Monthly Archives: May 2022

Whisky tasting notes 2022

Links: Previous Tastings , Whisky Ranking

Chivas Regal 18 vs Strathmill 24 (1994-2018): Strathmill slighly darker, and with a much sweeter sherry-like aroma. Chivas is rather subtle on the nose in comparison, it has a more classic whisky aroma, but more sweet than salty and malty. I taste Chivas, sweet, round and nice, caramel, somewhat bitter. Strathmill is both more distinct in its sweet fresh sherry character and also saltier and maltier. Since I know what I am drinking it is not hard to explain what I experience with the blend being very smooth and produced while the the single malt tastes more like the raw product. I prefer Strathmill.

Bergslagen Gast vs Longrow 13 Red: Longrow is darker, more red, and Bergslagen is more yellow. Bergslagen has a fruity, slightly salty, peaty smell. Longrow is a bit heavier, sweeter, less peated I think. Bergslagen has a more fire-peat-smell. I taste Longrow, very nice saltiness and sweetness at first, it lingers nicely but unfortunately finishes with what I call sulphur. Bergslagen, well now after Longrow it smells a bit of raw young wood (as many young, especially swedish whiskies do). I add more water to Longrow, that usually help with the sulphur and it does to some extent. Bergslagen is rather thin, a bit sour and bitter. More water and the sulphur is kind of gone. I think Longrow is slighly better, and I guess most people would find Longrow clearly better.

Hibiki Harmony vs Springbank 15 Rum PC#629: Springbank is much paler, really pale. I find rather desert wine than rum in the Springbank aroma, but it is also rather heavy oily smelling. Hibiki is more mellow, balanced, caramel, perhaps flowery. Back and forth with the nose, Springbank is the one that benefits from the comparison. Hibiki tastes really nice, soft, malty, a bit salty, caramel and nuts, it lingers, very easy to enjoy. Springbank is a different beast, salty, not so little peat, a bit rougher. The difference between japanese craftmanship and scottish raw tradition is obvious. Back to Hibiki, it is a bit thin after Springbank, with some bitterness. Springbank has a more full and powerful body. I think Springbank is better, head to head, but Hibiki is the safe choice. Springbank wins.

Nevis Dew Deluxe 12YO vs Chivas Regal 18: Nevis is paler yellowish, Chivas a more amber color. On the nose Nevis is very subtle, it smells fine whisky but not much. Chivas is a bit heaver, a bit sweeter, and the sweetness is more fruity than caramel. I taste Nevis, it has a fine nutty, malty flavour that is rather light, but there is also something blend-alcohol about it. Chivas is a bit softer and sweeter. Nevis is on the brink between a very nice maltiness and a rather lousy blend. Chivas wins, a quite narrow victory.

Bergslagen Gast vs Glen Scotia Victoriana: Bergslagen a little paler, with a rather raw woody peatiness. Glen Scotia is so much bourbon on the nose, but also a bit fruity. Bergslagen is more powerful on the nose, but if I had to pick a winner without tasting it would be Glen Scotia. I taste Glen Scotia and even if I have added a splash of water to it I find it too strong, quite sweet and some sulphur. Bergslagen has a gentle peatiness. I taste Victoriana again, and att more water again. Bergslagen is quite easy to enjoy. Glen Scotia is trickier. Enough water now to get rid of the sulphur but I can not say what Glen Scotia tastes like, it is just bitter-sweet without balance or complexity. Victory to Bergslagen.

Longrow vs Raasay 1st Release: Raasay a bit darker, more powerful on the nose, more peated, and more young raw wood. I taste Raasay and it is both sweet and fire-smoke type of peat, quite typical for a young whisky. Longrow is a bit more malty, delicate, balanced, though peated. I find a hint of sulphur in Raasay. Raasay goes to the peated list, losing to Longrow.

Mackmyra Svensk Rök vs Raasay 1st Release: Mackmyra lighter in color and on the nose. In a way they are quite similar on the nose, Raasay is just more heavy, a bit sweeter, and more peated. Mackmyra has some fruitiness. It tastes quite good though Mackmyra, quite fresh and with some balance. Raasay is much more in the mouth, but with some sulphur. Without the sulphur Raasay would definitely win so I add plenty of water to it: most everything about it disappeared. I prefer the more dry, light spirited, Mackmyra.

For Peat’s Sake vs Raasay 1st Release: Raasay is more pale. For Peat’s Sake is a bit thinner, more alcoholic, on the nose. Raasay is heavier, dirtier. Tasting For Peat’s it is a bit synthetic, artificial. Not entirely convinced I give victory to Raasay.

Longrow 14 Sherry vs Raasay 1st Release: Longrow is much darker, it smells older, saltier and more powerful than Raasay. Raasay is very little to compete with, except less sulphur. Longrow wins.

Glen Moray Peated vs Raasay 1st Release: Glen Moray much paler. Also the aroma is pale… it is like getting in to an old underground warehouse and just smelling dust and emptiness. Raasay is sweet and young on the nose. I taste Glen Moray and think there must be something wrong with it, it is like medicine – flouride for your teeth (?) – but then there is some maltiness and peat there. So I am about to write that Raasay is another experience richer and more complex, but I cough with the sulphur. I add more water to Raasay, it gets better, and at least it has some depth. Raasay wins.

Bowmore 18 vs Longrow 21: Bowmore is more red and Longrow more brown. Bowmore has a balanced malty peated aroma, very nice. Longrow is more sour. I taste both, Longrow is more powerful and rough, Bowmore softer and more balanced. On this occation I am not so impressed with either of them, though I prefer Bowmore.

Dalwhinnie 15 vs Glenlivet 18: Dalwhinnie much paler. On the nose Dalwhinnie is a bit like white wine, fresh, fruity. I do not find much cask aroma in Dalwhinnie. Glenlivet is darker, sweeter, more powerful, raisins, dadles that kind of red fruitiness. Tasting Dawhinnie it is very fresh, reminding of yellow fields of barley. It has a nice complexity, lingers for a while, and leaves a good feeling. Glenlivet is more powerful and more sweet. I assume there is some sherry and there is more cask flavours in Glenlivet. And it is more bitter. I came to prefer Dalwhinnie. It tastes very nice, it is more open and has a bit more complexity, I think. What should not quite decide the winner is that I find Dalwhinnie a more interesting and pure expression of scotch speyside whisky.

Lagavulin 12 Distillery Single Cask vs Lagavulin 16: 12YO is much paler. On the nose 12YO is more fire and hints of raw wood. 16YO is more soft, balanced on the nose. Tasting 12YO it is crisp, burnt, peated and quite flawless. Not heavy at all. Also in the mouth 16YO is more soft. Clearly, 12YO is the more spectacular whisky here and 16YO is more safe play. 12YO wins.

Lagavulin 12 Distillery Single Cask vs Laphroaig 16: Perhaps Laphroaig is a bit darker. Lagavulin is more raw, Laphroaig is more oily, on the nose. Laphroaig is rather salty, quite perfect. Alcohol is a more dominant flavour of Lagavulin so I add a splash of water. Laphroig again, it is a bit sweet, some caramel and even bourbon there. Before I tasted Lagavulin for the last time I was leaning towards Laphroig, but the extra water more out of it, and it got really difficult. I pour up a little bit more of both, and settle in favour of Laphroaig.

Mackmyra Reserve Förlagrat Refill Gravity vs Old Pulteney Vintage 2006 (11YO): Very similar color. Old Pulteney is very classic malty, hint of bourbon and caramel. Not so much salt and see as I would like to think. Mackmyra is more strange, it tastes ok, but the Mackmyra signatory pear-smell and flavour is there, and it also tastes a bit of anis. And bourbon, it is not all bad. But Old Pulteney is better.

Chivas Regal 18 vs Glen Scotia Victoriana: Glen Scotia is slightly paler, at least after adding some water to it (it was much stronger in the first place). These whiskies are ranked similarly, but I have a better feeling about Chivas. Lets see. Chivas has a soft sweet classic whisky aroma, hint of smoke, and a hint of chemical blend. Victoriana is surprisingly similar, I would say a bit more sherry-sour and a bit more raw, perhaps. Chivas tastes nice, it tastes like it smells, nothing more to say. Victoriana has a more authentic and crude sherry touch, it tastes less crafted. Back to Chivas it is less impressive and more dull now. Victoriana is a bit more challenging, a bit more of an acquired taste, but I think it is worth it. Glen Scotia wins.

Deanston 15 Organic vs Springbank 15 Rum Private Cask #629: Both are pale, yellow (as in no greenish at all). Deanston slightly darker. I put my nose in Deanston and find a dry, slightly burnt, fresh grain type of whisky – not a lot of bourbon. Springbank is much sweeter, thicker, heavier, also a bit sour and peated. Deanston is first light in the mouth, it grows though, with a gentle sweetness. Springbank has more different flavours, a sweet and sour fruitiness. Back to Deanston it is less flavourful, but very fine. I add a bit water to both. Springbank has a slightly peculiar flavour, a little bit for good and for bad. But the milder Deanston does not quite have enough to offer to stand up against Springbank, even if Deanston is an excellent 15 YO highland expression.

Deanston 15 Organic vs Tobermory 12: Tobermory is darker in color, sweeter and richer in both aroma and flavour. Deanston is rather pale and thin, a bit blend/industry-alchol tasting. Tobermory wins.

Deanston 15 Organic vs Glenfarclas 17: Glenfarclas is darker in color, and a bit sweeter on the nose, more Bourbon aroma in Glenfarclas. Deanston has a light smell, of some wood, but not so bourbon-like. I taste Deanston and find a simple and straight whisky, some lingering bitterness. Glenfarclas tastes more bourbon-sweet, and that comes with more bitterness I think. I would think Deanston is matured on old bourbon casks that are more or less depleted, and that it would have benefited from more maturation. The easy choice is to go with Glenfarclas, it is a bit softer and sweeter. Deanston not being sweet, salty or peated is very pure whisky-like at it heart, somehow reminding of a blend. I must prefer Glenfarclas.

Mortlach 13 2021 Special Relaease vs Mortlach 20: 13YO is much paler (and cask strength). On the nose 13YO is very classic, 20YO is a more powerful on the nose, more sweet but not the sherry-way. Tasting both, 13YO has a bit more bitterness, but it does not taste less powerful as was the case with the nose. 13YO is more interesting as it has more different flavours, it is more undeveloped and has more potential (to develop). 20YO tastes like it is done maturing, perhaps by a year or two, very very soft, with a nice sweetness and no bitterness. Perhaps 13YO is more interesting, both are rather flawless, but in the end 20YO is the better whisky.

