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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Most Recent Whisky

Most Recent Whisky Review

Glenfiddich Fire and Cane

This release is part of the Glenfiddich Experimental series and bottled at 43% ABV (which is quite unusual from Glenfiddich).   It is a peated malt that is finished in rum casks, hence the Fire and Cane (as in sugarcane)  name.  The nose is smokey, but more camp fire rather than strong peat.  Fire before the Cane.  The taste is spicy and nutty, chocolate, pepper, brown sugar and some honey and a hint of the phenol from peat.  The finish is a little hot, like eating burnt cake batter off a wooden spoon.  Water brings up more brown sugar and some lemon peel.  Very nicely done but not sure I would pair peat and rum casks, personnally I prefer peat and sherry casks.

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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

    Embrujo de Granada

    This Spanish single malt was a rather nice surprise in 101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die, and certainly, if I am being honest, much better than I expected. Talking of being honest, time for a disclosure. This whisky is not available in the USA so I reached out to their Brand Ambassador (directed by the book’s author Ian Buxton) for help.  Many distilleries have been happy, when I had no option to purchase, to supply me with samples. Some charged me, some didn’t. I didn’t mind either way. One even exchanged the samples in return for a copy of the book (I had two – long story) which they did not even know they were in. The kind people at Embrujo de Granada sent me a bottle as a gift. A full bottle!  What nice people and so I have to admit to being rather taken with them before I had even tried it. The nose is a little grainy with lots of sherry influence. I also got a herbal, almost floral, note. The taste is rich, smooth, fruity and finishes dry. With time milk chocolate, rum and raisin ice cream and vanilla all show up. With water I got little notes of honey and black tea in the long dry finish.  If it sounds rather good, then I did my job. It is rather good and in hindsight Spain does have one unique advantage when it comes to whisky; access to sherry casks. And if, as most experts tell us, the wood is more important that the spirit when it comes to final flavor profile (some say 70/30 others 60/40) then there is no reason why Spain shouldn’t produce very good whisky.