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29 Apr 2014
Notes from the April Tasting

Writers Tears Irish Whiskey


  • Irish whiskey made in a traditional copper pot still from a mix of malted and unmalted grains.
  • On the face of it, “pure pot still” means no more than “distilled entirely in copper pot stills”. By convention, however, it also signifies an Irish whiskey made to a traditional recipe that includes unmalted grain.
  • These days pure pot still is made entirely from malted and unmalted barley but until recent decades unmalted wheat, oats and rye formed a small part of the mix too.
  • This recipe is distinctly Irish. Scottish distilleries, for example, use only malted barley in their pot stills.


  • Age: 10yr
  • Cask: Bourbon Cask
  • Alcohol: 40%
  • Tasting Notes Aroma Wonderfully light and unassuming, fresh grapefruit juice and bright lime zest are most apparent, with that classic light Irish whiskey nose of pencil eraser present in the background.

    Taste Sweet and smooth, this is is a humble whisky which presents itself slowly, quietly, and softly. Vanilla and honey intermingle pleasantly with a slight mint overtone. Well balanced, the fresh and sweet notes combine together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. As the whiskey works its way to the back of the tongue, an unexpected essence of under-ripe bananas appears.

    Finish Exceedingly long, the finish is written with notes of honey, with a fruity cough lozenge sensation cooling the tongue after several seconds.

Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky


  • Whisky has been distilled in Wales since the Middle Ages, but production died out in the late 19th century. Penderyn was launched by Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, in March 2004. It’s still the only distillery in the country.


  • Cask: Bourbon cask, Madeira finish
  • Alcohol: 46%
  • Tasting Notes Aroma cream toffee, rich fruit and raisins

    Taste crisp and finely rounded, with the sweetness to balance an appetizing dryness

    Finish Notes of tropical fruit, raisins and vanilla persist

Blanton’s Original Single Barrel


  • The company claims the distillery (build 1920) to be the oldest continuously operating distillery in the United States. Guinness Book of World Records lists Burks’ Distillery as the oldest operating bourbon distillery, build 1905.
  • The bottle is named for Col. Blanton who worked in the distillery for 55 years, including during prohibition with a special government permit. Kentucky Colonel is an honorary title. Another recipient of that title: Colonel Sanders, of KFC.


  • Cask: White Oak
  • Alcohol: 46%
  • Tasting Notes Aroma A spicy aroma of Dried Citrus and Orange Peels with a hint of Caramel and Vanilla.

    Taste Full and soft, marked by a mix of Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Orange, and Cloves.

    Finish Muted but well balanced with Vanilla, Honey, and Citrus.

    Colour Reddish Amber

Forty Creek Heart of Gold


  • The distillery is located in Grimsby, Ontario. Some notable attractions in Grimsby are the local skatepark, the Museum, the Public Library, the Public Art Gallery, the YMCA, the Danish Church and the hockey arena (home of the Grimsby Peach Kings).


  • Cask: Bourbon cask
  • Alcohol: 40%
  • Tasting Notes Aroma Wonderful golden roasted aroma filled with deep vanilla notes and highlighted with toasted spice, pecan and walnuts.

    Taste There is a caramelized creaminess to the flavour with a rich spice that lifts it off the tongue.

    Finish is very smooth, mellow and extra long.

    Colour Bright Amber

Nikka 12 Year


  • Named for Masataka Taketsuru who founded Japan’s whisky industry. In 1919 he took summer classes in organic chemistry at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He also worked at a number of Scottish distilleries. In 1920, he married a Scottish woman despite opposition from both their families. In 1934 he founded his own distilling company, in Yoichi. He believed that this part of Japan was the most similar to Scotland.
  • Nikka Taketsuru is a pure malt blend, or a whiskey which is made by vatting together multiple single malt whiskys from different distilleries.  Typically, “blended whiskey,” means a single malt which has been mixed with non-pure spirits or water, which is why the term typically connotes an inferior product or cheap whiskey.  Nikka Taketsuru is a mix of single malts from the two distilleries.


  • Age: 12 years
  • Alcohol: 40%
  • Tasting Notes Aroma Floral and balanced, with notes of plum jam, cut herbs, rhubarb pie, vanilla ice cream and cold coffee.

    Taste Sweet and oily, apple cider, cinnamon sticks, buttery toffee, almond, salty butter, custard.

    Finish Good length, creamy, notes of digestive biscuit and rhubarb crumble.

Kavalan Concertmaster


  • Kavalan is the first whisky distillery in Taiwan.
  • Taiwan island is the island is the 10th-largest export market for Scotch whisky by value.
  • Kavalan ages for 2 1/2 to 3 years before it is bottled compared to a typical 8-12 in Scotland. Temperatures in Taiwan cause anywhere from 10 percent to 15 percent of the liquor to evaporate, compared with the 2 percent to 3 percent allowed for in Scotland.
  • This evaporated alcohol is referred to as “angels’ share.”


  • Cask: Port cask
  • Alcohol: 40%
  • Tasting Notes Aroma tropical fruitiness with honey, vanilla, coconut and candy floss

    Taste rich bodied with natural sweetness and complexity

    Colour pleasant brownish red

Amrut Fusion


  • Amrut was founded in 1947 following liberalization of the liquor laws, the same year India achieved independence.
  • Aged around 4 years before being sold. That’s more than the Kavalan but still remarkable.


  • Cask: Oak Barrel
  • Alcohol: 50%
  • Tasting Notes Aroma Heavy, thickly oaked and complex: some curious barley-sugar notes here shrouded in soft smoke. Big, but seductively gentle, too

    Taste The delivery, though controlled at first, is massive! Then more like con-fusion as that smoke on the nose turns into warming, full blown peat, but it far from gets its own way as a vague sherry trifle note (curious, seeing how there are no sherry butts involved) - the custard presumably is oaky vanilla - hammers home that barley - fruitiness to make for a bit of a free-for-all; but for extra food measure the flavours develop into a really intense chocolate fudge middle which absolutely resonates through the palate

    Finish A slight struggle here as the mouthfeel gets a bit puffy here with the dry peat and oak; enough molassed sweetness to see the malt through to a satisfying end, though. Above all the spices, rather than lying down and accepting their fate, rise up and usher this extraordinary whisky to its exit

    Colour Golden Yellow

Kilchoman Machir Bay


  • won: IWSC 2012 Gold Award – Best in Class
  • Kilchoman is a young distillery. It began production in June 2005, and was the first to be built on the island of Islay in 124 years.


  • Cask: Bourbon cask
  • Alcohol: 46%
  • Tasting Notes Aroma A smoky, smouldering nose with sticking plasters, marmalade, lemon zest and hints of white wine.

    Taste Sherried and oaky palate with notes of cracked black pepper, butterscotch and apple peel. Cocoa butter, star anise and peat smoke.

    Finish A long, spiced finish. Hints of iodine and cassis.

Til next time,
The Whisky Oriented Development team

Whisky Oriented Development

Post tagged with: Tasting Notes

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