Dufftown 18 vs Mortlach 13 2021 Special Release: Dufftown is much darker, both rather classic aroma, Dufftown a bit sweeter. Tasting Mortlach it is dry, slightly salty, quite classic flawless. Tasting Dufftown, I find it thinner and not so refined. Mortlach wins with a more solid experience.

Highland Park Cask Strength vs Springbank 12 Cask Strength: A little bit more color in (the stronger) Highland Park. Springbank is deep and mellow on the nose, not really peated, a bit woody in a nice way. Highland Park is less heavy, less sweet, more sour. I taste Springbank without water, very solid. HP is more burnt, peated. With water, HP softens up a bit, surprisingly sweet and rich. Springbank didn’t respond quite as good to the water, a bit thin at first taste. I taste Springbank again, not so impressed, a bit raw wood and a bit sour. HP is less sweet, but more balanced and complex. Quite surprised here, I prefer the NAS HP to the 12YO Springbank (which is probably more than twice the price).

Longrow vs Springbank 12 Cask Strength: Very similar color. Longrow has a rather dry aroma with some peat. Springbank is less peated, more sweet and winey. I taste Springbank, quite balanced with some woodiness, like its been bourbon for too short time on those casks. Longrow has more saltiness and a bit more freshness to it. Back to Springbank I am just not so impressed with the flavour. Longrow wins, being both softer, saltier and richer.

Glen Scotia Victoriana vs Springbank 12 Cask Strength: Glen Scotia is darker, on the nose some peat and some sherry. Springbank is more neutral, honey and caramel, on the nose. I taste Victoriana (cask strength), a bit of a firework of different flavours (peat, salt, oldish, sherry), more interesting than balanced (and good). I also taste Springbank cask strength, and it is more balanced than interesting. Some water to Springbank and it has a nice sweet and fresh combination. I was about to write that the safe conservative choice is Springbank, but I have a hard time finding arguments. Glen Scotia wins.

Deanston 15 Organic vs Springbank 12 Cask Strength: Deanston is paler, with a light almost blend-like aroma. Springbank more solid, a bit more sweet, on the nose. Deanston is quite thin in flavour, not bitter, but bitter-ish. Springbank is more solid, powerful, some peat, sweeter and it lingers nicely. Back to Deanston, it just does not taste very nice. Springbank wins.

Deanston 15 Organic vs Mackmyra Brukswhisky: Both rather pale, I can not say for sure there is any difference. On the nose, after a while Mackmyra is fruity, classic Mackmyra pear, but it smells whisky too. Deanston is more chemical, thinner, and less sweet – like a typical cheap blend. I taste Deanston and it is quite light, some maltiness, some bitterness in the end. Mackmyra is immediately sweeter, then immediately more bitter, and that is kind of the lingering impression. Back to Deanston it is softer, more complex, more salty and more malty. Deanston wins, better taste. If it was just up to the nose it would perhaps be different.

Deanston 15 Organic vs Johnny Walker White Walker: Deanston is paler. JW has a smell of sour blend. Deanston even more so, back to White Walker it is kind of a bit sweet and fruity. White Walker has an unusual sweetness (like some liqeur, punch), not so much whisky flavour. Deanston has some saltiness and maltiness that is a bit nice. Hard to pick a favourite. JW kind of stands out in an original way. Deanston is more mediocre in an average way. Victory has to go to JW.

Springbank 11 Madeira vs Springbank 15 Rum PC#629: Madeira is much darker in color, och more like a desert wine on the nose: sweet with some classical Springbank notes. Rum has a more dirty, soil-like, raw Springbank character with just a hint of rum. Tasting Madeira, it is a good balance between desert wine and Springbank whisky, not very complex and overwhelming but rather soft and easy to enjoy. Springbank Rum is more of an acquired taste, and a bit metallic, and in this case I can not see myself prefer it. 11 Madeira wins.

Bushmills 21 vs Springbank 11 Maderia: Bushmills is very slightly darker. Bushmills is a ridiculously soft whisky with desert wine, fruit, bourbon and even some flowery notes. Springbank is more two-fold, first sweet, then more raw. It is also more powerful and a bit metallic. I think it is safe to say that this is really down to preference. Those who like very soft and easy to drink (yet rich and complex) chose Bushmills. Those who like to be challenged more, and who enjoys the duality of Springbank will chose it. Tonight, I pick Bushmills.

Arran Quarter Cask CS vs Deanston Oloroso Finish 9YO: Arran is paler, with a fruity aroma, not so little bourbon. Deanston, also surprisingly much bourbon on the nose, given the name. I taste Arran at cask strenght, and the sweet fruitiness dominate, and I add water. I taste Deanston and it has more Sherry (sulphur unforunately – but that may go away with water). Back to Arran with water, nice malty caramel flavour. Deanston is a bit more raw, still some sulphur unfortunately. I think Arran is really nice, better than Deanston.

Arran Quarter Cask CS vs Bushmills 16: Bushmills is darker, richer and sweeter on the nose. Arran is more dry and raw in the mouth, Bushmills more sweet and even a bit flowery. Arran a bit bitter now. I prefer the softer Bushmills, but Arran is close.

Mackmyra Första Utgåvan vs Svensk Whisky för Ukraina: Mackmyra is paler, lighter and more fruity (typical pear) on the nose. Mackmyra is quite balanced, a bit burnt, not very complex. Ukraina is quite thick, complex, a bit raw (wood). Back to Mackmyra, a bit sharp and bitter. Ukraina wins.

Glenlivet 21 Archive vs Mortlach 20: Very similar, quite dark red color, if anything Glenlivet is darker. Glenlivet is a on the nose, like ripe red fruits. Mortlach a bit more malty. Tasting is a little the other way around. Mortlach is sweet, soft, burnt sugar and balanced. Glenlivet a bit saltier, maltier and some more complexity. Both are very good, as in flawless and easy to drink, but a bit boring. Glenlivet wins.

Redbreast 12 vs Tobermory 12: Similar, not so pale color. At first quite similar nose, but Redbreast is more bourbon and Tobermory more malty. This becomes more apparent when drinking them. Redbreast has a bit of the genuin bourbon rawness and almost like perfume. Tobermore, is more wine-like, softer and maltier. Tobermory wins.

Bladnoch Adela 15 Oloroso vs Longmorn 16: Bladnoch is darker, somewhat sweet and quite mature aroma. Longmorn is a bit lighter, more dry hay on the nose. I taste Longmorn and find some burnt caramel and a bit of bourbon. Bladnoch has a quite nice sherry flavour, also a bit burnt and slightly bitter in the end. Longmorn is softer and maltier, and I prefer Longrow but it is quite close, and those who generally prefer sherry would probably pick Bladnoch.

Bladnoch Adela 15 Oloroso vs Glendronach Batch #9: Bladnoch a bit darker, with a bit dark-sweet mellow aroma. Glendronach is more sherry-in-your-face, and a bit more raw. Tasting Glendronach, yes I find it a bit raw and not quite so balanced. Bladnoch is softer, more complex.

Bladnoch Adela 15 Oloroso vs Longrow 13 Red: Similar color, equally dark but Longrow is more brownish. On the nose Longrow is rather salty and peated. Bladnoch also a bit raw, but more fruity. I taste Bladnoch and it has a nice friendly sherry-flavour, which is not too much. Longrow is interesting and has much quality, unfortunately also some sulphur, so it is easy to say that Longrow is both better and worse. I try to water it down, and it helps. Bladnoch is still more sweet and soft and Longrow more salt and peated. With enough water, Longrow wins.

Andalusia Tripled Distilled vs Bladnoch Adela 15 Oloroso: Bladnoch a bit more red. Andalusia a bit bourbon-sweet on the nose. Bladnoch (of course) more sherry, and a bit dirtier. Andalusia tastes a bit burnt, dry, but also with some sweetness, a bit thin but also complex. Bladnoch is more one thing, its sherry thing, and it is perhaps more powerful. Andalusia is good, but it fails to quite know what it wants to be, and it simply is not so… appealing… Bladnoch wins.

Bladnoch Adela 15 Oloroso vs Macallan 12 Sherry Oak: Very similar color, Macallan surprisingly dark and perhaps the darker one. Similar sherry aroma as well, Bladnoch a bit dirtier and more mellew, Macallan a bit fresher. Macallan, soft and balanced but without too much character. Bladnoch has a bit more raw sherry character. Back to Macallan it is really smooth and quite rich, very balanced. Bladnoch is more the-real-sherry-thing but Macallan is more the-real-smooth-whisky-thing. Very similar quality here. I am no sherry fan, but to me Bladnoch has does its thing better, it is more interesting.

Longrow 14 Sherry vs Longrow 11 Sherry Society Bottling: 14 is much darker, and also heavier on the nose, more sherry. 11 is a bit dry, some sherry notes but not very dominating. 14 is a thicker experience, unfortunately quite much sulphur/margarine in the sherry and I try to water it down more to see what happens. Actually, the bad flavours almost disappears. I anyway prefer 11, less sherry and less questionable flavours.

Longrow 13 Red vs Longrow 11 Sherry Society Bottling: Red is darker than sherry, and it has a fruitier aroma with more bourbon, sherry is more malty and peated. I try the sherry cask strenght and it is rather dry, not many sherry notes there. Red tastes a bit of sulphur and I add more water. 11 Sherry is quite ok, but it is not very interesting or tasty, uncharming. Red, with more water, still sulphur. Finally I get Red down to below sulphur warning, and then it is a more rich, smooth and complex whisky than 11 sherry. So Red wins, if correctly watered down.

Bladnoch Adela 15 Oloroso vs Longrow 11 Sherry Society Bottling: Bladnoch is darker, and with a softer more bourbon-aroma, and a bit sherry. Longrow is much more like rough and raw Longrow, and less sherry. Bladnoch, at first, quite much bourboun flavour, nice. Longrow tastes more raw – it is stronger too. I like the bourbon-sherry balance in Bladnoch, but overall there is something missing. However, it beats Longrow nevertheless.

