Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Special Whisky For A Special Day!

Whisky: Ardbeg SMWS 33.119 A Gumtree bonfire barbeque on the beach






Ardbeg 33.119 A Gumtree bonfire barbeque on the beach










The Scotch Malt Whisky Society tasting that my wife went to recently was a big one, an important one, for the reason that it was also the 10 year anniversary since the SMWS was founded in Australia!

Now to commemorate this special occasion the Society grabbed their greedy little hands on a very special 10 yr old cask of Ardbeg. The bottles from this cask would only be sold in Australia for $255 dollars. And there would only be 150 bottles for sale. Six bottles would be left in the UK for the special tasting rooms, (so if you're over there make sure you try it!)

Now I was thrilled that the Society got their greedy little hands on these bottles as it allowed me to get my greedy little hands on a taste for me, if I was lucky.

Which I was when we went to the tasting. They'd brought a couple bottles for the members at the tasting to experience.


Now before we were given a chance to taste this once in a lifetime dram the cellarmaster brought out another treat.

Malted barley.

Peated malted barley.

From Ardbeg.

Holy crap!

Another rare treat!!

We'd already tried some regular barley and now we had a comparison point for this sexy smokey beast!

Lovely and enjoyable, but nothing I could eat every day.


We're finally allowed to remove the glencairn covers from the final whisky of the night and out come beautiful, sexy, smoky aromas.

Sweet sweet smoke, almost burning florals at time. Interesting and lovely. Hints of vanilla and some sort of pastry makes this quite interesting. Over all of it is the creosote and smoke, but so beautifully sweet.

Time for a drink. I want a drink. My wife wants a drink. We ALL want to take a drink!

We're finally given permission to.


Charcoal. I'm drinking charcoal from a campfire!

Wow. Smokey and peaty and big and dry!

All the sweetness disappears and the smoke and peat and phenols all run rampant around my mouthy, drying it out and leaving smoke behind. It's almost like breathing smoke at times.

Smokers you're going to love this bad boy!

The finish is long, almost stupidly so, with malty sweetness appearing at the very end of all the smoke and peat.

Huge, huge whisky.

Not incredibly complex, but huge whisky.

And it once more reaffirms my love of the Ardbeg distillery.

It's by no means my favorite Ardbeg, but it's extremely beautiful and intense.

A whisky to drink while one contemplates one's existence on this earth.

Problem is unless you have a bottle or you have a friend who has a bottle, the odds of you ever getting a chance to try this is stupidly rare.

But if you ever get a chance to...

Do it!

Nose:       22/25
Taste:      21/25
Finish:      21/25
Balance:   20/25

Overall:     84/100

Monday, 26 November 2012

Japan Kicks Butt With The Best Of The Whisky Lords!

Whisky: Yoichi SMWS 116.18 Amazing toffee, honey sweetness






Yoichi SMWS 116.18 Amazing toffee, honey sweetness








Pale Gold


My wife and I recently went to our first Scotch Malt Whisky Society tasting which was very very cool.

We'd gone through quite a different distilleries at this point, having tried Glenmorangie, Glen Moray, Caol Ila, Aultmore, a lovely Glenmorangie new make spirit and a very nasty industrial grade caramel coloring.

We'd been at this for over three hours and had been having a very good time hanging out with some of our whisky friends located in Perth.

We'd learned about different distilleries in Scotland and now we'd moved to information about some Japanese distilleries.

This must mean our next distillery tasting will be Japanese!!

Beautiful dark gold color, probably the darkest whisky we've tried tonight, and we're just informed that this whisky is also the oldest we're trying tonight, coming in at 18 years old.

The cellarmaster gives us permission to remove the covers off the glencairns and nose the whisky.


So I remove the cover from my whisky and all I can say is . . . WOW.

Bloody Wow even!

Peat, pine, leaves, butterscotch, coffee, toffee candies, liquorice, dark ripe fruits, toast, band
aids, banana, almonds, biscuits, oh my sweet baby jebus this is FREAKING complex!

