Compass Box The Story of the Spaniard Review

Last month Compass Box introduced a new permanent release in their core range called The Story of the Spaniard . In the official press release there’s a nice story about John Glaser and his experiences while traveling in south Spain and this is the result – a blended malt of Highland malt whiskies aged in Spanish Sherry and Spanish red wine casks and some ‘standard’ (by Compass Box standards at least) casks to balance it all. Here’s the recipe as officially published by Compass Box:


The Story of the Spaniard recipe

As you can see, in this initial batch (bottled juni...

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Compass Box Flaming Heart 2018 (6th Edition) Review

Along with the new release of The Story of the Spaniard, Compass Box also released their 6th edition of Flaming heart, the follow up to the very successful and tasty 5th edition released back in 2015.


Compass Box Flaming Heart 6th edition recipe

Most of the major ingredients that were part of the great 5th edition, are in the 6th edition as well, albeit with different proportions and ages (want to know the ages? contact Compass Box and they will tell you!) and there’s a subtle sherry cask influence that was not presents in 2015 edition but in the 2012 edition....

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Cladach Blended Malt (Diageo Special Releases 2018) Review

After reviewing two blended malts from Compass Box let’s have a third blended malt review and one that has some high pedigree after being included in a high profile series. Yes, we’re talking about Cladach which is the blended malt that was included in Diageo Special Releases 2018 (2nd year in a row with a blended malt for Special Releases).

Cladach means shoreline / coastline and the whisky uses only single malts made at Diageo coastal distilleries: Inchgower, Clynelish, Talisker, Oban, Caol Ila and Lagavulin.

It was bottled at cask strength of 100 proof (57.1%) and was matured in an assortment...

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Highland Park Wings of the Eagle 16 Year Old (Travel Retail) Review

We’re seeing an improvement trend within the new Highland Park Travel Retail series with Loyality of the Wolf 14 Year Old  on the cusp of being real good whisky. Will the next whisky in the series, Highland Park Wings of the Eagle 16 Year Old continue this thread?

Highland Park Wings of the Eagle is 16 Year Old, fully matured in sherry casks (both American and European oak) and bottled at a very respectable ABV of 44.5%. Sounds promising but does it deliver?

Highland Park Wings of the Eagle 16 Year Old (44.5%, €84.90 )

imageNose : Hello sweetie! This...

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Highland Park 18 Year Old ‘Viking Pride’ (Travel Edition) Review

In addition to the new beast-y trio of Travel Retail offerings from Highland Park distillery, there’s also a travel edition of a classic HP icon and staple – Highland Park 18 Year Old. This travel edition is using the same recipe for the standard 18 Year Old but is bottled at marrying strength and isn’t reduced further to 43%.

I reviewed the classic HP 18 Year Old back in 2015 then when I visited the distillery and it will be interesting to see how this new travel edition fares against it and against the 16 Year Old Wings of the...

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Ben Nevis 21 Year Old ‘The Future of Whisky – Past Future’ Review

During the 10th Whisky Show in London (organized by the Whisky Exchange) that took place a few weeks ago, a set of three show bottles were released under a special celebratory theme for the 10th anniversary: ‘The Future of Whisky’.

The three limited editions are from Ben Nevis, Ledaig and Invergordon and those bottles have 3D lenticular label, giving a feel of depth and movement when you move the bottle around, very cool!

Today we’re checking out the Ben Nevis 21 Year Old which served as the ‘Past Future’ figure in the ‘Future of Whisky’ trio and according to the official...

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Ledaig 12 Year Old ‘The Future of Whisky – Present Future’ Review

Yesterday which is the past, we checked out the ‘Past Future’ bottling from ‘The Future of Whisky’ trio which was bottled for the 10th Whisky Show last month in London.

Today (which is the present, yes?), we’re checking the ‘Present Future’ bottling. This Ledaig 12 Year Old (also from Sherry Butt), represent “what we presently think the future will be”.

So they think that big, flavourful smoky whiskies will be prominent and popular in the near future.

