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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Highland Park Viking Honour 12 year old

The nose on this is salty and fruity, with some seaweed, a hint of rubber and a prick of alcohol even at 43% ABV.    The taste is rich with toffee, burnt coffee, caramel at first then some more acrid camp fire notes and along with bitter fruit peels and spices.  The finish is gentle hum of heat and peppermint along with some smokiness.  At 43% ABV it can take a drop of water and still hold up, but it doesn't need it.  Overall a delicious expression from one of my favourite distilleries.

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  • Monday, 01 July 2013 21:52

    The World's Most Expensive Bottle of Whisky?

    Written by

    Forget the ridiculous recent diamond studded offerings of Dalmore, ignore old Macallans or the recent Glenfiddich releases and completely dismiss the seemingly endless supply of very rare Bowmore (If it so so rare where does it all come from? My theory is that the same bottle is being auctioned over and over again). The most expensive bottle whisky I have ever heard came from Norway and I estimate it cost, very conservatively, about $200,000,000. Yes… two hundred million dollars. I can imagine the Dalmore marketing department now keeling over with sudden heart failure and I am quite enjoying the image.

    This story begins with the Ekofisk oil field in Norway. This massive offshore oil field produced on average 200,000 barrels of oil per year since its discovery in 1969 until 2005, and it is expected to continue production, albeit at lower levels, until 2050. Using a low price of $25 / barrel of oil you quickly get to a value that is eye wateringly large. Despite hours and hours of diligent efforts (OK… a couple of Google searches) I have been unable to verify this story but it was repeated in recent energy magazine blog so I am not the only one who has heard it. In short it goes like this;

    A few years prior to any North Sea oil discovery in 1969 the Danish and Norwegians were negotiating over the other great maritime resource… fish. At this time countries all negotiated their borders and boundaries for their fishing fleets. It was these same maritime boundaries that become the basis for defining offshore North Sea oil and gas access and ownership in the 1970’s. The story goes that the Norwegian and Danes were in deadlock over the last area and the deadlock was finally broken when the Norwegian delegate offered the Danish delegate a bottle of scotch and the deal was struck. Within a few years the Ekofisk field was discovered in that area. If you look at the attached map you will how closely it just fits within the Norwegian boundary and how it could have been easily defined as a Danish (or at least shared) possession with a small nudge of the line. That Danish official paid a tremendous price for his bottle of whisky, I can’t help wondering what it was? I hope he enjoyed it at least!

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    Random Whisky

    Bushmills Sherry Cask Reserve

    This "No Age Statement" (NAS) expression is part of a new Bushmills travel retail line called The Steamship Collection and is bottled at 40% ABV.  A little online research indicates that so far this launch has been almost as successful as the Titanic (also made in Northern Ireland as it happens) in some quarters but as I have a soft spot for both Bushmills and sherry finished whiskies I  was keen to try it.  The nose has foam banana sweets (I often get some banana in Bushmills) and lots of vanilla.  The taste is sweet, with thin a mouthfeel, and lots of caramel, toffee, sherry notes and tannins.  The finish has a wet burnt wood (damp campfire), more tannin than smoke, and some grainy spirit notes.   With water it gets even sweeter with brown sugar and oaky bitterness and at end of day water doesn't help much.  Overall this is approachable, drinkable and with no major flaws (except maybe the finish) but the Black Bush is probably a better product.