The Liberator Storehouse Special Malt X Moscatel Finish

The Liberator Storehouse Special Malt x Moscatel (2022)

We’re back to Ireland today, with a Liberator from Wayward Irish Spirits. Wayward, as whiskey bonders, offer several ranges of whiskeys: The Liberator, and the Lakeview Single Estate Whiskey. The first one, Liberator, is sourced whiskey that they mature, finish, and bottle on their estate, whilst the Lakeview is distilled for Wayward but with grain from their own single estate, knowing exactly where do the grain comes from, the target being becoming a grain to glass distillery. They hope to start distilling on site in 2024. But for now, we’re trying a sourced whiskey they matured, finished and bottled: The Liberator Storehouse Special Malt X Moscatel. Yes, that’s a very long name.

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The Whisky Cellar Series 004 Tweet Tasting

The Whisky Cellar Series 004 Tweet Tasting

The Whisky Cellar is back with its fourth series of Private Cellars Selection bottlings, but not only. Keith Bonnington, The Whisky Cellar‘s founder and ex-Edrington employee, bought, a few months ago, from his former employer, the Brig O’Perth blend brand. One of his other projects, Scalasaig, also is not only an island whiskies blend, but also now a bottler, with, I imagine, single malts coming from all the distilleries making up the Scalasaig blend. So for this fourth Whisky Cellar Tweet Tasting, we’ll try the Brig O’Perth, a Tobermory bottled under the Scalasaig brand, and three single malts and one single grain part of the Whisky Cellar Private Cellars Selection Series 4. We enjoyed a lot Keith’s selection during the first three Tweet Tastings, so I think we can have high hopes for this Whisky Cellar Fourth Tweet Tasting.

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Mackmyra Whisky Circus, some seasonals and a Moment

Mackmyra Whisky Circus and a few others

We’ve already tried a couple of season releases from Mackmyra, with Gront Te and Jaktlycka. But these were not the first of their seasonal and bi-annual expressions, as Mackmyra started these seasonal releases quite some time ago. I had for some time now miniatures of some of them in my samples boxes, so I guess we should take a look at these, right? And when I say look, I’ll look with my eyes, nose and palate. Yeah, so much ways to take a look at whisky, it’s crazy. Then, why won’t we review a very special one, bottled for the Whisky Circus? So, låt oss börja.

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Deanston Virgin Oak, and Two 12-year-old

Deanston Virgin Oak, and Two 12-year-old

Quite a number of my friends have a sweet spot for Distell-owned distilleries, including the Southern-Highland based Deanston Distillery. The Deanston 12 years old is regarded as one of their favourites for affordable single malts. It was even one of the nominated at the OSWA, the Online Scotch Whisky Awards, in the Best Entry-Level Single Malt category. The OSWA are online awards delivered by a group of whisky YouTubers, and were created by Roy ‘AqvaVitae’ and Ralfy from Ralfydotcom, two famous whisky-dedicated YouTube channels. While it didn’t win the category, Deanston 12 years old still finished in an honourable third place. If you want to know which whisky won, I invite you to check the OSWA’s website. But right now, let’s check this Deanston 12, and compare it to an older version and the Virgin Oak NAS.

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Nikka Yoichi 1988 - last dram

Yoichi 1988

This bottle of Yoichi 1988 is the first ever expensive whisky I ever bought. Well, I say bought, but in fact it was a gift from my girlfriend at the time, and wife now. Back in 2008, the World Whisky Awards had designated a single cask of Yoichi 1987 the best whisky in the world. So the next year, when Yoichi released its 1988 vintage, I was curious to buy one, as it was probably as good as the previous which was the best in the world, right? At the time, I had a starting interest in whisky, I had maybe half a dozen bottles, which was quite a lot compared to my friends who only drank things like Jack Daniels. But when the bottle was available at La Maison Du Whisky, it was sold for 220€ which was quite a lot for me at the time. Back in 2010, I was buying 50€ bottles, I was really not ready to put that price in a whisky. But some time later, during a nice weekend in Andorra, I discovered a fantastic off-licence in Andorra-la-Vella, that had it in stock for just 150€. Quite a price cut compared to LMDW!

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Dublin Liberties Distillery

Dublin Liberties Distillery Whiskey

Whilst the distillery is installed in a very old building, initially a mill constructed in the 1700s, in the heart of Dublin, it’s a very recent distillery that started production in 2019. The distillery is named after the Liberties district of Dublin, an historic district of this city. New distilleries have several choices when they start and until their whisk(e)y comes of age. They can produce unaged spirits like gin or vodka to have immediate income while the future whisky matures. They can also just wait the required three years, but that needs to have enough cash from the start as it means close to no income for the first few years, except maybe for the income from a visitor centre. And finally, they can source whisky from other distilleries, potentially blend it, mature it for an additional period, or finish it in a selection of casks, and sell it under their name with a markup. That’s the third choice Dublin Liberties Distillery did, and we’re now going to try four of their expressions, all sourced from undisclosed (as far as I know) Irish distilleries.

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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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Balblair tasting with friends

A Balblair tasting with friends

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?

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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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