A treasure of fine and rare wines

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Tasting the Glendronach Grandeur 25 years Old batch 8

Tasting the Glendronach Grandeur 25 years Old batch 8

25-07-2017

Every once in a while we receive a sample from one of our partners in the world of Whisky. Through a partner at De Monnik, we received a sample of the Glendronach Grandeur. We at Best of Whiskies are generally appreciative of Billy Walker’s work for Glendronach. His passion marks this grandeur series. Let’s see how this dram evolves in our glasses. MORE ...

Color: Amber Gold/Mahony

Nose: Lovely complex sherry tones of dried fruit like raisins and Libyan fresh dates from the Keshbah market lingering into peardrops. Developing into a more almond chocolate tone combined with some chamomile herbs.

Mouth: Very neat mouthfeel with again raisins, dried forest fruit and sherry tones developing into chocolate tones. I smell fresh coffee tones. Our coworker Kris used to be a barista, his coffee in the morning is superb and so are the coffee tones in this magical dram. The tones develop into nut flavors like the almonds mentioned earlier and some zestiness..dried oranges?

Finish: A developing long finish witch citrus fruit tones and more forest fruits like dried cranberries.

Balance and complexity: I love the balance between the nose and mouthfeel. The dram has a very interesting complexity such as fresh coffee and dried dates.

Comments: A lovely sherry bomb that shows pure developing greatness. Guess that’s exactly why they called it Grandeur. Billy Walker at his prime for sure. 92/100 points in my book.

 

Nils van Rijn

Whisky Specialist for Best Of Whiskies.

 


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Long awaited vintage has arrived

Long awaited vintage has arrived

17-07-2017

This morning the long expected wines from AF Gros arrived at our warehouse! For some time now we have been hearing reports that the legendary vintage 2015 is expected to even exceed the quality of the 2003! MORE ...

This morning the shipment of A.F. Gros 2015, our own import wine, arrived at our warehouse. All of us have been looking forward to this with anticipation, because we have heard nothing but good about the Bourgogne vintage 2015.

A.F. Gros was founded in 1988 and is now widely spread throughout the Cote d'Or. The trademark of their wines is the delicacy and subtleness their wines seem to naturally possess. The 2015 vintage has been extremely good, especially in Vosne Romanée. The Bourgogne experienced a very mild spring without any frost or hailstorms and especially the summer has been an almost perfect combination of a hot and sunny July, with the right amount of rain in August. Though the yield was relatively low this year (about 20% below average) the wines that are produced are absolutely stunning. Full of fruits, the right amount of acidity.

We are most certainly going to drink one of these bottles this week! Keep an eye on this blog to discover our tasting notes.

 

Blog by Paul

 


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Rightful King of the Bordeaux

Rightful King of the Bordeaux

14-07-2017

One of our clients had some older wines in his cellar and came to us for an inspection of a Chateau Petrus 1983. We inmediately noticed that the colour was a little off and upon closer inspection saw that a part of the cork was floating inside the bottle. Our client offered us to drink the wine with him, to see if it was still drinkable and we were quite surprised when we opened this fully oxidated wine! MORE ...

In the nose there were chemicals like glue and nail polish. we gave up all hope that this wine was drinkable, but tried it anyway. Again the chemicals prodominated and most of us stood up to deposit our glasses in the sink. And that was the exact moment the wine showed its power.

Despite the fact that the wine had been totally oxidated, the Chateau Petrus still maintained his full-bodied and strong character. It had become sweet, with hints of cranberry jam and even some simularities with the Chateau d'Yquem in the finish. The Petrus was absolutely not what it should have been. The suppleness of the Merlot had totally worn of, but we experienced the power of the Chateau Petrus: even when it's bad, it's amazing. 

After having decided to decant the wine, the Chateau Petrus developed even further. The smell of chemicals faded and the slight simularity with the Chateau d'Yquem grew even stronger. It became a sweet, but powerful wine that showed us once and for all what high quality is all about.


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Vintage whisky cocktails for the summer

Vintage whisky cocktails for the summer

13-07-2017

A bit of cocktail history

 

Cocktails have seen an increase in popularity these last few years. We see more and more quality cocktailbars and bartenders. MORE ...