Glen Scotia Victoriana vs Longrow 11 Sherry Society Bottling: Longrow more brownish, Victoriana slightly darker, with a quite nice bourbon-sherry aroma. Longrow is drier, no bourbon and some sherry. Victoriana is not bad, and I like that sherry-kick. It beats the more dry and bitter Longrow.

Chivas Regal 18 vs Longrow 11 Sherry Society Bottling: Chivas is redder and darker. Chivas is sweeter and much softer on the nose, and Chivas is softer on the mouth, boring though. There is a freshness and vitality to Longrow that I prefer to Chivas. Quite close in quality, but Longrow wins.

7 dlight Ichiro Mizunara Reserve vs Macallan 12 Sherry Oak: I have really no idea what this Ichiro is, but it is slighly paler than Macallan. Ichiro has a quite light fresh and clean aroma, some bourbon. Macallan is more sherry, more sweet and a bit more flower/perfume than Ichiro, on the nose. I taste Ichiro, and I have no idea what this Mizunara wood is but I can feel it is different from what I am used to, tastes good, surprisingly sweet and a bit like syrup in the mouth. Macallan is lighter in the mouth first, more refined and balanced, but with a hint of sulphur in the end (I add water and see if it goes away). Back to Ichiro, quite intensive this (I guess tropical) wood. For the curious enthusiast Ichiro is more interesting, and for the careful casual drinker Macallan is the safe choice. I taste both of them and think… but it is not quite good enough to win. I find Macallan better after the water. To me, Ichiro is too intense and not only in a good way. Narrow victory to Macallan.

7 dlight Ichiro Mizunara Reserve vs Bushmills Black Bush: Quite similar color, perhaps Ichiro is more orange but Bushmills more intense. Bushmills has a kind of grassy aroma, that could be really sweet vanilla or white chocolate or something. Ichiro is more sweet and bourbon. Tasting Bushmills, I first find the aroma fruity (almost candy), the flavour is soft caramel and a coffee finish. Ichiro is a bit more intense, more locked in (as the complexity of the flavours not quite developed) so I add water. Black Bush, not being very sophisticated or advanced, is at least tasty and easy to enjoy. Ichiro, it is harder to understand what it is, what it wants to be, or what it is about to become. I prefer Bushmills.

7 dlight Ichiro Mizunara Reserve vs Jameson Black Barrel: Ichiro a bit paler. Jameson has a sweet aroma, making me think of some desert cake drowned in alcohol. Ichiro is less open, harder to pick out different aromas. Jameson is like coffee and cream in the mouth. Ichiro a bit more pepper and intensity. After Ichiro, Jameson smells and tastes a bit cheap, chemical and artificial. I prefer Ichiro, quite close though.

7 dlight Ichiro Wine Reserve vs Deanson Kentucky Cask Matured: Ichiro is more bourbon than wine on my nose, so I take out a bourbon scotch. Deanston is much paler, and on the nose it is lighter and maltier (like hay, mint). Ichiro is thicker and sweeter. I taste Deanston, it is soft, light, with a mild bourbon flavour and some caramel finish. Ichiro is a bit stronger and I taste some sulphur so I add water, which helped, but I now find it not quite bitter and metallic, but in that direction, a bit sharp and not so tasty. Back to Deanston I love how it smells before I drink it, and it is in no way perfect but it is softer, more open and complex, and tastier to me. Deanston wins.

7 dlight Ichiro Wine Reserve vs Johnny Walker Gold Label: Ichiro a bit paler. On the nose JW is more old scottish dirty, Ichiro is sweeter. In the mouth JW is interesting first, almost peated, somewhat complex, but it fades away quickly into a blend-thin-experience. Ichiro is a more narrow experience, with focus on this sweet cask an young (I assume) malt. The old-school me could prefer JW (compared to sherry-lovers who will always choose Ichiro), but JW is not just quite good enough.

7 dlight Ichiro Wine Reserve vs Oban Distillers Edition: Very similar color, Ichiro slightly more red. Oban has more of a raw sherry smell on the nose, Ichiro is softer. There is more complexity in Oban, but it is also a bit less balanced with more odd flavours (and more sulphur, both have a bit, so I add even more water). I taste again, Ichiro is better.

7 dlight Ichiro Wine Reserve vs 7 dlight Ichiro Mizunara Reserve: Mizunara very slightly darker. I also think Mizunara is a bit sweeter and heavier on the nose, Wine is more light and bourbon. I taste both and I fine Wine to be the better, tastier, more whisky-like Ichiro. Mizunara is more experimental.

7 dlight Mars Cosmo Sherry vs Macallan 12 Sherry Oak: Similar color, perhaps Macallan i slightly paler. Mars Cosmo has a very nice sherry aroma, more like actual sherry than whisky on sherry cask. Well, perhaps I am just in a good mode because Macallan smells even better. Tasting Mars Cosmo, quite sweet, tastes young, not raw but undeveloped. Macallan is softer, a bit muddy in my mouth. Macallan wins.

7 dlight Mars Cosmo Sherry vs Glenallachie 12 PX: Glenallachie slightly darker, and on the nose more caramel and bourbon. Mars Cosmo more just sherry. Tasting both, Glenallachie is softer and richer, Mars Cosmo a bit bitter. I prefer Glenallachie.

7 dlight Mars Cosmo Sherry vs Glenmorangie 12 Lasanta: Glenmorangie slightly darker. Quite similar aroma, a bit more vanilla in Glenmorangie. Now I taste some sulphur in Mars Cosmo, and not in Glenmorangie as I had expected. Glenmorangie wins.

7 dlight Mars Cosmo Sherry vs Glenmorangie 14 Quinta Ruban: Quinta Ruban is darker, browner, and has a more raw aroma. Tasting Quinta Ruban, it is a bit harch with some sulphur finish. Cosmo Sherry is more elegant and balanced, and it wins.

Deanston 15 Organic vs Glenmorangie 14 Quinta Ruban: Deanston is very much paler, with a light blend-like aroma. Quinta Ruban has a raw kind of desert wine aroma. Deanston, quite thin malty flavour with a blend-like finish. Quinta Ruban tastes like desert wine whisky, but none of the really nice flavours are present. Deanston is very classic, neutral, simple, with a bit chemical alcohol to it. But I prefer Deanston to Quinta Ruban nevertheless.

7 dlight Mars Cosmo Sherry vs Jim Beam Rye: Same color. After putting the nose in Jim Beam, Mars Cosmo is rather thin. Jim Beam Rye is not exactly a smooth experience, but Mars Cosmo is rather boring and without much quality. I prefer Jim Beam.

7 dlight Three ships vs Glenfarclas 12: Glenfarclas is darker. Three ships has a rather clean, light somewhat malty aroma, more classic then the previous 7 dlight whiskies. Glenfarclas is more sweet and malty and back to Three ships it is more dirt and leather. Tasting Three ship is rather bitter and immature. Glenfarclas is saltier, more complex, more smooth and simply better.

7 dlight Three ships vs Deanston 15 Organic: Same pale color. Deanston is more light and clean, Three Ships a bit dirty or chemical. Deanston has a quite thin, somewhat bitter flavour, with some softness and complexity at its heart. Three ships, now I think there is some exotic (or very young) wood involved after all, has a chemical/perfume flavour that kind of resembles experimental whisky. Deanston tastes like a quite cheap blend. I prefer Deanston.

7 dlight Three ships vs Johnny Walker Red Label: JW is darker, and more classic and easy on the nose. Tasting both, I prefer JW.

7 dlight Three ships vs J&B: Quite similar color, J&B may be darker. J&B as a light fruitiness and maltiness that resembles whisky. Three ships is more powerful, more raw young wood. J&B has a very light flavour, soft whisky and pure alcohol. Three ships is more powerful, unrefined, raw and interesting. Back to J&B, it is very thin, it does not taste very good and it has nothing to offer. Three ships is arguably more of an acquired taste, but I prefer it to J&B.

7 dlight Three ships vs Dalmore 11 Rare Find Oloroso: Dalmore is darker, with a quite classic aroma, not so much sherry as i expected. Three ships is more raw wood on the nose, and rather chemical and harsch in the mouth. Dalmore, also surprisingly little sherry… and other flavours, a bit unclear what it tastes. Compared to each other, none of them is so bad. I find it hard to believe but I prefer the more complex and interesting Three ships.

Svensk Whisky för Ukraina vs Glenfarclas 12: Glenfarclas a bit paler. Ukraina has a more raw and sour aroma, Glenfarclas more malty almost minty. Tasting Glenfarclas, it is classic speyside with something I can not describe better than mint. Ukraina is more powerful and more complex (it is a blended malt). Back to Glenfarclas, it is rather uninteresting and not very tasty. Despite its raw aroma, Ukraina has a quite decent flavour, but is it enough? Yes, I prefer Ukraina, but it is not an obvious choice. Glenfarclas is probably the safe choice to offer someone who doesn’t drink whisky often.

Andalusia Triple Distilled vs Svensk Whisky för Ukraina: Andalusia is more red and with an unusual sweet aroma. Ukriana is more, pepper, and less sweet. Andalusia is quite sweet, has a taste of some unusual wood, not so much bourbon as I could have expected and it tastes fine but not very complex. Ukraina is saltier with a more unclear taste profile (it kind of tastes like the funny mix of different casks that it is). Back to Andalusia, a little rum I think. To me Andalusia wins, it more knows what it wants to be, it does that, and it does it better. Ukraina is more experimental.

Old Pulteney 12 vs Springbank 12 Cask Strength: Springbank slightly darker, but also stronger. Old Pulteney has a salty, malty aroma with caramel. Springbank is thicker, thicker and peatier. I taste Old Pulteney and find it quite soft with some complexity and good balance, hint of bitterness, and classic flavour. Springbank is more leather, dirt and peat. Old Pulteney is not quite as good as Springbank.

Chivas Regal 18 vs Springbank 12 Cask Strength: Chivas is darker, with a kind of mellow, sweet fruity aroma. Springbank is more sour peat, more powerful but less complex perhaps. Chivas has a soft rich flavour, balanced. Springbank is sweet with light peat, more powerful but more single minded than Chivas. Springbank is obviously a more unique whisky, and it is good too, but Chivas is very well crafted. I can see people prefering Chivas, but I must personally say I prefer Springbank.

Arran Quarter Cask vs Glenfiddich 15 Solera: Arran is paler with a honey-like aroma. Glenfiddich more subtle on the nose, surprisingly similar actually. Arran is quite nice, quite sweet, mostly bourbon flavaour. Glenfiddich is more light, fruity and soft. Impressive in different ways. Glenfiddich is a bit more classic whisky, not that sweet. Arran just tastes quite good for someone who likes bourbon. I have to pick Arran as winner.

