Glengoyne Tasting Notes

I’ve recently been sent a rather unique Scottish whisky going by the name of Glengoyne. Why is it unique? Glengoyne produces Highland single malt whisky matured in the Lowlands. Located upon the Highland Line (the division between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland), Glengoyne’s stills are located in the Highlands while maturing the casks of whisky rest across the road in the Lowlands. Also, unlike many malt whisky distilleries, Glengoyne does not use peat smoke to dry their barley, but instead uses warm air. This gives a more subtle, complex whisky in which all of the delicate flavours are freely allowed to express themselves.

So with Glengoyne earning themselves the tag of unique, the history of this Highland Single Malt is a rather interesting affair too. (1)

Glengoyne

The Glengoyne Distillery is situated in a wooded valley in the southern Highlands of Scotland close to a small river that flows into the famous Loch Lomond. The distillery, which takes its name from “Glen Guin” or Glen of the Wild Geese, has been producing single malt scotch whisky for nearly 200 years.
Glengoyne is one of the few distilleries producing whisky in this part of Scotland today. However at the beginning of the nineteenth century it is recorded that at least eighteen whisky stills were in operation in this area. But these, like many others at that time, were illegal. Whisky producers were forced to produce whisky illicitly as they were unable to pay the heavy taxes imposed by the government on spirit production to fund wars against France. Smuggling became rife and the hills and glens around Glengoyne formed a perfect cover for this lawless activity.

It was not until the 1820’s that an Act of Parliament was passed reducing the duty on spirit and the cost of a licence to distil which put an end to illegal production. This gave rise to a rush of stills being legalised including those at Glengoyne in 1833. It is reputed that Glengoyne was one of only a few stills to be licensed in the southern Highlands due to the high quality of whisky it produced.

Glengoyne, working continually since it was founded, was first-owned by George Connell who erected a distillery and took a lease on the surrounding land; he also built a warehouse which is still in use today. In 1876, the Lang Brothers from Glasgow bought the distillery and ownership still remains in Scottish hands with the Edrington Group taking over the distillery in the 1960’s and the Independent, Scottish, family owned business, Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd. acquiring the distillery in 2003.

The changes in ownership have done little to affect production of this unique malt as the traditional working methods have been passed from generation to generation.

A claim to fame happened in 1984 as the Lang Brothers became suppliers of whiskies to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s household. The Royal Warrant has since been assigned to Ian Macleod Distillers Limited and still takes pride of place on all Glengoyne packaging.

From l-r - 10yr, 17yr, 21yr

 

Glengoyne 10yr – 40%

A sweetness on the nose, with soft nuts and toffee mixing subtly near the end. The palate enjoys a light, fresh hit of apples with almonds and malt blending well to create a long, warm balance with slight spice to finish off. Winner of a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards 2007.

Glengoyne 17yr – 43%

The most awarded whisky in the Glengoyne range including three golds at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards (2003, 2005 and 2007) as well as two gold in the International Spirits Challenge (1999 and 2005).
On the nose you receive small hints of sherry, but a dominant hit of fruits with raisin and pear contributing well. A sweet taste of malt, with orange, slight notes of honey and treacle, and a late showing of vanilla produces a long-lasting after-taste, with a small hint of spice to finish the dram off.

Glengoyne 21yr – 43%

Awarded gold in the 2005 San Francisco World Spirit Awards, a deep sherry and toffee mix on the nose, with lots of apple, pear and red berry flavours making an appearance. The palate has a more mature and complex taste of oak and honey, with a smooth hint of cinnamon and vanilla finishing off the warmth of the dram.

 

Three rather exceptional whiskies, and if you ever have the chance to try these yourselves, there’s no disguising why they have all won gold medals at some of the worlds most prestigious competitions. A personal favourite would be the 17yr with the sweetness of the malt, orange and treacle creating such a warm lasting feeling on the palate, enough to savor and enjoy.

