Kavalan Solist Fino

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Distillery/Brand: Kavalan
Bottling: Solist Fino
ABV: 59.4%
Colour: Madeira

Nose: 24
Taste: 24
Finish: 24
Balance: 24

Review
If I had been blindfolded and given this single malt from Taiwan I would have bet my first born that this was a bourbon from Heaven Hill. No questions about it!

The first thing to draw your attention is the deep burgundy color sitting inside the bottle which immediately causes you to salivate uncontrollably. Such is the allure in the eyes alone.

The heavy sherried nose is bursting with dark autumn fruits – plums, berries and humungous red grapes. The fruits are then reduced in a mixture of red wine and sugar and then poured on top of a soft gooey chocolate fudge cake. As the glistening syrup trickles down the side a few slices of over-ripe bananas, sprinkled with coconut dust, are layered on top to complete the presentation.

Intense black peppers on the tongue is the first thing you notice. But before you have time to wipe the tears from your eyes (tears of joy, I might add) blackberry laced maple syrup swoops in and takes you to a very special Christmas memory. A touch of leather, black currants and berries add yet another layer of delicious complexity.

The mammoth woody finish has a touch of anis but that is rounded off by the overpowering jaggery that rushes in at the end.

There are few times when a whisky will leave me speechless. This was one of them.

Rating: 96

Glendronach 12 Sherry Wood

NewImageDistiller:
GlenDronach

Region:
Speyside

ABV:
43%

Colour:
Deep Sherry

Nose: 21
Taste: 23
Finish: 23
Balance: 23

Review:
I decided to crack this one open late at night after an evening out with some friends. And it looks like I made a super choice!

It has an unusual nose for a sherry finish. Mostly like sitting in a dank warehouse surrounded by mounds and mounds of moist sugar. The sherry brings out the dark autumn fruits like plums. This is accompanied by raisins. Then there’s something nutty in there and finally a second stronger sniff reminds me of some kind of wood varnish.

While I think the nose may need a bit of work the palate is a work of art! It’s spicy, it’s sugary, it’s caramely and all other sorts of misspelled sweet adjectives. Once again the dark autumn fruits jump in and start to make an impact while the spices, strong at first, mellow out and give this malt just the balance it needs.

A nice 43% finish which is dry, woody and full of liquorish, aniseed and plums. There is also an undercurrent of a bubbling meat stew which adds to the complexity!

Not sure how many people know about this expression but they should!

Rating : 90

Bruichladdich Sherry Classic

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Distiller:
Bruichladdich

Region:
Islay

ABV:
46%

Colour:
Pale Straw

Nose: 23
Taste: 24
Finish: 24
Balance: 23

Review:
Sherry can go horribly wrong or wonderfully perfect. So it was with a sense of trepidation as I uncorked this bright blue opaque bottle only to discover the poetry that is perfectly balanced sherry.

Set against the backdrop of a musty, yet oddly comforting, wooden laundry room comes the interplay between the brilliantly balanced barley and grapes. The odd spices then work in tandem with the subtle oak to produce, what has to be of late, one of my favorite noses.

The delivery is pure sherry passion and juicy juicy barley. The full bodied liquid then courses the palate like a sweet honey river infused with licorice, aniseed and cinnamon. Oaky mild spices finally round off an absolutely scrumptious experience.

The long all-spice finish, mixed with a crumbling slice of apple pie, rounds off my newly crowned favorite ‘Laddie.

Rating : 94

Glendronach 18 Year old Allardice Sherry Cask

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Distiller:
GlenDronach

Region:
Speyside

ABV:
46%

Colour:
Old Gold

Review:
This expression had been on my radar for a while but I never got around to acquiring it for my self so I was quite excited when a friend of mine popped it out one night over at his place.

Being partial to anything with sherry I quite eagerly went in for my first nose. The smell is autumn. All around me are scattered dry leaves gently rustling in the wind. As I go foraging through ankle deep foliage I find sweet bananas and dark berries glistening with a sherry coat. I look up and nestled in the branches of a dry oak tree is a wooden box filled with dark chocolates and butterscotch. As I look down I see in my hands a bowl of fudge sprinkled with fruits while all around me is the smell of dry oak trees.

My only problem with this picture is that everything is just a little bit dull.

I tipped the glass back expecting a sugar rush of sherry and dark berries and I wasn’t wrong. But before I could get my head around the initial flavors the dry oak kicked in and arrested what was going to be a great first impression. As I pressed on I began to detect bits of dark chocolate, citrus and walnuts in the mix. Unfortunately, though, as I tried to savor the new flavors my journey was abruptly ended with the bold arrival of cinnamon spices.

I think this expression has all the necessary flavors to deliver something remarkable. However, they are not in the right proportion. Much too dry and a little too spicy for my liking.

Rating : 83

Bruichladdich 21 Year old Oloroso Sherry

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Distiller:
Bruichladdich

Region:
Islay

ABV:
46%

Colour:
Pale Gold

Review:
Exceptionally beautiful nose of stewed pears dipped in sherry resulting in a big statement. The palate is sweet honey with mild undertones of leather and tobacco. It has a medium to strong finish full of nuts, apples and gentle smoke. An excellent example of getting the best out of maturing in Oloroso Sherry casks.

Rating : 87

Amrut Intermediate Sherry Matured

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Distiller:
Amrut

ABV:
57.1%

Colour:
Full Gold

Review:
Once again the world’s most experimentally daring distillery conjures up glorious magic in a bottle. The Amrut Intermediate Sherry has been matured in bourbon casks first, shifted to Jerez sherry casks for a bit and then back into bourbon casks for final maturation.

Nose: The result is a truly unique flavor profile unlike other sherry influenced malts. The nose bursts out from a bouquet of floral aromas. The sweet barley shrouded sherry is the hero but with that you can also expect a touch of custard and fruits.

Palate: The gorgeous palate is a rush of sugar and honeyed barley. A second rush introduces us to stewed fruits and vanilla. Finally the strong sherry flavors give way to a captivating oaky finish full of spices. A truly amazing malt!

Rating : 94