Glenlossie 22YO Cadenhead vs Imperial 21 Auld Rare: Imperial slightly darker, both rather pale. Glenlossie on the nose, dry, white wine, a bit of bourbon, fresh, rather dry, more caramel after a while. Imperial, slightly peated, more dirty. In the mouth, Glenlossie is surprisingly sweet, has an oily texture, very soft and lingering nicely. Imperial is more rough, a bit bitter and burnt, not quite peated but a bit peat feeling. Glenlossie wins.

7 dlight Ichiro Wine Reserve vs Nikka Coffey Malt: Ichiro a bit darker and redder, with a quite soft creamy fruity nose. Nikka has a more caramel and nutty nose. Tasting Ichiro I find quite subtle wine notes and also a bit of bourbon I think. Over to Nikka, before drinking it the smell reminds me of irish whisky, and tasting it I find much caramel and quite much spiceyness. Adding some water to Ichiro, after Nikka I am less impressed, a bit metallic and bitter. Back to Nikka, it is a somewhat strange whisky but it is soft, and tasty with much flavour. Nikka wins.

7 dlight Ichiro Wine Reserve vs Bushmills 12: Ichiro slightly paler, but with a bit more aroma. Bushmills has a softer, dirtier and more fruity flavour. Ichiro is more sharp and less complex. Quite similar quality, I prefer Bushmills.

Mortlach 13 2021 Special Release vs Springbank 11 Madeira: Mortlach is much paler, with a light, much lighter aroma. Springbank has an aroma of both peat and desert wine. Back to Mortlach, fresh green pears. Very different. Both are cask strength, I add water and the impression remains. Mortlach, at first it tastes pear and fruity, but more traditional whisky flavours follow. Springbank is heavier, sweeter, at first more impressive but with a more rough and unbalanced finish. Back to Mortlach, even if it is light and fruity, it has much to give after the heavier Springbank. I appreciate both. The more I taste them, the more I enjoy and prefer Mortlach.

Arran Quarter Cask vs Glen Ord 18 (2019 Special release: Arran is a bit paler, and sweeter on the nose. Glen Ord is more malty and fruity, Arran more like a desert wine. Tasting Glen Ord, classical, complex and balanced and a bit oily in the mouth. Arran is much sweeter, to the point that it is a bit too much compared to Glen Ord, it tastes a bit like a desert. Glen Ord wins.

Glenmorangie 10 vs Svensk Whisky för Ukraina: Glenmorangie paler, with a light fruity nose. Ukraina is a bit salty, almost peated and rougher on the nose. Tasting Glenmorangie, it is light and soft, to me a bit hay or mint. Ukraina is more powerful and more interesting (or is it), but does it taste better? It is quite close, I could pick any winner, but I prefer Glenmorangie.

Glen Ord 18 (2019 Special release) vs Old Pulteney Vintage 2006 (11YO): After adding some water to the stronger Glen Ord, very similar color. Glen Ord is dry and fruity on the nose, Old Pulteney more sweet bourbon and caramel. Tasting Glen Ord it is rather light and complex, fruits and a bit of pepper. Old Pulteney is more bourbon casks all they way, which is not bad, but it is less complex and more bitter than Glen Ord. Quite comfortable victory for Glen Ord.

Hudson Manhattan Rye vs Mackmyra Brukswhisky: Hudson much darker. Mackmyra has a light fruity aroma, Hudson sweeter and thicker. Mackmyra, it resembles whisky, but it has many somewhat bitter somewhat chemical flavours, and not so many other things. Manhattan resembles bourbon, but it is more raw, more undeveloped. Back to Mackmyra, it makes me think of Grappa or something. Hudson wins.

Hudson Manhattan Four Grain Bourbon vs Hudson Manhattan Rye: Four Grain is a bit darker and more reddish, and it has more of that perfumic bourbon aroma. Four Grain tastes more like a bourbon too, more sweet and more fruity. Manhattan Rye has no characteristic flavour that is good or interesting, it tastes like a chemical diluted bourbon with little charm. I prefer Four Grain.

Hudson Manhattan Rye vs Paul John Classic Select: Similar, rather dark color. PJ a bit more powerful on the nose, Hudson has a sweeter more natural aroma, PJ a bit more chemical and raw. Tasting both, Paul John is more dry and Hudson has more flavour. Obviously Hudson leans towards bourbon while Paul John leans nowhere. However, Paul John may be easier to, accept. It is hard to pick a winner. The defensive choice is PJ and the more progressive choice is Hudson. Often in this case I would give victory to PJ because it is easier to drink, but in this case I think Hudson tells something about young “rye-bourbon”, Paul John tells me nothing.

Hazelburn 10 vs Tobermory 12: Hazelburn is paler, and a bit lighter and dryer on the nose (both have surprisingly little aroma. I taste Hazelburn and find a clean classic whisky flavour. Toberymory a bit sweeter and softer, more bourbon. Hazelburn reminds of a peated whisky, without the peat, a bit bitter finish. Not easy to pick a winner. I pick Hazelburn today.

Bladnoch Adela 15 Oloroso vs Strathmill 24 (1994-2018) Sherry: Both rather amber dark, Strathmill somewhat darker. Bladnoch lighter, more bourbon and something nasty chemical about it. Strathmill is heaver and deeper sherry sweet. Bladnoch, quite rich and nice sherry flavour, some sulphur perhaps, adding water. Strathmill is a bit saltier, more classic old whisky character. Strathmills stands out as simply being better.

Bladnoch Adela 15 Oloroso vs Glen Scotia Victoriana: Bladnoch more red, Glen Scotia more dark though. Bladnoch has a bourbon-sherry aroma with some sulphur. Glen Scotia is more dirty and raw. Tasting, Bladnoch has a more distinctive clear character, Glen Scotia leaves me more wandering what it wants to be. Bladnoch is softer, more balanced and just tastier.

Bergslagen Gast vs Strathmill 24 (1994-2018) Sherry: Strathmill is more brownish. Bergslagen has a peculiar light peated and exotic aroma. Strathmill very classic complex soft sherry aroma. Bergslagen is rather plain and dry, lingers with some nice peatiness. Strathmill is softer, easier to drink, but it does not taste remarkably old in comparison. I did not decide immediately, but on the second round it is no doubt that the more balanced Strathmill wins.

Bergslagen Gast vs Bladnoch Adela 15 Oloroso: Bladnoch is more dark and red. Bladnoch smells old radiator water, Bergslagen a bit peated. But I let flavour decide, I prefer Bladnoch.

Bowmore 18 vs Bowmore 1999 Bourbon Hand filled: 18YO is darker. The Hand filled is from a secrets vault tour in the distillery, I have hand filled it myself directly from the bourbon cask. Somewhat surprisingly the Hand filled whisky is a bit more sweet and bourbon, 18YO is more ash-dry. None feels so heavily peated, but that is compared to each other. I taste 18YO and it is a very stable peated whisky, dry, peated, balanced, complex. I taste the hand filled, it is probably cask strength (doh, I took it from a cask), but probably closer to 50 than 60. I think it is to strong anyway and I add water. I find it more bourbon sweet, and a bit lighter, less complex perhaps, than 18YO. Back to 18YO, it is salty, and a bit malty too. 18YO wins, hand filled from secret vault can not compete.

Bowmore 1999 Bourbon Hand filled vs Laphroaig 10: Laphroaig a bit darker, with a more peated nose. Bowmore is more careful bourbon sweet. Laphroaig is salty, peated and complex. Bowmore is much sweeter, much less peated. If you like peat you will prefer Laphroaig, but I think this Bowmore tastes very good even if it less peated – very nice bourbon touch, so victory to Bowmore.

Bulleit Rye vs Crown Royal Rye: Similar color, perhaps Bulleit is a bit darker. Crown Royal has a fruity, almost flowery, caramel aroma. Bulleit is heavier, more oily bourbon. Tasting Crown Royal it tastes more bourbon than it smells, not too rough and not too flowery. Bulleit is a more raw, powerful experience for the devoted bourbon lover. Back to Crown Royal, it still tastes bourbon, just milder. I prefer Crown Royal.

Bowmore 1999 Bourbon Hand filled vs Longrow 21: Quite similar color, but the similarities end there. Bowmore is a bit peated but it is a light, fresh and malty whisky, both on the nose and in the mouth. Longrow is a heavy, oily whisky, a bit bitter and almost a bit like petroleum. Those who prefer a more powerful peated whisky will go for Longrow, but I enjoy Bowmore better.

Bowmore 1999 Bourbon Hand filled vs Talisker 10: Talisker a bit darker. Bowmore has a more fresh bourbon aroma, Talisker a bit more heavy. Tasting Talisker it is rather balanced and complex, a bit pepper to it. Bowmore is less peated, even fruity. As a peated whisky, Talisker is better, but also overall I think talisker has more to offer and a better taste.

Bowmore 12 vs Longrow: Bowmore a bit darker and more red. On the nose Longrow is more peated, not particularly sweet. Bowmore is more sweet, but a bit unrefined and raw. Both taste fine. Bowmore is sweeter, a bit undefined and chemical, and less peated than Longrow. Longrow is quite dry, with a nice peat flavour, and not so much else – salty and fresh. I prefer Longrow, but Bowmore is probably the softer choice for the not so experienced peat drinker.

Ardbeg 10 vs Longrow 21: Ardbeg is much paler. Longrow has a rich heavy, sweet and sour nose, with a bit of peat of course. Ardbeg is lighter and fresher, more smoke, less thick body. Also when tasting Ardbeg is light, as in not thick oily and sweet. Longrow is rather sour in its oilyness. I prefer Ardbeg.

Glenfiddich 15 Solera Reserve vs Tobermory 12: Same quite pale color. Glenfiddich has a more light and fresh, like a white wine, aroma. Tobermory more bourbon sweet. Glenfiddich tastes surprisingly dry and malty, a bit salty, good but not overwhelming. Tobermory has a more soft and sweet flavour, more bourbon, a bit nut and caramel finish. Back to Glenfiddich, a bit bitter. Tobermory is better.

