Guest Whisky Reviews

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 197: Macallan Edition No 3 – Scotch Whisky News


Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 197: Macallan Edition No 3

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky blogger, publishes his first ever Macallan rambling! Three years ago Macallan launched the so-called Edition Series. No 1 is all but sold out (or very expensive on the secondary market), while No 2 is getting there. No 3 – the one I will be trying now – was recently released and can still be found. Bob Delgarno, Macallan’s whisky maker, worked together with Master Perfumer Roja Dove – who previously helped Macallan create their aroma kit. It is composed of no less than 6 cask types, most of them first fill sherry for which Macallan is known. It is cut down to 48.3% ABV. And yes, it is outstanding!

Whisky Wednesday Reviews Macallan 12 Double Cask – Scotch Whisky News


Phil Dwyer

So, Macallan, somewhat of an elephant in the room these days. The Double Cask is a combination of European Oak & American Oak seasoned sherry casks, i’m not sure how long “seasoned” details in length of time in sherry but it’s a fairly common trait in whisky maturation these days.

I’m a fan of sherry cask whiskies and classic Macallans’ like the 12YO and the No. 2 Edition are key examples of how good Macallan can be and for me, personally, this whisky is a very two dimensional and really lacks depth, especially for the price tag of £70. If you like it, then you like it, everyone is different but this is a product that won’t grace my whisky shelf.



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Amrut 10yo “Greedy Angels” 46% & 71.05% Tasting Notes – Indian Whisky News


Amrut 10yo, “Greedy Angels” 46% OB, 2014 

A rare offering from Amrut Distillers and hand delivered to Whisky Intelligence by Mr. Chokalingham himself. On the nose there’s lots of stewed fruit and a very nice ‘clean’ set of aromas, not dramatically complex but very, very nice. There’s also some characteristic Amrut style malt backing the stewed fruits. The taste is a reverse of the nose with the malt arriving first and then a quick switch to show case the stewed fruits once again. Absolutely lovely. The finish is a mirror image of the nose and the taste translates into some very good balance. The lovely malt arrives after a time and continues for an eternity.

Oh my, what a lovely whisky.

Score 90 points

Amrut 10yo “Greedy Angels” 71%, OB, 2014 

A massive cask strength version of the 46% version; 71.05% promises to be dramatic! It’s slightly darker than the46% also. On the nose there’s the appearance of a lot more age, perhaps from the lashings of oak spice that come streaking out of the glass like a missile with a trailing plume of the some really good sweetness. This is truly and elixir of exotic origin. A hold on the water is called for. The taste is aggressive and very, very dry but there is cocoa powder, lemon and coconut matting (think the tropics on really warm night indoors). The finish is more of the lemon with a really nice cream soda along with a late arrival of the wood spices.

A dribble of water turns out to be not enough, a veritable deluge is needed to bring some order to the cask strength melee. Water does the trick and it softens quite a bit and becomes, unsurprisingly much like the 46%… don’t add too much.

Very nice indeed.

88 Points.

Both samples of the 10 year old 46% and 71.05% provided by Amrut Distillers.

Ardbeg Supernova 55% NAS Committee Release 2014 – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Ardbeg logo Color Round

Ardbeg Supernova 55% NAS Committee Release 2014 

Buzz Lightyear’s dram. Heavily peated. On the nose there’s lots of juniper, peat smoke and butter or perhaps more accurately fair ground soft fudge or tablet as they call it in some places. It’s a heady combination. Perhaps some slightly burnt embers from a fragrant twig? The taste is of apples (briefly), surprisingly muted peat smoke, perhaps tempered by some sweet chocolate and some of the tablet, not crystal grainy but very smooth and quite lovely. A hint of salted peanut butter (creamy not crunchy). The finish is amazingly creamy and then the peat smoke arrives to assert command (Caine Mutiny style). It’s very, very long and very, very good.

Lovely stuff and a reputation well deserved. No need for water.

90 points

Glenmorangie Companta NAS, 46%, OB, 2014 – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

AA 3 Glenmorangie’s new 'friendship' single malt Companta, the fifth annual release in its award-winning Private Edition range

Glenmorangie Companta NAS, 46%, OB, 2014

On the nose there’s a very rich presence of some fruit, some chocolate. Surprisingly some hints of the sea shore. Time spent nosing this reveals complex layers of some good fruit. The taste has the richness of the nose, lots of fruit followed by some wine notes. The characteristic maltiness of Glenmorangie is masked by the finishing but it struggles for attention and finally wins through which is a nice addition to the complexity. A welcome arrival of some oak spice adds to the mix. The finish has a good measure of the wine notes and more of the fruit, berries and such. Lots and lots of good chewy malt. A medium long finish.