Glengoyne also have many others in their range including a 12yr and some special additions from 1972, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005. All are available to purchase here.

 

(1) History of Glengoyne is created using extracts from the Glengoyne website. Click the links page to direct yourself to the Glengoyne site.

 

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Wemyss Malts

 

Wemyss

Wemyss Malts were on of the first ranges on whisky I covered when I started Drinks Enthusiast back in 2011. Since then, Wemyss Malts range of expressions have grown, culminating in some hand-crafted beauties! Before I re-visit though, lets take a look at Wemyss;

Wemyss Malts, pronounced ‘Weems’, are a boutique whisky company with connections to the Wemyss family who hailed from Fife, Scotland. Wemyss itself comes from the Gaelic word for caves which stems from the rocky outcrop on the Firth of Forth on which the family home of Wemyss Castle sits.
The Wemyss Land was used at the turn of the 19th century where a gentleman named John Haig built his first distillery on the island. It is said that John’s passion for the industry made him realise the confusion that consumers had with the ever-increasing terminology of the whisky industry. With this, he aimed to create his whiskies and not only make them more accessible, but also understandable.

Wemyss Malts use a combination of the taste and aromas of each individual whisky to identify each bottling, rather than the traditional distillery way, resulting in the consumer understanding the style being purchased more easily.

But what about the whisky?

Wemyss Malts have two sub-categories – Blended Malts and Single Casks. With the blended, the Wemyss family hand select each individual cask, under the expert eye of Charlie Maclean, chair of the Wemyss Nosing Panel for both the Single Casks and Blended Malts.
Up to sixteen different single malt whiskies are blended together before introducing the “signature” malts to create the three distinct taste profiles.

Question is, does this really de-mystify the whisky labelling? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

The Hive 8yr – 40%

The Hive range uses a signature malt is from Speyside.
A sweet nose with a mix of wood and leather aromas, becoming more vibrant upon the palate. Smooth, plenty of light honey flavours to create a lingering finish.

WemyssThe Hive 12yr – 40%

On the nose, the sweet scent of  honey is dominant which carries nicely onto the palate. A slight buttery scent is also present. The fresh flavour of the honey spread along the palate and gives a bit of a spice kick near the end. A snip of vanilla is their but the honey is the main characteristic.

Spice King 8yr – 40%

Spice King range uses a signature malt is from the Highlands.
A fresh nose of spice become a little dry as it develops, although retains its smoothness. A slight sweetness on the palate, with dry pepper and spice evident creating a lingering warm finish.

Spice King 12yr – 40%

A bold, rich nose of sherry mixing with lemon zest but a slight harsh entrance on the palate. Bitter lemon and ginger flavours linger with spice notes and leads into an oak finish which leaves the mouth a little dry.

Peat Chimney 8yr – 40%

Bottled October 2010. The Peat Chimney range uses a signature malt is from Islay.
Light peat aromas on the nose, with a balance of heather and honey developing. Light on the palate too, with honey evident, moving to a lingering peat finish with some bold whispers.

Peat Chimney 8yr – 40%

A tweaked version of the above, sampled on 18th May 2014.

Very light, honey peated notes on the nose, with a little whisp of heather and heat. Incredibly sharp peat flavours on the palate, creating a spice heat that sticks to the roof of your mouth. Hard peat flavours on the finish, with a little smokey wood and honey elements thrown in. Lingering.

Peat Chimney 12yr – 40%

Soft peat notes on the nose with an oily scent soon after with a hint of sea salt. Heavy flavours of peat do mellow out as it comes to a finish, with a ‘peat chimney’ smoke on the after-taste.

Wemyss Malts are also the producers of premium blended whisky Lord Elcho. David, Lord Elcho, eldest son of the 5th Earl of Wemyss, was one of the most celebrated supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the ill-fated Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. Flirting between England and France originally, he settled in Italy and met Charles Edward Stewart, playing a significant role in the uprising, eventually being appointed colonel of the Prince’s lifeguards. After being defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, he was punished with the stripping of his land and titles and forced into exile.
Lord Elcho whisky is a nod to his life, created to honour the “refined masculine spirit of its namesake”.