The thing is, cocktails are usually regarded as these fruity, umbrella-bearing longdrink-style drinks. These cocktails are friendly, approachable, sweet and relatively low in alcohol.

 

Luckily (for me, in any case), we’re seeing a shift in this perception. People are looking for quality, flavour, stories and a real experience. This means you’ll be looking at old-fashioned (pun intended) or classic cocktails. Many of these classic cocktails are gin- or whisky based. American Bartenders brought many great cocktails and talent to Europe during the Prohibition era. This means the first half of the 20th century was a golden age for cocktails. After the war though, cocktails were forgotten and (d)evolved to sweet, fruit-forward drinks. Vodka became massively popular, but as you probably know; Vodka doesn’t necessarily have what we call ‘flavour’. Don’t get me wrong, there are great, smooth vodkas out there, but these vodkas are just not what we are looking for in vintage cocktails.

 

Your home bar

 

In this post we’ll be revisiting some great whisky-based vintage cocktails. Great thing about these cocktails is that you won’t need a full stocked home bar and that you can make many ingredients yourself.

 

Make sure you have at least these tools at home:

  • Shaker (boston shaker will do, make sure it is large)
  • Strainer (Hawthorne or Julep)
  • Martini glass or Coupe glass

 

Many classic cocktails call for the same ingredients, so you’ll be well of buying the following things:

  • Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Bitters
  • Rye Whiskey (Millstone Rye or Few Rye are good choices, but remember: higher proof is always better)
  • Peated Scotch (go for something heavily peated like Ledaig 10 yo of The Peat Monster by Compass Box)
  • Blended Scotch (Black Bottle will do. But you can use any other quality blend)
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Dry Vermouth

And finally, some syrups and garnishes:

  • Simple syrup: 1:1 sugar and water. Throw them together and heat slowly till all sugar is dissolved.
  • Ginger syrup: 1 big ginger-root (chopped to bits) to 500 ml of water and 500 ml sugar. Heat, dissolve, strain.
  • Honey syrup: 1:1 honey and water. Heat and dissolve.

 

Of course you can buy all these syrups ready-made. Try Monin for the biggest range. For garnish, sure, you can go crazy. But many classic cocktails call for lemon zest or orange zest.

 

Vintage whisky cocktails

 

Allright, on to the real deal. Cocktails. I’ll be giving you 4 classic-style whisky cocktails to start off with.

 

The Manhattan

It just doesn’t get any more classic than this. Invented somewhere in the early 20th century in New York. There is quite a bit of dispute as to who really invented it. Some say it was invented in the Manhattan club, others claim it was invented by a bartender called Black. Whatever the history, it is the king of Vermouth cocktails, followed by the world famous Martini and the Scotch based Rob Roy.

 

How to make the Manhattan:

6 cl of quality Rye or Bourbon whiskey

3 cl of quality Sweet Vermouth

3 dashes of aromatic (angostura) bitters

 

Chill your glass with ice. In a mixing glass, add all the ingredients over ice. Stir until really cool and slightly diluted. Discard ice from cocktail glass and strain the manhattan into the glass. Garnish with an orange peel or some real maraschino cherries.

A Rob Roy basically uses the same ingredients, only you replace the Rye whiskey with a scotch. Use a slightly smokey scotch for a real men’s cocktail.

 

If you have orange bitters, you can use those instead of standard bitters. Make sure to garnish with something other than orange though.

 

Rusty Nail

One of the easiest cocktails you can make and a favorite among the infamous ‘Rat Pack’ in the 60’s. You just can’t go wrong with this heart-warming cocktail. Again, a cocktail that found it’s origins somewhere in Manhattan and found it’s way into cocktail hall of fame after being endorsed by the Drambuie Liqueur company.

 

How to make the Rusty Nail:

4,5 cl of Blended Scotch

2,5 cl of Whisky liqueur

 

Add both ingredients into a highball or tumbler over crushed ice. Stir well and garnish with a lemon peel. Easy as that! Classic rusty nails call for Drambuie, but you can also use a little fresher liqueur like Atholl Brose.

