Tag Archives: green apples

Edradour 10yo – 1999 Sauternes finish bottled at 57.6% ABV

Highland Region – 57.6%ABV – £43 | €50

I’ve seen many bottlings of Edradour whisky on the shelves here in the US.  I’ve always liked the packaging and the fact that many of the bottles I saw were bottled at cask strength and seemed to be somewhat experimental in nature with many different types of wine and barrel finishes.

It wasn’t until my interview with Mr. Alan Shayne (President of the US chapter of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, SMWSA) that I really began to consider a bottle.  When Alan mentioned that one of his uncles was once an owner of the distillery, I instantly wanted to try some.

Being a lover of Sauternes finished whiskies, when Master of Malt offered me some free 3cl sized samples I chose this as one of them.  A big thanks goes out to Master of Malt for the sample!

Sadly, since writing up this post, MoM is out of the full bottles…

I expect this whisky to be delicious (Sauternes finish, cask strength… what’s not to love or look forward to?) Let’s see if this whisky lives up to my expectations:

On the nose Big warm, sauternesy nose loaded with apricot, walnuts, honey and white grapes.

So far so good.

Oranges, cloves and warm cream.

Fruity yet savory liquid hand soap.

A whisper of rosemary.

Toasty rye bread, dry.

On the mouth A very soapy entry.

After that, more of the same from the nose.

This is a good thing as the sauternes finish compliments this whisky very nicely.

Apricot jam and sour/sugared apple lollipops – very puckering.

Finish Shortish yet, warming, mouth watering and savory/sweet

In sum An instant favorite for me.  Of all the finishes for a whisky, sauternes is my favorite.  When done right, it puts me in heaven.  Save this whisky for some YOU time.

Kavalan Solist “Vinho” Taiwanese whisky

Taiwan – 58.8%ABV – 200ml (special thanks to Ian Chang for the generous sample!)

The Kavalan range of whiskies, by the King Car Whisky Distillery out of Taiwan, are being churned out in short order but are not being done so in a way that would compromise quality.  I’ve been pretty impressed with most of their whiskies that I’ve tried so far.

I asked Ian Chang of King Car what the make up of the “Vinho” Solist was and I was surprised and impressed by the depth of Ian’s response:

“Indeed, the Vinho is part of our Solist series, which is a cask strength, single cask single malt whisky of course. The most special thing about it is that Vinho is fully matured in used American oak wine barrels that have been toasted and recharred in a way that brings out fruity vanilla notes from the whisky and wood overlaid on a delicate background of complex fruitiness.

The oak casks are made from American oak that has been seasoned in the open air for at least 24 months. The oak is slow grown that results in a greater release of flavours into the whisky. This reduces the astringent effect of tannins and releases more vanilla spiciness and hints of herbs such as dill and lemon grass. The result is softness and added complexity.

The casks have (deliberately) been used to mature both red and white wines which eventually will contribute the background complex fruitiness to Kavalan / Solist Vinhos.

After their use for wine maturation the casks are carefully shaved inside then gently toasted over an oak chip fire for a strictly controlled period of time and temperature. This converts wine residues into a complex mixture of fruit flavours including lime, berry fruits and peaches. Then the casks are charred for a short period of time to release lashings of flavours such as vanilla, ice cream and caramelised sugars.

The result is a more complex whisky than is possible than with whisky casks alone!”

The process sounds very interesting.  Let’s see what it does to the taste…

On the nose Incredibly bourbony; that is to say, strong and sweet notes of vanilla and spice – this does not “taste” like bourbon.

The color, which is like a deep brown mixed with blood red, suggests heavily charred casks and some of the wine influence Ian mentioned.

Musty and heavy with cinnamon and burnt sugar.

Notes of papaya and paper bags.

Blackberries and fresh starfruit.

…an interesting interplay of scents.

Watered down tomato based alphabet soup.

On the mouthDrying and a bit meaty.

For 58.8% ABV, it’s not as hot as I had expected.

Notes of a nice Malbec wine, soft and slightly tannic.

Dark berries and red-wine-soaked raisins.

Left-over fried grizzle and super-sour green apples.

Slightly nutty and again, drying; like the way walnuts can dry your mouth.

FinishLong finish that’s increasingly peppered and a bit caramely….

In sum This is perhaps my favorite Kavalan yet. Very complex and nicely balanced. Sometimes wine finishes can be too complex and lacking balance… not the case with this one.

Perfect for after dinner kibitzing with friends.

