Masterson’s 10 Yrs – 23 June 2014

Produced at: Alberta Distillery.

Description: Bat Masterson was born in Canada, but made his fame in the US as a frontier lawman in the American Old West. Masterson’s 10 Year Old was born in Canada, but got it’s name (and bottling, packaging and distribution) in the US as an American Rye Whiskey. Are the similarities between the two coincidence? I think not. I’ve written on here my frustration with Canadian rye whiskies that are distilled in Canada, then sent to the US where they are bottled and sold back to us. Both Royal Canadian Small Batch, and especially this one, are very good whiskies that I wish we could genuinely call our own. This spirit originally comes from Alberta Distillers, the greatest Canadian straight rye distiller, then aged in white-oak casks.

Type: Canadian Rye
Age: 10 Yrs
ABV: 45%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: dark copper with gold highlights
Nose: linseed oil, grapefruit pith, hot pepper, dill pickle potato chips – a fantastic rye nose, crisp and biting. With water, more dill pickle, also spun sugar.
Palate: you get good heat, lots of rye grain, ginger, and mild cigar tobacco. Gets creamier with water. Absolutely wonderful Canadian straight rye flavour, very familiar to me.
Finish: is long but gentle, with more grapefruit pith and a hint of vanilla.


This is a fantastic rye, one of the very best Canadian whiskies I’ve had. Whisky Advocate rates this a 94, the highest rated whisky of its Spring 2013 issue, and Jim Murray awards it 2013 Canadian Whisky of the Year (scoring a 96.5, also from batch 003).

Bottle #38


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Bain’s Cape Mountain – 26 May 2014

Produced at: James Sedgewick Distillery is located in Wellington, South Africa.

Description: It was founded in 1886 on the Berg River after several years of importing and selling spirits. The distillery is owned by Distell. Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky was first launched in 2009 and is named for Andrew Geddes Bain and the Bainskloof mountain pass that bears his name. The whisky is made from South African grain sandstone filtered water. The whisky is aged in “first fill bourbon” oak casks (meaning that the barrels have been used only one time for the making of bourbon before coming to South Africa–we take this to mean that the whisky will carry vanilla and caramel notes that charred bourbon barrels are known for) for 3 years and then selected and “re-vatted” (in Scotland, they would call it a “marriage”) for an additional 2 years of aging for a total of 5. The “single grain” referenced in all the marketing literature is South African maize, which North Americans would recognize as corn. This brings the whisky into a class of corn whisky made popular in North American and often used to smooth out blended scotch.

Type: Scotch Whisky
Expression: Single Grain Chill filtered
Age: 5 Yrs
ABV: 43%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Deep golden amber (slightly burnished) with many thick and long legs.
Nose: Sweet, vanilla syrup and warm toffee pudding notes. Slight burnt caramel with a charming floralness to it, as well as hints of coconut and dried fruits.
Palate: Creamy texture (and taste, like the top part of rice pudding – butter and sugar) with woody undercurrents and a gorgeous warm spiciness to it that runs all over your tongue and mouth.
Finish: Remarkably smooth and warm with a velvety mouth feel that has a lengthy finish with a backbone of spiciness to the end.


IWSC 2012 – Gold Medal – Whisk(e)y Worldwide
WWA 2013 – World’s Best Grain Whisky

Bottle #37

All  of our Expression members in attendance loved this Whisky!

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Glenfarclas 30 Yrs – 2 May 2014

Produced at: Glenfarclas Distillery (Speyside)

Description: Established in 1836, Glenfarclas is one of the very few remaining independent, family owned and managed distilleries in Scotland. The story of Glenfarclas is as rich and colourful as the whisky that bears its name. It is the story of one family, the Grants, who since purchasing the distillery in 1865, have been united in the creation of the perfect Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky. Glenfarclas, the `Glen of the Green Grassland’, is situated at the foot of the majestic Ben Rinnes, in the heart of Speyside’s Malt Whisky Country. By using the finest ingredients, combined with traditional distillation methods, the unforgettable flavour of Glenfarclas is created. Rigorous quality controls ensure each and every batch is as special as the last. Specially selected Spanish sherry casks and American plain oak casks are used for maturation, enabling Glenfarclas Single Highland Malt Scotch Whiskies to be bottled at natural colour. The ages bottled include the 10, 12, 15, 21, 25, 30 years old, and the distinctive 105 Cask Strength at 60% alc/vol. Glenfarclas Single Malts are full bodied, smooth, full of flavour, and superb as after-dinner malts.

