Bowmore Tempest V and Tempest VI Showdown.

Bowmore Tempest V

55.9% abv.

84/100

VS.

Bowmore Tempest VI

54.9% abv.

88/100

 

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This blog has been running for a little over a year now. It’s a log of tasting notes and also to assemble them in a way that makes sense. It’s also a good practice for my writing, not that I fancy myself anything more than middling in that field.

Looking back at the moderate amount I have posted so far I would have never guessed the most viewed entry would be the one for Bowmore Tempest VI. It seems to attract a lot of queries and if I had a dollar for every view I could keep the blog afloat in premium land for a couple of years (not tooting my horn, this blog attracts very little views in general which I’m fine with). That was one of my first reviews and it still causes me to cringe at times when I read it, yet I meant every word in my love for that whisky. It’s still consistently a joy to have a dram of it and I am happy to have squirreled away a couple of bottles (not as many as Nozinan I am certain).

I had the opportunity last year to trade a bottle of batch VI for V with Connosr member Nozinan through the kindest of whisky mules (fellow Connosr member Robert99). It was smartly suggested we trade a sample of each whisky along with it in order to taste the batch variances without opening our bottles. I am much overdue on my review of this but not like anyone was holding their breath for my opinion on this hot topic.

IMG_0451Bowmore Tempest V:

Nose: Bags of tropical fruits, sea spray, waxed meyer lemons, there’s a bit of malty side, the smoke is in the distance and it feels a bit closed at first. After some time the vanilla and oak become more prominent, along with a mineral and earthy peat, the sweetness is like flower nectar.

Palate: Earthy, sweet, creamy and yet there’s a good amount of  lingering bitterness to keep it in check. Lemons and a kind of dirty spices (camphor, black cardamom, grains of paradise, long peppercorn) yet there is also an underlying soapy, floral, lavender tang that is slight but persistent even with water.

The strength is magnificent, it’s easy to drink undiluted and powerfully conveys the flavours, the finish is long and all on sweet oak and gripping bitterness.

IMG_0450Bowmore Tempest VI:

Nose: Starts off on ripe pineapple, mango, sweet and musky melon, distant smoke and vinyl upholstery. It morphs into vanilla and damp oak and flint, the peaty side is more like a campfire the morning after.

Palate: Earthy, malted barley syrup, bergamot, a bit of ashyness and coconut. Lemon pith, malty, orange flower water or petit-grain. Paraffin and with time a little antiseptic and oysters show up.

The finish is long and lingering, with water you get more oak, the bitter ashy side is reduced but still plenty of mineral and sea spray and lemon.

Impressions: While Stylistically both batches are very close, there are some slight differences, the nose on batch V really pushes the fruits forward but sadly I’m really sensitive to that soapy, bitter violet note on the palate. Batch VI feels well rounded if a bit oak forward. It’s must try for those who haven’t been moved much by the standard OB line-up of Bowmore.

 

 

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The rant: Ah we can’t get away from me complaining but I mean c’mon Suntory! The small batch experiments disappeared and all we are left with is this new NAS vault series shite. The first one landed on these shores recently at a whopping 199$ (Canadian), I know that never ending price argument but this release has no pretension to having any special or rare parcels of whisky, not that this would necessarily change much. When one could buy a 10 yr old cask strength, first fill bourbon cask whisky at 75$ less than a year prior, it’s hard not to feel like they are taking the piss. We thought Devil’s cask III at 100$+ was pushing it…we didn’t know what was coming.

Franck

 

 

 

Hakushu 12

Suntory Hakushu 12

43% ABV

84/100

 

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Yes the craze is still on folks!

That aside there is a lot to love with Japanese whisky, while they follow a lot of the Scottish tradition in their production methods, it’s the little differences that the magic is created. The market is dominated by two big players, Nikka and Suntory, who follow a similar structure, both produce grain and malt whiskies and release them as single and blended malts under different labels.