Lord Elcho 15yr – 40%

Bottled August 2012. Crafted from a selection of malt and grain whiskies. Light, with lingering honey notes finishing with a slight sweetness on the nose. A well-rounded palate of honey and toasted wood, with the sweetness and warmth resulting in a lingering finish.

Lord Elcho NAS – 40%

Light cereal notes on the nose, with hints of honey and syrup coming through. Plenty of honey on the palate, with a light enjoyment of cocoa, fudge and creamy dry spice with cinnamon, ginger and cardoman. Long and warming.

Some absolute crackers to enjoy in your favourite whisky glass. But Wemyss Malts are versatile, with leading bartender Jason Scott of Bramble, Edinburgh creating gems such as –

Hive and Seek
Hive and Seek

Hive and Seek

Glass –

Coupette

Ingredients – 

40 ml Wemyss Hive Whisky 12yr
12.5ml Campari
20 ml fresh lemon juice
2 bar spoons (10ml) saffron honey or orange blossom honey
Dash pasteurised egg white

Method –

Pour all ingredients into shaker and dry shake (no ice). Fill with ice and shake rapidly. Double strain.

or perhaps

Peat Smash
Peat Smash

Peat Smash

Glass – 

Julep Cup

Ingredients – 

50 ml Peat Chimney Whisky 12yr
14 mint leaves
2 bar spoons Demerara sugar
Spritz of Fernet Branca

Method –

Firstly spray the inside of cup with Fernet Branca. Separately, with all ingredients and cubed ice in a mixing glass, stir till ice cold and the flavours and aromas of the mint have infused into the liquid. Single strain over cracked ice in cup.

Brilliant! A superb range across the board, with personal favourites being The Hive and Peat Chimney. Although I’m yet to experience their Single Casks, I can only imagine that I will be impressed. Wemyss are coming out with a fantastic portfolio, diving into their heritage and creating blended whiskies, premium offerings, single casks and even two expressions of gin. You may not see this everywhere when it comes to bars and restaurants, but I can guarantee, if you know a venue with a good whisky selection, expect to see some Wemyss. It would be VERY rude not too. If not, pick one up for your drinks cabinet.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sloane’s Gin Tasting Notes

Sloane’s Gin have just come off the success of their first ever world cocktail competition held at the The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker in London, so i thought it would be a good time to take a look back at this Dutch gin that first graced the shelves back in October last year.

So what is Sloane’s?

Sloane’s Gin

Well Sloane’s is named in honour of Sir Hans Sloane (Royal Physician and Botanist, 1660-1753) whose botanical collection (which formed the foundation of the British and Natural History Museum collections) most likely introduced to the UK the exotic botanicals of juniper, orange & lemon peel, oris root, angelica, cardamom, coriander, cassia bark, liquorice & vanilla which undoubtedly influenced and inspired the early English gin distillers and have formed the basis for flavouring gins ever since.

As an aside, Sir Hans Sloane also gave his name to the prestigious upmarket areas of Kensington and Chelsea, namely Hans Crescent, Sloane Square and Sloane Street. He was a life-long benefactor and landlord of the Physic Garden Chelsea one of the UK’s foremost institutions for growing and experimenting in the use of plants and plant extracts for medicinal purposes – one of the first uses for juniper distillates – the forerunner of modern gin.

So with a rather unique history, it’s not surprising that the production of Sloane’s also follows the path.

Sloane’s distills each of its 9 botanicals individually before each distillate is blended together. Each botanical (juniper berries, coriander seeds, vanilla, cardamom, liquorice, lemon, orange, angelica and iris root) is distilled fresh, so discards the traditional gin distillation of using dried fruits, so that the natural flavours can be captured.

