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Cooley Distillery In 1987 John Teeling bought the Ceimici Teo Distillery in Dundalk, Ireland and renamed it Cooley, eventually producing a wide range of Irish whiskeys from peated malt to single grain whiskey and creating hugely successful brands like Connemara, Locke’s, Kilbeggan, Tyrconnel and Greenore, a double-distilled, bourbon cask matured single grain whiskey. Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey “Limited Edition” 43% Vanilla ‘n Bourbon with jasmine blossoming in the background. Sweet and languid, honey liqueur, then some peppery spice with sweet, light bourbon on the finish. Water just boosts the honey ‘n vanilla on every level. A delicious lunch time aperitif. 86

Greenore 8yo Single Grain Irish Whiskey “Small Batch” 43%

Hard to fathom the nose, seems masked at first, then strains of mocha start revealing themselves, then toffee, demerara sugar, then it fades again… However the palate is monstrous, boldly sugary sweet, with gooseberry and ripe marula dominating. A dash of aqua brings out the signature Cooley grain note of elastoplast(Band Aid), so best drunk naked as a baby! 87

In the 2012 World Whisky Awards, Greenore 18 was voted best single grain whiskey in the world…. Greenore 18yo Single Grain Irish whiskey “Small Batch” 46% Limited Edition 4000 Bottles. Astonishing nose, immediate impact of rich sweet toffee, vanilla, jasmine, stewed gooseberry and apple drenched in honey with a hint of bourbon. Sweet and syrupy as it coats the tongue, then toffee apple dipped into a honeycomb, Oloroso sherry, a little spice, then a long vinous finish. Water increases the sugars and boosts the bourbon, particularly on the finish but still best neat. Astounding dram. 92

Andy Watts

Three Ships 5y0 Three ships voted world’s best blended whisky Monday, 26 March 2012

For the first time ever a South African whisky has taken the title of World’s Best Blended Whisky at the annualWhisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards. The Three Ships 5- year-old impressed the judges to such an extent that they awarded it the overall award in the Blended Whisky category at the annual selection of the very best whiskies internationally.

More than 300 whiskies were tasted blind in three intensive rounds by an independent panel of judges that included some of the foremost whisky palates internationally.

A delighted Three Ships master distiller Andy Watts said that for the Three Ships Premium Select 5 year old to be named as the World’s Best Blended Whisky was by far the biggest achievement to date by any South African whisky.

“We have always believed that the whiskies produced here in South Africa were of a quality that placed them among the best, and the large number of awards we have garnered during the last few years have justified our confidence. And now it has been confirmed: South Africa doesn’t have to stand back when it comes to the production of exceptional whiskies. By consistently giving attention to our quality and taste profile, we can now celebrate the dedication and passion of the team at the distillery with a world title. This is both a humbling and incredibly rewarding achievement.”

Chairman of the judges, Rob Allanson, commented that the “competition featured some eye-opening whiskies and the judging panel had a hard time separating the good from the very good. The judges’ exacting standards mean that the winners are truly the greatest whiskies in the world.”

The Three Ships 5 year old Premium Select is an artful blend of selected South African and Scotch whiskies that have been aged for a minimum of five years. Robust, aromatic and unpretentious, the whisky holds a full peaty character, ending in a lingering, warm finish.

SA – the Good News

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Great King Street Blended Whisky Non-Chill Filtered Natural Colour 43% Compass box Orange zest, naartjie (tangerine), malted barley ‘n wild honey, toffee apple. Deliciously sweet and velvety on the tongue, the body is astonishing how full and syrupy it really is, then a peppery chilli hit finishing with honey and malt. Water releases a spicy apple crumble on the nose that manages to coat the hot spice on the tongue. Just exquisite. A masterful blend. 92

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Jura Prophesy Single Malt ‘Profoundly Peated’ 46% Non-Chill Filtered Dark toffee and a warehouse full of peat smoke…this is the smell of the islands on a cold spring evening with peat fires burning in every home… then the spice of cardamom, hot wellies and a hint of horse sweat. Sweet, oily vanilla on the tongue, then loads of black pepper, with spice and hot tar on the finish. A tiny dash of water releases the barley and sweetens the vanillas. A must for peat heads! 90

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Pulteney is the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland and is situated in the small fishing village of Wick. Once, the busiest herring post in Europe and named after the Viking word for bay, Wick is now host to one of the best-selling single malts in Scotland.

