Review #5: Old Pulteney 17yr

This is Old Pulteney 17 year old at 46% for my fifth whisky review.

N: It’s a soft, warm and inviting nose. There’s vanilla, pie crusts, beeswax and oatmeal. There’s a minerally quality with wet rocks and slight salt as well. It’s nice and well put together but doesn’t completely wow me. After a while I get a little lemon peel and grassiness as well.

P: There is a seamless transition from the nose. Vanilla, pastries and baked goods, nuts (almonds/walnuts), and brine. It’s waxy with a good mouthfeel and there’s a touch of bitterness like the peel of a citrus fruit. I like the taste a lot, better than the nose for me.

F: Long. Vanilla and salt lead the way with a little lemon zest.

Water: A few drops of water brings out more citrus on the nose and palate.

Overall: This is very well done. It’s easy to drink with enough complexity to keep me interested. It would need a little something extra like a higher abv to make it a great dram but I’d be happy drinking this anytime. It is one that offers something for novices and experienced drinkers alike and if I found it at a good price I’d think about getting a bottle. I am getting an Old Pulteney 18 yr single cask shortly and having this has made me look forward to the potential of that one for sure.

Score: 84

 

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Review #4: The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14yr

This is The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 year old at 43% for my fourth whisky review.

N: The nose is very mild at first, not getting a whole lot. Eventually there’s malt, molasses, and old dry leaves as well as the usual vanilla, honey, appleskin and grassiness I get from other Balvenies but these notes are toned down compared to other expressions I’ve had. A little bit of spiciness, maybe ginger? Overall the nose is shy and difficult to pick out specific notes for me.

P: Malt, cane sugar, banana bread and grapefruit as well as faint vanilla and honey. Just like the nose the taste is quite light again. I also find it hot for 43% and with a thin mouthfeel.

F: A short, malty and sweet finish. The sweetness lasts the longest.

Water: I didn’t add any water to this one as I found it too thin at full strength.

Overall: I have to say I was fairly disappointed by this malt. It doesn’t have any big flaws or anything but just did not impress me in any way. In my experience The Balvenie has been solid but unspectacular for the most part but this and the Triple Cask 12 are ones to avoid from their range IMO. I must also say that I have not had good experiences with rum cask whiskies so far and think I will be avoiding them moving forward unless recommended by someone I trust, so if you do like other rum cask drams you may view this very differently than I do. Glad I got to try it but I won’t be looking for a bottle after this.

Score: 75

Review #3: The Balvenie Single Barrel 12yr

This is The Balvenie Single Barrel 12 year old at 47.8% for my third whisky review.

N: Vanilla and rich honey that is more like honeycomb are immediately present, it’s light and fresh with apple skins and grass as well. It is simple and the malt really shines through but there is depth to the simple vanilla/honey profile.. maybe heather honey? Overall it’s a well done nose that becomes more floral and fruity with time as well.

P: Malt, vanilla, and waxy-honey are the stars once again, orange peel more so than apples this time and a bit of peppery spiciness. Simple again with a nice mouth feel at full strength.

F: A long finish that echoes the nose and taste, malty and sugary but not too sweet, orchard fruits and some pepper once again.

Water: I do not think water is needed for this dram. It has the perfect mouthfeel at full strength.

Overall: This is a simple malt at first glance but the flavours reveal depth and complexity as you spend time with it. Very well crafted. As mentioned in my last review I am liking this simpler style of malt without any finishes or heavy peat more and more and this is one of the better examples I’ve had so far. It’s better than the Doublewood 12 and Triple Cask 12 in my opinion and makes me wish Balvenie would release more ex-bourbon cask only malts. Now it’s time to see if I can still find a sample of the 15 yr Single Barrel somewhere..

Score: 83

Review #2: Still Water’s Cask Strength Single Malt Cask #1

This is the Still Water’s Single Malt Cask Strength Cask#1 at 62.3% abv for my second whisky review.

N: It is hot and there is an alcohol sting at first but it fades quickly, fresh apple, dry grass, slight malt and caramel, after a few minutes I get an herbal menthol/mint note which is quite nice.. almost rye like, overall its simple, nice and pleasant. Water tames any burn and doesn’t reveal anything new at first but after 10+ minutes some ginger like spice develops which adds some complexity. I feel like the nose gets better with time.

P: Hot again at first, mild fruitiness, malt and caramel, small sips needed to get much out of this because of the abv. Pears and apples become apparent with a few drops of water, also a grassiness and nuts like almonds. The taste does not live up to the nose unfortunately.

F: A long and dry finish. The herbal menthol/mint rye note comes back on the finish and lingers.

Water: I think adding some water is a must for this one. It adds to the nose and tames the palate.

Overall: I have mixed feelings about this one. I have become a fan of this simple style of malt over the last year so it clicked with me in that regard but you could tell it is young and is kind of unbalanced with a nice nose and finish but falling apart on the palate which is reflected in the final score. That being said this stuff holds some serious potential in my mind and I’ll be looking forward to what they can produce when they start to put out 10+ year old malts. Keep up the good work Sill Waters, I’ll be looking to try your cask strength rye next.

Score: 76

Review #1: Amrut PX Sherry Single Cask

This is the Amrut PX Single Cask at 56.5% abv for my first ever whisky review. This bottle was an LCBO exclusive that is now not available any longer.

N: Right away I’m hit with red fruit and quite a bit of malt, grape skins or raisins as well as some damp leaves or tobacco and some spicy pepper. There is some shoe or wood polish as well and you really feel the alcohol burn when getting too close

P: Lots of malt again with black currants and cherries, chocolate, spices like pepper and ginger and a little orange peel. It is sweet overall with a thick mouth feel

F: Very long sweet and malty

Water: Adding a few drops of water really tames any burn and gives it more balance. It gets sweeter and the orange peel is more noticeable on the palate. I’d recommend a few drops with this.

Overall: I like this one quite a bit and rushed out to grab a bottle after trying this sample as it was recently put on clearance in my province. It tastes a lot older than it is and the PX casks do not overwhelm the spirit despite being aged exclusively in them. This sample has made me look forward to opening the bottles of Portonova and Fusion I picked up a little while ago as well as trying other Amruts in the future.

Score: 88