Tag Archives: Tropical fruits

The GlenHatton dregs blend, take one, pt. 1 of 2

GlenHatton – glen · ha · tton\'(g)len · ha · tän\n\ A “luck of the draw, pour the dregs of a shit ton of whiskies into one bottle” whisk(e)y blend.

As you might have guessed, should you be a frequent or daily reader of the Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society blog, I get a good deal of whisky samples; buy more whisk(e)y than I should of whisky and yes; I taste, review and drink a lot of whisky.

You might wonder what happens to the drips and dregs left over from sample and purchased bottles; the stuff left over that’s too little an amount to drink…  What happens?

The GlenHatton happens.

I used a base whisky to start the whole thing (about 15% of the Suntory Hibiki 12yo) then dumped 21+ dregs of various whiskies into the bottle and “wham-bam-thank-you-shmuel” the final result is a tasty little dregs bottle of whisk(e)y I call: The GlenHatton.

So, what to do with all of this dregs blended-whisk(e)y??

Well, if you’re me, you send a message out to friends via the Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society Facebook page asking if anyone wants to get a taste of the stuff.  I had enough for 8 samples and got a taker for each one!  Based on the quick response and people’s seemingly burning desire to taste the stuff, I thought it’d make for a great post!

What would people think of it and what did they think might be in it?  With the exception of the Malt Impostors, no one knew that the dregs sat in a Hibiki bottle.  And, with the exception of a few other things, none of which had to do with the make up of this whisky, this is all I told people about the whisk(e)y:

“Dear Guinea Pig, I mean, participant…

You are one of eight people to join the GlenHatton inner circle.  Congratulations.

It took me a long time but I finally filled (for the most part) a full bottle with the dregs of whiskies from many, many different samples & countries.  There are over 26 different whiskies in here from all over the world: Scotland, Japan, Sweden, USA & Taiwan!

I’d say more than 95% of this is malt whisky but there is some grain (in the form of bourbon & and grain content from a blend or two I dumped in there).

The rules:

Rule # 1 — There is no Fight Club

Rule # 2 — Enjoy.  It’s an odd duck.  I didn’t go about creating this dregs fluid in the attempt to design some master blend.  No, this is all random stuff.  Solid!

Rule # 3 — Aside from enjoying it, try to taste it as if you were reviewing it as best you can and PLEASE, write down your notes.  I’d love to get the standard Nose, Palate, Finish notes.

Additionally, when I do post this up, I will reveal the contents of this dregs sample.  Go ahead and try to take some guesses as to what you think may be in there (you don’t have to try and guess all 26+ whiskies).  The person (or people) who get more than 7 correct will get a surprise whisky sample.

Hmmm, 7 may be a high number.  Ok, the person who gets the most correct will get a surprise sample.  Sound cool?  Cool.

Thanks again for your participation!

All the best!  L’chayim/Slainte/Cheers/Kampai!”

So, what’s in The GlenHatton?  A LOT! In no particular order and in no specified amount, the whiskies are:

So, who are the participants in this grand experiment and what did people think of the GlenHatton?  Well, here are the first 4 reviews:

Review #1

David Blackmore

Bio: Global Brand Ambassador of The Glenmorangie

Initial impression on the nose: subtle, mild and well balanced with plenty of tropical fruit – bananas and pineapple. Strangely reminiscent of Hibiki 12yr!

On further nosing: distant hints of chili peppers with more tropical fruit and hints of corn whisky.

Tasting neat: Sweet vanilla and tropical fruits – pineapple and mango(?). Finish is dried with more corn notes, biscuity with a suptly hint of peppery smoke…

Nosing with water: Distant tarry smoke(?) Water definitely amplifies the smokey notes more than the fruit notes. More of those sweet corn whiskey notes as well.

Tasting with water: Soft, easy drinking with vanilla, honey and tropical fruits. Later, hints of American whiskey on the breath.

My guess for (some of) the whisk(e)y components:

Glenmorangie Astar / 18yr, Hibiki 12, Makers Mark, Bruichladdich, Dalmore, Stranahan’s…

ABV seems to be approx 43%

Since blends should be all about balance and ease of drinking I think you really hit a home run. Very drinkable!

Review #2

Jason Johnstone-Yellin of GuidScotchDrink.com

Bio: Born and raised in Burns country (Ayrshire, Scotland), I have lived in the US since December 2001. I founded the Single Malt Whisky Society of the Palouse in 2004 in order to share my love of single malt with friends who were interested in learning more about the hallowed spirit and we’re still going strong. I also lead private whisky tours of Scotland and would love to show you around my native country.

