Whisky tasting notes 2024

Macallan Sherry Oak Cask vs Macallan Quest: Similar color and aroma. There is something un-fresh about Sherry Oak Cask that is “missing” in Quest. Surprisingly much bourbon flavour in Sherry Oak Cast, not bad flavour. Quest has a more flat, bitter flavour. Sherry Oak Cask wins.

Bushmills Black Bush vs Macallan Quest: Bushmills is paler, with a more flowery and fruity aroma. Macallan surprisingly subtle in comparison. Bushmills tastes sweet, flowery and some caramel, rather thin but not bad. Macallan has more bourbon flavour, probably some sherry but that is not what I think of after Bushmills. Another taste of Bushmills and it still holds up, and back to Macallan a bit sharp and alcohol. Bushmills wins.

Johnny Walker White Walker vs Macallan Quest: JW is paler, smells a bit of caramel, Macallan is more subtle on the nose. JW has a sweet, somewhat chemical flavour, Macallan more bourbon and the real thing. Macallan wins.

7 dlight Ichiro Mizunara Reserve vs Macallan Quest: Macallan a bit darker. Ichiro has a sweet, somewhat raw aroma, Macallan softer and more subtle. Tasting both I find the same thing, Macallan is a bit more the safe classic choice, Ichiro is not as easy to drink but it has more to offer. Ichiron wins.

Canadian Club 100 Rye vs Hudson Four Grain: Both quite dark, Canadian Club not as dark and not as red as Hudson. Canadian Club is rather fruity on the nose, I kind of think of strawberries and cherries. Hudson smells like sawing in a piece of oak wood. Tasting Canadian club is a bit underwhelming, it is not bad but not much happens, after a while I think I am drinking perhaps grappa or something. Hudson has a bit more complexity in the mouth, but not balance whatsoever. It tastes oak, bourbon and it is both sour and bitter. Of course there is more to talk about when it comes to Hudson, but more is not always better, and I think Canadian Club must win.

Miyagikyo Single Malt vs Yamazaki Distillers Reserve: Same color. Miyagikyo has nice sweet maltiness on the nose. Yamazaki is more dry, more spicy, even more malty – Miyagikyo is more fruity. I taste Miyagikyo and find it quite sweet, rich, soft, and something that resembles peat. Over to Yamazaki it is less rich, less complex, less balanced – yet good, some hints of fruitiness in the background, but next to Miyagikyo I think it fades.

Glenfiddich 12 vs Yamazaki Distillers Reserve: Similar color. Yamazaki has a more malty and rich aroma, Glenfiddich a little bit odd making me think of fusel oil. I taste Glenfiddich, it is quite light, but it has some complexity and develops nicely in the mouth. Yamazaki has a more integrated powerful and rich flavour. Both taste quite much standard malty whisky. Quite similar in flavour and quality, especially on the nose I think Yamazaki is a little bit ahead.

Dufftown Malt Masters Selection vs Glenfarclas 12: Very similar color. Dufftown has a bit fruitier nose, Glenfarclas drier more hay or mint or something. Quite similar. Dufftown has a very typical speyside flavour, not bad but nothing extra. Glenfarclas a bit more malty, bready, salty. I prefer Glenfarclas.

Dufftown Malt Masters Selection vs Glenrothes 12: Dufftown is paler. Glenrothes has a more sweet bourbon-like aroma. Dufftown has a rather clean dry speyside flavour, Glenrothes is sweeter, more flowery, kind of odd. I prefer the more classic Dufftown.

Dufftown Malt Masters Selection vs Edradour 10: Edradour is darker, with a more powerful aroma of what makes me think of sweet red fruits. Edradour has an odd flavour that makes me think of other things than whisky, and Dufftown being more dry and malty tastes like a classic Speyside. Dufftown wins.

Bulleit Rye vs Canadian Club 100 Rye: Bulleit slightly darker, but much more powerful on the nose, bourbon with some flowery hints (from the Rye typically). Canadian Club more caramel, a bit chemical. Tasting Canadian club it is smooth, caramel, a bit sweet. Bulleit Rye is much more powerful, raw, bourbon. Those who really like rye and bourbon probably prefer Bulleit, but I have to say I would rather drink Canadian Club.