Type: Scotch Whisky
Expression: Single Highland Malt
Age: 30 Yrs
ABV: 43%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Full rich dark gold. 
Nose: Rich, dark. Smoky, sherry. Sugared peels, zesty. Rubbery.
Palate: Thick. Creamy sherry, buttery, spicy, malt loaf. Herbal, fresh.
Finish: Long, full, rubbery on the tail.


This truly amazing whisky was named the Best Commercially Available Single Malt in Australia in 2003, and won Gold at the International Spirits Challenge in 2005. At the 2007 Malmo Whisky Fair Glenfarclas 30 Years

Old won double Gold, and was named ‘Best Overall Whisky at the Fair’.

Bottle #36


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GlenDronach 12 Yrs – 7 April 2014

Produced at: The Benriach Distillery Company Ltd

Description: Glendronach is a distillery located at the far eastern point of the Speyside region.  It is located in the village of Forgue, close to the town in Huntly, in the county of Aberdeenshire.  The whisky produced at The production capacity of the distillery is 1.3 million litres per annum and the current owners are the Benriach Distillery Company, who took control in 2008.  They have resurrected the fortunes of the ailing distillery by refurbishing, increasing production, expanding the core range of single malts and their exposure to a wider audience.  Glendronach whisky has traditionally been held in high regard by blending companies and is currently a major constituent in the popular Teacher’s and Ballantine’s blends.

Type: Whisky/Whiskey, Scotch Single Malts
Expression: Double matured – first in sherry casks, then for a final period in first fill American oak
Age: 12 Yrs
ABV: 43%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Deep amber-red gold.
Nose: Sweet, creamy vanilla, with hints of ginger. Spiced mulled wine and pear.
Palate: Rich, creamy, silky-smooth. Warm, rich oak and sherry sweetness, full mouth feel, raisins and soft fruits. Spicy with medium length and a dry finish.
Finish: Long, full and firm, slightly nutty.


Bronze Daily Dram – 2013 Malt Maniacs Awards

Bottle #35

All  of our Expression members in attendance loved this Scotch!

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Tullamore Dew – 17 March 2014

Produced at: Tullamore Dew Company LTD, Tullamore County Offaly, Ireland.

Description: Tullamore Dew is a smooth and malty Irish whiskey that has been distilled in the small town of Tullamore in County Offaly since 1829. It is tagged as “The Legendary Irish Whiskey” and while it is not the oldest whiskey of its kind (Bushmills claims that title), Tullamore Dew is rich with history and a favourite for many whiskey drinkers for a good reason: it’s a fine Irish whiskey.

Type: Irish Whisky/Whiskey
Expression: Triple distilled, blended Irish whiskey from barley in pot stills and aged in charred oak
ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Yellow/honey/medium amber hue.
Nose: approaches being ambrosial, so intensely fruity is it; alluring estery, ripe and sweet scents of tropical fruits, most predominantly tangerine backed up by guava, orange rind, and kiwi, make for an unusual but totally captivating whiskey perfume.
Palate: entry gives way to a midpalate off-dry firmness which spotlights caramel, toffee, woody flavours; succulent and feather-light on the tongue, but strangely the concentrated fruitiness isn’t evident in the taste.
Finish: is quite vegetal and long with notes of caramel and toffee.


Blended Irish Whiskey – 2013
San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Bottle #34

85%  of our Expression members in attendance loved this whisky!

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Green Spot – 25 February 2014

Produced at: the Midleton (Jameson) distillery.

Description: Green Spot Irish Whiskey is one of the rarest and finest whiskies in the world today. Produced by the Midleton (Jameson) distillery for the famed Dublin wine merchants, Mitchell & Son, production is limited to 500 cases a year. A blend of seven and eight year old pure pot still whiskies (essentially, whiskies made from both malted and unmalted barley, distilled in a pot still and not cut with grain whiskey), 25% of this whiskey is finished in sherry casks while the remainder ages in used bourbon barrels. Green Spot is the last remaining whiskey from the age when merchants would purchase barrels from distilleries and bottle them as their own product rather than a product of the distillery.

Type: Irish Whisky/Whiskey
Expression: Single Pot Still
Age: 8-9 Yrs
ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Light amber
Nose: The first thing to strike you is the density of the nose; nothing light and flowery here. The pot still appears older than its eight years thanks to a pleasant dustiness (something similar to old Redbreast), and the influence of the sherry. All this is mixed with a curious menthol sub-stratum. Some evidence of bourbon  wood around too, but rather overshadowed by this highly unusual cough-sweet, malty effect.
Palate: Sweet, rich and full bodied from the very start. It quickly fills the mouth with a glorious spiciness. All the time it somehow remains soft, though the taste buds are constantly tweaked by a harder pot still maltiness. Wonderfully complex and busy.
Finish: Very long, dry and malty to start then sweetens and some late spice adds to all the fun. The very last, dying rays are rather cool on the throat, as if the menthol on the nose has returned.


