Discovering the world of golden spirits. The latest whisky news and tasting notes from a Belgian whisky geek and SMWS member.

Kilchoman 100% Islay 4th edition

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The ultimate form of craftsmanship?

Kilchoman 100% Islay
  • Kilchoman Distillery, Isle of Islay (Islay)
  • 5 year old
  • 50 % ABV
  • Distilled in 2009 - bottled in 2014
  • First-fill bourbon barrels
Kilchoman is Islay's smallest and youngest distillery. When Anthony Wills started Kilchoman in 2005, he had the ultimate form of whisky craftsmanship in mind. From sowing the barley to bottling a single malt whisky. Everything should be done on his farm distillery.

Meet 100% Islay. Or replace that with 100% Kilchoman. Growing the barley on Rockside farm, malting and kilning, mashing and distilling, maturing and bottling. Every step in the process is done on site. Craftsmanship. Period.

Kilchoman released four editions of 100% Islay whisky to this day. The whisky is bottled at a higher strength (50% ABV in stead of the usual 46%) and is peated to a lower level (25ppm) than the Machir Bay and Loch Gorm whiskies. The malt for these core range whiskies is bought at Port Ellen Maltings and contains 50ppm.

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News: Compass Box Hedonism Quindecimus

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John Glaser & Co. celebrating 15 years in business

News: Compass Box Hedonism Quindecimus
  • Hedonism Quindecimus
  • Compass Box
  • Blended grain NAS (20 years old)
  • 46 % ABV
  • 5,689 bottles
This new whisky marks the start of Compass Box' 15th Anniversary celebrations and is a tribute to our their bottling in 2000 – the original Hedonism – which explored a brave new world of flavour previously uncharted in the world of Scotch.
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Aultmore 25

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An exclusive and elusive dram

Aultmore 25
  • John Dewar & Sons (Bacardi)
  • Aultmore Distillery
  • 25 year old
  • 46 % ABV
  • Natural colour & unchillfiltered

Aultmore was first produced in 1897. This smooth and little known Speysider can be traced back to Foggie Moss with its network of springs. The landscape is said to be a natural filter and purifier of the much needed water and giving Aultmore its 'refined character'.

The 25 year old Aultmore is the top of the line of the renewed core range (for now, a few older expressions are already announced). The 25 year old features a small copper accent on the label and all bottles state a number.

Is this one as impressive as the entry level whisky?

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World Whiskies Awards 2015

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First held in 2007, the World Whiskies Awards are Whisky Magazine's product awards, searching for the very best whiskies in the world.

This year's competition saw more than 300 whiskies put through their paces during three rounds of rigorous tastings to win the coveted titles of the 'World's Best'.

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News: Tamdhu Batch Strength

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Tamdhu Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky has unveiled a new Batch Strength expression without age statement to complement the brand’s existing 10 Year Old offering.

The special edition Tamdhu Batch Strength is bottled un-chillfiltered at natural colour. The Batch Strength expression remains true to the Victorian optimism of the brand, upholding their passion to create only the finest single malt. The first batch of this new expression has been bottled at 58.8% alcohol by volume.
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News: Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2015

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Kilchoman Loch Gorm
  • Kilchoman Distillery
  • 5yo
  • 46% ABV
  • Distilled 2009/2010 - bottled 2015
  • Oloroso sherry butts and hogsheads | 10.000 bottles
The 2015 release of Kilchoman's Loch Gorm has been announced. This third release consists of whisky distilled in 2009 and 2010 and matured in a mix of Oloroso sherry butts and smaller Oloroso hogsheads. These casks should give the whisky more intense flavours due to the contact between the wood and the whisky.
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Single Malt Irish Whiskey 2001

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A gem from the Emerald Isle

  • Undisclosed distillery
  • 13 years old
  • 60 % ABV
  • Distilled 27 August 2001 - bottled 11 December 2014
  • Cask #9787 | 115 bottles
Irish whiskey achieved something in the 19th century we all want: world domination. After the Prohibition they never reached the same soaring heights and were surpassed by the Scots. It wasn't until the early nineties we started seeing signs of a renaissance.

Fast forward to today and Ireland profits from the world wide whisky boom. Jack and Stephen Teeling are working hard on a new Dublin-based distillery. Irish Distillers invested €200 million in Jameson and former Bruichladdich saviour Mark Reynier will open the new Waterford Distillery.

Another sign of the boom in Irish Whiskey is the number of independent bottlings that are entering the market. Most of them are undisclosed single malts from Bushmills or Cooley. This particular Irish whiskey is bottled by Belgian shop Jurgen's Whiskyhuis under the Uisge Beatha Taigh label.
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Douglas Laing Rock Oyster

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They're going to need a bigger boat

Douglas Laing Rock Oyster
Picture: Scotch Malt Whisky
  • NAS
  • 46.8 % ABV
  • Blended malt
Independent whisky bottler and blender Douglas Laing from Glasgow added a new blended (or vatted) malt to their core range including Big Peat, Scallywag and Timorous Beastie. Every expression bears the typical characteristics of a certain Scotch whisky region. Everything-that-is-good-at-Islay-boasting Big Peat remains the flagship of the brand. In recent years Fred Laing and company added Scallywag, a Speyside blend, and Timorous Beastie from the Highlands to the family.

At the start of 2015 Big Peat may face some serious competition from within. Meet Rock Oyster, another small batch bottling created using the finest maritime malts from Islay, Jura, Orkney and Arran. A few distilleries were revealed during a Tweet Tasting some two weeks ago. We are now fairly certain that Rock Oyster contains Bunnahabhain (Islay), Arran (Isle of Arran), Highland Park (Orkney), Talisker (Skye) and Jura (Isle of Jura).

Get your oyster knife and a handkerchief. We're going to pry open some oysters!
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8 Irish whiskeys for Saint Patrick's Day

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Ireland's public holiday approaches fast en is celebrated by Irish and non-Irish people around the world. Beer (sometimes green!) and whiskey flow richly on the Seventeenth of March. If you are looking for something that's not Jameson or Bushmills I can help you with a shopping list for your drinks cabinet.

Saint Patrick's Whiskey Selection

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Ardmore 1997 for Whiskywarehouse Belgium

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Smoke in the mountains

  • Ardmore 1997 Gordon & Macphail Reserve
  • Ardmore Distillery
  • 17 years old
  • 55.4 % ABV
  • Distilled in 1997 - bottled in 2014
  • Cask #5555 | 226 bottles
Ardmore distillery is yet another almost unknown Highlands distillery. Founded  by the Teacher Family in 1898, the distillery was meant to supply malt whisky for the Teacher blend. It was Jim Beam who launched in 2007 the first single malt bottling of Ardmore, Traditional Cask. A bottling without age statement that was highly regarded by some whisky anoraks like Ralfy for its value for money. The Traditional got replaced by the Ardmore Legacy at the end of 2014 and is bottled at the minimal alcohol volume. Not the smartest move in my opinion.

Independent bottlers, like Gordon & Macphail, always had a steady offering of this peated Highland single malt whisky. Today I'll be looking into such a Gordon & Macphail bottling that has been exclusively selected for the Belgian market by Eric Vermeire from Whiskywarehouse. I laid my hands on a sample thanks to Stefaan from Whisky with Friends.

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Whisky news, Scotch and whiskey tasting notes by A Tasty Dram

Single malt and blended whiskey reviews, industry news, recipes and tasting notes from around the world. Discovering the world of golden spirits . A Belgian whisky geek, beer lover and Scotch Malt Whisky Society member.