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The Dimple Pinch 15 Year a Very Underrated Blended Scotch Whisky

The Dimple Pinch Blended Scotch Whisky 225x300 The Dimple Pinch 15 Year a Very Underrated Blended Scotch WhiskyMade in the Oldest Distillery in Scotland

By Matt Goldstein

The house name brands of blended scotch whiskey, Dewar’s, Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker Black certainly deserve their do, but the Dimple Pinch Pinch 15 Year Blended Scotch Whisky can stand with any of these major brands.  The Dimple Blended Scotch Whisky consists of over thirty malt and grain whiskies, produced by Haig in Scotland’s oldest surviving Scotch Whisky distillery.  For over 300 years, Haig has been distilling and blending whisky.  The Dimple Pinch Blended Scotch Whisky has been around since 1893.  Blended, matured and bottled in Scotland, the Haig distillery is in the heart of Edinburgh.

The Dimple Pinch Tasting Notes:

With a sweet thick scent, the Dimple Pinch has a smooth taste with a sweet and complex syrupy flavor.  The scent is much sweeter than the average premium blended scotch as well as the thickness and finish.  With a sometimes spicy finish and dry mouth feel.  We absolutely recommend the Dimple Pinch 15 Year Blended Scotch Whisky which retails for about $35.  We actually like if much more than the much pricier Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Whisky which about twice the price for $70.  The Dimple Pinch is a stud as evidence by the bottle we just crushed.

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Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Not the Gold Signature!

Chiva Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Whisky Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Not the Gold Signature!The Gold Signature is not so Golden

By Matt Goldstein

Qualifiers get a little cliché and seem to be lame excuses for making a claim unsure of how it can be perceived, but let us start out by saying that we absolutely love the Chivas Regal 12 Year Blended Scotch Whisky.  For about $35, it’s a very solid buy and a very good scotch.  However, the older more mature brother, the Chivas Regal 18 Year Blended Scotch Whisky misses the mark when it comes to Scotch.  There are too many studs in this category and price range to give this whisky any props at all.  The Chivas Regal 18 year retails for about $60 but there is a complete lack of complexity and character.  The Chivas Regal 18 is smooth and does have the quintessential blended scotch whisky taste, but that’s about the whole story.  “Chivas Regal 18 includes over 20 of Scotland’s rarest single malt whiskies,” according to Chivas.  This whisky is just too flat for an experienced taste and right now we cannot recommend it for $60.  Check out the awards for the Chivas 18 Year below because these are some strong accolades.  We would definitely like to review if again to see if we caught it on a bad day.

2005 Gold winner, Deluxe blend Scotch whisky 18 year old category, International Spirits Competition cocktail awards

2007 Blended Scotch Whisky of the Year, Malt Advocate

2008 Double gold winner, San Francisco World Spirits Competition

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Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky Real Bang for the Buck!

Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky 225x300 Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky Real Bang for the Buck!A Double Gold Medal Speyside Triple Malt

By Matt Goldstein

A unique blend of three of Speyside’s finest Single Malts, Monkey Shoulder is matured in first fill Bourbon casks hand selected by iconic Malt Master Brian Kinsman.  Released in the UK in 2006, Monkey Shoulder already has a history of accolades and awards including a Gold award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Master distinction in the Speyside Blended Malt category at the 2011 Scotch Whisky Masters and a Gold award in the 2011 International Spirits Challenge.  Of course there are a lot of gold medals for whiskeys these days but the Monkey Shoulder lives up to the hype, especially for its price.  Available for about $35-40, the Monkey Shoulder blend includes Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie single malts.

 

The Monkey Shoulder Tasting Notes:

Thick for a blend and light gold in color with a slightly red tint, Monkey Shoulder has a sweet scent of honey and syrup.  With a sweet flavor, this is a solid blended scotch whiskey in whish the slightly spicy flavor and finish provide a very proficient complexity.  The triple malted blend works very well and for the price, the Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whisky is a straight up stud!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MONKEY SHOULDER WHISKY ARRIVES IN AMERICA!

“Most Coveted Spirit” Makes Long-Awaited Stateside Debut

 

NEW YORK  IWSC Distiller of the Year William Grant & Sons announces the arrival of the ground-breaking blended malt Scotch whisky, Monkey Shoulder, on American shores! Often referred to as one of the “most coveted” spirits in the U.S. due to its popularity among the bartending community and whisky connoisseurs, Monkey Shoulder has just landed exclusively in Illinois!

