Dreel Tavern is an attractive stone built gastropub sitting above the Dreel Burn that flows into the Firth Of Forth at the endearing ‘stepping stones’ area of Anstruther.
Only suitable to cross at low tide! c/othewhiskeynut
Popping in for a drink I spotted the local Fife based
Kingsbarns Distillery‘s first release – Dream To Dram – and was keen to taste this Lowland Malt.
Kingsbarns Dream To Dram c/othewhiskeynut
The nose was rather muted. Fresh soft subtle vanilla going on.
The palate started off gently too – before an exuberant spirity kick punched in.
Definitely youthful – perhaps too much so!
I’d have preferred a few more years in the cask.
Dream To Dram label c/othewhiskeynut
There is pressure on new distilleries to show off their wares – and I commend Kingsbarns for releasing this fresh malt.
At the very least it allows fans the opportunity to try out the new spirit & see how it compares with future more aged releases.
I’m putting it in my ‘Work in Progress’ file.
Rum Day today – 16th August.
I’ve just found out – which was a bit of a surprise – as I’d only been down my local Tesco & picked up a bottle of Havana Especial to continue my exploration of all things rum.
Already my limited tastings are taking me down the barrel aged dark rum route.
The contrast of sweet caramels or darker molasses contrasting with spicy oaky tannins appeals to my palate – which is just what I found with this Cuban Rum.
Double matured in ‘old oak barrels’ & ‘ex-whiskey casks’ it says on the label – ex Irish Whiskey casks I later found out on Havana Club’s
website – certainly piqued my interest.
Especial back label c/othewhiskeynut
Described as ‘amber coloured’ I found the nose caramelly sweet – with no real depth to it.
The palate started off very smooth & sweet too – but gradually built up a nice oaky spice as it warmed up.
Most of the flavour I found on the finish.
A prickly spiciness contrasting with a dark, almost burnt molassey note just rescued it from the overt sweetness at the start.
Garantia Cuba! c/othewhiskeynut
Overall an easy drinking everyday rum with just enough character & depth to enjoy of a balmy summer evening.
Happy Rum Day!
There’s been an explosion of Irish Whiskeys finished in a growing variety of Irish Beer Casks.
I welcome the diversity & exploration of flavours emanating from these collaborations – especially when the beers in question tend to be locally produced craft beers such as the Cotton Ball Stout used in this new Hyde #8 release.
Now I usually like to taste the donor beer – but in this instance the closest I got was this lágar from
Cotton Ball Brewing.
Pride in locality c/othewhiskeynut
Rather than picking up the bitter or slightly burnt notes often found in a stout – Hyde #8 has a noticeable sweet caramel nose together with a smooth & rich honeyed palate rounded up with a darker & heavier biscuity malt feel.
I must admit to already being a fan of
Their offerings consistently score highly in my blind tasting sessions for the Irish Whiskey Awards.
Hyde No 8 Heritage Cask c/othewhiskeynut
I put it down to the 46% non chill filtered presentation across the range which to my palate at least, seems to draw out a depth of character & stronger flavours in the whiskey.
I really enjoyed the balance between the sweet start & heavier malt mid palate combined with a pleasant peppery spice leading into a lovely prickly finish with hints of sweet stone fruitiness.
Great to see Hyde Whiskey expand their range with yet another tasty tipple!
Many thanks to Conor Hyde for supplying the sample bottle for this blog.
There’s an old saying,
‘You don’t want to start from here.’
And when it came to this Scotch Malt Whisky Society (
SMWS) bottling – it was probably true.
The words were better than the content. c/othewhiskeynut
Even at 59.8% the nose was rather soft & sweet. It didn’t give much away.
The palate was more forthcoming.
Vanilla & caramel from the bourbon cask maturation with darker sweeter notes which dried out pleasingly from the Oloroso influence.
Standard Speyside stuff.
The promise of oaky tannins from the wood never developed to the extent I expected given the name – and ultimately I was left rather disappointed.
SMWS back label c/othewhiskeynut
Given Speyside Malts aren’t my favourite flavour profile – the best excitement I gained from this bottle was my own eager anticipation prior to the tasting.
The eloquent writing on the label proved far more attractive than the actual contents.
I shouldn’t have started my exploration of SMWS from here.
Wormit sits on the Fife side of the River Tay overlooking Dundee City.
Back in 1879 the recently built Tay Rail Bridge collapsed into the river taking a train and all the people inside with it.
memorial to the disaster sits on the peaceful foreshore with fine views of the current bridge beyond.
Wormit also has a fine restaurant in
The View – the purpose of my visit – and a few choice whiskies to sample.
I chose Tormore 12 Year Old.
Tormore 12 c/ot hewhiskyexchange
My knowledge of this whisky was scant – but on tasting – it told me all I needed to know.
The nose is soft & subtle.
The palate started off weak & watery – bland & inoffensive – devoid of any strong flavours or character.
There was a suggestion of mild heat on the pleasant easy finish.
It’s how I experience many a malt from
Soft, subtle, easy & approachable.
Ultimately dull to my tastes.
Unlike the rich flavoursome food served up by The View.
