Hungary - Belgium
Gemenc whiskey from Hungary vs Wild Weasel single cask from Belgium

Sweden vs Belgium
Mackmyra Midnatssol Vs. Goldlys Oloroso finish

Belgium - Italy
Gouden Carolus single malt vs. Teeling Single Grain.


The Cask Strength version of Scallywag blended malt from Douglas Laing is up to the second batch. The Fox Terrier on the label has his eyes wide open, his ears pricked and his monocle blasted off. I guess the dog didn't handle his whisky carefully enough...

The Fox Terrier adorning the packaging design by Pocket Rocket Creative is a loyal friend of the Laing family and his nature inspired the characteristics of the Scallywag blend: a sweet, charming and feisty spirit.

Identity Card

  • Scallywag Cask Strength batch 2
  • Blended Speyside malt
  • NAS
  • Alcohol: 54.1% ABV
  • 4.800 bottles

Tasting notes

Colour: The cask strength version has exactly the same colour as the standard Scallywag whisky.

Nose: Rhubarb tart and cranachan dessert. A bit rubbery with orange meat sauce. Crispy cinnamon biscuits and bits of milk chocolate. Roasted or baked maize and cedarwood. Licorice root sticks and gingerbread. Wood shavings and a hint of bandaids.
With water it's more like dark chocolate, praliné stuffing and vanilla. A box of biscuits and almond pastry with apple.

Taste: Candy apples and bitter-sour tangerines. Chewed coffee beans and spicy wood notes. A balanced bitterness. Coffee sweetened with brown sugar and hazelnut syrup. Dark chocolate flakes and malt.
A few drops of water make this a creamy dram with milk chocolate and hazelnut flavours. Spicy pastry, Mikado chocolate biscuit sticks and malt.

Finish: A surprising soft and long finish with cinnamon butter.

Price: £49.99 (Douglas Laing)

The Scallywag and the second Cask Strength batch were tasted on the Sippin' Speyside session with Fred Laing and Jan Backers on 9 June 2016.



The review was written based upon the sample from the Sippin' Speyside session.

Bottle picture: Douglas Laing

Benromach 1974
Benromach releases a single cask whisky from time to time. On Monday the Forres distillery presented cask number 1583. This 1974 vintage Benromach dates from the DCL era. This sherry butt still contained 451 bottles after 41 years of undisturbed sleep in a damp warehouse.

The bottle design is almost identical to the 35yo from Benromach released earlier this year. The decanter is elegantly shaped and comes in a dark wooden presentation box. And yet this premium bottle doesn't exaggerate its premiumness. Benromach considers the quality of the liquid more important than fancy way-over-the-top packaging.

Identity Card

  • Benromach 1974
  • Benromach Distillery, Forres (Speyside)
  • 41 year old Speyside single malt
  • Alcohol: 49.1% ABV
  • Sherry butt #1583 - 452 bottles from a single cask
Scallywag

Scallywag

The Scallywag blended malt from Douglas Laing was the second addition to the range that is now known as the Remarkable Regional Malts and paved the way for the other regions. The blend is created using only malts from the Speyside region and contains key malts from legendary names like Glenrothes, Macallan and Mortlach.

The Fox Terrier adorning the packaging design by PCR is a loyal friend of the Laing family and his nature inspired the characteristics of the Scallywag blend: a sweet, charming and feisty spirit.

Identity Card

  • Scallywag
  • Blended Speyside malt
  • NAS
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

Tasting notes

Colour: Somewhere between straw and gold, long and graceful legs.
Nose: Lots of typical sherry notes. Dried fruits. Raisins, dates and fig. Sweet apples and oranges. Grounded cardamom, vanilla toffee. Sweet popcorn. Spicy ginger biscuits and malt. With water: cranberries or port. Chocolate pralinoise and sugared almonds. A bag of dried fruits and fresh figs.
Taste: Sweet and spicy mouthfeel. Pithy orange marmalade. Candy apple, bitter peel and slightly burned caramel. Gingerbread with stem ginger and slightly bitter malt. With water: Apple-pear jelly, dried apricots. Cointreau and oranges.
Finish: Medium long finish with sweet and bitter malty notes.

