Speyside delivers cold smoke

Benromach 12yo (43%, OB, 2012)

Found that one in one of my older tasting notes. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures.

Nose: The first thing I think of is a lot of cold smoke. After getting used to the smoke the aroma becomes more delicate and smoother; lemons and peaches.

Taste: Lemon, vanilla, smoke, oak, spicy. The Taste is richer and better than the nose.

Finish Warm in the gullet and middle long. Prickling.

Conclusion: Well-adjusted and aromatic. Get’s better with time.

Points:

Kind of atypical

Laphroaig Triple Wood (48%, OB, 2012)

Nose: At first there is the very intense, aromatic and phenolic smokeyness of Laphroaig. At next it’s getting sweeter. Then fresh Apples come to mind which will turn into seasoned Apples. Vanilla, salt, oak, iodine reflect the typical characteristics of Laphroaig.

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Taste: Spicy, oak peat and smoke. Sweetness comes throught but the burning peat won’t disappear. Tastes of a cold bonfire and again oak, salt and iodine.

Finish: A long and warm finish, which turns from sweet to dry. Still associating a (glowing) bonfire.

Conclusion: A Laphroaig Quarter Cask finished in (Oloroso?) sherry casks. Good stuff but in my opinion the Triple Wood is not a progression of the 10yo and the Quarter Cask. Instead of getting an addition of aromas it is more a mix with the aromas you allready have. For me it is unclear what the achievement with this malt is.

Points: 85/100

Smoked cheesecake?

Ardbeg TEN 10yo (46%, OB, 2011)

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Nose: Peat and smoke lead to a cheesy sweetness. After getting used to this special kind of smell, you get the feeling to have soap aroma (citrus?) in your nose. All in all the nose is full but well balanced.

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Taste: Power, smoke and volume are the first three things coming to my mind. Then it gets spicy and first hints of oak come through. Sweet vanilla and warm ashes lead to a long finish, where the taste becomes drier and more spices appear.

Conclusion: Strong and forceful, never loosing the typical cheesy sweetness, great stuff!

Points: 90/100

Let’s get peated!

Classic of Islay (56,4%, Jack Wiebers Whisky World, 2012, cask #3013)

Here we go! First post is on the way.

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Nose: Burning peat fire, which combines wonderful with a phenolic smokeyness. Sweetness and dark fruits appear after a while. Then it’s getting fresher – like peppermint – maybe due to the high alcoholic strength?! A blend of spices, marzipan and buttered hazelnuts.

Taste: Even more intense than the nose. You can feel bonfire directly on your tongue followed by a gentle sweetness. Then there is a nice prickling on the cheeks, which leads to salivation. Still very intense. On the palate you get coffee and a taste of dark chocolate. The bonfire is still there, although it is blistering instead of throwing flames throughout the mouth. Now caramel and vanilla indications are coming to the front. Still prickling, still bonfire, still intense.

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Finish: Very long and warm. The smoke is all over the mouth. The bonfire will not burn or blister anymore, but it is still glowing. In the end it’s getting drier although the sweetness never completely disappears.

Conclusion: People say, that Classic of Islay is a (young) Lagavulin and I won’t disagree. The dark and fruity sweetness combined with the peaty smokeyness is beautiful arranged with the cask. This leads – in my opinion – to a voluminous, but in all layers balanced single malt. Thinking of what you would normaly pay for a Lagavulin, this stuff is really good value for money.

Points: 89/100