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Love this old school photo of the distillery

Unlike Scotland where there is a network of exchange and brokerage of single malts between companies or distilleries for blending purposes, the Japanese do everything in house. They use various yeast strains, fermentation regimens and the still houses contain a variety of still shapes and sizes to create different profiles of whisky. In their warehouses they go beyond the bourbon and sherry barrels everyone uses, sources state that some producers also use, plum wine casks, mizunara oak and other wood types that might be verboten by the SWA. This process creates an unprecedented palate of flavor to work with when assembling their products.

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A clear photo of the different pot still shapes and sizes

Suntory’s Hakushu is the less hyped, less in demand younger brother to Yamazaki, it just doesn’t seem to get the love and recognition of that whisky. The 12 year old is still relatively affordable in most markets. I think the boom causes some backlash towards Japanese whiskies because with these elevated prices/come elevated expectations that probably cannot be met.

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Nose:  Pears and ripe peaches, fresh cut flowers, it’s almost like good mead (I know some will say there’s no such thing), pine needles, grassy and lightly vegetal, but fresh like walking in the forest in spring. The peat on the nose is present, light and very well integrated it’s got this sweetness like marshmallows.

Palate: Porridge, malty, round and nectar, the bitterness kicks and then it’s all grassy. The peat is present but it’s like smoking conifers and juniper. The influence of the bourbon casks is present, oak and some vanilla, good honey and citronella.

Finish is medium length and drying, the sweetness and citrus is almost like old school barbershop aftershave and that discreet peat is lurking there. Sadly the texture is a bit thin and affects the length of the finish a bit.

Beyond the big flavors that hit first, there are lots of secondary notes and delicate touches. Some might find these too “crafted” or precise that is a complaint heard of Japanese whisky, it requires pause to appreciate these nuances and the work to achieve this result. I like this kind of profile, it’s perhaps not completely unique but worth seeking out.

Franck 

Johnnie Walker Green Label

 

 

Johnnie Walker Green Label 

43% Alc./Vol.

84/100

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Johnnie Walker is ubiquitous to the point of being infamous, It’s probably the one Scotch whisky everyone knows by name. The walking man logo no matter how gussied up for the times is another instantly recognizable icon for the uninitiated. It is also the whisky brand most likely to get shit on by hardcore whisky lovers and don’t get me wrong sometimes it deserves it.

They are owned by the brand whisky connoisseurs love to hate. To make an analogy if whisky was Star Wars, Diageo could be an exact stand in for the empire. Yet we cannot ignore that Johnny Walker is the gateway for many people. Black label is one of the main reasons I fell back in love with Scotch whisky again after a long love affair with it’s Canadian brethren, I love that shit to pieces.

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Diageo’s Dr. Nick Morgan?

Of all the many whiskers under the JW moniker, green label was/is the anomaly in the range. It was first released at the tail end of the nineties, a blended malt (formerly called vatted malt) a blend of single malts it contains no grain whisky to pad it out. The price was reasonable 50$ to 70$, it had an age statement of 15 years. This should have given it sex appeal but I think it caused the opposite.

 

The very things that made it an asset also hampered it. The reasonable price should have made it a perfect stepping stone for red and black label drinkers but didn’t. It also didn’t have enough of a bling factor and panache to draw consumers of the gold and blue label. Vatted malts/pure malts did not have the hip factor they do now and many single malt drinkers didn’t see why you’d waste your time on this blend, this was also a time where a 15-18 yr single malt weren’t quite the bank busters they are now.

Despite all this it still green label gained a cult status of sorts, so when Diageo announced in 2012 that it would be pulling the green out of most of its markets while doing a little re-branding of the JW line-up it obviously upset quite a few people.

They claimed poor sales and other malarkey, the reality is probably an amalgam of different reasons. They we’re probably taxing their stocks of Caol Ila and Talisker pretty thin at one point, those two provide the smoky/peaty backbone for most JW blends. They could also sell the individual component malts for much more money to the growing “luxury” segment of the market. Lastly like many spirit producers they we’re looking towards the promise land that was supposed to be the growing Asian market…Shangri-La as you would. This market failed to boom and as a result in early 2015 we saw a limited amount of green label showing up on shelves, with a confirmed return at the beginning of 2016.

