Writers Tears

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Writers Tears

Region: Ireland

ABV: 40%

E150: Yes

Chill-filtered: Yes

Container: Glencairn Neat

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Green apples, pears, citrus, sweet perfumy floral notes, vanilla, sweet malt, honey, spice.
Really sweet and fruity nose, don’t detect much ethanol.

Palate: Really easy going on the palate, more green apples and pear notes, vanilla, light hint of oak, pepper.
Not much complexity on the palate, but it’s really easy going, no alcohol burn at all, everything you expected from the nose.

Finish: Medium length, citrus, tingling spicy finish, very end touch of meaty/metallic note.
Again, not impactful, easy going on the finish. Nice touch of spice kicks in, good for introduction to whiskey.

Score: 78/100

Entry level Irish whiskey, very good for beginner, well balanced overall. Falls short on the palate due to the watery 40% ABV, want to get my hands on the cask strength sometime in the future.

Chateau Vignelaure Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence 2007


Chateau Vignelaure Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence 2007

Frist experience with wines from Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, which is located in south of France, it’s the second-largest appellation in Provence.

The Chateau Vignelaure Red wines are blend from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Syrah grape. Aged in small oak barrels for 18 months, then further aged in the bottle for at least 2 years before release. (From vignelaure.com)

Left in the glass for 2 hours before consumption.

Stemware: Schott Zwiesel Enoteca Bordeaux Premier Crus

Colour: Dark purple core, light brown rim, shows sign of ageing.

Nose: Clean nose, high intensity.

Before the 2 hour rest, it was showing dominate notes of stewed mushrooms, concentrated dark fruits and touch of smoke.

After 2 hours, the nose opened up, showing notes of black and red cherries, black currant, black raspberry, cocoa powder, well integrated oak, touch of earthiness.

Palate: Dry, medium acidity, medium+ silky tannins, juicy black fruits, plums, black currants, pepper, hint of nutmeg.

Finish: Medium length, touch of mineral note.

Score: 79/100

Diving into the wine with a very promising nose, showing a lot of black fruits, touch of cocoa sweetness. The nose carries onto the palate, well integrate oak, along with waves of juicy dark fruits, and a touch of spice. The finish is a bit of a letdown, decent length but it transitions to a mineral finish. Overall can’t fault a 2007 for $35CAD(~$26USD), this wine is ready to drink, and should drink well for another 5-8 years.

Rocche dei Manzoni Bricco Manzoni Langhe Rosso 2010


Rocche dei Manzoni Bricco Manzoni Langhe Rosso 2010

Sat in the glass for 2 hours before reviewing.
Blend of 80% Nebbiolo and 20% Barbera, first time trying a wine from Langhe(Piedmont), and a blend of this sort.

Colour: Medium purple core, with some sign of ageing.

Nose: Clean nose, high intensity. Liquorice, sweet cherries, red currants, sweet bread, touch of mineral notes.
Rather complex nose that takes advantage of at least 1-2 hours of decanting.

Palate: Dry, medium+ body, medium+ acidity, full grippy tannins. Cherries, spices, raspberry, hint of leather, touch of oak. Well integrated flavor.

Finish: Long finish, violets, oak, red fruits.

Score: 82/100

Overall fairly well made from an excellent vintage in Piedmont, the tannins suggests this could benefit from perhaps another 2-5 years of ageing. The tannins makes it enjoyable with grilled meat, would love to see how this develops in the next few years.

Green Spot Chateau Leoville Barton


Green Spot Chateau Leoville Barton

The Green Spot Chateau is the first Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey to be finished in a Bordeaux Wine Cask. Chateau Léoville Barton is located in the Left Bank of Bordeaux, in the Saint-Julien AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée), a highly sort-after region producing overall higher than average quality wines. Only 11 winery in this region, and Chateau Léoville Barton is considered one of the best in Saint-Julien. The Barton family are Irish descent, hence the reason for the collaboration, to celebrate an Irish heritage.

Matured initially in a mixture of ex-Oloroso Sherry, fresh American oak and ex-bourbon barrels, this Green Spot whiskey is then finished in the ex-Château Léoville Barton Bordeaux wine casks for 12 to 24 months.(Taken from Master of Malt)

Enough wine facts, now move onto the review.

Region: Ireland

ABV: 46%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No


Container: Glencairn Neat

Colour: Gold with a red hue

Nose: Very nice and sweet nose, vanilla frosting, strawberries, raspberries, caramel, waxy malt, apple, honey, toffee, lemon, hint of dark fruits.
Very delightful on the nose, like a berry pastry.

Palate: Banana, lemon, vanilla frosting, strawberries, apples, cinnamon, pepper, oak, more red fruits.
Dessert served, confectionery of red berries, apples, vanilla frosting, and touch of baking spices, simply wonderful.

Finish: Long finish, the palate carries onto the finish, more spices, lemon, touch of oak, and touch of mineral note.

Score: 88/100

I enjoyed this so much that I bought a second bottle, I would love to see this in cask strength, love a well-made dessert dram, this is a huge step up from the regular Green Spot, the extra proof and NCF really helped a lot, and the wine cask gave it so much more depth, while retaining the smoothness you come to expect with Irish Whiskey.

