Wine Review – Clarendon Hills Liandra Syrah 2006

Clarendon Hills “Liandra” Syrah 2006 [Clarendon Hills] [Wine-Searcher]

Country: Australia
Region: Clarendon
Grape: Syrah/Shiraz
ABV: 16%


Colour: Dark purple core, lighter on the rim.

Nose: Ripe black fruits (blueberry, blackberry, plum, blackcurrant jam), chocolate, raisin, bacon fat, touch of herbal, spice.

Palate: Full bodied, medium acidity, medium well-integrated smooth tannins. Plum, blackberry, metallic (iron), vanilla, clove, pepper.

Finish: Long finish, lingering metallic and spicy notes. Well-integrated alcohol.

Score: 87/100


The wine is showing very well, all the components fully integrated with one and other.

The nose was very intense, with concentrated black fruits, chocolate, raisin, bacon fat, a touch of herbal tone that I associate with aged Syrah/Shiraz, and touch of pepper. The nose overall is very balanced, allowing each component to shine through the waves of black fruits, showing a great deal of complexity.

Moving onto the taste, a wonderfully aged, full bodied Syrah. Despite the 16% alcohol, it is very well integrated, drinking more like a 14-14.5%. Aside from the abundance of black fruits, there is this metallic, iron note showing throughout the palate, with a touch of vanilla, clove, and pepper forming a long and lingering finish.

This is a very good wine, with some unusual note going on (the metallic note on the palate), overall a very pleasant tasting experience. The wine is ready, drink before 2020.

Whisky Review – Strathmill 21 (Duncan Taylor Dimensions Cask 4239)

Strathmill 21 (Duncan Taylor Dimensions Cask 4239) [Link to Strathmill]


Region: Speyside
ABV: 54.8%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon

 

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Honey, white flower, toffee, biscuit, grassy, lemon, ethanol,

Palate: Malt, grassy, apple, mineral, icing sugar

Finish: Medium- finish, pepper, ginger, mineral, lemon

Score: 80/100


First time having a Strathmill, I don’t think this ex-bourbon cask is doing it justice. This was a no-frills experience, their profile seem to be grassy and malty, but overall it’s not that complex. Not bad, not great.

Whisky Review – Lagavulin 8

Lagavulin 8 [Link to Lagavulin]


Region: Islay
ABV: 48%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Refill European, American oak casks

 

Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: Butter popcorn, brine, citrus, chocolate, smoke, pepper

Palate: Bamboo smoke, citrus, salted peanut, chocolate, vanilla

Finish: Medium finish, pepper, mineral, smoke

Score: 84/100


The Lagavulin 8 year is an interesting one, majority of the people have had the 16, and this is an amped up version of that, but at the same time doesn’t have the “mellow smooooothness” people expect from the older offerings. Doesn’t try to hide its youth, but at the same time, it’s not brash and harsh. It has a decent amount of complexity and balance, would be a nice entry level along with Caol Ila 12, Ardbeg 10 and Laphroaig 10, as well as other similarly aged Islay. Also surprisingly, Lagavulin of them all has the highest proof at 48%, which really helped the whisky’s character. If you are a Lagavulin fan, or like their profile, this is a must-try.

Whisky Review – BenRiach 22 1994 (Single Cask 4004 Peated Tokaj Cask Finish)

BenRiach 22 1994 (Single Cask 4004 Peated Tokaj Cask Finish) [Link to BenRiach]


Birth year Scotch? Peated BenRiach? Finished in an interesting wine cask? SIGN ME UP!

Tokaj (“toe-kay”) is wine region in north-east Hungry, bordering Slovakia, famous in the wine world for producing a sweet noble-rot wine called Aszu.

Little do most people know, the Tokaj region also produce four other wines; Eszencia, a drink made from free-run juice of the noble-rot that rarely reaches above 3% ABV, its extremely high sugar content allows it age for over 200 years; Szamorodni, a wine made with regular grape, which comes with a dry, and sweet variety; Forditas, wine made by pouring must on aszu dough which has already been used to make aszu wine; Finally, Maslas, which is a wine made by pouring must on the lees of aszu.

The cask used here is most likely a Tokaj Aszu cask, despite some local dry wine also aged in oak casks.


Region: Speyside
ABV: 55.1%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon, finish in ex-Tokaj wine cask

 

Colour: Tawny

Nose: Sprite, raspberry syrup, peat, wood smoke, caramel, ginger, white grape, brine, milk chocolate

Palate: Salt, peat, citrus, earthy, malt, caramel

Finish: Long finish, peat, salty, pepper, ginger, mineral, touch of acidity

Score: 86/100


This whisky is rather similar to peated whisky that was finished in a Sauternes/Barsac cask, the “grapey-ness” is rather noticeable on the nose, a complex nose that I can appreciate, sadly the palate falls short on complexity, a distinctive saltiness persist throughout the nose to the finish, and a touch of acidity is present towards the finish. Would recommend trying a dram.