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Enough blabbing lets dive in.

Nose: the smoke is pretty prominent at first nosing , fresh cut apples and pears, barley sugar, nectar and blossoms. A slight feeling of cider, orange peels and a big malty backbone.

Palate: Rich and sweet, then the smoke hits, peppery at first but also that feeling of beach bonfire, not dirty peat but a slight iodine and ozone like feeling. Then orange oils and tobacco accents. There is fruits, the peated components are kept in check by the other flavors honey,  a roundess from the oak, then marmalade and a slight touch of milk chocolate.

The finish is long, sustaining the rich malty side, this pleasant sweetness and peppery smoke.

This is a different beast than the original but I prefer this new incarnation, it’s such s rich dram, the smoke is present but somehow is so well integrated into the other elements.

Franck 

Bowmore Devil’s Cask III – Sweet & Earthy Sherry In Hades.

Critique en Français au bas de la page

Bowmore Devil’s Cask III

56.7% ABV  

88/100

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I’ll spare everyone a re-hash of the “legend” behind this malt. Here are the facts that we know, it’s peated Bowmore spirit, matured in first fill Oloroso sherry casks in the famed No. 1 vaults (how much can they actually fit in there?) and bottled at cask strength. The first two editions were 10 year old expressions, this final one loses the age but gains a double maturation in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.

We received a very small allocation of this in Quebec & the few cases sold out within hours.

I’m surprised more people haven’t talked about the interesting contrast that Bowmore’s small batch series offered, they we’re running both the Tempest and Devil’s cask series in parallel. This provided a rare opportunity to taste the differences in cask maturation under relatively similar conditions, 10 yr old cask strength whisky in first fill barrels.

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I forgot to take a picture when there was still juice in the bottle

Nose: Earthy dark raisins, burned orange zest, parrafin/lamp oil, plum pudding, coffee (citric light roasts), cured meat, shoe polish, wet tobacco, cocoa.

Palate: strong, coffee & camphor, oily, sweet oak and bacon wrapped dates. The citrus is on Bergamots and blood oranges, puer-eh tea, pomegranate molasses,dark chocolate with sea salt and a slight meatiness (umami). It’s big whisky, despite the cask strength it’s beautiful drunk neat, water does help highlight the fruitiness and brings more spices out, it also increases the ashy smoke. Forget about balance, this isn’t what this whisky is about, it’s bombastic and in your face.

long sustained finish, the richness roiling around long after the last drop has vanished. This is not an easy dram, it launches a relentless assault on your taste buds, oily,salty, deep sherry richness, earthy and then the mysterious fruitiness (blood oranges?pineapple? musky fruits? other times dark dried fruits). The peat and smoke are there but somehow transformed by the cask finish, integrated into the other flavors. While I enjoyed the boldness of the freshly opened bottle, oxidation worked wonders on the last 1/3 of the bottle, it was rounder, less sweet and with more sustain, to borrow a musical term.

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I know the price, the price, the price..it’s another NASty whisky. Yes, yes all of that is true, at the prices asked for in the European market forget it, In Canada and US it hovers around 100-120$ still pricey but one heck of a ride a good one for a group/club purchase. I agree that young peated Islays in bourbon cask are usually the winning combo but you see here what the “dark side” can offer if handled properly.

Sadly these two series seem over for Bowmore, There is a travel retail “devil’s cask inspired” release that is a 10 yr old oloroso and red wine finished at 40% ABV , it gives the impression they are riding the reputation of a well received product to push something else.

Franck


 

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Bowmore Devil’s Cask III

56.7% Alc/Vol 

88/100

Je vais vous épargner la légende derrière ce whisky, cette histoire à été répétée de maintes fois. Voici les faits tel qu’on les connait, il s’agit du distillat moyennement tourbé de Bowmore, une maturation dans d’ex-fûts de xérès Oloroso. Le tout vieilli dans la “fameuse” voûte numéro 1 (je me demande sérieusement combien de barils y repose réellement) et embouteillé à la puissance brute. Les deux premiers tirages étaient des whiskys de 10 ans, la troisième et dernière édition à perdu sa mention d’âge mais à gagnée un séjour en barrique de xérès Pedro Ximénez.

