EZdrinking

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary.

Searching for the world's best drinks and what makes them extraordinary. EZdrinking is a drinks blog by Eric Zandona that focuses on distilled spirits, wine, craft beer and specialty coffee. Here you can find reviews of drinks, drink books, articles about current & historical trends, as well as how to make liqueurs, bitters, and other spirit based drinks at home.

Filtering by Tag: Scotch

Review: Johnnie Walker Wine Cask Blended Scotch

Owned by Diageo, Johnnie Walker Blender's Batch Wine Cask Blend Blended Scotch Whisky was distilled and matured in Scotland and bottled at 40% ABV.

AT A GLANCE

  • Brand Owner: Diageo

  • Distillery Unknown Scottish Distilleries

  • Still Type: Column & Pot Stills

  • Spirit Type: Blend of Scottish Grain and Malt Whiskies

  • Age Statement: NAS

  • Strength: 40% ABV

  • Price: $30

For over 100 years Johnnie Walker has been making renowned Blended Scotch Whisky. For much of that time Johnnie Walker was represented by its Red and Black label expressions and in more recent years Johnnie Walker expanded their color series to include Double Black, Green, Gold, Platinum, and Blue Labels. Most of these blends played with ratios of grain and malt, more peat or less peat, and the maturity of the whisky.  While each color had a distinct flavor profile they are all basically in the same wheelhouse.

However, around 2007, Johnnie Walker's Master Blender Jim Beveridge began an experiment, maturing some of their whisky in barrels that previously held other wines and spirits. Blender Aimée Gibson, came upon some of these barrels and created a unique blend of Scottish grain and malt whiskies, some of which included whiskies aged in wine barrels. The Blender's Batch Wine Cask Blend is the sixth experiment in this series, and it was first released in September 2017.

Tasting Notes

Nose: The nose is very pleasant and inviting with notes of vanilla and marmalade with a touch of nectarines and sweet cherries.

Palate: On the palate there is an explosion of fruit with notes of sweet orange, nectarines, plum, and a hint of vanilla balance out with oak tannins.

Finish: The finish medium dry and while initially it is very warm, the warmth quickly fades and leaves the lasting notes of sweet white nectarines, with a touch of oak, vanilla, and a flavor reminiscent of a fruity Riesling. 

Conclusion: This is a really fruity and approachable Johnnie Walker that mellows out nicely with a little ice to cut the heat from the alcohol. Overall, it is a very nice addition to the traditional Johnnie Walker lineup and it demonstrates how much character can come through the cask selection. For less than $30 this is a deal and one of the best new, and affordable whiskies of 2017.

Review: Macallan Batch 7 Single Malt Scotch Aged 30 Years

Macallan Batch 7 Single Malt Scotch Whisky was distilled at the Macallan Distillery, aged for 30 years and bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company at 46.5% ABV

Price: $642.50 for 500ml

That Boutique-y Whisky Company is an independent whisky bottler who selects unique whiskies from around the world.

Tasting Notes

Nose: The nose is very complex and layered with notes of fresh summer berries, zinfandel, milk chocolate and a touch of nuttiness. 

Palate: The palate is viscus and round on the front with a well balanced sweetness. The flavor has notes of sherry, malt and roasted nuts. 

Finish: The finish is slightly hot and dry with a woody flavor and notes of cured tobacco. Lastly there is a subtle bitterness from the oak tannins. 

Conclusion: At 30 years old, this Macallan has taken on an incredibly dark color like stained mahogany that is almost completely opaque from the side. The finish is slightly bitter however, after spending 30 years in a barrel it is quite a feat that the whisky isn't completely dominated by oak. The fact that the whisky is still showing well is a testament to the quality of the barrels and the mild climate in which the spirit was aged. 

Thank you to Master of Malt and That Boutique-y Whisky Company for providing the free sample.

