7 May 2021

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes

The Lakes Distillery Whiskymaker's Reserve No: 4
Single Malt English Whisky
52% ABV

Nose: Sherry steeped dried fruits, dapple dandy plums, strawberry jam tarts, cherry cough syrup, orange peel, peanut M&M’s, treacle tart, manuka honey, freshly varnished oak, aniseed twists, wood spice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, white pepper, tobacco leaf, a hint of coriander and something teasingly rye-esque.

Palate: Cadbury Bournville Old Jamaica dark chocolate, sherry steeped dried fruits, steamed orange pudding, soft German style gingerbread, creamy Werther's Originals, Turkish delight, Tunes cherry lozenges, sugared almonds, coffee grounds, wood spice, sweet oak and a tease of mint tea.

Finish: A long, lush, keep licking your lips kind of a finish, that continues to showcase both the high standard of the distillery's cask management and the quality of its spirit.

Summary: As the Cumbria based distillery continues its journey to define its sherry-led house style, it has to be said that the Whiskymaker’s Reserve series has gone from strength to strength, in its exploration of maturation and blending. I absolutely loved the first three releases, but this latest edition well and truly ticks all my sherry loving boxes!

4 May 2021

Ardbeg Scorch Competition

As part of this years Ardbeg Day celebrations, we’re teaming up with the iconic Islay whisky brand, to give one of our followers the chance of winning a bottle of their latest limited-edition single malt Scotch whisky.

Ardbeg Scorch, which has been matured in ex-bourbon American oak casks, has been created in homage to Islay’s mythical dragon, which was slain by a heroic warrior many moons ago, and is said to be the product of Ardbeg’s own flavour-breathing beast, who dwells in Dunnage Warehouse No. 3, scorching staves and burning barrels.

Held annually on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt (Fèis Ìle), Ardbeg Day is a global celebration of all things Ardbeg, which this year will take orching place entirely online.

For your chance to win a bottle of Ardbeg Scorch click here to email us your contact details and date of birth. Along with the following dramming phrase that pays:

“I’d love to sip and savour the
latest scorcher of a sensory story
from Ardbeg"

*Please mark the subject line of your email with: Ardbeg Scorch Comp

If you’re on Twitter, you can also follow us via @TheWhiskyWire and RT one of our related competition tweets for another chance to win!


Ardbeg Scorch (46% ABV) will be available from Ardbeg Embassies and specialist retailers, from May 27th, for a RRP of £100.00.

For more info on Ardbeg, visit: ardbeg.com

Competition closes at 23:59 on May 31st 2021. You have to be aged 21 years or over to enter!

Good Luck!

28 April 2021

Talisker 43 Year Old Xpedition Oak

If you ever wanted to intensify the coastal character and credentials of a whisky, you could always try sending some of the staves that make up the oak casks used to finish the whisky across the Atlantic ocean - and as it just so happens, for their oldest distillery release to date, Talisker did just that!

For the latest and undoubtedly the most seafaring expression from the Isle of Skye based distillery, Talisker teamed up with renowned adventurer James Aiken, who undertook a 3,264 mile journey across the Atlantic, with a cargo of wooden staves, which upon completion of the crossing were returned to Scotland to complete the final maturation of Talisker 43 Year Old Xpedition Oak.

So what sensory story does the Talisker 43 Year Old Xpedition Oak single malt Scotch whisky (49.7% ABV - RRP: £3,500.00) have to tell?

The nose kicks off with wondrous waves of sea spray, polished oak, seaweed, smoke and wood spice. Followed by notes of stewed apples, raisins, dates, dried apricots, mixed citrus peel and salted caramel.

The nasal niceties continue with raw honeycomb, treacle tart, black pepper, dried red chillies, a pinch of mixed spice and the tease of a bag of Frazzles.

The palate dishes up and delivers a fabulously fruity five-a-day of raisins, red delicious apples, honeydew melon, tinned pears and grilled pinapple rings. Along with a crashing wave of sea spray, polished oak, wood spice and a tease of smoke.

The palatable pleasures continue with a wedge of sticky toffee pudding, mixed citrus peel, dried apricots, dark chilli chocolate, white pepper, mixed spice, a hint of anise and something deliciously dusty.

The finish of this lesson in liquid history is long and leisurely, as it continues to highlight the balance and bounty of everything that this sassy, sweet, smoky and spiced sip has to offer.

To say that I was thrilled to get the opportunity to sample Talisker's oldest drop of sippage is an understatement, particularly given that it has always been one of my go to distilleries, for both everyday dramming with their teasing and tenacious 10 Year Old, and for those more special and celebratory occasions with the likes of their triumphant and terrifically tasty 18 and 25 Year Old bottlings.

All in all, this latest release is everything and more that you would hope for and expect from a Talisker of this age. Oozing a wealth of maturity but still exuding a relatively youthful vibrancy!