Wine Review – Pierre Sparr Alsace Gewurztraminer Reserve 2016

Pierre Sparr Alsace Gewurztraminer Reserve 2016


Country: France
Region: Alsace
Grape: Gewurztraminer
ABV: 13%


Colour: Medium- straw

Nose: Rose pedal, lychee, orange flower water, light honey, faint green tea

Palate: Touch of residual sugar, off-dry. Medium- body, medium- acidity. White flower, chalk, grapefruit

Finish: Medium finish, crushed stone, citrus zest, lemon

Score: 77/100


A rather textbook example of Alsace Gewurztraminer. The usual aromatic nose of rose pedal, lychee is definitely present, with orange flower water, light honey, and faint suggestion of green tea on the back end. The palate is off-dry, and simple, could do with more acidity, fresh notes of citrus and minerals all the way to the finish. I would drink this within a year or two.

Whisky Review – Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015

Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015


Region: Islay
ABV: 51.5%
E150: Yes
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon

 

Colour: Straw

Nose: Cured meat, smoke, vanilla, sweet corn candy, brine, lemon

Palate: Menthol, seaweed, bandage, peat, mineral, caramel, pepper, nuts

Finish: Long finish, salt, ash, lemon, mineral

Score: 87/100


The quintessential Laphroaig? This hits every single notes I expect from an ex-Bourbon cask Laphroaig. All the costal influence, sweet vanilla, peat smoke, rubber, you name it. This is what I would pour someone, if I were to show them Laphroaig.

Whisky Review – Springbank 12 1996 (Single Cask Sherry Butt 591)

Springbank 12 1996 (Single Cask Sherry Butt 591)


Region: Campbeltown
ABV: 51.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Oloroso Sherry Butt

 

Colour: Amber

Nose: Cinnamon, clove, ginger, raisin, sulphur funk, smoke, strawberry

Palate: Light peat, cranberry, mineral, red apple, brine, caramel

Finish: Medium finish, red fruit jam, raisin, funk

Score: 85/100


A rather nice and complex Springbank, full of oloroso goodness, great deal of funk, perhaps the finish was a bit of a let-down, since there were a weird note to it that I didn’t quite enjoy.

Whisky Review – Kilkerran 12

Kilkerran 12


Region: Campbeltown
ABV: 46%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: 70% ex-Bourbon, 30% ex-Sherry

 

Colour: Straw

Nose: Vanilla, floral, melon, grass, cereal, honey

Palate: Honey, orange, vanilla, pepper, malt, melon

Finish: Medium finish, ginger, smoke

Score: 80/100


A solid whisky, not a great deal of complexity, very malt centric, with cereal, light fruit. At roughly the same price, I would rather be buying a Springbank 10 or 12 Cask Strength, which offers more complexity and enjoyment.

 

Whisky Review – Tobermory 21 1995 (The Whisky Agency – Toronto Whisky Society)

Tobermory 21 1995 (The Whisky Agency – Toronto Whisky Society)


Region: Isle of Mull
ABV: 51.9%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon

 

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Honey, pepper, vegetal, brine, lemon, peat, floral

Palate: Ginseng, charcoal, honey, mineral, lemon, salt, pepper

Finish: Medium finish, cinnamon, mineral, cocoa, light oak

Score: 86/100


Bottled for the Toronto Whisky Society, by The Whisky Agency. This is an unusual Tobermory, since it is lightly peated.

A rather nice and complex nose to greet, followed by a promising palate and finish.

The peat really adds to its identity, the flavour profile is on the simpler side, but the flavour works well in harmony, integrated. Overall rather nice, really glad on this pickup.

Whisky Review – Glendronach 43 1971 (Single Cask PX 2920)

Glendronach 43 1971 (Single Cask PX 2920)


Region: Highland
ABV: 48.6%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon

 

Colour: Deep Mahogany

Nose: Raisin, cinnamon, dates, oak, raspberry, chocolate, chenpi, tobacco, dried mango, leather, plum

Palate: Raisin, leather, oak, tobacco, stewed figs, cherry, milk chocolate, menthol, chenpi

Finish: Long finish, oak tannins, nutmeg, tobacco, more spice

Score: 95/100


Incredible complexity and ever evolving. Personally a big fan of Glendronach, and this is the oldest Glendronach I’ve ever had. The nose greets me with waves after waves of different notes, rich and layered. The palate can back up the complexity I got from the nose as well, lots of old sherry cask notes, rich but not cloying, tobacco dominant with leathery and stewed fruit notes on the side, and a touch of chenpi. What’s even more impressive is it manages to be balance all the subtle notes without the dominate note being overwhelming. Impeccable balance, not just a sweet syrupy malt I would expect with something that’s been sitting in a PX Sherry cask for 43 years. Would definitely need to try more old Glendroanch.