Glefarclas 12 vs Glenlivet Founders Reserve: Glenfarclas wins.

Glenlivet Founders Reserve vs Glenmorangie 12 Lasanta: Glenmorangie wins.

Highgrove Organic vs Yamazaki Distillers Reserve: Highgrove is paler in color, and has lighter more pure, caramel-malty aroma. Yamazaki is sweeter, deeper, a bit oily perhaps even with a hint of peat. Tasting Highgrove it tastes a lot of citrus and without water it is not particularly soft. Yamazaki is softer, richer, it fills the mouth more, and it has more complexity. Highgrove is a bit intense without complexity, and it can not match Yamazaki. Back to Yamazaki I would guess that its flavour is dominated by some wood not typical for scotch whisky, but in a balanced way.

Chivas Regal 18 vs Tamnavulin Double Cask: Chivas is darker, at first they are quite similar on the nose, classic, a bit sweet, with Chivas a little bit more mellow and Tamnavulin a bit more sour fruity and fresh. Tamnavulin tastes soft, a bit sweet more than malty and if it is sherry it is very well balanced, rather easy to drink. Now Chivas both tastes and smells a bit peated, a bit more oily, a bit more complex and a bit more challenging. Tamnavulin is good also after Chivas, it is a bit simple though. Chivas is both more complex and balanced, and wins.

Ballantines 17 vs Glen Ord 18: Ballantines is paler, with a fresh malty aroma. Glen Ord smells, liqourice? I am a little confused about the aroma here, Ballantines is lighter and less powerful, Glen Ord is a bit heavier. Both are rather balanced on the nose. I taste Ballantines and it is light, balanced, lingering nicely, quite excellent without being anything extra. Glen Ord is a bit extra, and not so little extra, a bit oily, some citrus. Ballantines is good, but more plain than Glen Ord. Glen Ord wins.

Famous Grouse vs Glen Garioch Founders Reserve: Famouse Grouse is slightly paler, with a fresher aroma. Glen Garioch smells a bit oily in a bad way, not fresh. Tasting Famous Grouse, a bit thin, a bit chemical and a little bitter but drinkable. Glen Garioch is a bit sour, raw wood, young and unrefined. Back to Famous Grouse it tastes like a very safe choice. And Glen Garioch again, no I do not like it. Famous Grouse wins.

Glen Ord 18 vs Springbank 18: Glen Ord a bit more red. Big difference on the nose, Glen Ord malty and fresh, Springbank heavy and peated (but not that peated). Tasting Glen Ord, it is rich, malty, complex and tasty, very nice. Springbank, a bit sour and then a bit of sulphur. I do not like it. Glen Ord wins.

Glenlivet 16 Nadurra vs Macallan Whisky Makers: Glenlivet paler even if cask strength. Both have a sweet fruity sherry arama, Glenlivet a bit more fresh and sweet, Macallan a bit more velvet mellow. Glenlivet first quite much bourbon in the mouth, then sweet-sour fruit, a bit unbalanced. Macallan more balanced, dry sherry. I dont particularly like Glenlivet, Macallan wins.

Macallan Fine Oak vs Macallan Whisky Makers: Fine oak is paler, with a slightly more sour and raw aroma than Whisky Makers. Very similar flavour, Whisky Makers being more soft and balanced, and wins.

Glenfiddich 15 Solera vs Macallan Whisky Makers: Glenfiddic is paler, with more soft sweet caramel araoma, Macallan being more sherry. Glenfiddich is soft, rich, fruity, malty, lingering nicely. Macallan is more sherry. A sherry fan will probably go with Macallan, but I enjoy Glenfiddich better.

Macallan Whisky Makers vs Yamazaki Distillers Reserve: Yamazaki paler, and a bit more subtle on the nose, and Macallan is more sherry. Yamazaki tastes good, malty, classic, a bit light. Macallan tastes sherry, and I enjoy Yamazaki more.

