Victoria Caledonian Macaloney TWA Cask Blended Malt (Speyside Blend, Highland Blend, Islay Blend)

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Victoria Caledonian Macaloney TWA Casks Blended Malt Reviews

Thanks to Victoria Caledonian for hosting the event for the Toronto Whisky Society.


Macaloney TWA Cask – Speyside (Benrinnes & Glenlossie)


Region: Speyside
ABV: 56.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Unknown blend of casks from both distilleries, then vetted into ex-Kentucky cask for final maturation.

 

Colour: Pale Gold

Nose: Candy, melon, honey, floral, malt

Palate: Lush, sweet malt, honey, butter, melon, wax

Finish: Long finish, pepper, mineral water, vanilla, oak.

Score: 78/100


Macaloney TWA Cask – Highland (Blair Athol & Macduff)


Region: Highland
ABV: 57.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Unknown blend of casks from both distilleries, then vetted into ex-Kentucky cask for final maturation.

 

Colour: Pale Gold

Nose: Coal, acetone, butter, vanilla, honey, dusty, pear

Palate: Melon, heather, mineral, oak, cereal, red fruits, wood

Finish: Medium finish, sweet malt, faint smoke, mineral

Score: 79/100


Macaloney TWA Cask – Islay (Caol Ila & Bunnahabhain)


Region: Islay
ABV: 56.7%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Unknown blend of casks from both distilleries, then vetted into ex-Kentucky cask for final maturation.

 

Colour: Pale straw

Nose: Creamy corn, ash, peat, cherry syrup, floral, butter

Palate: Ash, butter, citrus, tar, apple, caramel

Finish: Long finish, oily, ashy peat, orange peel

Score: 80/100


Very glad to see another Canadian distillery, especially when they are selling blended cask strength scotch before their own whisky finishes maturing. Big respect on not selling barely-legal whisky to the market and charging “craft whisky” pricing. No further notes taken during the event.

Macallan 12 Double Cask 40%

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Macallan 12 Double Cask 40%


Region: Speyside
ABV: 40%
E150: Yes
Chill-filtered: Yes
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry.

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Rich stewed red fruits, raisin, plum, bosc pear, icing sugar, soft oak, touch of mineral and wax.

Palate: Syrup, red grape, honey, malt, sugar, oak, cereal, pepper, baking spice.

Finish: Medium+ finish, ginger, pepper, caramel.

Score: 81/100


I went into this dram with very low expectation, since recent years we’ve been drowned with crappy NAS expression that I didn’t even bother writing up the review, despite trying everything from the Amber to Rare Cask. Here in America-Lite (Canada), we get the 40% expression instead of the 43% of our neighboring country.

Anyway, the 12 Year Double Cask performed surprisingly well. As I’ve been drinking mostly cask strength releases lately, and slowly tightening my scoring after trying more higher-end drams than I have previously. I expect this to be another watery release that I’ve come to expect from a 40%.

The nose is sherry dominant, fairly rich, full of stewed fruits, raisins notes that you expect from a sherry influenced whisky, with a touch of bourbon cask influence. Promising so far. The palate is also a big surprise, syrupy, the bourbon cask is showing more of its strength here, leading up to a spicy finish.

This is by no means very complex, but overall as a package is rather satisfying, crowd pleasing dram.

Tullibardine 20

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Tullibardine 20


Region: Highland
ABV: 43%
E150: Yes
Chill-filtered: Yes
Cask Type: First-fill bourbon

 

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Honey, melon, orange, peach, marzipan, sweet cereal, vanilla, ginger.

Palate: Honey, pepper, malt, bitter oak, herbal, orange peel, dark chocolate, melon.

Finish: Medium+ finish, pepper, oak, mineral.

Score: 78/100


Overall, the Tullibardine 20 year old is a rather simple whisky. Very classic bourbon cask influence, personally I think the 43% ABV is a bit too watered-down, would hope to see this expression at cask strength. Especially the given price here in Ontario, Canada from the LCBO, which cost a whopping $300CAD (~$235USD), which is insanity for something that cost 1/3 of the price over in Europe. As usual pricing does not affect my scoring.

Laphroaig Select

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Review 74 – Laphroaig Select


Sample provided by Laphroaig to the Toronto Whisky Society, for their #OpinionsWelcome program.

This following review will remain unbiased as per usual.

Thank you Laphroaig for providing the dram.


Region: Islay
ABV: 40%
E150: Yes
Chill-filtered: Yes
Cask Type: Oloroso Sherry butts, white American oak, Pedro Ximenez seasoned hogshead, Quarter casks and First fill bourbon casks.

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Preserved tangerine peel, brine, red fruits undertone, wood smoke, oolong tea, vanilla, faint spice.

Palate: Water, ginseng, tar, rubber, earthy peat, saline, lapsang souchong, spice.

Finish: Medium finish, pepper, lime, anise, earthy, newspaper.