Sloane’s – 40%

The aromas of vanilla, coriander, orange and citrus fruits blend well in your nose to create a well-balanced mix, with the palate enjoying a sweet kick of juniper with the fresh citrus hints coming through soon after. A rather short after-taste doesn’t disappoint the overall experience.

With it amassing some prestigious awards already – double gold medal and 2 awards of ‘World’s Best White Spirit’ and ‘World’s Best Gin’ at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2011 as well as a silver medal and ‘Best in Class’ at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2010, expect something rather special if you order this at a bar. Or maybe ask your bartender for this –

Sloan Ranger

Sloane Ranger – created by Robin Webb, winner of the Sloane’s Twisted Traditions Cocktail Competition

Glass-

Rocks

Ingredients –

50ml Sloane’s Gin
25ml Lemon juice
20ml King’s Ginger
3 Dashes of rhubarb bitters
1 Barspoon of Ginger & Rhubarb jam

Method –

Shaken and fine strain over cubed ice.

Take a look at the rest of the photos taken at The Circle 360 via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Please note that the Sloane’s history has been taken from the Toorank Distillery website

10 Cane Rum Tasting Notes

Hailing from Trinidad & Tobago, 10 Cane Rum is produced by Moët Hennessy (also the producers of Veuve Clicquot, Belvedere and Moët & Chandon) and is a relatively young product, being available to the public from 2005 and considered the first in-house developed brand by Moët Hennessy (instead of being traditionally aquired). Although not steeped in history like other rums, 10 Cane has been creating quite a stir, winning a range of awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition including one double gold, two gold, and two silver medals and faring well in international spirit ratings.

10 Cane Rum

The real question though that is on most consumers minds is why is it called 10 Cane?

Well traditionally, sugar cane stalks are harvested in bundles of 10. Additionally, it takes 10 sugar cane stalks to make one bottle of 10 Cane Rum. Simple! 10 Cane also uses first press cane juice which is the purest, most flavorful juice extracted from hand-harvested Trinidadian sugar cane. After the cane is hand-harvested, it is taken to the nearby distillery where it is gently pressed. The sugar cane juice is then fermented for 5 days in stainless steel tanks to allow for slow development of the aromas. The fermented sugar cane juice is then distilled twice in small batches in French pot stills ensuring optimal yet gentle extraction of the sugar cane aromas. Aged for one year in vintage French oak barrels, the sugar distillate is blended with a touch of extra old Trinidadian rum, which is to add complexity and versatility.

10 Cane – 40%

On the nose, 10 Cane releases hints of fresh floral aromas with a small hint of pear. The palate emphasises the presence of the pear and mixes well with vanilla and spice. It’s smooth as it makes its way around your mouth and gives off a soft kick in the after-taste of citrus flavours.

Theres also a fair few cocktails out their which utilises this light rum –

Flamingo

Glass –

Martini

Ingredients –

50ml 10 Cane
35ml Pineapple juice
10ml fresh lime juice
10ml Grenadine

Method –

Shake all the ingredients together and strain into a chilled Martini glass.

10 Cane – Tropical Storm

Tropical Storm

Glass –

Margarita

Ingredients –

25ml 10 Cane
25ml Banana liqueur
50ml Orange juice
Splash of Pineapple juice
Splash of Grenadine
1/2 Banana

Method –

Blend and serve in a margarita glass. Garnish with a slice of orange.

Two great ideas to ask your bartender for, or even create at home!

Check out the rest of the photos, taken at The Circle 360, via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Briton’s Protection Review

The Briton's Protection

Classed as Manchester’s best bar for whisk(e)y, The Briton’s Protection has got it all. On the corner of Great Bridgewater Street, the outside decor gives it a traditional pub feeling, and with hanging baskets from every window, it oddly doesn’t look out-of-place nestled in Manchester. Once you step foot inside you enter the long bar area where your greeted with a smile by both barman and customers. On my most recent visit, I of course opted for a whisky, but they do have other varieties available including Guinness, Staropramen, Strongbow and Carling on tap, and a range of spirits including the new Kraken spiced rum and Monkey Shoulder. Wines are available as well as ales including Tetley, Beartown and Angel Tears.

