Tag Archives: 40%

Grappa Massagli, Lucca, 40%

While on holiday in Lucca I immersed myself into the world of Grappa.

One of the local Vino E Liquori shops did a Grappa with an image of Lucca’s iconic Piazza Anfiteatro on the label.

Safely ensconced in my accommodation a glass was poured.

Clear white spirit indicates a blanco grappa. This usually denotes unaged liquid – although it can be rested in steel vessels to smooth out any rough notes.

There’s a youthful freshness on the nose – but not overpowering.

A smooth & oily palate didn’t give much away.

Smidgen of dark fruitiness on the finish combined with a touch of prickly heat.

More of a novelty souvenir offering rather than a sipper.

Saluti

Massagli shop website here.

Website for Piazza Anfiteatro here.

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Ron Pelicano, Jamaican Rum, 40%

I was Lidl shopping for the Sunday lunch & as usual checked out the spirit shelves.

A couple of colourful new rums greeted me!

Both labelled up as Ron Pelicano the blue one hailed from Barbados while the yellow is Jamaican.

I couldn’t resist!

The Jamaican bottle sports the coordinates for Jamaica – along with some information about the island itself plus an outline on the logo – but nothing about the rum inside.

An internet search for Ron Pelicano revealed they have a collection of 6 rums from varying countries & islands all bearing a similar style – just different primary colours.

I must admit to finding them visually attractive & would like to try all 6 – if only to discern the taste difference between each region’s rums.

As it is I’ll start with Jamaica – I’m expecting some fruity funkiness – so what did I find?

Well I don’t know if the vivid yellow bottle is influencing me but I’m getting over-ripe sweet banana of this one – along with a serious dollop of funk too!

The funk follows through with a pleasing mouthfeel replete with juicy fruitiness, a touch of lingering spice & a satisfyingly long finish.

Nice introduction to this latest line of rums from Lidl!

While digging out some background information on this brand I discovered it’s sold in Germany as Ron Bengalo!

& weirder still a thief in Devon made off with a few bottles.

Article from Devon Live Court Reports

I just hope the Venezuelan tasted as good as this Jamaican!

Sláinte

Ron Pelicano webpage here.

Ron Bengalo Lidl page here.

All photos authors own.

Uisce Beatha Irish Whiskey & Celtic FC Irish Whiskey, 40%

Continuing my exploration of recent Irish Whiskey offerings that may have slipped into history are these 2 blends.

Courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Uisce Beatha Real Irish Whiskey, 40%

Released by ROKDrinks – a large multinational company with a varied range of branded products.

Pale in colour – which I always find reassuring. Quite light & gentle nose. Surprisingly rich depth on the palate of sweet vanilla. Lovely warmth to this one with a pleasant prickly frisson on the finish.

Very engaging.

Courtesy Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder

Celtic FC Irish Whiskey, 40%

Celtic Football Club have released a number of whiskeys over the years for their fans to enjoy.

Pale golden brown. A very gentle nose that grudgingly gives up soft aromas of sweet vanilla. Mild palate that sits easily in the mouth slowly warming to a fruity sweet finish.

Grand

Thoughts

Both of these blends offer easy accessible drinking. There’s no jagged edges or bold off-putting flavours to deter. For my tastes Uisce Beatha does it with more flair & would score the goals in this round.

Sláinte

A Pair Of Peated Irish Whiskey From The Recent Past, Magilligan & Clonmel, 8 Year Old Peated Single Malts plus a Magilligan non peater, 40%

There’s a misconception Irish Whiskey isn’t peaty.

It has been – for a long time.

Irish Distillers released a 45 Year Old Peated Malt from the Old Midleton Distillery a while ago.

The whiskey for this tasting however came from Cooley – who have done a lot to revive the peaty category in Irish Whiskey.

Trying out a pair of 8 Year Old Peated Single Malts from the same source appealed to me – so let’s dive in!

Image courtesy Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder

Magilligan Single Malt, 40%

An Irish brand dating from the 1990’s using Cooley malt bottled for Ian Macleod Distillers.

