/Fall batch #2 release.

Photo & Review By: Hasse Berg