Glenfiddich 15 Solera Reserve vs Old Pulteney Vintage 2006 (11YO): Very similar color. Glenfiddich is a bit more dark fruit aroma, Old Pulteney more wine fresh. Tasting Old Pulteney, it is rather salt, a bit pepper, nice malty finish. Glenfiddich more bitter and harsch. Old Pulteney wins.

Ballantines 17 vs Old Pulteney Vintage 2006 (11YO): Ballantines slightly darker, but with a more subtle aroma. Old Pulteney a bit salty and nutty. Ballantines a bit salty first, then surpisingly a bit dirty almost peated. Old Pulteney more salty, quite fresh, perhaps not the complexity of Ballantines. Back to Ballantines it is very balanced, a bit complex, somewhat boring. I prefer Ballantines.

Arran Quarter Cask vs Tobermory 12: Arran much paler, despite being cask strength. Arran has a caramel, almost liquer aroma and Tobermory is more salty and malty. Tasting Arran it is like bourbon and cream, Tobermory has a hint of peat and a more classic character. Arran is quite tasty, a bit odd, and I prefer Tobermory.

Deanston 12 vs Highland Park Cask Strength: Without water HP is slightly darker. HP has a slightly peated fresh aroma. Deanston, not being peated, matches the power on the nose and is more malty. Back to HP the peat is even more obvious now. Deanston has a mild, caramel, nut and cream flavour. Nice. HP obviously tastes more peated, and that comes with some dirtiness, sourness and bitterness. Back to Deanston, it is very soft and easy to enjoy. I prefer Deanston.

Bowmore 15 vs Longrow: Bowmore is darker. Longrow not so very peated on the nose at first, dry. Bowmore more sweet, thick, and the peat is a bit hidden. Bowmore a bit exotic wood. Longrow is surpisingly sweet in flavour, balanced peatiness well integrated in the whisky. More smoke than heavily petroleum. Bowmore tastes good, well produced, both peat and sweet in a mix that makes me think of blend, soft, somewhat bitter. Longrow nice and salt, more solid experience.

7 dlight Ichiro Mizunara Reserve vs Glendronach Batch 9: Glendronach is darker, really golden red. Ichiro has a quite nice, somewhat sweet aroma. Glendronach really has a smell of desert wine, not bad, and I add quite much water to it but not quite enough to neutralise the sulphur. Ichiro tastes somewhat bitter and even though it is not particularly bad there is not so much to like either. I think I got Glendronach down below the sulphur threshold and it is sweet and fruity indeed – a sherry bomb. Now they actually taste quite similar. I think Glendronach is marginally better.

Dufftown 18 vs Mannochmore 1984-2004: (Helen Arthur) Very similar color, Dufftown maybe slightly darker. Dufftown has a fruity maltiness on the nose. Mannochmore a bit sweeter, could be a hint of sherry there. Dufftown has a quite dry classic speyside flavour, a bit bitter and metallic but overall decent. Without knowing what the bottle says I am quite certain Mannochmore is sherry matured, also decent (I add some water). A bit burnt, a bit raw, a bit sweet. Dufftown is lighter, less complex with less flavour. I prefer Mannochmore.

Mannochmore 1984-2004 (H-A) vs Tobermory 12: Mannochmore slightly darker. Tobermory is more bourbon on the nose, Mannochmore more sherry. Tobermory is balanced, sweet vanilla caramel in the mouth. Mannochmore tastes more like a small batch unique whisky, hint of sulphur. Tobermory wins.

Mannochmore 1984-2004 Helen Arthur vs Johnny Walker Blue Label: Similar color. JW is a bit peated, Mannochmore more in the sherry direction. Hard to pick a winner, there is some depth and smoothness in JW that I will let decide. JW wins.

Highland Park Valfather vs Longrow: HP very slightly darker. Longrow more peated on the nose, HP lighter and fruitier (when I tried the HP alone a few days ago I found it quite peated, now, not so much). I taste HP and it is quite balanced, in the peated direction but no dominant peat. Longrow is drier, a bit more bitter finish. Back to HP it is quite soft, some sweetness, easy to enjoy but with a kick. Longrow is more burnt and sour, and salty. I think Longrow wins.

7 dlight Mars Cosmo Sherry vs Hudson Baby Bourbon: Hudson slightly paler, and more powerful on the nose. Hudson is more vanilla and less perfume, than bourbon sometimes can be. Cosmo has both a malty and a sherry aroma, and it tastes like a quite decent sherry whisky. The bourbon is stronger in flavour, less soft. Cosmo wins.

7 dlight Mars Cosmo Sherry vs Balcones Peated: Balcones is darker, with a very sweet, sligthly peated aroma. Cosmo is less in your face, more classic. Balcones (with plenty of water) tastes better than it smells – quite rich soft flavour. Cosmo has a hint of sulphur, so I add water. I actually prefer Balcones.

Mortlach 13 2021 Special Release vs Old Pulteney 18: Mortlach is much paler (and CS), with a very clean classic whisky aroma. Old Pulteney is more sweet and dirty on the nose. Back to Mortlach it is fresh fruit like green grapes or apples. I taste Mortlach and find it surprisingly salty and malty – not as light as the aroma indicated. Old Pulteney has a creamy soft kind of sweet flavour. Both have a bit of bitter finish. I think most people might not agree but I prefer the lighter and cleaner Mortlach, and I find it easier to enjoy head to head.

Highland Park Valfather vs Johnny Walker Gold Label: HP is paler and has a more peated aroma. JW has a quite mild and balanced flavour. Highland park is less soft, but more salt and peat. Back to JW it is quite dull and not so tasty. HP is better.

Highland Park Valfather vs Johnny Walker Black Label: JW is darker, and sweeter on the nose, HP is more peated, but these are quite similar. HP is more distinct. I taste both, not so different. This is a bit like listening to the same song on better and worse loudspeakers: HP gives you a more crisp experience with contrast and details, JW is more smooth and blurred. HP is better.

Bowmore 18 vs Talisker 10: Bowmore is darker, and on the nose it is peated, a bit sweet and caramel, very balanced. Talisker is more peated and a bit more salty and dry. Back to Bowmore it is less impressive. Tasting Bowmore this is a very well manufactured and easy to access yet peated whisky. Talisker also tastes more peat and dry salt, more sea to it. Unfortunately for Bowmore, it just can not compete with Talisker which offers a near perfect Islay expericence (from Skye).

Highland Park Valfather vs Super Nikka: Similar color. I try my nose, HP is quite light, on the fruity side, yet peated. Nikka a bit sweeter, more bourbon and vanilla, HP a bit peatier. Tasting Super Nikka it is a solid soft whisky with mature flavours. HP is saltier, peatier, and a bit bitter. Back to Super Nikka I immediately notice the vanilla aroma, and it is still quite soft in the mouth. I would say from a quality perspective these are quite comparable, but the style is rather differnent. I usually consider Super Nikka a bit dirty and Valfather is not at all peated enough to be on the peated list, but head to head it is almost like salt-and-peat vs bourbon-and-softness. Yet, a peat lover will find HP underwhelming and a soft whisky lover will find Super Nikka too rough and heavy. Trying to separate them, I think HP is a more interesting whisky being somewhat peated it fills a niche, if you tolerate the peat. Super Nikka is more forgettable.

Glenfarclas 12 vs Oban Distillers Edition: Oban a bit more red in color. Glenfarclas light but very balanced on the nose, some fruit, some sweetness, some saltiness. Oban more on the fruity side. It kind of smells like Oban is from the coast and Glenfarclas from the middle of the land. Glenfarclas taste pretty clean, like a fresh Speyside reference malt, rather than anything particular. Oban is a bit sweeter, comes with som bitterness, and a hint of fattiness (sulphur). Back to Glenfarclas, it is quite dry, probably too dry for an unexperienced audience, but I like it. Oban to me, is not very appealing. Glenfarclas wins.

Bowmore Small Batch vs Bowmore 12: Small Batch is much paler, with the nose dominated by smoke (more so than peat). Not so very peated, but it is still the dominating impression. 12YO is sweeter and less peated. I taste 12YO and I find the mix of sweetness and peat a bit unnatural, followed by some bitterness, to me this whisky is a compromise lacking identity. Small Batch is rather dry with a nice peated flavour. It says bourbon-matured on the bottle, and I can not really say there is much bourbon flavour. Bourbon-matured seems to mean sherry-free. Which is fine. My guess is that Small Batch is matured on rather old (like third/forth fill) boubon casks, and that it would benefit from being much older. Anyway, Small batch wins.

Imperial 21 Auld Rare vs Mortlach 20: Imperial is paler, and has a more dry, salty almost peated aroma. Mortlach a bit sweeter, some fruitiness and bourbon notes. Imperial tastes as I expect after smelling it, also balanced, quite soft, not overly heavy. Mortlach is more sour and slightly bitter after Imperial. Back to Imperial it tastes quite much grain. Mortlach – being an overall excellent whisky of course – is soft, balanced and a bit sweet, but it fails to match Imperial.

Highland Park Valfather vs Highland Park 10 Viking Scars: Very similar color, Valfather perhaps slightly paler, at least after some water. Also quite similar aroma, Valfather more peated, with some bourbon and vanilla, and some white wine (could be the oak). Viking Scars is less powerfull, less peated, but same kind of bourbon and white wine aroma. As expected Valfather is more peated in the mouth, a bit more short and loud in the mouth. 10YO is more speyside-like, malty, wide in the mouth, balanced and light peat. Altogether 10YO is the more solid whisky, but if you want more peat Valfather is obviously the choice.

7 dlight Ichiro Wine Reserve vs Glenfiddich 12: Ichiro is darker, more red, and quite fruity on the nose. Glenfiddich a bit more caramel and malt. I add water to Ichiro before tasting but first impression is a bit of sulphur so I add more water. Glenfiddich is rather dry, light malt like young malt. Ichiro is more sweet but also with some saltiness. Glenfiddich quite classic speyside, not amazing but it knows what it wants to be and it does it ok. Ichiro is more experimental and not so convincing.

Chivas Regal 18 vs Deanston Oloroso Finish (9Y): Chivas Regal is slightly darker, with a soft sweet fruit aroma. Deanston is more dry and fresh fruit on the nose. Deanston has a surprisingly complex, soft and tasty flavour. Chivas has a mellow, rich, very balanced and quite tasty flavour. Back to Deanston, now I feel the Oloroso and that would make me prefer Chivas. Both are kind of quite good and quite flawless, but not really flawless. Chivas Regal wins.