The Whisk(e)y range

As mentioned, my most recent visit I opted for a whisky. You are handed the whisk(e)y menu (something that has never happened to me before!) and can browse through their quite stunning selection. You can scan there backbar that includes the Scotch Glenfiddich range and Johnnie Walker, the Irish Jameson’s as well as American Jim Beam, Makers Mark and Knob Creek but the menu indicates some little gems that you can miss. Their selction also includes a Czech and Welsh whisky which im going to have to go back and try. I went for a Dalmore 15yr (check out my tasting notes on the Dalmore 15yr here – https://drinksenthusiast.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/dalmore-whisky-masterclass-review/ )

Whilst sipping on The Dalmore, I couldn’t help but notice they have a certificate hanging predominantly on the bar with the words ‘Whisky Bars of the World 2011’. I couldn’t agree more! With nearly every whisk(e)y available, you will surely find something that will take your fancy, and if not, the barman seem more than capable in offering you their advice which although probably mandatory in the job description, always makes you feel a more welcomed.

If your ever in the Manchester area, this is one of the must-see places on your to-do list and when you can pick up a Glenfiddich 21yr for just £7.50, even Jamie Milne, the Glenfiddich UK Ambassador, is pleasantly surprised!

 

Altrincham Bottle & Cask Festival Review

Today I attended the 3rd annual Altrincham Bottle & Cask Festival hosted by the Le Trappiste Belgian Bar in the historic Altrincham Market. After missing last years due to work commitments, I was looking forward to this years, and the promise of 30% more cask ales and cider than last year and with many new breweries making appearances, you’d be a fool to not go!

Only costing £5 to enter and £5 for a drink vouchers, me and my father made our way round the stalls of the local charity Stockdales, CAMRA as well as passing Dilli of Altrincham’s chicken and chorizo paella that they had produced. Le Trappiste had their own stall with a selection of lesser known Belgian, Czech, Dutch, German and American beers and there was a separate table of Ciders and Perrys. We made our way to the line of ales that awaited are taste buds. Local recognisable breweries include Dunham Massey Brewing Company, Bollington Brewery and Tatton Brewery entwined with lesser known Blueball Brewery of Runcorn, Wirksworth Brewery of Derbyshire and Red Willow Brewery of Macclesfied. Our first tipple of the day for myself was a recommended Porter ale from the Tap House Brewery of Derby named Dark & Dangerous (ABV 5%) while my father went for Derby based Dancing Duck Brewery and there 22 (Two Little Ducks) Copper ale (ABV 4.3%). For a starter drink, mine wasn’t too bad with a dark malt flavour with chocolate aromas, whilst my fathers was a balanced malt flavoured ale which set him up nicely for his next drink – Cheshire IPA from the Dunham Massey Brewery (ABV 4.7%)

Le Trappiste Belgian Beer range

I went for the bitter Little Bollington from the Dunham Massey Brewery (ABV 3.7%) which was a light ale with no distinct flavour reaching out at you. An easy drink that you can have a night of. The Cheshire IPA was a strong traditional IPA with a good mix of hops and malt. My father then went for one of Le Treppiste’s Belgian range –

Range ot Ales available

 Biolegere from the Belgian brewery of Dunpont (ABV 3.5%). It was a very light and blonde ale with again no distinct flavour reaching out to you. I went for the Oor Bonnie of Blueball Brewery in Runcorn (ABV 4.3%) which had a sweet nose of malt which gave off the aromas and flavours of caramel. A slight bitter taste rounded the drink off. I myself then went to Le Trappiste’s stand to try Callewaert Extra Stout (ABV 5%) which originated from the Struube brewery. This was a very nice dark, sweet beer that gave off a lovely brown head, perfect for my sweet tooth! My father opted for another local porter ale named Scoundrel (ABV 4.1%) from the Leatherbritches Brewery in Ashbourne. Another dark and smooth ale that gave off distinct chocolate and caramel malts.