Bladnoch 12 1987 Gordon & MacPhail, Clynelish 21 1983 Dun Bheagan, Mortlach 12 1989 Murray McDavid, Scapa 10 Signatory, Longrow 10, Caol Ila 11 1984 Signatory

Bladnoch 12 Year Old 1987 Gordon & MacPhail

Region: Lowland

ABV: 58.7%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No


Colour: Straw

Nose: Honey, floral, grassy, caramel, citrus, hint of oak.
Very basic lowland notes, not the sweet fruity whisky I was expecting, rather well balanced with a nice grassy note that adds a bit of character.

Palate: Malt, roasted barley, brown sugar, touch of mineral water, caramel, light fruits, toffee.
Interesting roasted barley-type note detected, pleasant surprise, nice caramel sweetness, not much fruit going on but it’s there.

Finish: Medium+ length, oak tannins, pepper, malt, ginger, and a touch of mineral water.
A bit dry on the finish, and spicy.

Score: 82/100

Rather interesting dram, had some interesting notes going for it, nothing bold, and not complex. Being CS probably helped a lot here, can imagine this being really bland if it’s watered down to 43-46%.

Clynelish 21 Year Old 1983 Dun Bheagan

Region: Highland

ABV: 56.9%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No


Colour: Light Straw

Nose: Smoke, candle wax, ash, honey, lemon.
Interesting touch of smoke on the nose, but rather simple.

Palate: Sugar, malt, liquorice, malt, citrus, oak.
Very distinctive sugary note, sweet, but yet again, not too complex.

Finish: Medium length, pepper, oak, smoke, earthy.
Some earthiness came out in the finish, and the smoke reappeared again.

Score: 80/100

Haven’t had too many Clynelish before, the smoke is a nice touch, but then there aren’t too much going on for it. The sugar note is very pronounced on the palate, was hoping for a more complex Clynleish, but this one is on the simple side.

Mortlach 12 Year Old 1989 Murray McDavid

Region: Speyside

ABV: 46%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No


Colour: Amber

Nose: Raisins, sherry, vinegar, mild pool water, honey, apple, brine.
Something smells off on the nose, maybe the glass isn’t clean?

Palate: Mineral, some sort of funk, damped oak, barn yard-like, sugar, chocolate, spices.

Finish: Long finish, mineral, funk.

Score: 76/100

Feels like something is off, maybe the glass isn’t clean, or the whisky is off.

Scapa 10 Year Old Signatory

Region: Island

ABV: 43%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No


Colour: Light Straw

Nose: Malt, floral, green apples, grape, touch of brine, light caramel, lemon candy.
Sweet and fruity nose, with nice touch of floral aspect, much better than the 2 Scapa I have come across (Skiren and 16).

Palate: Milk chocolate, malt, light fruits, vanilla.
Rather simple notes on the palate, kind of remind me of a cake.

Finish: Medium finish, syrup, malt, lemon candy, pepper.
Syrupy finish with a touch of peppery note. Rather nice.

Score: 81/100

Definitely better than the OB Scapa from my previous experience, I wish to try more IB Scapa and in cask strength to see what they’ve got.

Longrow 10

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 46%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No


Colour: Straw
Nose: Surprisingly light on the peat, sweet malt, sugar, spice, chocolate, candied cherry, vanilla, citrus.
I was told this was peated to 55ppm, Ardbeg level, but the nose doesn’t suggest that.

Palate: Candied cherry, salt, pepper, light peat, apple, citrus, caramel, touch of red fruits.
Again, expecting lots of smoke (coming from only having Longrow RED Australian Shiraz before), this is nothing like that on the peat front. Rather delightful.

Finish: Medium-long finish, metallic, peat, earthy funk, touch of sweetness.

Score: 82/100

Had a lot of expectation from Longrow having only tried their Red series. This is rather mild on the peat, well balanced on the fruit and sweetness. Quite enjoyable. However, I do prefer the Springbank 10.

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 1984 Signatory

Region: Islay

ABV: 43%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No


Colour: Light Straw

Nose: Initially loads and loads of vanilla, lots of brine, light ashy peat, apple, citrus.
WOW! The wave after wave of vanilla caught me off guard! Unlike the Caol Ila CS, I didn’t get much of that smoked meat note from it, perhaps it’s all covered under the vanilla.

Palate: Ashy peat, tangerines, oak, mineral, malt.
Rather simple on the palate, much like the nose, perhaps the 43% killed it.

Finish: Medium finish, light peat, ash.

Score: 82/100

Wish it had more going on, the CS Caol Ila I’ve had before kinda ruined it for me.

E.Guigal Saint-Joseph 2012


E.Guigal Saint-Joseph 2012

Decanted for 2 hours.

Colour: Dark-purple core

Nose: Clean nose, medium+ intensity, smoked meat, red and dark fruits, sour cherry, leather, violet, touch of spice.

Palate: Dry, full bodied, medium acidity, full tannins, juicy currants, black cherries, stewed red fruits, pepper, savory meat.

