Google Mixed bags Session One

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

November 21, 2018


Mixed bags

Whiskyfun's mixed bags Session One

We usually prefer to have flights of whiskies from the same distilleries or countries, but that may sometimes slow things down, especially when there are loads of new whiskies reaching WF Towers...

Which is what’s rather happening these days, so I thought we’d do a few ‘mixed bag’ sessions until things go back to normal, choosing various new or recent whiskies at random. Well, more or less, let's see what we have... Perhaps start with an Irish?

Redbreast 21 yo (46%, OB, Irish, 2017)

Redbreast 21 yo (46%, OB, Irish, 2017) Four stars and a half
I first tried this when the first batch came out, in 2013, and had thought it was superb, but maybe not as utterly stunning as ‘the doxa’ has it (WF 89). Colour: gold. Nose: maybe even more ‘pure pot still’ than before, with this very unusual mix of metallic notes with ripe topical fruits, such as mangos and passion fruits. It may be a tad spirity as well, which is a little surprising, while some rather obvious oaky tones do shout out (new sawdust). But it’s more or less a bed of roses after that, with, err, rose petals indeed, orange blossom, and ripe apricots. Mouth: pure fruity Irishness, with the same kinds of tropical fruits plus bananas (bananas are always obvious in these makes – to me) and tinned litchis. Which may impart some wee notes of gewürztraminer, if you like. Other than that, the oak’s less apparent now, and the whole’s fresh and soft. I was about to add ‘smooth’ but you may have noticed that innocuous little word is now streng verboten in Whiskydom. Finish: medium, jammier, a tad spicier. Cinnamon, coriander, a wee touch of saffron (at that price, there could be much of it). Comments: it remains excellent and deliciously smo…
SGP: 641 - 88 points.

More Irish please...

West Cork ‘Peat Charred Cask’ (54%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, The Chronicles, Irish blend, 2018)

West Cork ‘Peat Charred Cask’ (54%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, The Chronicles, Irish blend, 2018) Two stars
This one matured in some ex-peater wood. It was one of the strangest whiskies I could try at Whisky Live Paris this year, but let’s see what gives in a proper tasting environment… Colour: gold. Nose: strange indeed. Some soot, green spices, vanilla (char), rhubarb, hay, green cardamom, a little horseradish, sorrel… Unusual indeed. With water: sour cream, sourdough, fermenting grass, porridge, some friends I know would have added ‘gym socks’… It’s only after a good minute that some smoother, more vanilla-ed and fruitier touches come out. Melons? Mouth: starts oaky and very spicy, in a green kind of way. Mustard, wasabi, green pepper, lemon peel, green pears… This style bites you a bit, I would say. With water: dichotomous, I would say. A grassy peat and some lighter fruits on the other hand. Finish: medium, a tad acrid. Comments: a strangely grassy whisky, but at least it’s a new style. Perhaps we’ll just need a little more time to get used to it.
SGP:563 - 76 points.

Let’s fly to Tasmania to find another LMDW exclusive…

Hellyers Road 14 yo 2004/2018 ‘Peated’ (64.5%, OB, Tasmania, The Chronicles, cask #4036.12)

Hellyers Road 14 yo 2004/2018 ‘Peated’ (64.5%, OB, Tasmania, cask #4036.12) Four stars
I’ve last tried Hellyers Road back in 2010 (indeed, woof) but I remember their peater was quite good (WF 80). But this one is a beast… Colour: gold. Nose: immediately more coherent than the Irish, fresher, brighter, much more precise, with a combo around coal smoke and a rather lovely chocolaty development. Some fresh gingerbread as well, fudge… With water: it wouldn’t change much even after I’ve reduced it down to approx. 42% vol. Nothing to worry about, it’s extremely nice. Mouth (neat): excellent. See, age matters. Some kind of spicy rhubarb cake with notes of maize bread and perhaps even a wee chunk of poppadum. Grapefruits keep it fresh. With water: rather brilliant, it’s not always that wood and bread spices and heavy peat dance this nicely together. Finish: long, always rather chocolaty. Black with 90% cocoa. Some marmalade too, Jaffa cakes… Comments: pretty impressed here – while it wasn’t even that devilish (ha, good one S. Not.)
SGP:456 - 87 points.

Let’s fly to India…

Paul John 6 yo 2011/2018 (56.3%, Cadenhead, refill barrel, 330 bottles)

Paul John 6 yo 2011/2018 (56.3%, Cadenhead, refill barrel, 330 bottles) Four stars
This baby was matured for five years in Goa and one year in Campbeltown. Some hippie whisky? Colour: gold. Nose: starts with some spicy bread and oak (ginger bread), gets then more cereally, with some maize and perhaps some ray buckwheat and rye, and gets then much more citrusy, with some citron and lime. A few raspberries in some fresh homemade custard. With water: a large pack of assorted wholegrain breads… Or, as I sometimes say, ‘breakfast in the Tyrol’. We could almost start yodelling, but better not. Mouth (neat): very good, which doesn’t come unexpected. Lemon pie with meringue, kiwis, grapefruit juice, peat, and a grassy kind of vanilla, with a few drops of good aguardiente, or say cachaça. With water: impeccable fresh and spicy peatiness, with good citrus to keep it balanced. Super good, really. Finish: rather long, moderately smoky, bready, with a little muscovado sugar and marmalade (or chutney!) Comments: not a surprise, but still, this is excellent. On par with the Tasmanian in my book.
SGP:554 - 87 points.