 

To round off our visit we both went for the Le Trappiste Classic produced by the Bollington Brewery (ABV 7.4%). This was apparently made to celebrate the 1000th beer they sold! And to carry on the trend, it was a very dark and sweet Belgian ale to finish the day nicely.

The venue of Altrincham Market was perfect for the event, with me witnessing on several occasions people passing by and looking in, only to then be next to me in the que for a drink! The local band Bearfist were playing well-known rock songs from the 80’s to present day and the incredible smell of local award-winning restaurant Delli’s paella had me resisting splashing out! The crowd was a good mix of families, guys and girls, with soft drinks available for the designated drivers and wine for the ladies from Le Trappistes range (but to be fair, they weren’t afraid to have an ale in their hands!).

Overall, an enjoyable day out with some excellent beers from both the local breweries and Belgium itself. If you ever get the chance to go to these festivals, DO IT! There a great way of trying different drinks as well as supporting your local breweries. This is my 4th ale festival in 6 months, and my second hosted by Le Trappiste, and with 2 more coming up before the end of the year, there’s always plenty to go to and see!

For more information on Le Trappise, visit there website at http://www.letrappiste.com/

To join CAMRA and know when the next festival in your area is, see http://www.camra.org.uk/

 

Licor 43 Tasting notes

The ‘Spanish Smooth Sensation’ has made a comeback recently, with Licor 43 being ever-present on many new and existing back bars. This Spanish liqueur is made from citrus and fruit juices, flavoured with 43 different vanilla and aromatic herbs and spices (hence the name). Its origin though starts in the early 20th century at a small factory in the Mediterranean city of Cartagena.

Three brothers (Diego, Angel and Josefina Zamora Conesa) and Mrs Conesa’s husband Emilio Restoy Godoy started the company and became the most sold liqueur in the South East of Spain. Since the beginning, the Diego Zamora company (still family owned to this day) has been a pioneer in Spain for its use of advertising on radio, TV, press and cinema, with the 60’s paying off as Licor 43 went global to 55 markets to become the most international Spanish liqueur ever. Licor 43 are rather proud of their history and recipe, and the 43 herbs and spices are a guarded secret, however this doesn’t stop you from enjoying the moment as you try to work it out for yourselves –

Licor 43 – 31%

Subtle vanilla aromas blend their way through on the nose accompanied by sweet fruit and spices. A smooth, instant mouth-watering vanilla taste hits the palate first with subtle citrus hints following. Creates a long, sweet after taste.

Licor 43 makes an ideal ingredient to use to balance out a Daiquiri, or even used in a dark Mojito to add a slight extra vanilla flavour to the rum used. Or try one of these –

Cosmo 43

Glass –

Martini

Ingredients –

50 ml Licor 43
50 ml Vodka
75 ml Cranberry juice
50 ml Lemon juice

Method –

Shake all ingredients together and serve in a chilled Martini glass

Spanish Temptation

Spanish Temptation

Glass –

Hurricane

Ingredients –

125 ml Licor 43
50 ml Vanilla Syrup
75 ml Cream
175 ml Passion Fruit Nectar
125 ml Orange juice
25 ml Cherry juice

Method –

Mix all ingredients without the cherry juice with ice in a shaker. Add the cherry juice once poured into a hurricane glass.

This versatile liqueur really shows what it’s made of, and has even caught the judges eyes, winning gold in the 19th Cocktail Challenge Edition at Shaker & Company in 2012 and silver at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2011.

Expect to see a lot more of Licor 43 of the coming years, not only in cocktails, but offered as part of your after-dinner range as well as over desserts such as ice cream, fruit salads and strawberries. Or better still, have one in your drinks cabinet.

Check out the rest of the photos, taken at The Circle 360, via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.