Review: Laphroaig 21 1996 SMWS 29.248 “Creaking ships lost in the fog”

Paid: $265 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned By: Laphroaig / SMWS

Region: Islay

49.8% ABV

Aged For: 21 Years, Distilled Nov 1996

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, finished in 2nd Fill Charred Red Wine Barrique

Chill Filtered: No

Artificial Coloring: No


Color: Golden

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Tarry, gentle peat, soggy dock planks, cranberry, orange peel, clove oil, sandalwood, sprigs of mint, salty sea air

Feel: Light to medium body, oily

Taste: Bright orange and citrus, barrel char, zinfandel wine, pepper, cinnamon, gentle peat moss, butterscotch, manages to be a blend of oily, costal, and fruity

Finish: Light to medium warmth and long lasting. Tar, clove, latakia pipe tobacco, sweet peat, butter, citrus, saltwater, and oak.

Thoughts: This takes what Ardbeg tried to do with Grooves and does it much better, while also being a more mellow peated experience. Very pleasurable to sip on a cold evening and loaded with different flavors that change and flow.

Score: 90 out of 100

Darroze Domaine de Monturon 2003

Darroze Domaine de Monturon 2003

Price: $95 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Domaine de Monturon

Region: Bas Armagnac, France

50% ABV

Aged For: 12-Years

Cask Type: French oak

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Light grape, apple, pear, orchard fruits, oak, and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: Oily

Palate/Taste: Rich dried fruits, light sherry, raisin, candied orange, and vanilla oak

Finish: Warm and lasting, dry baking spice, light oak, cinnamon, sherry, dried fruit, and grapes

Thoughts: If I had tried this blind I would have almost thought it was a malt whisky or even possibly a calvados, it doesn’t have a flavor similar to other Armagnacs I have tried.

Score: 79 out of 100

El Dorado 3 Year

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Price: $15 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: El Dorado

Region: Guyana

40% ABV

Distillate: Molasses

Aged For: 3 years

Cask Type: Oak

Chill Filtered: Yes

Additives used: Yes


Color: Clear

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Coconut husks, sugar cane, molasses, grass, fresh and crisp

Mouthfeel:  Light bodied, but coating

Palate/Taste: Vanilla, coconut, grass, and sugar crystals

Finish: Light warmth, medium length, vanilla and cane sugar

Thoughts: A good mixing rum, but too simple to shine neat on it’s own.

 

Score: 74 out of 100

Michel Huard Reserve Hors d’ Age Le Pertyer Calvados

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Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Huard

Region: Normandy, France

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, Hors d’ Age

Cask Type: Oak Casks

Distillate: About 30 types of apple

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Color Added: Undisclosed

 


Color: Off gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Apple cinnamon tart, orchard fruit, baking spices, more apples

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body

Palate/Taste: Cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, caramel, baking spice, and what I can best describe as autumn flavors

Finish: Medium warmth and length, apple, tart, dry, crisp sweetness

Thoughts: It’s the fall season in a bottle!

Score: 80 out of 100

Review: Nikka Apple Brandy VSOP

Paid: N/A

Distilled/Owned by: Nikka / Asahi Breweries

Region: Japan

40% ABV

Aged For: NAS, VSOP

Cask Type: Undisclosed

Distillate: Apples

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Color Added: Undisclosed

Color: Autumn orange

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Apple cider, mulled wine, cloves, dry leaves, and earthy fruit

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, dry

Palate/Taste: Cinnamon, apple butter, young tasting, bits of cantaloupe

Finish: Short to medium length, apple crisp, orchard fruit, melon, and bitter apple cores.

Thoughts: Not on par with the calvados I have had, it just tastes young and like boozy bitter apple juice.

Score: 67 out of 100

Review: Clément 10 Year Grande Reserve

Price: $75 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Rhumerie du Simon / Bernard Hayot

Region: Martinique

42% ABV

Distillate: Sugar cane juice

Aged For: 10 Years

Cask Type: Virgin and re-charred oak barrels

Chill Filtered: Undisclosed

Additives used: No


Color: Light tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: It’s a very fresh scent, oak, vanilla, chocolate, pineapple, white tea, cane sugar, lilac, and tropical fruit

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body

Palate/Taste: Vanilla oak with macadamia nuts and white chocolate, custard, papaya, simple syrup and pipe tobacco

Finish: Medium warmth and long lasting, oak and pepper with bakery sweets followed by plantains covered in brown sugar with a slight vegetal and earthy finish

Thoughts: After not enjoying several white and young rhum Agricole I decided I had to try one with some age on it. I love oak and barrel influence on my spirits, and young spirity drinks are not my thing (Gin and I don’t get along) so it remedied a lot of what I disliked about white Agricole. It was fresh but still sweet and deep. I want to scoop up a few more and broaden my horizons.

Score: 83 out of 100

Chateau de Pomes Peberere 1966 50-Year

Chateau de Pomes Peberere 1966 50-Year

Price: $120 for 700ml

Distilled/Owned by: Chateau de Pomes Peberere

Region: Tenareze Armagnac, France

42% ABV

Grapes: Ugni-Blanc and Colombard

Aged For: 50 Years

Cask Type: French oak

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No


Color: Old oak

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Deep fruit, old oak, rancio, prunes, port wine, and dark chocolate, very potent

Mouthfeel: Medium body, supple

Palate/Taste: Heavy oak, bitter chocolate, raisins, blackberry marmalade, leather, and pipe tobacco

Finish: Medium warmth, lasting. Deep grape and blueberry, coffee, and oak tannins

Thoughts: Lovely, very deep and dark.

Score: 90 out of 100