More and more aromas, so freaking complex!

This is easily a whisky I could spend an hour nosing, just nosing, not tasting.


Eventually though it was time to take a sip.

Wow, just wow!

Strong coffee flavors immediately come through, black coffee, sugared coffee, mocha, toffee,
pine nuts and sweet candy .

Lovely, complex little whisky.

The finish is long, so very long with a beautiful balance between oak bitterness and sweet

And now for the kicker, the 64.4% ABV which for most people should have lots of alcohol burn,
but their is none on this sexy bad boy!

Now to talk about the bad thing, the price.

This oh so sexy Japanese whisky, this whisky, which once again proves that the Japanese can
kick whisky butt with the best of them, is sadly not cheap or easy to find.

Only 410 bottles produced worldwide and running a hefty $329 a bottle.

But god this whisky makes me want to run out and buy a bottle of it. I've just got to convince my wife not to kill me for doing so!

Nose:        24/25
Taste:       24/25
Finish:       24/25
Balance:    24/25

Overall:     96/100

A Society Tasting: New Whiskies Abound!


Whisky: Aultmore SMWS 73.53 Springtime freshness; spicy warmth






Aultmore SMWS 73.53 Springtime freshness; spicy warmth










My wife and I recently attended our first Society tasting a couple weeks ago where we met up with some whisky friends and tried some very very awesome whiskies.

Now after we tried the Caol Ila, which was lovely, the discussion of artificial coloring commonly used in mass produced whiskies, whiskies such as Lagavulin 16 yr old, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glenfarclas, etc etc etc.

This item is called E150A or for those not in the know, caramel coloring.

This is before our dinner and the room is discussing the difference between mass produced whiskies, such as Glenlivet 12, Lagavulin 16, etc i.e. watered down to a 40-46% abv, chill filtered, and caramel coloring added vs what most whisky geeks prefer i.e. no chill filtering, cask strength and NO caramel coloring added.

We were discussing how whisky companies often will tell you that you can not tell if there is caramel coloring in a whisky, that there is no way to taste it or smell it, that it in no way affects the whisky other then in color.

I call BS to that personally.

But first to why do whisky companies add coloring to their whiskies?

Because they say that people can't accept batch variation in their whiskies that would occur without artificial coloring, and that people when they see a darker whisky think they're getting an older whisky, a better whisky.

Back to whether you can taste it or not.

So our lovely host the cellarmaster hands out a glass of Industrial grade E150A caramel coloring, the kind used in all of the preceding whiskies, to each and every table and says


So everyone takes a nose of the glass, then dips a straw into it to pull out some of the caramel coloring to taste.

As the glass goes around the table each person comments on the strong aroma of the coloring, how sweet it smells, how it smells so much like caramel.

Then as the glass gets passed to the next person we watch as they taste, the faces they make and the cries of disgust.

My turn!

Lovely smells of caramel, sweet.

Time to taste.

Oh sweet baby jebus!

It hurts!

It's so bitter and unpleasant that I immediately grab my glass of water and down it, trying to
rid my mouth of this flavor, of this taste.

It's so incredibly nasty it's not funny!

Thank god we're eating dinner next.

Which we do and it finally gets rid of that nasty nasty taste and we get ready for our next whisky with a clean palate.

The next whisky is pale, quite pale as has been the case with most of the whiskies in this tasting.

This is because the Society doesn't add ANY coloring to any of the whiskies, nor does it do anything else that might alter the way the whisky would look or taste.

We're finally allowed allowed to nose the whisky and the cellarmaster asks us what we're picking up on the nose.

Caramel, citrusy grapefruit, vanilla, grapes, honey, lots of honey, pears and then I get chicken.

Yes that's right chicken!

And when I mention that to my wife she starts getting cold chicken.

I shout that observation out and I receive a free whisky sample!


Now to take a taste!!!