I’d particularly recommend the Haggis Fritters myself.
There’s always a frisson of excitement entering a bar for the first time.
You never know what you will encounter.
The best bars you enter as strangers – and depart as friends.
The Bank in Anstruther – I encountered an old friend.
Art Of The Blend #4.
The gorgeously bottled #4 c/othewhiskeynut
Eden Mill are the next generation of Scottish brewers & distillers. Prior to their own whisky being released they experimented with sourced distillate under the Art Of The Blend label to hone their skills.
I enjoyed the results.
Presented at a stonking 51% this Port Cask finished blend packed a lively punch of sweet stone fruits.
The high ABV led to an explosion of flavour on the palate – yet it didn’t overpower.
A pleasing prickly heat faded gently with warming cherry notes dancing merrily into the distance.
Limited to 1100 bottles – I was glad to encounter my old friend again.
Straight off the Belfast to Cairnryan Ferry my first stop on the Scottish side was to
MacSorley’s Bar on Jamaica Street in Glasgow.
Chosen mainly for ease of access to & from the M8 motorway – it was a handy spot to pick up fellow travellers – and some tasty refreshments too!
MacSorley’s do a fine & fun range of
Tartan Tapas which suited my needs perfectly.
On the whisky front it didn’t disappoint either.
1770 Single Malt c/othewhiskeynut
Spotting a bottle of
1770 Whisky – the 2019 edition from the recently opened Glasgow Distillery Co – I had to give it a try.
A nice clean & fresh dram with an inviting nose greeted me.
Quite light on the palate, some dark fruity notes gave a certain gravitas & body to this young malt.
The back label c/othewhiskeynut
A gently drying soft pepper spice rounded up this delightful whisky.
A wonderful introduction to the next generation of Scottish Whisky Distilleries.
Welcome to the dark side.
Of rum at least.
Dark Rums are characterised by their – well – darker colouring.
This can come about through the use of heavily charred casks & longer maturation times – although as in whiskey, added caramel is not unknown.
Dark rums are also usually stronger flavoured than their lighter colleagues – and it was for this reason I picked up a bottle of Old Hopking in my local
Funkin’ For Jamaica c/othewhiskeynut
‘Imported from Trinidad and Jamaica’ also piqued my interest.
Jamaican rums are generally made from molasses, distilled in pot stills & are considered full bodied with strong flavours. Suits me!
So how was Old Hopking Dark Rum?
Old Hopking back label c/othewhiskeynut
The nose certainly offered a lot more than the clearer rums I’ve tried. Soft, funky & sweet with some burning rubber going on.
An easy delivery slowly developed through a burnt caramel sweetness into a touch of warm woodiness & gentle spice.
A long lasting hug of warmth.
I really enjoyed this one.
Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby! c/othewhiskeynut
I think I’ve just been touched by the dark side!
It seems every time I shop in my local Dunnes store there’s a new Irish Whiskey out!
Sporting what I’d describe as a classic green bottle topped with a red screw cap & traditional looking label – O’Neill’s appears to be a no nonsense style of whiskey.
Proclaiming to be of ‘Fine Spirit’ & ‘Smooth Blended’ the label has minimal information.
Alfresco whiskey tasting. c/othewhiskeynut
Double Cask Matured is stated – with no mention of which casks – and produced by
West Cork Distillers for what I assume is a Dunnes store brand – it made my basket.
And then my
Quite a rich golden hued colour for what I take is a young whiskey.
The nose is rather soft, sweet & honeyed.
Minimal info c/othewhiskeynut
More engaging on the palate. The sweetness suggests a sherry cask influence – along with bourbon cask maturation – giving a bit of depth & body to the blend.
The grain element gradually kicks in with a little heat & soft prickliness.
A gentle spice rounds off the finish.
O’Neill’s delivers a decent straight down the line blended whiskey experience at an affordable price.
On a back to back with it’s
Ardfallen sister, I found O’Neill’s a more sherried & rounded whiskey – making it worth the extra few euro.
Hats off to West Cork!
Despite the comic name – this is a genuine whisky from Brazil.
Brazilian whisky in an Irish glass. c/othewhiskeynut
It can be read as a cheap wordplay on ‘Escócsia’ – the Portuguse for Scotland.
Or perhaps a wry dig – depending on your point of view – regarding the latest incumbent of 10 Downing St & Brexit affairs.
Scottish whisky is so dependent on export sales that when Brazil sneezed due to an economic downturn – Scotch sales worldwide
Cockland – like many similar products – probably contains Scottish whisky in it’s makeup – along with locally produced spirits.
There wasn’t too many surprises when I cracked this one open.
The golden colour is resplendent of added caramel – noted on the back label.
Enough information? c/othewhiskeynut
A soft caramel nose with a hint of butterscotch malt.
A smooth, easy, light – even honeyed palate – slipped down gently with a slowly growing pleasant heat.
The roll out of Brexit has more depth & complexity to it than Cockland Whisky – although both display the interconnectivity of the globalisation of trade within their make up.
And whilst I can enjoy the gentle heat at the end of Cockland – I’m not sure if the finale of Brexit will be as delightful.