Score: 74/100


The nose started off rather promisingly, after sitting the dram for 15 minutes, black tea, preserved tangerine peel, the usual brine and smoke, with a touch of red fruits and spice; the nose is rather mild, tamed compared to the previous Laphroaig offerings. Still, off to a good start.

Onto the palate, watery is perhaps the best description. Greeted by rubbery, tar notes, ginseng and black tea is present too, touch of saltiness, followed by a touch of spice, earthy, and herbal finish. Overall the tasting experience is rather disappointing, poor to be concise, I would’ve guessed someone watered this down to 20-30% ABV if it was a blind tasting.

Having tried the majority of their core expression previously, from their standard 10 year, quarter casks, to their 15 200th Anniversary, Lore, and now discontinued 18, and a quite a few others including some IBs and travel retail, now presented with this – The Select.

I am fairly sure the Select is aimed towards getting new customers in, a 40%, mild expression. But to me, especially the price they are charging in Ontario ($78.20CAD for the Select, $85.20CAD for the Quarter cask, $86.20CAD for the 10 Year 43%) This product makes no sense to me, part from offloading poor casks to a cheaper expression. I would take the Quarter cask or the 10 over this any day any year. This would perhaps damage their brand more than helping.

Bottom line: Laphroaig if you are listening, stop over complicating your lineup, focus on what you do best, stop releasing gimmicky whisky.

Look at Macallan with their Edition No.1/2, even them realize, it’s not hard to make a quality whisky. Dial up the proof back to 48% ABV, quality casks, and charge us more according to the proof jump, verses watering it down and hope to sell more. I believe most enthusiasts would rather pay a few bucks more, than to have a watery dram. Laphroaig is a love or hate experience, why not treat the ones who loves you, better?

Thanks for reading prolong review and rant.

Side note: Please get the LCBO to carry the 10 CS.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC10, PC11, PC12.

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A Trio Review of PC10/11/12

Image Left To Right: PC10/11/12


Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC10 “TRO NA LINNTEAN”


“It’s the PC10 expression from Bruichladdich powerfully peaty Port Charlotte series of releases. This release also marked 10 years of Allan Logan, who became the youngest distillery manager in Scotland, working with Jim McEwan. This was referenced in this expression’s subtitle, ‘Tro Na Linntean’, which means ‘Through the Generations’. Only 6,000 bottles of PC10 were released.”

 

Region: Islay
ABV: 59.8%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: American Oak Casks

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Hay, citrus, walnut, smoke, peat, faint red berries, tar, ethanol.

Palate: Brine, mineral, salt, wood, citrus peel, candied orange, oily, tar, touch of dried figs.

Finish: Medium finish, pepper, ginger, peat, earthy, hay, touch of funk.

Score: 88/100

 


Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC11 “EÃ’RNA NA H-ALBA”


“PC11, ‘Eòrna Na h-Alba’ – Scottish Barley – is our homage to the land and people that gave life to this whisky.”

 

Region: Islay
ABV: 59.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Premium Ex-Bourbon + Oloroso Sherry Finish

 

Colour: Mahogany

Nose: Smoke, sawdust, brine, peat, orange peel, raspberry, sulfur funk, charcoal, honey, ethanol.

Palate: Metallic, medicinal peat, smoke, pepper, oily, funk, cherry.

Finish: Long finish, pepper, ginger, funk, cinnamon, mineral water.

Score: 86/100

 


Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC12 “OILEANACH FURACHAIL”


“Adam Hannett has been working alongside Jim McEwan since 2006, watching and learning from the legendary distiller. Adam has a special talent, a perceptive nose and a rare ability to analyse and objectify sensory experience. One day the ultimate responsibility for this precious spirit will rest on his shoulders. Here we acknowledge Adam and his ongoing journey with Jim. “Oileanach furachail”.”

 

Region: Islay
ABV: 58.7%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: N/A

 

Colour: Amber

Nose: Cherry syrup, menthol, smoke, tangerine, raspberry gummy, oily, sweet herbal note, touch of barbeque sauce, cola.

Palate: Charred wood, barbeque sauce, peat, salt, cola, herbal, lemon peel, nuts.

Finish: Long finish, pepper, cinnamon, wood.

Score: 89/100

 


Very interesting to do a vertical of these three PCs, you can see the progression coming through.

The PC10 is a very solid, cask strength peated Islay, great deal of complexity.

The PC11 is surprisingly less good to my taste, despite my love for sherry casks.

The PC12 feels the most well-made to me, very rounded throughout, nice balance of peat, costal notes, and red fruits.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 2007 CC: 01

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Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 2007 CC: 01


Region: Islay
ABV: 57.8%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: French oak [Quercus robur], ex-Cognac.

 

Colour: Amber-Gold

Nose: White grape, smoke, brine, seaweed, tangerine, cured meat, apricot, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, pear.

