Dingle Single Malt and Batch No. 5 review

Dingle Single Malt and Batch No. 5 review

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.)

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Bimber Underground Tweet Tasting

Bimber Underground Tweet Tasting

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.

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Irwazh Tradition & Double Fût review

Irwazh Tradition & Double Fût review

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.

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Glen Grant distillery

Glen Grant 1948 Gordon & Macphail

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.

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The Glenturret Tweet Tasting

The Glenturret Tweet Tasting

Time for another Tweet Tasting! Today, I had the chance to be able to join yet another Tweet Tasting. This time the distillery taking the place of honour was The Glenturret. As usual, we received a pack of samples, the packaging containing this time 4 samples and a beautiful tumbler glass. But let’s talk a bit about Glenturret’s history before reviewing the drams we tasted this evening.

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Aberlour Distillery

Aberlour Distillery and some of their whiskies

Aberlour is a distillery that is well appreciated in France. You can find several core range releases in every hyper- and supermarket, and they’re the first single malt distillery in terms of sales in France, with back in 2018 a turnover of 40 million euros, while the number 2 in sales, Cardhu, was far behind at 25.9 million euros and the third, Glenfiddich, at 24.5 million euros. But before tasting a few Aberlour whiskies, let’s talk a (lengthy) bit about the distillery itself.

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Kininvie 23-year-old review

Kininvie 23-year-old review

Kininvie is a quite young Speyside distillery owned by William Grant & Sons. Created in 1990, the first expression of a Kininvie single malt had to wait until 2006 to be released, under the name Hazelwood, named that would later be reused for a blend. We reviewed one of those a few months ago with the House of Hazelwood 18yo. Let’s introduce Kininvie a bit more before reviewing their 23yo single malt, this time wearing the distillery’s name.

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House of Hazelwood 18yo Review

House of Hazelwood 18yo Review

In 2011, William Grant & Sons released a first expression under the Hazelwood brand called Janet Sheet Roberts 110th Birthday Edition in 2011 (that’s a mouthful!), after William Grant’s granddaughter name. Mrs Roberts died in 2012 as the oldest woman in Scotland, aged 110 as the name of the first release suggested. Four years later in 2015, William Grant & Sons announced a new trio of whiskies under the House of Hazelwood brand, three blends aged 18, 21 and 25 years old, to be released first in the travel market early 2016 before general availability.

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Balblair 1979 Gordon & Macphail review

Balblair 1979 Gordon & Macphail review

Wow, the blog is almost one year old, and later in this post we’ll have our 100th review. Time flies. We started this blog with Julien ‘Ainulindalë’ in early August 2019 and had started discussing about it shortly after our trip together in Scotland to the Spirit of Speyside Festival earlier that year, as we went with two other people to celebrate my 40th birthday.

What was still a recent passion for me became almost the only thing I think about (not sure if it’s before or after my wife and children. Though the children can be really good at making me thinking immediately about needing a dram as soon as possible.), and I guess it was a revelation for Julien, who was mostly into beer, both as a brewer and a drinker (note from Julien: yes it was!). After thinking about a good name (‘veni vidi whisky’, its variant ‘veni bibi whisky’ and ‘whisky or not to be’ were other name candidates, the former being dropped as a silent twitter account but that name already existed unfortunately), I bought the domain name, the hosting and started creating the blog and the design probably in July 2019. Read more
Glen Spey 12yo Flora & Fauna

Glen Spey 12yo Flora & Fauna

Glen Spey is an important producer of whisky used in the world-famous J&B blended Scotch whisky. J&B is the 3rd biggest (not best, biggest) blend in the world, with a mind-blowing 6 million cases sold worldwide each year, though in decline from 64 million bottles in 2008. Glen Spey, located in Speyside in Rothes, is also one of the most anonymous distilleries in Scotland, as there are almost no single malt offerings. In 1878, James Stuart & Co founded the distillery and it became under English ownership in 1887 as it was bought by W&A Gilbey. Then in 1962, W&A Gilbey combined with United Wine Traders to create International Distillers & Vintners (IDV). Finally, a few changes of ownership later, Grand Metropolitan bought IDV and in 1997, Guinness and Grand Metropolitan merged to form Diageo. With a 1.4 million lpa capacity, Glen Spey is the third-smallest distillery from Diageo, only followed by Royal Lochnagar and Oban.

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