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The OCUK Whisky (and Whiskey) review thread

Discussion in 'La Cuisine' started by Uriel, 4 Jun 2009.

  1. Uriel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 7,648

    Noticed that there have been a few threads on whisky here. Thought we could build up our own little thread of impressions (if it catches on). Keep an open mind. A lot of people keep to single malts but I've had the odd good blend or two, which surprised me after I'd got a bit snobbish about it. No need to keep it Scotch either. Any whisky or whiskey will do.

    The main rule is you must write your review, with dram beside you as you're drinking the stuff. Reviews from memory not allowed. You should add enough information to uniquely identify the whisky. As a minimum this should be the brand name (or distillery), type (single malt, single grain, blended malt, blend, tenessee whisky, bourbon etc) and strength (e.g Famous Grouse, Scotch blend, 40%). Age and location should be included if stated on the packaging (e.g Glenlivet 12yo, Speyside Single Malt Scotch, 43%). Please state if you're adding ice or water, otherwise we'll assume you're drinking it straight. If you bought the bottle recently please indicate the price.

    I'd suggest using a scoring criteria derived from Jim Murray's Whisky Bible series. That involves rating by four criteria.

    These are:

    Nose (n): The aroma. In short - what does it smell like? Worth trying a few times as the smell can change in the glass on contact with air. Give the drink a swirl around the glass and inhale

    Taste (t): From arrival in the mouth to when it reaches its maximum intensity, what does it taste like?

    Finish (f): The aftertaste. What's it like when there's no liquid left in your mouth. How long can you taste something for?

    Balance (b) What's your overall impression? Does it delight or disappoint. Are some aspects good but other lacking or is it the complete package.

    Each of these should be scored out of 25. 1-12 should be the unpleasant side of average range. 13-18 should be unimpressive. above 19 should be in the pleasant range. 25 would mean that you could barely imagine it being improved. Add the four scores and you'll get a score out of 100. I've had to interpret these ranges, as he never really defines them. Should be a step in the right direction.

    Here's Mr Murray's take on what the final score means:

    So - to kick us off

    Oban, 14yo, Western Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 43%.
    n: bouquet of flowers. toffee. Pollen tickles the nose like the mildest possible hay fever. 20
    t: irn bru. Oak. Peppery Heat. Slight soapiness. 20
    f: root beer. White pepper. Hint of iodine. Fairly long and lingering ending in tree bark. 22
    b: Slightly unusual and disjointed. Good separation of flavours. 20
    Overall 82.

    Have fun ;)

    Edit: A guide to whisky tasting from Whisky magazine: http://www.whiskymag.com/nosing_course/part1.php

    Edit: Recommendations with price guide for Christmas 09:

    I've added whiskies scored 90 or higher here, plus cheaper whiskies scoring above 85.

    I've also added a taste rating of A to D, where A is light or malty (e.g Glenturret, Auchentoshan) and D is very strong flavoured - spicy smoky or peaty (e.g. Laphroaig, Highland Park). If buying presents and you don't know whether someone likes particularly light or strong whiskies, I'd recommment staying in the B-C range.

    Lagavulin 16 yo. Price £40. Scores: 95 (2007 bottling, Uriel), 97 (2009 bottling, Uriel). Taste rating D
    Ardbeg Corryvreckan. Price £60. Scores 97 (Uriel, revised from 94 after re-tasting). Taste Rating D
    Ardbeg 10 yo. Price £28. Scores: Recommended (no score, NickK) 95 (Uriel) Taste Rating D
    Bowmore Tempest 10yo. Price £45. Score 94 (Uriel). Taste Rating D
    Bruichladdich Rum Cask 17yo 46%. Price ?. Score 91 (Uriel). Taste Rating B
    Clynelish 14yo. Price £30. Score 94 (Uriel). Taste Rating C
    Glen Moray (NAS). Price £16 to £25. Score 88 (Uriel). Taste Rating B
    Longmorn 16 yo. Price £50. Scores: 90 (colinuk). Taste rating C-D (my guess from his description)
    Talisker 10 yo. Price £25 Scores 90 (Uriel) Taste Rating D
    Monkey Shoulder. Price £20. Scores 90 (Uriel) Taste Rating B
    Glen Moray (No age statement). Price £16. Scores: 88 (Uriel) Taste Rating A
    Jura 10 yo. Price £16. Score 87 (Uriel) Taste Rating C.
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2015
  2. Von Smallhausen

