Exploring the world of Single Malt Scotches

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my Scotch blog, an occasional exploration into the intriguing and esoteric world of single malts . I present this series of words and pictures not as expert or critic by any stretch, but as an aficionado. The goals of these postings are to learn new and interesting scotches and to share my findings with like-minded people. My vocation is advertising photography but among my varied interests are locating and enjoying single malts with friends. I’m looking for the same attributes in a scotch that many of us seek in all aspects of life.... character, uniqueness, quality, and a memorable experience. I invite you to join me, follow along, experiment, enjoy, and by all means feel free to suggest subjects. All photography and words are copyright protected. ©Ken Buschner 2015

Latest

Adelphi 19

Adelphi Distillery 19- It is time to revel in new beginnings as we do our very best to forever banish 2020 from our memories……My modest proposal is to find yourself a brand new whisky, a fine glass, and a positive outlook.  Our chosen malt is fairly rare and holds great complexity with mellow caramel and fruit notes.  At a mighty one hundred and twelve proof this lovely amber beast packs a wallop, but my advice is enjoy it neat and powerful.  The nose is potent with delicious spice and the finish is lengthy enough to really enhance your taste.  Cask 5676 was bottled from the Inchgower Speyside family and mine must have a slow leak, it was empty all too soon.  So here’s to the new! Great experiences need proper planning and your mission is find the spirit and the time.  Let’s celebrate a fresh start with fanfare and spectacular flavor.  Rated a highly optimistic 8.

Christmas Gift Suggestion

Seasons Greetings to you and your family, here is an idea……Greetings all, Here is my totally self serving idea, I will sign, endorse, and ship to you for $35.  For more images and a full description please visit my posting from May of this year. Also available on barnesandnoble.com , and Amazon .com  .  All the best to you and yours !

Cheers, Ken

Laphroaig 10

Laphroaig 10-  This muscular whisky demands respect and we are here to make that happen.  Roasting barley over smoldering Islay peat makes the rich and complex flavors happen and therein lies the magic.  A quiet fury erupts in your glass immediately and I suggest you savor it neat. Our chosen island single malt is bottled at 86 proof and it is shockingly smooth with notes of toasty caramel and fruit tarts.  The nose is potent and delightful on a frosty evening. Lesser malts that try to duplicate the wizardry end up smelling more like a dumpster fire…..Swirl your glass before each taste and you’ll enhance the experience.  I loved the ultra malty finish and suggest that you make sharing a dram part of your weekend.  This family offers us many options and you can spend more, but for me this one checks all the boxes.  Powerful tastes for educated palates, rated a strong 8 on the snob scale.

Craigellachie 13

 

Craigellachie 13- This Speyside hipster is a classic teenager, slightly off kilter and a touch funky.  I found a “meaty” taste of salty sweetness initially and at 46% it packs a solid punch. The golden amber spirit uses classic worm tubs to cool the malt and that technique introduces some nice sulfur notes which are unique and there is no peaty smoke in the profile.  The whisky is smoother than post Zamboni ice and thick as honey, quite enjoyable. The nose is lighter than the actual spirit and there is some mystery fruit mid taste.  Fortunately for us finish is longer than this dreary election season and it has just a hint of teen angst…13 years in charred bourbon barrels have worked their usual magic and that makes my rating a snobbish 7, interesting and enjoyable, but not remarkable.  

Creag Isle 12

Creag Isle 12- The bottle looked promising on the shelf and  I enjoy Islay whiskies, what could possibly go wrong……­­This name was unfamiliar and I always seek new tastes so….. Upon opening, the nose was powerful and a bit peaty, a fine first impression.  My initial taste was a tad sharp with enough honey sweetness to make a beekeeper swoon. The  burnt amber color and substantial legs in the glass added to the anticipation.  At 42% the alcohol makes a statement along with the mild grassy and fruit flavors , and while the taste is good , it is far from remarkable.  As a serious fan of Island Scotches , I am a touch underwhelmed by Mr. or Ms. Creag’s distilling.  Our subject is a wee notch up from a blend and I rate it a generous 6.  

Glenfiddich 14

Glenfiddich Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14-  With a nod to American spirits and as a way to get us far far away from American politics, I present this modest diversion.  The magic herein is due to the lengthy stay in deeply charred bourbon oak and man did it ever work.  The rich amber color and ultra silky mouthfeel are most welcome on a fall evening. I found a unique mash up of corn and vanilla sweetness and a delightfully long finish.  The 86 proof is bold enough to make a statement and yet still is mellow enough for everyone to enjoy it neat as intended.  The nose is crazy sweet almost like a dessert, yum……While the leaves in our area are changing and flying, grab a bottle of this and enjoy it outside, somehow the spirit and the fall action enhance each other perfectly. Now if we could just have a choice other than cranky old guys for the most important job in the land!  I rate this blue labeled beauty a solid 8 on the snob scale.  Slainte

 

Port Askaig 110 Proof

Port Askaig 110 Proof- God knows we all need a diversion and I have a solution.  Here’s a new experience you can enjoy without a mask or the dreaded smell of Purell. Acquire a stash of this Islay powerhouse and prepare for a flavor bomb of the highest order.  Special thanks go out to the P.I.C. Larry , ( Provisioner In Chief) for his efforts on our behalf…..This moody bad boy comes to us from an un-named distiller on the Island but my research points to Caol Ila.  With no age statement, it’s a guess on my part but 8 years seems about right, still edgy but very flavorful and malty.  The deep amber color suits my mood perfectly and the nose meets us at the corner of Smoky and Grain.  The robust taste has some faint vanilla and fruit and a large whack of alcohol, and at 55% that is expected.  The aging is all in ex- bourbon barrels and those have imparted a delicate sweetness with a moderately long finish.  I tried a glass with a few drops of water but the effect was just less character, leave it as bottled.  So get to work on this 7.5 rated newcomer post haste. Now go wash your hands.

Christmas Gift Suggestion

Seasons Greetings to you and your family, here is an idea……Greetings all, Here is my totally self serving idea, I will sign, endorse, and ship to you for $35.  For more images and a full description please visit my posting from May of this year. Also available on barnesandnoble.com , and Amazon .com  .  All the best to you and yours !

Cheers, Ken

Cardhu 12

Cardhu12-  Breaking news: you can now order a dram of single malt at selected Starbucks locations.  This charmingly fat container shows a warm amber colored whisky that is bottled at 80 proof and it features melon and honey notes aplenty.  I found subtle but pleasant smoke and a good measure of peppery spice mid taste.  Somehow the distiller even managed to impart a taste of vanilla cake in the mix. Cardhu is a Speyside with some lingering sweetness that would make it a fine after dinner drink and the pinched bottle would look swanky on your bar. The finish was satisfyingly long.  I rate this zoftig beauty a solid 7 and it sure beats a latte….oh, and I lied about Starbucks.

Grangestone

Grangestone – describing flavor subtleties in kinda like nailing Jello to the wall, not an easy deal.  This Highland dram is copper  hued  and truly mellow on the nose, without a single hint of the dreaded Jello.  I found complex floral and fruit notes with a whisper of peat. The distilling team in Ayrshire finished their whisky in Sherry casks and that  worked its usual magic.  The finish was brief  but enjoyable and this is a very drinkable single malt and a bargain to boot. Keep the ice and water away as that would spoil your drink.  I rate this vanilla soaked dram a solid seven. Now let me get back to my messy work with the hammer.