Whisky Review – Springbank 12 Cask Strength 2017 Release

Springbank 12 Cask Strength 2017 Release [Link to Springbank]

Region: Campbeltown
ABV: 54.2%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: 70% ex-Sherry, 30% ex-Bourbon


Colour: Gold

Nose: Cherry Syrup, menthol, malt, raspberry, leather, metallic, floral, honey, ginger, dried fruits, light peat

Palate: Pepper, raspberry jam, citrus, malt, leather, crushed stone, ginger, orange peel

Finish: Long finish, ginger, mineral water, faint peat

Score: 86/100

Rather solid release from Springbank as usual, really enjoy the sherry centric influence, the nose really shows both casks working well in harmony, each contributing their signature notes, with touch of peat in the backbone. The palate is also very sherry forward, loads of red fruits and leathery notes, leading up to a spicy finish. Would recommend this bottle if you liked the Springbank 10.

Wine Review – Chateau Latour Grand Vin 1990

Chateau Latour Grand Vin 1990

Country: France
Region: Pauillac, Bordeaux
Grape: Bordeaux Blend
ABV: 12.5

Decanted for 2 hours, evolving ever since.
Nosed on both Zwiesel Enoteca Bordeaux Premier Crus, and Zalto Burgundy glass.

Colour: Dark garnet core, brick rim.

Nose: Sweet tobacco, worn leather, red currants, dark cherry, dried rose pedals, floral perfume, Chinese sun-dried tangerine peel (Chenpi), wood spices.

Palate: Dry, medium acidity, medium+ silky tannins. Dried plum, red currants, chenpi, mineral, blackberry.

Finish: Long finish, tobacco, sweetness.

Score: 89+/100

One of the legendary vintages of Bordeaux, 1990, from one of the top winery – Chateau Latour. Decanted for three hours. The 1990 Grand Vin opens up with a powerful bouquet of dried rose pedals, sweet tobacco, and worn leather. Followed by waves of matured dark and red fruits, and a distinctive sun-dried tangerine peel aroma (Chenpi), and a faint suggestion of spice.

The palate is silky, still packs abundant of fruits, the Chenpi note from the nose carries over, touch of minerals, with a lingering finish of sweetness that almost massages your throat.

To be honest, this was actually a rather “underwhelming” wine, after having the 1982 previously, this is a few notches down on the power and layers of complexity of the 1982. The wine is still holding strong after 8 hours since the initial decanting. Hopefully 10 more years this wine will develop more complexity, as I still have another half-bottle lying in the cellar.

Glenelly Estate Grand Vin 2010


Glenelly Estate Grand Vin 2010

Country: South Africa
Region: Stellenbosch
Grape: 36% Shiraz, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot
ABV: 14.5

Colour: Dark purple core, medium brick on the rim.

Nose: Black raspberry, dusty, blueberry, cassis, leather, smoke, touch of spice.

Palate: Full bodied, medium tannins, medium acidity. Savoury, dried tomato, blackberry, pepper, clove, cherry.

Finish: Long finish, sour cherry, mineral, integrated oak.

Score: 82/100

Really well integrated wine with good structure. On the savoury and rustic side, could do with more quantity of fruits on the palate, drinking very well now.

DiamAndes Gran Reserva 2008


DiamAndes Gran Reserva 2008

Country: Argentina
Region: Mendoza
Grape: 75% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
ABV: 14.5%

Colour: Medium+ purple core, lighter on the rim.

Nose: Cassis, prune, blackberry, violet, touch of smoke, cedar.

Palate: Medium body, medium+ tannins, medium acidity. Wood, blackberry, mineral, tar, touch of nuttiness.

Finish: Long finish, mineral, liquorice.


Fairly integrated wine, perhaps if it was consumed 2-3 years ago it would’ve held onto more fruits. The wine is reasonably complex, full of dark fruits, smoke, cedar notes on the nose. The palate is very mineral forward, with blackberries, tar, and touch of nuttiness that reminds me of Oloroso sherry, with a long finish.

Jean Biecher & Fils Alsace Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Riesling 2014


Jean Biecher & Fils Alsace Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Riesling 2014

Colour: Straw

Nose: Pear, sliced green apple, concentrated honey, yuzu, beeswax, touch of worn leather and mineral note.

Palate: Dry (touch of residual sugar), medium body, medium+ acidity. Lemon, citrus peel, crushed stone, grapefruit, pineapple.

Finish: Long finish, green apple, lemon, mineral, dried pineapple.


Rather amazing Riesling, incredibly concentrated. Very rich nose, full of citrus and honey, with nice minerality to up the complexity. The palate is dry but I feel a touch of residual sugar, rich, loaded with fruits and minerals, followed by a lingering finish. Got a great structure, I wonder how well this will age, showing lots of complexity already in its youth. Could drink now, or hold for 2-4 more years.

Domaine Duseigneur Laudun 2009


Domaine Duseigneur Laudun 2009

Decanted for 2 hours.

Colour: Dark garnet core, light brown rim.

Nose: Violet, black raspberry, black cherry, animal notes (not to barnyard extend), meaty, forest floor, graphite, white flower.

Palate: Dry, full body, medium+ fine tannin, medium+ acidity. Black cherry, plum, mineral, crushed stone, cranberry, forest floor.

Finish: Medium finish, black fruits, saline, iron.


Chateau Gaudrelle Cremant de Loire Brut (2013 Bottling)

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Chateau Gaudrelle Cremant de Loire Brut (2013 Bottling)

Colour: Pale Gold

Nose: Honey, peach, lemon peel, light butter, yeast.

Palate: Dry, medium bubbles Light citrus, medium- acidity. Honey, grass, crushed stone, peach.

Finish: Medium finish, mineral, grass.


Purchased in late 2013, forgot about it, finally opening it tonight. In the stage of still retaining some freshness but you get a sense of maturity. The nose isn’t very intense or complex, same goes for the palate. Citrus with a touch of stone fruits, honey plays a part in the character as well; mineral driven palate, richer than expected, followed by more citrus and stone fruits. Overall fairly decent cremant, for $20CAD it’s a very good buy.

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


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%


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


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.