Color: New motor oil

Nose: Fruity to begin (more like artificial fruit flavoring, though, with a sherry nudge coming in from behind), developing black pepper and soft, fragrant spice (a red spice like paprika comes to mind), overripe bananas poke around the edges of the spice (reminiscent of an Indian bazaar). 

Palate: More of that soft spice with building wood (makes me think about dark chocolate with dried chili peppers), chewy with long toffee notes, some spicy ginger followed by thick, woody, cumin notes, red fruits in a summer crumble. 

Finish: Lots of black pepper and charred wood with ground cumin that just keeps going and going and going. 

Overall: Given Joshua’s fascination with Glenmorangie this is likely 25 different expressions from Glenmo and one Japanese blend!  With that said, however, I’m thinking there has to be some Amrut in here.  I’m also getting elements from port finishing with the red fruits on the palate, so maybe there’s Kavalan ‘Concert Master’ in here, and maybe some Balvenie and Springbank Port finished dregs, too.  Could I be tasting Mizunara (Japanese oak) in here?  That always throws me for a loop… Hibiki for sure.  He has very international tastes, you know!  Needless to say, very interesting stuff (although I think I’ll still be tasting cumin a week from now).

Review #3

David Bailey Jr.

Bio: I am a native resident of Brooklyn, NY. I have done freelance sales/marketing for some high end single malt scotch brands in the NY Metro Area, and now also work for Christie’s as a Wine Inventory Controller. I have a huge penchant for reading, working out and all sorts of geeky, nerdy things but adore spirits, especially scotch.

Color: a rustic, chestnut color. Takes very well in the glass, with nice, flowing long legs!

Nose: sea salt & brine followed immediately by roasted coffee bean & burnt rubbers (Starbucks in a speedy Jag perhaps?), dampened oak, vanilla & toffee with slight hints of oak throughout, and touches of warming peat.

Palate: sweet perfume-esque entry, hints of vanilla & milk chocolate, more coffee bean with lots of spiciness, light peat now emerges followed by more sea salt. Very lingering finish.

Nose (w 2 drops of water added): much sweeter, now honey & maple syrup emerge, caramelized coffee beans with light sprinkles of sea salt & brine, followed by dampened oak.

Palate (w water): creamy & a bit oily, sweeter, vanilla & milk chocolate again, spicy notes now appear more prevalent, then drop. Interesting. Medium finish.

All in all a pretty good dram. Surely opens up a bit with just a slight splash of water. Review was done utilizing a 2 oz pour. Was tempted to try this alongside a nice glass of Guinness and a medium bodied cigar, but I’ll save that for the next dram, hahaah.

Review #4

Blair Bowman

Bio: Foreign Secretary of Aberdeen University Whisky Society, currently residing in Barcelona. Just returned on Monday from Judging at The International Whisky Competition in Chicago – of heated discussion. Assisted at Taipei Whisky Live last year and many other whisky related events. Works as Online Community Manager for a Webinar Company in Barcelona.

Disclaimer from Blair: Sorry I’ve got a bit of a lingering cold – think its the sudden change in temp here in BCN – anyway, I’ve given it my best shot! This is all from my right nostril 🙂

Nose:  Pink grapefruit an peaches (very ripe ones) then kind of cured ham/meats, chorizo-esque meatiness appears.

Palate:  Vanilla and creamy texture at first. Then quite a sharp sweetness of sherbet lemons and a bit of turkish delight. High amounts of ground black pepper.

Finish:  Fairly long finish with Parma-Violets (if you know what they are!) and the pepperiness and cured meats linger with a hint of cigar smoke.


David Blackmore, you nailed it when you detected the Hibiki but as you saw from the list, that’s the only whisk(e)y from your list in there.  However, your detection of the tropical fruits (pineapple, banana & mango) speaks to the amount of 1991 Balblair that’s in the GlenHatton – You’ve got a killer nose!

Jason, you are correct.  I LOVE, and am a proselytizer of, Glenmorangie (music to Mr. Blackmore’s ears, I’m sure!) and Japanese whiskies however you’ll notice there’s not one drop of Glenmo in there and only one Japanese whisky in there (the Hibiki, just as David Blackmore had detected).  You nailed the Balvenie and the fact that there was something influenced by port in thee – the SMWS 123.5 is an 8yo Glengoyne from a port pipe.

David Bailey, your notes made me hungry as hell!  I think you nailed it when you detected the toffee on the palate (that was one of notes my tongue and brain held on to).

Blair, sorry that your nose was all jacked up for the nosing & tasting of the GlenHatton.  Your notes are most interesting and upon a 2nd review of the GlenHatton I can see what you mean by the pepperiness to the whisk(e)y as well as the over-ripened peach notes and cigar smoke (delicious cigar smoke indeed!).

