The bottles tasted were as following:
Sweden - Mackmyra Preludium 06
Australia (Tasmania) - Hellyers Road Original 'Roaring 40's'
Holland- Millstone 5 Yr Peated
India - Paul John Edited
Taiwan - Kavalan Concertmaster
This expression was composed Barbro Hyllengren, who is the Distillery Visitor Manager at Mackmyra. Preludium:06 is a blend of smoky malt, stored for four years in first fill ex- bourbon casks. This base flavour is then augmented with whisky that has been stored in new, 100-litre American oak casks and bourbon casks, as well as some other selected casks.
This expression is bottled at 50.5% which, according to the blurb on the bottle, is for optimal flavour.
Pale straw in colour with real sparkle.
Flasknumber 27606. For those that speak Swedish it was Buteljerad (bottled) 06.11.2007.
Nose of smoke, vanilla, floral notes, citrus, caramel, peat, stewed cooking apples, and poppy seed bread.
Palate: Smoke, bbq, limes, vanilla.
Finish is medium, slight spice tang.
It lacks depth and whilst the flavours are good it seems slightly unsure of what it is supposed to be.
Hellyers Road Distillery was established in 1997 and is Australia's largest distiller of Australian single malt whisky. It is based on the Northern shore of Tasmania and the entry level release is named after the 'Roaring Forties' winds which bring in the rainwater used in the production of the whisky, this is matured in American white oak barrels.
This is bottled at 40%, NCF and uncoloured, very pale in the glass.
The nose is unusual, oak, slight antiseptic, grape juice, floral notes and apples.
The palate gives a completely different whisky. Bitter coffee (in a good way), dark chocolate (high % cacao), citrus and vanilla.
It is soft in the mouth but slightly to thin. I would love to try a 46% expression of this.
The finish lingers and has a slightly drying quality. Medium in length with chocolate undertones.
It mellows nicely in the glass and I will be interested to see how it changes over time in the bottle.
This bottle comes in a lovely black wooden hinged case. The bottle is wide shouldered, 700ml frosted glass. The thing I can't understand before I have even tasted the whisky is why they would go to all this trouble in terms of presentation and then use the cheapest, most light weight plastic cork with balsa wood stopper top. It feels so incredibly cheap you can hardly believe it came off this very same bottle (but i can forgive this).
Other than that it is nicely done. Another thing I like is the fact that they use windmills to mill the malted barley the traditional way. Hence the the name, Millstone.
Bright gold in colour, nose of peat, smoke, sweet vanilla, stewed apricots.
The mouth feel is clean and light. Smoke upfront followed by candied fruit and a pepper tang.
Finish is long, smoky and mellow.
Bottle number 1645, cask 65, distilled 05.02.2005, bottled 25.05.2012. They call is a 5 yr but clearly this is nearer 7 years. In the Netherlands the angels share is apparently 4-5% so it matures faster than Scotch.
I like this a lot, well made and very drinkable.
I am a big fan of the Brilliance and the cask strength series expressions from PJ distilleries. I found them really well put together, very drinkable with fruity flavour profiles and enjoyable. As the temperature in Goa reaches 40'C the angels share is 12%. This means that maturation occurs very quickly and even though this is NAS I am told that it is 4-5 yrs in age. Matured in first-fill American oak ex-bourbon barrels (from distilleries including Jack Daniels and Buffalo Trace) this is well planned. All of the ingredients are from India with the exception of the peat (which is imported from Islay). The barley is 6-row Himalayan barley rather than the standard 2 row variant used in most other whiskies.
I have no idea if E150 is used but suspect it maybe, I would be interested to find out for sure.
Bright Gold in the glass the nose offers soft smoke, leather, apples, mint and barley Palate: You get a hit of peat and smoke upfront which has a slightly bitter tang to it before moving through to barley and spiced fruits. The finish is fairly long with pepper and spice.
I know Jim Murray divides opinion but he gave this 96.5 in his 2014 bible and I don't see it. I like it but, for me, it is not anywhere near a 96.5 It is nice but it is not epic. Also, it is not as nice as the Brilliance which I think is very good (JM gave that 94). I suspect that even though John Paul make more Whisky than Scotland they have not mastered the use of peat and some so whilst it is good, it is not a accomplished as Longrow or many of the big Islay distilleries.
It does improve with time in the glass so be sure to give it time to breathe.
This is a good example of Taiwanese Whisky. It is finished on Portugese port casks, both Ruby, Tawny and Vintage Port. It has a golden tawny colour but there is no E150 added, it's all natural.
The nose is sweet, rich and fruity. Sticky dates, plums and dark fruits.
The palate offers toffee and is gently warming. There are rich fruits including mango and berries. There is a strong port influence which you would expect.
The finish it short and sweet. It has a freshness and ends with a slightly bitter spiced tang.
It's nice but it's not rounded enough. The idea is good, the execution is not quite there. Worth trying but lacking the finesse needed to be a "great".