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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Bellevoye Bleu

If you had not of heard of this French blended malt you are not alone, because it was new to me as well when I saw it in the Air France Lounge in Paris.  A little online research suggests this is a blend of 3 single malts of different regions of France and finished in new French oak casks.  It is bottled at 40% ABV but nosed like it was much stronger.  Very feisty and malty with barnyard, floral and even perfurmed notes in the nose.  Hot and sweet on the palate with some flashes of toffee which were quickly masked by pepper and even a slightly acrid smokey note.  The finish has some chilli heat with a hint of lemon peel marmalade.  A splash of water improves it greatly, smooths out the grainy mouth feel and brings out some more fruity and sweet flavours.  It is not bad but posseses little elegance or sophistication so in that respect it is not a very French French whisky.

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  • Monday, 13 February 2012 01:01

    Kentucky: Famous for Whiskey, Horses and One More Thing

    Written by
    The last edition of Whisky Magazine was a milestone 100th edition and in recognition of that the publishers included a list of the 100 Greatest Distilleries to Visit.  As anyone who has seen my website knows, I like lists. In fact my website was really born after reading a list of 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die, an excellent book by Ian Buxton.  I also like visiting distilleries and a quick count revealed that I had indeed visited 18 of the 100 listed, 2 in Ireland, 1 in Wales and the rest in Scotland. (http://www.somanywhiskies.com/distilleries?Name=Value )

    The St George's Distillery in England was notably absent, which is a pity because I had visited that one as well and I felt it was a great visitor experience, better than some of the named Scottish distilleries, where else does the distiller actually lead the tour? It also happens to make a great product. http://www.somanywhiskies.com/distilleries/item/62-st-georges-distillery-norfolk-england

    I decided I would like to take my family on a road trip this summer and visit some USA distilleries in Kentucky and perhaps Tennessee on the way back.  We did similar road trip for two summers in Scotland (not to Kentucky - very long drive) and they turned out to be great family vacations, at least I thought so,  so I was pretty sure I could sell my wife and 6 year old daughter on the plan.  So I carefully picked my moment, and announced I had a great idea for a family road trip this summer, and then asked what Kentucky is most famous is for?  As my wife likes whisky and my daughter loves horses and horse riding I was confident in their response.  After a pause and a moment of consideration my wife offered the suggestion "Fried Chicken?"

    She was of course, as usual, right.  Other then the whiskey obsessed, I think the thing most people around the globe will always associate with Kentucky first is fried chicken and a man in white suit called Colonel Sanders.  It is one of the truly global brands and according to their website (www.kfc.com) is in "109 countries and territories around the world ..... operates more than 5,200 restaurants in the United States and more than 15,000 units around the world."  As I was  thinking about this blog, on my last business trip to Lagos, Nigeria just before I pulled into my hotel I was greeted with familiar KFC logo and took a quick picture to include with this entry.

    kfc

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    Random Whisky

    Gordon and MacPhail Mortlach 21 year old

    This single malt is at the heart of the Johnnie Walker Black blend, however I will not hold that against Mortlach.  In fact I think it is a great pity we don't see more of this single malt (and less Johnnie Walker Black perhaps?).  This bottle comes from refill sherry casks and there are lots of raisin and grapey notes in the nose.  The nose is actually quite intense but very delicious.  The taste is also rich and mouth coating, more darks fruits and classic Christmas spice notes you would expect from a sherry casked Speyside single malt.  Some leather and tobacco as well in the finish which for me is little too dry and could have used something sweet in the taste to balance out and potentially elevate it from a really good to a great whisky.  Nice after dinner dram.