But there’s a slight problem with this assumption as 10-12 Year Old sherried Ledaig bottles are  already very popular within large (and fast growing)...

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Invergordon 44 Year Old ‘The Future of Whisky – The Future’ Review

The last part in ‘The Future of Whisky’ trio that was bottled for The Whisky Show last month is a Single Grain Scotch Whisky from Invergordon distillery that stands for ‘The Fututre’ in the series.

The Past was Ben Nevis 21 and the present is Ledaig 12 and ‘The Future’ means it’s what the folks in The Whisky Exchange think the future of whisky will be: old grain. But I think they are wrong.

I know that old grain whisky is far cheaper than single Maltwhisky when the age counter is rising above 20 (hey, even young grain whisky...

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Highland Park Loyality of the Wolf 14 Year Old (Travel Retail) Review

After checking out the entry level Spirit of the Bear and getting disappointed from it due to the thinness and watery feeling, we’re moving up to the next level with Loyality of the Wolf which thankfully:

  1. Carries an age statement – Distilleries shouldn’t be afraid to expose ages for whiskies with young casks in the mix – Be transparent! Even if there’s a 6 Year Old whisky inside!
  2. Was bottled at a higher ABV of 42.3% which hopefully will provide more substance.

Highland Park Loyality of the Wolf 14 Year Old (42.3%, 1L,  64.90 )

imageNose : More sherry...

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Arran ‘The Bothy’ Quarter Cask (Batch #3)

Almost 3 years I reviewed the first batch of Arran ‘The Bothy’ which is Arran’s offering of a young yet fast matured cask strength whisky to the masses. It’s matured 1st Fill American Oak Ex-Bourbon Barrels before a legnthy finish in small (Quarter size) casks.

This third batch was bottled a year ago in september 2017 at 53.2%. 13,800 bottles were circulated from this batch and some are still available although the majority of the Arran ‘The Bothy’ bottles in the markets are from the 4th batch.

Arran ‘The Bothy’ Quarter Cask Batch #3 (53.2%, £46 / €44.95 )

imageNose :...

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GlenAllachie 18 Year Old

Continuing with the GlenAllachie line up review and today we’re up to the 18 Year Old. This time only two kind of casks were involved in creating this whisky: PX sherry casks and American Oak casks (which I assume is a code name for ex-Bourbon casks).

Since I liked the 12 Year Old a lot and the 10 Year Old isn’t too shabby, lets see if the trend continue with this older sibling.

GlenAllachie 18 Year Old (46%, £72.50 / €89.90 )

imageNose : Very closed and restrained at first. After a few minutes we get the limestone again, citrus,...

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GlenAllachie 25 Year Old

After checking out and reviewing the three more affordable expressions from the new GlenAllachie line up, it’s time to conclude our line up coverage with the new 25 Year Old.

Like with the 18 Year Old whisky we have a combo of PX sherry casks and american oak. 6000 bottles were produced and bottled at a bit higher ABV of 48% (comparing to the 46% used for the other three in the line up).

GlenAllachie 25 Year Old (48%, £230 / €234.95 )

imageNose : Fruity, again the limestone note, hints of tropical and guava, caramel, butterscotch. A very fresh...

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GlenAllachie 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch #1

Let’s get it going with the GlenAllachie core line up reviews. Last week we checked out the GlenAllachie 12 Year Old (which I liked a lot) and now it’s time to check it’s close sibling, the 10 Year Old Cask Strength.

The 10 Year Old also uses a mix of Oloroso, PX and Virgin Oak casks. 12,000 bottles were produced, bottled at a 100 proof of 57.1%.

GlenAllachie 10 Year Old Cask Strength Batch #1 (57.1%, £56.95 / 49.90 )

imageNose : Really not far away from the 12 year old. Fruity with pears and apricot, stronger bubble gum, limestone...

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GlenAllachie 12 Year Old 46%

Until 2017 GlenAllachie distillery was a modern ‘boring distillery’ in the Chivas Brothers portfolio where 99.5% of the produced whisky going into blends (mainly Chivas Regal) and just a few casks here and there were bottled as single casks by independent bottlers.

