Glen Moray 21 Year Old Portwood Finish

Glen Moray 21 Year Old Portwood Finish Tasting Notes

One of the more recent additions to the Glen Moray core range. This spirit was matured in ex-bourbon barrels for much of its life and finished in port casks. Bottled at 46.3% ABV.

Glen Moray 21 Year Old Portwood Finish
Price: £124.95 (Master of Malt)
Appearance: Dark gold
Nose: Tart blackberries with hints of vanilla and brown sugar – think baked blackberry muffins – as well as rum & raisin buttery fudge and a light caramel. Oak woodiness.
Palate: Chilli infused dark chocolate, crusty white bread and liquorice, with powdered spices of cinnamon, ginger and black pepper.
Finish: Liquorice. Digestive biscuits. Tart red currants and red grape tannins.
Overall: A complex whisky with a lot of Speyside character. This is sweet on the nose, spicy on the palate and has a sharp finish.

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Starward Two-Fold

Starward Two-Fold Tasting Notes

At 40% ABV, this is a blend of 60% Australian wheat and 40% Australian malted barley aged for 3 years in Australian Red Wine casks only. The wine casks are sourced from the South Eastern wine regions and previously held Shiraz or Cabernet.

Starward Two-Fold

Price: £35.95 (Master of Malt)

Nose: Fresh green apples, fruit & nut milk chocolate, red grape skins and cherries.

Palate: Smooth mouthfeel. Salted caramel, doughy white bread, tropical fruit juices from peaches and guava, foam banana sweets and a touch of aniseed.
Finish: Dry cereals and plums, with a very subtle lingering hint of tobacco and the spice of pink grapefruit. 
Overall: You can tell that this is a young whisky, but the flavours of the red wine barrel shine through beautifully. It is smooth and not overly complicated, making it perfect for sharing with whisky connoisseurs and whisky novices alike. This has become my go-to bottle to bring to dinner parties.

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FEW Cold Cut Bourbon Whiskey

FEW Cold Cut Bourbon Whiskey with Cold Brew Coffee Tasting Notes

This is their standard bourbon brought down to a bottling strength of 46.5% from a cask strength of approximately 60% ABV, using cold brew coffee instead of water. Their bourbon has a mash bill of 70% corn, 20% rye and 10% malt, and is aged in Minnesota oak. Their coffee is sourced from local Passion House Coffee roasters on Goose Island.
FEW Cold Cut Bourbon Whiskey


Price: $42.99 (Binny’s). £49.96 (Master of Malt). This bottle was purchased at FEW Distillery in Illinois.
Appearance: Copper/Amber. Almost red.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Cloves, baked apples with ground spices, dark brown sugar, almost like treacle, and the light sweetness of vanilla. Toasted banana bread.
Palate: Creamy in texture. All the notes on the nose follow through, baked green apples and vanilla but stronger ground spices, almost peppery. Milk chocolate, toffee and ripe red apples. Hints of fizzy cola sweets.
Finish: A hint of chilli and the bitterness of dark chocolate with salted caramel. Fizzy cola sweets and oaky spices. Here, you can taste the roasted coffee. It’s subtle but distinctive. A soft finish.
Overall: This is a bloody good dram that goes down easy and is incredibly more-ish. The coffee really compliments the flavour profile of the bourbon. You wouldn’t know that it was cut with cold brew except for in the softness of the mouthfeel. This is not a novelty, just a really successful experiment.


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The Dublin Liberties Irish Whiskey

The Dublin Liberties Tasting Notes

We were lucky enough to try 4 of 5 whiskies currently available from the new Dublin Liberties Distillery.

The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil
(photo credit: Celtic Whisky Shop)

Oak Devil 5 Year Old

46% ABV. This bottle is a blend of 70% grain and 30% malt, matured in American bourbon casks for at least 5 years.

Price: €49 (Celtic Whiskey Shop)

Nose: Light and subtle. There are notes of pear, sweet caramel and a light oak. Some hints of raisins.

Palate: The pear and the caramel of the nose follow through, along with vanilla fudge and a citrus hit of orange peel. There are hints of dried red fruits and a soft peppery spice.
Finish: A grainy finish with a powerful spice hit, with notes of green peppercorns and caraway balanced by the sweetness of cherry cough sweets and a light honey.

Overall:  An easy drinker without any over-powering flavours. It would make a good introductory whiskey for your unconverted friends and the flavour profile makes it ideal for whiskey cocktails.

Copper Alley 10 Year Old

The Dublin Liberties Copper Alley
(photo credit: Celtic Whisky Shop)

46 % ABV. Single malt, matured in American bourbon casks for 10 years and finished for 6 months in Olorosso sherry casks.

Price: €60 (Celtic Whiskey Shop)

Nose: Tangy and malty. An immediate hit of over-ripe red apples as well as red and white grapes, sandalwood and some nutty tones. 

Palate: Quite a sweet palate with red apples, marzipan, walnuts and fruit & nut chocolate.

Finish: A savoury finish, wheat biscuits and a little spice with a citrusy sharpness that lasts.

Overall: The nose did not do justice to the taste of this dram, which got better with time. There is an enjoyable contrast between the sweetness of the palate and savoury finish.

The Dublin Liberties Murder Lane
(photo credit: Celtic Whisky Shop)

Murder Lane 13 Year Old

46% ABV. Triple distilled 13 year old single malt, aged in American bourbon casks and finished for 6 months in Hungarian Oak casks that previously held Tokaj (a dessert wine).

Price: €160 (Celtic Whiskey Shop)

Nose: Subtle and soft. Vanilla pods and creamy fudge alongside fruity and floral notes of plums and orange blossom.

