Single malt whisky - tasting notes

01 Jan 2010

A new whisky year

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * News

Whisky year 2010 I hope you enjoyed 2009 as much as I did and I wish everyone a happy new year full of interesting whisky releases!

The start of a new year is always a reason to look back. A quick look at Google Analytics reveals a lot of data:

Personally, I would choose other releases as the highlights of my year. They may not have received the highest scores, but they were surprisingly interesting in some way or another:

A new whisky year Ruben Luyten 2010-01-01
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  • aw

    Funny, I never even heard of the Lp Triple Wood before – probably because it’s available mainly thru Travel Retail and I only came across your site half way thru 2009. At £66 for a litre bottle (e.g from TWE) I think I’ll stick to the Quarter Cask.

    In addition to Google Analytics it’s also possible to measure the “Ruben effect”. E.g. within a day or two of your review of the Brora 30yo 1976, all the sites that carried bottles had sold out!

    Really enjoyed the Glenugie, which I bought before your review. I’m looking forward to the Mannochmore, whose purchase was influenced by your (and others) review.

    My New Year’s Resolutions: to not stick with the drams I know and love, but to explore more expressions, and distilleries that are new to me (so I’d better try and get past the Quarter Cask).

    My New Year Resoutions wish for the whisky companies:- that those who haven’t caught up yet start bottling without artificial colouring and chill filtering, and at a minimum strength of 46%.

    Happy New Year!

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    Hi Andrew, thanks for your reply. I agree with the chill filtration and the “golden” strength of 46%, but the colouring is a tricky one. There’s an interesting experiment (by Bert Bruyneel) about colouring / filtration in the latest Malt Maniacs newsletter. The conclusion of the experiment is that caramel can add depth and complexity and that nearly everyone prefers a coloured version when tasted blind!

  • aw

    Ruben, thanks for the heads-up; that’s an interesting read. My instinct/feeling is that caramel can add depth and complexity to certain drams (e.g. Lagavulin 16) but can detract from others (e.g. Bunna 12). In the end I’d like to see it removed from all whiskies – let the spirit and the cask(s) stand on their own. Like Paul Dejong, I prefer an ‘honest’ product. If caramel were cut out of the equation, maybe a better wood policy and more careful cask blending can make up for what (in some cases) is lost?

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    It’s easy to prefer honesty or craftmanship of course, but on the other hand there’s no point in blocking evolution… Cars would be more ‘honest’ without all those electronics, but would the overall driving experience be better? What’s the point in prohibiting caramel if every other aspect of distillation is computerized, analized and standardized nowadays?
    I’m partly playing devil’s advocate of course, I don’t have a clear cut opinion about this ‘honesty’, certainly if it doesn’t necessarily lower the complexity / quality. There are other unconventional (now illegal) manipulations such as the wood staves used by Compass Box. The result was great, so why bother really? I just want whisky with the best possible taste.

  • http://scotchhobbyist.com Jeff H.

    Hi Ruben,
    I really enjoy your concise, consistent reviews. You really helped me out in my whisky discovery quest this past year.

    Keep up the great work, and I look forward to more fantastic reviews.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  • Pingback: Best in Blog #58: Top 10 Whiskies of 2009; Distilleries Doing Good Work | Whisky Party

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    Thanks Jeff, I’m glad my reviews were helpful.
    Keep up the good work yourself.

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Coming up

  • Benriach 1991 (MoS for QV.ID)
  • Bowmore 2003 (The Whiskyman)
  • Ardmore Legacy
  • Balblair 2000 single casks
  • Lagavulin 12yo (2014 release)
  • Craigellachie 17 Year Old
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
  • Clynelish 21yo 1992 (Cadenhead)
  • Ledaig 2005 (Maltbarn)
  • Aberlour 8yo (cube, small cork)

1639 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.