Review: Carsebridge Batch 1 Single Grain Scotch Aged 52 Years

Carsebridge Batch 1 Single Grain Scotch Whisky was distilled at the Carsebridge Distillery, aged for 52 Years and bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company at 40.5% ABV

Price: $250.91 for 500ml

That Boutique-y Whisky Company is an independent whisky bottler who selects unique whiskies from around the world. Their Carsebridge Batch 1 comes from the famed and long closed Carsebridge Distillery in Alloa, Scotland.  Located in the Scottish Lowlands, Carsebridge was originally founded by John Bald as a malt distillery in 1799. Apparently Mr. Bald's sons who took over its management, switched the distillery over to making grain whisky in 1851 as the popularity of Blended Scotch began to rise. In 1877, Carsebridge and six other distillers joined together to from the Distillers Company Ltd. and about 90 years later became part of the Scottish Grain Distillers. Finally in 1983, amidst the world decline in whisky popularity, Carsebridge closed its doors and in 1992, the distillery was demolished. Thankfully, there are a few barrels of this amazing whisky still around. That Boutique-y Whiskey Company were able to find 52 year old barrels of their single grain whisky and bottle it at 40.5% ABV. Here single refers to the fact that the whisky in the bottle comes from one "single" distillery. In Scotland grain whisky is made from a mash malted barley, and any other malted or unmalted cereals, which often means corn, wheat, or rye. The regulations for grain whisky do not require the use of a pot still like with malt whisky, so as a result, grain whiskies are usually produced with column stills.

Tasting Notes

Nose: The nose is vibrant a touch of alcohol intermingled with notes of maraschino cherry and a touch of vanilla. A light aroma of oak belies its age. 

Palate: Is incredibly smooth, initially the whisky shows notes of vanilla, rum cake and a touch of oak without any bitterness. However, as the whisky slides over the tongue the flavors transform into a cornucopia of tropical fruit. Notes of passion fruit and guava that is reminiscent of fine aged rum. 

Finish: The finish is dry and very long with subtle notes of passion fruit, guava and fresh green grapes reaching out to the horizon. 

Conclusion: This is an amazing whisky that is a delight to drink neat. I am awe struck that the oak flavors have not totally dominated the spirit but instead is acting as a support for the wonderful fruit flavors that have developed over the last half century. I am not usually one to think of spending hundreds of dollars on one bottle of whisky however, if I was in the market for a truly once in a lifetime bottle that has the quality to match the price this would be at the top of my list. 

Thank you to Master of Malt and That Boutique-y Whisky Company for providing the free sample.

Review: Blended Whisky #1 Batch 3 Blended Scotch Aged 35 Years

Blended Whisky #1 Batch 3 Blended Scotch Whisky Aged 35 Years, blended by That Boutique-y Whisky Company and bottled at 46.5% ABV

Price: $129.76 for 500ml

That Boutique-y Whisky Company is an independent whisky bottler who selects unique whiskies from around the world. Their Blended Whisky #1 was designed to highlight older malt and grain whiskies from Scotland that when blended creates a smooth and well balanced drinking experience. Batch 3 was released in 2016 and the youngest whisky in the blend was 35 years old.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Initially the nose has a strong alcohol bite but after it has a little time to breath, a very strong and fragrant aroma fills your nose. At first there are notes that remind me of Islay peat with its distinctive combination of smoke, iodine and sea air. And, underneath this first layer of aromas are notes of chocolate, fresh apple, and caramel. 

Palate: The palate is smooth with a light touch of heat from the alcohol and medium bodied. The whisky is pleasantly sweet on the tongue with a flavor that is not immediately obvious but reminds me of sweet corn bread. As the whisky warms in your mouth the flavor begins to reveal some of the smoke character followed by briny sea air.

Finish: The finish is mostly dominated by smoke with underlying notes of malt and a slight nuttiness.  

Conclusion: This is a very complex and flavorful blended Scotch that is easy to drink neat and will likely to appeal to those who prefer a touch more smokiness and peat in their whisky.

Thank you to Master of Malt and That Boutique-y Whisky Company for providing the free sample.