ruk·si

🥃 Whisky

Updated at 2018-04-03 14:06

This is my personal list of whiskies and impressions on them (if I remember it).

Method of tasting:

  • Use tulip-shaped whisky glass e.g. a Glencairn glass.
  • Add 25ml of whisky.
  • Check the color.
  • Whirl the whisky to the glass walls to see how thick it is as it drips.
  • Use water to rinse your mouth before nosing or tasting.
  • Smell the whisky.
  • Taste the whisky.
  • Don't drink water again right after tasting the whisky, wait for the finish.
  • If whisky is 40+ abv, add one metal teaspoon of water to the whisky.
  • Repeat.

Lowland:

  • Lowland whiskies are usually floral, grassy and light.
  • Glenkinchie 1999-2012 Amontillado Cask - Distillers Edition, excellent, fresh
  • Glenkinchie 12, good, light, fresh

Highland or Islands:

  • Highland whiskies are usually floral and honey-like, but peat is common.
  • Island whiskies are usually peppery and heather-like with maritime notes.
  • Loch Lomond Original, decent
  • Highland Park 12, good

Speyside:

  • Speyside whiskies are usually fruity, sweet or spicy.
  • Glen Moray Classic, decent
  • BenRiach Peated Quarter Casks, decent
  • BenRiach 20 (the white-blue bottle), good, fruity (pear)
  • Glenfiddich 12, decent, sweet
  • Glenfiddich 15, decent, sweet
  • Glenlivet 12, meh
  • Macallan 21, good, very sweet

Campbeltown:

  • Campbeltown whiskies are usually salty, toffee-like or vanilla-like.
  • Glen Scotia 15, good, salty
  • Glen Scotia Double Cask, good
  • Glen Scotia Victoriana, good
  • Springbank 15, good, salty caramel but complex so can differ

Islay:

  • Islay whiskies are usually smoky, woody or peaty.
  • Bowmore 12, decent, woody
  • Caol Ila 12, decent, smoky
  • Lagavulin 16, excellent all-arounder, more woody than smoky
  • Ardbeg Corryvreckan, legendary, very smoky

Other notes:

  • American white oak casks brings vanilla-like wood aroma.
  • Bourbon casks bring rounded sweetness.
  • Sherry (and other wine) casks bring sharp sweetness, wine-like.

Peaty Whiskies

Smokiness and peatiness are two different things.

Peat level of a whisky is measured in ppm (parts per million phenol). The higher the ppm levels, the peatier the whisky. The score varies between 0 and 170.

  • Octomore, ~160 ppm, chemical
  • Ardbeg, ~55 ppm, iodine
  • Laphroaig, ~40 ppm, cigar
  • Lagavuling, ~35 ppm, cigar
  • Caol Ila, ~30 ppm, cigar
  • Talisker, ~25 ppm, woody
  • Bowmore, ~25 ppm, woody
  • Highland Park, ~20 ppm, bacon

Pay attention to ppm, but taste also depends where the peat actually comes from.