 

You can also make a smokey nail. Replace your blended scotch with something peaty like an Ardbeg of Benromach Peat Smoke.

 

The Blinker

Another boozy cocktail named after these things horses wear other head to keep their eyes on the road. You do the math…

 

How to make the Blinker:

6 cl of Rye whiskey

3 cl of grapefruit juice (press it yourself)

2 teaspoons of raspberry syrup of Grenadine

 

Add all ingredients over ice to a shaker. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

 

Penicillin

One of my favorites. Especially when the cold season is upon us again. A little more effort goes in this drink, but it is well worth it. This recipe calls for honey/ginger syrup. You can either mix the two syrups separately or you can make it by heating up equal parts of honey and water with some ginger slices until spicy/weet.

 

How to make the Penicillin:

6 cl of blended Scotch

1 cl of Peated scotch

2 cl of lemon juice

2 cl of honey/ginger syrup

 

To make the Penicillin, combine all ingredients (except for the peated Scotch) in a shaker, shake well and strain into a cooled Tumbler or highball glass, float your peated Scotch over the top. Use the pack of a spoon to gently pour the peated whisky over the top of your drink. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger.

There you have it! A few pretty decent whisk(e)y cocktails. Try all of these together with your friends. Experiment, get it right, tweak and make it your own. But whatever you do, make sure to use quality ingredients!

 

Cheers,

Werner Bos

 


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2003 - an underestimated vintage

2003 - an underestimated vintage

11-11-2016

A very warm vintage, which makes some of the wines "chaud". But the alcohol level of Lafite 2003 is just 12.7 %. With 86 % Cabernet sauvignon and only 50 % of the grapes in the final blend, this very ripe 2003 competes with the best Lafite vintages ever. A power Lafite in magnum, but still so elegant. BOW 9.5.

Jaboulet Chapelle 1990

Jaboulet Chapelle 1990

11-11-2016

Perfection, only one word suffices. We have tasted the Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle 1990 a couple of times. But for the first time the wine seems to be fully mature and not completely purple colored. An explosion of blackberry fruit, coffee, chocolate, spices. Overwhelming, astonishing. This wine will last for another 30 years. This magnum bottle was at its best. BOW 10.

Big Battle

Big Battle

04-11-2016

In two ways: two great wines from a stellar vintage. And both in magnum. To start with the conclusion - it is just of matter preference. The Cheval Blanc was at its peak. Regular bottles tend to be past the best drinking period, but magnums are in optima forma. So fruity, so silky, Cabernet Franc at its best. The la Mission opened up after 10 minutes and proved to be the better wine: superb balance, all perfect. We tasted with 10 persons, 6 voted for Cheval, 4 for La Mission. So the better wine did "lose" - it was just a matter of preference. BOW Cheval Blanc 9+, La Mission 9.5.

The elegant Salon Le Mesnil 2004

The elegant Salon Le Mesnil 2004

02-11-2016

The small but mythical champagne house Salon has released their Le Mesnil 2004 vintage earlier this year. MORE ...

With only 46.000 bottles of the 2004 vintage produced the harvest was even for Salon quite low.

 

Since we are all huge lovers of this champagne we couldn’t wait to taste the wine, even though we knew that the champagne would still be very young. 

 

After opening the bottle the champagne shows hints of the chalky grounds. The champagne is very elegant and offers a palate of lemon and oyster shell. Full of elegance however it will even more evolve over the next 10 years.

BOW 8.5/10

We still have several bottles available:

http://bestofwines.com/wine/11043/salon/salon-le-mesnil/2004/


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Astonishing St Vivant

Astonishing St Vivant

01-10-2016

What shall we have to accompany some fusion French-Asian food ? That was the challenge we faced after a nice wine tasting with amongst others Napanook. We decided to go for a Burgundy from a less known producer with MORE ...

a very good reputation. And top vintage. Unfortunately no 1999, but 2002 can stand the test. The Robert Arnoux Romanee St Vivant was so overwhelming that we had at least 5 minutes without any conversation. So silky, so elegant but so concentrated. Strawberry, raspberry avalanche. How great can top Burgundy be ? Together with the spicy accents it reminded me of Lafite 1986 or even 1996. Finish lasted at least 90 seconds. We still have the 2005, I think I have to reserve this one..... BOW 9+.