Le peu de caisses que la SAQ à reçu ce sont envolées en quelques heures à peine. Je suis surpris qu’il n’y a pas eu plus de discussions sur cette série “small batch” de Bowmore (Tempest et Devil’s cask). Elle offrait la possibilité de goûter l’impact que les fûts de bourbon et xérès apportent aux même distillat sous des conditions similaires.

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Nez: un brin terreux, raisins sec Thompson, zeste d’orange brûlé, paraffine et plum pudding. Une impression de café légèrement torréfié, du jambon nitrité, cire à chaussures, tabac encore humide et cacao.

Bouche: Puissant! Café et camphre, chêne sucré, huileux, des dates enrobées de bacon grillées. Le côté agrumes tire plus sur la bergamote et l’orange sanguine. Thé puer-eh, pomme grenade, mélasse, chocolat noir à la fleur de sel. Il y un côté musclé, umami même et malgré le taux d’alcool il se déguste bien neutre.

L’ajout d’eau fait ressortir les fruits mais augmente le côté astringent de la fumée. N’essayez pas de trouver l’équilibre c’est futile, profitez plutôt du voyage gustatif que ce whisky vous offre.

La saveur persiste longtemps après que la dernière goutte soit terminée. Ce n’est pas une dégustation facile, l’assaut sur vos papilles est constant, tantôt sont côté huileux, son brin salin et les fruits mystérieux (oranges sanguines ananas? Fruits musqué? Tantôt des fruits séchés.) la tourbe et la fumée sont présente mais sont transformée par l’influence des fûts de xérès. J’ai apprécié la claque que donne ce whisky lorsque la bouteille est fraîchement ouverte mais j’ai préféré le dernier tiers qui était bien oxydé, plus rond, moins sucré et une meilleur longueur en bouche.

Oui je sais, je sais le prix! Et encore un autre whisky dont l’âge est masqué. Tout ça est vrai, je sais que le prix sur le marché Européen est ridicule. Entre 100$-120$ Canadien c’est encore cher mais plus raisonnable surtout lors d’un achat de groupe pour votre club. Beaucoup diront que les jeunes whisky tourbé sont à leur meilleur en fût de bourbon, mais il est intéressant de voir ce que peut offrir le côté obscur s’il est bien assemblé.

Tristement, cette série est terminée pour Bowmore, il y a une version hors-taxes qui se dit inspirée du “devil’s cask” un whisky de 10 ans fini en barrique se vin rouge et oloroso à 40%alc. Ça donne plus l’impression de quelqu’un qui tente de tordre le dernières gouttes de jus qui reste dans un linge…

 

Franck

Laphroaig 15 – Happy Anniversary to me

 

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Laphroaig 15 “2ooth Anniversary”

43% ABV

87/100

 

Laphroaig commemorated the 200th anniversary of the distillery in 2015 with a string of anniversary releases across the breadth of their range. I haven’t tasted them all but I think they really knocked it out of the park with this strategy, particularly compared to some of their Islay brethren. These releases(cairdeas, 15, 16 & 32 yr old expressions) were spread out across the price spectrum with at least 2 being fairly priced and widely produced. I already reviewed the 2015 Cairdeas here which  was a cracking whisky.

This meant it was easier fans (or friends) everywhere to get in on the action not just collectors, each expressions offered had something different to offer. Whether this was all part of their strategy or not? I think this was a good move in a time where it’s easy for whisky producers (especially Islay) to release OK juice and wrap it up in slice of marketing bacon or drop some super old juice that only that only some can afford,fewer will open and that reviewers will do all the legwork in promoting (see whipping into a frenzy) with free samples.

