I have to admit, I didn’t expect to write this entry today but with so many small things happening all at once, I definitely feel compelled to type up some magic for you.
***** EDIT: ScotchNSniff glasses are NOW available on SIPDARK.com!!!!! *****
Right off the bat, I need you to know that ScotchNSniff finished recording 25 new videos for the youtube channel. Nineteen of them are One Minute Whiskies and the other six are typical ScotchNSniff videos but they’ll be hosted by myself and Tim and Brian from The Whisky Library DC. Hopefully you’ll find them all entertaining as we covered a gamut of topics and even had one wild rant video. Here’s the newest of the OMW videos:
For everyone who’s been following along, remember, the OMWs are lighter reviews meant to give you a quick overview of a whisky while you’re out and about. It’s not an in depth set of notes. 🙂
In terms of random thoughts, you guys might have noticed that the end of this year has been an absolute barrage of new whiskies from a number of distilleries everywhere around the world and though I hope I can review most of them, I know it’ll be super difficult so expect everything coming to be in the Scotch Versus Scotch type format.
The last thing I wanted to throw out there in this post are a few pictures that I’m excited about related to Stranger Things 2. Yes, these pictures include a set of toys from the show. No, I have no intention of doing what ScotchTrooper does. He’s a freight train when it comes to Star Wars toys pictures but these are just my own excitement for a TV show manifest in the form of some images. Enjoy!! Happy Whisky Wednesday!!
Do you have any idea what it’s like to fly 3400 miles across the globe to hop into a car and drive 60 more miles to the middle of Speyside only to walk into your favorite distillery and find out that all hand-filled bottles are peated that day? Talk about irony if you’re not a fan of peat. lol.
Today we’ve got the Glenfiddich 15 Distillery Edition (DE) pitted against a 14 year old bottle I handfilled in the gift shop at Glenfiddich. Being there during the week known as the “Spirit of Speyside” means super special offerings from many of the local distilleries. Unfortunately for my palate, the special offering Glenfiddich does for each SoS week is a peated one. Let’s dig into it. 🙂
The 15 DE is a harvest gold color at 51% abv as opposed to the dark brown leather of the 59% abv 14 hand filled bottle (HFB).
The 15 DE’s nose is raw sugar and freshly halved apples drizzled in a simple syrupy mess. Is this heaven?! The 14 HFB is campfire smoke with tree fruit notes hinding behind it. Maybe someone started a bonfire in an apple orchard. This type of smokey peat reminds me much of the friendlier peats like that of Wolfburn and Highland Park. There is no iodine here!
The 15 DE is a bullet train to sweet city. The apples that you might be used to in Glenfiddich offerings have been transmuted into peaches. Soft and sweet at 51% is a nice departure from typical whiskies at this proof. The finish is warm with sprinkles of spices and not much else. It’s a simple dram but dram good. It really makes me want to pair it with peach slices dusted in granulated sugar. The 14 HFB is manageable at 59% but it’s definitely higher in peat content than Highland Park. A second and third sip are letting my palate know that Glenfiddich might have gone a bit far with the peat. Their sister distillery’s 17 Year Peated offering isn’t anywhere near this potent.
*sigh* That was a long way to travel to get a bottle of something that isn’t up my alley. It means I’ll definitely need to make another trip and get a custom bottle (which go for $350+ but you can pic the colors of your box and everything!!)
So there we have it. An excuse for me to head back to Scotland and get a real bottle of Glenfiddich handfilled. 😀
A LOT of talk was happening on Instagram once the TTB released the label for the 2017 Classic Cut limited release from Macallan. Everyone was hoping the same thing I was hoping: “Please God, let this be a replacement for the Cask Strength and let it be awesome!” Well, the day finally came and the Classic Cut was finally released.
Below are the CNPF notes and my thoughts about these two bottles side by side 😉
COLOR: The cask strength (CS) is a rich, burned and caramelized sugar. The classic cut (CC) is a shade darker than gold.
NOSE: The CS smells of rich, dark, dried fruits. Raisins. Apricot. Brown sugar. Nosed side by side, the CC is almost a powdered sugar sweet over a bit of oak, actually. Bourbon vanilla.
PALATE: The CS is strong 60.1% and viscous dark espresso adventure. It’s overpowering and obviously aged in a majority of EU sherry casks without a barrage of sherry spices. It’s interesting how that’s even happened. It’s not spicy at all. It is a bit tannic at this ABV though. The CC isn’t just lighter in color and nose, but it’s lighter on the palate too. The packaging says vanilla and ginger are the two primary flavors but being a big fan of ginger, it tastes like it’s 90% ginger and 10% vanilla at best. The AM oak casks used really shine through in the form of that ginger. With water though, the CC seems to calm its ginger forward agenda just a bit and the vanilla really shines through the finish. A pleasant surprise. The CS with a touch of water loses some of its tannic heat and picks up some more raw sugar. Oh yes. The finish is still a bit drying but definitely enjoyable.
So there you have it. It’s just a totally different boat. And honestly, it reminds me of the same Macallan dichotomy that exists between the sherry aged bottles and the fine oak series. One is very sherry forward and the other is all about the oak. So which would I recommend you seek out? Well that depends on what you’re looking for in your whisky, flavorwise. If you love either sherry or vanilla ginger there’s a bottle for you. Too bad only one of them is easy to find.. For now.
It’s been a little while since we had a Scotch versus Scotch so today we’re going pit a couple of beginner friendly twelve year olds against each other and see who comes out on top.
We’ve got the PX & Oloroso sherry cask finished Glendronach 12 that wears a burnt orange hue next to the light yellow gold of the ex-bourbon cask anCnoc 12. Judging by the color alone, this will be a battle between Quercus Alba (American white oak) and Quercus Robur (European oak). One of the only indicators we can get from color is the type of wood that may have been used to age the distillate.
The Glendronach 12 brings sherry sweetness to your nose robed in a bit of spice and orange preserve vice the anCnoc 12 which reeks of lemon citrus and grassy notes. Side by side, they’re both exquisite but the nod goes to the Glendronach for having the richer nose. The fresh cut flowers in the anCnoc are also very enjoyable though.
anCnoc 12 is easy on the palate with a medium viscosity and fresh light herbal notes over oak spices and citrus peel notes. I has a smooth spice finish that lingers lightly. The Glendronach is lighter on the tongue than the anCnoc; almost like water versus oil. It’s full of melted chocolate ganache drizzled in vanilla with a bit of spice over over-ripened soft fruits. The Glendronach’s finish is spicy but enjoyable and again, richer than the anCnoc.
[anCnoc is made at Knockdhu but to not be confused with Knockando, they changed the name to anCnoc]
These two 12 year olds are so different that I can’t say one is better than the other. It’s really much more of a “what are you in the mood for” type battle. Maybe you’ve got a favorite? Go ahead and let me know which you prefer!