Thursday, March 31, 2011

Glenlivet French Oak Reserve (15 year)

Selective maturation in new French Oak casks typically reserved for wine production makes this whisky unique among the Glenlivet family.  The rich, spicy notes, mingle and interplay with a fruity and floral bouquet.  A delicious whisky to savor.  

NOSE: Sweet, lingering floral scent.

PALATE: Strong beginning with a tantalizing blend of fresh French raisin muffins. Several seconds in, a light burn is soon accompanied by light licorice and nutty flavors.  Adding water, of course, softens the burn exposing subtle, yet delicate flavors of flat-out "tastiness". Kevin says, "It's good."

FINISH: Like a light warm breeze, it slowly fades leaving behind some of the floral notes and a refreshed palate.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A smooth and tasty step up from the Glenlivet 12. A modestly priced bottle, with above average value.  Good for the seasoned or beginning taster.

REVIEWED BY: Mike Giannangelo, Kevin O'Donnell

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix

During the winter of 2009, record low temperatures and heavy snowfall led to an immense amount of compacted snow on the roofs of Glenfiddich's distilleries.  Eventually some of the roofs reached their limit and collapsed, dumping thousands of pounds of snow onto the casks of the warehouse floor.  These casks, some bourbon, some sherry-oloroso, sat in snow, exposed to below-zero temps, while crews worked furiously to get all of the casks to safety.

Malt Master Brian Kinsman decided to create a special edition bottling to commemorate the unique event, vatting a selection of whiskies ranging from 12 to 30 years old, bottling it non-chill filtered at a slightly higher proof, and giving it its myth-inspired name...   SNOW PHOENIX

NOSE: Brisk, tantalizing raisin, honeycomb, and cinnamon notes balanced by peach cobbler. 

PALATE: Succulent butterscotch to start, with a slight yet harmless burn on the tongue; Extraordinarily juicy with a risque woodland spiciness.

FINISH: Oaky at first, followed by a very distant thicket burning smoke

FINAL THOUGHTS: Very rare taste to go along with the unique story.

REVIEWED BY: Derek Piunti