I must admit to not being too surprised by the reveal. It sort of confirms my palate preferences.
The easy peater won out over and above the intriguing flavours of Goldly’s – which despite being a single grain was most definitely not silent. Cask strength in and of itself is not enough and Speysiders –at least the non-peated variety – don’t do it for me.
These 2 do the honours for the regions – Speyside for Scallywag & the Islands for Rock Oyster.
Made up of single malts sourced from distilleries within their regions, both are presented non chill filtered & after checking on the whiskey.de website – appear to be natural colour – despite Scallywag being noticeably darker.
A honeyed nose with a bit of depth.
Smooth & easy on the palate.
A touch of spice on the finish.
For someone that’s not generally into Speysiders – this is quite attractive.
Rock Oyster, 46.8%
A very gentle waft of seaweed. To be honest I was expecting more!
Light in colour – light on the palate – but it does open up on the finish with a comforting smoky fire by the seaside!
Both are easy going blended malts that only came alive on the finish for me.
Rock Oyster wins out – but I was a tad underwhelmed.
Whereas for a Speyside – Scallywag impressed.
The cheeky labeling & attractive presentation suitably entertained though & further exploration of the Douglas Laing stable is warranted.
I’m working my way through a rather large lockdown purchase of miniatures.
They were chosen to try out spirits I’d not encountered before & have proved very entertaining.
These 2 whiskies are English based.
Raisthorpe Manor are a fine food & drinks company operating from a farm in Yorkshire. Their Game Keepers Tipple is a sourced Scottish blend & comes in a handy flask shaped bottle to match the humorous character on the label.
Light brown in colour.
Displays a very mild honeyed nose.
The palate is sweet & mellow with a good mouthfeel & pleasing depth of flavour. It reminded me of a Highland style.
I picked up this bargain basement blend working my way through all the whiskeys available in my local Dunnes Stores.
JG Kinsey also comes with gin & vodka options & I had it down as a store brand.
Jacob G Kinsey was an american gentleman who founded the Linfield Distillery in 1892. Pennsylvania was – and still is – associated with rye whiskey. A successful business flourished, floundered, merged & was subsumed into the giant International Beverage Holdings Group.
Kinsey’s name lives on with this current offering – plus numerous blogs & posts about the now abandoned plant at Linfield.
GlenAllachie 12 was an immediate improvement. Cleaner, fresher & more pronounced flavours. Perhaps the 46% ABV, non chill-filtered & natural colour presentation helps. A nice little bite at the end & longer lasting bourbony notes too.
This raised my hopes for the GlenAllachie 10 Cask Strength.
The nose was inviting – but not overpowering.
The palate was just – well – empty!
I struggled to get anything here before the 54.8% ABV kicked in giving an alcoholic rush to the proceedings.
Even though I was disappointed with the Cask Strength – sampling this trio solidified 3 truisms of mine.
1 – Speyside doesn’t suit my palate.
2 – Anything without e150 & chill filtering is automatically more agreeable.
3 – If Cask Strength is your only character – something else is missing.
One aspect of the growth of Irish Whiskey is the proliferation of new brands hitting the shelves of American liquor stores.
Many will be familiar to drinkers in Ireland – Jameson, Bushmills & Kilbeggan – to name a few.
Others not – Kavanagh, Kilbrin & Wolfhound – for example.
Generally the 2nd list are non distillery producers selecting sourced Irish Whiskey then labelling & marketing it under their own brand names.
For the last few years this has been a growing business.
The number of Irish Whiskeys seeking approval from the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has risen from 120 in the 2016-17 period to 204 in the 2019-20 time frame. Data courtesy TTB Online search page available here.
Clearly this reflects an increased appreciation of Irish Whiskey – as well as a ready supply of Irish Whiskey Distilleries willing to cater for this demand.
It’s marvelous to witness the growing marketability of Irish Whiskey.
I welcome each and every one of these new brands into the ever increasing & more diversified Irish Whiskey category.
There is however still a long way to go.
Scottish Whisky registered 1188 labels in the same 2019-20 period.
Laid out before me were 7 whiskeys – 7 identical glasses – & some water to cleanse the palate between each sample.
Oh! They weren’t completely blind.
They were from a list I’d selected from a fellow whiskey fan as part of an exchange and it included;
1792 Single Barrel, Ballantine’s 17, Chita Single Grain, Dingle 4 Single Malt, Evan William’s Bottled In Bond, Hellyers Road Roaring Forty, Jack Daniel’s Bottled In Bond, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel 100, Kilkerran 12, Miltonduff 9, Naked Grouse, North Star Campbeltown 4, Stagg Jr, & a Surprise.
A Immediately impressed me. Strong spirit, good clean flavours, rich in the mouth. Nice.
B Wasn’t as enjoyable.
C A bourbon – but with a welcome spice.
D Nice easy drinker.
E Another bourbon – strong, opened up on the finish.
F Didn’t enamour me.
G Very intriguing.
I initially went through them trying to match my experiences to the expressions above. It was really guesswork – as I hadn’t encountered them before this session.
On a second round – I scored them.
Then the reveal!
A North Star 80 B Hellyers Rd 72
C 1792 SB 77 D Dingle 4 73
E Stagg Jr 79 F Kilkerran 12 70
G Glenglassaugh Evolution 78
Congratulations to North Star Campbeltown 4 Year Old Blended Malt!
An independent bottle from undisclosed distilleries presented non chill filtered & with natural colour at a hefty 57% ABV.
Obviously my kinda whiskey!
There’s a clear division between the top 4 – bigger, badder, bolder – and the bottom 3 – softer, subtler, smoother.
My only surprise was the poor showing of Kilkerran 12 – normally a distillery I enjoy.
But then that’s the whole point of blind tasting.
To try and eradicate – as far as possible – any bias you may hold,