Sweet, quite sweet, but not to the point where it becomes really sickly and unpleasant, but there is lots of honey and grapes with coconut and salty nuts with hints of chocolate.


A long and sweet fruity finish with pears and apples ends the whisky, which was a great taste from a distillery that I'd never tried before and made me very eager to try some more!

Not bad for a 10 yr old whisky when I hear so often that younger whiskies are never very complex. This was beautiful and was definitely a dram I could have spent quite a bit of time with.

However if you're looking for a bottle you're going to have a hard time. Only 547 bottles ever produced in the world from the cask and they're not cheap at $190 each, but happily worth it!

Nose:        22/25
Taste:       21/25
Finish:       21/25
Balance:    21/25

Overall:     85/100

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Glowing Embers on the Tongue!


Whisky: Caol Ila SMWS 53.173 Glowing embers on the tongue



Caol Ila 


Caol Ila SMWS 53.173 Glowing embers on the tongue










My wife and I recently attended a Scotch Malt Whisky Society tasting where we'd tried a Glenmorangie New Make Spirit, a Glenmorangie which tricked me (dirty yummy Glenmorangie!) our first Glen Moray and now we were moving into Islay territory.

When we nose the whisky it's immediately smokey, big and beautiful and it brings a smile to my face.

Smoke, cinders, peppers, beach wood, brine, bacon, citrus.

Big and complex!


Time to taste!

Again the smoke is ever present on the tongue, as it should be on an Islay.

But it's not just smoke, it's a lovely ashfilled campfire. It's lovely sweet malts, creosote, butter, vanilla, lots of salt, barley, and so much more that I can't put a finger on.

The finish is lovely, smoke filled, filled with brine and yet beautifully balanced by sweetness.

A sexy whisky!

We're then informed that this whisky is from Caol Ila, which even though I have a 30 yr old bottle waiting for me in Scotland, I've never tried.

But I know that I love it!

It actually makes me start to debate which of the Islay distilleries are my favorite to be honest. I got a couple more Islay distilleries to try before my final judgment is done, but I do believe that we might have a top contender.

Even more interesting is that this guy is probably the oldest Islay I've ever tried, coming in at 16 yrs old.

A beautiful whisky to try and enjoy if you've got $253 Aussie dollars lying around, but a lovely and enjoyable whisky and worth it!

Nose:       23/25
Taste:      23/25
Finish:      22/25
Balance:    22/25

Overall:     90/100

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Soda Pop Whisky!

Whisky: Glen Moray SMWS 35.78 Praline and flat Coca Cola



Glen Moray



Glen Moray SMWS 35.78 Praline and flat Coca Cola






Young Sauternes

My wife and I had recently attended a Scotch Malt Whisky Society tasting, a group of whisky enthusiasts known world wide for their rare cask strength selections that are brilliant and oftentimes weird.

Our first whisky was a Glenmorangie and then we got a chance to try an extremely rare moonshine type whisky: Glenmorangie New Make Spirit.

The next whisky in the tasting was one of the darkest in the group and was definitely a Speyside whisky.

When the cellarmaster asked what region we all thought the whisky came from the room was quiet until I spoke out, almost hesitantly after being blindsided by confusing the Glenmorangie
for a a Lowland whisky.

However this time I was right!


We start to nose the whisky and it is lovely and complex and a wee bit weird.

Oak, hints of cedar, raisins, sultanas, creamy vanilla, peppermint, salty caramel.

Beautiful and at times reminiscent of bourbon.

When we taste this bad boy again I'm reminded strongly of a bourbon/Speyside whisky combination.

Sweet with creamy vanilla, barley, oak, cinnamon, honey and tannins fill the mouth with a thick
and oily mouthfeel with hints of root beer and flat coke coming through.

Very very enjoyable.

The finish is long and sweet following the initial tasting.

We're then informed of the distillery, Glen Moray, which is my first time tasting this distillery
and that this is a 14 yr old whisky.