Loch Lomond Heavily Peated vs Longrow 13 Red: Longrow is darker. Loch Lomond has a thick foglike sweet aroma. Longrow is less peated, more bourbon or oak rather than red wine. I taste Loch Lomond and it tastes like something that has been burning slowly for a long time, a bit sour. Very not salty and crisp, but more mellow. Longrow Red is saltier, fruitier and immediately not so little sulphur, so I add more water. Back to Loch Lomond it is more like raw burnt wood. Longrow is now almost out of sulphur, quite balanced with some bitterness. I like neither of these very much, but I would say Loch Lomond is the more safe choice.

Longrow 13 Red vs Mackmyra Svensk Rök: Longrow is darker, with a sweetish aroma. Mackmyra has a more odd pear-smoke aroma, but it has a quite clean smokey flavour. Longrow not being watered down enough yet tastes sulphur. I prefer Mackmyra.

Mackmyra Svensk Rök vs Port Charlotte 2003-2015 Sherry: PC is darker, I add water right away hoping to eliminate som sulphur. Port Charlotte smells rotten radiator water. Mackmyra smells odd pear, but it does not stink at least. Port Charlotte tasted surprisingly good however (given the very low bar) and I add even more water. Mackmyra really tastes like a very young not matured whisky, but Mackmyra wins.

7 dlight Ichiro Mizunara Reserve vs Johnny Walker Gold Label: JW slightly darker. Ichiro has a kind of synthetic sour aroma, JW is more mellow and dirty. Back to Ichiro, almost coconut, and I taste it and find it quite raw and sour. Gold Label has an unusual hint of peatiness (thats blend). I like JW better.

7 dlight Ichiro Mizunara Reserve vs Glenmorangie 12 Lasanta: Similar color. Both actually have a slight candy-smell, rather similar on the nose too. Lasanta is quite soft and also complex in the mouth, no sulphur today. Mizunara is a bit more dry, more chemical and less soft. Glenmorangie wins.

Bushmills Single Malt 16 vs Springbank 11 Madeira: Bushmills is darker, balanced and soft caramel on the nose. Springbank is more salt (even peat) and less soft, and more winey. Tasting Bushmills it is a bit flowery, very soft and nice in the mouth. Springbank is a more challenging experience, slights hints of sulphur, but a nice mix fruit and sea. Back to Bushmills it is easy to enjoy and drink, very well crafted, but not particularly spectacular. Springbank is kind of running in circles around the very stable and reliable Bushmills, and that is both a good and a bad thing for Springbank. But I have to give victory to Springbank.

Whisky visit to Islay

In April 2022 I visited Islay with a few friends to visit distilleries and try whisky. I will write a bit about the distilleries.


Ardbeg has a more uneven, spectacular and even experimental range of whiskies compared to other distilleries on Islay i would say. In the store you can buy a 3×20 cl kit of Beastie, An Oa (their kind of introduction whisky) and 10YO (the Ardbeg classic). Limited sale of bottles in distillery.

Because of Covid-19 things were not quite normal. In Ardbeg the shop sold a 5×2.5ml tasting that you could try in their café, in their garden or bring home. I brought most of it home and did head to head tasting (I think it is really hard to do something with 5 whiskies at the same time). I rank the from best to worst:

  1. 22 year old Twenty Something
  2. Auriverdes
  3. Traigh Bhan (batch #3)
  4. Dark Cove
  5. Perpetuum

Very short notes follow:

22YO beats Traigh Bhan. 22YO is ligh, fresh, salty with a lingering flavour. Traigh Bhan is more sweet and woody.

22YO beats Auriverdes: Auriverdes is very slightly darker in color, a bit less peated, and a bit more fruity (but not sweet) and winey. 22YO is more aggresively peated on the nose, and has a softer saltier more sea-like complex flavour. Auriverdes is a bit bitter.

Auriverdes beats Dark Cove: Dark Cove is darker and sweeter, richer, with a hint of sherry on the nose. Auriverdes is more ash-dry. Tasting Dark Cove it is both sweet and raw peat, with an unfortunate hint of sulphur in the end. Auriverdes more elegant, integrated and fresh.

Traig Bhan beats Dark Cove: Dark Cove is dark with a hint of sulphur. Traigh Bhan is ashy, very dry.

Dark Cove beats Perpetuum: Dark Cove is sweeter with a hint of sulphur. Perpeteeum is drier, more malty, fresh but more bitter.

22YO beats Perpetuum: 22YO is classic, winey, malty and complex. Perpetuum is pale, malty fresh and dry.

Traigh Bhan beats Perpetuum: Perpetuum is rather dry wood, bitter. Traigh Bhan is light, soft sweet, burnt and a bit sour.

I also made short tastings against other whiskies.

Bowmore 18 beats 22YO Ardbeg: Bowmore is darker, mellow, malty, soft yet peated in the mouth. 22YO Ardbeg is more peated, has more salt and sea, some freshness, but hints of bitterness and rather burnt.

The Ileach vs Ardbeg Perpetuum: Ileach is daker, soft, salty, a bit bitter and the easier whisky to drink. Perpetuum is more dry, ashy and has a strong flavour of petroleum.

Ardbeg Dark Cove vs Bowmore 15: Bowmore is darker, with a rather sweet and fruity aroma with some vanilla. Ardbeg is also a bit fruity, but more dry, sour and peated. Bowmore quite easy to drink, not so overwhelming. Ardbeg has a bit more punch, more petroleum, perhaps more sulphur. Bowmore may be more easy but Ardbeg has more character and Bowmore is not that good to beat it.

Ardbeg 22 beats Longrow 18: Longrow is darker, with a somewhat sweet aroma. Ardbeg is more dry and peated on the nose, and with a fine elegant full peated flavour. Longrow is thicker, more sour, more dirty.

Bunnahabhain 8 Heavily Peated beats Ardbeg Traig Bhan: Very similar color. Bunnahabhain has on old closet smell. Ardbeg more sour peated. Bunnahabhain is soft, rich complex and peated. Ardbeg is lighter , less soft and complex, and more thin.

Ardbeg Auriverdes beats Bunnahabhain 8 Heavily Peated: Bunnahabhain a bit darker, with a softer less peated aroma. Tasting both Ardbeg has a more solid consistent flavour, salty, peated and balanced. Bunnahabhain is a little sour and a litte bit everywhere.

Laphraoig beats Ardbeg Auriverdes: Laphroig a little darker, and with a slightly heavier aroma. Auriverdes a hint of fruitiness on the nose, a bit burnt in the mouth, more ashy and dry. These whiskies are quite similar, Laphroaig being a bit softer in the mouth. Auriverdes is more spectacular.

Kilchoman Machir bay beats Ardbeg Auriverdes: Machir Bay is paler, and with a more sweetish synthetic aroma. Ardbeg is more straight peated. In the nose, Kilchoman is a bit oily, quite soft, and sweetish. Ardbeg is saltier with a hint of petroleum. Auriverdes is more spectacular.

Ardbeg Corrywreckan beats Ardbeg Dark Cove: Dark Cove slightly darker, and with a sweet sherry aroma. Corrywreckan is more dry, and rather salty, reasonably complex. Dark Cove has a fruity taste of sulphur.

Ardbeg Dark Cove beats Longrow 13 Red: Longrow has a more red (unusual) whisky color. Both have a powerful fruity sherry aroma. Longrow is rather nice salty first, followed by some old margarine. Ardbeg is saltier, less balanced. Longrow is more mature in flavour, but too much sulphur.


As I understand it Ardnahoe is as of April 2022 not selling any whisky, just busy producing, so we just stayed for a photoshoot in the morning.


Bowmore is the oldest licenced warehouse on Islay and their facilities indicate “premium” (as Lagavulin). Age statements is important for Bowmore marketing and be aware that Bourbon/Sherry mix varies a lot between ages (with 15YO being pure Sherry). In the distillery I tried a (budget) Bowmore #1 (not available where I live) and I find it preferable to Bowmore 12.

We did a Vault Secret Tour of the distillery ending in tasting directly from two casks in their oldest warehouse and being permitted to fill up a 10cl bottle ourselves and bring home. That was nice.


We just did a quick gift store stop in Bruichladdich. I have to admit I am not a very big Bruichladdich fan and we had not planned to do very much there. It seems the Gin brand Botanist (which is excellent) that is manufactured and sold by Bruichladdich is perhaps a bigger business than whisky nowadays.

In Bruichladdich you can fill your own (well, I guess they supply the) bottle from a cask in the store.


Also in Bunnahabhain we just did a stop i the gift shop and strolled around a bit. Bunnahabhain has by far the best shop on Islay for the tourist fan (but check out Lagvulin too). There were several distillery-exclusive whiskies available as 70cl, 20cl or 5cl which is quite perfect when you are on whisky-tour on Islay. They also serve free tastings of those whiskies in the store so you can try before you buy.

Coal Ila

We did not visit Coal Ila.


In Kilchoman we did a tour and a tasting. Kilchoman opened in 2005, and the thing about them is that they do everything locally. 30% of the barley comes from their own farmland around the distillery – and that goes into the 100% Islay Malt. The rest of the malt is bought from Port Ellen Malteries. Kilchoman is not about age statements, and perhaps there will be occational aged whiskies, but never in the core line. Machir Bay is 90% bourbon cask and 10% sherry cask, it is also the one I like the most. The visiting centre was nice and the shop had some smaller bottles for sale for tourist (20cl, 5cl) which I appreciate.


In Lagavulin we did a tasting of 6 whiskies in their warehouse lead by legend Ian McArthur. The whiskies we tried were from 10 to 25 years old. For “drivers” or the careful drinker it was possible to get samples home instead of drinking in the warehouse. Ian explained that 16YO is the main expression. Everything else is limited, gimmic. Lagavulin offers a premium standard product, the 16YO, and that is how they want things to remain. 16YO is (as I remember it) is heavier and sweeter than other things I tasted in th Distillery, so 16YO is kind of different. This means that when you encounter a peated whisky that does not taste like Lagavulin 16, it may very well be a Lagavulin nevertheless. The Distillery store, which was very elegantm had plenty of whiskies to buy, Lagavulin and other brands (like Mortlach). Everything in 70cl bottles though so no purchases for me.


