Review : Amrut Portnova

A tribute to the Portuguese and its influence on India, this whisky takes inspiration from one of the many trading centres situated in southern India along the Coromandel coast, the Portnovo – modern day Parangipettai. The Portnova, isn’t shy in giving away its DNA, both in terms of colour or its name. Matured initially in…

Review : Talisker Dark Storm

Talk ‘Isle of Skye’ and up pops ‘Talisker’ – the oldest, working distillery sitting comfortably on the shores by the sea. The Dark Storm, a recent entry to the distilleries’  stables is a step up to the existing Talisker Storm promising heaps of smoke, supposedly the smokiest from its current array of whiskies – thanks…

Review : Glen Grant 18 Rare Edition

The Glen Grant isn’t a stranger to the whisky world, and in the recent past its popularity has bubbled, lapping up a lot more fan following with Jim Murray’s scores only adding on to the fame and accolades. It is hard being unbiased when someone comes with a grand score two years in a row, and when…

Review : Lagavulin 8 YO Limited Edition

Whisky writer Alfred Barnard had in 1886 pressed his lips against an 8 year old whisky from the Lagavulin distillery, and so much did this tuple impress him, that he penned his thoughts in his book, “The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom“. And to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the distillery, the folks at…

Review : Chivas 18 ‘Limited Edition’ Japanese Oak

Four years running strong, Japanese January was once again made possible- thanks to Perth’s travel retail and its sale of Chivas’ 18 Year Old ‘Limited edition’, one that is finished in first fill mizunara oak, pretty much the most cumbersome of all woods used to mature whisky. This expression was the distiller’s second attempt at…

Review : Connemara Peated Single Malt

If anyone were to tell you that all Irish whiskies were triple distilled and non peated, the Connemara would give you enough reasoning for a decent rebuttal. The peat bogs of the Connemara region were rich sources of heat and energy used by early farmers and distillers as fuel, which ultimately was used in peating…

Review : Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Johnnie Walker isn’t a stranger to the whisky enthusiast nor the amateur, irregular whisky sipper. The unmistakable bottling, the striding gentleman and the 24 degree labeling are all hallmarks of a brand that has pretty much stood tall, fending off most if not all competitors in terms of both sales and popularity. In the long…

Review : Royal Salute 21

A flagon embellished in gold – an aristocratic crown, a simple yet noble torc and a rather large chest plate. Made with porcelain, handmade from cornish clay and caressed by a plush velvet pouch, figures of smoking cannons and a roaring lion, all packaged in a hard top 22ct cardboard box . This level of…

Review : Laphroaig PX Cask Triple Matured

Travel retail outlets, though mostly mundane and lacklustered, serve for a lovely oasis as distilleries use this platform as testing grounds for some of their most recent releases. The PX Cask, one of many NAS expressions from the distillery, was introduced in early to mid 2012 and remains a travel exclusive in many parts of…

Review : Chivas XV aka ‘The 15’

Blended whiskies more often than not, have aligned themselves to years of mediocrity, not really being as experimental as their malty counterparts. There’s now been a huge realisation to adapt and imbibe techniques that were considered quite unorthodox until recently. Johnnie Walker was one of those to take this walk with their Blender’s Batch, moving…

Review : Macallan 12 YO Double Cask ‘Limited Edition’

In a parallel universe where there are many peat greats oozing a unison of brine, smoke and seaweed there are the equally populous sherry stalwarts, whose highlights are a glorious fusion of rum, raisins and dried fruits, one such wonder being the house of Macallan. This ‘limited edition’ is one of many 12 YO expressions…

Review : Singleton Spey Cascade

Single Malts have always been dwarfed by their Blended brethren, laying in the shadows cast by the latter’s massive sales figures. Diageo might have this all figured out with their illustrious blended kingpin – Johnnie Walker, but replicating this success story in the Malt realm hasn’t been that easy. This playing field has been long…

Review : Laphroaig Select

The Select is one of Laphroaig’s many NAS whiskies – an expression with a name very generic. I am unsure if the meaning is aligned to the ‘Select Oak‘ expressions of the Macallan and Glenfiddich, which literally means nothing, since all whiskies are carefully ‘selected’ before being blended and not just these. Honestly, I wouldn’t…

Review : Compass Box The Peat Monster

The whisky world is nothing short of a mystery, a vast expanse of knowledge, process and tradition hidden under the garb of trade secrets and cut throat competition. Information divulged is usually very bare bone with much left to one’s own imagination. The exception to this being an independent bottler – The Compass Box, born…

Review : Spey River Single Malt

An ambiguous name with an almost absent electronic footprint- nothing more than scanty bits of information spread across the vast expanses of the web. Their official website also seems pretty mum and mute, giving references but nothing specific. And with every passing mouse click information gets all the more muddled and blurred, a certain enigma…

Review : Aberlour 12 Years ‘Double Cask Maturation’

Burn : Noun, Origin : Old English – “a small stream”. The crackling of the river Lour as it flows unmindfully through water trails built over centuries. Ripples haphazardly bouncing off each other, brushing against the green foliage on the banks, tumbling over round rocks, smoothened by years of soft abrasion. The soft spring water…

Review : Oban 14 Years

Nested in the Western Highlands, is this humble distillery that has its roots planted well before whisky became legalized in Scotland. And with all that history and culture you would imagine it to be very main stream and commercial. But on the contrary, the distillery is quite modest in size, housing some of the smallest…

Review : Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Johnnie Walker isn’t really a brand that needs an introduction; the rectangular bottling, the angled labelling, even more so the century plus old iconic ‘Striding Man’ have been hallmarks for a whisky that spawned out of very humble beginnings. With a repertoire of peat, smoke and sherry, packaged up nicely, fairly affordable and consistent from…

Review : Teeling Whiskey Single Malt

The third and final sibling in Teeling’s premium range of NAS whiskies is the Single Malt expression introduced not so long ago. The malt in fact, is a fusion of whiskies young and some old, dated as far back as 1991. So essentially what you get is this odd combination of double distilled older whiskies…

Review : Benromach Organic Single Malt Whisky

A modern distillery with a pre modern twist – one where manual labour and much of the work from alpha to omega is all handcrafted. Here pressure and temperature gauges can’t be traced, computers and hi-tech machinery that automate much of the distillation process seem just a memory. An era highly relient on chalk, paper…