If many of this distilleries bottlings are of this quality they've got a lifelong convert!

As with all Society bottlings, extremely limited numbers and this bad boy is going for $229 AUS each!

If you're looking for a good Speyside whisky that doesn't fit the norm then this is the whisky for you! 

Nose:        22/25
Taste:       23/25
Finish:       22/25
Balance:    21/25

Overall:    88/100

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Tasting As Rare As Hens Teeth!

Whisky: Glenmorangie New Make Spirit






Glenmorangie New Make Spirit








Fino Sherry

Now after everyone at the Society's tasting has finished their Glenmorangie SMWS 125.66 "Fruity Sweetness and floral perfumes" our speaker, the cellarmaster, informs us that he has a special treat for us.

It's rare as hens teeth!

It's almost impossible to get your hands on it he informs us.

It's Glenmorangie New Make.

It's Glenmorangie's unaged spirit.

Never touched a barrel.

Glenmorangie Moon Shine for lack of a better term.


He passes out a glass per table and everyone at the table has straws to pull their samples out of the glass.

It's pale as panther piss.


He talks about how Glenmorangie's stills are some of the tallest in Scotland which means that only the lightest oils make it up there for distillation, making it a very light and floral spirit.

We pass the glass around, each nosing the spirit, lovely and not at all what I would have
expected out of something that is essentially moonshine.

Extremely light, but beautifully floral with hints of fruits in it.

I dip my straw into the spirit and pull out just a wee bit to taste.

Once again beautiful.

Nothing very complex, but sweet and floral once more.

Definitely not something that you'd mind trying every once in a while and miles above other
moonshines, comparable in some ways to some entry level single malts.

The finish is quite short and still sweet and floral.

Very lovely and something I was thrilled to be able to try. I definitely prefer Glenmorangie's
aged whiskies, but it was great to be able to taste the source material.

Could you get your hands on this?

Not bloody likely.

But if you ever get a chance to try it.

Do so! 

Nose:           18/25
Taste:          18/25
Finish:         18/25
Balance:      18/25

Overall:       72/100

Monday, 19 November 2012

Our First Society Tasting Whisky #1!


Whisky: Glenmorangie SMWS 125.66 Fruity Sweetness and Floral Perfume






Glenmorangie SMWS 125.66 Fruity Sweetness and floral perfumes











A while back I joined the Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Australia in the goal of experiencing new and weird whiskies. Their sample pack that they send to all new members definitely let me know that I'd found the right place.

Several months went by and a tasting in Perth got closer and closer. But I wasn't sure if my wife and I would be able to make it so I held off on purchasing tickets.

I actually held off until the last minute.

Then a minute past that.

Then I received an email that said there was just a couple slots left if anyone was interested,
and that they needed to act quickly.

So I did.

I acted quickly.

But not quickly enough.

There was only one slot left which left me devastated.

I never do whisky tasting without my wife.


But my wife informs me that I should go anyway.

Enjoy myself and have fun.

So I contacted the Society for the last spot and asked if my wife could be put onto the wait list.

If at all possible I want her to be able to join me.

I immediately received an email back saying that they don't believe in splitting couples up, so my wife can come.



The week drags as we wait for the tasting to occur, but then finally the day arrives.

We caught a taxi to the hotel where the tasting was being held and were immediately greeted by a group of whisky geeks.

And an opening taster of Glenmorangie 10 yr old.

My wife and I sip from our glasses and it's not bad, but there's nothing really interesting about it.

Glenmorangie 10 yr old is Glenmorangie 10 yr old.

We're met by WhiskyBaz, a fellow Perth whisky geek and we chat for a bit.

We sip at the Glenmorangie while we wait for the doors to open, but finally they do.

It's a beautiful ballroom with lovely tables, all covered in whisky samples.

My wife and I sit down next to WhiskyBaz and a friend of his.

No idea what we're going to be tasting.

The Cellarmaster comes in and starts chatting.

Very engaging and fun and informative.