David, Jason, David & Blair – thanks so much for participating and for your great tasting notes.  So far Jason is in the lead with the most number of whiskies guessed.

Check in tomorrow as we’ll see notes from 5 other people (including my own) and the big winner of the surprise sample will be announced.

A blind-ish tasting of some crazy mixed up old juice…

A funny thing happened on the way to “GlenHatton”…

“Wait, what’s GlenHatton?”

“GlenHatton” is a something I’ve been brewing for some time now.  I’ve been pouring my “Dregs”* into a single bottle, about 26 whiskies in all, and reached a point were it seemed to smell & taste… interesting.  So, being taught that “sharing is caring” I reached out to some people via the JSMWS Facebook page to see if they wanted to try it.  I received more responses than I could shake a stick at and could only dole out about 6 samples.  There will be a a series of “GlenHatton” posts in the very near future…  “Watch this space”

*(“Dregs” Noun.  Meaning in the Whisky World: The final bits of many whisky bottles or samples that where there simply was not enough left to drink as a dram, or barely more than a few drops.)

So, one of the lucky 6 recipients of my GlenHatton Dregs whisky asked if I were interesting in tasting an all-malt blend that he had been working on (Sssseeeeee??? sharing IS caring!!).  I, of course, said ‘hell yeah!’ and asked what was in the blend.  He could not tell me.  All he could say was that this was some OLD juice!  He did give some names and a range of dates: 60’s Balvenie, 30’s Mortlach, some old-ass LittleMill and a few others.  Again, the information was as limited as could be.  That’s cool.  I figured it’d be a fun experiment regardless…

Thanks to EM for the sample!

On the noseFruity and dusty at the same time.

A high sweet corn-like note is uncovered after the first sip and is off-set by a slight touch of smoke.

Light berry jam (think a mix of raspberry and strawberry) and a whiff of wood.

Jasmine tea (a lovely note).

Light sweet butter.  A touch of coconut and a bit of pineapple.

On the mouth ***Incredibly thick*** and seemingly growing in volume  (perhaps my mouth is watering?).  Flat soda.

I’m guessed the ABV was pretty low, no more than 43% (EM corrected me, its just over 44%ABV).

Toasted cream pastries and warmed woody bits.

Spicy and spiced notes of fresh and juicy melon.

Mango, sticky rice and coconut milk (Thai mango sticky rice).

Finish Fruity & tropical – filled with mango and persimmons.  Lasting fruitiness.

In sum A cool mix of fruits, wood, smoke (however slight) and Asian-style goodness.  All-in-all a nicely balanced, enjoyable whisky.  Perhaps the best thing about this whisky was the mango sticky rice note (I am SO HUNGRY right now).

Old Pulteney both 12yr & 17yr versions.

Highlands region – 43%ABV for the 12yr – $35 | £25 | €3046%ABV for the 17yr – $70 | £45 | €53

Just doing a little side by side today of two Old Pulteney whiskies.

The 12yr is picture right and the 17yr on your left.

The 12yr and the 17yr (both award winning whiskies, mind you) are both, in my opinion, good stand-by whiskies.  Something to keep on your shelf at all times.  These whiskies are perfect for those who are not familiar the juice and nice for those who are and want something balanced, full flavored and easy going.

I just need to remark quickly on the bottle shape as I find it to be most strange.  Almost as strange as their stills look.  But hey, their stills produce some fine-fine spirit so let’s not make judgements upon appearance.  Ok?

On to the nosing

12yr A bit forceful (has a bite), yet fresh and inviting.

Honey elements as well as citrus & cream (like and orange creamsicle).

A second nosing offers a salty sea breeze  and some grassy notes.

Fennel seed, vanilla and a good bit of malt.

A fairly balanced nose.

17yr Much softer than the 12yr; the vanilla is creamier in scent.

This is sweeter smelling – like sweet summer flowers also, pressed flowers.

A good deal of tropical fruits.

Something woodsy in here, like white birch bark.

A bit salty like the 12yr but not oceanic, more like food-type salt.

On to the tasting (with notes on the finish)

12yr Big & malty with fresh lemons and very honied.

Nice chewy-ish mouth feel.

Salty, grassy and a touch vegetal (think celery).

Some oak in there (didn’t really get that on the nose).

A good long and dry finish.

17yr A big voluptuous whisky – toying with my tongue!!

A truly fabulous mouthfeel.

Candle waxiness.

Celery (just like with the 12yr) and big old salt lick.

Baked goods with sweet icing.

Spicy as we get close to the finish.

And, speaking of finishes… A big bruiser of a finish!

Long and creamy however, very fizzy (if that makes sense).

