• Tamnavulin – Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    The name Tamnavulin is the Gaelic translation of ‘mill on the hill. The distillery located  in the heart of Speyside opened in 1966 in the village of Tomnavoulin, Scotland. It is said to have closed  the doors in 1995 & reopened in 2007 after refurbishment & since then, they have crafted exceptional single malt whisky with a true Speyside character – rich, smooth and mellow.

    Speyside is home to almost over 50% of Scotland’s Malt whisky distilleries. Tamnavulin – Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky a Double Cask Scotch is matured in American oak barrels for a sweet, mellow taste with a rich, smooth Sherry cask finish.

    It is amber gold in colour. On the nose luxurious, aromas of apple, toffee and honey and subtle tangy citrus notes. The palate is fresh and mellow with  pear, peach and pineapple flavours. Smooth and refreshing finish.


    A classic Speyside malt!


  • The Dalmore – Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Back after a wine tourI was treated by my brother with this classic whisky & what a treat it turned out to be.

    A little background. The distillery was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson & is located at Alness, Scotland. The name Dalmore means ‘big meadowland’.
    Simply fell in love with the crest on the bottle. The Dalmore’s iconic crest  has been on every bottle of the Dalmore since 1867. Legend has it that back in 1263, Colin of Kintail, the chief of the Mackenzie  clan saved the Scottish King, Alexander III, from a charging Red Stag who then bestowed on the clan the right to use the 12-point “royal stag” as the clan crest.
    Dalmore 12 yrs is matured for first 9 yrs in ex-bourbon casks and then half is transferred to ex-oloroso sherry casks for the final three years with the other half continues to mature in Oak cask. The result is a whisky with a combination of sweetness and rich sherried influence.
    On the nose lot of sherry, fruitiness, ripe citrusy & orange notes with aromatic spices. No smoke.
    On the palate rich aromatic  spices with a hint of dark chocolate and coffee. The second sip is more intense.
    To finish cinnamon, wood , vanilla & mild orange flavours .



  • Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

    The story is that back in “the day”, after Wild Turkey got it’s name (1941), it was competing with a lot of other bourbons that were bottled in bond which means that they had to be bottled at 100 proof. Not willing to be outdone, the folks at Wild Turkey wanted to stand out and make their whiskey 1 better & that’s how 101.

    Wild Turkey is distilled at a very low proof & comes out of the barrel at around 109 proof requiring only slight dilution before being bottled at 101 proof which means it is as good as coming out right from the bottle & close to barrel proof.  The deep color is attributed to the use of the heaviest char # 4, also known as the “alligator char,” since after that duration of charring, the interior of the oak wood staves has the rough, shiny texture of alligator skin.

    Time to taste the dram – Neat or on the rocks or with few drops of water.
    Sure if you want to appreciate and enjoy bourbon whiskey on its own, then you may like to drink it neat at room temperature and without ice. However, adding a  few drops of water to the whiskey certainly helps to “open up” the aroma of the bourbon. For a beginner, try bourbon whiskey on the rocks, or with a few cubes of ice.
    I tried it neat as well on the rocks but found it most soothing with a few drops of water.
    Mashbill :
    Corn : 75%
    Rye : 13%
    Malted barley : 12%
    Abv: 50.5%
    Nose: Sweet notes of caramel &  candy & intense alcohol fragrance. Vanilla, oak, marshmallow. Spice, nutmeg as good amount of high-rye influence in the mash bill.

    Palate: Pleasant oakiness, sweet corn, vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon. Well balanced flavors of sweet & spice notes.

    Finish: Long caramel, wood, spice & dry fruit.
    Overall, 101 is a balanced and robust whiskey & had a pleasant drinking experience.

    Wild Turkey 101


  • Knob Creek

    Generally in a whiskey tasting, the aromas & flavours that are picked up fall in the flavor camps such as – Fragrant & Floral / Malty & Dry / Fruity & Spice/Rich & Round/ Smoky & Peaty/ Rich & Oaky.
    Here is Knob Creek, a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, which falls under the flavor camp of ‘Rich & Oaky’.

    It is distilled to 130 deg proof (65% abv) & barreled at 125 deg proof (62.5% abv) & this one bottled at 100 deg proof (50% abv).

