Naguelann is a brand of whisky from Brittany created in 2014 by Lenaïck Lemaitre. He started maturing whiskies distilled by neighbour Breton distilleries, allowing him to release his first expressions in 2015, with Cuvée Grand’Pa, and in 2016, with Ed Unan. If he started maturing new make made by others, he’s now also distilling himself. Lemaitre also owns a whisky shop and bar in Saint-Malo called ArKoad, where you can buy his creations as well as whiskies he bottled as an independent bottler, and taste many other whiskies from everywhere around the world. Let’s review his first release, Naguelann Cuvée Grand’Pa Eilvet.Read more
The legend says Sir Ernest Shackleton, preparing his Antarctic expedition to the South Pole in 1907, ordered 25 cases of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky to heighten the expedition team spirit. By the way, I love how whisky is always rare and old, especially blends. Do you think they mean rare as a wink to a good steak cooking, just a bit but not too much? Thus the whiskies that make the blend spent just a bit of time in casks but definitely not too much? Unfortunately, Shackleton and his team didn’t reach the South Pole, but at the time they still went by far to the farthest south latitude ever attained, 88° 23′ S, missing the South Pole by just 97.5 nautical miles (180.6 km or 112.2 mi.). I said the legend, but it seems it’s a fact, as a century after the expedition, in 2007, three cases of the original Mackinlay’s blend were discovered, frozen into the ice beneath Shackleton’s base camp at Cape Royds. As Mackinlay’s website says, the whisky was excavated and flown to New Zealand where it is exposed by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust. Let’s talk a wee bit about blends market share, then it’ll be time for Mackinlay’s Shackleton review.Read more
weeks months ago, The Whisky Cellar, a quite new independent bottler, announced its second outturn, with brand new single casks for whisky amateurs to enjoy. As for the first one, back in September 2020, Keith Bonnington and Steve Rush organized a Tweet Tasting to allow a handful of lucky people to taste a selection of drams taken from this second outturn. I absolutely love the first Whisky Cellar Tweet Tasting with some stunning drams, so boy was I excited for this one…
Fun fact: we’ve not written anything about Scotch whisky on this humble blog this year. We didn’t write much at all to be fair. And if you were expecting a Scotch whisky review here, well you’re going to have to wait a little more, as we go back to Ireland today. And even almost as far from Scotland as we could without leaving the UK and Ireland, as we’re going to the Dingle Peninsula. Put down that map and that ruler, it was a figure of speech, I know it’s not the furthest point on the map by quite a few miles. Dingle Distillery released a few weeks ago their first permanent expression, a single malt Irish whiskey, after releasing their previous single malts (and single pot still) as batches. But today, they’re becoming big girls and boys, and we’re going to see how well they did. Oh, and we have a guest that will bring his Scottishness with him, so that’s almost as if we reviewed a Scotch whisky today, right? No, that doesn’t count you say? Anyway, let’s have a chat with Graham Coull, Dingle’s master distiller, then we’ll review Dingle’s Single Malt. And I won’t go into a presentation of Dingle Distillery, my good friend Brian @MaltMusings did one that I invite you to go read. Cue the intro! (Ahem, I mean scroll down, I know we’re not on TV.)Read more
Bimber distillery released a new series to celebrate the London Underground, a great engineering project of the 19th Century, and together with Steve Rush they offered to try them during a new Tweet Tasting. Bimber was one of my first ever Tweet Tastings almost two years ago (already!) and since then I’ve been really following what they do and bought a few bottles they released. So you can imagine I was quite excited at the prospect of trying these four whiskies, especially since thanks to Brexit and wouldn’t try my luck grabbing one by fear of having hide and seek with customs and annoying shipping companies.Read more
Suntory’s first big announcement of 2021, back in January, was of two limited-edition variants on their two biggest brands: Yamazaki Limited Edition 2021 and Hibiki Blossom Harmony 2021. They were both released on May 25 and sold out almost immediately everywhere. There are allegedly 30,000 of each of these kicking around. They both had RRPs of ¥8800 (after tax, around €67 or $80), but now grace auction sites for 10x that.
Our focus here is the Hibiki Blossom Harmony.
Coldorak’s Note: today we welcome a guest author, Mac aka Kanpai Planet, who does Youtube reviews of Japanese whiskies and other Japanese drinks on his Youtube channel. Yōkoso!Read more
We’re back for another Walsh Whiskey Tweet Tasting, yay! Last year’s one was a really good one, with drams going from good to reaaally good. So what did they have for us in store for this year? Let’s find out what they brought for this Walsh Whiskey Tweet Tasting 2021. And if you want to know more about Walsh Whiskey’s history, go read my article from last year, then come back here to have a few drams with me.Read more
Ha! I don’t think you know this brand yet, right? Well, it’s not surprising, since first, it’s French, and French whisky is unfortunately still not as well known as its Scottish parent. And also because it’s a brand Warenghem did for Biocoop, a network of French organic shops, so… good luck finding them outside France. But anyway! In December last year, a bit more than a year after my first visit there, I went back to Warenghem distillery in Lannion (known mostly for its ArmoriK whisky) to meet with David Roussier, the distillery manager, and have a long chat with him. While we were discussing, he poured a few drams for me to taste, and one of them was a whisky I was not aware of, an Irwazh Tradition. While the rest of the chat will be the subject of another blog post (and I have a lot of work to do before it’s out), I wanted to tell you, or to be precise, let David tell you the story of Irwazh. Afterwards, we’ll obviously review the first two releases of this range.Read more
A few weeks ago my father turned 70. Lockdown prevented the family to be reunited to celebrate this milestone birthday with him and forced us to postpone a proper celebration. But we’ll just do that another time when it will be safer out there for everyone. Okay, probably not anytime soon. Anyway, a 70th birthday was calling for something special to celebrate when we would be able to see each other, and thanks to the wonderful generosity of a friend, I got a large sample of something even older than my father to share with him: a 1948 Glen Grant bottled by Gordon & Macphail. Younger by age count, but two years older by “distillation/birth” year… and definitely the oldest Glen Grant reviewed here.Read more
A couple weeks ago, my friends from the #LetsTrySomeWhisky group on Twitter joined me to the third tasting I had prepared a long time ago (just before my trip to Scotland, a year and a half ago!) Yes, three tastings in 18 months, you cannot think we overdo things, except taking our sweet time. Anyway. Our first tasting was about Yoichi single malts, while the second was about trying a few French whiskies. And this time? We were going to taste 4 Balblair single malts, one independant and three official bottlings, all around 10 years old. Only difference from the first two tastings we did : this time we would not do it blind. Why? Well, it’s a bit hard to discern a 10yo Balblair from another, right? I won’t present here the distillery as I usually do, as I’ve already covered a bit about Balblair in the two 1979 Balblair reviews I published, one for the official bottling, and one for a bottling by Gordon&Macphail. So let’s get directly to the point, shall we?Read more