Whisky Review #15 – Tipperary 10 Years Knockmealdowns

The Tipperary 10 Year Knockmealdowns is made by the The Tipperary Boutique Distillery. It is newly released in May 2017 and is one of the limited editions of the Irish distillery’s Mountain Range series. This single malt comprised of only 6 barrels, aged in ex-bourbon barrels. The Tipperary Boutique Distillery takes pride in their non-chill filtered whiskies and this expression is no different. We are confident that this beautiful single malt will be snagging awards pretty soon!

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Pale Gold
ABV: 47%

Nose: Both fruits and grass come through the nose, with fennel and vanilla cream coming on strongly. Follows closely by honey, pineapples and lemon curd topped with cinnamon. Pretty much like a dessert buffet with some fennel as a side dish. (16 points)

Palate: A sweet mouthful of tropical fruits, dried mango and lemon drops with hints of white pepper and oak spice. Pleasantly sweet with just a little spice to make it exciting. (16 points)

Body: A well-balanced body with the sweetness of tropical fruits. Hints of spice adds to the complexity of the whisky. (33 points)

Finish: The finish is medium with notes of hay and tobacco leaves, making your breathe feels fresh and lively. (15 points)

Total Grade: 80 points

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Whisky Review #14 – Three Ships 10 Years Old Whisky

South African whiskies are hard to come by in Singapore so we are delighted to get our hands on the expression. Three Ships is a fine young whisky is aged in old American oak casks after being produced from the barley in the region. Due to the year-round warm temperature, the whisky displays elegant characteristics that are associated with older whiskies as the temperature accelerates the interaction between the cask and the spirit. Master Distiller Andy Watts is also credited to have led the brand to numerous international awards.

Awards:

World Whiskies Awards 2013
Best African Single Malt

World Whiskies Awards 2015
Best African Single Malt

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Light Copper
ABV: 43%

Nose: Fresh and spirited – citrus notes, peaches and pear with honey come through strongly. Aroma of freshly baked custard sponge cake comes after. (16 points)

Palate: Fruity notes are persistent with the first taste, with grapefruits coming on strongly before notes of pepper and cloves shove through. However, the sweetness wins over with notes of honey and toffee as we swallow (17 points)

Body: A spirited and yet well-balanced whisky, the sweetness of of both aroma and taste are consistent. A really fine young whisky.  (35 points)

Finish: The finish is medium long with a pleasant light ashy touch and ginger candied notes. (14 points)

Total Grade: 82 points

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Whisky Review #13 – Starward New World Malt Whisky

This Australian whisky is made at the New World Whisky Distillery in Victoria. Founded by David Vitale in 2004, the distillery has been gaining global recognition with their whiskies. Diageo has even invested in the distillery recently, making the brand even more popular. The Starward New Malt whisky is the first release of the distillery. It is made using Australian malted barley, Australian water, and aged in Apera (Australian fortified wine) casks. As these casks are relatively similar to sherry casks, this whisky is comparable to a sherried cask whisky.

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Light Amber

ABV: 43%

Nose: The aroma of a candy shop is evident with the first nose, followed by fresh fruits such as pears, green apples, golden raisins and of caramel cream spiced cake. The sweetness is not overpowering and relatively pleasant. (16 points)

Palate: The sweet liquid rolls thickly on the tongue, just like golden syrup on a malty gingerbread. Notes of cherry jam, liquorice  and nutmeg are also evident. (16 points)

Body: Sweet and slightly spicy, the whisky is fresh and well-balanced with its complexity. The pleasant warmth coming through towards the end adds a plus to the whisky. (30 points)

Finish: A medium finish that is sweet and fresh. Hints of minty chocolate shavings ends the experience really well. (15 points)

Total Grade: 77 points

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Whisky Review #12 – The English Whisky Company – Chapter 14

Chapter 14 from The English Whisky Company has won several awards since its first release in November 2013. The latest win that this bottle has snagged is the European Whisky of the Year 2017. Aged for a minimum of 5 years in ex-bourbon casks, this unpeated version is a welcoming addition to the family of the English Whisky Company. Chapter 14 also compliments the heavily peated Chapter 15, and marks another milestone for the distillery.

Awards:

European Whisky of the Year 2017

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017

Wizards of Whisky Awards 2014
Gold – European Whisky

Wizards of Whisky Awards 2014
Silver – Single Malts

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Pale Yellow

ABV: 46%

Nose: The delicate sweetness of baked Danish croissants assailed our noses, bringing with it, a hint of brown sugar, canned lychees and coconut shavings. It reminds us of a bakery in the midst of making something really good. (16 points)

Palate: The whisky is smooth and light, rolling across the tongues with tones of bananas, lemon peels, and caramelised sugars. Tasted like creme brulee with vanilla. (16 points)

Body: Fruity and sweet with all the beautiful notes from bourbon cask maturation, we are definitely impressed when we tasted this well-balanced whisky. (34 points)

Finish: The finish is pleasantly long and dry with a warm oak spice that enhances the overall experience. (15 points)

Total Grade: 81 points

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Whisky Butler August Curation – The International Whisky Box

August is upon us and one of the most exciting day of the year for all Singaporeans is coming very soon! That’s right – Singapore’s National Day is coming and what’s better than celebrating this wonderful day of independence with a dram or two? To celebrate Singapore’s 52nd birthday, Whisky Butler has curated an international collection of whiskies to showcase the extraordinary skills of whisky makers from different countries.

