Whisky Review Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak

Ok let me begin by saying it’s been a really rubbish week at work ( Yes, I know it’s only Tuesday! ) so it was an absolute pleasure to sit down, relax and enjoy a nice glass of whisky this evening, probably not what the doctor would have ordered but damn it was what I needed. . .

Why did I select the Glenfiddich 14-year-old Rich Oak for this moment of bliss in what has been an otherwise appalling week, was it because of the smoothness or complex nose? Nope ! It just happened to be the first bottle I could lay my hands on in my collection ūüôā

Aside from this¬†this ultra scientific selection process it’s now time for the review and it’s only appropriate that I take this opportunity to thank my dear Father-In-Law who presented this fine whisky to me last year ( Thanks, Pop)

Released in Spring 2010, this Glenfiddich Rich Oak has spent 14 years in ex-bourbon casks in the traditional way, before two separate finishes of 12 weeks in new European oak and six weeks in new American oak before bottling. They say the American oak adds spice, vanilla and fruit, and the Spanish oak brings elegant fruit, spicy and complexity.

Tasting Notes РNose: Lots of oak influence. Very fruity, nutmeg, cinnamon, bourbon, fruits, dates. Palate: Bourbon sweetness, with lots of general fruitiness, sublimely smooth.  Finish: Nutty and of good length, toasty, hints of char, fruity.

My own view is that this is an incredibly smooth whisky given its age and has a warm toffee & caramel like taste with a finish that lingers pleasantly on the taste buds. At the lower end of the Glenfiddich age range this whisky provides very good value for money being a lovely everyday dram that is full of flavour. If you get the chance give this one a try. . .

A Hint of Garlic Rating 16 / 20

Coming Soon – Yamazaki 10 Year Old – Jura 10 Year Old & Talisker 10 Year Old


Whisky Review Laphroaig Cask Strength Batch 002

Let me start with a confession, I adore Laphroaig whisky! I have at least six different Laphroaig expressions in my collection, been a “Friend of Laphroaig” for many years which means, for those of you that don’t know, I’ve staked my claim to a one foot square plot of land at the Laphroaig distillery on the Isle of Islay. Why is this significant? Well there is just a chance that I may be ever so slightly biased in my review today. . . ( I will try very hard not to be )

The first thing your going to notice with this whisky is the strength, 58.3% Vol just as it should be straight from the cask without being watered down. 

Those of you not familiar with cask strength whiskies I strongly recommend that you read the following article by my fellow blogger The Whisky Woman. In this article she clearly explains why cask strength whiskies are released by distilleries and how you should enjoy them  Read Cask Strength 101

So what does it taste like? I hear you ask . . .   This is how Laphroaig themselves describe the cask strength;

The Purists Choice

Awarded Best Single Malt in the World in 2005 by Whisky Magazine, Original Cask Strength Laphroaig is bottled at natural distillery strength with all the depth of genuine taste and texture normally associated with sampling whisky at source.

We mature Laphroaig in seasoned oak barrels, charred before filling to impart a slight sweet vanilla nuttiness. Original Cask Strength Laphroaig is barrier-filtered only just, to remove the small char particles present. This means you will enjoy Laphroaig exactly as we made it. In extremes of temperature and when you add water it may appear a little cloudy – this is the natural condition of a malt of such a peaty pungence and uncompromising purity.

Adding a little water releases a rich aroma of peat smoke with some sweetness and strong hints of the sea.

Emphatic, full bodied and utterly unforgettable. Simply ‘The Best’.

Tasting Notes:¬†¬† COLOUR: Rich deep gold¬† ¬†NOSE: Very powerful, “medicine”, smoke, seaweed and ozone characters overlaying a sweetness¬†¬† BODY: Full and strong¬†¬† PALATE: A massive peated burst of flavour with hints of sweetness at the end¬†¬† FINISH: Long and savoury

The big question now is should we enjoy this monster of a whisky as it comes straight from the cask or start adding water to tame the beast? Now, I’ve¬†enjoyed many a glass in the “as it comes” style yet this is strong powerful stuff and it’s not long before you actually start to feel a little heady. If anything I find it a little too strong and enjoy the flavour more with a splash of ice-cold¬†mineral water. As mentioned above the water also brings out the real hit of peat smoke that Laphroaig is oh so famous for. As with all Laphroaig it is a¬†grown up whisky with HUGE flavour though probably not one for an uninitiated whisky drinker, this one’s got cojones! Just perfect for the long winter ahead. . .

