torsdag 12 mars 2015

Swedish Whisky from Smögen – Sherry Project 1:2 55,7% ABV

Yesterday I was very happy to find a sample of Smögen Distillerys coming (fourth) release, the Sherry Project 1:2. As you can all understand from its name, this is the second release in a series that involves sherry finishing.

1:2 will be available at the swedish state-monopoly on the 26th of march but for international buyers many of Smögens products are available here

1:1 has first spent almost three years in four new heavily-charred european quarter casks (no. 32-35), and was then given a finish consisting of four months in a sherry butt. If you have not, please check out my tasting note of 1:1 here.

Now, the difference between 1:1 and 1:2 is that the latter was given a finish in a sherry butt for twice that time; namely 8 months. The cask no. were 28, 30, 31 and 39.







For me, this is really exciting stuff, even a bit of a highlight as a blogger, and I'm grateful that Pär Caldenby of Smögen Distillery sent me a sample of the 1:2 for tasting, so thank you! Now let's see what's on the nose!



Nose:
When opening the sample-bottle and nosing from it, out comes a very very slight and quick touch of alcohol/spirit, but also a big dark-sugary note. Pouring a wee dram into my glass, I get light touch of lemon-peel, then that slight touch of alcohol/spirit again but when leaving it to rest for half a minute or so it's gone in a whiff! Picking up the glass again I get that BIG note of dark-sugar and almost golden dark syrup. Quite high in the layers I also pick up… now what is it? hmm… sweet licorice! Dark moist raisins, juicy dried figs, even dates…almost earthy tones. There is even some dark but very sweet chocolate in there… dear friends and followers, this is some deep, sherry-influenced heavy stuff! "But is there any peat in there?"you might wonder, well, there is but it definitely lurks in the very bottom layers, and for some reason makes me think of candy with violet flavor, interesting! Well, I'm starting to get really thirsty so let's have a taste!


Palate:
Wow, this is truly intense stuff! Very intense at the very start, dark citric flavors (if there is such a thing), a touch of spirit-y-ness but disappearing in a whiff also on the palate, quickly moving on into the first sherry-hit, yes, it really is a hit! It's big and full of the dark raisins and dried figs from the nose. After about a second and a half or so the peat kicks in! Definitely more peat on the palate then what was there on the nose! Sort of a dark earthy peat, mingling with all the vibes from the sherry. Doing a great job at drying my mouth, mostly the front or very tip of my tounge. The aftertaste, or even the taste in total, is very long. Probably goes on for three minutes or so, leaving a touch of candied sugar… Nice!

Now you might wonder, how is 1:2 in relation to 1:1?! Well, let's find out and do a quick comparison, since I luckily enough have a wee dram left of the 1:1 :)


As you can see from the picture they're similar in color. On the nose, not surprisingly, the 1:2 is bigger, and more fat and mature, not only when it comes to the sherry-influence but also in general. The 1:1 actually has more of a creamy and softer touch to it, while the 1:2 is bigger on the sherry-side of things. The 1:2 is definitely more mature and has more confidence so to speak.

On the palate, tasting the 1:2 before the 1:1, the 1:2 really has lot's more when it comes to a citric/lemony touch, but also more of the dark-sugary elements. It is also a bit more spirit-y (bear in mind the higher ABV and the fact that I did not water the 1:2 to the same ABV as the 1:1). The 1:1 has a much more "calm" sherry-style and is a bit more "flat", but it has on the other hand been in a half full sample-bottle since november so… I'd say that the 1:1 has more peat in it which is really interesting!

To sum-up, this is a really tough match friends, they are both very good expressions, but if I would have to choose a winner from todays tasting I'd go for the 1:1 and so it still counts as the best swedish single malt I've tasted so far. Anyhow, Pär really knows what he is doing! So a big thanks to Pär for the opportunity and I can't deny that I really look forward to tasting the 1:3…

To all friends and followers, thanks for following also my Facebook-page and my twitter-page
Copyright © and all rights reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com





måndag 16 februari 2015

Laphroaig 14yo – Old Malt Cask/Hunter Laing & Co

A while ago I was once again very lucky to receive a couple of samples from the very nice people at Clydesdale, one of Swedens top importer and seller of whisky. This time around the package contained among other things a sample of a 14yo Laphroaig, a single refill hogshead bottled by Hunter Laing in his series Old Malt Cask at 50% ABV!

Well you all now that I'm a big fan of Laphroaig so it was not hard for me to pick this one for a tasting note :) Ok, let's go!













Nose:
The thing that's in the very front of the nose is not really ashes but very much soot, soft soot with a great deal of creamy vanilla in it (if that makes any sense…). In combo with the vanilla there's milk chocolate, burnt gun powder, and just a touch of sweet licorice in the distant. This is the kind of nose that I very seldom pick up in an official bottling of Laphroaig, maybe reminds me a bit of the first Cairdeas, but otherwise this style of Laphroaig isn't really to find in the official bottlings. Exciting to see  what the palate is like!