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Sassicaia 1991 versus 1992

Sassicaia 1991 versus 1992

23-09-2016

We had a lovely dinner in 1-star restaurant Bridges in Amsterdam with bring your own bottle. Pichon Baron 82, Vieux CH Certan 82 and Leoville 83. But the stars of the evening were Sassicaia 1991 and 1992. MORE ...

Indeed, off-years, but everyone who is familiair with Sassicaia will agree - Sassicaia needs time, a lot of time. Both bottles were impressive, but so very different in style and taste. It was like Bordeaux against Burgundy, one said. The 1991 showed real power, as if only 10 years old.  It seems to take time to open up. Dark fruit, spices, cinnamon, some wood, tabacco. Tuscan power, with a beautiful balance. The 1992 was fruity, cherry, raspberry, sweet styled and lighter than the 1991. Even in color. Much more easier to drink and so elegant. Indeed Bordeaux - Burgundy. It was a question of preference, I preferred the 1991 (but not many did). Ratings 1991 BOW 8+, 1992 BOW 8.


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Classic Bordeaux 1997 - so nice

Classic Bordeaux 1997 - so nice

24-08-2016

Bordeaux 1997 and 2007 are so called classic years. A term used to describe an average year. However, our experience is that these vintages always show what Bordeaux can do just "on its own". MORE ...

Mouton Rothschild 1997 is a wine we haven't drunk much, just out of habit you always pick the more "special" vintages, Beautiful cassis, some blackberry, spices, typical Mouton terroir. A bit light styled, even though only 55 % of the harvest was used. We enjoyed the 1997 very much, but if you compare this to 1993 (same classic vintage) we prefer the 1993. BOW 7.5.


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Dauvissat grand cru vs. Coche Dury

Dauvissat grand cru vs. Coche Dury

24-08-2016

We enjoyed a 7 course dinner at De Leest, a 3 star Michelin restaurant near Apeldoorn, Netherlands. The winelist was impressive, with a big emphasis on White Burgundy. MORE ...

And the prices were very reasonable. We started of with Dauvissat Chablis les Clos 2009. For a Dauvisat Clos of 7 years old it was very open and impressed us from start to finish. Will have at least 15 years ahead. Tropical fruit, floral notes, minerals, it's all there and what you can expect from a big grand cru Chablis. Paired perfectly with the 3-star elegant dishes. Next bottle was the Coche Dury Puligny Enseigneres 2007. Not a cru and a lesser vintage, But Coche stands out, so unique in its winemaking and taste. A bit like D'Auvenay. Citrus, heavy and concentrated fruit (peach, lemon) but still well balanced. This bottle was priced very nice and therefor worth every euro. It's such a shame that prices of Coche have gone up so rapidly. BOW Dauvissat 9-. BOW Coche 8. 


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Glendronach Exclusively selected for the Duchess

Glendronach Exclusively selected for the Duchess

15-06-2016

We are very pleased to announce our very first single cask for the Duchess.

The Duchess is our independent bottler trademark brand for all our future single cask bottlings that we will consecutively release for Bestofwhiskies.com.

GlenDronach 2003 Virgin Oak Hogshead Cask 1751 250 bottles 53.9% Exclusively selected for The Duchess MORE ...

Tasting Notes by the chaps at GlenDronach:

Nose: Tarte tartin drizzled with apricot syrup and dusted with toasted coconut. All spiced with waves of delicious sweet oak.

Appearance: Glowing harvest gold

Palate: Candied peel and ginger syrup poured over roasted orchard fruits with a fantastic combination of  cinnamon sugar and gentle vanilla.

In our honest opinion, it’s a stunner indeed. We totally agree with Billy Walker and his team on their tasting notes, but still we couldn’t resist adding our very own personal tasting notes.

