Here are tasting-notes for a few drams tasted through the last months and that are worth remembering.
Kavalan – 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
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
bourbon cask 58,6%
Nose: creamy, toasted coffee beans, coconut, apple
Palate: citrussy, lemon curd, vanilla, peach,
Finish: drier, spicy, almond, blancmange
with water lime zest, hazelnut, praline aniseed
in the warehouse… I tasted a PX sweet, treacle, molasses raisins dates and an amontillado drier, almond blancmange
Nose: Barley sugar, caramelized hazelnuts, praline, malt loaf, hint of dried apricot
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
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
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
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 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
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%
The 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!!