The August Whiskies

1. The English Whisky Company – Chapter 14

August starts with a whisky from a historic distillery in Norfolk, England. The English Whisky Company from St Georges Distillery in Norfolk is England’s first distillery for over 120 years. Set up by father and son James and Andrew Nelstrop in a major barley-producing region that is blessed with good, clean water, The English Whisky Company Chapter 14 made a great impression on us!

2. Starward – New World Malt Whisky

Next up is the Starward single malts from The New World Whisky Distillery in Australia (Dieageo invested in it recently!). Founded by David Vitale in 2004, Starward specialises in young whiskies made using 100% Australian barley and matured in 100% Australian wine barrels. This is the distillery’s first release to the world.

3. Three Ships 10 Years Old

The Three Ships whisky range is made by the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington and considered to be the most notable South African whisky. Led by Master Distiller Andy Watt (a one-time pro cricketer who later trained in whisky-making), Three Ships have created international award-winning whiskies.

4. Tipperary 10 Years Knockmealdowns

Last but certainly not the least, the Tipperary 10 Years Knockmealdowns is created by the Irish Tipperary Boutique Distillery and is the first of its limited edition mountain range whisky. The distillery is owned and built by the Ahearn family and the whiskies are all made using water from their Ballindoney farm. They are also proud of their non-chill filtered methods which produces a delightful Irish whisky!

In our next few posts, we will share more about the individual bottles and what we think of them.

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Whisky Review #11 – The Dalmore King Alexander III

We have briefly introduced the history of The Dalmore in a separate post and King Alexander III was very much linked to the origins of the distillery. Considered the crown jewel of The Dalmore principal collection, this special creation by Master distiller Richard Patterson is the only single malt in this world that combines the greatness of six different casks. Yes, that’s right.. SIX! Other than the brand signature American white oak and Matusalem oloroso sherry casks, he added in spirits from Madeira, Marsala, Port pipes, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The result? A complex, yet smooth single malt – a true showcase of the Master distiller’s lifetime experience and creativity.

Awards:

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2017
Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

World Whiskies Awards 2014
Silver  – Highland Single Malt No Age Statement

International Spirits Challenge 2014
Silver – Distillers’ Single Malts 12 years and under

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014
Silver Outstanding – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013
Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

Tasting Notes:

ABV: 40%

Colour: Deep Mahogany

Nose: Signature of Dalmore, the malty sweetness can immediately be captured. This is immediately followed by subtle aroma of fresh flowers with notes of berries. A slight spiciness ends it all. (15 points)

Palate: A complex palate of sherry and berries first captures the taste buds. Subtle tastes of chocolate and zesty orange follows, with a bit of spice. (15 points)

Body:  A well-balanced whisky. It is worth noting that the spiciness comes after the fruity flavours and it’s not over powering, similar to the 18 year old edition. (33 points)

Finish: The sweet fruity finish lingers in the mouth, with hints of chocolatey taste, and spice. (18 points)

Total grade: 81 points

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Making Malt Whisky – The Scottish Way

 

Malt whisky is still made with the same traditional methods of Scotland’s past using natural raw materials. Malted barley, yeast and water made up the humble ingredients of every malt Scotch whisky. The process is made up of 5 steps, and the time frame for making malt Scotch whisky varies depending on how long the whisky is eventually matured.

Step 1: Malting

Barley has to be malted before they can be used in the whisky making process. They are steeped in water before being spread out on a traditional malting floor for germination. This process creates a kind of starch in the barley which will be converted into soluble sugars in later processes. These sugars will eventually become alcohol.

The malting process lasts a week, in which the barley will start to sprout. The sprouting is stopped by drying the barley in a large oven known as a kiln. This drying process is known as kilning and peat is sometimes burnt in this process to produce whisky that has a distinctive, smokey flavour.

Step 2: Mashing

Once the barley are dried completely, they are grounded and then mixed with hot water in a mashing tun. Mashing dissolves the sugars from the malt and produces a sugary liquid known as wort. Wort will be used to turn into alcohol. The liquid is collected for the next step while the remaining solids are reused as nutritious cattle feed.

Step 3 – Fermentation

The wort that is collected went into large containers known as washbacks, where yeast is added for fermentation to happen. The yeast then converts the sugars in the wort, creating undistllled alcohol known as the wash. The wash is around 8% ABV.

