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Islay’s newest distillery explodes with huge character and potential….

In 2005 Kilchoman was the newest distillery on Islay since 1908 and by 2010 were selling 50,000 bottles annually!
Kilchoman Machir Bay Single Malt 2012 46%
Fresh, clean, coastal, peaty, young, crisp, sweet sea breezes and surprisingly soft. The peat is there but understated, surprising, the orchard fruits just lingering. Mild for one so youthful.
This dram is very quaffable, light and sweet, almost aperitif in style, the guns are not blazing but the spice and peat are neatly balanced with the vanilla, apple and pear.
Drink this Islay neat, surprised me on every turn. 86

Kilchoman Spring 2011 Release 3yo Single Malt 46%
Tarry, a touch of rubber, charcoal and hay bales all coated with vanilla, flavoured with pear drops.
Thick and full bodied as the honey and warm spicy pepper hits the tongue, leaving a seaweed, salt and tar coated barley finish. Lingering, this dram is sweet, salty, smoky and sensuous. 88

Kilchoman Summer 2010 Release Single Malt 46%
Sweet and rubbery, tarry ropes, iodine, pear drops, lemon and vanilla toffee. 
Sweet as honey as the dram coats the tongue, then barrel loads of peppery spice and a finish of warm tarmacadam. 
A dash of aqua brings out more of the orchard fruits, pears, Granny Smith apples, with the medicinal note still so pungent.
Softer and sweeter on the tongue but the pepper and spice still rages on. 88

Kilchoman Winter 2010 Release Single Malt 46%
The pear drops more pronounced but the iodine is softer, less aggressive than the Summer Release. Melon and apple are evident as is the peat reek. This dram is patently maritime with seaweed now wrapped around the orchard fruits, slowly rotisseried and smoked over glowing peat and barley embers.
The vanillas seem impossibly more intense than the Summer 2010 dram, the peppery spice mid palate now balanced, the finish long, soft and smoky.
A splash of water brings out lemon barley sugar but lessens the vanilla impact….sip this one naked…so to speak….90 

Kilchoman Inaugural 100% Islay 3yo 1st Fill Bourbon 50%
Smoked vanilla pods, sugar encrusted seaweed, tarry ropes and pear drops.
Viscous and vanilla sweet with a mid palate of pepper ‘n sweet spice leaving a warm wellies finish and lingering sweet brine.
A dash of aqua injects a burst of vanilla pod, the pepper morphing to chilli lemon spice with the warm peat and soft salt lingering on the finish. 90

Kilchoman Single Cask Single Malt Distilled:20/09/07 Bottled:07/09/11 From Bourbon Cask No:244/2006 60.5%
So much like a sweet ale with a hint of new make, new rubber, damp smoking embers, pear drops with menthol and wintergreen.
Intensely, deliciously sweet and unctuous on the palate, then hot spicy pepper with a warm finish of sweet barley and hot tar. 92

Kilchoman Single Cask Single Malt Distilled:15/11/06 Bottled:06/09/11 From Sherry Cask No:323/2006 60.3%
Peach schnapps and new make, greengage and gooseberry with an orange citrus twist as the soft smoke entwines around the fruit.
Taste bud boggling this is intensely sweet honey and vanilla, the orchard fruits impacting, giving way to a hot peppery spice, then soft peat smoke, charred oak and tar.
A supreme malt of the highest order, with the sugary sweet addiction balanced perfectly with the orchard fruits and soft peat. A masterpiece. 95

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Trying to act like an adult I invited a couple of 40 year olds over last night…..

Glenbrynth 40y0 Blended Malt 43%
Orchard fruits with vanilla and new paint, then with time and teased from the depths, arrives a fruit salad of over ripe pawpaw, melon and banana, a twist of toffee wrapped around a wad of burning leaf embers, then fruit chews, vanilla toffee and almonds start to dominate.
Despite the age, surprisingly thin on the palate, the sweet orchard and tropical fruits impact, spicing and peppering on the mid palate, leaving a delicious warmth of vanilla and toasted oak. 88
Glenfarclas 40yo Single Malt 46%
Like falling into a vat of stewed dark fruits that have been marinating in Oloroso and PX sherry casks for forty years. However this vat is sitting on a termite hill of Matabele ants, the foundation and structure of this aged whisky, then dark chocolate cherry liqueur, musty maraschino cherries, dark toffee, a hint of horse sweat and drawing room leather.
The palate is astonishing, so rich and a mirror image of the nose, beautifully balanced, with rich burnt molasses , spicy rumtopf, aged Spanish oak and coalescing in the longest, lingering aftertaste of dark liquorice toffee…a full bodied bear hug of a dram. Stunning! 94

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The best of the blended best?…..I think so….