But then came Billy Walker who sold BenRiach Distillers (owning BenRiach, Glendronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries) to Brown-Forman a year before, and the distillery immediately came into the limelight and everybody was curious to see what will Billy do with the distillery and the extensive stock maturing in the warehouses.

A few months ago it started with a wave...

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BenRiach 10 Years Old Triple Distilled Review

A few months ago BenRiach distillery released a new expression exclusively in global travel retail market segment, a 10 Year Old Tripled distilled. Triple distilled whisky isn’t too common in the Scottish whisky industry with only Auchentoshan and Springbank (with their Hazelburn brand) producing such whisky on a regular basis. But other distilleries do play with triple distillations and it’s even not the first tripled distilled coming from BenRiach.

The third distillation usually produces a further refined new make, which usually leads to a lighter flavor and body profile for the aged whisky.

This BenRiach 10 Year Old Triple Distilled was...

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Bowmore 1996 21 Year Old Dramfool

In the last few years I have troubles enjoying Bowmore whiskies. It’s not the distillery fault that my taste and preferences has changed over the years, but I do keep tasting them, hoping to encounter one that I’ll like and as a service to my readers image

The latest Bowmore I tried was the  15th release from the independent bottler Dramfool. It was distilled in september 1996, matured  in a refill bourbon hogshead and bottled in maj 2018, producing 299 bottles at 52.9%.

Bowmore 1996 21 Year Old Dramfool (52.9%,  £125 )

imageNose : Starts very floral, gentle peat, lactic, wisps of smoke....

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Highland Park 14 Year Old Cask #3376 (Distillery Exclusive)

Highland Park offers a distillery exclusive but only if you shell out enough £££ for one of the premium tours and then you have to spend another £120 for the actual exclusive bottle.

In the last few months the distillery exclusive bottling was a 14 Year Old offering from a Refill Butt #3376 that yielded 582 bottles at 57.8%.

Highland Park 14 Year Old Cask #3376 (Distillery Exclusive) (57.8%)


Picture source:

Nose : Dried dates and figs, cinnamon and some nutmeg, demerara sugar with a touch of brown sugar. After a few minutes there are some dried berries with gooseberries as...

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Glenmorangie Signet

Another day, another review of whisky I liked in the past up to the point I had a bottle but never took notes and this time it’s Glenmorangie Signet.

Glenmorangie Signet is the only NAS whisky in the core line up (the annual Private Edition notwithstanding) and it features some percentage of heavily roasted chocolate malt in the recipe.

The chocolate malt is used a lot for beers but rarely for whisky as the yield is far below the commonly used barley strains in the industry. But it does add some different flavors to the whisky.

Glenmorangie Signet (46%, £135...

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Syndicate 58/6 12 Year Old

A review of a blended whisky? Sure, why not? Especially when it’s a blended whisky with a pedigree:

All the way back in 1958, a rare blend of Scotch malt and grain whiskies was found in 10 casks in a warehouse owned by William Muir Bond 9 Limited. Having been distilled in 1954 and made to a recipe that dates back to the 1800s which was enjoyed by royalty, it’s safe to say it was quite a good find indeed.

In 1966, when the whisky was 12 years old, a quantity was bottled for the Directors of William Muir Bond...

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Ledaig 13 Year Old Amontillado Finish

Distell, the owners of Tobermory, Bunnhabhain and Deanston distilleries (after purchasing Burn Stewart Distillers back in 2013), has announced last week a formal collection of limited editions for 2018 with six whiskies from those distilleries.

In 2017 we had a similar collection from Distell although it was not officially announced as a global and unified series. The 2017 collection included two Bunnahabhain whiskies (Moine Brandy Finish and PX Finish), Deanston in Bordeaux wine casks and a few more releases from Tovermory and one of those ‘extra’ releases was the Ledaig 13 Year Old Amontillado Finish which became a big hit...

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