Macallan Whisky Makers vs Redbreast 12: Redbreast a bit darker, with more bourbon aroma. Redbreast tastes a bit dry bourbon, with some fruity finish. Macallan tastes more sherry, a bit sour. I prefer the flavour of Redbreast.

Macallan Whisky Makers vs Mackmyra Reserve Elegant Ambassadör: Macallan slightly darker, more sherry aroma, Mackmyra a bit unusual wood aroma. Mackmyra also has a bit unusual woody flavour, a bit pepper, quite sweet and soft. Macallan more a classic sherry flavour. I like Mackmyra better.

Mackmyra Vit Ek vs Svensk Whisky för Ukraina: Mackmyra ha a bit more dark brown color, also with a richer, more raw wood, aroma. Tasting Svensk Whisky för Ukraina, seems young, a bit of bourbon. Mackmyra has a more rich, balanced and elegant flavour. Mackmyra wins.

Bergslagen Gast vs Mackmyra Vit Ek: Mackmyra a bit darker, Bergslagen a bit more sour peated aroma. Mackmyra is a bit softer, a bit desert wine like. Bergslagen has a fresh flavour, both smoke and sweetness. Mackmyra a bit more balanced, softer, lingers with some fruitiness. I would say this comes down to if you prefer a more peated salty whisky, or a softer more fruity whisky. Too me, Mackmyra has more quality.

Bergslagen Two Hearts vs Mackmyra Vit Ek: Very similar quite dark color. Bergslagen has a salted caramel aroma, mackmyra more like a lightly peated desert wine, more fruit. Tasting Bergslagen, quite sweet, a bit raw, lingers but not very softly. Mackmyra is softer, it really makes me think of the color yellow (plums, oranges, I dont know). Back to Bergslagen, it is a bit harsch and bitter. Mackmyra wins, its light peat, softness, and lingering fruitiness is a winning concept.

Dufftown 18 vs Mackmyra Vit Ek: Mackmyra very slightly darker. Dufftown a bit more salty and fresh on the nose, Mackmyra a bit more yellow fruit and sweet, with some peat. Dufftown has a soft, fruity, malty flavour, both balanced and complex. Mackmyra tastes much younger, a bit raw, and sour. Dufftown is less powerful, not as strong, but I think it tastes better and has more quality.

Mackmyra Vit Ek vs Yamazaki Distillers Reserve: Mackmyra slightly darker, with a more powerful aroma, but Yamazaki has a more classic malt aroma. I taste Yamazaki and find it quite classic malt with some fruity sweetness to it, perhaps most orange. Mackmyra more powerful, more sour (hint of peat). I think Yamazaki has more quality, and tastes better.

Old Pulteney 18 vs Writers Tears Japanese Cask Finished: Writers Tears very slightly darker. Old Pulteney is more malty salty on the nose, something chemical oily that I do not like so much. Writers Tears is much more fruity, perhaps on the chemical side. Tasting both quite same impression, mixed feelings about both, but I think Old Pulteney is better.

Hibiki Harmony vs Miyagikyo Single Malt: Similar quite pale color. Hibiki mostly caramel on the nose, Miyagikyo much more fruity, almost like a wine. Hibiki, soft, nutty, caramel a bit salty easy to drink. Miyagikyo immediately and unexpectedly a bit peated after Hibiki. Back to Hibiki, a bit sweet punch like, a bit synthetic. Miyagikyo is both fruity and lightly peated in an unusual way, but it works. I prefer Miyagikyo.

Hazelburn 10 vs Yamazaki Distillers Reserve: Hazelburn is paler with a somewhat more raw, salty and dry aroma. Yamazaki is more balanced, full bodied, on the nose. Hazelburn is dry in the mouth, even a bit burnt, quite light. Yamazaki has a less malty, more alcohol-flavour. Back to Hazelburn, it has an open complexity with no flavour dominating and it lingers nicely. Yamazaki tastes more closed, less developed, the flavours hidden in each other (perhaps I should have added water), resulting in something somewhat chemical. Hazelburn wins.