 

 

 

Ok you in the back I heard your grumbling…so far 2016 has not been as kind to friends of Laphroaig with a big gap being created in the line-up (loss of 15 and 18 yrs old). The “Select” still remains and that gap’s been filled by an NAS (Lore) with the patented Ardbeg Uigedal /Johnnie Walker Blue technique of rumor and innuendo “I heard / someone told me there’s old sherry casks in there”, ” It contains some of our most precious stock”.  I’m sure it’s good whisky but it does feel like a let down after a shinning year.

I opened this bottle on my birthday because, well it’s my goddamn birthday!

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Nose: Smoke…shocker right? not dirty smoke though, more like when you dial it in just right on a home smoker. It’s followed by lemon pith and kaffir leaves. There is a also delicate floral green side, orange blossoms, fresh oregano or savoury, jasmine tea. Then it’s opening oysters and on a table scrubbed with Dettol, grilled shellfish too. Water brings out more of the vanilla, grapefruit, calming the medicinal side somewhat.

Palate: Sour and zingy when it first hits, ashy, sharp bitter smokiness,peppery and mineral. Then there is definitely some sweet notes, slightly musky fruit (melon, apricots), candied fennel, lime and green peat, camphor and black cardamom. Water rounds out the sharpness but keeps the coastal, peppery , smoky and sweet vibe going.

The finish doesn’t last forever  but it does warm your chest and keep with the smoke and sweet & salty fennel and lime.The ABV works just fine to carry the flavors which are very rich.

 

 

It’s a great whisky,surprisingly sharp and spirity still, with little obvious oak influence. Upon opening I was slightly disappointed, I was expecting too much right out of the gate, you have to let it creep up on you. That said with time and oxygen the whisky becomes more uni-dimensional especially losing the musky fruit notes rather quickly so gas it or share it if that’s your preferred sweet spot.

 

Franck


 

Laphroaig 15 “200e Anniversaire”

43% Alc/Vol

87/100

En 2015 Laphroaig célébrait son 200e anniversaire avec une série de whisky couvrant l’éventail de gamme de la distillerie. Malgré que je n’ai pas eu la chance de tous les évaluer, je crois que c’était une stratégie du tonnerre. Du moins si l’on compare avec certains de leurs voisins qui on aussi atteint cet âge vénérable récemment (Lagavulin, Ardbeg).

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Les whiskys concernés (Cairdeas, 15, 16 et 32ans) étaient répartie selon différents échelons de prix et ont chacun quelques chose de différent à offrir. Deux d’entre eux étaient relativement abordable et produits en assez grand nombre. J’ai effectué la critique du Cairdeas 2015 ici, un whisky qui démontrait une maturité au-delà de ces 11ans.

Je ne sais pas si ceci figurait dans leurs plans mais le résultat était avantageux  pour les amateurs de Laphroaig (ou ami comme sont appelés le fanclub de la distillerie). Surtout dans cette période ou les édition luxe sont trop fréquente et les départements de marketing nous servent des whisky médiocres au prix et histoires fabuleuses.

Pardon oui vous à l’arrière vous avez une question?  Ah oui je sais on est en 2016..Oh et puis Laphroaig semble vouloir nous briser le cœur. L’insipide “Select” est partout, le retour du 15 n’était qu’éphémère et nous avons perdu le 18ans. Ils tente de nous faire oublier grâce à un autre whisky sans mention d’âge le “Lore” qui utilise la technique breveté d’Ardbeg quand ils veulent faire saliver les “fanboys”. Rareté + rumeur = whisky de luxe tu entends des phrases du genre “j’ai entendu dire/une source m’a confirmé qu’il y a des vieux fut de xérès dans cette édition” ou “puisé de nos stocks les plus rares”…200$ et zéro certitude sur le contenu plus tard. Je suis avec vous l’avenir n’est pas très prometteur
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Nez: fumée…non sans blague? Mais pas une fumée crasseuse. Plus genre la fumée blue parfaite d’un fumoir.
Écorce de citron et feuilles de lime kaffir. Il y aussi un côté plus délicat, floral et vert, fleur d’oranger, sarriette et thé au jasmin. Ensuite c’est un party d’huîtres sur une table en bois frotter à l’antiseptique, crustacé sur le bbq. L’eau fait ressortir du pamplemousse. Un peu de vanille et calme le côté médicament.