Finish: Medium+ finish, more pepper, touch of earthy mushroom.

Score: 80/100

I have a soft spot for wines with smoky quality, this is a very standard Saint-Joseph expression, well balanced, flavour are nice and impactful, while retaining some of the elegance of Northern Rhone.

I think Rhone produce some of the best value wines in the world, usually very consistent in quality even at the lower price bracket.

Champagne Dumangin Premier Cru Le Vintage Extra-Brut 2004

LwJ3H9KJR5HycVQAydvzXvzzo60VdVpMZBxIzw90iwk.jpgChampagne Dumangin Premier Cru Le Vintage Extra-Brut 2004

Glassware: Lehmann Flûte Oenomust

Colour: Straw

Nose: Clean nose, high intensity, Very complex up front, like smelling very nice bread, mellow yeast, nuts, citrus, raspberry, biscuits.

Palate: Dry, fine bubbles, full-bodied, high acidity, lemon, apricot, bread, toasty, slight tart-ness.

Finish: Medium+ finish, nuts and lemon.

Score: 87/100

Very well done made Champagne, showing some maturity, really nice high intensity nose, well balanced throughout with lemon/citrus notes being the main theme, very delightful way to start off a meal.

Ailes D’Argent Bordeaux Blanc 2013, La Conseillante Pomerol 2013, Domus Vitae Brunello 2007, Chateau D’Issan Margaux 2012


Ailes D’Argent Bordeaux Blanc 2013

Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: Clean nose, medium intensity, pineapples, honey, light citrus fruits, hints of peach, dried fruits, hints of oak.

Palate: Dry, medium body, High acidity, cherries, pineapples, light citrus, light oak.

Finish: Medium length, cherries, oak.

Score: 82+/100

La Conseillante Pomerol 2013

Colour: Medium clear purple core

Nose: Clean nose, medium intensity, touch of smoke, plums, oak.

Palate: Dry, full bodied, high acidity, full tannins, oak, plums, black currants.

Finish: Medium finish, oak.

Score: 83+/100

Domus Vitae Brunello 2007

Colour: Light Tawny, some sign of ageing.

Nose: Clean nose, low-medium intensity, cherries, mushroom, earthy, light plums.

Palate: Dry, medium body, medium acidity, full tannins, oak, cherries, plums, tiny hint of bitterness.

Finish: Long, oak, touch of herbal raw almond notes.

Score: 85/100

Chateau D’Issan Margaux 2012

Colour: Dark purple core

Nose: Clean nose, high intensity, wood saplings, touch of honey sweetness, black currants, hint of cured meat, plums, oak.

Palate: Dry, full bodied, medium+ acidity, full, undeveloped tannins, plums, oak, touch herbal.

Finish: Medium-long finish, oak and herbal note.

Score: 86+/100  

Rating these wines on how they taste now, they all will improve with age, but this is how I feel about them at this moment.

Mortlach Rare Old, 26 Year Old SMWS 76.94 Totally Flavoursome

Mortlach Distillery is nicknamed “The Beast of Dufftown”, let’s see what they’ve got.


Mortlach Rare Old


Region: Speyside

ABV: 43.4%

E150: Yes

Chill-filtered: Yes

Container: Glencairn Neat

Colour: Gold-Amber

Nose: Honey, apple, pear, toffee, malt, melons, touch of spice. Very nice and sweet nose.

Palate: Apples, honey, malt, pepper, cinnamon, oranges, vegetal note, mineral water, touch of smoke. Not sure where the smoke came from, fairly sure this is unpeated.

Finish: Short finish, mineral, oak spice, pepper, touch of bitterness.

Score: 77/100

Started off with a somewhat promising sweet nose of a typical speyside, the palate and finish was a letdown.

SMWS 76.94 – Totally Flavoursome
Mortlach 26 Year Old 1986

Region: Speyside


E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Cask Type: Refill ex-Bourbon Hogshead


Container: Glencairn Neat

Colour: Gold

Nose: Lots of oak up front, vanilla, floral perfume, honey, acetone, tobacco, orange lollipop, malt, faint hint of leather note.

Palate: Oranges followed by huge wave of malt, ginger, pepper, oak, citrus, dough, more orange notes, light fruits, peach, hint of coffee.

Finish: Lingering spicy finish, ginger, pepper, chili pepper, oak.

Score: 90/100

While the Rare Old is no good, the SMWS 76.94 is completely different beast. Loaded with spices, lots of oak influence, and quite a lot of malt on the palate. Bold flavours throughout, very complex on the plate, and a pleasant spicy finish.

San Vincenti Chianti Classico 2012


San Vincenti Chianti Classico 2012

Colour: Medium+ purple core

Nose: Clean nose, high intensity, lots of ripe red fruits, touch of smoke, vanilla, quite perfumy and oak

Palate: Dry, medium+ body, high acidity, medium smooth tannins, cherries, oak, plums, touch of spice

Finish: Long finish, red fruits accompanied by lingering spices and oak

Score: 78/100
Very traditional style, solid buy for the price!