A journey round Islay, visits to Maker's Mark and Penderyn, and the conclusion to our trip down the Rockies
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Please, don't bring me sunshine
Jim Murray knows one peculiar breed of Scotsman currently enjoying the wet conditions that are leaving thousands of Britons' homes under feet of water- the distiller
April 2001, Issue 15, page 8
Tribute to a whiskey dreamer
Jim Murray mourns the loss of Cecil Williams, a man dedicated to whiskey and a much loved friend to the end.
February 2001, Issue 14, page 8
The whisky set to self-destruct
Jim Murray fears for the Japanese whisky industry which he believes could implode before whisky lovers sample all that it has to offer.
December 2000, Issue 13, page 8
The writing is on the wall
Jim Murray laments the demise of more distilleries
November 2000, Issue 12, page 8
Never stumped for words
Jim Murray muses on the role of two loves in his life.
September 2000, Issue 11, page 8
Jim Murray recounts a nasty case of whisky writer's block.§
June 2000, Issue 10, page 8
Jim Murray ponders the relationship between increased automation in whisky making and brand parity.
December 1999, Issue 7, page 9
A little taste of heaven
Why Jim Murray is talking to the phoenix
October 1999, Issue 6, page 8
An illusion of quality
Even Jim Murray can be fooled into thinking a whisky is better than it is
August 1999, Issue 5, page 8
Born again- and again and again (Benromach)
Benromach Distillery reopened last year, for the sixth time in its hundred-year history. Jim Murray hopes that this time it's for good
June 1999, Issue 4, page 28
Consultancy or scam?
Jim Murray, spurred by a reader's letter, considers alleged conflicts of interest
June 1999, Issue 4, page 9
Out with the rubbish
It is time for Irish whiskey to abolish the blamey and stand on its own three feet, says Jim Murray
May 1999, Issue 3, page 8
See you in court
Jim Murray beomans a legal spat over a barrel, from which only the solicitors and whisky experts will gain
March 1999, Issue 2, page 8
What's in a name?
Jim Murray goes in search of Whiskeytown and encounters more water than whiskey
March 1999, Issue 2, page 50
Cups of despair
Jim Murray describes the horror of being offered plastic tasting glasses too tiny and too primitive even for wine, never mind whisky
January 1999, Issue 1, page 8
Tomorrow's malt (Balvnie)
Tucked under the roof of Balvnie is a brand new and entirely separate distillery. Jim Murray charts the progress of Kininvie, currently 8 years old and maturing nicely
January 1999, Issue 1, page 56
Whisky Magazine Issue 15
Spirit of Ireland - Isle of Arran - Vintage Malts - Blackadder.
Published April 2001.
Whisky Magazine Issue 14
Women and Whisky - Old Pulteney - Vintage Malts - Brown Forman.
Published February 2001.
Whisky Magazine Issue 13
Jim McEwan - Booker Noe - Ultimate Macallan Tasting - Aberlour Distillery.
Published December 2000.
Whisky Magazine Issue 12
By Royal Appointment - Jack Daniel's - Highland Park - Highland Malts.
Published November 2000.
Whisky Magazine Issue 11
Highland Malts Tasting - Lagavulin - Buffalo Trace - Cigars - Fishing.
Published September 2000.
Whisky Magazine Issue 10
Small batch bourbon - The Glenlivet - Grain Whisky - Focus on Canada.
Published June 2000.
Whisky Magazine Issue 7
Millenuim Tasting - Economics of Wood - Dalmore - Bourbon uncoverd.
Published December 1999.
Whisky Magazine Issue 6
Isaly tasting - Travels in Speyside & Kentucky - Talisker - Bourbon uncovered.
Published October 1999.
Whisky Magazine Issue 5
Guide to Tobermory - Milroys of Soho - Whisky and Fish.
Published August 1999.
Whisky Magazine Issue 4
Matthew Gloag - Guide to Ardbeg - Whisky and smoked salmon.
Published June 1999.
Whisky Magazine Issue 3
Irish whiskey - Wood ageing - How malt gets its character.
Published May 1999.
Whisky Magazine Issue 2
What's it worth - Macallan - Johnnie Walker.
Published March 1999.
Speyburn 21 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 60.20% 8 Very restrained, but lovely gentle peat smoke.
Balblair 1969 Vintage
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.00% 8 For a whisky that is very light when young, this matures surprisingly well and for long periods
Bushmills 12 Years Old Distillery Reserve
Single Malt - Ireland - 40.00% 7 Despite being a malt, it still, somehow has an Irish accent. Slightly more personality than the Bushmills malt at 16 Years Old. Drinkable and sociable.
Bushmills 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Ireland - 40.00% 8 Is the house character overwhelmed by the three woods (bourbon, sherry and port)? I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.
Compass Box Hedonism
Grain - Scotland - 43.00% 8 Remarkably flavoursome and enjoyable for a blend of grain whiskies.
