Craft Whisky Tasting Review

The Origins of Usige Beathe and The Emergence of European Whisky and Gold Medals….

Craft Whisky Tasting

@ Lysses House Hotel 27th May 2015

With Scott Paine of Marussia Beverages UK

A big thank you Scott Paine, who hosted our Craft Whisky Tasting and thank you to all our customers who attended. I think everyone who attended will agree that it was an informative, very interesting whisky tasting and I certainly learnt a few things I didn’t know! Trying Teeling’s take on Irish Whiskies (small batch with Rum and Wine cask finishes) and European whiskies from

Mackmyra (Sweden) and Millstone Whisky (The Netherlands) was quite fascinating. Add to this the Compass Box GKS Glasgow blend and it was quite a tasting.

You can read my original blog post about the whisky tasting here. Here are some of my (brief) notes and photographs from the whisky tasting.

Teeling Single Malt Irish Whiskey 46% – lovely, clear golden colour. Aromatic, nutty nose. Chocolate, coffee and red fruit, citrus and spice on the palate. Long finish. 100% Malt barley whisky aged from 5 to 9 years old aged in 5 different casks – Sherry, Port, Madeira, White Burgundy and Cabernet Sauvignon. No chill filtration.

Teeling Irish Whiskey Blended 46% – Blend of Malt and Grain whisky, the Grain component from a very short 13m column still which gives lots of character. Finished in Nicaraguan Rum casks from Flor de Cana. Aromas of citrus, orange and vanilla spice. Fruity, spicy palate, sweet, rummy, caramel finish!

Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey 46% – 100% Grain whisky aged in ex Californian Cabernet Sauvignon Casks. Really aromatic with definite vinous notes of red berries, grapes. The palate is sweet and round, toffee and caramel but with Cabernet red berry fruit. Very good. Most popular of the whisky tasting.

Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blended Whisky 43% – 33% Lowland grain whisky and 67% Malt whisky from Islay, Highlands and Speyside – smoky hit from the Islay Malt and a good bit of Sherry cask influence too. Classic, smoky, peaty blend.

Craft Whisky Tasting

Mackmyra Brukswhisky Swedish Single Malt 41% – Aged in very small 30 litre Pot Still and aged in specially made 30 litre casks for 5 or 6 years. Delicate, light, fruity, aromatic nose. Grassy and fresh, sweetish, fruity finish. Light peated. The peat is smoked with juniper twigs to add extra character.

Mackmyra First Edition Swedish Single Malt 46.1% – Distilled in Mackmyra’s new gravity fed distillers. Some aged in 100 liter virgin oak casks, some aged in Swedish oak casks. Around 5 years old. Aromas of orange-y citrus, toffee, spice and marshmallow(!). Lovely viscous mouthfeel. Gently spiced, apple-notes. Very long finish.

Millstone Single Malt Whisky 40% – Millstone mill their barley using windmills which means the grist is processed at a much lower temperature compared to more modern mechanical methods. This means maximum flavour. Distilled in a 300 litre pot still, aged 5 years in American Oak. Fantastic brown bread, bran flakes nose. Nutty, coconut notes. Malty and reminiscent of freshly ground cereal. Peanut notes, caramel, orange / citrus. Good vanilla, oak finish.

Millstone Peated Single Malt Whisky 40% – Aged for 5 and a half years in American oak. Bready, toasty nose. Oily and peaty on the palate with caramel hints. Not heavily peated, Slight salty tang. Very good.

Millstone 100 Rye Whisky 50% – a real love it or hate it whisky. Personally, I love it. 100 months old, 100% proof, 100% Rye etc. etc. Distilled in small pot still and aged in US oak.  Half of the rye is malted using Belgian beer yeast for 5 to 7 days (average for malting is 48 hours) which helps to create maximum flavours in the wort (beer). Big, rich, punchy and spicy. Sherry, marmalade and aldehyde notes.  Superb stuff.

What were my favourites? It is really difficult to pick a favourite, they were all good, all have different characteristics and would be great for different times and uses. If I had to narrow it down, my favourite four whiskies I tasted on the evening were the Teeling Grain, Millstone Malt, Millstone 100 Rye and Mackmyra First Edition.

Here is a breakdown of the most popular whiskies from the whisky tasting as percentage of sales made on the evening, Teeling Grain being the most popular!

Craft Whisky Tasting

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