Ledaig 2005 Signatory Vintage

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Thanks to /u/Dramboy for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit.

Always happy to try some Ledaig. It’s real wonder whisky, very versatile. This is one of several sherry matured 10-11 year old bottlings done by Signatory Vintage which popped up on the market recently. They were a little out of my comfort zone where I’d buy without trying so I never got a bottle but was left curious. Thankfully /u/dramboy was willing to share some with me.

Aged 11 years. 58% ABV. Matured in a 1st fill sherry butt. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from cask 900160.

Nose: Light funk. Ash. Gasoline. Pencil erasers. Nutmeg. Cherry jam. Currants. Toasted wood. Dark maple syrup. Candy apple.

Palate: Quite sharp. Red apple. Tart strawberries. Leather. Coal dust. Medicinal. Smoked red fruits.

Finish: Long. Slightly coppey. Bitter wood. Rubber. Cooking oil. Cherry menthol lozenges.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

This is really a top quality cask. Ledaig is very good at most stages of maturation but the combination of young, peaty character of the still very active spirit and full, thick sherry is really quite stellar here in particular.

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Laphroaig 16 Cadenhead’s Authentic Collection

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Thanks to /u/buddy_dosser for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit

This is a sample from a swap we did quite some time ago, unfortunately Summer hit pretty hard and I just couldn’t enjoy a Laphroaig properly in such hot weather. Fortunately it’s cooled down a bit (at least in the evening) so I finally popped this open.

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Douglas Laing Tasting with Fred Laing

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Fred Laing doing his thing.

Sorry about the delay since my last post. I was on holiday in Italy but am back and well rested. Very shortly before I left, to the point that I didn’t have time to write this up, I was invited to a very special tasting event. I recently posted about and evening that our whisky club, MMI had in conjunction with Sipil, a local importer and online retailer, who have recently begun to import Douglas Laing products to Israel, currently the only independent bottler on the market.

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Malt Mongers Israel Douglas Laing Evening

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Our whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel, usually takes a break in August, but we had a special ad hoc meeting this month and with good reason. Independent bottlings are making a return to our shelves! Sipil, a local online store and importer which is very familiar to all the hardcore whisky geeks here, has begun importing Douglas Laing’s range.

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Kilchoman 2012 K&L Wines Exclusive Red Wine Cask

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I often mention my disappointment in being so far from K&L Wines in California, but then remind myself that if I did it would not be very good for my wallet. Namely because they have some incredible exclusive bottlings. Now and then they manage to find their way to me, in this case in the form of a bottle share. I really love Kilchoman’s young single cask bottlings too, never tried a red wine cask though.

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Octomore 10 2nd Edition

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Thanks to /u/dramboy for the sample vis /r/ScotchSwap on reddit

A few years ago Bruichladdich released a 10 year old expression of their super heavily peated Octomore, which is usually bottled at closer to 5 years in age. That one was from some of the original octomore stock so was peated to around 80ppm. Recently they went and released a 2nd edition of the stuff, this one peated to 167ppm and matured in fresh bourbon and white Grenache casks.

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Octomore OBA

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Thanks to /u/dramboy for the sample via /r/ScotchSwap on reddit

This is what Bruichladdich is calling a “concept whisky”. Like a concept car, but whisky. They put out a bottling of regular unpeated Bruichladdich called Black Arts which is a vatting of usually older whiskies matured in all kinds of casks which are never disclosed to the consumer, hence the name. It was started by then master distiller Jim McEwan and carried on by his successor Adam Hannett.

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Hazelburn 13 Sherry Cask Matured

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A while back I mentioned some interesting Campbeltown releases, among them this one. I reviewed the other two, an 8 year old Kilkerran Cask Strength and this year’s Longrow Red release, but didn’t get round to this one for a bit. Unfortunately the heat has been getting the better of me and I’m not often in the mood for whisky.

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Two Elements of Islay

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This week our local whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel got together for our monthly meeting. The theme this time was Elements of Islay, a series of “undisclosed” single malts from Islay put out by independent bottler Specialty Drinks. They’re modeled after elements of the periodic table with each element’s symbol hinting at the source of the whisky inside. If one goes over to their website they usually provide more information about each bottle to varying degrees.

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