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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

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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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  • Friday, 31 January 2014 21:14

    114 Whiskies to Try Before You Die Part 1: A New List

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    Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away Ian Buxton wrote a book called 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die. By long ago I mean 2011 and by far away I mean Perthshire. Stretching the Star Wars analogy further, from time to time I like to think of myself as Luke Sky-Johnnie-Walker to Ian’s Obi Wan Whisky. Just a few months ago Ian released the “revised and updated” second edition of this book in to the whisky and literary world. A second edition was not a surprise considering how popular the first book was (and not just with me, but with actual normal people too) but what I didn’t expect was the thirteen changes to the original 101 list so soon. That was thirteen changes to the list of whiskies that I spent eighteen months hunting down with the tenacity of a Kardashian searching for a photo opportunity.   Upon reflection of course I realize the list will have to change with time. After all whisky marketers change expressions and packaging like Roman Abramovich changes mangers at Chelsea; that is very frequently and with slightly less success each time.   Some other whisky stocks will simply run out, but unfortunately that does not appear to be the case with Johnnie Walker Black just yet.

    At first I tried to be casual about it. I found and tasted all of the original list and as any true Star Wars fan will tell you the original is all that matters. No director’s cuts or CGI re-mastered versions are acceptable. I call my first edition list the Canonical 101, all other lists are heresy and besides I already had a new adventure finding all 101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die from Ian’s second book (97 and counting at time of writing this blog). But as time went by I knew I would have to investigate and so after waiting for an online review which would explain the differences (none were forthcoming until now) I purchased the second edition of the book and found the thirteen changes for myself.

    The good news was that I had already tasted seven of the thirteen. This left me the tantalizingly small number of just six new whiskies to try and then I could claim completion of the second edition list. I felt I was already in limited company with formal completion of the first 101, but to complete both editions? Perhaps even the first to claim both editions? Then my whisky geek status would be assured. When you stop to consider that “achievement” alongside a reference to the sanctity of the original versions of Star Wars in my blog it is wonder I even know a girl yet alone have been happily married for over fifteen years.   Imagine my joy when I discovered that all six of the newbies were available on Master of Malt’s excellent website in their affordable sample size. In just one night of tasting I could complete the second edition.  How could I not do it? And so the order was been placed and as I write is en route to me. What are they? Well you can try to use the force to determine for yourself, buy your own copy (Ian will be pleased)  or wait and I will reveal all in 114 Whiskies to Try Before You Die Part 2: The Blogger Strikes Back.

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    English Whisky Company Peated Single Malt

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