The Balvenie Stories Collection: A Week of Peat 14 Year Old Review

The Balvenie Stories Collection: A Week of Peat 14 Year Old Review

The Balvenie continues to flirt with peated whiskies. A Week of Peat is the second in The Balvenie Stories Collection, and this one focuses on Balvenie’s lesser-used flavor component. In fact, they only use heavily peated barley for a week each year! Ian Miller calls peat week the most joyous week of distillation because of the new smells that come from the distillery. After releasing Triple Peat, and Peat Week, how’s A Week of Peat differ from the other expressions?

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The Balvenie Stories Collection Review: Sweet Toast of American Oak 12 Year Old Review

The Balvenie Stories Collection Review: Sweet Toast of American Oak 12 Year Old Review

While it’s sister distillery, Glenfiddich, has been releasing a bunch of innovative products, Balvenie seemed to be in a slumber (with the exception being the Balvenie DCS Compendium series for the mega rich). But in truth, there were products brewing, and we finally have a taste of what’s to come. The Stories Collection is here! It starts with a series of three single malts at three different price-points. The first of the series, The Sweet Toast of American Oak, is finished in virgin American barrels. This has been a growing theme in single malt scotch the last handful of years, so did Balvenie manage to do something different?

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Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Takes Aim at Islay

Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Takes Aim at Islay

Glenfiddich’s Experimental releases are pushing the distillery in new directions. Fire & Cane, the latest, is perhaps the perfect balance of price and flavor. Winter Storm is, undoubtedly, the best whisky of this excellent collection. It’s 21 Year Old Glenfiddich, however, and that comes with a high price. Fire & Cane is affordable, and dead-set on competing with peated whiskies coming from Islay.

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Glenfiddich Winter Storm Review - Scotch whisky with a great Canadian twist

Glenfiddich Winter Storm Review - Scotch whisky with a great Canadian twist

Winter Storm is the third of Glenfiddich’s Experimental releases (which includes IPA, and Project XX). This one has a Canadian twist, and it starts with Canadian Brand Ambassador Beth Havers. It was Beth that suggested Canadian ice-wine casks as a potential finishing barrel. Brian Kinsman, malt laster for Glenfiddich, ran with the idea. 

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Glenfiddich IPA Review - The New Generation of Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich IPA Review - The New Generation of Glenfiddich

Glenfiddich IPA single malt scotch initially struck me as a gimmick. Perhaps it is, but it’s a tasty one. My internal monologue mocked it at first, though—why would the best selling single malt scotch in the world jump on a trend like IPA barrel finishing? Sure, IPAs are trendy, but will they sell more single malt scotch? 

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Balvenie Peated Triple Cask & Peat Week Reviewed

Balvenie Peated Triple Cask & Peat Week Reviewed

There are a few misconceptions around Scotch whisky that I still hear today. First, I often hear how scotch is ‘smoky’ with strong iodine notes, and therefore a big turn-off for whisky drinkers. In truth, most scotch sold contains very little in terms of smoky notes. The second misconceptions is, only Islay distilleries make peated whiskies. In truth, peat was a main fuel source up until the 1950s in many parts of Scotland and was commonly used in the whisky making process. 

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Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Cask Review - Decadent, sweet & peated

Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Cask Review - Decadent, sweet & peated

Let's be honest. The scotch industry is making fools of us with special cask finishes. While sherry cask finishes weren't new five years ago, they've sprouted up like dandelions. Then came the wine finishes, which were never all that successful, but plentiful. Oloroso Sherry became a statement of the quality sherry finishes. Port finishes? Oh, yes! There are plenty of port finishes.

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Laphroaig 10 Year Old Original Cask Strength - Batch 006 Review

Laphroaig 10 Year Old Original Cask Strength - Batch 006 Review

Laphroaig is deserving of the scotch cult following. Some hate Laphroaig, some like Laphroaig on occasion, and others love Laphroaig whisky. For those in the latter category, this cask strength variation of Laphroaig 10 is for you. 

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Lagavulin 8 Year Old Review - Diageo's Welcomed Volley At Whisky Reviewers

Lagavulin 8 Year Old Review - Diageo's Welcomed Volley At Whisky Reviewers

I made the mistake of doing a blind tasting pitting Lagavulin 8 against Lagavulin 16. These two drinks could not be any different, and while the older scotch is more immediately pleasing on the nose, Lagavulin 8 Year Old is more brilliant then I would have imagined. It might even be better then Lagavulin 16, depending on your mood. It's also a big corporate middle finger to whisky writers that complain about no-age statement whisky (more on that later).

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Lagavulin Double Matured Batch lev 4/503 16 Year Old

Lagavulin Double Matured Batch lev 4/503 16 Year Old

Lagavulin 16 Year Old is a crowd favourite among scotch drinkers. It made it to the last chapter of my book, when I answer the "what's my favorite whisky" question (somewhat ironically). Lagavulin Double Matured is part of a limited number of whisky that the distillery releases outside of the popular 16 year old expression. It’s, essentially, fan whisky for people that love Lagavulin.

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