Thursday, 2 June 2016

Review 11 - Compass Box Great King Street Artist's Blend

In the third and final Compass Box Mini Series we look at the Blended Scotch Whisky Great King Street The Artist's Blend. The Great King street name derives from the company's head office in the picturesquely urban area of Edinburgh.

Great King Street is compromised of both Grain and malt whiskies making this a Blended whisky as opposed to a blended malt whisky.

Components are:
Grain - Girvan Distillery 46%
Malt - Teaninich  8%
Malt - Clynelish 29%
Malt - 'Highland Malt' (Teaninich, Dailuane, Clynelish)  17%

Malt Music

This light, delicate and yet flavoursome dram lends itself well to a lighter, airier accompaniment. With an almost summer breeze tone I think that Fleet Fox's Mykanos goes wonderfully with this dram.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Review 10 Compass Box Peat Monster

In the second review of the compass Box miniseries I take a look at their Peat Monster Bottling.

Like the Spice Tree this is a blended malt whisky but this time compromised of both Islay, Highland and Island whiskies. Peat Monster is non-chill filtered whilst being bottled at a healthy 46%. The core malt components are:

  • 40% Laphroaig (Islay
  • 20% Ledaig
  • 13% Caol Ila
  • 26% Ardmore
  • 1% 'Highland Malt' made from the same 3 distilleries as used in Spice Tree - Clynelish, Dailuane and Teaninich

Malt Music

Peat Monster you say? Something dark, gritty and smoky deserves a similar flavour for your ears and what better to offer this than The Black Keys with Howlin' For You.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Review 9 Compass Box Spice Tree

Here we have the first review of 3 in a Compass Box miniseries to show support for their Whisky Transparency campaign (more info Here).

Spice tree is a Blended Malt whisky, different to a 'normal' blended whisky in that it is compromised only of malt whisky with no grain whisky added. In this case the 3 malts are Clynelish, Dailuane and Teaninich.

Spice tree has a rocky past, the original incarnation was pulled from sale after the SWA (Scotch Whisky Association) deemed that the way that the blend was matured was against regulations. The 3 malts had been vatted together and toasted French Oak staves had been placed into the case with the whisky to impart flavour in a different manner than just the maturation cask itself. However, a few years later and thanks to a change in maturation techniques (CB started to used heavily toasted cask heads instead) Spice Tree was reborn.

Malt Music

I think with this dram, particularly given its rich, spicy profile the dram couples well with the rich and spicy tones of the late and great Otis Redding with try a Little Tenderness

Friday, 20 May 2016

Review 8 - Aberlour 12 Non Chill Filtered

Speyide distillery Aberlour is located in the village of the same name.

Owned by Chuivas Bros (Pernod Ricard), Aberlour is a Speyside Stalwart producing many sherry rich drams including the now famous A'bunadh.

This 12 year old replaces the previous incarnation and takes things up a notch from it's legacy release. This time the bottling strength has been ramped up from 43% to 48% and in turn is no longer Chill filtered. Many argue that Chill filtration removes both texture and flavour in the filter used in the chill filtration process. This whisky has certainly done well out of not being subjected to this.

Malt Music

Given this is both a richly flavoured and textured whisky, whilst retaining it's smooth and suave character. I'm taking things back a bit and putting on Old Time Religion by Parker Millsap.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Whisky Review 7 - Ardbeg 10

We're back on Islay and to one of the most iconic names in the whisky industry, the revered Ardbeg.

Ardbeg 10 is their entry level bottling in the range and good to see that once again it still carries an age statement (ironically the bottlings above this don't). Aged for 10 years in ex bourbon casks this is an Islay lover's dream with a lovely combination of dry peat and citrus spice for the ex bourbon maturation.

Owned by Moet Hennessey who also own the famous Glenmorangie distillery, Ardbeg is situated on the south east coast of Islay neighbouring Lagavulin and has a total production capacity of 1.3million litres of spirit a year.

Ardbeg became more and more popular but as recently as the early 1990's the distillery was mothballed due to lack of demand and cost. As wella s the Ardbeg 10 the standard range includes the Uigeadail (pronnounced oog-a-dal) and the Corryvreckan (corry-vreck-an).

Malt Music

Being from around Manchester you grow up with a certain affinity for the area's music and identity. That aside I still think this is a perfect music match for this dram and reflects the personality of both the band and the whisky at the same time. The harmonious high notes and melodic deep background work alongside each other carrying you along with it like a rolling river.

It will make you high, and it will make you low. It's non other than This is the One from The Stone Roses

Friday, 27 November 2015

Whisky Review 6 - Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

Glenfiddhich, a name that is known throughout the world.

Glenfiddich was, until recently, the world's best selling single malt whisky. A Speyside distillery that effectively started the Whisky obsession for many whisky fans and who are touted to have been the first company to actively market their single malt with target branding in the  1960's. The rest is history.

Owned by William Grant and Son who also own Balvenie and Kininvie, the 12 year old is a staple both on shop shelves and whisky cabinets from Aberdeen to Swaziland.

Malt Music

A popular Speysider of this pedigree with it's light and fruity notes matches perfectly with a good upbeat remix from 2 pedigree artists. It's fruity all right, it's Tutti Frutti by New Order (Hot Chip Remix)!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Whisky Review 5 - Octomore 6.3 Islay Barley

The concept of Octomore is a simple one... To create a whisky using the most heavily peated malted barley imaginable. This Octomore in fact contained malt peated to a staggering  258ppm (or parts per million to you and me). Just to put this into perspective, Laphroaig 10 is peated to around 50ppm, and no I'm not missing any numbers there.

The brain child of industry legend Jim McEwan, Octomore is produced and distilled at Bruichladdich on the Isle of Islay an area renowned for it's big hitting peated spirit.

Another aspect that makes this particular bottle that little bit more special is that the barley used was grown and then distilled on Islay so this really is a Islay thoroughbred.

Malt Music

For me what works alongside this big, bold and yet tuneful Islay malt is something a bit different. The Talking Fish from Ibibio Sound Machine, a big hitting and fast paced Afro Beat 8 piece band from London. Singer Eno Williams concentrates lyrical content around Southern Nigerian folk stories which for me adds to this with Bruichladdich's approach to origin and belonging. Give it a try!