Tag Archives: #scotchwhisky

The Sovereign: 30 Year Old Cambus Distillery

I was excited to try this unique Lost Distillery bottling at our July Expensive Taste Meeting. Cambus distillery in the Speyside region closed in 1992, the building and remaining casks are owned by Diaego. Most of the Whisky still currently sitting in the warehouse are used for blends so coming across a Single Malt offering from independent bottler The Sovereign was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up when the chance to buy was presented.

Coming in at 45.6% ABV and bottled at Cask Strength and Un-Chillfilrered, this expression was aged in a Re-Fill Hogshead cask that was selected exclusively for TheWhiskyBarrel.com. This Golden and Honey coloured whisky looks beautiful as it sits in my glass, the nose hints of sweet fruit like peach or apricot and is very mild, much of this carries over on to the palate with notes of a tangy tropical fruit and light oily texture. The finish carries a mild tangy zip of sweetness and provides a quick mild to medium quick burn in the chest followed by a quick finish which leaves sugary taste.

It was a great dram for a warm Canadian summer night, but overall I felt a little underwhelmed as this whisky lacked the complexity I was expecting from a 30 year old scotch bottled at Cask strength. It was very much what you would expect from a Speyside, easy to drink, light and almost refreshing! For the price of $110.00 USD I couldn’t resist a try, I’m glad to say i was able to have a Single Malt from Cambus distillery since there will never be whisky produced from there again, however I wouldn’t go out of my way to seek another bottle.

BenRiach Single Cask Head to Head Double Tasting – Sauternes Cask 2006

From the distiller BenRiach:

BenRiach Distillery has unveiled Batch 15 in its popular series of single cask bottling’s. The distillery is known for its experimental nature and this latest batch of single cask whiskies demonstrates this, once again offering whisky connoisseurs a multi-faceted range of casks in both unpeated and Highland peated styles. Each bottle is filled exclusively from one of these individual casks.

As with all of the BenRiach single cask releases they are individually hand-numbered, non chill filtered, natural colour and presented in a gift tube, each single cask is truly unique.

BenRiach 2006 Single Cask

Cask No. 2406 

Cask Type: Port Pipe

Bottle No. 327 of 809

Cask Strength 58.7 % ABV

Colour: darker gold, almost a bronze

Nose: Toffee, butterscotch, sweet heat, cherries, dried figs, you can really smell the strength of the alcohol, but it is rounded out nicely by the sweetness and warmth of fruit

Taste: figs, raisins, bit of liquorice, sweet warmth of some fresh baking, a little touch of spice, berries, the alcohol dissipates quickly and does not over-power the palate

Finish: smooth sweetness, Christmas pudding, caramel sauce, warmth

This dram invokes a sense of déjà vu and transports me back to the onset of a brisk Ontario winter right around the Christmas holidays.  My Grandmother makes a  Christmas pudding with caramel sauce, which invokes the smell an aroma that I get from this dram.  The sweetness, the fruit, the caramel sauce, all that’s missing is some vanilla ice cream, but hey why not drizzle a bit of this BenRiach Single Cask onto a fresh scoop?  The Port Pipe Cask is a fantastic finish on some top notch juice in this expression.  Highly recommend should you come across a bottle. Not available in Ontario via the LCBO but it can be found out of province.

BenRiach 2006 Single Cask

Cask No. 1855

Cask Type: Sauternes Barrique

Bottle No. 184 of 277

Cask Strength 56.5% ABV

Colour: Bright summer gold, bit more of a lighter red hue vs the Port Pipe expression

Nose: hint of lemon, subtle honey, toast, freshness, toffee, apple, smells almost dry like a cider

Taste: green apple slices, hazelnut, drizzle of Billie Bee honey on morning toast, dry sweet wine from the Sauternes Cask finish, overall brightness

Finish: smooth light dry finish, much more delicate that the Cask Strength would suggest, fresh cut green apples, touch of honey sweetness

This dram is completely different from the Part Pipe finish.  The Sauternes Cask is a much smaller finishing vessel and it imparts the dry sweetness that the Sauternes region wine is known for. This one is more fresh and uplifting and I would be right at home drinking this one on a warm summer evening. I keep coming back to the dry finish of a glass of cider, however one with a much warmer finish as dictated by the Cask Strength finish. It’s hard to believe that these 2 BenRiach’s are the same distillate as they impart completely different flavours and finishes based on the Cask treatment.  Once again this was not available at the LCBO and had to be sourced out of province. Should you come across one I’d say investigate an purchase should budgets allow.  Overall fantastic work with these expressions BenRiach.

Edradour Caledonia 12 Year

Edradour Caledonia 12 Year

Highland Single Malt

Bottled at 46% ABV

Our club recently sampled the Edradour Caledonia. Edradour is a distillery I always look forward to sampling. If my blurry memory serves me, the Edradour 10 was the first whiskey I ordered while i was in Scotland at the Speedwell pub in Dundee. They also have a surprising number of offerings given their small size.

The nose has a complex floral, fruity aroma. It’s definitely evident that there’s a lot going on here. Overall it presents itself as sweet and clean on the nose but certainly exerts its presence.

On the palate the sherry finish was evident. This came together with the fruit that was on the nose to again deepen the character. The long legs that you’ll note in the glass really lead to coating your mouth.

The finish develops in a lengthy way. The heat creeps up on you and hangs out for a while but not in an overpowering way while things dry out a bit and the flavors from the palate fade.For the price I think this a pretty enjoyable spirit. I think this would land well with most whiskey enthusiasts. There’s nothing mind blowing, but there’s really nothing objectionable either. It’s enjoyable dram which does perhaps get too warm for a summer night poolside which is where we sampled it. But as a springtime whiskey I think the floral & fruity clean nose this has would make you want to enjoy it outside. If this were readily available in Ontario, this would certainly be in my bar by now.

Ballechin Edition

Aged 14 Years

Burgundy Cask Matured, 411 Bottles from Cask 7

Bottled at cask Strength 51.9% ABV

Notes from the distillery:

14 year old single malt from Edradour, distilled using peated barley – and as such, it’s been released under the Ballechin name! It was filled into a Burgundy wine cask in January 2004 and bottled in January 2018 (four days after its 14th birthday), and bottled at cask strength. 411 bottles were produced.

Nose: A generous waft of coastal smoke filled the nose, with underlying blackcurrant sweetness.

Palate: The red berry notes from the wine cask take the lead on the palate, with a hint of chocolate developing along the way. Still richly smoky.

Finish: Cardamom, cinnamon and toasted oak.

Personally this was one of the most unique tastings I have ever participated in. Edradour starts right at the beginning of the experience with the fantastic visuals and feel of their wood packaging. Immediately it looks like nothing else in the market place. Traditionally I’m not the biggest fan of heavily peated whiskies but this was more of a sweet finish rounded off by the burgundy wine finishing. The tasting notes above came through for the most part but still left me puzzled as it was truly one of the most unique flavour combinations I have had the pleasure of enjoying. We weren’t able to source within Ontario and had to reach out to our friends and family in Alberta to find this gem. If you are interested in something exciting, daring, unique and truly tasty look no further that the cask series from Edradour.