Palate:
Oh yes, I'd say it's the same here, not really like an official Laphroaig. But it's a very cool version since the sooty stuff is here, and I'd say with an emphasis more on smoke than peat actually. Warming but still very soft, smooth creamy-ness, feels kind of like a 2nd fill or re-fill bourbon barrel, smooth vanilla, a touch of lime and pear… the aftertaste is surprisingly dry, really drying my mouth now… If you want to try a different Laphroaig you should really try and get one of these bottles, unfortunately it's sold out in Sweden but it might still be available for other Laphroaig-fans around the world!

Big thanks to Tina and Thomas at Clydesdale for the opportunity! To all friends and followers, thanks for following also my Facebook-page and my twitter-page!



Copyright © and all rights reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky. The last picture belongs to Clydesdale. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com

 

onsdag 4 februari 2015

Teeling Whiskey Co. Strong Batch – FOR SWEDEN ONLY!

Friends! I am once again very privileged to be able to try a spankingly new bottling from the folks at The Teeling Whiskey Co. and once again it's something very special. You might remember that I a while back tasted their Small Batch blended rum finished whiskey (if not, please check out my review here). Well, this friday they will release a "strong batch"-version of the small batch. That said, it's the exact same whiskey and composition but in high strength of 52,5% ABV. 

It consists of 1800 bottles, ONLY for Sweden! Please take a look at the press-release (in swedish) here, and do check it out at systembolaget by clicking here. Ok, let's see what we have on the nose!



Nose:
Not boasting of Rum, rather an emphasis on very creamy vanilla, lots of coconut, there's elderflower in the background. The nose does not evidently scream "over proof/high strength" which I'd say is a good sign, on the contrary, very soft indeed. All in all, the nose is very single malt-y, meaning I can't find any traces on the nose that would suggest this being a blended with high grain ratio. The regular small batch 46% has more grain feeling to it, but here it seems "hidden" in all the wonderful vanilla softness. Great, let's have a taste!


Palate:
Very soft and vanilla/coconut-y beginning! That first half of a second I truly can't believe it's at 52,5% ABV! It only takes the other half second for all the flavors to, not explode, but certainly develop very fast into something quite citric, but still spicy, almost herb-y. Simply a mix of yellow and green flavours. After a while I get passion fruit very evident on the very tip of my tounge. A great balance between bourbon influence and rum influence in the aftertaste, slowly lingering away to end with definitely rum. Once again, as with the regular small batch, this is one of the few sucessful rum finished whiskeys, at least in my humble opinion (and definitely worth 449kr, that is around €48/$55)

A very big thanks to Jack and the other fellas at The Teeling Whiskey Co. for the chance to try this Sweden-exclusive before being released! Thanks and Sláinte! Please follow SamuelWhisky on Facebook here and on twitter here


Copyright © and all rights reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky. The last picture belongs to The Teeling Whiskey Co. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com

lördag 31 januari 2015

Svenska Eldvatten – Tomatin 2004

Friends and followers! It's been a while since it happened so you all understand that I was very happy when I once again found a sample from the guys at Svenska Eldvatten ("Swedish Firewaters") in my postal box! This time it was single cask Tomatin from an ex-sherry butt, 10yo at 59,1% ABV! Wow, this will be exciting!

Here in Sweden it will be available on the 2nd of february, but it's already available at Master of Malt for anyone who feels tempted. Ok, let's go!








Nose:
Very smooth and soft, a calming soothing style, dried figs, dark cherries in sugar syrup, something raisin-y, soft but acidulous vanilla, obvious sherry influence but not boasting sherry cask, rather moderate sherry influence. Kind of damp, like walking into a warehouse full of barrels, simply beautiful…


Palate:
OMG! This is powerful stuff, from nosing this I'd never guess that it would be so big and out there! This IS a sherry monster, big and bold! It's actually not the high ABV that makes it powerful, but rather the character or style of this whisky, cool! Kind of hot, very intense sherry-style, very citric at the same time as being very loaded with marzipan, vanilla, dried figs and some other dark notes. Definitely a bit bitter and drying my mouth, but in a good way, very big flavor!

A big thanks to Tommy and Peter at Svenska Eldvatten for once again sharing a sample! Please follow SamuelWhisky on Facebook by clicking here and on twitter by clicking here, thanks!


Copyright © and all rights reserved on all tasting notes by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky. The last picture belongs to Svenska Eldvatten. If you would like to use any such material that belongs to SamuelWhisky please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro@gmail.com

onsdag 31 december 2014

Happy New Year with SamuelWhisky's chronicle of 2014!!!

Dear friends, followers and supporters of all kinds! Just want to wish you all a very happy and successful new year with some pics and words from my whisky-year 2014!