We did a nice standard tour of Laphroaig. I asked and they dont make 15YO Laphroaig anymore and the 10YO is their very popular main whisky. They have plenty of variations: Select, Quarter Cask, and some sherry options. Select is a mix of different things. Quarter Cask is finished an a 125L Quarter Cask, which makes it sweeter. Lore is a more premium old rich mix. Distillery store has a very basic range of Laphroiag bottles for sale, and when it comes to smaller bottles just a 35cl 10YO.

Port Ellen

Port Ellen is under (re)construction and we had the opportunity to take photos of the stills.


We finished our journey taking a trip to Campbeltown and Springbank. We did no take a guided tour in Springbank but we ordered a whisky tasting to our table, and they had good choices of tastings! The store was kind of crappy with expensive clothes (like they do not want poor people to wear their brand), and very limited selection of whisky to bring home. I tried the blended whisky Campbeltown Loch which was a surprisingly nice experience (but do not expect miracles of course).

Springbank also hides the bourbon/sherry-ratio as age statements: 10YO is 60/40, 12YO is 100/0, 15YO is 0/100 and 18YO is 50/50. For us bourbon fans it means that the 12YO cask strength is the reasonable choice.

Buying bottles

As a tourist from outside UK I can bring 1L whisky home duty free (that is, paying tax in UK and not paying it again when I get home). I would have been very happy if more distilleries offered 5, 10 and 20cl bottles of interesting whisky in their stores. If you visit Islay and you visit the distilleries in some order it is not so easy to know where to spend your money. So my advice for shopping whisky in the distilleries:

  • If you want a nice 70cl unusual, perhaps even exclusive and expensive bottle, buy it in Lagavulin
  • If you want good selection of smaller bottles, and being able to tast, go to Bunnahabhain
  • If you want something unique – hand filled – buy it in Bruichladdich
  • If you just want to bring home 1L of a good scotch whisky, buy it duty free in the airport on your way home

Practical Fullstack approach to Vue3

I am a fullstack developer. I do user support, requirement analysis, nginx configuration, backup handling, integrations and css. Much of my work is centered around Node.js and Vue.

I do not love Vue and I am not fascinated with it, nor interested in its internal working. It is a tool to write reactive (2-way-binding) web applications and to modularize web code (write small reusable components).

I started using AngularJS (v1) years ago. That changed the way I thought of web development and I became more productive making better web applications. However AngularJS is kind of abandoned now, and it is a much heavier framework than need. So I started transitioning to Vue2 some years ago thinking of it as AngularJS-light. In most ways Vue2 is nicer than AngularJS, except sometimes it (the reactivity system) does not work (predictably). Well, Vue2 probably works exactly as it is written to work, but for me as a developer I think I do what works, and then it fails for some delicate detail that I can figure out if I have time, maybe. That is waste of time and it adds uncertainty to my job.

I have this feeling with Vue2 that I need a plan (a design pattern) and I still have not found one that works well. Now I started migrating Vue2 to Vue3 and things change a bit (and things break a bit). So now I really want to find simple design principles for my Vue3 applications, that I can follow so everything works without me thinking about it.


The real challenge when writing an (single page web) application is managing the state:

  • Information about session
  • I/O and error handling
  • Incoming data, updating state and UI, avoiding conflicts
  • Application settings, like filters and user choices
  • Data validation and invalid-data-feedback to user
  • Data modelling

This is harder than writing a good user interface. So the client-side-design needs to be state-first, not UI-first. Also

  1. I am migrating things from Vue2 to Vue3 that were originally AngularJS. If the state, business logic, I/O, were dependent on AngularJS-stuff I would be stuck in AngularJS.
  2. I can write this state in generic JS (not specific for web/UI) and thus make it possible to also run it on a server, exposing it as APIs and do automated testing

So I am not interested in Veux. Perhaps it can run backend, I do not care. This is how I think of my architecture:

  1. GUI (as thin layer as possible)
  2. Web component business logic (plain JS, no Vue, can run in Node.js)
  3. State (plain JS, no Vue, can run in Node.js)
  4. Server Side (Node.js)

Most code can (ideally) run in 2-4, and can thus be tested in Node.js. Vue is only about (1).

State – Vue – Interface

Some applications are large and state consists of many modules. Some are small. For a simple example I think of state as (this is, admittedly based on Vue2-experience, where you need to consume state data in a way that makes it reactive in Vue).

  ro : { ... things that are readonly to Vue (like server data) ... }
  rw : { ... things that Vue can change (like filter choices or user input) ... }
  api: { ... functions that can do stuff with state ...}

Typically I would get this from a plain JS factory function where I can supply dependencies that are possibly implemented (for I/O) differently on Browser and Node.js:

function MyStateFactory(libIO, lib1, lib2) {
const state = { ro:{} , rw:{} , api:{} };
... set up state ...
return state;

How do I make this state available (and reactive) in my Vue application and Vue components? I can admit that in the past I have been lazy and done things like (pseudo code):

  data : function() {
    return { state : STATE };
  ... more stuff

That kind of works in many cases! But I have also ran into problems. In a real application you have 3 types of components:

  1. Those that depend only on supplied props
  2. Those that depend only on state
  3. Those that depend on a mix of props and state

In theory, all components should be (1) and all other design is rotten (you may think). In practice 2 and 3 are useful too.

So the real questions are:

  1. How do you expose state, as data and functions, so changes can be picked up by the right components?
  2. How do you design components so they update when they should?

AngularJS – Vue2 – Vue3

AngularJS has a function that recalculates everything, over and over again until it gets the same result twice. Then it updates the DOM accordingly. AngularJS does not detect changes to data automatically, however when you use its api to manipulate data, you are also telling AngularJS that you are changing data, and the function mentioned before can run. If you change data from outside angular you may need to use $scope.$apply() to tell Angular to refresh.

In Vue2, when you make an object part of “data” in a component, it becomes “reactive”. This is very implicit and it has some limitations (with Arrays, for example). What if a prop changes? What if you have a method that uses external data (as a state outside Vue), does that trigger refresh of the component? If a parent refreshes does that refresh the children? What if a child element deep down in data/prop changes? What if properties in data are replaced/added rather than modified? All I say is that to someone so stupid and ignorant as me it is not obvous how to make Vue2 just work.

Vue3 is more explicit (I interpret that as Vue2 was unpredictable not only for me, and that the Vue2 abstraction was leaky). While AngularJS and Vue2 hide the mechanism that drives reactivity Vue3 has the very explicit functions:

  • ref
  • reactive
  • readonly
  • shallowRef
  • shallowReactive
  • shallowReadonly

These functions are what connects the Vue controllers to the outside-of-Vue-world, and makes it possible for Vue to detect changes.

Vue3 – a first simple practical design

So, now we can think that we have something like this:

var state = { a:1 };
state = Vue.reactive(state);

  props : { /* parameters to component here */ },
  data : { /* component local data here */ },
  methods : { /* access state via functions here */ }

Lets explore what happens and what works!


We need to understand – exactly – the difference between the argument and the result of Vue.reactive():

var state_reactive = Vue.Reactive(state_original)

I have experimented (test0) and found that:

  • They share the same data, that is, the data lives in state_original
  • If you add/delete/modify data in one of them, it is immediately available in the other
  • state_orginal, and none of its children, will ever be reactive
  • state_reactive, and all of its children, will always (more on this later) be reactive
  • state_orginal and state_reactive (and all of its corresponding children) are never the same object (everything in state_reactive is Proxy to state_orginal)

The consequence of this is that your state-library must modify data in state_reactive, if you want Vue to be notified of the change (when Vue anyway refreshes for any reason, it will get the changes).

So the problem becomes:

var state = StateFactory();

// will not work because the internal state of StateFactory is not affected
state = Vue.reactive(state)

// this has severe implications:
//  1) Vue is modifying something inside the state library
//     (that was explicitely supposed to be read-only)
//  2) How does the state library protect itself?
//     possibly keeping an internal ro, and replacing the regularly = Vue.Reactive(

So I would say that you will need to design your state library with this in mind.

  1. Be clear that, can be made reactive this way, or
  2. Expose something else that can be made reactive (state.updated), or
  3. If the “Vue” object is present, the library could use it and take care of making the right things reactive itself, or
  4. The library has some way to notify of updates (an update callback function), and in the Vue-world, you let that callback be a function that updates something that IS reactive already.

Regardless of this little problem it is a much better situation than the Vue2-way of adding external objects in data and hoping for the best.

What Vue3 Components are updated?

Now that we know what data outside of the component that is reactive, the questions are:

  • what changes trigger the component to be updated?
  • when do child components update?
  • can any number of components, independently, be triggered by the same reactive variable?
  • if a reactive variable is used in a method, does that trigger an update
    • even if the method is not always called
    • even if the variable is not always used in the method (only some branches)
    • even if the result of the method does not change
    • even if the result of the method is not rendered
    • when the method called on any other occation (like polling)
  • is there any risk that some components are updated multiple times (in one cycle)?
  • in what order are the components updated, and can it matter?
  • what is enough to trick/force a component to update?
  • can a component update only partly?

I do not really want to know. I just want a way of designing my components so they work predictably. What I have found in the past is that when I write one big Vue-component (or application) I have no problems. But when I start modularizing it, with components that are sometimes but not always nested, that is when problems start. I have asked myself questions (with Vue2) like:

  • can one component override/replace what triggers another component, making the earlier “trigger-subscriber” dead?
  • can I end up with deadlocks, infinite recursion or mutual dependencies?
    (it has happened)

We kind of can not keep all these details in mind when building an application. We need to have a simple design that just works every time.

Single Application

I have written a simple test (test1) application with no child components. I want to explore how little reactivity works.

// Start with a STATE:
  STATE = { lines: [] };

  setInterval(() => {
    updateLines(STATE);  // implemented elsewhere somehow
  }, 2000);

// Make reactive
  STATE.lines = Vue.reactive(STATE.lines);

// Make a simple app (not showing everything)
    data: {
      function() {
        return { lines : STATE.lines }

// In HTML Template, do something like
  <tr v-for="l in lines">...</tr>

This works (as expected) IF updateLines does not replace the lines array. So I have experimented and found:

Vue.reactive(STATE.lines)updateLines keeps linesworks
Vue.reactive(STATE.lines)updateLines replaces linesweird behaviour
Vue.reactive(STATE)updateLines keeps linesworks
Vue.reactive(STATE)updateLines replaces linesweird behaviour
Vue.shallowReactive(STATE)updateLines keeps linesnot at all
Vue.shallowReactive(STATE)updateLines replaces linesnot at all

The problem here is that when STATE.lines becomes a new array, the data:function in createApp does not re-run, so we keep track of and old array that STATE no longer cares about (the weird behaviour is that updateLines kept part of the old lines-structure and that “garbage” is still reactive).

