Caroni 1998 – The Duchess

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Sample provided by Best of Whiskies

I’ve reviewed quite a few rums from the now closed Caroni distillery in Trinidad before and have come to like its heavy character quite a bit. Caronis are pretty much exclusively available from independent bottlers and this particular one comes from the Netherlands based “The Duchess”, a brand of the online store Best of Whiskies.

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Whiskybase “Same As 10K” (Laphroaig 6yo)

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Whiskybase.com is one of the largest online databases of whisky. They have listings for just about every bottle of whisky ever made as well as forums, online marketplace and their own store with it’s own well established bottling label (The Archives). With every 10,000 bottles added to their database they release a special bottling to celebrate.

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Glen Keith 1998 Gordon & Macphail Hopewell Buy-Rite Exclusive

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Thanks to /u/unbreakablesausage from /r/Scotch on reddit for the sample

Glen Keith is a somewhat obscure distillery with quite a rocky history. It’s currently owned by Chivas Brother and is mainly used to beef up their blends, with independent bottlings floating around usually from a few specific distillation year, and some very hard to find original bottlings. This sample is an exclusive bottling from Gordon & Macphail for a specific shop that I got from /u/unbreakablesausage when we did a small in-person swap recently.

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Clynelish 1995 Signatory Vintage

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-16 at 19.14.59Thanks to Yosi for the sample (and the image)

I sometimes regret how little love I give to Clynelish, for years my favourite distillery, still is I’ve just added several others to the list as well. This is one of many many bottles of mid to late 90’s distillate put out by Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. It’s one of the independent bottling labels I really feel confident when trying as they’re almost always fantastic and when they’re not they’re still pretty damn good.

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Ledaig 2007 A.D. Rattray

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Thanks to /u/nofansky for the sample

More Ledaig? Of course I’ll have more Ledaig. This was a sample /u/nofansky sent over with a bottle split we did over the Summer. Being Summer it was pushed to the back of my sample shelf but has slowly crept its way forward and the weather could not be more appropriate now.

Aged 9 years. 59.7% ABV. Matured in a bourbon hogshead. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Nose: Ash. Malt. Barley sugar. A bit new makey. Brine. Custard powder. Lychees. Limes. Chemical smoke, like lye in water. Slight sweet woody undertones.

Palate: Milk chocolate. Irish cream. Vegetal peat. Charred wood. Wet campfire. Bit of vanilla and salt going down.

Finish: Long. Very briney and quite creamy along with some herbal honey, ash and peat.

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 a very apparently young whisky, with not a huge amount of complexity, but I can’t really fault it for that because it’s a Ledaig, and Ledaig can work really well like that, all that raw distillate character is there and in your face, yum.

 

Arran 1996 Alambic Calssique Rhum Finish

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I feel like I’m seeing more and more rum cask matured whiskies around, which is great because rum is good, and whisky is good, and the combination of the right whisky with the right rum cask can be amazing. The problem I have is a lot of whiskies will just use something general like  “Caribbean Rum”, but rum is a hugely diverse spirit with so many different character profiles so it can get bloody annoying, because not every type of rum cask would work with let’s say a light Speyside whisky.

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More Douglas Laing with Malt Mongers Israel

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Once again our whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel (MMI), met up to try some more whisky, because there sure it a lot of it to try. And once again we tried some Douglas Laing bottlings. DL’s importer here in Israel, SIPIL, has brought in some more bottlings and let us have a preview of them.

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Bowmore 17 SMWS 3.271 The Perfect Cure – BTC 2017 #17

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Image pilfered from the SMWS website because I was silly and forgot to take a picture for this one.

I smelled Islay on this right away but it was odd because it was quite subdued in its peat profile, yet obviously cask strength. The only thing that came to mind was one of Kilchoman’s Cask Strength 100% Islay realeses. I didn’t even think about good old Bowmore. Bowmore is quite notorious for having sub-par distillery bottlings but an excellent base spirit, a lot of the damage being done by chill filtration and low ABV and this is an example of just how good the spirit can be if just left to do its thing.

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Speyside 25 Cadenhead – BTC 2017 #16

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This distillery always confuses me. Aside from being one of the less common distilleries from the Speyside region it also carries the same name, so you can’t always be sure if we’re talking about the former or the latter. Anyways I was also confused because this tasted super-duper young, so I went with a young Craigellachie, but it least I bagged some region points.

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Ledaig 2005 Signatory Vintage – BTC 2017 #14

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Always happy to find a Ledaig in the mix. I knew what this was the moment I opened it. Ledaig has a very distinct funk to it that most people eventually learn to love. This is from a signatory bottling, one of several sherrycask Ledaigs released over the last year or so as part of their Cask Strength Collection series.  The sherry was quite weird on this one and felt a bit muted compared to the other two bottlings I’ve tried from this series, so I guessed it was the 19 year old marsala cask released last year.

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