As you might know, I celebrated my first year as a blogger this year! To do it justice, I tasted the 22yo Connemara, you can check out the tasting note here! But as you know I'm not only doing tasting notes for my blog but also conduct tastings once a month at a local pub called The Red Brick, and do some "private tastings" from time to time. In addition to that I also take care of Laphroaig and Connemara during whisky festivals around Sweden. This year I was also very fortunate to visit two distilleries, one in Sweden and one in Ireland. 

So please feel free to check out some pics that summarize my whisky-year 2014 :) Sláinte!


The first tasting I did this year at The Red Brick was in January, "No smoke without peat!"



Then, in februari, I had some fun at the Linköping Whisky Expo together with Vicky and Martin



I also did a private tasting for friends and family in late february




The second tasting at The Red Brick was "We're all named Glen and at least 25yo". Some really great whiskies in this line-up, but seriously, since all of the whiskies were soooo good, and so close to each other in quality I think it was almost hard to appreciate them. I almost felt spoiled and one simply could not understand how good they actually were… Well, a luxury problem right?!  



Did a private tasting for a friend from work, and her family



On "International womens day" me and my buddies had a great porter and stout tasting. We tasted three kinds of a swedish porter from Carnegie Brewery, four vintages of Brooklyn Brewery Black Choholate Stout, and then tried insanely good, almost wine-y-ish Brewdogs :)



On St Patricks day I had some Connemara Turf Mór!



The third tasting at The Red Brick was a Highland Park Vertical. The 25yo sure is great! 



Took care of Connemara and Laphroaig during the Gothenburg festival, and also had the great honor of working together with Danielle Mckerrell from Laphroaig Distillery




The fourth tasting at The Red Brick was "Oldies from Islay and the other Scottish Isles" and the fifth was "Closed Scottish Distilleries". Then I did a private bourbon-tasting for some friends

  


On the 25th of July I visited Box Distillery in the northern of Sweden! They truly distill some really good stuff, especially the unpeated sherry matured, absolutely brilliant, even before having reached the age of whisky, mmm…






Then I went to Ireland and visited Kilbeggan Distillery (of Kilbeggan Distilling Company), truly a VIP-tour :) Was lucky enough to once again meet up with master distiller Andrina Fitzgerald juste before she left Kilbeggan for the new Tullamore Dew Distillery. I also had some words with brand ambassador Rachel Quinn regarding my ambassadorial work with the Connemara-brand! Also managed to bring some bottles home to Sweden, please read about them and other Connemaras in my small collection here 




Andrina and I
Rachel and I


In the end of august my fan club for Connemara, the 'Connemara Clan', had it's 5yo birthday! To celebrate that I refurbished it from a Facebook group to a page :) you can join the new Connemara Clan on Facebook here and on twitter here



In early september I was very lucky to join a special twitter tasting arranged by anCnoc



Did the sixth tasting at The Red Brick, a Glendronach Vertival! Veeery high standard!



Met up with fellow blogger 'The whisky-nerd' to hand over a bottle from Swedish Firewaters 



On the 10th of October I went to Jönköping to do a Laphroaig-tasting for the June Whisky Club





On the 27th of October, I enjoyed a Highland Park tasting held by Martin, in my home town :)


Martin and I

Then I did the seventh tasting at The Redbrick, the theme was "Campbeltown", very interesting to get an overview of stuff that's not Springbank!



In mid-november I took care of Laphroaig at the Örebro festival, always a great time helping Edrington with their many great whiskies!



In late november I did my last whisky-tasting of the year at The Red Brick, the theme was "Japan - Suntory". The Yamazaki 2013 Sherry Cask sure is good, but I would not agree that it's the best whisky in the world… :) 



In early december I actually did my first Rum-tasting ever! Rum combined with premium chocolate was really good. Since I hardly knew anything about Rum I really had to read and try to learn as much as possible about something that was completely new to me… A challenge but great fun :) My favorite this evening was Vintage 2000 from Diplomatico/Botucal



Then, for the first time I got some really nice christmas gifts! One from the nice people at Swedens top importer and seller of whisk(e)y, Clydesdale, containing some nice fudge and two samples, one cognac and one sherry finished peated whisky. The other gift was from the nice people at Box Distillery who sent me a very generous sample of their 2014 festival edition, which you will see a review of sometime this year :) In the meantime please checkout my review of their latest release





The whisky-year 2014 ended with me, for once actually attending a tasting at The Red Brick! Hasse Nilsson from Box Distilley took care of it all, giving us a very exclusive tasting only containing whisky (and "almost whisky") from Box Distillery. It was yummy let me tell you :)


Hasse and I


Big thanks to all friends and followers, and  to all representatives of brands for the samples and gifts, for a great year! I'm really looking forward to 2015! Please follow SamuelWhisky on Facebook here and on twitter here Sláinte!