An irreverent nod to the traditional distillery malt-men who painstakingly turn malt barley by hand and wooden schiel, the “MonkeyShoulder” moniker refers to the colloquial term of a once common temporary injury, when after a long day’s work, a maltman would feel as though he had a monkey on his shoulder. While the injury is fortunately a thing of the past, the dedication to quality and craftsmanship involved in the hand turning of barley lives on in the Monkey Shoulder distillation process and the name today.

 

Since first appearing in bars across the United Kingdom in 2006, Monkey Shoulder has redefined whisky drinking for a new generation of Scotch whisky drinkers looking for an upgrade.  What sets Monkey Shoulder apart from other whiskies is its unique combination of provenance and personality.  By marrying five generations of award-winning distilling experience with a uniquely cheeky contemporary style and commitment to innovation within the Scotch category, Monkey Shoulder represents the ideal pairing of style and substance.  A unique blend of three of Speyside’s finest Single Malts, Monkey Shoulder is matured in first fill Bourbon casks hand selected by iconic Malt Master Brian Kinsman, to ensure its signature smooth flavor.

 

“Monkey Shoulder is a new style of Scotch whisky – one rooted in heritage and tradition but firmly grounded in the contemporary world.  Connoisseurs appreciate that Monkey Shoulder is a new style of Speyside whisky from a known world class distiller, while whisky newcomers are drawn to the mixability of the quality liquid and the irreverent and cheeky personality Monkey Shoulder presents to the category,” said Cindy Wang, Senior Brand Manager, Monkey Shoulder.

 

Under the scrutiny of William Grant & Sons award-winning distillers in Dufftown, Scotland, Monkey Shoulder is crafted in small batches of only 27 cases and offers a beautifully sweet and rich vanilla flavor, with brown sugar and creamy toffee notes balanced with oak and just a hint of spice.  Monkey Shoulder already has a history of accolades and awards including a Gold award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Master distinction in the Speyside Blended Malt category at the 2011 Scotch Whisky Masters and a Gold award in the 2011 International Spirits Challenge.

 

“Having caught the eye of the world’s leading bartenders, it’s high time my talented and influential friends in the U.S. have the opportunity to obtain and appreciate a bottle of Monkey Shoulder without a trip to London,” said Dean Callan, global brand ambassador, Monkey Shoulder.

Monkey Shoulder will be available in the Chicagoland area starting January 6th in top bars and select liquor stores and will be rolling out in Texas later in 2012. Those fortunate enough to discover Monkey Shoulder will be able to enjoy it neat, on the rocks or in a range of innovative cocktails.

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The Tweeddale 12 Year Blended Scotch Whisky: Batch 2

tweeddale 12 year blended scotch whisky batch 2 The Tweeddale 12 Year Blended Scotch Whisky: Batch 2A Non Chill Filtered Scotch Whisky

By Matt Goldstein

Tweeddale blend was first distilled in 1820 in Coldstream Scotland, just a few minutes from the border of England.  Having been shut down during WWII, the Tweeddale Blend was reborn in 2009.  The first batch was produced in 2010 and we were lucky enough to get a taste of Batch 2, bottled in June of 2011. Batch two is made up of single grain whisky aged for more than 15 years sherry cask.  Seven of the eight single malts are from the same casks as batch 1 but a year older, from 12 years old to 21 years old.  A blend of aged single grain whisky and eight individually selected aged single malt whiskies with a high malt content (50% grain, 50% malt), the Tweeddale blend is non chill filtered in keeping with the tradition of the original blend.  Bottled at about 46% ABV, the 12 years aged Tweedale Batch 2 is a solid scotch whisky.  With a thick gold color, the Tweeddale 12 Year is very smooth with a syrupy, fruity flavor with an oak and wood mouth feel.  Sweet, smooth and warm this full bodied and balanced blend with a solid, light and refreshing smokiness.  This is a solid scotch whisky and we definitely recommend it.

Tasting Notes from Tweeddale:

Batch Two (First bottled June 2011, available now)

Nose -mellow, sherry, toffee.

Palate -rich, full yet delicately flavoured

Finish -rounded, with hints of spice.

Just as every batch was slightly different when my Great Grandfather produced it over 70 years ago, my 2nd batch of The Tweeddale Blend is 12 year old.

