May 2010

Balvenie 21 yo Port Wood

May 31, 2010
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This malt has got that “old-fashioned” taste you associate with sitting in a heavy leather chair in front of a warm fireplace. Very nice. – Rating: 87/100

Balvenie 15 yo Single Barrel

May 30, 2010
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A quite enjoyable malt, but that slight bitter note keeps it from being really good. Might be just that particular cask, though. – Rating: 84/100

Bowmore 18 yo

May 29, 2010
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The character is not unlike the 15yo Darkest, but I think the 18yo lacks some of the richness without offering much in return. Especially the finish is a bit on the weak side. – Score: 82/100

Benriach Curiositas 10 yo

May 28, 2010
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A very nice peated Speysider, fruitier on the nose than on the palate. Quite complex and very enjoyable. – Score: 85/100

A Little Number Crunching

May 27, 2010

Some bloggers are obsessed with their site statistics, some don’t care at all, and I for one am somewhere in between. Every couple of weeks I dig deeply into my Google Analytics page to see what’s been going on on my blog. For those of you who are interested in website statistics as well, I […]

Springbank 10 yo

May 27, 2010
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A great balance of flavours, accessible enough for an everyday dram but with a complexity that keeps it interesting for a long time. – Score: 86/100

Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist

May 26, 2010
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The nose is terrific, but on the palate the sweetness is a little too much for my taste. But that’s just complaining on a very high level. It still is a damn fine malt. – Score: 87/100

Balblair Vintage 1991/2009

May 25, 2010

Rather gentle and unobstrusive, some people call this type a summer whisky which I think is a bit of a euphemism. There are some splendid malts of this type around, mind you. But this is not one of them. – Score: 78/100

Connemara Cask Strength

May 24, 2010
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This cask strength malt is quite similar to the regular Connemara, but it is much more intensely flavoured. With its very complex aromas it is a dram to be enjoyed drop by drop. – Score: 86/100

Islay for Beginners

May 23, 2010

No, this is not really supposed to be a tourist guide. In this article I would like to share my experiences of Islay that are not related to specific whisky distilleries. I had never been on Islay before, so I think the title is appropriate.

Islay Distilleries #9 of 8: Port Ellen – The Zombie

May 23, 2010

Port Ellen – when lovers of Islay whisky hear this name, tears of joy and sadness alike are likely to wet their eyes. This single malt has a reputation of being among the finest that Islay has to offer. But the distillery was closed in 1983 because United Distillers.

Islay Distilleries #8 of 8: Ardbeg – The Phenomenon

May 22, 2010

Finally we have come to the last of the eight working distilleries on Islay, Ardbeg. What might surprise some of you is that Ardbeg actually is the smallest of the seven “old” Islay distilleries in terms of capacity and bottles sold per year.

Islay Distilleries #7 of 8: Laphroaig – The Uncompromising

May 21, 2010

Laphroaig is the most southerly of the Islay distilleries, and it is just about 1.5 miles away from Port Ellen, so it can easily be reached on foot by a nice walk along the coastal road to Ardbeg.

Islay Distilleries #6 of 8: Lagavulin – The Classic

May 20, 2010

Many whisky lovers have stated that Lagavulin was their gateway drug into the single malt universe. This also is true for me. Probably the reason is that it is very different from standard blends or Glensomething supermarket malts but still has a certain roundness that is not as potentially off-putting to novices as other peated malts.

Islay Distilleries #5 of 8: Caol Ila – The Shy Giant

May 19, 2010

Caol Ila is a strange distillery. Although it is the largest on Islay it is overshadowed by most other distilleries in public perception, perhaps only with the exception of Bunnahabhain. Only since rather recently, Caol Ila single malt has come somewhat out of the closet and seems to be picking up momentum.

Islay Distilleries #4 of 8: Bowmore – The Noble

May 18, 2010

The central town of Islay is home to the oldest distillery of the island. Many people call Laphroaig the love it or hate it distillery, but for me this label fits even better to Bowmore.

Islay Distilleries #3 of 8: Kilchoman – The Newcomer

May 17, 2010

The installment of Kilchoman in 2005 was highly acclaimed for two reasons. Firstly because it was the first new distillery to be built on Islay for 124 years. And then the concept of a small farmhouse distillery makes Kilchoman something unique.

Islay Distilleries #2 of 8: Bruichladdich – The Maverick

May 16, 2010

Bruichladdich is something special. To understand this distillery you have to know that they have a vision: Turning whisky from an industrial, mass produced commodity back to where it came from – a regional craft product rooted on the talent of local people.

Islay Distilleries #1 of 8: Bunnahabhain – The Grey Mouse

May 15, 2010

Often overlooked or regarded as the least interesting of all Islay distilleries, Bunnahabhain is something like the ugly duckling or grey mouse of the bunch. So I was very eager to learn a bit more about it when I set off to Bunnahabhain on my first morning on the island.

See you, Scotland!

May 14, 2010

A great ten days in Scotland have come to an end, and I am back home in Bavaria. My journey to Islay and Glasgow yielded lots of material for new articles and of course also some new bottles of whisky.