Step 4 – Distillation

Normal malt whisky production demands a double distillation process, where the wash is distilled once in a wash still and once in a spirit still. The wash is heated in the wash still until it boils. Alcohol vapours then rise and pass over the narrow head of the wash still before it condenses back into liquid form as low wines. The liquid is then collected into the spirit still, where the distillation process repeats. The liquid that comes out from the spirit still is further monitored and only the high-quality of usable spirit is collected as new spirit. Do note that there are some whiskies which are tripled-distilled. In such whiskies, the liquid collected from the spirit still is distilled a third time to create even purer new spirits for maturation.

Step 5 – Maturation

The new-make spirit is then transferred into oak casks of different origins and set aside for maturation. Through the maturation process, the colourless spirit takes on the colour of the cask that they are in, and develops further flavour characteristics influenced by the cask. By law, whiskies that are to be known as Scotch whiskies must matured in Scotland for at least 3 years. When a whisky label carries an age statement, for example 12 years, all the whiskies in the bottle must have matured in a cask for at least the said number of years.

The 5 steps whisky-making process sounds easy but whisky-makers put in a lot of hard work and passion into the process. Whenever we are enjoying a Scottish dram or two, do think about the beautiful work that these producers are doing and wish them well. 🙂

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Whisky Review #10 – The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve

The Dalmore Cigar Malt was created by Richard Patterson due to his love for whisky and cigar. A third cask was added into their usual two in the maturation process – the premier cru Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques. This innovative combination of spirits from three different casks produces a fine whisky with rich flavours and is perfect for pairing with cigars.

There was actually an older edition that was discontinued in mid-2009 and it caused a huge uproar among the cigar-smoking fans. This ‘new’ edition is slightly different from the discontinued one as it is now made up of slightly older whiskies.

If you are a cigar lover, you might be awed when you find out the flavour benchmark for pairing this whisky – Partagas Serie D No. 4!

Awards:

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2017
Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014
Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

International Spirits Challenge 2014
Silver  – Distillers’ Single Malts 12 years and under

Tasting Notes:

ABV: 44%

Colour: Golden Amber

Nose: The distinctly sweet toffee aroma catches our attention immediately. Shortly after comes the smell of charred oak, ending it all with a slight spice. (14 points)

Palate: The sweetness of toffee fills up the palate, followed closely by burnt caramel. Strong nutmeg spice envelops the mouth as the whisky stays longer. (14 points)

Body: Good balance between the nose and the palate, making it a well-rounded whisky. The sharpness of the spice is cushioned comfortably by the sweetness of toffee and perfect integration of sherry and wine casks.  (34 points)

Finish: The finish is medium, with a lingering sherry oak sweetness. (15 points)

Total grade:  77 points

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Whisky Review #09 – The Dalmore 18 Years Old Whisky

This is an upgraded version of The Dalmore 12. This award winning 18 years old edition is matured 14 years in American white oak ex-burbon casks, and the last 4 years in 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks. The extended maturation and wood exposure creates a more well-rounded finish with a lusciously creamy and sherried body.

Awards:

International Wine & Spirit 2017
Silver Outstanding – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

International Spirits Challenge 2014
Silver – Distillers’ Single Malts between 13 and 20 years old

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014
Bronze – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013
Bronze – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

Tasting Notes:

ABV: 43%

Colour: Copper Bronze

Nose: A distinct smell of pine gushes out followed by a strong fruity sweetness, ended by a slight pleasant spiciness. (13 points)

Palate: Sweetness of chocolate raisins immediately engulfs the palate with slight hints of plums. As the whisky stays in the mouth longer, notes of coffee and vanilla appears and ends with peppery spiciness (17 points)

Body:  A well-balanced whisky. It is worth noting that the spiciness comes after the fruity flavours and it’s not over powering. (33 points)

Finish: Long fruity finish with slight taste of citrus. (18 points)

Total grade: 81 points

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Whisky Review #08 – The Dalmore 12 Years Old Whisky

This is the entry level of The Dalmore series. Aged 12 years old, this whisky from the Highlands spent its first 9 years maturing in American white oak ex-bourbon casks. Half of the spirit is then transferred into 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks for the final 3 years. These spirits are then married together for bottling. What results is a rich and beautiful single malt because of the added maturation in sherry cask – a bold process in making a 12 years single malt.

Awards:
International Wine & Spirit Competition 2017

Silver – Scotch Single Malt – Highland

Tasting Notes:

ABV: 40%

Colour: Golden Amber. Unlike other 12 year old whiskies, The Dalmore 12 years has a darker hue, due to the 3 year maturation in sherry casks.

Nose: The sweetness of caramel fudge floats to our nose the moment the bottle is opened. Strong vanilla with a hint of citrus follows after. (15 points)

Palate: Hint of spice hits the tongue before the sherry sweetness takes over. Thick and velvety smooth feel with delicate citrus notes. (15 points)

Body: A well balanced whisky that is velvety smooth. Easy to drink, suitable for after dinner. (32 points)

Finish: A medium-long finish that is slightly dry; sweet with toffee notes and a hint of vanilla. (18 points)

Total grade: 80 points

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