He talks about whisky and finally we get to nosing the first sample.

Very floral, very very much a Lowland nose.

Eucalyptus, sweet fruits, bubblegum, honey, citrus.

Quite lovely.

Then the Cellarmaster gives us permission to taste.

It follows the nose closely.

Oak, grass, honey, apricots, coffee, chocolate, some fruit.

Very interesting and the chocolate and coffee makes it unlike any Lowland whisky I've ever tried before.

The finish is both sweet with mineral elements and short.

The Cellarmaster asks the crowd where they think the whisky came from, distillery or region, your choice.

The crowd is very quiet so I finally I speak up.

"I think it's a Lowland whisky personally"

"This man knows his whiskies! Grassy, floral, very typical Lowland style whisky!" the cellarmaster calls out.

I'm feeling pretty proud at this point and then he continues on.

"But he's completely wrong!"

Epic fail.

"This is a Glenmorangie whisky! And as you can tell radically different from the Glenmorangie 10 yr old that you tried in the lobby. This is what the Society is about. Whiskies that do not fit the distilleries definition of their style, but are great whiskies!"

The whisky we just had was a 6 yr old whisky and it just kicked the snot out of the 10 yr old, further proving that age isn't everything. And at cask strength for $153 a bloody good deal.

The Cellarmaster then informs us that he has a very special treat for us. That'll be the next review though!!

Nose:         22/25
Taste:        22/25
Finish:        19/25
Balance:     22/25

Overall:      85/100

Friday, 16 November 2012

Fruit Wrapped in Smoke That Lingers


Whisky: Ardbeg 1999 Galileo 12 Yr Old 






Ardbeg 1999 Galileo 12 Year Old









Pale Straw

A while back Ardbeg released a new limited edition bottling called Ardbeg Galileo. It was a 12 yr old whisky aged in first filled ex bourbon casks and ex Marsala casks from Sicily. It was bottled at 49% ABV.

OK now that the technical stuff is out of the way let's get to the nitty gritty. This was a massively anticipated release from one of the most popular Islay distilleries, that set the whisky world on fire. People were panting and salivating about this whisky.

How much was it going to cost?

How many bottles were going to be produced?

Would they be able to afford and find a bottle?

Finally the big day came and Ardbeg Galileo was released in whisky stores across the UK.

And they sold out immediately. Within hours.

Prices seemed reasonable, but they were flying off the shelves.

A couple days after the Galileo's release Abbey Whisky posted in my Facebook feed that they'd received a shipment of Galileo, so I immediately sent them a message asking if I could purchase a bottle and have them hold it until I arrived in Scotland.

Not a problem he said.


In the intervening weeks surprisingly Galileo made it's way to Australia where in some stores it was running for almost $300 AUS.

Holy crap!

I'd managed to snag mine for a much more reasonable price, somewhere along $100 AUS I'd

Then as the weeks pass I hear that Abbey Whisky is down to the last few bottles of their 40 yr old Secret Casks.

Considering that it's a sexy whisky, 40 yrs old, which runs for less then $250 AUS, I decided I needed to grab a bottle for myself.

When it shipped to Australia, my friends at Abbey Whisky threw in my bottle of Ardbeg Galileo into the package to come over, no shipping fees needed.


Now I wouldn't have to wait a year to try this whisky!!

It arrived beautifully protected and when I saw that beautiful bottle I could only grin.

I couldn't wait to open this bottle!

A couple weeks go by and after a long day at work my wife and I decided to crack it open and
try a dram.

Maaaaan this is going to be soooo good!

We crack it open and pour it into a glencairn and immediately give it a nose!

Intensely smoky at first, but given a few minutes to let the air get to it and it becomes so very

Still smokey, but not over the top with lots and lots of beautiful fruit.

Big vanilla hit, bananas, tropical fruits, sea brine, typical Ardbeg medicinal notes, toffee, peat,
all wrapped in a delicious sooty smoke.