Glen Scotia Campbeltown Harbour vs Mackmyra Vit Ek: Mackmyra slightly darker, with a more powerful, deep and oaky aroma. Glen Scotia very subtle in comparison, a bit fruity. Tasting Glen Scotia it is light, but it has some complexity with some peaty hints. Mackmyra is a bit stronger, a bit more spicy and in your face, and not as smooth and easy as Glen Scotia. Back to Glen Scotia it is thin, makes me think of a blend. Mackmyra wins.

Glen Scotia Campbeltown Harbour vs Jura Superstition: Jura very slightly darker, with a somewhat more oily aroma. Glen Scotia a bit more fruity and peat. Jura has a nice saltiness to it, but also a raw woodiness and somthing lightly Floki-like about it. Glen Scotia is lighter, more flawless, but a bit blend-alcohol-like. Jura tastes a bit nasty (like Floki), victory to Glen Scotia.

Glenfarclas 12 vs Glen Scotia Campbeltown Harbour: Similar color. Glenfarclas more dry, a bit herblike on the nose, Glen Scotia more fruity in a somewhat artificial way. Tasting Glenfarclas it is soft, salty, balanced, a typical speyside with some odd herbiness to it. Glen Scotia is more oily, slighly peated, a bit lighter, and it tastes alcohol like a blend. Glenfarclas wins.

Chivas Regas 12 vs Oban Distillers Edition: Oban darker in color, more powerful and sweet on the nose. Tasting Chivas I find it quite thin, with a body of nutty caramel, not bad. Oban, on the other hand is sweet, raw and not so little sulphur or whatever it is that tastes old margarine. Not nice. Chivas wins.

7 dlight Three Ships vs Glen Garioch Founders Reserve: Glen Garioch a bit darker, with a slightly nasty fusel oil aroma. Three Ships has a light smokiness to it (resembles Mackmyra Vit Ek from the other day). Tasting Glen Garioch, a kind of spicy malty flavour, better than I expected. 7 dlight, a rather sour with some peat. Back to Glen Garioch, it is more classic that 7 dlight, but a bit unpleasant. Its odd, after tasting Mackmyra Vit Ek I now appreciate 7 dlight for the same reason, I think. 7 dlight wins.

Longrow vs Mackmyra Vit Ek: Longrow is paler, with a more dry more peated aroma. Mackmyra more fruity desert wine. Longrow has a dry, straight simple quite balanced, fresh and good flavour. Mackmyra more young wood, not very raw but still woody, a bit bitter with the sourness. Longrow wins.

Highgrove Organic vs Highland Park 10 Viking Scars: Highgrove is much paler, with a lighter more fresh aroma. HP has a somewhat sour aroma that I find a bit challenging at first. Highgrove light in flavour too, very fresh, clean maltiness. HP a bit more rough, dirty and oily, some of that fusel-oil smell also in the flavour, but it is kind of part of the character in a nice way. Highgrove, somewhat bitter and uncharming. HP is richer and softer, I think that makes it an HP victory.

Dufftown 18 vs Yamazaki Distillers Reserve: Dufftown a bit darker, with a more dry, fresh clean aroma. Yamazaki is a bit more powerful, spicy, nutty. Dufftown has a rather clean neutral Speyside flavour, not bad but not much write about. Yamazaki a bit more oily and more flavourful, also very balanced. Yamazaki wins.

Glen Ord 18 vs Yamazaki Distillers Reserve: Glen Ord a bit darker, and a bit more powerful and sweet arama. Both have a classic balanced aroma though, flavours quite similar, Yamazaki somewhat more accurately on spot winning narrowly.

Glen Ord 18 (2019 special release) vs Yamazaki Distillers Reserve: Very similar color and very similar aroma. Also, flavour not so different, but Glen Ord is more complex, lingers longer, and gives a richer experience. Glen Ord wins.

Arran Heavily Peated Sherry Cask vs Bowmore 18: Arran is more dark and red. Arran a bit raw wood, quite peated and sweet. Bowmore more classic malted, more dry, a bit peated but not as Arran, and more sherry rather than just sweet. Tasting Bowmore, surprisingly peated flavour and salty/dry in an elegant way. Surprisingly little peat flavour, a bit raw wood, artificially sweet, subtle balanced sherry. Bowmore wins, but two good peated sherry whiskies.