Score 80 points

AA 1 Glenmorangie’s new 'friendship' single malt Companta, the fifth annual release in its award-winning Private Edition range

Glenmorangie releases Companta – a celebration of kindred spirits

 — The fifth annual release from the award-winning Private Edition range — 

From the deepest recesses of Dr Bill Lumsden’s ‘cabinet of curiosities’, Glenmorangie’s celebrated Director of Whisky Creation and Distilling proudly presents Glenmorangie Companta, the fifth release from the Private Edition – a limited edition range of rare and intriguing single malts, including the recently critically acclaimed Glenmorangie Ealanta, Jim Murray’s ‘2014 World Whisky of the Year’.

A refined balance between bold spice and rich, smooth sweetness, Companta is the result of a careful assemblage of spirit extra matured in renowned French wine casks. Born of Grand Cru casks from Clos de Tart and those of a lusciously sweet fortified wine from Côtes du Rhône, Glenmorangie Companta (Scots Gaelic for friendship) celebrates the kindred spirits discovered through a shared pursuit of perfection, as experienced by Dr Bill:

Having spent over twenty years traveling to some of France’s most renowned vineyards, I’ve had the opportunity to sample many rare and intriguing wines in search of the finest casks to complement the extra maturation of our whisky. As a true wine aficionado, some of my most memorable visits have been to Burgundy, where the dedication and attention to detail that goes into their craft never ceases to amaze me. 

“The smaller vineyards of the region don’t seem to worry about yields, costs, or timings. They work tirelessly, simply to produce the very best wine. In the same spirit as Glenmorangie, they stop at nothing in the pursuit of perfection. 

“This shared philosophy inspired me to create the ultimate tribute to my longstanding love for French vineyards and the friends that I’ve had the pleasure to make throughout my travels.”

The result; Glenmorangie Companta. The product of extra maturation in several of Dr Lumsden’s most coveted casks, carefully selected from two of the finest French vineyards sharing Glenmorangie’s ‘unnecessarily well made’ philosophy.

“Selecting parcels of Glenmorangie which had been matured in traditional American white oak ex-bourbon barrels, I transferred the spirit into casks having previously contained one of my personal favourites – the rich Grand Cru wine from Clos de Tart, one of the most celebrated vineyards in Burgundy. After a period of extra maturation, the casks imparted additional body and deep berry-like flavours to the trademark elegant, floral character of the Glenmorangie.”

While most would have been satisfied with the result, Dr Bill continued on, seeking to perfect the whisky with additional depth and character.

“To complement the bold, spicy character imparted from the Grand Cru casks, I selected a parcel of Glenmorangie which had been extra maturing in casks having previously contained a lusciously sweet fortified wine from Côtes du Rhône. It took some time, but with careful fine tuning we reached a harmonious assemblage which proved the perfect balance; neither too bold nor too tame!”

On the nose, Companta exudes rich, ‘autumnal’ scents of red berries and damp forest floors, with a hint of fragrant woodsmoke complementing notes of aromatic, nutty oak.

Upon tasting, a spicy palate redolent of cherries and stewed fruits is slowly revealed, as notes of sugared plums, blood orange and rose-hip syrup emerge alongside milk chocolate and brown sugar, leading into a mouth-coating finish.

Bottled at a strength of 46%, and non chill-filtered for extra body and texture, Glenmorangie Companta is available globally from January 2013.

The latest incarnation in the Private Edition’s award-winning range of expressions, Companta once again reaffirms the Glenmorangie Whisky Creation Team’s pioneering spirit and commitment to sharing some of the world’s most highly regarded single malts with a select audience of like-minded aficionados.


About Glenmorangie:

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky originates in the Scottish Highlands where, at the Glenmorangie Distillery, it is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills in Scotland, expertly matured in the finest oak casks, and perfected by the Men of Tain. The Distillery was founded in 1843 and is renowned as a pioneer in its field, uniting tradition with innovation to create ‘unnecessarily well made’ whiskies.

The Glenmorangie Private Edition Range

Glenmorangie’s Private Edition is an award-winning range that provides an annual opportunity for whisky connoisseurs and aficionados to experience a rare and intriguing single malt brought to life by the Glenmorangie Whisky Creation Team. Glenmorangie Companta marks the fifth annual release in this lauded range.