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The Wemyss Malt Spice King 8 Years Aged Whisky

wemyss malts logo The Wemyss Malt Spice King 8 Years Aged WhiskyA Hand Crafted Blended Malt Whisky from Scotland

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

The Wemyss (Pronounced Weems) family of Scotland has been distilling and winemaking since the turn of the 19th century, and barley from the Wemyss estate is actually used in multiple distilleries throughout Scotland.  The Wemyss experience in blending whisky actually came from winemaking.  As all wine is blended, the Wemyss family brought that experience to making their exceptional whisky.  “Up to sixteen different single malt whiskies are expertly blended together before introducing the “signature” malts to create three distinct taste profiles: ‘Spicy’ (Spice King), ‘Peaty’ (Peat Chimney) and ‘Smooth’ (Smooth Gentleman).”  For the Spice King 8 Years aged, the signature malt is from the Highlands, in order to produce a whisky with rich, full and spicy top notes.  All of the blends are bottled at 40% and the range has five, eight and twelve year’s age.

The Spice King 8 Years Old Tasting Notes:

With a solid scent of peat the Spice King is bit thin, with a medium peat flavor.  Slightly sweet with a good spiciness this is a very good whisky.  Smooth and a bit complex the Wemyss Spice Kings 8 Year is perhaps a thicker, more complex and better Johnnie Walker Black and available for about $40 to $45.  We definitely recommend the Wemyss Spice King 8 Years aged and it’s much better than some pricier single malts on the shelf.

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One of the World’s Best Whiskies: The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky

johnnie walker blue labe blended scotch whisky One of the World’s Best Whiskies: The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch WhiskyThe King George V Whisky

By Chris Meehan, Amy K. Haight & Matt Goldstein

Because of the price tag, about $250, very few get a chance to taste the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky.  But when confronted with the opportunity, it’s an absolute must!  The Johnnie Walker Blue Label is hand crafted in single barrel batches and is a blend of 9 whiskies.  The Johnnie Walker Master Blender hand selects the premium whiskies used for the blend, and draws from the largest whisky reserves in the world, dating back 200 years.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Tasting Notes:

The scent is a medium to solid scent of peat smoke.  The whisky is very light and smooth with flavors of grain.  Having a peat mouth feel with notes of sweet honey, this is a complex and excellent whiskey.  The mouth feel was also thick and creamy, and we consider it to be incomparable.  The Blue Label is perhaps the best mouth feel of any whisky in the world.  A flat out stud!  The Johnnie Walker Blue Label is simply one of the best whisky’s you will ever try.

 

johnnie walker red black green gold blue pic One of the World’s Best Whiskies: The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch WhiskyFrom Johnnie Walker!

Johnnie Walker Blue Label is the epitome of blending. Created to reflect the style of whiskies in the early 19th century, it’s created using some of our rarest casks from the Johnnie Walker stocks, the largest in the world.

The casks are hand-selected and set aside for their exceptional quality, character and flavor. The character of Blue Label is truly unique; it is complex, powerful, incredibly smooth and retains the Johnnie Walker signature smokiness.

 

King George V from Blue Label was created to celebrate the Royal Warrant given to the Walker family in 1934 to mark their exceptional quality. This blend includes Port Ellen™, a highly prized malt whose distillery no longer exists.

 

The John Walker is the most recent addition, created as a tribute to our founder. Hand-crafted in single barrel batches of only 330 bottles, it’s an exceptionally rare blend of 9 whiskies, including those from Glen Albyn™ and Cambus™ distilleries. It’s presented in a unique, individually numbered Baccarat crystal decanter – hand blown, polished and engraved by one of only three Master Craftsmen in the world.

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The Chivas Regal 12 Year Blended Scotch Whisky

chivas regal 12 year blended scotch whisky 216x300 The Chivas Regal 12 Year Blended Scotch WhiskyThe Prince of Whiskies is a Smooth Beautiful Blend

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

With more than two centuries’ of history, Chivas Regal 12 year old is an expression of a unique tradition that has continued unbroken since the Chivas Brothers first introduced the world to the rich, smooth Scotch whisky of Chivas Regal.  “For more than 500 years, Scotland has been perfecting the art of producing Scotch whisky.  Chivas Regal is made from pure, natural, Scottish ingredients.  For more than 500 years, Scotland has distilled their original whisky – malt Scotch whisky.  Malt Scotch whisky is made from only three natural ingredients – quality malted barley, natural spring water and yeast.  A blended Scotch whisky must contain both malt Scotch whisky and grain Scotch whisky.  The art of blending is to harmonize the characters and flavours of selected malt and grain Scotch whiskies to produce a blended Scotch whisky of the highest possible quality.  This requires the master blender to possess an expert ‘nose’ and many years’ experience of Scotch whisky. 