Bushmills 16 vs Writers Tears Japanese Cask Finished: Bushmills is darker with quite a bourbon aroma. Writers Tears a bit dryer (yet a bit fruity), less powerful. Back to Bushmills, yes bourbon. Writers Tears, harder to describe the aroma. Tasting Writers Tears, after adding a bit of water, a bit bitter-sweet, balanced, not overwhelming. Bushmills is more powerful, like a soft sweet balanced bourbon. Now back to Writers Tears it smells more flowery fruity. I think this thing with Japanese finish on Mizunara wood is a quite delicate things for enthusiasts and something that does not necessarily translate straight to a superior casual experience. I think Bushmills wins.

Agitator Select Cask Ex Islay vs Bunnahabhain Peat & Fruit Coopers Choice: Agitator is paler, with a kind of light, winelike, peated aroma. Bunnahabhain is more sweet with the peat in the background. Both are cask strength so I add water to both. Now Bunnahabhain is more peated, a sweet oily peat rather than smoke. Agiator changed less with water. I taste Agitator and find a dry, almost ashy peat, and a pure clean flavour. Bunnahabhain struggles more with what it wants to be, both sweet and smoky, with a bit of sulphur. Agitator wins.

Agitator Select Cask Ex Islay vs Bowmore 12: Agitator much paler, Bowmore amber. I am beginning to find orange in Bowmore and that, together with some peat, is what hits my nose first. Agitator is a bit lighter, both are peated, but when compared to each they seem to be peated to a similar degree and neither is very peated. Bowmore is more oily, chemical, heavy, and Agiator is more wine and smoke. I taste Bowmore and find it surprisingly sweet, soft, I think I can say orange with a bit of smoke. Agitator is also soft, but more salt and burnt. I find Bowmore a bit odd, perhaps they want it to taste like this, but too me it is a bit chemical. Agitator is a more refreshing peated experience. Agitator wins.

Agitator Select Cask Ex Islay vs Bowmore 15: Bowmore is a dark whisky, Agitator nearly colorless. On the nose Bowmore is more sweet, orange, oily. Agiator is more light white wine and smoke. Tasting Bowmore it is surprisingly dry, a bit peated, and with a fruity finish. Agitator is a more simple experience, it is dry and a bit of smoke. Trying Bowmore again, there is much to discover in Bowmore, it lingers nicely. I don’t completely love Bowmore, but Agitator is to plain and simple to match the more complex and interesting Bowmore.

Glen Scotia Campbeltown Harbour vs Johnny Walker White Walker: Glen Scotia somewhat more pink and clear in color, Johnny Walker more yellow. Glen Scotia a bit sour (hint of peat), almost flowery on the nose. Johnny Walker is more sweet, spicy, creamy, coffee? I taste Johnny Walker and it has a thick feeling in the mouth, like it is actually sweetened, and it has a soft, somewhat chemical easy to drink flavour. Glen Scotia is also soft, balanced, clean but with some complexity. Back to Johnny Walker it is mostly sweet, probably vanilla. Campbeltown Harbour is nice in a classic way, victory to Glen Scotia.

Nikka Coffey Malt vs Tamnavulin Double Cask: Tamnavulin slightly darker, or at least more red. Surprisingly similar aroma, both have a quite classic malt whisky aroma on the sweet side. Nikka is more vanilla, cream and spice. Tamnavulin is more fruit. I taste Nikka and it has something spiced about it, like punch. I taste Tamnavulin, and it actually tastes quite similar, yet a bit fruity. Back to Nikka it makes me think of honey rather than fruit. I find the Nikka experience more convincing somehow, Nikka wins.

Bushmills Original vs Tullamore Dew: Bushmills slightly paler, with a slightly more sweet caramel and soft aroma. Tullarmore Dew smells more pure alcohol. Bushmills also tastes a bit softer and sweeter, Tullamore is more burnt, more bitter and tastes more alcohol. Bushmills wins.

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