Nose: Lots of fruitiness. The likes of plums. Accompanied by a warm swell of butterscotch and spices; Cinnamon and hazelnuts.

Mouth: Butterscotch is eminent on the foreground. Lots of pleasurable spices like the aforementioned cinnamon, ginger and a little sugarcane sweetness in the background.

Finish: long and dry herbal finish; Laurel and liquorice.

Balance: A very stunning dram it is. Very well balanced in both and the nose and mouthfeel. The thing that attracts me the most is the overwhelming complexity of this GlenDronach…Don’t we all love ginger spices and liquorice ???89/100 points

 We are very excited about his single cask bottling. You can order a bottle directly through this link.

We are very curious about your opinions when you have experienced this gem. Your opinion is very important to us.

Please email your tasting notes to us.

Sincerely,


Nils van Rijn

Whisky Specialist for Best Of Whiskies 

 


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A dessert dessert

A dessert dessert

04-06-2016

Sauternes and a sweet dessert always proofs to be a fantastic combination. A classic with an apple pie or creme brulee. But vanilla and warm MORE ...

cherries always shows the best out of this pourriture noble-wines. Rieussec 2006 was the choice and the result was a dessert-dessert. The dessert stood out alone perfectly, the wines was a dessert on its own. But toghether they multiplied. The price-quality of this difficult sauternes vintage is very very good. BOW 8+.


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Vega Sicilia Unico 2000 vs. Mouton Rothschild 2002

Vega Sicilia Unico 2000 vs. Mouton Rothschild 2002

01-06-2016

Battle of the bulge

In sunny "Palma de Mallorca”, we tested 2 outstanding wines heads up. MORE ...

The Vega Sicilia Unico 2000 versus the Mouton Rothschild 2002. Both where magnum sized!


To conclude: Both score 9/10 points, no way to tell which is the winner. Both wines are almost perfect in balance, very well concentrated, but yet so elegant. It’s really a tsunami of silk and fruit. The finish longs for more than 60 seconds!


To sum it all up: The difference is what your preference is: The power, portrayed in its most elegant way for the Vega Sicilia Unico 2000 or the more silky and smooth terroir in the “Pauillac” for the Mouton Rothschild 2000.
It’s hard to choose anyways… we couldn't. BOW 9


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Pontet Canet 2007

Pontet Canet 2007

26-05-2016

Dinner with winefriends, we took some Bordeaux 2007 with us to the beautiful city of Breda. And what an evening we had: 2007 is still an MORE ...

underestimated vintage and doesn't have the sexy fingerprint of 2000, 2005, 2009 etc. Classic Bordeaux, what you see is what you get. This Pontet 2007 showed extremely well, but will improve in the years to come. Blueberry, wood, truffel, some asian spices. One of the best Medoc 2007's, if you get hold of some, drink or store. Will drink well till at least 2036. BOW 8+ (Peter).


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Lynch Bages 2000

Lynch Bages 2000

25-05-2016

Drinking wine with friends, what more needs to be said, especially with this Lynch Bages 2000. This wine is getting better every time MORE ...

we drink it for the last 3-4 years. Very dark colored, astonishing bouquet (this is Pauillac !). Reminds me of old-school Lynch Bages. Thick, fleshy, very concentrated, but so elegant. Cassis, caramel, tutti-frutti. Tannins well integrated, this 2000 will last till at least 2040. BOW 9 (Peter).


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Montrose 1990

Montrose 1990

22-05-2016

For this special occasion we choose a bottle of Chateau Montrose 1990, we already wrote several times about this monument of a wine MORE ...

and when you have a perfect bottle it’s party time. It’s all we have wrote before and got BOW 10 again. We enjoyed by a dish of pigeon from Bresse created by Wilco Berends the chef of the one star restaurant “De Nederlanden” in Vreeland.


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Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux 2006

Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux 2006

20-05-2016

In the little village Loenen aan de Vecht, we had a lovely dinner at Tante Koosje. This one Michelin star restaurant is located by the church and has a MORE ...

lovely terras with a lot of sun after 5 p.m. We choose for Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux 2006, this is muscular with intense fruit of black cherries and integrated wood expressions, which went great with the three types of lamb. BOW 8.


