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Saturday, 16 February 2008

Let it all hang out!!

Blue Hanger - 30 Year Old - 3rd Limited Release - 45.6%

I'd been drawn to this whisky by the notion of vatting a number of spectacular, aged casks together from two great distilleries- in only the way Berry Bros & Rudd could. This release follows on from the previous releases and marries together 7 casks; three, 30 YO Glen Livet and four, 30 YO Glen Grant (apparently, one of the Grants was slightly older, around 33 YO).

Nose: Superb sweetness- muscavado sugar, candied apple, cedar wood, wisps of cinnamon and vanilla fudge. Beautifully balanced.

Palate: Thick swathes of sherry, dark chocolate, orange with a peppery, dry top note.

Finish: Really opens up into big, dry, bold cinnamon/cedar, almost sour-mash, slight rubberiness/liquorice but again, superbly balanced.

A first class vatting, which effortlessly brings big fruity sherry but sweet, spicy balance from two cracking distilleries. A superb addition to anyones cabinet.

Ltd number of bottles- £69.95- available only from Berry Bros & Rudd, London.

Try this with: Amber Mist (a medium matured firm cheese, washed in whisky) & Highland oatcakes.
- Neil

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Founder's not reserved!

Arran - OB - Founder's Reserve - NAS - 43%

I can find little information about this bottling, other than some information that the investors who bought "bonds" in the distillery back in 1993 were entitled to 72 bottles of this single malt. Further research suggests that it is 8 years old, despite being a No Age Statement. Anyway, enough about the conjecture let's try the damn stuff!

Nose: Floral; damp grass; heather. Not at all what you would expect from an Island whisky. Fresh. Young. A good dollop of spirit makes the fresh, grassy nose quite rich.

Palate: A touch of coconut, fresh lime, cream, almonds. A hint of honey. Not amazing, but certainly not bad at all.

Finish: Surprising long and heavier than the palate would suggest. A touch of spice. Dry at the very end. Nice.

Overall a good experience. I've seen this priced at around £35 a bottle and that seem about right for the quality and age. You'd be hard pressed to place this as an Island whisky in a blind tasting, and I liked that about it. A good example of a young Arran.
- Joel