Chivas Regal 12 year is one of the Blended Scotch Whiskies where it’s clear that the master blender skillfully blended the whiskies together for an excellent scotch.  The scent is complex and the whisky has a beautiful amber color.  A thin Scotch whisky, the Chivas Regal 12 year blended scotch whisky has notes of caramel, toffee, chocolate, vanilla with a smooth, sweet and great flavor.  We love this scotch and will drink it again and again.  Greatly recommended. 

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Johnnie Walker Double Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky

johnnie walker double black 300x79 Johnnie Walker Double Black Label Blended Scotch WhiskyA Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky Barreled in Deep Charred Oak Cask

By Joon Lee, Amy K. Haight and Matt Goldstein

Johnnie Walker distilleries took their classic Johnnie Walker Black Blended Scotch whisky and re-blended the whisky recipe to create Johnnie Walker Double Black.  “After hand-selecting a number of whiskies defined by hints of smoldering charcoal, crisp ash and burnt timber, we barreled our blend to mature in deep-charred old oak casks.”  Double Black is very smooth with a good peat and smoke balance.  Johnnie Walker Double Black is complex, crisp, lighter and sweeter than regular black with slightly less peat.  This is a solid Scotch and we will be drinking it again without question.

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johnnie walker scotch logo Johnnie Walker Double Black Label Blended Scotch WhiskyFrom Johnnie Walker   

Taking cues from the unparalleled flavors of Johnnie Walker Black Label, Master Blender Jim Beveridge struck out to craft a blend that would take the intensity of Black to unexplored territory. He started on Scotland’s vast shores, rediscovering the powerful west coast and subtle east coast scotches integral to today’s world-renowned Black Label.

After hand-selecting a number of whiskies defined by hints of smoldering charcoal, crisp ash and burnt timber, we barreled our blend to mature in deep-charred old oak casks. The result is an unquestionably smokier, more intense experience, but with deep, dark roots in a rich blend that changed the world: Johnnie Walker Black Label. Simply put, it is Black, amplified.

Blended to break the rules, Double Black boasts an edgy confidence in flavor that separates it from its balanced relative, Johnnie Walker Black Label. It is not simply a darker version of Black Label, for it cannot be defined by color alone. Nevertheless, the two blends are intrinsically linked. As any discriminating drinker can see, they share DNA – in their smoky nose, unmistakable spice and slight tones of dried fruit.

But the similarities end there. Double Black is un-aged and different to Black Label in the way it’s been blended. With this newest blend, taste trumps all. And since its recent release, accolades have solidified Double Black’s place within the world’s most popular scotch portfolio.

While its finish will undoubtedly linger, Double Black itself will not. Its stunningly small run is characteristic of a blend best suited to the most ambitious and adventurous Johnnie Walker enthusiasts, eager to explore another side of Black.

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Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Blended Scotch Whisky

johnnie walker green label 300x79 Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Blended Scotch WhiskyBlended with Talisker and Cragganmore Single Malts

By Matt Goldstein

Johnnie Walker Green Label is a rich blend using only malts drawn from the four corners of Scotland. Each of the malts is specially selected by the Master Blender to create the perfect balance in the whisky.  Each malt whisky is matured for a minimum of 15 years to deliver rich, full layers of flavor. Coupled with the blending mastery of Johnnie Walker, it ensures the characteristic smoothness and distinctive flavor of Green Label.  Four signature malts provide the key taste influences for this 15-year-old whisky.  This blended scotch whiskey is a stud!

johnnie walker green label pic Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Blended Scotch WhiskyJohnnie Walker Green Tasting Notes:

With a light smoky and malty scent, Johnny Walker Green has a smoky flavor yet smooth, light and complex.  It’s a smoother sweeter better blended Johnnie Walker Black.  This is a brilliant blended scotch whiskey we absolutely recommend it.