It is clearly a sub-optimal situation that the implementation of state, and not just what STATE looks like, matters. 4 alternatives do not work, 2 work but are bad design. What about:

  STATE = Vue.shallowReactive(STATE);

// Make a simple app (not showing everything)
    data: {
      function() {
        return { state : STATE }

// In HTML Template, do something like
  <tr v-for="l in state.lines">...</tr>

This works also sometimes:

Vue.shallowReactive(state)updateLines keeps linesnot at all
Vue.shallowReactive(state)updateLines replaces linesworks
Vue.reactive(state)updateLines keeps linesworks
Vue.reactive(state)updateLines replaces linesworks

The only thing that works regardless how updateLines is implemented, is to make all of STATE recursively reactive and make all of it data in every component. Exactly what I admitted above that I had been doing with Vue2.

shallowReactive is appealing, but it depends on the inner implementation of state, and that kind of design will quite possibly give you nasty bugs later when something changes.

So, making your data embrace STATE, or part of states works only if you know how state updates itself, unless you make exactly all of STATE recursively reactive. I think more people than I find that sledgehammer approach unsatisfying.

How about state signalling that something is updated, by updating a primitive variable (value, to avoid using ref and then ending upp with value anyway)? Note that updated.value is truthy from the beginning, and it will alwasy be truthy (++ only operation on it ever), but Vue does not know that so it needs to read and check.

  STATE = { updated: {value:1} , lines: [] };

// Make just updated reactive
  STATE.updated = Vue.reactive(STATE.updated);

  setInterval(() => {
  }, 2000);

// And in Vue.createApp
  data : function() {
           return {
             lines : STATE.lines,
             updated : STATE.updated

Now, we can not rely on

  • lines, because it is not reactive at all
  • updated in data because it is not used in the template

However, there are some things that work. First it seems nice to replace lines in data with a method:

  methods : {
    getLines : () => { return STATE.lines; }

  <tr v-for="l in getLines()">...<tr>

However, that is not enough because lines is still not reactive. But here are 3 simple little hacks that do work (and of course there are or more):

  <-- output updated in the template - not typically wanted -->
  Updated: {{ updated.value }}

  <-- display table (parent of lines) "conditionally" (always truthy)-->
  <table v-if="updated.value">

  // use updated.value in getLines()-function
  getLines() => { return STATE.updated.value ? STATE.lines : []; }
  getLines() => { console.log(STATE.updated.value); return STATE.lines; }
  // assuming devnull exists and does nothing
  getLines() => { devnull(STATE.updated.value); return STATE.lines; }

You can use this.updated.value if you use function() instead of ()=>{}. I find it quite a positive surprise that the above works even if neither lines nor updated is in data:

  STATE.updated = Vue.reactive(STATE.updated);

  data: {}
  methods: {
    getLines : () => { return STATE.lines; }

  <table v-if="updated()">
    <tr v-for="l in getLines()">...</tr>

This is beginning to look like something that appeals to my sense of simplicity. The conclusion for simple application, external state, and no components is that you have two (simple to explain) options:

  1. Make all of STATE (the exposed data, not functions) recursively reactive. Use it directly from everywhere.
  2. Make only one variable, STATE.updated, reactive. Make sure to poke (++ is probably ok) that variable whenever you want anything else to update.

Beware of doing things like value = STATE.some.child.value for anything that is expected to work beyond the next “tick”. Please note that I have not build a big single-application-zero-components application this way. So for now, this is just a qualified hypothesys.

You can check out the final result as test1.

Application with components

I split my application into three components. The application itself has no data or methods.

  • Application (test2)
    • Market
    • Portfolio
    • Copyrigh notice (nothing reactive, should fail to update)

This worked fine with no changes to reactivity compared to test1. So I got confident and made components for the lines:

  • Application (test3)
    • Market
      • Market-quote
    • Portfolio
      • Portfolio-stock

This did not immediately work. The template in Market had this content:

  <test-market-quote v-for="q in getQuotes()" :q="q">

getQuotes is still depending on update.value and is called every time, but it “happens” to return the same, modified, quote-lines every time. So the test-market-quote does not realise anything changed:

    props : {
      q : Object
    data : function() { return {}; },
    template: '#test-market-quote',

So I needed to replace (in a method in the test-market-quote component):

  return API.valueOf(stock) <;
  return STATE.updated.value && API.valueOf(stock) <;

in order to make sure some method in the child component also is dependent on updated.value. This was not needed when there were no child components, becuase the parent component had another dependency on updated.value and that cause the update of the entire component (but obviously not forcing its children to update). That worked in one component, but the other component had no methods to add a dependency to, so I successfully replaced

  <td>{{ }}</td>
<!-- with -->
  <td>{{ upd( }}</td>

//and added
  methods : {
    upd : (v) => { return STATE.updated.value ? v : 0; }

Reality check!

This is beginning to be ridiculous. How many obscure hacks are we going to use to not have to rely on the reactivity system that is at the heart of Vue? These kind of hacks are also a source of (subtle) bugs and can make refactoring harder. The problem I have experienced with Vue is that I need to understand how things work under the hood. But with these different updated.value hacks the cure is getting as bad as the disease (that said, these hacks are probably anyway things you need to do, if components do not update when you want them to).

So I was thinking about a universal fix for updated.value (test4):

// first a reusable function
  API.yes = () => { return !!updated.value; }

// second every (child) component makes it part of its methods
  methods: {
    yes : API.yes

// third, every component template has a root element, add a v-if
  <div v-if="yes()">
    .. component template body ..

This works! It is rather simple.

Two working practial design choices

So, we have arrived at two rather simple (conceptually) ways to build predictable Vue3 applications that rely on external (Vue-independent) state code:

  1. Make all state recursively reactive, from the root
  2. Only make an update-variable reactive, and make all components depend on it

Obviously there does not have to be exactly ONE state. There can be some log-state, some io-state, some user-setting-state, some data-state and they could possibly work differently.

Regardless, it is important to understand that if there is an exposed state, the code responsible for the state may update objects, replace object, reuse objects and move objects around in the state (tree), unless the state is very clear and strict about this.

How is the recursive reactivity-tree updated?

We have a plain object:

  x1.a.b.c.d = 5;

// make it recursively reactive

  x2 = Vue.reactive(x1); 

// we add something in x1

  x1.a.b.c2: {d : 3.14} };

// NOW c2 and c2.d can not possibly be reactive, because if
// Vue could know that we did that to a child of x1, we would
// not need to make a reactive copy (proxy) of x1 in the first
// place. The above operation does not trigger anything in Vue.

// How does it happen that c2 and c2.d *eventually* end up
// begin reactive?, that is
//   isReactive(x2.a.b.c2.d) => true

// Well I think when you do that (isReactive) you are accessing
// x2, x2.a, x2.a.b and eventually x2.a.b.c2. That means, you
// are asking the Proxy b to give you its child c2 - which it was
// not aware of. But now it is!
// So it can find c2, make it recursively reactive before giving it
// to you so you can resolve x2.a.b.c2.d and pass it to isReactive().

That is how I think it works.

Vue2 vs Vue3

I really have not code very much in Vue3 yet. But I have done enough research to write this post. I think Vue3 seems to be MUCH better.

In Vue2 I ended up doing:

STATE = { ro:{}, rw:{}, api:{} };

  data : function() {
    state_ro :
  methods : {
    stuff : function( ...     // is there any difference?
      ...     // does it matter if I use
    )                      // state_ro or

This mess is GONE with Vue3. Making things reactive is 100% explicit. data can be used exclusively for local variables to that component instance. methods can be used to get external state data, and if it is reactive that methods will trigger and the component will update.

I can imagine that this can essentially be done with Vue2 as well. But with the implicit reactivity system based on putting external state in data I never managed to figure it out.

When my code is migrated to Vue3 I will never look back at Vue2. I think.


I get a bad feeling when I think of thousands of lines, where each line is a complex object (like an invoice), and everything is made reactive, recursively. And that there are thousands of components on my web page, that each depend on several objects/properties in every invoice. And that these thousands of lines may just be discarded when something new arrives over the network, garbage collector trying to make sense of it, and new complex lines comes in to be made reactive. Perhaps it takes 0.05s and it is no problem. Perhaps it always works.

To just render everything again is usually no problem, very predictable, and rather easy to optimize if needed.

But I think like I did with AngularJS. Use the reactivity-system inside the components. But do not let the components, or the Vue Application for that matter, be made aware of everything. Give to it what it needs to do, to render everything and to allow for user input/edit where required.

A second thought…

I wrote a minesweeper game (test5) with the intention of abusing the reactivity system and see if performance got bad. It turned out I wrote a too good implementation, and the reactivity system worked perfectly. So I failed to prove my idea, but I learnt something on the way: that the reactivity system is better than I first thought – not the implementation in Vue but the idea, fundamentally.

My fear was that I essentially have two trees of objects

  • Data, nested data, deeply nested data, complicated data and separated data
  • UI, nested components, deeply nested components and separate components

My fear was that data consists of tens of thousands of reactive nodes, and each of them will trigger an update to hundreds or thousands of UI-components. However…

…in reality the data-tree will much resemble the ui-component-tree. Often there will be 1-to-1 relationships. This means that nothing will be updated in vain, and everything (and only that) which should be updated will be updated, typically each triggered by one or a few reactive “events”.

What would be wasteful?

  • If a single small component depends on a lot of spread out data – but that is already wasteful design because everything needs to be calculated every time – which is probably a bigger problem than the reactivity system
  • If the data tree is much larger than needed (for the current presentation). Lets assume we have a game with a few AI players. Each AI player is just presented as name, score and a few more fields. But the AI implementation may be several megabytes of complex data in memory. There is NO reason to make that data reactive out of laziness.

My basic design in AngularJS was:

  STATE ==> Presentation Data ==> Apply Filters ==> Apply Paging ==> Give to Angular

This means that the Presentation data is already structured quite much as the UI and its components, and it does not contain more data than necessary (or it does not have to, if it gives problems).


I will be doing work based on this “reasearch” in the near future. I will update this post if I discover something relevant.