Old Pulteney Scotch Tasting – 12yo vs Navigator

Old Pulteney 12yo Region: Highlands Age: 12 years ABV: 40% Nose: Bananas, salty air, lemon wafersPalate: Heavier than expected on the tongue, coats it with honey and spices, not that salty early on.Finish: Spices come later into the medium-length finish and I’m left with a brine - almost medicinal - in the back of my throat.Overall: The nose sets the stage but the taste doesn’t really deliver for me. The honey is nice but I’m left looking for more to follow from the nose. Old Pulteney Navigator Region: Highlands Age: NAS ABV: 46%Nose: Clean, crisp sweetness with iodine notes. A wee bit of vanilla with a woody apple in there.Palate: Woody notes with the sweetness of honey. A little tingly as it sits nicely on my tongue.Finish: Spice as the…
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The Arran Malt – Amarone Cask Finish

I tasted this two weeks ago at the Father’s Day scotch open house at Vines in Riverbend. It was one of my top two that I purchased because it was unique, damn delicious, and an incredible price. I opened my bottle this evening to revisit the whisky and I’m still blown away. Nose: Dark fruits and chocolate. Palate: Rich cherry, peppery spices, and heat. Finish: A slow, tongue-coating, spicy and dare I say “dry” finish. Overall: At 50% ABV, this is incredibly smooth. With water it coats your tongue more, you lose a bit of the heat, you pick up a bit of oakiness, and the finish lingers. Holy balls, I better be careful.
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The Ridiculous Ardbeg Tasting

The Edmonton Scotch Club held an Ardbeg scotch tasting on Saturday, February 3. It was the first time I'd been to an official club event. The last tasting I went to with some of the club members was the Millstone tasting at the Keg 'n' Cork (which was great by the way). For this tasting, we started with the first four whiskies, took a brief intermission, and finished the last four. It was an incredible night and my hat's off to Travis and the rest of the club for putting on a hell of an event. Notes and a few pics from the night are below. Kildalton Age: NAS ABV: 43% Nose: Light and sweet, I get caramel and vanilla. Palate: Soft on your tongue, there's a subtle smoke amidst…
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Whisky Advent 2017

I've been waiting for months (11 to be precise) to dive into Secret Spirits' fourth edition of the Whisky Advent Calendar. This year is bound to be exciting as I'm off to explore 25 different expressions of whisky including those from 10 independent bottlers. Jonathan Bray publishes his tasting notes over at singlemalting.com so please head over there to see what he has to say about each one. Onto the whisky! (more…)
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Scotch Advent 2016

It's Scotch Advent time again! Oh my am I excited and this year Dana is joining me in some or all of the tastings (turns out she's discovered a taste for scotch, especially the peaty ones). Back to the box (mine is #606 for those who are curious), this year's edition comes with a NEAT glass which really lets you nose around. Over the next 25 days, I'm headed on a whisky tour courtesy of Secret Spirits' 3rd edition of their scotch advent calendar. Jonathan Bray's whisky tasting notes are over at Single Malting and, as you read mine, be sure to check out his discovery and insights. Onto the whisky!   #01 - Speyside 18yo Distillery: Bottled by Secret Spirits Cask Type: Refill Bourbon Cask #: 3299 Region: Speyside/Rothes…
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2015 Scotch Advent Calendar

Dana surprised me with the 2015 Scotch Advent Calendar this year and I'm pretty sure she's as excited as I am about it! Over 25 days I get to sample 25 (presumably) glorious whiskies. Each evening I'll update this post with a picture, my tasting notes, and thoughts on the whisky. #01 - 1999 Tomintoul 15 yo Distillery: Tomintoul Cask Type: Sherry Butt Cask #: 9289 Region: Speyside Age: 15 years ABV: 61% Nose: Creamy honey, light caramel. Palate: 61% is quite high and you can't taste much initially apart from the alcohol. With water you taste honey, pick up on the sweetness from the sherry, and get hints of oak. Finish: A medium length finish with a light spice, it becomes sharp and I got a burning alcohol sensation…
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Coffee Tasting on Apr 12, 2015

A few weeks back, John from Cooper's Cask Coffee got in touch and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing their Whiskey Barrel Aged beans in light of my appreciation for scotch. Coffee beans aged in a whisky barrel, you say? Sold. A few emails back and forth and the beans were on their way. Staying true to the form of a scotch tasting, I decided this coffee tasting would feature the Whiskey Barrel Aged beans and my everyday go-to beans, Grizzly Claw, from Kicking Horse Coffee. I chose espresso as the method of brewing, used Glencairn glasses, and took note of the nose of the beans when freshly ground, the nose when fresh in the cup, the flavours, the palate, and the finish. Kicking Horse - Grizzly Claw Nose (freshly ground) - Dark and woody, it's pleasant and not overpowering. Nose (espresso) - The dark and woody smell continues from the grounds and you…
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