Wine Review – Chateau La Fleur Pourret Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009

Chateau La Fleur Pourret Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009


Country: France
Region: Saint-Emilion Grand Cru AOC
Grape: Merlot based Red Bordeaux Blend
ABV: 13.5%


Colour: Dark purple core, light garnet on the edge, showing some sign of age

Nose: Potpourri, smoke, integrated oak, plum, black raspberry, blackberry

Palate: Full-bodied, dry, medium acidity, medium+ tannins. Plum, tobacco, integrated oak, raspberry

Finish: Long finish, plum, drying

Score: 83+/100


I rather nice Bordeaux at this price point, showing signs of maturity, but still have the structure to live on and further develop. The nose is very generous, potpourri, smoke, dark fruits, with a nice integrated oak aroma weaving in and out. Drinking very well now, similar to the nose on the palate, with a nice touch of tobacco giving it extra complexity, followed by a long, drying finish. Perfect paring to a nice prime rib roast. Drink now, or hold for 3-5 more years.

Whisky Review – Bunnahabhain 39 1976 (Cadenheads Small Batch)

Bunnahabhain 39 1976 (Cadenheads Small Batch)


Region: Islay
ABV: 49.4%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Blend of 3 Sherry Butts

 

Colour: Amber

Nose: Oak, floral, honey, raisins, port, stewed plum, orange peel, nuts, leather, cocoa, tobacco

Palate: Oak, oak tannins, orange peel, leather, plum, mineral, pepper, chili pepper, black tea

Finish: Medium+ finish, mineral, musty, oak, brown sugar

Score: 87/100


Tasted blind. Initially thought this was a 20-25 year old, sherry cask, Highland single malt. I thought this was definitely old, but didn’t think it was that old.

There is a deal of oak here, along with nice floral, honey aspects on the nose, with a strong backbone of sweet stewed plums, port-like note, orange peels, tobacco, leather, all the nice “old sherry” note. The palate is similar to the nose; Punchy and bold, with an additional kick of drying oak tannins, spice, black tea, and mineral note, which I would have hoped it was less oaky on the palate.

This is a really bold single male from Bunnahabhain, the oldest I have ever tried. I would have rated this higher, if the oak tannins was a bit more balanced. I would call this a bourbon-lover whisky, due to the huge oak influence throughout. Definitely worth a try if you are into these bold notes.

Whisky Review – Compass Box 3 Year Old Deluxe

Compass Box 3 Year Old Deluxe


Region: Highland, Isle of Skye
ABV: 49.2%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: First-fill American Oak Casks

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Wax, saline, faint smoke, red apple, honey, vanilla, citrus peel

Palate: Wax, smoked bamboo, apple, malt, pepper, touch of bitterness

Finish: Medium finish, mineral, burnt wood, oak, pepper

Score: 79/100


Waxy, sweet, fruity character of Clynelish comes to mind. Overall rather pleasant until the touch of bitterness kicked in. The nose and palate are coherent, lush and cream on the tongue, consists of wax, smoke, apple, honey character, the bitterness definitely left a poor impression to me.

Overall not a bad dram, but had a hard time finishing my pour. Personally would not buy a bottle at the retail price of $280 CAD.

Whisky Review – Bladnoch 25 (SMWS 50.72 – Summer’s Night in Lovers’ Lane)

Bladnoch 25 (SMWS 50.72 – Summer’s Night in Lovers’ Lane)


Region: Lowland
ABV: 50.2%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Re-fill ex-Bourbon

 

Colour: Gold

Nose: Apple, honey, butter, dried Chinese plum, vanilla, grass, orange, floral

Palate: Melon, raspberry, butter, biscuit, ginger, apple, grassy

Finish: Long finish, white pepper, oak tannins, mineral

Score: 82/100


Creamy, fruity nose, with a great balance of sweetness, and floral note. The palate wasn’t as lush and thick as the nose would suggest, the fruit is still present, with a nice biscuit-y note, grassiness, and minerals joining the pack. Overall rather interesting dram to try, but not something I would buy.