Palate: Bakewell tarts and buttery pastry, stewed red fruits, particularly plums, and some tropical citrus, possibly grapefruit.

Finish: Red apples, brown sugar and vanilla. Hints of creamy coffee and a light citrusy spice.

Overall: A dessert whiskey . The wine cask is an interesting experiment that has paid off in the flavour profile of this bottling.

Keeper’s Coin 16 Year Old

The Dublin Liberties Keeper’s Coin
(photo credit: Celtic Whisky Shop)

46% ABV. Triple distilled and matured in American bourbon casks for 16 years, and finished in Pedro Ximanez hogsheads for 6-7 months.

Price: €320 (Celtic Whiskey Shop)

Nose: Honey, vanilla fudge, burnt sugar and cream soda along with light red fruits, orange and pomegranate juice.

Palate: Dried pears and a light vanilla cream, nutty chocolate brownie, toffee and plenty of soft spices like cloves, fennel and powdered ginger.

Finish: Christmas cake. Prunes, dark chocolate, oaky and the same light spices as the palate.

Overall: A beautifully balanced dram. I was ready to buy a bottle for my collection, until I saw the slightly hefty price tag. This is a limited edition with only 300 bottles in circulation.

About The Dublin Liberties Distillery

In February 2019, The Dublin Liberties Distillery opened the doors to a new €10m site and visitor experience, making it the third whiskey distillery in the Irish capital. The distillery is inside a 400 year old building and features three copper pot stills for triple-distillation and a spring water source on site. Owned by Quintessential Brands, the site is now producing whiskey. The initial releases were sourced from an unnamed Irish distillery, selected and independently bottled by Master Distillerr Darryl McNally. There are local legends and stories behind each of whiskey names, which can be found on the Distillery’s official website.

Many thanks to The Dublin Liberties Distillery and Steve Rush @TheWhiskyWire for these Tweet Tasting samples.

Cooper King Distillery Tour & Tasting

About Cooper King Distillery

Cooper King Distillery with Co-Founder Chris (Right)
(photo credit: MacComms)

Self-built. Independent. Sustainable. Cooper King Distillery are doing craft gin and whisky their own way in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside. The distillery was founded by a young couple – one scientist and one architect – who quit the 9-5 rat-race in 2014 to seek a life of adventure in Australia. From there, they discovered the booming Tasmanian whisky scene, fell in love with the authenticity of craft spirit production and made it their mission to bring the Tassie ethos back to UK.

Growing Orchard

Chris and Abbie spent the next couple of years sourcing local ingredients and building a 100% green energy distillery from the ground up in Abbie’s parent’s back garden. The inaugural product, Cooper King Dry Gin was released in May 2018. This is hand-distilled using innovative cold-vacuum distillation and uses honey from the distillery beehives, locally grown lemongrass and lavender. They also pledged to donate 1% of sales to the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust to plant trees in the local area, have a growing orchard on-site and have a bottle refill scheme to reduce waste.

The first batch of Single Malt Whisky went into production in 2019 and is currently sat barrels crafted by England’s last independent master cooper, with a projected release date of 2024. It is made using a Yorkshire brewing barley and distilled in a unique copper pot still shipped from Tasmania – the only one of its kind in Europe. It is non-chill filtered, naturally coloured, single cask and single malt.


We were kindly invited to tour the Cooper King distillery by Ellie from MacComms. Tours are available every Saturday for £10 and take approximately 1hr 15mins. You can book a tour from their website.

The Cooper King distillery is situated about 10 miles outside of York in the beautiful countryside of Sutton-On-The-Forest. We were lucky to be having the tour on the last day of summer and enjoyed a tipple from the bar in their outdoor seating area, over-looking the orchard. Co-founder Chris was our guide for the day, and his enthusiasm was contagious. He had a story behind every piece of equipment and told us the meaning behind every step of their process. They are truly a small-batch, eco-friendly craft distillery.

We were taken through the bar into the distillery. One corner is dedicated to gin production, which is where Abbie’s science background shines through, with glass vials and laboratory equipment on every bench top. They use cold-vacuum distillation, which requires less energy and reduced water consumption compared to traditional methods.

Gin Production at Cooper King Distillery

The centre-piece of the room is the 900 litre Tasmanian copper pot still – the only one of its kind in Europe. Whisky production started just this month and they are carrying out mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation all under one roof.

Whisky Production at Cooper King Distillery
(photo credit: MacComms)

What is refreshing about this distillery compared to others is Chris’s laid back attitude and approach to craft spirits. They are enjoying the process, sourcing the best local ingredients and working with local business. They place a heavy focus on the quality and sustainability of their products as oppose to the quantity they are pumping out. They have no solid date for when their whisky will be bottled, as Chris said “we won’t release it until it’s ready”.


At the end of the tour we got to sit out in the sunshine and sample a few of their products, along with some treats from a local bakery.

Dry Gin

This was their inaugural product.
42% ABV with notes of cardamon, honey, lemongrass and lavender.

Herb Gin

40% ABV with fresh and dried basil, lemongrass, cloves and fennel.

Skosh Smoked and Spiced

My personal favourite! This is a limited edition bottling in partnership with the Michelin award winning restaurant in York, available only from the distillery or the restaurant.
41% ABV with notes of black cardamon, nori and mandarin.

New Make

Now sold-out bottling from the very first spirit run.

47% ABV with a surprisingly silky mouthfeel, almost like a tequila. Slightly malty, with notes of lemon, powdery black pepper, toffee and sourdough bread. If this is anything to go by, then I am extremely excited about their whisky.

You can support Cooper King Distillery by signing up for one of their Founders Club packages here.