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A distinct lack of direction…….

Compass Box Oak Cross Blended Malt43%
Immediate vanilla, orange zest, ripe banana and a backbone of malted barley.
Despite the gentle tropical and citrus nose, the palate’s flavours are masked by a potent spirity sweet grain.
Water does honey the vanilla, pineapple merges with the banana. A soft tropical fruit salad that belies the unbalanced and confused palate.
A quirky truffle of light pineapple and vanilla with a harsh chilli bite centre. 79

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The Pot o’ Gold has been found in a Midleton warehouse….

Midleton 1998 12yo Sherry Single Cask 58% (Sample)
Oloroso sherry pronounced, tree tomato jam, ultra spicy, ginger, cardamom, stewed prunes and a smoked honey note.
Intensely dark fruit sherry marinade that thickly coats the tongue, then chilli and long in the finish.
Water plumbs the depths-inky, rumtopf, seems older than it is. A wondrous balance of dark fruit, spice and sherry developing to liquorice allsorts. 93

Midleton 1991 19yo Bourbon Single Cask 55% (Sample)
Intense vanilla and trodden grapes, spearmint, menthol, strawberry fruit chew(Opal/Sugus), Rowntree’s blackcurrant fruit pastille. This has to be the heart and soul of Jameson’s 18yo. Exquisite nose.
The palate is all blackcurrant, Ribena, the most berried palate I have ever tasted. Delicious doesn’t come close. Scrumptious, deleriously moreish….I kid you not. The finish, doesn’t. Long, sweet mixed berries that eventually dries and requires you to pour yourself another dram. For me, the best Irish whiskey I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. 95
This whiskey has just had a limited release of only 200 bottles at 53.7% so if you want a taste of the best Irish pot still ever….come to the bar……

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A hot sultry sweetheart for Valentine’s Day…..

“Flaming Heart” – Compass Box Second Limited Release Blended Malt 48.9% Bottling No: FH16MMVII.
A bonfire of naartjie(tangerine) scented leaves and peated malt.
Delectably smooth and oily on the tongue. Orangey sweet initially then tar and bonfire with a lightly charred finish.
Water offers a surprising dominance of vanilla pod and toffee, a hint of horse sweat(Bowmore?), now a complex nose with the peat softly chugging in the background.
The citrus charring is now accentuated on the palate leaving a long, lingering peated finish. 90

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A blue-painted warrior blended malt if ever there was one…

Braveheart Blue Blended Malt +- 55%
An astonishing nose! You would be forgiven for thinking that this was an aged single malt.
Toffee, stewed prunes, smoked barley, orange marmalade, liquorice, sherried vanilla and peppery spice.
On the palate there is sweet sherry, peat and pepper and a dry cabernet finish with a lingering toasted Spanish oak.
Water opens the toffees and vanillas, sweetens up the sherry, then cake spice appears, seville marmalade and more Islay peat.
Interestingly the peppery finish on the tongue is now intensely sea-driven, salty and then charred sherry wood that doesn’t let go. 92
Not much left of this magic and very rare dram so I suggest a visit to Dullstroom and the Wild About Whisky bar as soon as possible!!

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Braveheart Blue Blended Malt (NAS) [Around 55% ABV]

This rich, blended malt is immediately inviting on the nose, citrus to start, then huge dark fruit notes under rich cake spices; Christmas cake in an apple orchard with chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The smoke is restrained, but makes its presence felt with a little water (sacrilege really!). Taken neat, the honey sweetness hits at first, then the warming, waxy mouth-feel. Huge dark fruits emerge, the spices lingering, leading to a delectably long, sherried fruitcake finish. The smoke teases gently, the palate begs for more…
Not bad for a first attempt at blending, the marriage having taken place in a sherry seasoned cask for around 2 months. The component whiskies have to remain a cherished secret, but rest assured they are all superb single malts; most have never been subjected to blending, and aged between 8 and 20 years.
At R 2500.00 per tot* this is indeed great value for money, bearing in mind only around 500ml of this liquid nectar remain.

*For every tot sold R 2442.00 is donated to the “Send Steve & Eve to Scotland” fund.

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….and while I’m on the subject of black….

Black Grouse Blend 43% (Glenturret)
Initially grain is evident and then a wave of smoke breaks upon a shore of sherry, vanilla and a hint of bourbon.
Surprised and excited by the silky smooth mouthfeel the sweet fruits introduce the charry peat that linger long after the finish.
A dash of water has an astonishing affect. Bowmore is there, smoked sherry then bacon as Lagavulin starts to appear. This development turns an interesting blend into an awesome one, then chewy toffee….a blending masterpiece. 90

Black Bottle Original Blend 43% (Bunnahabhain)
Smoke, vanilla, an overipe orange note, elastoplast and then wintergreen starts to dominate. All these notes settled on a solid backbone of smoked grain.
The palate has a gorgeous hit of the sweetest vanilla then a short, peated chilli bite followed by a lingering salty, smoky finish.
Water accentuates the sweet vanilla and citrus notes, while the palate offers softly smoky sweet and an orange schnapps on the finish. 89

Black Bottle Blend 10 yo 43% (Bunnahabhain)
Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Caol Ila. There they are. A cornucopia of Islay malts.
Orange vanilla, salty seaweed, sweet spices, cumin. The grain is there but is hidden under the weighty richness of the malts.
A silky hit of orange tinged vanilla on the tongue, then an Islay explosion of smoke gently rippling to a salted fruity stew finish. The smoke and vanilla lingering.
Left to develop, a delicious smoky toffee emerges reminding me that this has to be one of the best blends on the planet. 94