Bouche: un peu surette et tranchant au début. Une belle amertume, la fumée, le poivre, un côté minéral et ensuite les cendres. Il y a des notes sucrés, une légère touche de fruits musqué (melon, abricots), fenouil confit, lime, tourbe fraîche, camphre et cardamome noire. L’eau coupe un peu l’amertume, laissant le côté salin, poivré et fumé planer.

La finale est un peu courte, un retour sur le sucré, salé, le fenouil et le pamplemousse. Le taux d’alcool est bien équilibré et parvient à soutenir le bouquet  assez riche.

J’ai été agréablement surpris par ce whisky, il est équilibré, présente des saveurs bien définis et le chêne ce montre discret. Je dois avouer qu’à l’ouverture j’étais un peu déçu, je m’attendais à une bête mais c’est plutôt un ninja. Par contre je trouve qu’avec le temps et l’oxygène il devient plus unidimensionnel, je suggère le gaz inerte ou de le partager rapidement.

Franck

Port Charlotte Islay Barley Review

Port Charlotte Islay Barley

50% ABV

Score:78/100

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You know you have friends who are as hooked as you when you get a frantic text message like this “my girlfriend is at the airport, quick! Name me a few whiskys she could bring back from the duty-free?”

It’s nice to know you’re not the only one with the sickness, especially since this whole thing can seem kind of silly as a hobby.

I sampled the Scottish barley analog to this release a few times and enjoyed it, the taste profile was reminiscent of Octomore (not as wild, reduce the oily, meaty and cola/innertube thang) it has that unmistakable DNA . I was stoked to try the terroir driven Islay version.

Upon reflection this Islay Barley version of PC is more like that younger brother that’s left to his own devices and who disappears all day to go fishing or play in the swamp.

The color is very pale definitely all bourbon and probably young

Nose: Moldy lemon, creosote, barnyard, sour milk and kippers. The mineral side hits in following waves with oyster shells, sea spray, damp hay and corn husks a bit of vanilla.

Palate: It start off sweet and salty, a slight gumboot/innertube feeling, then anise/licorice.  Oaky and a light varnish, smoky bbq and lemon.

 

The finish is long and lingering, it’s definitely a little hot but the extra ABV helps pull out max mouth coating flavor. It’s got a bitter punch in the ending that keeps that “sucking on a fisherman’s friends in a herring smokehouse” feeling going.

the oak is present although it’s not dominant, I found it quite wild in comparison to the PC Scottish barley version. Those susceptible to the Bruichladdich baby vomit/butyric thing should probably abstain. Water tames it somewhat narrowing the palate and reducing some of the bitterness, making the lemon and vanilla pop but also makes the smoke more ashy.

My first taste reminded me strongly of Laphroaig but that disappeared after it aired out some. While it’s not a bad  whisky and while it holds it’s own favorably against other young Islanders I don’t think this is on of the strongest Port Charlotte release,  it lacks roundness and depth.

 

Franck 


Port Charlotte Islay Barley

50% Alc/Vol

Évaluation:78/100

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Vous savez que vous êtes bien entouré quand un de vos potes vous envoi un texto rempli de panique “ma blonde est à l’aéroport, vite! Nomme moi des whiskys qu’elle pourrait rapporter de la boutique hors-taxe!”

C’est réconfortant de savoir que tu n’es pas le seul qui est affligé par cette maladie qu’on appelle whisky, surtout quand on considère que c’est un hobby qui peut être ridicule et qui se prends souvent trop au sérieux.

J’ai déjà eu le plaisirs de déguster la version analogue « Scottish barley » du Port Charlotte à quelques reprises et  j’ai trouvé sa palette de goût me rappelait un peu celle de sa sœur Octomore (pas aussi intense et moins de note de basse-cours), on y retrouve tout de même cet ADN immanquable de Bruichladdich.  J’étais donc excité par l’opportunité d’essayer la version « terroir » de ce whisky.