Pulteney Distillery

Interestingly, the solitary wash still comes with a giant ball, to increase reflux and a top that was chopped off as the still was too tall for the stillroom when it was installed! As will be seen from the following tastings, the sea breezes and salty air are very evident in the taste and character that is Old Pulteney single malt. Old Pulteney 17yo Single Malt 46% (a revisit) Sweetly maritme, salty stewed pears, Granny Smith’s apples, a sea scented breeze blowing through a summer fruit orchard. Vanilla ‘n salt combine exotically, warm, caressing like a dense honey-drenched ocean. Huge oily mouthfeel, liqueur-like in texture, apple and plum, then pepper ‘n spice that finishes with the dry, salty, sanguine mix of European oak. 91 Old Pulteney 21yo Single Malt 46% Unchill-filtered Funky sea-fog. The tide is out and there are heaps of salt-encrusted seaweed but on the sea breeze there is a strong whiff of berries; cranberries and blueberries to be exact with honey-soaked barley muted in the mist. Viscous and mouth-coating this dram is a sweet berry stew with waves of salt ‘n spice and a finish of salted stewed prunes. 93

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Glencadam distillery is in the centre of what was once the ancient sandstone city of Brechin, featuring a magnificent medieval cathedral built around 1150. The distillery was built in 1825 and is the only surviving establishment in the Tayside area with a pair of small pot stills, whose lyne arms, unusually incline 15 degrees upwards, encouraging reflux. Today Glencadam is a very busy distillery that also runs a huge filling and bottling plant with 16 large tanks for blending malt and grain whisky, producing the likes of Ballantine’s and Stewart’s Cream of the Barley. Glencadam Distillery Glencadam 1991 16yo Single Malt 46% Single & Single (South Africa) Vanilla, over ripe bananas and Cape gooseberries. The palate has an initial sweetness that descends to an aloe bitterness with a dry grapefruit finish. The cask selection reflected by the palate. Not recommended. 70

Glencadam 22yo Single Malt Distilled June 1985 Hogshead Cask03996 43% Chieftains. Vinous and vanilla, so sweet in fact that a honeycomb must have been sprinkled with vanilla icing sugar. The barley is noticeable but timid against the honey-sweet onslaught of pear creme brulee. Silky sweet on the tongue, a chilli bite at the back and then the oak pulses with a hint of bourbon on the finish. A touch of aqua adds icing to the barley cake and makes for a delicious dram. 85 Glencadam 15yo Single Malt 46% Unchillfiltered and No Added Colouring. Wild honey, honeycomb, the barley evident but sweet and sticky with stewed apples and a grassy note. The honey sweetness, the malted barley are all reflected on the palate, deliciously moreish. Doesn’t need any water. A gorgeous dessert-wine dram. Highly recommended. 86 Glencadam 1990 19yo Single Malt Cask0996 46% Montgomerie’s The Single cask Collection (Unchillfiltered and Colouring Free). Wow! Bees to honey on this nose, the barley in repose, happy to be coated in so much vanilla and honey, green table grape, Muscadel and creme brulee. A liquid icing sugar liqueur coating on the tongue, spicy, sweet chilli and the wood, so American, having the last laugh on the finish. Bourbon and vanilla sweet once a dash of water is added. 87

Glencadam 14yo Single Malt 16 Months Oloroso Sherry Finish 46% Unchillfiltered and No Caramel Added. Richer, bolder and fruitier than the 15yo. The Oloroso element dominant. The sweet sherry combining beautifully with the honey and vanilla, almost masking the malted barley in the background but introducing wine gums and chewy fruits. Again, on the palate, this dram is more viscous, creamier than the 15yo, coating the tongue with intensely sweet vinous and barley flavours, then a touch of peppery spice with the Oloroso sherry lingering on the finish stamping its authority again. An outstanding whisky, the sherry element adding so much more depth and complexity. Best tasted untouched, undiluted. 88