Compass Box Oak Cross

Blended Scotch whisky – 43%ABV – $40 | £28 | €33

I am about to review a very nice blended malt whisky put out by the good folks at Compass Box.  It’s called “Oak Cross”.   This is a blend of Clynelish and Teaninich and (I think) Dailuaine whiskies.  I’d like to propose that this whisky be finished in ex-maneschewitz casks – then we can call it… you guessed it, Oak Star (or Oak Magen Dovid).

Kidding aside (or am I kidding?…), I’ve been very pleased with these Compass Box whiskies so far.  While this is my second post on them, I’m about four samples into their line and I’ve not been disappointed yet.  Unique blends with lots to offer many palates.

So, how does the Oak Star, I mean, Cross taste?:

On the nose Just like with the Asyla, we start off with butter – this time think buttered biscuits or perhaps rye toasty bread.

Oak for sure (hence the name!).

Honey & vanilla.

And, get this, a can of emptied Country Time Lemonade (man, I used to be addicted to this stuff as a child and I loved smelling the empty cans – don’t ask why).

Green apples.


On the mouth An overwhelming spiciness quickly pushes aside a very oily entry.

This is a sweetie (though, slightly drying/tannic)!

Some maltiness – actually, a fair amount.

A fruity mystery Dum-Dum lollipop?

Finish Shortish.  The oak and malt are fighting for dear life but, in the end, I win.

In sum I’m not quite sure where to place this.  For my tastes, I actually preferred the Asyla.  Not knocking this stuff at all.  It’s a solid vatted /blended malt for sure.  Just trying to figure out where to put this on the Mood-And-Season-O-Meter™… Perhaps the best place would be – in good company.

Loch Chaim Macallan 18yr Single Cask

Speyside region – 43%ABV – $96 – $127

As you may or may not know, I am part of a whisky blogging group called The Whisky Round Table.  We’re a group of 12 whisky bloggers who bring up a new topic every month to discuss.  Each month one of us fearless knights (of the Whisky Round Table) comes up with a question and we all have to answer it on that questioner’s blog.  You can follow our twitter feed here: @whiskyknights

Why do bring this up?  Well, Ruben of Whiskynotes.be recently brought up a great question about Independent bottlers (you can find it here as well as our answers to his question) and Loch Chaim, as I am finding, is one of these great indy bottlers we all discuss.

This next expression is a great example of a well chosen cask by an indy and another reason why independent bottlers should not and can not be ignored.

Color This is an 18 year old whisky?

I don’t normally rate color but this so light, like a Sauvignon Blanc.

Obviously, there’s no sherry influence here but even with a bourbon cask I would have expected more color.

On the nose Again, this is an 18 year old whisky?

Very aggressive nose filled with a boat load of spice and vanilla.

Some toasted coconut notes.

Lemon essence water.


Chamomile tea.

On the mouth Nice entry; slight viscosity.

More chamomile tea with an extra teaspoon of sugar.

Perhaps some green apple and star fruit.

Finish Tea and coffee.  A bit fizzy.

In sum Do not go into this thinking you’re going to experience your typical (read: sherried) Macallan.  This is as near the antithesis of a standard bottle of Macallan you can find.  However, this is not a bad thing.  Oh, I found this whisky to be very light and refreshing!  I could wake up with this stuff, it’s most invigorating.  Very much a springtime whisky.

Glenglassaugh Fledgling XB – A 1yr old ex-bourbon barrel spirit drink

Highland Region – 50%ABV – 200ml – $29.99

So far we’ve tasted the Glenglassaugh Clearac (new make spirit) and their Peated Clearac.  Today we’re going to fast forward one year with the Clearac.  The Fledgling XB Glenglassaugh spirit drink is their Clearac matured for one year in an ex-bourbon barrel.

So, what should we expect from one year’s worth of maturation?  Tough to say.  I’ll be very honest is stating that, with the exception of young American malt whiskeys, I’ve yet to try very young Scotch malt spirits.

I would hope for some nice bourbon barrel influence such as coconuts and vanilla.  Perhaps an accentuated sweetness as well.

Let’s see what we find:

On the nose Still very “new-makey”.

Well, it’s only one year old so this stuff is still in diapers.

Much fruitier on the nose than the Clearac — Pears and green apple.

Some notes now suggesting actual bourbon barrel maturation: coconut, vanilla and some sweet corn (slight).

Big grapefruit notes.

Burning plastic.

In that order.

On the mouth Ooey-gooey new make spirit with a side of sweetened coconut milk.

Wrigley’s bubble gum wrappers.

G-d, that sounds awfully pretentious.

Sorry folks.

Limes and lime leaves.

Finish Shortly medium and very, very pleasant.

In sum As opposed to the Clearac & Peated new make spirits, I could actually find myself reaching for this on occasion just to enjoy as a bright clean drink.

To see Jason of Guid Scotch Drink’s notes, click here.