The Easy Sipper, Brig O'Perth & Pintail Tweet Tasting

The Easy Sipper, Brig O’Perth & Pintail

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to participate to a Tweet Tasting, thanks to Brexit and the pain it is to ship whisky, even samples, from the UK to Europe, especially France. More paperwork, duties, taxes… many distilleries don’t include European tasters any more in their Tweet Tastings. Sometimes just French ones, because it’s even more of a pain here, thanks to Customs and our taxes agency. No thank you to all those responsible! But Keith Bonnington, The Whisky Cellar founder, that we now know very well here, wanted me to be able to participate anyway, so he had the same tasting pack (and tee-shirt) sent to me as the other tasters. Thanks again Keith! No Whisky Cellar release this time, but five drams, four whiskies and one rum, from his other brands: The Easy Sipper, Brig O’ Perth and Pintail.

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Nantou Batch 2 TBWC

Nantou Batch 2 TBWC

Back in September, my friend Dave Worthington, That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s brand ambassador, gave me a mountain of samples, and I’m still working my way through them. Hard work, I know. This time I’m trying something from a Taiwanese distillery I have never tried anything before: Nantou. Nantou Distillery was founded in 2008, becoming Taiwan’s second whisky distillery. In 2015, Puli Pan, the distillery manager since 2012, releases a first whisky called Omar. This core range will become known as Yushan Signature and will be joined by Yushan Blended Malt. Since then, they also released whisky under the Nantou name. For now, only two independent bottlers released whisky from Nantou apart from the official bottlings, and we try Nantou batch 2 from That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC).

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Benriach The Twelve & The Smoky Twelve

Benriach Twelve & Smoky Twelve

Benriach Distillery, located in the heart of Speyside region of Scotland, was founded by John Duff in 1898. However, the distillery’s story is not without its twists and turns, as it was one of many that fell victim to the Pattison crash of 1899 and was forced to close just two years after opening. It remained dormant for the next 65 years, until it was finally restarted in 1965. Despite being part of Seagram’s Classic Malts range, it struggled to gain recognition among whisky drinkers. In 2003, it was bought by the Benriach Distilling Co. and under the leadership of Billy Walker, it has become a strong performer on the global market. The distillery was acquired by Brown-Forman in 2016, and it is now back in full production, with the floor maltings reopening in 2013. Benriach renewed its core range in 2020 with two ten-year-old and two twelve-year-old, each of those in peated and unpeated versions. We’ll be reviewing the latter two, the Benriach Twelve & Smoky Twelve.

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Kavalan 2008 Conquête for LMDW

Kavalan 2008 Conquête LMDW

Kavalan is a Taiwanese whisky distillery that was founded in 2005 by Mr. Ting, Chairman of the King Car Group, which is known for its production of food and beverages, as well as its involvement in transportation and renewable energy. Located in Yilan County, Taiwan, Kavalan takes its name from the indigenous Kavalan people who have lived in the area for centuries. The distillery is known for using locally grown barley and water from the Snow Mountain and Central Mountain Range to produce its whiskies, which are aged in a variety of barrels in a hot and humid climate. It is worth noting that Kavalan whiskies are often bottled at a young age due to the rapid maturation process that is induced by Taiwan’s climate. But in this review, we will be tasting a 12-year-old Kavalan 2008 Conquête whisky that was selected by LMDW.

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Single Malt Irish Whiskey #2 That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Two Irish Single Malt #2 TBWC

We were talking recently about secrets and transparency in the whisky industry… And it’s not just in Scotland, it happens elsewhere as well. For instance, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, that we’ve reviewed quite a lot of whiskies from in these pages, has bottled several batches of secret Irish whiskey. In today’s case, some Irish single malt. And with the age of these whiskies, we might have a good guess about which distillery is behind the Irish Single Malt Whisky #2 distillery at TBWC…

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Speyside 1988 Le Gus't

Two Speyside 1988 Le Gus’t

Last year in December, we briefly mentioned Le Gus’t when we reviewed a Tomatin they bottled for La Confrérie du Whisky. Le Gus’t / Cave Conseil is a French off-licence and independent bottler located in the south-east of France, in Manosque first, but they also have a few shops around Marseille. They became an independent bottler in 2013 when their team went to Scotland to taste and select casks, and they started with a 1999, 12-year-old Bowmore very well received. We’re trying today two undisclosed Speyside 1988 from Le Gus’t, Selection XVIII and XXVI, as each of their bottling is numbered. Rumour has it that they both may be secret Mac***…

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GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 9

GlenDronach Grandeur 24yo Batch 9

Grandeur is a term that refers to the quality of being grand or impressive in size, appearance, or manner. It often implies a sense of splendour or magnificence, and is often used to describe things that are grand in scale or opulence. Grandeur can be applied to a wide range of subjects, from architecture and art to natural landscapes and events. It means something is impressive and awe-inspiring. High-end whisky is often associated with grandeur due to its luxurious and refined nature. Premium and aged whiskies, in particular, are often described as having a sense of grandeur due to their complex and rich flavours, as well as the impressive appearance of their bottles and packaging. GlenDronach distillery used Grandeur as the name of one of their expressions from the Special & Limited Releases range, so let’s see with this GlenDronach Grandeur batch 9 if the qualificative is deserved.

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2007 Kilchoman Club 6th Edition

Kilchoman Club 6th Edition 2007

It’s our first time reviewing a Kilchoman on this humble blog. To be honest, up until now whisky coming from Kilchoman was not to my taste, I always found some off-notes (for my palate), something that didn’t suit me. But I’m always trying to stay open-minded, and so when I found a sample of Kilchoman in my whisky and spirits advent calendar, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give another go at this distillery. So let’s introduce them, and review a Kilchoman 2007, bottled for as the Kilchoman Club 6th Edition.

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Aberfeldy Distillery

Aberfeldy 15 and 16-year-old

Aberfeldy Distillery is a Scotch whisky distillery located in the town of Aberfeldy, in the heart of Scotland’s whisky country, Perthshire. The distillery was founded in 1896 by John Dewar & Sons, and it is now owned by Bacardi Limited. Their core range goes from a 12-year-old to a 21-year-old, and Aberfeldy is also the core of Dewar’s White Label blend. Let’s review the 16-year-old from the Aberfeldy core range and put it against a 15-year-old Exceptional Cask.

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Balcones Distillery

Balcones 2017 Archives

Balcones is a Texas based whisky distillery, doing all sorts of whiskies: Bourbon, Single Malt, Rye, Corn… They don’t take themselves seriously and don’t bother with regularity about ABV, taste or whatever. They do what they want, how they want, whenever they want. Let’s hope that now that Diageo bought Balcones, they won’t castrate the spirit (pun intended) and let them continue going free. In the mean time, Archives, the indy bottler branch of the famous whisky database and online shop Whiskybase, bought a few casks from 2017 and bottled them in their Venomous Snakes series, so let’s try one of those three Balcones 2017 from Archives.

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