Dec 3, 2016

Paul John Edited...

Paul John Edited (46.0%): And the second sample from Paul John's line up... It is called Edited. It is a single malt whisky made by blending unpeated and peated whiskies both distilled from six row barley like in Classic Select Cask. Latter one is dried up to 20 - 25 ppm with peat imported from Scotland.

Color: Medium amber, orange blossom honey with persistent legs.

Nose: Peat is there but not very punchy... It is sweet and calm. I am getting roasted sunflower seeds on the nose again. Such a distinct distillery signature... Gauze pads and rubber bands. Roasted hazelnuts and roasted almonds. Incredibly sweet and vegetal on the nose. Celery sticks, dandelion leaves and brown sugar. With water it gets tad more grainy: Dried malt fresh out of the kiln, sandalwood and walnut shells.

Palate: Gosh... This is beautiful... Very delicate peat, dried malt and burnt oatmeal cookies. Sweet and doughy... Almost like a smoky rum if such a thing existed and sweet sausages on barbecue. A little too easy to drink with a dusty and chalky texture. A few drops of water add green apples, underripe pineapple slices, Asian pear some cocoa powder...

Finish: Not so long but very gentle with fireplace ash, barbecued banana peppers and rock salt.

Overall: Now this is a great whisky... Sweet, malty, dusty and just the right amount of peat. Easy to drink, balanced and very well crafted. It is a whisky you would wish to have a bottle of at home all around the year. I am seriously hooked... Cannot wait to taste the other two samples of the line-up. Thanks to Madhu Kanna and Ajay Bhoja for the official sample.

Price: $65


Dec 1, 2016

Blend Project #23 Loch Lomond Reserve...

Loch Lomond Reserve (40.0%): Second sample from Loch Lomond Distillery... It is a blend of single malt and grain whiskies all distilled under the same roof. If you would like to hear more about the distillery please take a look at my review of Loch Lomond Single Grain right below... Like I mentioned there this whisky can actually be called a "single blend". And on top of all with a price tag under $20 it definitely claimed a spot in my ongoing blend project as well. Entry number #23 it is...

Color: Amber with a greenish hue.

Nose: Need to allow it to breathe first to avoid the young and harsh grain whisky burn... That's better: white bread crumbs, old glossy paper magazines and furniture polish. Medical cabinet, old tin lunch box and stainless steel flask... Lemon rind and wet malt. After adding a few drops of water I get freshly squeezed lemon juice and more young alcohol burn... Funny, it noses like Cutty Sark now. Meh... Maybe it didn't need water.

Palate: Sweet and malty... Soft ginger candies, yellow gummi bears and rich tea biscuits. English bitter ale, orange zest jam and London dry gin... And herbs: dried lavender, sage and purple basil. Slowly but surely subtle peat notes surface, just enough to make you smile... Diesel fuel, rubber bands and latex gloves. The palate is way more interesting than the nose now I have to say. Even water works better here. It's doughy and a little nutty now: Green almonds, cookie dough and creamier in texture. I think I would take that splash of water in spite of the Cutty Sark effect on the nose.

Finish: Medium, mostly with young alcohol burn on both sides of the tongue.

Overall: I say it is a pretty solid blend for $17... I had many worse ones with a considerably higher price tag. Order a double with your daily pint at your favorite watering hole and you will be just fine... This whisky is meant to be a cheap every day blend and all I see here is a job well done... Hard to discuss anything further. Thanks to Benito Quinonez from Loch Lomond Group and Kate Laufer Gorenstein from KLG Public Relations for the sample...

Price: $17

Nov 27, 2016

Loch Lomond Single Grain...

Loch Lomond Single Grain (46.0%): Now this is an interesting one... Although the whisky is distilled from a 100% malted barley mash it is still bottled as single grain since a column still is used during the process instead of a pot still. As you might already know Loch Lomond distillery owns two pot stills, six Lomond stills and one column still under the same roof as well as an additional distillery on site producing just grain whisky and grain alcohol which makes them a quite unique distillery. If there was a term such as "single blend" they could be the only distillery allowed to put it on their label of their blended whisky. Also some of you also might remember Loch Lomond as Captain Haddock's favorite whisky brand in The Adventures of Tintin... When Herge started to use the "made-up" brand Loch Lomond in his comic books in 1966 to replace Johnnie Walker's appearance he was using till then to avoid a possible law suit he was simply inspired by the popular holiday destination of that time, Loch Lomond. He wasn't even aware that a distillery with the same name was about to start distilling whisky the very same year... Fun fact...

Color: Yellow gold, chardonnay.

Nose: Fresh cut fruit bowls..! Cantaloupe and melon slices and golden delicious apples. Gets a tad more tropical with time: Dole pineapple rings, pineapple juice, strawberries and passion fruit. Juniper berries, creme fraiche and sour worms. Very sweet, amusing and entertaining nose... Adding water kinda ruins the party a little: Mostly strawberries and bananas now.

Palate: Young and spirity but also warming at the back of your tongue. Vanilla, plain custard and toasted grain. Coconut, Catalan flan and pear compote. Fruit genever, lightly toasted oak and hint of nutmeg. Raw and thick, woolen Scandinavian sweaters and oatmeal cookies. Overripe bananas. Water works better on the palate... Gets incredibly easy to drink with less of young alcohol burn.

Finish: Acetone, hazelnut skins and burnt vanilla... Medium-short...

Overall: I am surprised... Pleasantly surprised. I don't know, maybe I was in the right mood, maybe it was the right time of the day but I enjoyed this whisky quite a lot... Great pub whisky: Easy drinking, would work perfect as an afternoon whisky and would also mix good in cocktails. To be honest I was expecting a far young, harsh, bland and a somehow "boring" whisky. It is mostly a 4 - 5 years old grain whisky after all... But it surprised me... Anyway, it won't be a substitute for your favorite single malt Scotch but easily can claim its own little space in your cabinet. And... A bottle costs $28... Hard to argue with that. Again thanks to Benito Quinonez from Loch Lomond Group and Kate Laufer Gorenstein from KLG Public Relations sending me this sample bottle...

Price: $28