    It comes with abundant vanilla aroma from it’s time spent in barrel & comes along with coconut and flavorful spice. It has blond gold colour.
    On the palate lavish, bold, sweet, & luscious. Concentrated with cinnamon.
    Finally, an oaky buttery finish.
    Whisky Notes:
    In Kentucky & Tennessee whiskies the main cereal used is corn which creates a sweet nose & a fat, buttery, & juicy quality on the palate.
    Wheat is occasionally used by bourbon distillers in place of rye. This affects flavor by adding a gentle, mellow sweetness to the bourbon.
    Knob Creek produced by Beam Suntory has three “siblings” brewed at the Jim Beam distillery: Booker’s, Baker’s, and Basil Hayden’s.
    Knob Creek comes in four varieties: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Straight Rye Whiskey, Smoked Maple Bourbon Whiskey, and Single Barrel Reserve.

    Knob Creek

    Cheers !

  • Paul John Whisky Single Malt – The Christmas Edition 2019

    This Christmas Edition 2019,  from the tropical shores of Goa has spent some exotic time maturing in Pedro Ximenez Cask, in short PX,  before being bottled at the strength of 46% abv.

    ‘PX’ is  the name of a Spanish wine grape variety. It is used to produce a style of Sherry that is sweet, dark, dessert wine. It has a strong taste that reminds of raisins & dry fruits.

    With the Single Malt Christmas edition around,  the bunnies, teddy bears & rest made it to the unboxing ceremony including the Scottish Piper man in his traditional tartan kilt playing a bagpiper.

    This Christmas edition reminds me of fortified cakes. A rich caramel honeyed colour, with aroma of sweet ripe fruits & vanilla, on the palate exotic honeyed as well oaky sweetness, sultanas, raisins, orange peel & to finish the lingering toasty & nutty spiciness. This whisky is a luscious treat.

    Watch out for some delicious  whisky cocktails in the days to come.

    Whisky Notes:

    Some of the whiskeys undergo a double maturation when a whisky or any spirit is matured in a first cask of a particular origin, normally the bourbon cask, & then spends time in a cask of different origin for a couple of months till the entire maturation. These different origin second cask are predominantly the ones that has been used to mature  fortified wines mostly sherry & of course also  Port, Burgundy, Chardonnay etc.

    Paul John whisky


  • Glenlivet Triple Cask

    Here is the Glenlivet Triple Cask.

    The whisky that has been aged in American Oak, European Oak & Ex Sherry Cask & ensures a fine balance of flavors.

    It has a lively bright copper colour & to the nose ripe fruits, vanilla & awesome sweetness, to the palate dried fruity notes & spices & finally lingering finish of fruit & nut cake.

    Some Whisky Notes:

    Barrel proof /Cask strength / Barrel strength / Single barrel /Small batch

    We come across these words on the bottle labels but sometimes just give it a pass. Let’s decipher what exactly this could mean & how it could help us to appreciate the final sip.

    Whisky basically has three strengths in it’s lifetime.

    Still strength – At this stage the whisky that comes out of the still is around 70%abv to 75%abv.

    Barrel strength – After ageing for a few years when some alcohol evaporates the alcohol% drops to  barrel or the cask strength of 60% abv to 65% abv.

    Bottle strength – At the bottling stage some distillers add enough water to the whisky to bring the bottle strength to 40%abv.

    Coming to the Barrel strength, Cask strength, Barrel proof these are all nearly synonymous. They all mean the same thing that is the percentage of alcohol of a whisky as it comes out of the barrel. It describes a whisky that has not been substantially diluted after its storage in a cask for maturation. These whiskies are non-chill-filtered which retains fatty acids which are part of the aromatic profile & appear cloudy on addition of water to the dram.

    Small batch whisky are produced by mixing the whiskies of rather small number of selected casks and then bottled. These are distilled in limited quantity. Mostly American whiskies get covered under this category.

    Single barrel whisky on the other hand is bottled from whisky that has been aged in an individual barrel rather from the blend of whiskies coming from several barrels. It provides unique characteristics to the finished whisky.



  • Glencairn Whisk(e)y Glass

    ‘The Glencairn glass’ – It is a style of glass developed by Glencairn Crystal Ltd, Scotland for drinking whisky. The glass design was concluded by five  master blenders from the largest whisky companies in Scotland.