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 1 Aug 2004

    Posts: 12,667

    Location: Tyneside

    Caskus .... god of whisky, where art though ?

    Show us your divine insight.
     
  3. [FnG]magnolia

    Pancake

    Joined: 29 Aug 2007

    Posts: 27,407

    Location: Auckland

    Reminds me of the mad, blonde woman who used to be in the Food & Drink Show. She was an idiot, alas, although I am sure you are not :)

    When sober, I shall opine on the benefits of Laphroaig, perhaps even flaunting a score.
     
  4. Uriel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 7,648

    Whisky is practically the only thing I drink or eat slowly. Best way to stop me getting drunk is give me a good Islay like Laphroaig or Laguvulin and I'll sit there and sniff the stuff for hours.

    Edit: Just finished my wee dram of Oban. Only took me an hour or so. That was rushed actually.
     
  5. Dave85

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Jan 2004

    Posts: 8,966

    Location: Sunny Scotland

    Okay here goes with one of my favorites and I have a large and varied collection :D

    The Glenlivet 18Yo Single Malt, Speyside 43%
    n: quite sweet and with subtle floral layers, hint of peatiness and a slight hint of the sherry oak 22
    t: slightly flowery with a hint of sweetness but then developing smoothly 19
    f: good long lasting after taste switching between sweet and bitter flavours 21
    b: delightfull embodies everything their should be in a good whisky of this region and age overall a good package of all aspects. 22

    84 overall shall we post pics?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2009
  6. Uriel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 7,648

    Only 84 for one of your favourites? I think you may be being a tad conservative on the scoring.

    Pics seems like a good idea.
     
  7. Dave85

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Jan 2004

    Posts: 8,966

    Location: Sunny Scotland

    Yup I am being conservative as im sure there are allot better whiskys so I leave myself some room to play for those outstanding whiskys :D
     
  8. a1ex2001

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Mar 2005

    Posts: 14,548

    Location: Here and There...

    Why would you want to do this, surely over analysing something to this extent removes the sheer pleasure of drinking the stuff, next you'll be telling me you spat it in a metal can?
     
  9. Makunouchi

    Mobster

    Joined: 4 Feb 2008

    Posts: 3,409

    Location: Brighton

    It's not much of an ask to give up 1 glass out of a whole bottle to write a review for other enthusiasts is it?
     
  10. NickK

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jan 2003

    Posts: 19,462

    Why not? When I sip wine or beer I think about it rather than being just alcohol. Obviously how long you spend on it depends on circumstance but why not taste and contrast? Why not learn more about it by trying this?

    If anything I would also look at it in the glass too and describe it. Also I always feel that number scores are relative between what that other drinks that person has experienced - so many be some background of others you've tried.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2009
  11. Duff-Man

    Capodecina

    Joined: 24 Jun 2004

    Posts: 10,977

    Location: Manchester

    Laphroig and Ardbeg are where it's at :)

    I had a bottle of Ardbeg rennaissance recently. Damn good stuff. I refuse to break it down into a bunch of flowery hyperbolic metaphors for each particular aspect, but "it were reyt tasty".
     
  12. NickK

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jan 2003

    Posts: 19,462

    Once I get back into earning something, I'll celebrate with friends by opening my RD 1996, a good meal and then by finishing the evening with the guys sat around with a good glass of single malt.
     
  13. Uriel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 7,648

    I actually find I enjoy it more. Analysing the experience enriches it for me.

