Glengoyne Cask Strength Batch 1

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Distillery/Brand: Glengoyne | Region: Highland | ABV: 58.7% | Colour: Full Gold
Nose: 23 | Palate: 22 | Finish: 22 | Balance: 22
Strength: 25 | Variety: 22 | Quality: 21 | Harmony: 22
Final Score: 89

Review
I may have mentioned this before but Glengoyne was one of my very first purchases when I started discovering single malts. Luckily for me it was the 21 year old that I was getting flogged.

I remember having a taste and thinking ‘Bloody hell! What have I been missing all these years?’ That bottle was soon gone and I picked up another for a rainy day.

Since then Glengoyne has been quite a dependable distillery for me. They mature everything in sherry and I have to give them props for the way they source their casks.

They cut down oak trees in Spain and make their own casks which are then dumped with Oloroso. Twenty eight months later, after emptying out the sherry, the casks are then shipped to the Highlands for use at Glengoyne.

This NAS cask strength replaces the earlier 10 year old cask strength version. It is a blend of first and re-fill sherry casks bottled at 58.7%. My sample is from a brand new bottle.

Nose: Damp earth. Wet autumn leaves. Bitter chocolate. Spicy oak. Red wine tannins. Black pepper. Cinnamons. Dates. Dark plums. Gets crisp over time. The dampness goes and settles into something floral and a touch spicy. Like sandalwood. And nutmeg. 23/25

Palate: Full bodied mouth feel. Cinnamon. Heavy chocolate. Oak. Tannins. Dark plums. Bitter chocolate. Gets quite savory mid-palate. Cocoa beans. Quite an aggressive attack without being nasty. 22/25

Finish: Long. Oily. Cinnamon. 22/25

Balance: 22/25

Strength: Full marks for strength as it comes at you all guns blazing. 25/25

Variety: The Oloroso brings a nice bouquet of flavors but could have done more. 21/25

Quality: Some rough edges. Not a lot, though. But there. 21/25

Harmony: Works well with all the flavors. 22/25

Rating: 89

English Whisky Co Chapter 14 UnPeated

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Distillery/Brand: English Whisky Co | Region: England | ABV: 46% | Color: Sunlight
Nose: 22 | Palate: 22 | Finish: 23
Strength: 20 | Quality: 22 | Variety: 20 | Harmony/Balance: 22
Final Score: 86

Review
Here’s a taste of my first ever English single malt. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know if there was a house style or a certain character that I should be looking out for.

Nothing.

Which is a good thing because I like being pleasantly surprised. Those who know me know that I go for big bold flavors, unusual flavor profiles and insanely high strength whiskies.

This one is just the opposite so it’s quite unusual that I thought it was quite decent.

The English Whisky Co is housed in St Georges Distillery in Roudham, Norfolk (Why Roudham? Clean water and barley they say. Fine.) and they’ve been producing some fine young ‘uns of late. So I’ve read, to be honest.

My sample is from a brand new bottle distilled in February 2009 and bottled in September 2014 (do the math) and is a blend of casks 206, 207, 208 and 209. It is matured in an ASB which stands for American Standard Barrel (derived from the hogshead with the capapcity rounded down to 200 liters).

I am going to use this review to modify my scoring technique. I will rate this whisky on it’s Nose, Palate & Finish and then rate it on it’s Strength, Quality & Variety of flavors.

This scoring system is aimed at arriving at a more accurate scoring system which takes into account not just the pure aesthetics of a whisky but it’s overall constitution and impact.

Finally I will give one final mark on overall balance and Harmony

All marks will be given out of 25 and the averages adjusted accordingly.

Nose: Delicate. Vanilla. Freshly baked biscuits. Quite fruity. Demerera sugar. Marzipan. Almonds. Spun sugar. Lychees. Hard boiled sweets. Heather. This is a very very delicate nose. Takes a while to open up. But then opens up nicely. Very sweet. It just manages to stay on the pleasant side of sweet by a hair and I think that’s quite a commendable balancing act. 22/25

Palate: Delicate still. Also sweet. Banana. Hint of lemon. Mild spices. Sugars. Vanilla. Touch of coffee. Oak. Has an almost gristy mouth feel. The liquid feels super young. Almost like new make. In not entirely a bad way. 22/25

Finish: Long. Dry. Touch of oak. Coffee. The finish is the best part. Lingers for a while. 23/25

Strength: Even at 46% it felt quite underpowered. 20/25

Quality: This is quite a decent quality of spirit and oak. You can tell by the absence of any rough edges on the delivery and lack of off-notes on the nose. 22/25

Variety: I feel the spirit is very young and needs a fair amount of time in a more influential oak cask to release even more. The flavors are just about making themselves felt. 20/25

Balance / Harmony: Overall quite balanced and the flavors work with each other. 22/25

Final Score: 86