Miscellaneous Drams

Here are tasting-notes for a few drams tasted through the last months and that are worth remembering.

Kavalan Rum CaskKavalan – Single cask – Rum cask – cask strength – 57,8% – Cask M111104062A

Nose: Sweet demerara notes, ripe banana (skin and pulp), vanilla. Exotic fruit (dried mango). A floral touch (narcissus). A hint of new leather.

Palate: Very smooth and sweet to start with. Then getting fizzy. The rum influence is obvious. Demerara caramel, treacle, same exotic fruit notes as the nose. Dries on spices (nutmeg, ginger).

Finish: Sweet and custardy

With water

Nose: the sweetness is enhanced and the floral note too. Some vanilla toffee.

Palate: Thicker texture, satin-like. Spices are enhanced. Some white pepper and even a touch of chili. Coconut.

The high alcohol strength is balanced by the sweetness brought in by the rum cask. a pleasant dram, to be paired with an exotic fruit dessert (mango cappuccino) or a sweet & sour dish (roasted pork and pineapple). Characterful and well-balanced.

and a quick survey of other Kavalans…

Sherry cask 57,1%

Nose: Earthy, damp warehouse, orange peel

Palate: cedarwood, sweet raisins, chocolate

Finish: dry, tannic, walnut stain

with water demerara sugar, crème brûlée, raisins, texture velvety

Kavalan solist

bourbon cask 58,6%

Nose: creamy, toasted coffee beans, coconut, apple

cooked bread

Palate: citrussy, lemon curd, vanilla, peach,

Finish: drier, spicy, almond, blancmange

with water lime zest, hazelnut, praline aniseed

more fruity

in the warehouse… I tasted a PX sweet, treacle, molasses raisins dates and an amontillado drier, almond blancmange

Fino 57%

Nose: Barley sugar, caramelized hazelnuts, praline, malt loaf, hint of dried apricot

antique shop

Palate: very spicy, dry, leather, oak panels, cooked brown btread

with water more malty

Vino Barrique 57,1%

Nose: Fresh grapes, pear very fruity, palate sweet sherbety, fresh crushed almonds

Palate: Hint of licorice, aniseed, note of yeast (beer?) Satin like

with water tinned pineapple, floral

Classic 40%

Bourbon refill plus sherry and wine casks

Nose: Fruity (pineapple) vanilla cream soda, citrus note. light meaty hint, in the back floral

Palate: Silky, peaches melon; spicy, ginger toffee

with water more citrus and floral

Concert master Port finish 40%

refill for two years, port cask one year

Nose: Dark chocolate, sour note, licorice, cherry

Palate: Marasquino cherry

Finish: Chocolate, dry almondy finish

with water, mint, orange blossom

Bourbon oak 46%

Nose: Smooth creamy, citrussy, raw silk, malty leafy

Palate: Hazelnut, spicy sherbety, ginger

Finish: Dry, hint of passion fruit in the finish. Warm, spicy ginger

with water pear drop and floral.

Sherry malt 46%

Nose: Gingerbread, oaky, raisins, chocolate, prune. tannic grippy, molasses, sweet treacle, cinnamon cake

Palate: Raw silk, dry, orange peel

with water more oak cedarwood

Podium 46%

American oak, more than 4 year old

Nose: Perfumy, fresh fruity; citrussy lemon kiwifruit, pear drop, fragrant, smooth creamy, Satin-like

Palate: Fruity, yogurt, butterscotch, coconut blancmange

Finish: Dry

King car 46%

More sherry than classic

Nose: Sweet raisin, toffee

Palate: Intense, silky, more toffee, orange peel

Finish: Dry spicy oaky

Cardboardy with water

Port cask fully matured cask strength 55%

Nose: Oaky cinnamon, sweet licorice vetiver spices

Palate: with water cheesy note, jasmine, orange curd

Cardboardy, toffee nutty in the back (9/10 year old)

Peaty cask 55,6%

Nose: Peat on the nose, creosote, sweet demerara, Sweet core, malty earthy, smoke. Mint toffee, vanilla rich redcurrant


Palate: Smoke in the back with ginger. Sherbety, hint of passion fruit, strong feel of alcohol

Glenmorangie 1990Glenmorangie Grand Vintage 1990 – 43%

Nose: Intense and delicate at the same time. Marzipan, almonds and mirabelles tart. Sweet mandarin. Honeyed plums.

Palate: Satin-like texture. Smooth and gently coating. Orange candy, vanilla custard, blancmange. A soft spices festoon

With water

Nose: Water enhances the spiciness but takes some of the delicate nuances out.

Palate: Water gives an astringent edge. I’d avoid it.

Finish: Lingering, soothing on fresh almond. A note of licorice and vetiver.

An enticing dessert dram. rich and delicate.

With an almond and mirabelle tart or an almond milk sorbet and caramelized mandarin.


Ardbeg an Oa – 46,6%

Ardbeg An OaThe new Ardbeg released at the end of the Summer bears the name of a wild and windswept peninsula in the south-west of Island, next to Port Ellen. Three different vattings of ex-bourbon casks, sherry PX casks and charred virgin oak casks have been “gathered” in a big vat for a marrying period of three months. This maturing addition has certainly given the whisky a smoother profile. It is a non age statement whisky.

Nose: Earthy smoke, bacon and charcoaled beef, all wrapped in a sweet fruity profile. Peaches, banana and sweet licorice from the PX casks. Bog myrtle. Spicy too.

Palate: Smooth, almost round with a silky texture. Some custardy flavours. Again earthy smoke and sweet licorice. Peaches on the finish. Spices. Ginger.

A “tamed “Ardbeg but with all the character of the distillery.


Here is the ad… a kind of remake of Whisky Galore? I am not a great fan. I think the accents are a bit ridiculous, not the soft accent of the Ileachs anyway!!

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