Portonova is an exquisite product which (in a blind tasting) could easily be confused with a $125+ 21 year-old wine-finished scotch. Last I saw, it had sold out everywhere but if you have the budget, a love of port/wine finishes, and see some on a shelf somewhere, just know that I thought it was fantastic.
The youth of the malt means all of the complexity is in the peat, which delivers a lot of intense flavor, but not a lot of secondary notes. The alcohol burn is a bit rough – likely because of the quick maturation – but nevertheless, this is a powerful, peaty kick in the head that any true peat-head should take a look at.
On the tongue, this dram blooms into a medium-complex whisky with no apparent flaws. A few tropical notes give it an exotic style, which might appeal to those tired of Scotch standards.
Very different from sherry-finished Scotches I’ve had – the fruitiness is subdued and suggests dried rather than jammed dark fruits. This leaves a difficult-to-describe combination of wood extracts, dried herb flavors, and rancio. There is certainly more here to discover, and I think the play off of standard Amrut flavors is successful. Definitely a whisky to ponder.
Betrays its age with the burn, and its inexperience with the heavy banana notes. Nevertheless, it’s an impressive dram for an upstart distillery in a challenging climate. I wouldn’t pay more than $30 for it, though, as I’m not partial to banana flavors in my malts.
“Brilliance” is distilled from Himalayan 6-row barley and aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 3 to 5 years, and is bottled at 46% ABV. Remember that whisky ages faster in India, so 3 – 5 years is equivalent to 10 – 15 years in Scotland. … As Goa is located squarely in the tropics, high heat causes barrel strength to increase in the cask as more water than alcohol evaporates. This sort of “reverse Angel’s Share” also occurs in other parts of the world, such as Kentucky in the USA, and isn’t as simple as…
Starward is a small upstart Melbourne distillery with a single pair of copper pot stills. They source all of the ingredients for their whisky from local Australian products (“within a day’s drive”), ferment the local malted barley with brewer’s yeast and then double-distill and age it on-site. Starward takes advantage of the availability of local Australian red wine casks (still wet with cabernet, pinot noir, and shiraz…
Breaker comes to us (by way of some place in Kentucky, where they actually distill bourbon) from Santa Barbara county, and the name and bottle labels are inspired by the wave ‘breakers’ on the nearby California central coast. … small batches from actually small batches of 8 sourced barrels of high-rye bourbon, each at least 5 years of age, and bottles at 45% ABV.
I tasted a sample of Verso rye whisky from the Kyrö Distillery Company in Finland that was collected from bottle in April of 2015. This is a 100% malted rye whisky aged for only four months in very small new American white oak casks and bottled at 46.5% ABV. The distillery, which makes several products all from rye grain, began distilling in 2014 in a refurbished cheese factory.
Peaty, with the same notes as the more seaweed-flecked Islay malts like Laphroaig but without the same intensity. The 10 year is aged in ex-bourbon casks (and allegedly spends some small amount of time in Mizunara casks) and is bottled at 45% ABV.