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Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2001

Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2001

19-05-2016

Restaurant La Rive in the Amstel Hotel, one of Amsterdams most famous restaurants MORE ...

, was visited by our Best Of Wines tasting team. We had a lot of nice discussions with the Fine & Rare Wine expert and sommelier Ted Bunnik. Together we enjoyed an Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques 2001. The label was stained due to some leaking of the cork, but the wine was stored in a very good cellar, so it should be ok. And it was. We enjoyed the bottle during a nice summer evening looking over the Amstel river. Beautiful cherries and raspberries, silky texture and tannins, big and concentrated, wines lingers on and on. Typically 2001 with some reserve and the terroir of St Jacques was so present. BOW 8.5.


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Sassicaia 1985

Sassicaia 1985

16-05-2016

Yesterday evening we had a wonderful dinner in one of the best Asian restaurants in the Netherlands Restaurant Royal Mandarin. For this occasion we brought a Super MORE ...

Tuscan legend: the Sassicaia 1985.

The bottle came from a private cellar, the wine was bought on release and stored in a conditioned environment till yesterday. The level was into neck and we decided not to decant.

The colour was dark red and the bouquet displayed a wonderful sweetness and softness, quite a right bank Bordeaux character. Indeed strange for a cabernet wine. But we noticed immediately that the wine was still flattened, it had to open up. And it did ! After 5 minutes we were staring at each other, this is a 100% Mouton Rothschild 1986 nose. Then we tasted and were overwhelmed by the concentration and intensity of the cassis and dried (tutti frutti) fruit, the spices, licorice and sweetness of the oak.

The wine is so unbelievable concentrated (glycerine on your lips) and so complex. On every sip you discover new elements. And so elegant and delicate. Balance is without any doubt perfect. Length > 60 seconds. In our opinion Sassicaia makes wines that last and need time to soften. The 1985 shows what this means for Sassicaia: a perfect wine, and the best Sassicaia ever. Monumental, a wine you should drink once. Ratings are almost without exception max. And we agree. BOW 10/10. This wine will last till at least 2030.

We still have one bottle of this perfect wine available.


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Mouton Rothschild 2002

Mouton Rothschild 2002

13-05-2016

Last night we visited Samhoudt places, a 2 star Michelin restaurant in Amsterdam with small and really surprising dishes in their tasting menu. For the MORE ...

meat course we brought the still underrated Mouton Rothschild 2002. Almost black colored, very impressive nose, fruit  (cassis) bursts from the glass, mint, eucalyptus, wood, spices.

A very concentrated wine, tasting it is overwhelming, with clear Cabernet, mocca, vanilla and very elegant and integrated tannins. Top line Mouton in such a "classic"  vintage, will improve as it just started to get in its best phase. BOW 9.

We still have several bottles available at our website


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“The concept of quality over quantity really does matter”.

“The concept of quality over quantity really does matter”.

12-05-2016

John Glaser, The Compass box; “The concept of quality over quantity really does matter”. MORE ...

This week I had a little gathering with John Glaser, founder of the Compass Box whisky company, for a masterclass and I had a nice little chat accompanied by a dram afterwards.

As a company, we mainly focus on single malts with our bestofwhiskies.com division, but we do love blends as well.

We think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a good blend. I have sometimes tricked my friends, in a blend in our monthly blind tasting sessions. We all agree that they do hold their own against malt whisky.

John Glaser and myself share the same passion for old blends. 95% of the time they will beat any single malt today by both taste and quality. John asked me: “Why is it that old blended whisky is that good”?

The answer is pretty simple, so let me give you a little history lesson to answer that question.

Scotch whisky hasn’t always been as popular as it is today. In the Victorian age the wealthy and the gentlefolks had taken a liking to Brandy-soda and French cognac. It was only due to the fact that the grapevines had been infested by grape lice (esca) and insect pests that the production of wine and the distilling of wine (brandy & cognac) had instantly seized production and stopped.