Whisky Review – Bruichladdich Octomore 6.3 Islay Barley

Bruichladdich Octomore 6.3 Islay Barley [Link to Bruichladdich]


Region: Islay
ABV: 64%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Bacon fat, peat, grilled sausage, smoked bamboo, hay, rubber, syrup

Palate: Peat, wood smoke, bacon fat, lemon, salt, cereal, burnt bamboo smoke

Finish: Long finish, ginseng aftertaste sweetness, pepper, cinnamon, peat, chili flakes

Score: 88/100


I’ve only had the 7.1 previously, and this is nothing like it. Massive smoky bacon and BBQ notes up front, followed by grassy and earthy notes. The palate shows the same profile but with more salt and added citrus notes, with a lingering sweet and spicy finish. The peat still isn’t as massive as I hoped from the ppm, I guess Octomore tends to lose their peat really quickly. Would want to own a bottle of this.

Whisky Review – Glengoyne 12 (SMWS 123.8 – In the Spanish Mountains)

Glengoyne 12 (SMWS 123.8 – In the Spanish Mountains) [Link to SMWS]


Region: Highland
ABV: 59.2%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Refill port pipe

 

Colour: Amber

Nose: Raisin, cherry, honey, berry syrup, baking spice, dried grass, vanilla custard, mint, clove

Palate: Raisin, caramel, malt, dried plum, ginger, spice, toffee, chocolate

Finish: Medium+ finish, baking spice, pepper, apple, menthol

Score: 86/100


A fully port pipe matured Glengoyne? Sign me up! A very sweet, syrupy nose, wonderful complexity. The palate is similar to the nose, with the more spice and chocolate notes. This whisky is rather tasty for a refill cask, perhaps 2nd fill? If you enjoy port this is a must-try.

Whisky Review – Benrinnes 9 SMWS (36.96 – Chocolate Cake Cookie)

Benrinnes 9 SMWS (36.96 – Chocolate Cake Cookie) [Link to SMWS]

Apparently I forgot to take a picture!
Photo Source


Region: Speyside
ABV: 58.1%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: no
Cask Type: First-fill ex-Bourbon

 

Colour: Pale straw

Nose: Pineapple, minty, malt, almond, perfume, chocolate, citrus, butter popcorn, banana popsicle

Palate: Pepper, ginger, pear, butter, caramel, lemon, vanilla, mineral, salt

Finish: Medium+ finish, lemon, ginger, charcoal

Score: 86/100


Very welcoming nose of tropical fruit, mint, almond, and chocolate. The palate is the highlight of this dram, oily and lush, kick of spice to start things off, followed by nice confectionary of butter, caramel, lemon, and vanilla, almost like a cupcake. I am impressed by this, it doesn’t try to hide its youthfulness, but it doesn’t come off as brash as I would think a 9 year old be. I wish to try more Benrinnes, especially the sherry cask ones.

Whisky Review – Bunnahabhain 16 Old Particular

Bunnahabhain 16 Old Particular [Link to Douglas Laing]


Region: Islay
ABV: 48.4%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Refill Hogshead

 

Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: Honey, apple, grass, oily, pineapple, malt, orange water, icing sugar

Palate: Pineapple, malt, citrus peel, slight acidity, sugar, nuts

Finish: Medium finish, malty, faint smoke, mineral water

Score: 80/100


Overall rather pleasant, smooth, and rather basic dram. Not overly complex, nice citrus, tropical fruit and nutty profile. A nice touch of smoke towards the finish as well. Glad to have try it.

Whisky Review – Glenmorangie Lasanta

Glenmorangie Lasanta [Link to Glenmorangie]


Region: Highland
ABV: 43%
E150: Yes
Chill-filtered: Yes
Cask Type: Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks

 

Colour: Amber

Nose: Red fruit jam, mineral, berries, burnt orange peel, cinnamon, dried fruits, wax

Palate: Raspberry, malt, wood, mineral, wax

Finish: Long finish, mineral

Score: 69/100


Not sure what grade of sherry casks Glenmorangie decided to use, but surly they aren’t ones of high grade. Overall the whisky just felt poorly “put-together”. Lasanta is said to mean ‘warmth and passion’ in Gaelic, which is exactly what I can’t feel from this expression. Felt like it was made with a “that will do” attitude, really basic, off-balance with loads of mineral throughout, you do notice the sherry influence, but it’s just not a nice composition. Wouldn’t recommend.

Whisky Review – Springbank Local Barley 11, 16

Springbank Local Barley 11 [Link to Springbank]


Region: Campbeltown
ABV: 53.1%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon

 

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Dried Apricot, peach, fibrel cereal, ethanol, smoked plum, white flower, salted butter, green tea, citrus rind, tic tac vanilla

Palate: Ashy peat, butter, salt, lemon curd, faint dried cherry, cured meat

Finish: Long finish, sweet cereal, mineral

Score: 87/100


Springbank Local Barley 16


Region: Campbeltown
ABV: 54.3%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: 80% ex-Bourbon, 20% ex-Sherry

 

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Syrupy, white grape, faint buttery smoke, dried apricot, vanilla, anise, popcorn

Palate: Smoked meat, tar, peat, lemon, mineral, honey, vanilla

Finish: Long finish, ash, orange peel, more mineral

Score: 85/100


The local barley expressions are supposed to show the terrior of the barley. The 11 year old is made with made with Bere barley from Aros Farm, while the 16 is made with barley grown at Low Machrimore Farm in Southend.

Overall I liked the 11 more than the 16, its more complex, better integrated aromas and flavour. They both took a while to open up, showing a very similar profile.

I wish Springbank would have aged both barley types in similar ex-bourbon casks and age, and label the barley on the label (kind of like how wine labels are, showing the vineyard and varietal). That way would be the closest we can do to try out different profile of the barley.