Posted on

Spirit caramel: Friend or foe?

Spirit caramel test samples

From an article on spirit caramel by Tom Bruce Gardyne.

Spirit caramel, or E-150a as it’s known in the industry

What I find odd about this article is that I’m pretty sure that Adam Hannett and Nick Morgan are actually in agreement with each other, they just happen to be talking about the pros and cons of E150a on two completely different levels.
Mr. Hannet at Bruichladdich is referring to the single malts produced there, which I am sure we are all in agreement that they certainly do not need the addition of spirit caramel.
Mr. Morgan is referring to blended whiskies, not single malts, that require the E150a for consumers that require consistency in their regular blends.
I wonder why Tom Bruce-Gardyne didn’t realise this when he wrote the article?

Posted on

Ardbeg Day preview of Auriverdes….another brilliant, astonishing Ardbeg….

On the evening of April the 30th, Steve, Eve and I took part in a live Skype tasting with Mickey Heads, Ardbeg’s distillery manager. Of the three whiskies on show, it was the pre release of Auriverdes, the new 2014 Ardbeg Feis Ile bottling, that so excited us , as we had just received a bottle…

This is my take on it….

Ardbeg Auriverdes Single Malt 49.9%
Richly sweet ‘n peat, honey ‘n seaweed, another classic Ardbeg appears on the nose, briny, salty toffee, tarry ropes, creosote in the depths, so complex and alluring. Seductively opens with toasted marshmallows and smoked gammon.
The palate is astonishingly viscous, creamy, buttery, thickly sweet, honey drizzled onto hot dark salted toast, Fisherman’s Friend lozenge, toffee and tarry.
Water opens the dram with iced coffee, richening and sweetening the warm golden honey pot, offering on the finish, hints of Earl Grey tea. Another masterpiece! 95

Posted on

Beautifully located, the Isle of Arran distillery, although only 18 years old is wholly focused on wood management…..

                                                              Isle of Arran distillery

Isle of Arran Single Malt “Cask Finishes” The Port Cask 50%
Pomegranate, guava, strawberry fruit gums on the nose with a sweetly honeyed red fruit stew and a hint of musty, moist European oak.
Red, royal and robust, richly sweet, full bodied and oily coating on the tongue, there is hot peppery spice, sweet red ruby grapefruit and a lingering dry vinous finish-a delicious dram! A dash of water sweetens the red berried mix with a vanilla dusting of stewed cranberries, allowing the port cask character to emerge. Stunning! 87