The noblemen had to look for another drink that would be to their liking, since the brandy and cognac had become very scarce. Now back in the day, Single Malt was considered a “poor man’s drink’. It was a totally inconsistent drink, often very harsh, under proofed and mostly not matured in wood.

It was only by the invention of “blending” by smart businessmen like Alexander Walker in 1857 (Johnny Walker & Sons) and A.J Cameron of the Dewar’s blending company in 1899, that the production of Scotch whisky blends thrived under their smart entrepreneurial spirit. They really had a foreseeing gift in understanding what the market needed. It was due to their work that whisky became the gentleman’s drink that it is today.

To understand the concept of “blending” you have to understand that these smart business men understood that blends needed to be consistent in taste. They made “easier”, more consistent style of whisky. They understood that it was the quality that made the sales, not the quantity that mattered. They turned blending into art, it became the drink everybody was after and the rest is history.

 

John Glaser is a humble man that speaks with a passion unlike you have ever seen before when speaking about his work. His take on blending for the Compass box, is exactly the art form that seems to be forgotten by the big blending multinationals today.

Compass box is all about quality over quantity. John Glaser stands for transparency of the components actually used for making up the end product. He strongly believes in the consumer’s right to know what the contents of their product actually are when they’re purchasing a quality Compass Box blend. The people ought to know, it’s their right as a consumer.

John is very open about the casks he uses, the distilleries and the age…Wait! Not anymore. The Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) won’t allow him to share the age statements of the cask used. I can rant about this a for thousand more words, but really; you’ll should read about it from the man himself and support his campaign on transparency.

You can read all about it here.

I guess I must have made you all a little thirsty by writing this blog. You can view one of the Compass box gems right here at our site!

 

Gal Granov scores this high quality blend 92/100 points.

Sincerely,

Nils van Rijn

Whisky Specialist for Best Of Whiskies

 

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Lafleur 2003

Lafleur 2003

09-05-2016

Remember our wine tasting with René Gabriel two weeks ago ? This one was chosen as best wine of the evening by 30% of the tasters. It was our last bottle in stock, so we are hurrying to buy some more….. The 2003 Bordeaux can show some contradictions. Some are very disappointing and “chaud”. But some MORE ...

domains really outperformed in this vintage. First impression: this is a Céléstine von Henry Bonneau or a Burgundy wine from Henry Jayer. But it contains very ripe Cassis, some citrus elements. Very creamy and thick, elegant and a milky finish. What a wine, perfectly vinified. But still very young, needs at least 5 more years. BOW 9, but will get better.


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Coche Dury Corton Charlemagne 2003

Coche Dury Corton Charlemagne 2003

04-05-2016

White Burgundy 2003 can show a “tired” impression. On opening this bottle we were again not surprised didn’t show much, a little cork maybe ? But we

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decanted it, let the wine breathe for 10 minutes and then it showed what a Corton Charlemagne from Coche Dury can do: very complex bouquet, a little “chaud”, but beautiful fruit, chamomille, floral elements and a concentration and terroir typical for Coche Dury. BOW 9+.


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Guigal Lalala 1988 comparison

Guigal Lalala 1988 comparison

01-05-2016

La Landonne + La Mouline + La Turque 1988: all 100 Parker Points...

Does it have the perfect score ?
Robert Parker gives the La Mouline 1988, La Turque 1988 and La Landonne 1988 the perfect score of 100 points. Well, let’s find out if we agree…….

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In 1988 Guigal made his lalala’s with much less influence of wood. So a little more elegancy and less power.

Guigal La Mouline 1988 – Bouquet contains lots of spices, leather, wood. Tastes creamy, beautifully balanced, typically French Syrah print. Nice wine, but on the edge of best drinking period. We rated it on average 8-/10.

Guigal La Turque 1988 – Shows age, with orange rim. Very nice bouquet, with curry, bouillon, spices, some wood, tabacco, raisins. On the palate leather, nice fruit, silky but balance is not perfect. Smelling the wine promised everything, tasting was slightly disappointing. BOW 8+/10.