This exceptional twenty one year old commemorates the Knighthood awarded to Alexander Walker in 1920. It contains precious reserves of twenty one year old malt and grain whiskies including extra rare casks from the iconic lost distillery, Brora.

Johnnie Walker XR 21yo Blended Whisky Bottle No: 7312GJW 40%
Old leather washed in Oloroso sherry, cranberries, blueberries, dark toffee, a trace of Matabele ant scurrying along the Spanish oak and a smorgasbord of rich fruit cake and trifle.
Soft as velvet and sweet sherried on the tongue, the toffee gives way to a rich and spicy mid palate, finishing with a long lingering wooded compote of raisins and prunes.
Water releases a few more ants, a hint of smoke and naartjie(tangerine) dipped in dark chocolate.
Stunning, complex, a delight, the best Johnnie Walker and quite possibly the best blend I have ever tasted.96

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Dullstroom launch Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey…..

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Liqueur 35%
A blend of Jack’s Old No.7 and a proprietary honey liqueur, this is the latest spirit from the iconic distillery.
Bananas, caramel and toasted praline fried in brown sugar smothered in toffee custard…..and that’s just on the nose.
Honey sweet and mouth coating, with a mid palate of mocha, a finish of praline iced coffee and a lingering aftertaste of toffee and banana. Deeeeeeeeelectable!

Come and share in the launch of this exquisite liqueur by visiting Dullstroom over the Winter Festival between the 6th and 8th of July.

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A tale of two whiskies, one from Ireland, one from Scotland that crossed continents and cities before settling in Dullstroom….

The Irish whiskey, Writers Tears started it’s journey in Cork, Ireland. The Scottish whisky, Te Bheag began its voyage on the Isle of Skye. Both these bottles crossed the Atlantic and sat in a boutique whisky bottle store in Hamburg, Germany. A good friend of mine, Markus Schroeder, home on leave in August 2011, walked into this shop and with mobile guidance bought the two bottles, packed them carefully into a suitcase and flew to his home in Nairobi, Kenya.The bottles, now very much out of their comfort zones, flew from Nairobi to Arusha, Tanzania and then by vehicle for a day’s drive into the Northern Serengeti and Klein’s Camp, where Markus and his wife Stephanie manage the lodge. The bottles, now having witnessed the migration and more at home in this wild East African environment, were on the move again, this time back to Arusha and then Nairobi on the 21st of May2012, before boarding a plane. Their destination Johannesburg. A night in Pretoria was to follow before eventually heading east, climbing the plateau into the Eastern Highlands to the little village of Dullstroom and the Wild About Whisky bar, where they have now joined 950 of their compatriots and are now happy and anxious that you all make a journey and come and taste them……..

Te’ Bheag Gaelic Blended Whisky 40% Unchilfiltered
Pronounced “cheyvek” and meaning “a wee dram” in Gaelic it is produced on the Isle of Skye, home to the the Talsiker distillery.
The nose is all stewed pears soaked in honey and an apple cider marinade, then sherry and toffee top dress the pot with mocha and some peated barley eventually emerging.
The palate hits first with the honey and then a mid palate of fino sherry, pepper and a little smoke on the dry finish. Water does bring out more of the peat characteristic but introduces a bitterness on the mid palate. Best left naked.85

Writers Tears Irish Pot Still & Single Malt Whiskey Blend 40%
Most great Irish authors suffered, at some stage, with writer’s block…”Many sought comfort and inspiration from whiskey. It was said that when an Irish writer cried, he cried tears of whiskey”……..
Barley and sugary blackcurrant pastille, a nod to the great Midleton malts, marzipan, and soft over ripe pears dominate the nose.
Viscous, oily and seductively tongue coating the blackcurrant transfers to the palate in bucket loads, the mid palate a touch bitter but leaving a long fruit-driven finish.
A remarkable and stunning Irish whiskey. 92