Oct 20, 2014

The Maltman Glenrothes 25yo...

The Maltman Glenrothes 25yo (46.0%): It's a gorgeous fall Sunday here in Cambridge. It's sunny, chilly and breezy. The wind brings smells of all kinds of fallen leaves... An absolute perfect day to treat myself with a wee sample of one of my favorite Speyside distilleries... Glenrothes Distillery is owned by Edrington Group but the single malt brand is operated by London based wine and spirit merchants Berry Bros & Rudd. The distillery's huge annual capacity of 5.6 million liters serves mainly to the blends like Cutty Sark, The Famouse Grouse, Blue Hanger but the distillery bottles different vintage releases and special reserve series' every year as well. What I have today on my desk is a 25 year old single cask sample from a first fill sherry butt bottled by The Maltman. The Maltman is an independent bottling company from Glasgow owned and ran by Donald Hart and his son Andrew Hart. I liked more or less every single cask they picked to bottle in recent years and am very excited to sample three of their upcoming releases I received the samples for including this beauty. Color: Orange blossom honey, medium amber. Nose: First whiff is sulphury. Cheese brine, unstruck matches and fresh goat cheese... Let's leave it air for a couple of minutes. Here we go, all cleared up: Maltesers, milk chocolate and old school diner style vanilla shake. And those beautiful sweet hazelnut aromas I expect to get from Glenrothes all the time. Hazelnut praline spread and Hazelnut sorbet. Brown sugar, walnut liquor and halvah cake. A second layer underneath with ripe Fuji apples and aged calvados. Palate: The palate shows its age very well. Warming, silky smooth almost wooly and slightly musky... Quince paste, lemon zest jam, a lot of cinnamon and ground cloves. With just a couple drops of water I get dried strawberries and fresh spearmint leaves. Finish: Long and warming... Leaves with a never ending tingling sensation covering the back of the mouth. Overall: It's a classy dram without a doubt. Very mature, bold but not overwhelming. Glenrothes spirit ages very well even in active first fill casks and somehow keeps its vibrancy. I wonder how much a bottle will cost when released but definitely worth to check. It can be a great companion for coming winter months if I can afford. Thanks to Brad Jarvis for the official sample and Teresa Hartmann for additional tasting notes...

Oct 19, 2014

Wild Turkey Forgiven...

Wild Turkey Forgiven Batch #1 (45.5%): Everybody loves a good story behind a dram and Forgiven has a great one for sure. This particular story starts at the day when the distillery crew accidentally vatted a very rare, high proof rye with perfectly aged bourbon. They realized immediately what they did, let the management know what happened and started to pack their things feeling certain that they will be shown the door. But when Eddie Russell showed up and tasted the blend he thought that they had something special there. He decided to bottle the blend as a special expression right away and needless to say the staff was "forgiven". I don't care too much if the story is real or not. All I know it is a very very good one.. The vat contains 22% four year old rye whiskey and 78% six year old bourbon. As a matter of fact the product has been so successful the distillery decided to release a second batch this year. What I have in my sample bottle is the 1st release from last year though. Color: Polished copper pot, clear clover honey Nose: Salted caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg. A very approachable and inviting nose. It gets better and better after allowing the spirit air for a couple of minutes. Very dense German rye bread, zante currants and high quality maple syrup. Adding a few drops of water amplifies the rye character: Ground cloves and garam masala. Palate: Spicier than the nose suggested: coarse ground black pepper, fresh ginger and cayenne pepper. Dominantly rye notes. Charcoal and pumpkin spice mix. Adding water thins the texture a lot but made it incredibly smoother and dangerously easy to drink. The mouthfeel is now more like a satin cloth rather than a thick velvet... Finish: Long fade with peppery notes and cinnamon syrup. Overall: It is a great product. I have to admit that I didn't taste anything that I didn't like from Wild Turkey for a long long time. I think American distilleries should do more experiments like this. I am glad that High West started this trend. I know that the industry doesn't feel safe about releasing products that they cannot label as solid as a bourbon, rye whiskey or anything else which has been familiar to the consumers for a long period of time but I think it's the best time to take these kind of risks nowadays especially when people are buying whiskey like there's no tomorrow. It would be great to have a market like Scottish blended malts or blended whiskies. Kudos to Wild Turkey for being one of the first non-craft distilleries to take the risk.

Oct 18, 2014

Fall in Boston comes with The Whisky Extravaganza...

Get ready for an awesome evening brought by the wonderful team of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America... All tire-bouchon readers are invited to enjoy a connoisseur's evening featuring rare and exceptional and unique whiskies from around the world. No excuses folks... Cancel your plans for next Thursday, put your fancies on and come to The Taj Boston to join me and bunch of other whisky geeks for an unforgettable feast of grain, water and yeast. Our hosts promise an experience including unlimited tastings (hell yeah...), epicurean food (no exaggerations there, believe me), a selection of premium imported cigars (..!) for later enjoyment, souvenir snifter glass and much more. Get the opportunity to sample all the participating whiskies in a very welcoming, friendly and chic environment and to meet all the representatives and ambassadors from each participating distillery, blending house and independent bottler.

Did I draw your attention? Nice... Now the important part, listen carefully: tire-bouchon offers a 10% discount on tickets to The Whisky Extravaganza. Go to the link www.thewhiskyextravaganza.com or call the number 800.990.1991 and when you purchase your ticket use the promotional code "RETAILEXT14".

Be there on Thursday at 7:00 pm at the registration. The event will end 9:30 pm. Kilts are not required but they sure do make a statement. Please find me there to chat and/or to share a dram..! I guarantee it will be an evening to remember...