    Though, the Whisky tumblers, snifters, nosing tulips or copitas or the dock are other types of glasses that are commonly used for drinking whisky, however, Glencairn glass is the most robust &
    preferred glass by connoisseurs who consider the aroma especially important to the experience of a whisky.

    It has a solid base  to swirl the whisky to open up the aromas for full appreciation & capture the congeners & push them to the nose.

    For a spirit Educator it’s of immense importance to use the right drinking glass to derive and understand the fine nuances of a spirit or a wine.

    Well my pair of twin set has arrived & there’s nothing better than to inaugurate it with Glenlivet 12 years Single Malt from Moray, Scotland & check the tasting notes.

    Five golden rules: Check the appearance, See the viscosity or the mouthfeel by swirling, Shake the glass by keeping your hand over the glass, Bring the glass to the nose & take quick short sniffs while keeping the mouth open & finally Sip & taste it.

    Tasting Notes:
    Appearance: Vivid & Shining gold,
    Nose & Aroma: Fruity, rich Vanilla, ripe apples, Spice (cinnamon)
    Palate : Fruity favour, taste creamy cake, ripe banana, apple.
    Finish: Long & pleasant with subtle spices notes

    “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whisky is never enough” – Mark Twain –

    Glencairn whisky tasting glass


  • Bulliet Bourbon

    Bulleit Bourbon a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey produced  in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky was the toast tonight.

    This amber beauty is characterized by a high rye content for a bourbon with a mash bill of 68% corn (maize), 28% rye (which is more than half of what’s mandated for it to be considered rye whiskey) and 4% malted barley. At 90% proof it was such a sweet spicy treat.

    It has a great legacy with the first batch coming out way back in 1830. The slight tilted label sure is a bold designers’ move. The bottle with the embossed brand name looks magnificent.

    Bulleit Bourbon

    Well I had it neat & then gave a shot on the rocks. Here is my tasting notes in my diamond whiskey Glass @bon.zeal
    Colour – Amber
    Nose – Sweet & with spicy notes of cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg coming in from high rye content for sure.
    Palate – Vanilla, sweet caramel, oak, notes of dried fruit and spice
    Finish: Well balanced with sweet lingering spice & sweet smoky finish.
    Though BBQ recommended for pairing, I relished it with apple slices & dark chocolate.


  • Copper Dog Single Malt Whisky

    I just fell in love with the name ‘Copper Dog’. Got some interesting insight to it. Named after a device used to sneak whisky from the cask to smuggle home, Copper Dog has that same irreverent, cheeky spirit without losing the classic Speyside tradition. It was created by master blender Stuart Morrison as a tribute to all distillery workers.

    Copper Dog is a Scotch whisky that sums up all that is good about Speyside.
    A combination of eight single malts, Copper Dog is deliciously fruity with a hint of honey and spice. Fresh fruit and toffee apple with rich creamy mouthfeel  and a gentle wood presence. Subtle with a long and creamy finish.

    Whisky Notes:

    Foreshots(Heads)-Hearts-Feints (Tails)

    You must have heard these terms vaguely. These terms are the part of distillation process. The character of a new spirit tends to be attributed to the spirit cut. A single malt is distilled twice or occasionally thrice in copper pot stills.

    During the last distillation, compounds with the lowest boiling points called the “foreshots” or the “heads”, boil first. This portion contains the most volatile alcohols including methanol, acetone, acetate etc and is not consumed and is discarded.

    Then comes the middle cut which is the “hearts”. The “hearts” contains the primalary ethanol and the most desirable congeners. “Hearts” are rich in flavor and smells great & tastes smooth. This is the good stuff which is set aside.

    Then the “hearts” gives way to “feints” (tails) where the sweetness disappears & the congeners become less flavourful, and tastes bitter. This “feints” is again set aside with the “heads” for future run.

    It’s the “hearts” (middle cut) that is collected & used for oak ageing.  It’s the skill of the distiller that has to appreciated in getting the finest of new make spirit also known as moonshine which ultimately goes into the making of a whisky after having been aged in oak barrels.

    Copper Dog


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