And to Taiwan for another peater…

Kavalan 2008/2016 ‘Solist’ (52.4%, OB, Taiwan, peaty cask, cask #R080807112, 143 bottles)

Kavalan 2008/2016 ‘Solist’ (52.4%, OB, Taiwan, peaty cask, cask #R080807112, 143 bottles) Four stars
These peaty casks are rather uncommon. It’s not the distillate that’s peated, it’s the cask that used to harbour peaty whisky. Well, I suppose. Colour: gold. Nose: more often than not, this kind of combo works, and it does here, even if there’s a feeling of blended malt. Not that we’ve got anything against blended malts, mind you. Vanilla, brine, smoked fish, camphor, a little ink, a little hessian. With water: a curious Ardbeggian note, really. Old hessian bag that used to be full of eucalyptus leaves. Mouth (neat): very good, with a lot of smoky coffee and cocoa. It’s a little simple, but you do feel that it’s going to become a terrific bottle, after ten more years in glass or more. One to put into your cellar. But yeah, it’s really very chocolaty, and not in a oloroso-y kind of way at all. With water: smoked caraway this time, angelica, turmeric… All that inside chocolate. Ideas ideas… Finish: long, with touches of menthol and grapefruits this time. Chocolaty and somewhat salty aftertaste. Comments: same high score yet again, I’m afraid. All these deviant peaters were excellent.
SGP:553 - 87 points.

Perhaps another Kavalan and we’re done.

Kavalan 2008/2012 ‘Solist’ (56.3%, OB, Taiwan, bourbon cask, cask #B080616034, 203 bottles)

Kavalan 2008/2012 ‘Solist’ (56.3%, OB, Taiwan, bourbon cask, cask #B080616034, 203 bottles) Four stars and a half
An older bottling. Colour: gold. Nose: it’s a fresher one, rather going towards fresh spices for a start, cardamom, ginger… It’s only after fifteen seconds that rounder fruity notes appear, rather with apricots and preserved plums. Even in Taiwan, 4 years isn’t much. With water: a tad oaky, which is normal. So a little sawdust. Mouth (neat): they’re masters at making very young whiskies that are assertive, balanced, jammy, and perfectly drinkable already. Sure they use active wood, but in this case that translates into lovely jammy/spicy notes that are void of any roughness. Mango chutney and preserved greengages, with a touch of pine-y honey. With water: perfect. A fruit salad and all their jams and jellies. Bananas, papayas, apricots, plums… Finish: rather long, and technically utterly perfect. Comments: let’s be fair and forget about ages and casks and processes and stuff, this is rather marvellous at just 4.
SGP:651 - 88 points.

Oh and perhaps another Indian?

Amrut ‘Amaze’ (50%, OB for Single Malt Amateurs Club India, 120 bottles, 2018)

Amrut ‘Amaze’ (50%, OB for Single Malt Amateurs Club India, 120 bottles, 2018) Four stars and a half
Indeed, this is an official bottling of Amrut for an Indian whisky club, which sounds only natural. And yet, it is a first! Colour: amber. Nose: I know it’s a tad, say frightening when tasters would use words such as ‘intriguing’ or ‘interesting’, but this is both, in a totally positive way mind you. Indeed I’m finding touches of roses and preserved litchis at first, with hints of precious wood sawdust (sawn rosewood?) then rather blood oranges and various roasted honey-coated nuts, plus marshmallows and indeed various honeys. I’d add that you just cannot not find some hints of high-end sweet curries, but that may simply be your brain playing tricks on you. With water: spicier. Caraway liqueur, perhaps, pink peppercorns, Szechuan... A box of fresh cinnamon rolls. Mouth (neat): it’s as if not only oak has been in use, although you couldn’t quite tell much more. A feeling of cedar, or even rosewood again. Or thuja (thujone)? Eucalyptus wood? Other than that, we have various jams, syrups and chutneys, cherries, mangos, then rather spices such as cinnamon and sweet ginger. Touches of Madeira. With water: the wood spices come even more to the front, but they remain all fresh and kind of fruity. This would work on foie gras. Finish: rather long and pretty fruitier, but the background remains sweet/spicy. Comments: just excellent, and certainly pretty ‘Indian’ as far as flavours are concerned. Malt that’s really showcasing ‘a sense of the place’, how great is that? With a nod to my old friend Krishna.
SGP:651 - 89 points.

(Thank you Cato, Hermanth, Lucero and other friends)






Whiskyfun's Home