Nose: Corny, creamy and fruity. The corn content hits immediately, along with dried banana chips, sharp apples, raisins and melon rind. Sweet notes of vanilla cream. Like a toasted fruit loaf smothered with melted butter.
Palate: Hobnob oat biscuits, sweet honey and vanilla ice cream. Subtler notes of salted caramel, sesame seeds, mint herbal tea and grape juice.
Finish: Fresh ginger, lemon zest, black pepper and lingering vanilla.
Overall: This dram is reminiscent of a delicate bourbon with added floral notes. I’d say it is an exceptional, distinctive whisky. It is also available for a very reasonable price compared to other Japanese whiskies on the market!
1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Tasting Notes
46.9% ABV. This Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is named after the year that Kentucky officially became a state. Though it carries no age statement, the 1792 Small Batch was awarded Silver for Small Batch Bourbon up to 5 Years Old in the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The mash bill for the 1792 Small Batch is undisclosed, all we know is that it is high-rye content (with rumours stating 75% corn, 15% rye and 10% malted barley). Barton Distillery/Sazerac also don’t disclose the number of barrels that defines this bottling as ‘small batch’.
Nose: Ripe green apples and straw initially, with soft notes of creamy toffee and polished wood.
Palate: Silky smooth. Grassy, yet full of the sweetness of stewed apples and brown sugar. Some hints of vanilla custard.
Finish: A slight sharpness, with the spiciness of cloves and ginger. Bitter apple seeds and burnt sugar with a little bit of vanilla coming through.
Overall: A very simple, standard Highland whisky with apples all the way. What I like about Royal Lochnagar is their small portfolio; they do very few expressions and they choose quality over quantity. This 12 year old is quite light and delicate with no complexity. Not my usual preference, but sometimes you just want a straight-forward no nonsense dram.
The Glenrothes Manse Reserve – Tasting Notes Price: £50.17 (Master of Malt) Released for Travel Retail, the Manse Reserve is part of the Manse Brae Reserves collection and carries no age statement. 43% ABV and matured mostly in American Oak, with some influence from Sherry Oak casks.
The Glenrothes Manse Reserve
Nose: Marzipan, dried fruits and woodland tones.
Palate: Very heavy notes of raisins, as well as pears, vanilla custard and sugary fruit shortcake biscuits.
Finish: Long lasting. Sweet fruits and dry Autumn spices (particularly ginger and nutmeg).
Overall: Sweet, delicate and not overly complex. A dessert whisky that would suit a cool Autumn evening.
One of the most distinctive and well loved distilleries on the isle of Islay, Laphroaig gets its name from Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the island. The distillery was founded by Donald and Alexander Johnston. In 1847, Donald tragically died after falling into a scalding vat of whisky by-products, and the distillery was managed briefly by neighbouring Lagavulin until Donald’s son Dugald took control in 1857. Until 1954, the distillery was owned by the Johnston family and has since had a number of owners. It is currently operated by Beam Suntory – with Suntory being a prominent Japanese brewing and distilling company. During the American Prohibition, Laphroaig made it through customs being sold as “Medicinal Spirit”, due to its high Iodine flavour, and the belief from officials that no one would drink such a spirit for pleasure! Laphroaig’s unique flavour come from their vicinity to the coast and the high moss content of their peat. It is famously Prince Charles’s favourite whisky, but is also a worldwide favourite, and the best selling Islay malt.
Laphroaig PX Cask Triple Matured
This expression was initially released as a travel retail exclusive. This is their standard ten year old matured in American Oak casks, then quarter casks and finished in Pedro Ximenez casks. We tried it with and without a couple of drops of water.
This dram comes in at 48% ABV and, delightfully, is sold in 1 litre bottles.
Appearance: Straw gold
Nose: sweet honey and vanilla are balanced by heavy, barbecued peat, smokey sandalwood and dark leather. There are hints of marzipan and oats. Whilst there is a lighter scent of TCP when compared to typical Laphroaig, it is still there, along with notes of burning fauna, roasted rosemary and paraffin.
Palate: Heavy char and dry smoke overpower the palate, like an ashy barbecue on a dry summer day. The marzipan and honey from the nose come through into the palate, along with subtle hints of sherry and red grapes.
Finish: The finish is smooth, sharp and lingers, with notes of heavy smoke, ash and leather.
With a couple of drops of water, this dram becomes less intense. The peat mellows and sweeter flavours shine through. Whilst it is still dry, there are stronger notes of fruits, grape and honey.