Palate: Ash, salt, syrupy, pepper, seaweed, mineral, orange peel, grape, smoke, ginger.

Finish: Medium+ finish, pepper, mineral, salt, citrus peel, black tea.

Score: 87/100


The nose and palate is very grape-y, which shows the cask influence quite a bit. Sweet and smoke in harmony, nice seaside notes, with a good kick of spice. Overall rather well made, I am glad I picked up a bottle, cask strength, youthful, interesting cask Port Charlotte always up my alley. Priced very reasonably, I think I paid about $100US for it.

Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2006 (Gordon & Macphail Cask Strength for KWM Bottled 2016)

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Caol Ila 10 Year Old 2006 (Gordon & Macphail Cask Strength for KWM Bottled 2016)


Region: Islay

ABV: 57.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Refill sherry hogshead 306200

 

Colour: Amber

Nose: Rum-like aroma, caramel, menthol, smoke, raisin, cream corn, sherry spice, cherry, tea.

Palate: Ash, oak, dried apricot, orange, smoke, salt, spice.

Finish: Long finish, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, smoke.

Score: 88/100


Another youthful refill sherry cask Caol Ila from G&M, this one is significantly darker than the 2004 one that I own, assuming 2nd fill? Rather interesting rum-like aroma, loads of sherry spice and caramel on the nose, the peat is less aggressive than I expect for a 10 year old. A well rounded palate, full of dried fruits, oranges, salt, spices; followed by a long and spicy finish, very nice.

Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2004 (Gordon & Macphail Cask Strength Bottled 2016)

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Caol Ila 11 Year Old 2004 (Gordon & Macphail Cask Strength Bottled 2016)


Region: Islay

ABV: 59.3%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Refill Sherry Cask 306615, 306620, 306621, 306622.

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Sweet smoke, brine, rubber, ashy peat, cherry syrup, orange, almond.

Palate: Lemon oil, malt, salt, ash, pepper, red fruit jam, cola, ginger.

Finish: Long finish, earthy, salt, oily, chili flakes.

Score: 87/100


Always enjoy a cask strength, youthful Caol Ila, and this is no exception.

Welcoming sweet, smoky, and salty nose to greet, the sherry influence isn’t as strong as other refill Caol Ila I’ve had, but it lets a lot more of the Caol Ila spirit shine through.

On the palate you get an oily mouth feel, most of the notes from the nose are present, with a slam jam of peppery spice, carries onto a long, earthy and salty finish, with a kick of chili flakes in the end.
Overall, a rather enjoyable dram, glad to have bought a bottle.

Arran 18 Year Old 1996 (Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask 2135)

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Arran 18 Year Old 1996 (Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask 2135)


Region: Isle of Arran

ABV: 52.65
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Sherry Puncheon
Distilled 17/12/1996, Bottled 30/03/2015

 

Colour: Amber

Nose: Rum raisin, raspberry, strawberry, pear, custard, malt, grass, orange peel.

Palate: Orange peel, red berries jam, cherry syrup, floral, oak, pear, red mango, red raspberry, ginger, chocolate, mint.

Finish: Medium+ finish, honey, mineral, cinnamon, pepper.

Score: 89/100


The Arran I’ve had previously are usually rather so-so, exception of the Tokaji Aszu CS release. The IBs aren’t exactly mind blowing either, but this changes my view of Arran. Spent 18 years in a Sherry Puncheon, this dram is packed with complexity. Surprising amount of tropical notes alongside the sherry influence, the Arran spirit really shining through. The palate hits you with waves of red fruits and spice, the tropical fruit from the nose is apparent here as well, pear, red mango, with nice creamy chocolate; carried through into a spicy finish with mineral notes. Fantastic stuff!

Glenburgie 17 (SMWS 71.42 – Sinbad preparing for a journey)

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Glenburgie 17 (SMWS 71.42 – Sinbad preparing for a journey)

Tasted Blind


Region: Speyside

ABV: 57.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Refill Ex-Sherry Gorda
Outrun: 750 Bottles

 

Colour: Amber

Nose: Fish oil capsule (The smell when you sniff a bottle of fish oil pills), funky, cinnamon, orange, cherry jell-o, cola syrup, ginger, roasted walnut, malt biscuit, sharp ethanol.

Palate: Hot, chili flakes, medicine capsule note, nutty, cinnamon heart, ginger, red raspberry, dark chocolate, orange peel, charred wood.

Finish: Medium finish, worn leather, mineral.

Score: 84/100


Tasted blind as I just grabbed a random sample, the SMWS code means nothing to me as I have no idea what it is.

Dove into the nose, WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS!? IT smells exactly like the capsule smell of a bottle of fish oil, weird. Diving past the weird funky note reveals some sherry cask notes. On the palate its more or less the same as the nose, but packs a huge punch of spice on the entry, carried throughout to the finish.

Overall a solid whisky, if you can enjoy the funky notes, personally not the biggest fan, but it’s got good complexity and depth.