Price: £39.45 (The Whisky Exchange) - £42.48 (Douglas Laing)

The Scallywag and the second Cask Strength batch were tasted on the Sippin' Speyside session with Fred Laing and Jan Backers on 9 June 2016.



The review was written based upon the sample from the Sippin' Speyside session and a sample I bought a while back at Maltclan.

Bottle picture: The Whisky Exchange

Belgium - Italy
Belgian Owl vs. Puni Alba.
Chapter 7 Braes of Glenlivet 1994
Braes of Glenlivet, or Braeval as it is known since 1994, is a modern distillery from the seventies. Braes was the first in a “five distilleries in five years” masterplan from Pernod Ricard. Since 1997 the complete distillery can be operated by a single person.

The distillery is located in a beautiful yet remote part of the Scottish Highlands. At 507 meters above sea level it is the highest situated distillery in Scotland.

Identity Card

  • Braes of Glenlivet 1994
  • Braeval Distillery, Chapeltown (Speyside)
  • Bottled by Chapter 7
  • 20 years old Speyside single malt
  • Alcohol: 50.4% ABV
  • Bourbon barrel #165681 - 172 bottles
Diageo Special Releases 2016

Diageo has been rather early with publishing some labels for the Special Releases 2016 in the public TTB registry. They already revealed some of the usual suspects: 12yo Lagavulin, an unpeated Caol Ila and another Port Ellen and Brora. That means they still have some casks - only God and Diageo know how many - left and we won't see a Port Ellen Blended Malt yet. The "surprise" comes from Auchroisk, a distillery that was featured in the Special Releases series from 2012.


Ardbeg arouses emotions amongst whisky lovers. Since the take over by the concern holding Glenmorangie (LVMH) its fanbase grew steadily. Every single new Ardbeg creates a hype in the wonderland of whisky and somewhere we are all guilty, including myself.

Ardbeg celebrated its bicentennial last year and so did Laphroaig. Contrary to Laphroaig they only released one bottle to celebrate the occasion: the Perpetuum which also was the annual Feis Ile whisky. Ardbeg gets the credit for having fans worldwide enjoy the whisky, most Islay distilleries limit their Feis bottlings to distillery visitors (and people with too much money buying them on eBay).

Ardbeg Distillery


Profile

  • Ardbeg Distillery, Port Ellen (Islay)
  • Owner: LVMH (Louis Vuitton - Moét Hennessy)
  • Production: 1.3 miljoen liter
  • Water source: Loch Arinambeast & Loch Uigeadail
  • Installation: semi-lauter mash tun, six Oregon pine washbacks, one wash still and one spirit still. 
  • Phenol levels: 50ppm
  • Pronounciation: [Ar-begg]

Feis Ile whisky

Ardbeg's Feis Ile whiskies are easily available. Despite being globally available, they are much sought after by "investors" trying to make easy and quick money by dropping them on auction sites. As a result Ardbeg has been raising the prices and their releases easily surpass the €100 mark. Taken into account all of their special releases don't carry an age statement and very likely never spent more than 10 years in a cask (or at least part of the vatting didn't).

Dark Cove was released in two different editions, just like last year's Perpetuum. One version was bottled as a cask strength and only available for the restricted Ardbeg Committee (counting 200.000 members or more).

The standard version is bottled at 46.5%.

Ardbeg Dark Cove 

Ardbeg Dark Cove
Ardbeg Dark Cove

Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release

Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release
Ardbeg Dark Cove Committee Release

Core range Ardbeg

Ardbeg core range
The only three Ardbegs that really deserve a place in your cabinet.
(Ardbeg Ten, Uigeadail, Corryvreckan) Photo credit: The Whisky Exchange

The core range is limited to three whiskies and are worth their money: Ardbeg Ten, Uigeadail (sherry casks) and Corryvreckan (French Limousin oak). The other Ardbegs like Supernova, Kildalton, Galilea, ... are overhyped fads and sought-after by collectors and bottle flippers.

reviews

Required reading?

A Peaty Provenance



Need to know more?


Previous PostOlder Posts Home