Connemara Cask Strength
Single Malt - Ireland - 59.60% 8 The paler colour suggests less interesting casks. The higher the alcohol adds to the pepperiness. The end result is drier, more cutting, but less rounded than the 40%.
Connemara Peated Single Malt
Single Malt - Ireland - 40.00% 8 Lots happening. Chimney pots of smoke. I love this whiskey.
Cooper's Choice Mortlach 10 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00% 8 A good bottling of this lovely malt. Mortlach has such complexity that I find new aromas and flavours every time I raise the glass.
Cooper's Choice Rosebank 1992
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 A reminder of a great Lowland malt lost.
Highland Park 1977 Bicentenary Vintage Reserve
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 9 My favourite expression of whisky's greatest all rounder. Sets an incredibly high standard for Highland Park to maintain.
Jameson 12 Years Old
Blended - Ireland - 43.00% 8 The aroma that I associate with a traditional Irish. A superb example for everyday drinking.
Jameson 12 Years Old, Old Distillery Reserve
Blended - Ireland - 40.00% 8 I find the aroma quite sexy. The palate is big, but the finish leaves me wondering about the casks.
Jameson 15 Years Old Limited Edition
Pot Still - Ireland - 40.00% 8 Those oily aromatics are quite a shock at first. Shows just how different a true 'Irish' character was 15 years ago, or does Jameson benefit greatly from age?
Blended - Ireland - 40.00% 8 There is some virgin oak in this one, along with bourbon casks. Bonus points for trying something new, but would have expected more interesting results. I find it a bit light tasting. Try it with fres...
Private Collection Imperial 1990 Calvados Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 6 As with the Caol Ila wood finishes reviewed in the last issue, the calvados is a powerful influence but the whisky does fight back-makes for an interesting combination.
Private Collection Imperial 1990 Claret Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 The wine seems to have made common cause with the juicy sweetness, and the two have overwhelmed the cereal-grain and peat smoke that usually make this a more robust malt. This version would be a good ...
Private Collection Imperial 1990 Cognac Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 Cognac finishes seem to have achieved results that are, at best, mixed. In this instance, the contribution is less than obvious.
Rare Malts Cardhu 1973 27 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 60.00% 7 They made bigger, peatier whiskies in those days.
Rare Malts Coleburn 1979
Single Malt - Scotland - 59.40% 7 The best Coleburn I have tasted.
Rare Malts Port Ellen 1978 22 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 60.50% 9 Pungent, powerful and appetising. A dram for the Islay-lover and connoisseur. This distillery should be revived.
Rare Malts Teaninich 1972 27 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 64.20% 8 This little-known malt almost always surprises me with its robust flavours.
Redbreast 12 Years Old
Pot Still - Ireland - 40.00% 8 Those oily, cakey aromas still have me hankering for a weekend in Dublin. Tea and cakes at the Shelbourne, then off to the Horseshoe Bar for the first whiskey of the evening.
Signatory Caol Ila 1984
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 An excellent example of Caol Illa, a highly distinctive malt that is gaining in recognition.
Signatory The Glenrothes 1968 32 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 50.50% 8 Less soft than the younger expression. A drier, more robust, expression.
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 7 Another light-tasting malt that blossoms with age. Its flavours belie the use of a malt that is scarcely peated.
The Glenrothes 1987, 13 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 The flavour metaphors evoke childhood, but this is a very adult, sophisticated malt.
Tullamore Dew 12 Years Old Special Reserve
Blended - Ireland - 40.00% 8 Sophisticated and seductive, but I always find it a little lacking in substance.
Single Malt - Ireland - 40.00% 7 Pleasant, light. For sociable drinking.
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00% 8 Had I not known that it was matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. I would have guessed that there was some sherry.
Adelphi Glen Grant 1969
Single Malt - Scotland - 53.90% 8 Glen Grant is a delicate whisky and does not always benefit from long maturation. This bottling is on the cusp. The distillery character can still be discerned, but only just.
Auchentoshan 1978, 18 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.80% 8 This seems to me the definitive light tasting (triple-distilled) Lowlander. In theory, such whiskies mature young, but this has aged beautifully.
Bunnahabhain 1968, The Family Silver Vintage Reserve
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 Because it is less aggressive than some of its neighbours, Bunnahabhain is often regarded as not being a proper Islay malt. This proves it can be.
Glen Garioch 1968, 29 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 56.30% 8 With its chestnut colour and highly distinctive flavours, this is a wonderfully wintery whisky.
Glenfiddich 40 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.60% 9 This is an urbane whisky that will not easily reveal itself. Take your time with it. Enjoy its company.
Gordon & MacPhail Benromach 1974
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 I have always found Benromach assertively flowery, herbal, almost cedary. Will this highly distinctive character prevail in the new, smaller, stills introduced since the change of ownership? Tastings...