Whisky Reviews

Whisky Review #18 – The Macallan 1824 Master Series – Rare Cask Black

The Macallan Rare Cask is a recent addition in the Macallan 1824 Master Series. Unlike all other Macallan branded whiskies today, this is actually smoky! This is the final product of the marriage of less than 100 casks maturing at The Macallan distillery. The Master Whisky Maker kept these casks hidden in the dark warehouse until he decides that they are fit to be released.

Smoky Macallan is rare by itself, coupled by the fact that the casks that make up this special expression will not be reused, the label ‘Rare Cask’ is certainly very apt!

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Autumnal Leaves
ABV: 43%

Nose: An strong, intense smell of peat smoke gushes out of the dram. This is followed by the combination of the sweetness of dried fruits, dates and raisins, and the spicy ending of nutmeg and ginger. (15 points)

Palate: A dry smoky flavour immediately engulfs the palate, with the less intense sweetness of dried fruits. The oaky flavour takes over with taste of nutmeg and cloves. (14 points)

Body: A balanced body of smoke, sweetness of dried fruits and spices. Reasonably complex, considering this is a special make. (28 points)

Finish: The finish is medium long with woody smoke, and lingering sweetness of dried fruits. (13 points)

Total Grade: 70 points

Comments:

Geek Choc: “Definitely not as smoky as those from Islay. This is a well-crafted, special whisky from The Macallan, but the price does put me off. S$622.30 from DFS! Definitely can get a much better whisky at this price. Of course, if you are a hardcore Macallan fan, this is not to be missed.”

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    Whisky Review #17 – The Macallan 1824 Master Series – Rare Cask

    The Macallan 1824 Master Series showcases the distillery’s strengths of using top quality Sherry oak casks and the beauty of the whisky’s natural colour.

    The Macallan Rare Cask is the entry level of this series. This expression boasts the combination of spirits from 16 different types of casks – butts, hogsheads and puncheons, from different producers (some of these producers no longer exists). Merging spirits from these Spanish and American Sherry seasoned oak casks, mostly first fill, explains the rich hue and woody flavour. These casks actually make up of less than 1% of those in the distillery, and this whisky is so rare that most of the spirits from those casks that are used will never be used again!

    Tasting Notes:

    Colour: Mahogany Red
    ABV: 43%

    Nose: A rich, yet soft vanilla tingles the nose. The sweetness of raisins and chocolates delights the senses soon after, but not overpowering the fruity combination of apples and citrus flavours. The experience concludes with the spicy balance of root ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. (15 points)

    Palate: The spicy taste hits the tongue, with hints of raisin sweetness, but the oaky flavour engulfs the palate soon after. This is ended by slight vanilla and chocolate. (14 points)

    Body: A fairly balanced body with the sweetness of raisins and chocolates. Sadly, not as complex as expected. (25 points)

    Finish: The finish is medium with notes of citrus zest and old oak. (13 points)

    Total Grade: 67 points

    Comments:

    Geek Choc: “Not exactly a bad whisky, but I would expect something more, given the price of this whisky. It seems the rarity of the casks has pushed the prices up, not the final product itself.”

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      The Macallan 1824 Master Series

      The Macallan 1824 Master Series is a luxury range within The Macallan portfolio. It showcase the top-notch quality of The Macallan’s use of sherry casks and each expression increase in rarity as you go up the tier. All the whiskies in the range are hand selected by their Master Distiller, Bob Dalgarno. The 1824 Master Series is a level up from the 1824 Series that we have shared previously. This Master Series starts with the Macallan Rare Cask, which is one tier higher than Ruby, the last of the 4 bottles in the 1824 Series.

      The luxury range of The Macallan 1824 Master Series are made with first-fill, 100% sherry-seasoned casks. It showcases the 100% natural colour that The Macallan is so proud of, and the beautiful spectrum of colours brings to life the interaction of the peerless spirit and the exceptional oak casks. The Macallan’s unique Six Pillars are definitely at the heart of this luxurious collection.

      The Macallan has taken time to release the 1824 Master Series, starting with the Rare Cask and the Macallan M, before releasing Reflexion and No. 6 to complete the series. The Rare Cask Black was later introduced to the market as a peated expression to contrast the Rare Cask. Each expression is housed in striking decanter, with the decanters getting more and more preciously beautiful as you go up the tier. The angled decanters in the higher tiers are specially made to reflect the “M” in Macallan. The exquisite details of every decanter is as amazing as the liquid itself.

      The rarity of the series can be sum up in an auction house in Hong Kong, where the Macallan M was sold at a whooping USD$628,205!! That’s what we called opulent!

      In Singapore, the 1824 Master Series was introduced through various mediums, including an exclusive launch of the Rare Cask where the public was invited to a tasting session. The whole series were introduced again during the Edition No. 1 launch in Singapore, where The Macallan hosted “Toast the Macallan” event at the Black Swan in 2016. In that event, both the 1824 Master Series and the Edition No. 1 were given equal priority. It was also during this event that they introduced the Rare Cask Black to the general public.

      The exclusivity of the 1824 Master Series makes it hard for normal whisky lovers to have a taste of the exquisite whiskies housed in those precious decanter but getting to know the different expressions is in itself, a great experience.

      Here’s a video that was posted on Vimeo by Macallan’s parent company, Edrington. Enjoy!

      We will speak more of the individual bottles in our next few posts, so stay tuned!

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        Whisky Review #16 – Tasting The Dalmore 50 Years Old

        We just have to share this! Remember that we posted an article sharing the event of Richard Paterson’s 50 anniversary in the whisky industry? Well, what we did not tell you is that WhiskyGeeks was given the rare chance to have a taste of The Dalmore 50 Years Old whisky! This expression is released to celebrate Richard Paterson’s anniversary so all the numbers associated with this bottle have 50 in them, including the price! Launched at £50,000, up to 50 crystal decanters made by French crystal expert Baccarat and housed in cases made by furniture producer Linley will be hand-filled to order. Each bottle will also come with a solid silver stag, designed by silversmith Hamilton & Inches.

        This limited edition was matured in American white oak, Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks from the Gonzalez Byass Bodega, and Colheita port pipes from the Douro region of Portugal, before it was finished for 50 days in rare casks from Domaine Henti Giraud.

        Tasting Notes:

        Colour: Amber
        ABV: 40%

        Nose: Typical Dalmore Nose – Orange chocolate with lots of fruitiness! Extremely elegant and refined with sweet oak and red cherries, melons with papayas and peaches too! Hints of overripe pears with notes of cedar wood with elegant violet flowers note came through after a while. Felt like a very dark red longan tea!

        Palate: All we can think about was WOW…Orange fizz! A warm sensation of menthol replaced the usual expectations of alcohol when we sipped this precious liquid. The mouth is filled with so many dried fruits – sweet plum with dried apricots and dried longans! We can taste some orange chocolate too!

        Body: Perfectly well-balanced whisky that is extremely easy to drink. The fruitiness of the whisky covers the spice of the alcohol and what comes through is a very pleasant note of menthol.

        Finish: A medium and warm finish that reminded us of juicy fruits! Perfect for any occasions.

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          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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