Islay

96

Octomore 12.3

Last november we took part in another great virtual tasting hosted by Bruichladdich’s Nick Bayens. This time we were up to the task of tasting the latest Octomore trio. I’m still in love with the Octomore 7.1 which I killed just a few weeks ago. But Bruichladdich has arrived...

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85

Smokehead Islay Single malt

From a lot of whisky worldwide, you can not see what is hiding inside. The looks of the bottle doesn’t give anything away about the character of the dram. This Ian Mcleod’s Smokehead clearly isn’t one of those, one glance at the frightening exterior gives you an idea of...

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85

Caol Ila 12yo 2008-2021 by Single Note

At the beginning of this year, we’ve covered a wonderfully sherried 5yo expression of Caol Ila by the fairly new Dutch bottler Single Note. Now they’re back with another Caol Ila, but this time it’s 12yo and has been matured on fresh bourbon barrels. We like the sound of...

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97

Bunnahabhain 28yo ‘Untold Riches’ by Wemyss Malts

Back in february we bought this stunner of a Bunnahabhain by Wemyss Malts. We liked it so much, that we forgot to meticulously write down our notes.  Instead, we sat back and relaxed. And that for many times after our initial purchase. Now the bottle is already half empty,...

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89

Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength Batch 011

It happens every now and then that we really dig a dram, but it lacks a bit of a punch. The whisky could be even better when it is bottled on a somewhat higher abv, but certainly not every bottle has a cask strength version, which is something we...

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90

Kilchoman 2011-2016 Oloroso Matured Single Cask for Bresser & Timmer

I (Dennis) am not the biggest fan of the combination of sherry and heavy peat. That doesn’t mean there are exceptions to this rule, I only tend to be more cautious when choosing what to buy. And if there’s an Islay distillery that manages to do it well in...

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90

Port Charlotte MRC: 01 2010

If there is one distillery who releases whisky for all tastes, it must be the Bruichladdich distillery. Who doesn’t know about Octomore or the classic Laddie? We have to say, the ‘regular’ expressions are somewhat tame in our eyes, but they’re doing a fantastic job when it comes to...

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89

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

When the weather is hot, like it is right here right now, I like myself an Ardbeg. The 10yo is always a solid pour, but I tend to rotate between editions. At the moment, Corryvreckan sits in my cabinet and from the regular CS expressions, I maybe like this...

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94

Àlainn 27 Year Old 1989 – The Vatting by Murray McDavid

What we have here is a very special and dangerously drinkable Islay blended malt by Murray McDavid. A vatting of Bowmore and Laphroaig from 1989, having matured for at least 27 years. My guess, based on the taste, is that it’s predominantly Bowmore, there are some hints of Laphroaig,...

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88

Mac-Talla Mara by Morrison

Being an independent bottler seems like a difficult job to me. You’re dependent (oh the irony) of what distilleries or cask brokers have to offer, so you’ll have to carefully pick a cask that suits your brand. And there’s the consumer, who is heavily influenced by brands they know...

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90

Lagavlin 9yo House Lannister

I’m a huge fan of Game of Thrones, but wasn’t so sure about the themed whisky releases by Diageo. And here I am, I just couldn’t resist buying the cask strength Clynelish and this 9yo 46% ABV Lagavulin. I’m happy I gave in, because I thoroughly enjoy this dram....

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95

Caol Ila 2012-2020 8yo by Golden Drops Danmark

I took this photo in the morning, when golden drops of sunshine entered my office. Fitting for this bottle that was gifted to us by Golden Drops Danmark. With the elegant white label, stating one of our most beloved Islay distillery: Caol Ila and the glorious words ‘Oloroso 1st...

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Islay’s Farm Distillery

I was born and raised on the country side. Our house overlooked a corn field accompanied by a windmill and my grandparents lived on a farm where me and my brothers and sisters used to play a lot. We were never farmer’s kids, since our parents chose a different...

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86

Caol Ila Distillers Edition 2003/2015

When it comes to peated whisky, there are several drams that quench our thirst. But the Caol Ila distillery always feels a bit special for us. The strange thing is, we can’t give you valid reasons for that. Yes, they’ve released some beautiful expressions over the years, and indeed,...

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89

Caol Ila 5yo by Single Note

This dark 5yo Caol Ila is inspired by the maker’s passion: Jazz. Jazz is like whisky, it’s about experimentation, passion and interpretation.  It’s the first release of the new Dutch independent bottler Rick van Diepen, the brand has been given the name Single Note.  How high or low the...

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85

Laphroaig Select

Laphroaig is a typical example of a love-or-hate whisky. We tended towards the latter in our beginners’ years, but after paying a visit to Islay, it was instant love. This is the magic of visiting our first Islay-distillery at work. We always have a 10yo at hand, so we...

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94

Lagavulin Jazz Festival 2017 Release

Jazz music is not exactly our cup of tea, we tell you that, but this Lagavulin Jazz Festival 2017 release is just what we need. We picked this bottle up at the distillery with the characteristic red chimney back in 2018, when we visited all of the Islay distilleries....

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87

Ardbeg 5yo Wee Beastie

Ardbeg’s latest core range addition sure shook some things up. In one corner we have the influencers, praising the bottle no matter what. In the other corner we have the sceptics, grumpy and disappointed and wanting everybody to know. We don’t really care what label is slapped onto us,...

