We've got 4 pint jugs to take away real ale and cider!
Come up to the top of Halkyn Mountain and join us as we drink in the atmosphere of the house of ale repute
20p per pint discount on cider for card carrying WPCS members
and on cask ale too for CAMRA members
We try and keep an interesting mix of non-chill filtered whiskies and we are deeply indebted to David Wishart whose book Whisky Classified comes highly recommended and has allowed us to use his notes to add more detail to each whisky description. The book is available from behind the bar and you're welcome to have a look. It details whisky from the perspective of flavour and not area, it also helps you choose a single malt whisky that suits your palate, not someone else's! Have a read and you'll understand the letters (in brackets) after each whisky from Tullibardine (A) to Ardbeg (J)!
The conventional way to classify Scotch malt whiskies is by region - Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown. But knowing where they are made doesn't explain how they taste. Many distilleries today can produce a variety of flavours, peatiness (or lack of it) and this book guides the reader through the process.
How do you drink yours? Everyone's preference differs, personally I choose to add a drop of water to release the esters that would otherwise never surface and so enjoy a fuller and flavoursome experience. I wouldn't add ice as that clouds the taste buds and drinking a neat 46%abv+ whisky is not for me. I'll not take issue with how you like yours though! Steve
Reviews Whisky -
Whisky - we've had
Laphroaig were awarded Best Single Malt in the World in 2005 by Whisky Magazine. Each year Laphroaig Master Distiller, John Campbell, handcrafts a limited edition malt to celebrate friendship (“Cairdeas” in Gaelic).
The 2013 expression has enjoyed a double maturation in bourbon and port wood casks to create an exceptional balance of their signature peat flavour with tangy citrus fruits and a floral finish. Like any friendship, each blend of Laphroaig Cairdeas is completely unique – something to be savoured with friends old and new. Laphroaig Cairdeas – friendship distilled.
This is the very first time Laphroaig has been finished in port wood! For the technically-minded among you: it's been bottled at 51.3% ABV, is non-chill filtered and is an all natural colour. Here are John Campbell's official tasting notes:
Stewed Rhubarb, Huge peat moving into vanilla ice cream and milk chocolaty. Gentle cloves, minty and fresh...
Cairdeas Port wood then becomes floral like summer roses, orange marmalade and finishes with a long, dry charcoal finish.
A lovely mouth feel and a nice balance, Cairdeas port wood has an initial honey sweetness but becomes dry quickly then creamy and floral, it shows a heavy saltiness and a great liquorice root flavour that really lasts, it then develops into a long, heavy charcoal finish mixing with orange rind flavours that really linger on the palate.
Adding a little water releases a rich aroma of peat smoke with some sweetness and strong hints of the sea.
Laphroaig reccomend that you add twice as much water as whisky to fully appreciate the taste characteristics of Laphroiag. Whisky at cask strength may overpower the palate, but adding water will release the rich aroma of peat smoke with some sweetness and strong hints of the sea.
There is more detail on this story here and it'll also tell you why this whisky has won so many awards!
Click READ MORE for our tasting notes...
The following tasting notes (work in progress) by Steve Marquis...
Cairdeas 2013 Port Wood Edition
Bottled By: Producer
Age: 10 years old
Strength: 51.3% vol
Chill Filtered: No
Cask: Matured in conventional American ex-bourbon and port barrels.
Nose: Aromatic, antiseptic, seaweed and ozone.
Taste: Medium-bodied, creamy with toffee, salt and pepper, strongly peaty and spicy.
Finish:Long, satisfyingly smoky ending.
Note: A really mouth-filling sensational malt for peat lovers.
From Whisky Classified
& Whisky Analyst
Laphroaig is Gaelic for "the beautiful hollow by the broad bay" and on a sunny day it truly lives up to its
name. It was first licensed in 1815 to farmers Donald and Alex Johnston at a remote spot on the windswept
southern coast of Islay, although it is rumoured that they were previously making illicit whisky for many
Its neat Victorian stone buildings seem almost to challenge the elements - white-washed granite walls with
orderly rows of black-framed windows, twin pagoda-topped kilns, and warehouses that announce "
LAPHROAIG" in tall bold letters that face defiantly towards the north Atlantic.
Laphroaig is made by first steeping the barley in soft, peaty Islay water and allowing it to germinate, which
involves raking and turning it by hand on the malting floor for six days. The germinated barley is then dried
in a swirling peat fire, and it's the smoke from this pungent Islay peat that gives Laphroaig its distinctive "
peaty reek" character. Being at the mercy of the elements, the spray from the sea not only showers the
land with salt but also with seaweed. It is this combination of heather, mosses and seaweed in the peat that
gives Laphroaig the salty, marine character which is prized so highly.
