Showing posts with label Angus Dundee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Angus Dundee. Show all posts

Monday, August 1, 2022

Tomintoul With a Peaty Tang Single Malt Scotch Review & Tasting Notes

 



Some people are not fans of peated whiskies. I’ve been there myself. It took me years to wander into the land of smoke after I was introduced far too early to Lagavulin 16 as an entry point. But, once I was ready, I did things slowly – the right way – and fell in love with smoky peat.

 

I’m at the point where I see a peated whisky I’ve never tried, and it cuts to the front of the line of everything else I’ve queued. One such whisky is Tomintoul With a Peaty Tang single malt Scotch.

 

Tomintoul calls itself The Gentle Dram. It is a Speyside distillery founded in 1964 and is located on The Ballantruan Spring which runs through the Glenlivet Estate. The name comes from the highest village of the Scottish Highlands. Like most Speyside distilleries, Tomintoul is known for unpeated whisky. However, twice a year, it uses peated malt. It is owned by Angus Dundee.

 

“Pure ingredients and the natural environment add to smooth and mellow character of our award-winning Tomintoul Speyside Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky, “the gentle dram”.

Tomintoul “With A Peaty Tang” has been made with peated malt barley to give it a deep smoky flavour. This makes “Peaty Tang” very unusual, most distilleries in the Speyside region do not use peat.” – Tomintoul Distillery

 

With a Peaty Tang is a marriage of peated whisky that’s been aged between four and five years with unpeated whisky aged eight. Ex-Bourbon casks were used for both. This is a fairly new whisky for this young distillery – it was introduced in 2017.

 

Despite knowing the ages, it carries no age statement. It is bottled at 40% ABV (80°), and you can expect to pay about $41.99 for a 750ml package. I found a 50ml taster for a couple of bucks.

 

How’s this one fare? The only way to find out, of course, is to #DrinkCurious. Let’s do this!

 

Appearance:  Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, this Scotch looked the color of light gold. A thicker rim created slow, sticky droplets. I couldn’t really call them legs.

 

Nose:  I could smell the peat the second I cracked the bottle. I let this one sit for almost 20 minutes as campfire smoke filled the room. Once I determined it rested enough, I brought the glass to my face, which usually results in an ability to get through the peat (because at that point I’m used to it). Nope. Campfire smoke was still dominating. Eventually, my olfactory sense cut through it and found citrus, apple, honey, and caramel. I then inhaled through my lips and smoky vanilla rolled across my tongue.

 

Palate:  The mouthfeel was thin and airy and, despite the alcohol content, warming. The front featured heavy peat, brine, and malted barley. The middle became earthy and fruity with mushroom, pear, and vanilla. The back got super spicy with clove, black pepper and a big blast of burnt oak.

 

Finish:  Medium and dry, barrel char, clove, dry oak, and vanilla stayed for the encore. And then, without warning, a wave of astringent.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Tomintoul With a Peaty Tang was similar to a low-end Islay, except with less complexity. I can usually find something nice in those Islay whiskies, I struggled with this Speyside. I initially didn’t find the Band-Aid flavor until after my fourth sip, then couldn’t get it out of my mouth. Some astringent is fine. Bold astringent is not (but it does have its fans). There was nothing gentle about this dram. I am willing to try other things from Tomintoul. I would never drink its With a Peaty Tang again. This takes a Bust. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.

 


Friday, January 28, 2022

Smokey Joe Islay Blended Malt Scotch Review & Tasting Notes


Blended whiskies can be a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, too many “purists” poo-poo on blends, insisting that the only way to go, at least with Scotch, is single malts. Let’s get something out of the way – single malt purists cheat themselves out of delicious experiences. Never let anyone tell you otherwise!

 

That’s not to say that all blends are fantastic because that’s not true. Like mediocre single malts, there are mediocre (and worse) blends that are good for stripping furniture. Blending is an art form. Those who are skilled make masterpieces. The master blender has a result in mind, and the challenge is how to get there. They may blend malts, grains, or a combination of the two.

 

Today I’m tasting Smokey Joe Islay Blended Malt Whisky. This means there are no grain whiskies involved. The producer, Angus Dundee, owns the Tomintoul and Glencadam distilleries. As neither are Islay operations, we know that Smokey Joe is sourced, but from whom?  Well, that’s not disclosed, and we’d be subject to guesswork if we wanted to go out on a limb. The rumor mill (a/k/a the internet) suggests either Laphroaig or Bowmore (or a blend of the two).

 

Smokey Joe carries no age statement, is non-chill filtered, and bottled at 46% ABV (92°). I can’t swear by it, but I believe this is a Total Wine & More exclusive under its Spirits Direct program. A 750ml package will set you back roughly $37.00.

 

The price is excellent but is it worth the investment? The only way to know for sure is to #DrinkCurious.  Enough jibber-jabber, let’s get on with the show.

 

Appearance:  Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, Smokey Joe was a golden amber. It formed a thick rim that generated heavy, wavy legs that collapsed into the pool.

 

Nose:  It is obvious this is an Islay whisky because the aroma of sweet peat filled the room. I allowed this one to rest about ten minutes before approaching it, and then I found citrus, vanilla, honeydew melon, and seaweed. When I drew the air into my mouth, I experienced that medicinal astringent quality that many Scotches are known for.

 

Palate:  The initial sip provided a thin mouthfeel. But, the more I tried it, the creamier it became. It never morphed into anything weighty. The front of my palate tasted pear, honeydew, and a massive scoop of cantaloupe. As it approached the middle, that changed to smoky vanilla, pear, and lemon citrus. The back was medicinal, with smoke, seaweed, and clove.

 

Finish:  Medium in length with that same astringent quality, the finish included smoky peat, clove, and another heaping helping of that cantaloupe.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Smokey Joe is undoubtedly an affordable dram, but the big question is, Is it worth it?  If the Band-Aid thing makes you happy, Smokey Joe will be a winner. If that’s not your jam, you don’t even want to try this one. It has more medicinal influence than I’ve come across in several years. I can handle the astringent stuff just fine, as a complimentary note. Smokey Joe goes well beyond that. My recommendation is for you to try this one first, maybe the way I did with a 50ml taster before committing to an entire bottle, and because of that, I’m giving this one a Bar rating. Cheers!

 

My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

 

Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.