Love it! The wine cask influence is IMMEDIATELY noticeable.

Time for a taste!

Lovely and intense flavors, sooty fudge, bananas, salt, peat, smoke, little bit of a pepper kick.
Interesting combination of sweet, salty and sooty. Loving it!

A smokey chocolate with fruit creates a long smokey finish that lingers, coating the mouth, leaving just a hint of toffee at the end of the finish.

What can I say? I love it!

Pure and simple!

It's not quite what I expect out of Ardbeg, but this is a kickass whisky, by any standard.

And easily worth the $140 or so that it's running here in Australia. I'd happily pay that for this whisky.

It's big, complex, lasting with the combination of smoke and fruit creating an oh so lovely combination rolling around your mouth.

If you like smokey whiskies, buy this bottle. Pure and simple. If you don't you're crazy!

Nose:          23/25
Taste:         23/25
Finish:         23/25
Balance:      23/25

Overall:     92/100

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Boring Unbalanced Cask Strength

Whisky: Glenlivet 16 yr old Nadurra






Glenlivet 16 Year old Nadurra









Young Sauternes

I'd been hearing about a certain cask strength Speyside bottling for months, Glenlivet 16 yr old Nadurra, for months before I finally got a chance to pick it up.

I'd been helping my wife out at the family business and as we were shopping for supplies for the store we passed one of the largest chain liquor stores in the area, Dan Murphy's, and since it had been months since I'd been into a bottleshop that wasn't mine or my sister stores, I asked her if she minded if we went looking.

Doing a wee bit of whisky porn if you will, more like whisky peeping tom. What is new? Anything interesting?

Nothing too special, nothing too exciting.

Except Auchentoshan Valinch, Glenlivet Nadurra and Aberlour Abunadh.

Three cask strength whiskies.

One that I'd had multiple times in many of it's versions, Aberlour Abunadh.

Two that I'd never tried before.

The Valinch and the Nadurra.

Both highly reviewed. Both in the same price range.

However my brother in law had recently tried the Auchentoshan Valinch and had expressed some disappointment in it so when my wife suggested we pick up a bottle, it was obvious I was going to grab the Nadurra.

I'm so excited when I pick up this bottle.

A new whisky!

A new cask strength whisky!!

God I can't wait!

I immediately start reading the bottle (yes I do this :P)

54.3% ABV, Bottled on 05/12 out of batch #0512T.

Hmmmm a different abv and batch number from reviews I'd seen before.

Oh well a new whisky to play with!

Even better it's non chill filtered and has no caramel coloring added!

Although to be fair I'm so anal retentive not many of my whiskies have either of those issues.

When my wife and I both get home that night we decide to crack the bottle open and try it!

We pour a dram into a glencairn that we'll share together and then immediately start nosing the whisky.

This review is based off of three different tastings, the one on this night, one with my brother and sister in law about a week later and one done today.

Lots of honey. Lots and lots of honey.

Actually too much honey.

It's a very sweet nose with some floral notes.

Eventually some light fruit notes along with some toffee notes appear, but this takes about two weeks for these notes to develop.

None of us are really impressed. This is the whisky that's getting rave reviews?

Actually it's disappointing. Boring.

Time for a taste.

Eeee gads the honey dominates everything!

Again the floral notes appear and there is a hint of fruit, but the honey kills all the flavors.

The finish is interesting. Intense and long with the oak shouting out with hazelnuts that is actually quite enjoyable and definitely the highlight of the whisky.

All in all, the four of us, my wife, my brother and sister in law and myself all come away more then a little disappointed in this batch.

This is definitely better then the entry level Glenlivet 12 yr old, but at more then twice the price it needs to be kicking more butt.

Mind you I've noticed some changes for the better as the bottle has been sitting open and slowly being drank, but nothing to the point that would make me buy another bottle.