Golden brown colour with decent legs. Fusty leathery nose with a sweet fruitiness & wholesome palate. An appreciative bite on the finish.

Quite a belter!

Courtesy Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder

Magilligan 8 Year Old Peated Single Malt, 40%

Pale straw with decent legs. Gorgeous coastal iodine like smoke. An almost oily mouthfeel. The fabulous peat stacks up like a cosy warming fire on the finish.

Love this one!

Courtesy Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder

Clonmel 8 Year Old Peated Single Malt, 40%

Bottled for the Celtic Whiskey Compagnie in France.

Pale straw, decent legs. Soft gentle kiss of turf. Light palate yet smoke comes through. A more balanced well stacked glowing fire gradually fades away.

Nice

Thoughts

A tough choice!

2 gorgeous peaters – the full on Mulligan or gently cultured Clonmel?

Can depend on the mood at the time – but I’m giving it to the fabulous peaty exuberance of Mulligan 8yo.

Sláinte

Martell VS, Cognac, 40%

Martell Cognac is available in virtually every Irish supermarket.

Not too surprising – Pernod Ricard own the brand.

I picked up this miniature to give it a whirl.

The nose was quite expressive, rich, warm & inviting with a touch of nuttiness.

The nuttiness followed through on the palate which was pleasingly smooth yet offered some depth & fruity complexity.

A welcome soft tannic spice livened up the finish.

Before the phylloxera bug nearly destroyed the vineyards of the late 1800’s Cognac was the spirit of choice.

I can see why after enjoying the flavoursome delights of this Martell VS.

Worth trying.

All images authors own.

A Nikka Whisky Trilogy – All Malt, Blended & Super Old Rare, 40% to 43%

I’m always excited tasting a trio of whisky from the same source to compare & contrast their range.

These Nikka Whisky were purchased from Drams Delivered in Killarney.

Nikka Blended, 40%

No longer listed on the Nikka Whisky website, this blend offered up soft caramel notes with hints of malty depth. A sweet fruity palate with an attractive drying bite on the finish – suggestive of some peat influence.

An attractive easy style of whisky with a touch of character.

Nikka All Malt, 40%

I’ve encountered this unusually packaged & delightful blended malt before – so how will it fare on a 2nd outing?

Hints of old leather on the nose. Soft & smooth palate dries out with a prickly kick on the rear.

Not as fresh as I remembered. Could it be my memory? – Or a fading bottle?

Nikka Super Old Rare, 43%

The bottle design enticed me, but the price – when available – deterred, so this sample is a compromise.

More leathery notes on the nose. Rich & warm palate. Definitely a more pronounced peat hit on the finish with this one!

My favourite!

Thoughts

Without a doubt Super Old Rare won out in this trio.

The freshness of the Blended also impressed – but I was a little deflated by All Malt.

All 3 are well put together & showcase the Japanese blending prowess – even if none of them comply with the latest Japanese Whisky Rules.

But then that’s never been an issue with me – it’s the taste that counts.

I’m happy to keep on drinking Nikka Whisky with this enjoyable trio!

Sláinte

Bottle images courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop – Blended & Super.

All other images authors own.

Midleton Very Rare 2021, Blend, 40%

Midleton Very Rare – MVR – is highly collectible, highly sought after & very highly revered in Irish Whiskey.

Yet every time I sample one I ask myself, ‘ Is that it?’.

They are all very nice whiskey – but rather soft, subtle & understated.

Given the plethora of new brands & distilleries, MVR can often get lost in the excitement that’s out there.

On a blind tasting – despite acknowledging the whiskey was well balanced, cultured & aged – I gave pole position to a more affordable blend that engaged with me better.

I had the wonderful opportunity to share a few glasses of MVR 2021 with a friend who received one as a present – but in all honesty I won’t be lusting after it nor putting it on a pedestal.

A very enjoyable whiskey – if you can afford it.

Sláinte

All images authors own.