Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kilchoman Islay Single Malt Summer 2010 Release


This is the second offering from the first distillery built on Islay in 124 years. It started in 2005, and what a glorious beginning. The distillery is situated on a barley field and uses all of its own barley, that is malted there and then distilled. This is the Summer 2010 release and it is limited. Kilchoman is planning on releasing a steady stream of whiskies so that we can taste the glorious, ongoing evolution of this amazing, new whisky. On the nose it shows delicate smoke, cigar box, lychee candy, greengage plum and a subtle back note of coriander. The palate entry is oily and smooth showing barley malt, light saltiness and peat that build with a savoriness expanding to a finish that is lingering, briny, fresh, awake and pleasant. This is a stunning young whisky that shows incredible labryrinthine refinement. Try it neat or give it to (Share it with?) the 'Smoky' Whisky fan in your life.

Chieftains Port Ellen 25 Year

How about an incredible Islay? This Single Malt is very Limited and quite exceptional. Here is my examination...
This Chieftains offering of Port Ellen was distilled in 1982 –just before the distillery closed— and then aged for 25 long years. The Whisky from this distillery is a rare treasure of illustrious reputation and this selection lives up to that celebrated status exceptionally. Nosing reveals wood fire, dried pears, sea weed, toasted coconut, chocolate, fennel, salty butter and smoked apricots. The flavors flow in an oily palate which show again the aromas and escalate to include fried salt-pork and smoky heather. The finish is vigorous and lingering with tantalizing flavors of smoke and grilled fruit that oscillate back and forth. For the lover of the big bold taste of Islay malt, this whisky is exquisite, superlative, elegant and sublime; try this neat with plenty of time to savor it.

Old Pulteney 21

Ready for another Scotch....Well here is a tasty review:


Old Pulteney opened it doors in 1823 before there were even roads into the town and all their supplys came in and out by boat. This 21 year old Whisky is aged in Bourbon and Sherry casks (both made from American Oak) to dimensionalise this splendid single malt. This is a tremendous example of un-chillfiltered and exquisitely matured Highland style single malt. Leading with aromas of straw, apricot, fresh cut wood, honey, alfalfa, pear and peach, the structure and balance beautifully reveal the influence from the barrels. The mouth feel is full and creamy, starting sweet where the nose left off and building with intricate flavors like vanilla, grains of paradise, dried lemon peal and soft coriander which culminate to an astounding effect. The finish is quiet, quick, fresh and natural, leaving you ready for another dram. Try this neat in an appropriate glass and enjoy.

Deerstalker 18

Another Highland Dram... Why not!


Deerstalker has a long and storied history dating back to 1880, but it has been away from the US for a long time-- we are glad to have it back! This 18-year-old expression of Deerstalker is an intriguing and inviting Single Malt—a welcomed addition to any bar, and an excellent gift for any Scotch lover. The nose is filled with vegetal tones, eucalyptus, flowers, straw, candied nuts and clean spice. The palate is full-bodied and calefacient with balanced tropical fruit, layers of toasty oak, roasted filberts, walnut, spice, crème caramel and fennel. The finish appears gracefully and lingers showing deep wood notes, intricate spice and a clean resolve. Have this is neat, in an appropriate glass-- perhaps with a friend.

Dalmore Gran Reserva

Tasty Highlad Single Malt, don't mind if i do....


The Dalmore is back. The marvelous Whisky that won so many over has returned with a reformulated 12 Year old (60% Sherry Oak, 40% American), a name change/ replacement for the immensely popular Cigar Reserve--Gran Reserva and an exciting group of new bottling to boot. The one I will focus on is the Gran Reserva. There have been hundreds of questions about the Cigar Reserve and with a new name and a 'richer' palate weight, it is back! Roasted pecans, delicate tea tones, soft tree fruits, cocoa and heather fill the nose from inside of a copious malt-honey structure. The elegant palate is oily with flavors of holiday spice cake, toffee, citrus zest, roasted nuts, prunes, treacle, marmalade and coffee that are recherché. The finish is soft and creamy showing brazil nuts and citrus in a bath of oily malt nuances. Try this neat, with patience-- and maybe with a Cigar if you dare.

Bols Genever

Bols in the US is mostly known for their line of liqueurs. Which is unfortunate, because what they are historically recognized for is Genever... Here is a review i wrote for Hi-Time Wine Cellars:


The Bols Genever recipe was born out of Lucas Bols' experience as the largest producer of Genever in the world since the 16th Century. The aromas are floral, full and round-- filled with malty blossoms, plums and citrus pith laced with delicate, inviting sweetness while supple spices play in the background. The taste is soft and provocative while maintaining a malt driven juniper purity on the palate. The mouth-feel is simultaneously oily and vibrant-- so interesting. The finish clings with almond oil, juniper and friendly saporous spice. This wonderful nectar came back to the US and opening doors to a new cocktail experience, while also helping us recapture the classics of the past as they were meant to be made. Bols is sweet, pungent and aromatic with a rich, sleek gustatorial appeal--it sips, shoots and mixes with the best-- try it anyway you can imagine.

A Good Start

1 1/2 oz Bols Genever (45 ml)
1 oz Grapefruit Juice (30ml)
2 dashes Simple
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled Cocktail Glass 
2 dashes Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters
Add a long Grapefruit Twist