Après réflexion je dirais que cette version c’est un peu comme le petit frère sauvage qui disparaît toute la journée à la pêche et revient, sale, puant le feux de camps et la vase.

Sa robe est d’un jaune très pale, je crois qu’il s’agit que de fût de bourbon dans cet assemblage et c’est surement du whisky très jeune.

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Nez: Citron moisi, créosote, basse-cour, lait caillé et hareng fumé. Il y a un coté minéral, tel des coquilles d’huîtres traînant entre les cailloux sur la plage, de la paille humide, les feuilles séché autour d’un épi de maïs et une touche de vanille.

Bouche: Un combat entre le sucré et sale en entrée, ensuite un léger côté botte de caoutchouc ensuite c’est avalanche d’anis et réglisse noir. Une légère touche de chêne fraîchement vernis, fumée de BBQ et citron.

La finale est longue et persistante, on ressent l’intensité des 50% mais ce dernier aide vraiment en offrant une texture qui tapisse le palais permettant vraiment de délivrer le plein effet des saveurs.  Il y une amertume assez présente qui donne la touche de pastille « fisherman’s friend »

Le chêne est présent mais pas trop dominant, je trouve qu’il est plus crasseux que la version “Scottish barley” et on ressent la jeunesse de l’assemblage. Ceux qui sont susceptible aux accents butyrique/vomit de bébé dans le Bruichladdich devrait s’abstenir. L’ajout d’eau réduit un peu l’amertume et fait ressortir le citron et la vanille, par contre intensifie le coté cendrée de la fumée.

Dès ma première dégustation j’ai immédiatement eu un sentiment de goûter du Laphroaig, mais ce côté s’est vite dissipé après quelques jours.Ce n’est pas un mauvais whisky mais il manque de rondeur et de précision, je place peut-être la barre trop haute pour Bruichladdich puisque c’est une de mes distillerie préférée.

Franck 

Jura Brooklyn Review

spikelee brooklyn

Isle of Jura Brooklyn

42% ABV

Score: 81/100

 

The concept of this whisky is a bit of a head scratcher to me, no matter what the marketing blurb says I don’t really see the parallel between Brooklyn and Jura. Although I suppose this is a good way to get a certain age bracket or crowd (ahem* Hipsters) interested in scotch.

It’s an NAS bottling probably because there is some younger juice in there but again if you’re proud of this bottling and it taste great the public won’t care, unless you want to charge an arm and a leg for really under-evaluated components. This is a good case for a change in regulation. If all the components of a whisky we’re displayed you could let them know the exact proportion of older and younger casks, allowing the consumer to understand what it is you are trying to achieve in your end product. It’s a combination of bourbon, amoroso/oloroso sherry, and pinot noir wine casks, no info on the proportion (at the time of tasting and notes I did not know of the casks used)

county of kings

Nose:  Leather, peat smoke, malty almost Ovaltine like, shoe polish, honeyed almonds, orange oil, dusty oak, dark fruits.

Palate: Light earthy peat, medicinal & camphor but just a touch, tobacco, blood oranges, dark chocolate and a slight drying astringency. With time the peat calms down and brown sugar and fruitcake appear.

The finish is medium in length, focusing more on smoke, raisins, and dark fruit filling. almost like a mashup of dark chocolate and wine flavoured cigar. The texture is thin but the alcohol is vaporous, almost  brandy or cognac like. I would have liked to see this at 50% or even 46%.

This whisky is a bit of a workout, it jumps a bit between styles without really being defined by one, I think this might be due to some cask play or wood technology as some call it (confirmed). That’s not really so much a flaw here as making it difficult to peg, but like some band who just won’t be pigeonholed. In a totally corny move I would say it makes me think of Britt Daniels from Spoon.

britt-daniel-04.jpg

I think this release has a lot of potential even though it lands short, it could help Jura regain some of it’s shine.

 Franck