A Hint of Garlic Rating 18 / 20

Whisky Review Glenmorangie 10 Year Old Original

As promised in earlier whisky reviews here are my thoughts on the award-winning Glenmorangie 10-year-old original. Before I let you in on my thoughts however Glenmorangie themselves describe this whisky as;

¬†” The original expression of our elegant, floral spirit and the real backbone of the Glenmorangie range. A ten-year-old single malt, Glenmorangie Original is produced by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland’s tallest stills, with first and second fill American white oak casks. ”

Being the backbone of the range it also means that it incredibly easy to find in most stores and has a reasonable price point which allows it to be an everyday whisky without breaking the bank.

Glenmorangie Original Tasting Note

Aroma: Imagine yourself in an Italian garden surrounded with mandarin, lemon, apple, pear and peach trees, their fruit ripening in the sun. Add to this the scent of vanilla ice cream, then enjoy the herbal aromas of geranium and wild mint growing nearby

Add water to The Original and you wander into a flower garden with lemony bergamot, apricot and mandarin. Floral notes of geranium, sweet honeysuckle and piquant narcissus mix with mint and the herbal essence of eucalyptus, nutmeg and ginger

Taste: Savour the fruits of the Italian garden as creamy vanilla slips like liquid silk over the tongue as peaches and cream, mandarins and lemons effervesce in the mouth

Aromatic essences of fennel and nutmeg tantalise with crumbly almond and coconut that gives way to a nectar that envelops all the fruit, spice and nut flavours in a honeyed caress
Finish: The charming sweetness of delicious juices is left on the tongue

My own thoughts are that this is a very light and refreshing whisky ideally suited to being served over ice and enjoyed during a warm summer’s evening. I would suggest this whisky without hesitation to anyone trying whisky for the first time as it is smooth and gentle on the palate and¬†will not¬†scare them away unlike more grown up whiskies such as Talisker or Laphroaig.

A Hint of Garlic Rating 16 / 20

Whisky Review Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt

Well my fellow whisky drinkers we have something rather special today !

To start with I feel I  should remind you that these are my own untrained thoughts as I am not a whisky expert by any stretch of the imagination.

Ok lets start with what the experts say about this very fine dram;

Lagavulin 16 Bottling Note

A much sought-after single malt with the massive peat-smoke that’s typical of southern Islay – but also offering a dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram. The 16 year old has become a benchmark Islay dram from the Lagavulin distillery.

Lagavulin 16 Tasting Note

Nose: More like Lapsang Souchong tea than Lapsang Souchong! One of the smokiest noses from Islay. It’s big, very, very concentrated, and redolent of iodine, sweet spices, good, mature sherry and creamy vanilla. Stunning.
Palate: Very thick and rich. A massive mouthful of malt and sherry with good fruity sweetness, but also a wonderful sweetness. Big, powerful peat and oak.
Finish: Long, spicy finish, figs, dates, peat smoke, vanilla.

So the question your all asking is what do i think ??  Well let me set the scene for you. . .

Imagine your sat in a small friendly pub on the Isle of Islay in the middle of a horrendous gale with a view out to the rocky shoreline. You see the waves crashing down on the rocks as the rain lashes against the pub window. And there’s you sat nice and warm by the roaring log fire with a whisky in your glass that is warming every single part of your soul. This my friends is that whisky !

Wow its incredible ! The taste is so rich and peaty with a deep smoke that lingers in the mouth. This is a full flavoured grown up whisky that should be in everyone’s collection.

Hint Of Garlic Rating 19 / 20¬†¬† ( Yes ! It’s really that good )

Wedding Anniversary Whisky

Let me explain

My beautiful wife and I married last year at which time she presented me with a bottle of 21-year-old Glenfiddich as a wedding gift. I decided that a special bottle such as this needed to be savoured slowly and that I would help celebrate our anniversary each year with a single dram of this amazing whisky.

Now those that know me well will understand that waiting a whole¬†year for that first taste has been quite a challenge ¬†ūüôā

A 21-year-old bottling from Glenfiddich, finished in casks used previously to age Caribbean Rum.

Glenfiddich Rum Finish 21 Tasting Notes

Nose: Barley sugar, malt, dark brown sugar, orange peels, marmalade, manuka honey, Chocolate, foam bananas.
Palate: Full, fruitcake, spices, buttery vanilla, malty. Oak.
Finish: Long, mochaccino, marmalade.


Well a year flew by and our wedding anniversary arrived. Amongst all the well wishing some time was found to finally open the bottle that had spent a year patiently waiting to take its first breath of air. Of the many visitors we had that day my Best man was there and i thought it only fitting to let him sample this too. . .

Was it worth the wait ? Will I manage to wait another whole year before removing the cork once more?

Well first of all YES ! It was most certainly worth the wait. I don’t think I have ever been disappointed by any of the Glenfiddich range but this 21-year-old whisky is amazingly smooth. I was surprised by just how much the rum casks have influenced the flavour of the whisky and trust me its a good thing. As for waiting another whole year to sample this wonderful dram I’ll keep you posted . . .