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83

Bunnahabhain Toiteach a Dhà

When Toiteach a Dhà was announced a few years ago, we were a bit sad, because one of our favourite peated drams and predecessor Toiteach was about to be discontinued. Although batches differed hugely, the good old Toiteach remained a staple in our cabinet. The Toiteach a Dhà, which...

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83

Laphroaig PX Cask

I have to admit, Laphroaig gave us many headaches in our early whisky exploring years. Our good friend Stefan has been a fan since the very beginning and always managed to persuade us into drinking ‘one last dram’ at the end of many whisky nights. And it was almost...

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88

Finlaggan Red Wine Cask Matured

Finlaggan is no stranger to the liquor stores here in Holland, but somehow we always managed to ignore the expressions of this Islay Single Malt. Until we bought our very first Finlaggan, since then, you can always find several bottles in our collection. If you are in love with...

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89

Bowmore Vault Edition – First Release

If there’s one Islay distillery which appeals to the imagination it must be Bowmore. We were one of the lucky guys who got the chance to visit the distillery back in 2018. Bowmore’s marketing strategy is on point, it was one of the distilleries I was really looking forward to.

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84

Lagavulin 16yo

Light up the fireplace, get a glass and put your feet up. On moments like this I pour myself a dram that doesn’t require much thought. And while Lagavulin 16yo has no permanent spot in my cabinet anymore, I can’t help myself but feel this is one of the...

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88

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2020 Port and Wine Casks

If there’s one distillery that really bonds with its ‘fans’ or friends, if you like, It is Laphroaig. We’ve been ‘friends of Laphroaig’ ever since our first bottle but it took us years to finally ‘seal’ our friendship. Back in April 2018 we visited Islay and of course we...

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87

Scotch & Tattoos: Caol Ila 13yo 2007-2020 by Torsten Paul Whisky Company

Here’s the third release in the Scotch & Tattoos series by Torsten Paul Whisky Company. And the first peated single malt of the three. Not only is it peated, it’s also from our beloved Caol Ila distillery, what could go wrong? The label for this 13yo bourbon matured Caol...

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84

The visit of ‘Uncle’ Big Peat

Last week we were pleasantly surprised with the visit of our ‘Uncle’ Big Peat, arranged by our friends of De Monnik Dranken. So a huge thanks to them for hooking us up! We figured the best thing we can do with an uncle you haven’t seen in a long...

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90

Lagavulin 12yo Special Release 2019

There she stands, with her pale skin, her light hazel eyes, her curvy body pleasing to the eye. I’m a difficult man to impress, but this was love at first sight. Lagavulin is not very high on my list anymore. I’ll admit, I was pretty unimpressed by our previous...

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89

Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Finish 2018

I’ve been a big fan of Kilchoman since the beginning. They offer a great core range with diverse types of sherry and bourbon maturations, and the best thing is that they’re very open about which casks are used and in what ratio. It gives the buyers a good understanding...

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87

Bunnahabhain 1991-2013 21yo (#5369) Dimensions by Duncan Taylor

A guest review by Jan Temming Duncan Taylor is known for laying premium Scottish cask for decades. Therefore Duncan Taylor has built quite an impressive collection of vintage and rare Scottish whisky’s. Let’s have a look at  this 21yo Bunnahabhain, bottled in 1991: This dram Is definitely worth the...

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87

Finlaggan Cask Strength

When you run out of money and whisky, what do you do? Finlaggan comes to the rescue!

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84

Bunnahabhain 2001 16yo Bn7 – Elements of Islay

Heave Ho, hoist the colours high for this Elements of Islay Bunnahabhain 16yo. Bottled at a 55.7% cask strength. We always feel a strong connection between Bunnahabhain and the pirate’s life. Maybe it’s the location of the distillery, overlooking the Sound of Jura. Possibly it’s the prison-like look of...

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85

Laphroaig Lore

The first time we tasted Laphroaig Lore, we were disappointed. It lacked complexity and tasted too peppery for our taste. So this bottle was -quite unintentionally- banished to the back of the cabinet.

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88

Caol Ila 9yo Palo Cortado Finish by James Eadie

Well what do we have here? It’s the James Eadie 9 yo Caol Ila. Finished first fill, refill Palo Cortado sherry hogsheads oak European finished for 6 months. Quite a mouthful. Yet again, a relatively young Caol Ila, what’s new? (Indie) young Caol Ila is highly available in The...

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90

Port Charlotte 10yo

This ‘shampoo bottle’ may look weird, depending on who you ask, but who cares? It’s one of our go-to peated malts. It’s everything but the casual peated Islay-whisky and beautifully complex. As lovers of the Octomore range, we often speak of this as ‘Octomore Light’. It doesn’t provide that...

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87

Kilchoman 2010 Vintage & Kilchoman 100% Islay 9th Edition

Thanks to Kilchoman,  we were given the opportunity to sample two wonderful new releases: the 2010 Vintage and the 100% Islay 9th Edition. And since we’re a huge fan of the first 100% Islay releases, we decided to have them accompanied by the 100% Islay Inaugural and 3th Edition....

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86

Classic of Islay by Jack Wieber’s 2018

As a Dutchman I’m very pleased to have such great neighbors. Among many other independent bottlers, Germany brings Jack Wieber to the table. This cask strength bottle, named Classic of Islay is a solid staple in our collection. It has no age statement and it’s probably a young sherried...

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