Which is really quite disappointing for me as I had such high hopes for this whisky. I personally think that if I ever decide to pick up another bottle of Nadurra it's going to have to be from a batch that I've tried and loved, or a batch that I've heavily researched and have some idea of what I'm walking into to make sure that I'm disappointed.

Mind you the bottle has opened up a little bit over the last few weeks, originally when I picked up this whisky and tried it we would have given it a 74 or so, but it has slowly improved.

If the bottle opens up anymore in any significant way I'll rescore the whisky and update it.S Just off my own bottle of Nadurra which I picked up for $120 AUS I honestly would have picked up a bottle of Aberlour Abunadh for $105.

Give this one a shot if you've researched the batches, but walking in blind like me. I don't recommend it.

Nose:         19/25
Taste:         17/25
Finish:        22/25
Balance:     18/25

Overall:       76/100

Monday, 12 November 2012

Western Australia Launches a New Whisky!

Whisky: The Grove's American Style Spirit First Release


The Grove






American Style Spirit






Young Sauternes

Two months ago I received an email from one of my favorite whisky people, Liz from the Grove.  I had gone to the International Beer Shop, my sister store, to pick up some whisky for me and some special beer to send to my brother in the US.

I was just getting onto the train when the email came in on my phone.

The Grove was releasing their first bottles ever of their American Style Spirit (Bourbon for none whisky geeks) and it was going to be an extremely limited release with only two hundred bottles being available for purchase.


I so wanted a bottle of this!

$50 to reserve a bottle, final purchase price was going to be $110 for a 500ml bottle so a wee bit pricey, but I totally didn't care!

So I sent my wife an SMS asking permission to put down a deposit and purchase the bottle.  You do not want to piss your wife off with an unlicensed whisky purchase!

A couple weeks ago my friend Liz contacted me, since I was already purchasing a bottle how would I like to get a wee sample of it before it was released?

Would I ever?!

A few days later I received a package in the mail from the Grove with a letter and a small sample bottle. 

Awww man I can't wait to taste this!

I wait until my wife gets home, my brother in law shows up and we crack open the sample!

The nose is a wee bit young, but it's only aged for roughly six months so it's too be expected, but it's not at all bad or unpleasant. 

Especially considering that lately I've been receiving samples of whiskies aged from three months to three years that were MUCH less developed.

We're sitting around and nosing our glencairns, young, bourbon style nose, but enjoyable and a wee bit mysterious.

Burnt caramel and vanilla are the strongest aromas, but as I nose the glencairn every so often a hint of maple sugar/syrup appears and then disappears, mysteriously.

I like!

Time for a drink though, this is where the really fun part starts!

Oak comes through, with coconut and spices, hints of cinnamon and just the slightest wisp of cherries.  Again it tastes just a wee bit young, but is very enjoyable. 

Especially considering that I've had twelve year and sixteen year old whiskies that were boring, bland or just plain disgusting.

A mild finish full of coconut, vanilla and spices finishes off this little guy.

I've got to be honest I was really surprised with how good this whisky "spirit" was and that sample really made me eager to get my hands on my bottle. 

Is it the best whisky in the world?


Is it a damn good whisky?

Sure is!

My biggest issues with it are that it's just a wee bit young and as always I'd love to see it at a higher strength.  But after just spending $120 on a bottle of Glenlivet 16 yr old Nadurra cask strength and being horribly disappointed, to walk into a six month old whisky, being distilled for the first time, that was kicking it's butt was nothing short of entertaining!

Soon though I'll have my hands on my full bottle of American Spirit and I've informed the Grove that I want to pick up future releases, especially if they're being produced at older ages with higher strengths. 

If you get a chance to put your hands on a bottle I'd go for it.  Like I said it's not a cheap bottle for being a six month old whisky, but considering that it's a small batch and I'd rather support a distillery that supports me, a distillery that is local and will eventually make waves in the Australian whisky industry if they keep on the way they've been going.

Nose:        20/25
Taste:        20/25
Finish:       20/25
Balance:    20/25

Overall:     80/100