Monday, December 30, 2013

A Dram To Share - Whisky by The Whisky Shop

The Whisky Shop Gift Pack

Another year another Dramcember or in this case a dual Dramcember reviews. I have been saving these ones specifically for this event. Delivered to me about a month and half ago a friend graciously purchased me these sample bottles out of the blue while traveling through the UK. Not a whisky drinker himself he took an opportunity to visit The Whisky Shop and do a few tastings while buying this at the same time.

There is little I can say about the history of these items as they are independently bottled by The Whisky Shop for sale through the stores. Packaged nice and securely the pack contains x2 100ml samples and accompanying x2 Gelncairn nosing glasses. The whiskies included in this package is a 9 Year Old Ledaig produced by Tobermory Distillery, and a 13 Year Old Speyside with an undisclosed distillery. Both are independently bottled by The Whisky Shop.

Ledaig 9 Year Old
Ledaig 9 Year Old
Distiller: Tobermory, Burn Stewart Distillers
Region: Island of Mull
Bottled: Independent, The Whisky Shop
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: For lack of a better descriptor I have to say Morning Pee.

Nose: Fresh, lively, sweet, with a good scent of smoke, salts, seaweed. Reminds me a lot of a Bowmore but with a good hit of honey. I have never had a Tobermory so I cannot compare notes to its sister brand. There is an obvious phenol burn in the nose most likely due to the peat smoke.

Taste: Quite smooth and creamy at first with some interesting floral notes before being slammed with aggressive medicinal salt assault on the sides and back of palate before burring the crap out of the throat then proceeding straight to the stomach. Ouch! This gets really unpleasant way too quick.

Finish: Long, hot and salty. Smoke returns to the pallet as does the creamy honey but the salt burn just keeps on keeping on. I get tingles in the stomach.

Overall the balance is all out of whack. Everything is in the forefront competing for attention. If I was to give a dram then the Ledaig 9 Year Old gets 2 out of 7.

Ledaig is a small production whisky coming out of Tobermory distillery, originally named Ledaig, situated on the Hebridean island of Mull, Scotland. I am very interested now to try the official Ledaig 10yo to see how it compares. It might be a long shot through as from what I can tell on the WhiskyShop website, these bottling have come from larger barrels transferred to smalls casks and rested in stores.

The Speyside 13 Year Old
The Speyside 13 Year Old
Distiller: Undisclosed
Region: Speyside, Scotland
bottled: Independent, The Whisky Shop
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: Pale straw

Nose: Creme brulle toffees, coconut, mild smokes, fresh cut grasses.

Taste: Really soft on initial taste and very cushioning across the whole palate at first. Sweet rum like sugars, desiccated coconut on the swallow but then just numbing tingles on the lips and tongue.

Finish: Long with a good heat building in the lower chest.

Overall again an unpleasant experience leaving my frowning through the whole tasting. Certainly more drinkable then the Ledaig but not by much.

Giving a dram on this one a 2 1/2 out of 7. Really left me with a downer overall. In both these cases whiskies my tasting notes do not match in any way to what is being said about them on The Whisky Shops website.

I am happy I left these for Dramcember even if the end result is a negative on both whiskies.

The Baron