Guigal La Landonne 1988 – Still in top shape, will last another 15 years. Took some time to open up, but there it was. Lalala complexity, so aromatic, so fine, so complex. A great wine which shows what a terroir it is. BOW 9/10.


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Haut Brion battle

Haut Brion battle

29-04-2016

Last week the great wine critic and our friend René Gabriel from WeinWisser visited us for an exclusive tasting. We had a wonderful evening with some beautiful wines.

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We started with the battle between Château Haut-Brion Blanc, Château Laville Haut-Brion and Château La Mission Haut-Brion blanc 2011

La Mission Haut Brion Blanc 2011 – Medium yellow, lots of spices, some mint. Floral notes, and beautiful tropical fruit. Smooth, concentrated, complex nose. Perfect for drinking now, but will last at least another 20 years. BOW 9/10.

We still have 6 bottles available for €650,- the bottle at http://www.bestofwines.com/uk/wines/view/7203

Haut Brion Blanc 2011 – Light yellow wine, with some green notes. First impression a little bit closed but on tasting the wine shows concentration, but is not as concentrated as the La Mission. Complex nose, but still not showing its potential. Maybe the element wood is too present in relation to concentration. The La Mission shows more and even on age will be the better wine. BOW 8+/10.


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Nice cellar pictured

Nice cellar pictured

26-04-2016

Just checking the pictures of the new additions Domaine Leflaive from a perfect cellar. The proof is in the drinking.: Bourgogne Blanc 2004 from OWC drinks like a 2012. What a way to end the day. BOW 7+/10

Lynch Bages 1970

Lynch Bages 1970

24-04-2016

We bought this bottle from a private cellar in the Canalzone in Amsterdam. It was a very old cellar, also containing Burgundy from the 1930’s thru 1960’s.

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We opened a Bichot Volnay 1934 with a 10 cm level, and it was still beautiful! The Lynch Bages 1970 had a high shoulder level, so there was a risk. But as this cellar proved to be very good, we knew that this bottle would be great. And it was! The color was dark red, the first sip was of a wine in its youth... . A cabernet classic, with cassis fruit, chocolate, truffel. It changed in texture and complexity and character during the first 10 minutes. One of our tasters reminded the wine as a Latour 1970 which he drank only a few days ago. Bottles with top shoulder level or higher will last another 20 years. A treat ! BOW 9-.


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Palmer 1989 imperial 6 L

Palmer 1989 imperial 6 L

23-04-2016

This week we have a grand tasting in Mallorca. After some fabulous Rioja Reserva bottles on Monday we sat down for an exceptional bottle: an imperial 6 litre Palmer 1989. We have (highly) rated this wine a couple of times, but big bottles always tend to show greater quality. The bottle came from MORE ...

a private cellar, was stored in a conditioned environment since release. Level was high fill. The first 15 minutes were like a roller-coaster, the wine changed every couple of minutes. After 30 minutes it showed its best. Smell of sweet reserva elements, wood, cinnamon, some tea and mocha. And a unbelievable load of black fruit. The taste is so soft, silky and delegate, astonishing! The complexity on the highest level, the acid, softened tannins and sweet fruit gives the wine a perfect balance. So much power but so elegant. We tried to finish the bottle but luckily kept some for today. To pair it with Italian and Rhone stars. Big bottles indeed show better quality.

Palmer 89 always scores 9.5 or higher. This bottle BOW 9,5/10


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Petrus, La Fleur Petrus, Lafleur

Petrus, La Fleur Petrus, Lafleur

21-04-2016

Three great terroirs 2000 - Pétrus, Chateau La Fleur-Petrus, Chateau Lafleur 2000.

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The three chateaux lie besides each other. So terroir is of major influence in the final quality of the wine. Let’s start with Petrus 2000.

Petrus 2000 – darkest color of the 3 wines. Lots of cassis, but also berries, cocos, vanilla. Palet is full of liquorice, so fat, but so smooth and sweet. The Merlot works like liquid silk, creamy and gives the wine the perfect balance. Comparable to Petrus 1989 and 1998, but with the charme of 1990. Is this the best Petrus of the last 50 years? BOW 10/10.


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