 

From Johnny Walker:

Four signature malts provide the key taste influences for this 15-year-old whisky. Talisker™ introduces power and depth of character, Caol Ila™ contributes mystery and intensity and, at its heart, Cragganmore™ provides a sweet maltiness, while Linkwood™ adds a final touch of finesse.

Blending exclusively with malts produces a rich, powerful whisky, with each one giving its own intense flavor and aromas to create a perfect combination.

johnnie walker red black green gold blue pic Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Blended Scotch WhiskyWith its rich gold amber appearance, this medium-full malt summons up a multiplicity of complex natural aromas. It starts on the seashore and drifts inland over moist moss and through evergreen forest. Then come the exotic notes of orange peel, stewed peaches, cooked black fruits and sour cherry.

John’s grandson, Alexander II, was a master of the art of blending. Learning his skills from his father and his grandfather, he was also an apprentice at Robertson & Baxter, an established distiller and wholesale wine and spirit merchant. While first-class training is important, natural talent and a Master Blender’s perceptive nose are crucial when creating a complex blend – like Alexander Walker, today’s specialists possess both.

Like a gourmet dish, a Blended Malt Whisky’s success depends on its individual ingredients. Alexander and George, the grandsons of the founder, realized the necessity of using quality products, and after a long search for a distillery producing whiskies of the stature required for their blends, purchased the Cardhu™ distillery, along with interests in several other prime sites.

This tradition has continued and Johnnie Walker now has the whiskies of 27 distilleries at its disposal, giving its blending team exactly the resources it requires to create the perfect balance of flavors for Green Label.

Today the House of Walker uses this unique range of distilleries to handpick four single malts to create Green Label.

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Johnnie Walker 18 Year Gold Label Blended Scotch Whisky

johnnie walker gold label 300x79 Johnnie Walker 18 Year Gold Label Blended Scotch WhiskyMay the Road Rise to Meet You…

By Matt Goldstein

Every once in a while, for a special occasion, it’s nice to break out the good stuff.  This weekend just happened to be one of those occasions.  As a groomsman in our dear friends’ Jimmy and Shana’s wedding, I thought it was a good idea to pick something nice for the guys for a little pre-wedding get together.  We were considering both Jameson 18 year and Johnnie Walker Gold Label.  Since my man Jimmy has been more of scotch man lately, the Gold Label was our choice.  This was the perfect choice!  Johnnie Walker 18 Year Gold Label Blended Scotch Whisky is an absolute masterpiece.  There is no question about it.  The bottle was basically gone less than an hour after we opened it, but it was worth every dollar.  Special occasions demand special whiskies.  Everybody seemed to want more and more, even the ladies.  There is no need to put this whisky on ice; the Gold Label is more than perfect when served neat.

johnnie walker gold label1 Johnnie Walker 18 Year Gold Label Blended Scotch WhiskyJohnnie Walker Gold Label is a rich blend of rare whiskies each aged for a minimum of 18 years.  Buried in the Kildonan Hills in the Northern Highlands, the Clynelish Distillery draws its water from a unique source.  Gold Deposits are released into the water from the local granite rock, hence, Johnnie Walker Gold Label.

The Johnnie Walker 18 Year Gold Label Tasting Notes: 

Lightly smoky, grainy, thin but complex.  Exceptionally smooth.  Slightly sweet, with hints of malt, grain and oak.  WE LOVE THIS WHISKEY!

Johnnie Walker Gold Label was blended to celebrate the first 100 years of the House of Walker in 1920. A well-kept secret, it’s only been available outside the company since the 1990s. It has a distinctly smooth, sweet and luxurious character, with a stylish elegance and refined quality.  Gold Label is crafted using whiskies such as Clynelish for a honeyed flavor and creamy teure yet still retaining the signature Johnnie Walker smokiness.

With its rich gold color and old-gold glints, it reveals a full, round, deep nose. There are notes of soft raisins and toffee, fresh malt and light cream – Gold Label is as enticing as it is sensuous.  Its palate is rich and broad with full malt flavors and honeyed spices with almonds and marzipan, which leads to a distinctive creaminess.

Cardhu provides strong yet smooth malt and oak flavors. Extra-mature grain whiskies deliver some of the lingering sweetness, while Clynelish™ from the northern Highlands is responsible for the unusual aromatic creaminess. The finish is multidimensional and satisfyingly long.

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