Bottle #33

All members of our Expression in attendance loved this whisky!

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Park Lane 12 Yrs (1964) – 4 February 2014

Produced at: Corby Distillery.

Description: As a fitting tribute to this blend of rare Canadian Whiskies, Corby developed this decanter fashioned after an original 19th Century antique hand-cut lead crystal decanter.

Type: Whisky/Whiskey, Canadian Blend Malt Scotch
Expression: Very Special
Age: 1964 (12 Yrs)
ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Rich amber
Nose: Alcohol on the nose with sweet vanilla and fruitiness
Palate: Subtle sweetness with mild mellow oak
Finish: Relatively short and not complex


Bottle #32

60%  of our Expression members in attendance loved this whisky!

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Nikka 15 yrs – 14 January 2014

Produced at: Miyagikyo Distillery.

Description: Miyagikyo Distillery, on the island of Honshu, near the city of Sendai, is the larger but lesser known distillery of the Nikka group, producing a mild and virtually unpeated malt. Its location was chosen for its high humidity levels, similar to those of Scotland. Miyagikyo 15 years is the oldest version in the range, which consists of a NAS version, 10 years old, 12 years old and 15 years old.

Type: Whisky/Whiskey, Single Malt Scotch
Age: 15 Yrs
ABV: 45%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Heather honey, mead can be described as 18K Gold.
Nose: Caramel, chocolate, wood, touch of brine, very complex, rather promising.
Palate: At first a chewy barley flavour, but then, leave it in your mouth long enough: the sweetness comes through, touch of sherry and pepper that seems too distant at first. Fruit – not apple, but something like it. Then a note of cinnamon and finally the caramel. Quite a light and finely balanced dram.
Finish: Medium long with spices, hints of granary toast, malty. It regains some of its sweet creaminess. Peat and traces of salty liquorice till the very end.


Bottle #31

70%  of our Expression members in attendance loved this whisky! (Too much $$$)

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Auchentoshan 12 yrs – 02 December 2013

Produced at: Auchentoshan Distillery.

Description: A more recent release from the Auchentoshan distillery, replacing the previous staple 10 year old, this 12 year old bottling exhibits the new, slightly Imperial aesthetics Auchentoshan have rebranded themselves with. Triple distilled then matured for over twelve years. Our Lowland Single Malt Whisky has the tempting aroma of toasted almonds, caramelised toffee and the signature smooth, delicate.

Type: Whisky/Whiskey, Single Malt Scotch
Expression: Triple distilled
Age: 12 Yrs
ABV: 40%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Medium amber, copper. I would not bet on caramel here however, medium bodied in the glass.
Nose: Cereals, exotic fruits, crème brulee, a burst of citrus and the signature nuttiness and green leafiness of Auchentoshan.
Palate: Smooth and sweet with hints of tangerine and lime. Tannins, a little sweet barley & vanilla.
Finish: Gingery and slightly drying, with a pleasant lingering nuttiness.


2008 San Francisco World Spirits Rating: Silver
2009 San Francisco World Spirits Rating: Silver
2011 San Francisco World Spirits Ratings: Silver

Bottle #30

All members of our Expression in attendance loved this whisky!

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Woodford Reserve Four Wood – 05 November 2013

Produced at: Woodford Reserve Distillery.

Description: Your Master’s Collection is an intriguing idea in principle – one limited release every year or so that focuses on playing with one of the “five sources of flavor – grain, water, fermentation, distillation, and maturation.” This is the seventh edition, and the twist this time is that the Woodford Reserve bourbon was aged in four types of wood – American oak as the original aging barrel to maturity, then maple, Sherry barrels, and Port barrels for finishing before blending together. “As with all previous Masters Collections, Four Wood is a limited release with just 336 bottles available for sale nationally.”

Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Expression: Master’s Collection
ABV: 47.2%

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Rich Orange Caramel.
Nose: Full, rich and buttery with an intensely fruity (apple, dried cherry, baked peach) character that is sweetened with hints of maple syrup and toffee.
Palate: Warm and full-bodied with a medley of baked fruit character that layers over a nutty, spicy range of honeyed oak and caramel.
Finish: Long warm and sensuous.


Bottle #29

90%  of our Expression members in attendance loved this Bourbon!

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