Laphroaig PX Cask NAS (48%, OB, +/-2012) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Laphroaig PX Cask NAS (48%, OB, +/-2012) 

“Laphroaig PX Cask Is A Special Expression Of Our Famous Whisky Which Has Enjoyed A Final Subtle Maturation In Pedro Ximenez Casks That Previously Contained PX Sherry, Known For Its Rich Aroma And Flavour. Travel retail Exclusive.” On the back label “This Style Of Maturation Brings Together 3 Types of Barrel; Ex-bourbon, 19th Century Style Quarter Casks And Finally Pedro Ximenez Casks. The Result IS A Full And Subtly Richer Laphroaig With A Long And Complex Finish.” On the nose there’s some subtle peat smoke and a rich sherry notes, a combination of which is highly seductive, this is simply lovely on the nose, there’s a little earthiness lurking in the back ground but all in all it’s a tour de force of aromas. The taste is warming and the peat smoke jumps out and then there’s a sweet jam like moment along with some hints of chocolate. The sherry and the peat smoke are a delight together. This is brilliant whisky. The finish is earthy, warming, peated and sweet and then quickly becomes dry and the lovely sherried peat smoke roils around in the very long excellent finish.

Get on a airplane to Heathrow and buy some for yourself. Buy two. Bring your spouse and buy three.


92 points

Laphroaig Triple Wood NAS (48%, OB, +/-2012) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Laphroaig Triple Wood NAS (48%, OB, +/-2012) 

A cornucopia of cask used to produce this whisky; “The Most Richly Flavoured Of All Scotch Whiskies. Matured In Ex-bourbon Barrels And Quarter Casks, Then Finished in European Oak.” And non- chill filtered and at something resembling cask strength. So, on the nose there’s a really good combination of peat smoke and grain backed by some sweetness (think warmed honey) and then some subtle cask notes. There’s also a subtle hint of juniper and cocoa powder. It’s very intoxicating and luxurious. The taste is big but not overly aggressive, the peat smoke is obviously present as is the cocoa and the two make a very good combination. The juniper shows up after a moment or two but is not over whelming. There’s also some nice dryness but it has a difficult time battling the sweetness. All in all the combination of flavours in excellent. The finish is dry and long with the cocoa and the peat smoke working well together for a long lingering finish.

My oh my, how nice.


Score 90 points

Bowmore 15yo 1998 (61.0%, SMWS 3.184, refill hogshead, USA 60 Bts., +/-2012) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Bowmore 15yo 1998 (61.0%, SMWS 3.184, refill hogshead, USA 60 Bts., +/-2012) 

“Arabesques of ash and high kicks of coal”

The nose reveals excellent peat smoke and lots of, concentrated Islay and honey, lashings of peat smoke and honey, this noses like a much younger whisky but none the less it’s very good. Hot stone or concrete in there also. Oh bravo! Time to move onto the taste which has lashing of the peat smoke and a little juniper (very Ardbeg like) and a whole truck load of black pepper; the juniper adds to the mix. This is excellent whisky and in some way very un-Bowmore like but who cares it’s good. The finish leans towards more of the peat smoke and then handfuls of peated grain straight from the kiln floor munched like a breakfast cereal.

All very invigorating and very much an early morning dram. 


Score 88

Sample 4 of 4. Samples kindly provided by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America

Loch Lomond 11yo 2000 (57.8%, SMWS G9.1, Refill barrel, USA 48 Bts., +/-2012) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Loch Lomond 11yo 2000 (57.8%, SMWS G9.1, Refill barrel, USA 48 Bts., +/-2012) 

“Sweet and sour mélange”  

From the distillery that Captain Haddock was so fond of. On the nose it’s very ‘whisky’ but different (that last is a cop out) however there is some good earthiness and a certain creaminess along with a little ‘metallic’ notes and it is actually quite different. There is still some grain and wood notes but the earthiness and the metallic are very prevalent. There is also a really strong presence of American whisky, specifically Buffalo Trace but this could be imagination masquerading as talent. The taste undiluted in cool-aid powder, lots of cask influence, the earthiness and the metallic with the B.T. taking a position in the rear. This is good but quite different. Lots of black pepper in there also, a curious combination with the pepper, the earthiness and the B.T. The finish is long and warming with more of the pepper (now muted), the earthiness and the B.T all merrily going to meet Captain Haddock.

Certainly different and curious.


Score 83 points

3 of 4 this week. Samples kindly provided by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America

Benromach 23yo 1988 (50.5, SMWS 48.26, refill butt, USA 120 Bts., +/-2012) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Benromach 23yo 1988 (50.5, SMWS 48.26, refill butt, USA 120 Bts., +/-2012) 

“In a wild garden, late summer” 

On the nose it’s a little closed at first but then with a little coaxing some promising richness starts to emerge but event hen it’s a little shy but there are hints of greatness here. The taste is of gentle malt, the afore mentioned sweetness in the form of some sherry notes and some good wood notes which adds spiciness but does not over power. Taken all together and it’s very intoxicating. The finish is a perfect match for the nose taste and it’s long, even and very good. The cask notes take over from the sherry sweetness but only just so. Some really sensational malt lurks in the finish to tie everything together.

Despite a little hesitation on the nose this is sensational stuff.


Score 91 points

2 of 4 this week. Samples kindly provided by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America

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