After distillation the whisky is matured in first-fill Kentucky oak casks, racked in the maturation sheds on the
seashore. Here it is washed by the cool, salty/seaweed Atlantic wind, and on a stormy night the sea has
been known to enter the sheds, swirling beneath the barrels. It's no surprise, therefore, that Laphroaig's
unique, peaty taste also carries a strong hint of iodine and sharp, salty Atlantic air.
It is styled "the definitive Islay malt whisky" because it epitomises the taste of Islay - rich, smoky, peaty and
full of character. It is a whisky that releases the pungent, earthy aroma of blue peat smoke, the sweet
nuttiness of the barley and the delicate, heathery perfume of Islay's streams.
Laphroaig is definitely an acquired taste, but one shared by HRH Prince of Wales who awarded Laphroaig
his Royal Warrant in 1994 and commissions his own "Highgrove" and "Duke of Rothesay" Laphroaig
Water is drawn from Loch Kilbride, having run over heather-clad granite hills and through acres of peat
bogs. The distillery operates original floor maltings and peat kiln, a stainless steel Lauter mash tun, 6
stainless steel washbacks, 3 wash stills, 3 small spirit stills and one larger one, to maintain the balance of
Laphroaig Single Islay Malt whisky is bottled at 10 ,15, 25, 30 and 40 years old, and at 10 years old cask-
strength, the latter non chill-filtered. Another edition that has proved very popular is Laphroaig Quarter Cask,
matured in tiny oak butts originally designed for smuggling whisky by packhorse. Being small, the oak
contributes more to the flavour which is smooth and delightfully creamy with less pungent peatyness.
The visitor centre is open all year round and offers tours, tastings and a shop. For those not able to get to
Islay, their website www.laphroaig.com offers an excellent virtual distillery tour.
Devotees can join the "Friends of Laphroaig", which includes a free lifetime lease of a square-foot plot of
Islay, with annual rent paid in whisky at the distillery. Laphroaig now has over 230 thousand friends
worldwide and a very active website with offers of special editions. Many Friends make their annual
pilgrimage to Laphroaig, to visit their plots and claim their rent, and this community has inspired many
extraordinary events - two Friends were married here, a deceased Friend had his ashes scattered on his
plot, and another installed a miniature Japanese ceremonial garden.
Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Argyll PA42 7DU
Tel. +(44) 01496 30 2418
Fax +(44) 01496 30 2496
David Wishart's book Whisky Classified details whisky from the perspective of flavour and not area, it also helps you choose a single malt whisky that suits your palate, not someone else's!
The conventional way to classify Scotch malt whiskies is by region - Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown. But knowing where they are made doesn't explain how they taste. Many distilleries today can produce a variety of flavours, peatiness (or lack of it) and this book guides the reader through the process. The following is a key to the cluster groups used within the book and on our website. If you lookup your own favourite whisky in th ebook and find what cluster it is in you are bound to find some equally enjoyable whiskies in the same and adjacent clusters that will suit your palate. Here is a summary of the clusters...
A - Full bodied, sweet, pronounced sherry with fruity, honey and spicy notes.
B - Full bodied, sweet, pronounced sherry with fruity, floral and malty notes, some honey and spice evident.
C - Full bodied, medium sweet, pronounced sherry with fruity, honey, nutty and smoky notes.
D - Quite full bodied and sweet, fruity, floral and nutty notes, fairly spicy, hint of smoke.honey and spicy notes.
E - Medium bodied, medium sweet with fruity, honey and winey notes, and a whiff of smoke and spice.
F - Quite full bodied, sweet and malty with fruity, spicy and smoky notes.
G - Light, sweet and honeyed, with floral, fruity and spicy notes, mostly unpeated, an aperitif style.
H - Very light, sweet and malty, fruity and floral, an aperitif style.
I - Medium bodied, medium sweet, quite smoky, some medicinal notes, spicy, fruity and nutty.
J - Full bodied, dry, pungent with peat smoke and medicinal notes, some spice, malt and fruit in the background and a hint of polished leather or libraries.
Pub open from 5pm Mon-Fri (closed on Tues) and 12pm Sat, Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays.
Post Office - As pub hours + Mon & Thu 11am - 1pm and 3pm onwards
Coaches welcome by appointment. - We have free banking at any time!
Copyright © 2005-2015 Blue Bell Inn, Halkyn.
This site is authored by Steve Marquis for the Blue Bell Inn
|E&OE - While we endeavour to get things right we are only human and errors might
inadvertently creep in so sorry in advance! Please let us know!