In sum These are two solid whiskies.  No doubt about it.  I did not do this side by side to pit the two against each other.  I just wanted to see the differences between the two.  Both are perfect summery drams.  The 12yr is light and very approachable  – almost like an aperitif whisky.  The 17yr is more of an after dinner digestive whisky.  I wont lie here though… the 12yr is really the best bang-for-your-buck whisky of the two.  At about $35 (or £25 in the UK)  in many markets, you can’t go wrong with it.

Special thanks goes out to Kathy Lewis-Flanigan for the generous samples!

Linkwood 15yr – Old Masters Collection

Speyside region – 59.2% ABV – $|£|€ – ???

I am increasingly becoming more and more fond of single malt whiskies produced by Linkwood – nearly all of which are independently bottled, by the way.  For the most part, the fluid is used in various blends such as Johnnie Walker, Bells & Haig.  This is a shame for those who prefer a single malt, but, good news for those who also enjoy a good blended whisky (I represent both of these types of people) as Linkwood whiskies tend to be nice, rich and complex – the perfect addition to a blend to enhance its deliciousness.

The name “Old Masters” is somewhat new to me.  When you think of independent bottlers some companies come right to mind: SMWS, Signatory, Duncan Taylor, Douglas Laing (who does the Old Malt Cask, Provenance & Premium Barrel lines), etc…

So, let’s see what the Old Masters get us with this Linkwood:

On the nose Strong spirity nose with an initial attack of blue nail polish remover/acetone.

Big malty notes.  Belgian beer.

Tropical fruits like pineapple and dried papaya.

Shoelaces (think “fat” laces from the old school hip hop days a la Grand Master Flash & Run DMC).

This is some strong stuff so, I decided to add a wee bit of water.

With water, the nose softens tremendously…

Now some big oak and sweet sugared grapefruit halves are revealed.


On the mouth Big malt.  Big, big malt.

Hot mouthfeel.

Spicy notes and those tropical notes carry through.

Something highly sour about this schtuff too.  Can’t place it.

Adding water now…

The mouth feel gets chewy and that sour note evolves into lemon pith and dry white wine sangria.

Finish Long and stinging in feel thought short-ish in flavor.

Like a mouth full of whitehead hornets (poor Winnie the Pooh!).

With water the finish is still very long but with a few less bees a’buzzin’

In sum A lot going on here.  Very complex but not sure it all worked out in the end.  If you were to go for this whisky, and I’m not sure I’m suggesting such a thing, I would reach for it in the late spring/early summer time.  Very bright & fruity.  I didn’t hate this whisky I just think it could have used a few more years in the cask or perhaps it should have been transferred to a new cask for a Re-JEW-Vination™ of the spirit.

Truth be told, I reviewed this whisky more than a month ago or so and it wasn’t until yesterday when Chris at The Whisky Wall reviewed the same whisky.  You should hop over to The Whisky Wall to check out Chris’ review.

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky “Solist”, ex-bourbon, cask strength

Taiwan – 58.2%ABV – 200ml sample (thanks to Ian Chang of Kavalan for the sample)

This is the final day Gal of Whisky Israel and I will be sharing our thoughts on the Kavalan range.  While I’m not tasting these whiskies blindly, Gal and I will not be sharing our thoughts on these whiskies prior to our posting them.  Be sure to check out Gal’s notes on this whisky (a link to Gal’s review is listed below my notes).

Well, so far, for the Kavalan range, I’ve really enjoyed their King Car whisky.  The “Concertmaster” port finished whisky was good (if a little off balance) and the Sherry cask “Solist” was quite the delicious pick-me-up.

This final “Solist” is also a cask strength whisky.  Kavalan have an ex-bourbon cask strength (this one I’m reviewing today) and an ex-sherry (yesterday’s review).

I am a big fan of ex-bourbon cask whiskies and if they’re cask strength… bonus!

Let’s see what we get:

On the nose Big bright bourbony nose filled with vanilla and coconut (almost like a Sno-ball.

Also rubbing alcohol and tropical fruits (think pineapples and even a little guanabana).

Fresh cream (and creamy smelling).

On the mouth Creamy mouth feel – very nice.

Vanilla and honey.

Birch beer with some high effervescence – it’s all fizzy in my mouth.

Finish Long, more fizziness, lemon drops and vanilla ice cream.

In sum A straight forward, light and fruity whisky.  Very impressed with the mouth feel – creamier than I expected, but with some lasting fizz to it – right up my alley.

This is a big, young sweet treat.  Early spring in a warming sun is just right for her.

I truly had a lot of fun reviewing these whiskies (and doing so with Gal!).  I look forward to their being more widely available and feel the world is ready for more “world” whiskies.

Be sure to read Gal’s review here.