    Does knowledge of musical theory or sound engineering diminish one's enjoyment of music?
     
  14. Uriel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 7,648

    I've got another. This one's a personal favourite. I'm a sucker for a good Islay and this, by reputation, is one of the best.

    Lagavulin Aged 16 Years, Islay Single Malt Scotch, 43%
    n. Something difrerent each time I smell it. Sausages barbecued to black over a peat and oak fire. Then furniture polish. A hint of vanilla after you've tasted it. 22
    t, Smoky before the liquid hits the palette, like smelling with your mouth. "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hands... And he laid it upon my mouth" Isaiah 6:6a. 25
    f. Lapsang souchong, then black pepper. Peat, staying there for a good while. Eventually a faint hint of peppermint. 25
    b. Hold it in your mouth and inhale. It's like a good Havanna cigar. Add a drop of water and the nose gets smokier. Never seems quite as good as the first time I tasted it though. 23
    Overall 95.
     
  15. colinuk

    Mobster

    Joined: 27 Jan 2005

    Posts: 3,137

    Location: Versailles

    Longmorn - 16 year old. £50

    http://www.parkerswhisky.co.uk/longmorn-16-year-old-whisky-new-p-799.html?products_id=799

    Nose (n): Fresh air from above 10,000ft. with added fires of peat, bark from trees, sun on your face and the caress of silk in your nose.
    Taste (t): in the mouth, its slighty warm, tingling, half way down your throat, it goes away, almost no taste. bottom of your breast bone, it explodes into all the colours and a heat like the devil himself hugs you. Wonderful!
    Finish (f): slight peat taste, over all lasts for a good few mins before fading, heat and smoothness is the after taste.
    Balance (b) This delights so much its hard to argue with it. the taste from the 1st to the last is the same, peat, bonfires, sun, colours, exploding. It is slightly over priced, but you pay for what you get, it is worth every drop. No water for this, just as it is.

    Imagine a angel with good tasting lips, now call her longmorn....

    Over all i give this a 90%. only better'd by the 25 year old. but i know alot of people will not like the peat taste.

    ColiN
     
  16. TheBrooder

    Mobster

    Joined: 8 Jan 2007

    Posts: 3,213

    Location: Cognac, France

    drink Cognac then we'll talk :D
     
  17. NickK

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jan 2003

    Posts: 19,462

    Ok, I bit. Just 10 years young Ardbeg.

    10 years old. 46% non-chill filtered without being diluted down from 80% to the desired. This is neat.

    Nose (n):
    Smokey embers of a dead fire in the air, perhaps further down the valley giving way to a deep smokey peat.

    Taste (t):
    very smooth, full, warming, smoke like a proper wood smoked salmon.
    A good mouthful feels like the embers are still burning on the tongue, the fire gives way to a cooling fleeting across your tongue and the intense smokey taste giving away to peat.

    Finish (f):
    A long long after taste of the smoky peat. It doesn't change, or transform but merely lingers on and on..

    Balance (b): A delight. This I have to say is rather amazing considering it's neat 46%. No sharpness of alcohol (although it's there) and the full clear taste without any oddities. It's more rounded than Laphroig which I think is raw and smokier compared to this.
     
  18. Domi

    Hitman

    Joined: 6 Sep 2008

    Posts: 790

    I am with the brooder why would anybody drink whisky when there are so many fine brandys.
     
  19. Uriel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 15 Jan 2006

    Posts: 7,648

    Why not have both? They are the beer and wine of the spirits world.

    Personally I prefer both beer and whisky to wine and brandy but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the others.

    Omnomnom. No scores? Haven't had this particular Ardberg but heard it's very good. Got a few awards in 2008, I hear.
     
  20. V4NT0M

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Jan 2007

    Posts: 19,708

    Location: Land of the Scots

    You people are crazy, drinking stuff that taste's like tree bark and peat.