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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
CAMRA Vale of Clwyd 2017 Branch Cider Pub of the Year
20p per pint discount on cider for card carrying WPCS members
and on cask ale too for CAMRA members

David WishartWe 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



Penderyn (Sherry) (B) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

Penderyn Sherry

A permanent feature here at the Blue Bell Inn Penderyn Welsh Whisky's Sherrywood is the single malt whisky that defines Penderyn's 'house style' being distilled in their unique copper pot still, matured in bourbon barrels, and is enhanced by rich tones of dry Sherry. This fine whisky captures the true spirit of Wales.

At premium strength (46% vol) Penderyn Sherrywood single malt whisky yields rich dark fruits and caramels from dry Oloroso sherry casks which intermingle with green apples, hazelnuts and hints of sugared almonds. The nose is quickly reminded of Penderyn whiskies' classic freshness. The taste begins with remarkable sweetness that gives way for a moment to a refreshing dryness in the mid palate. Caramels and sultanas persist into a long finish.

A fact perhaps not commonly known is that S A Brain brewed the the mash to Penderyn's specification and send it up to the distillery for processing.

This whisky is non-chill filtered and has no added colouring making it a totally natural and true whisky.

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Laphroaig 1/4 Cask (J) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

 

Laphroaig 1/4 Cask

Laphroaig Quarter Cask is a A really mouth-filling sensational malt for peat lovers. The Quarter Cask expression takes its inspiration from the small casks often used for Scotch Whisky in the 19th century and frequently transported across the Glens by packhorse.

As the industry grew, they fell into disuse – bigger and more cost effective barrels became the norm, for maturation and transportation.

However as single malt lovers may know, the relationship between the barrels and the maturing spirit is critical. We noted that the small cask size gives up to 30% greater contact with the wood compared to some of the larger sizes used today, thus greatly intensifying the maturation process.

It was decided to recreate some of the Quarter Casks and the flavours they produce. We transferred some still maturing Laphroaig from our larger style barrels into the Quarter Casks. There then followed a further periods of maturation in our original Dunnage Warehouse No1.

For greater authenticity we simply barrier filtered the whisky – the method used in those far off days – and bottled at a higher alcoholic strength.

The result surprised and delighted us. The additional oak influence creates a soft sweetness and velvety feel when first tasted, then the intense peatiness so unique to Laphroaig, comes bursting through. The finish is very long and alternates between the sweetness and the peat.

There is more detail on this story here and it'll also tell you why this whisky is unaged!

COLOUR: Full sparkling gold

NOSE: Burning embers of peat in a crofters fireplace, hints of coconut and banana aromas

BODY: Full bodied

PALATE: Deep, complex and smoky yet offers and surprises the palate with a gentle sweetness

FINISH: Really long, and dries appropriately with smoke and spice

Click READ MORE for our tasting notes...

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Tobermory 10yo New Ed. (D) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

Tobermory 10yo

Built in 1789, the Tobermory distillery is purported to be the oldest commercial distillery in Scotland and the whisky is made on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.  This wonderful expression is the new edition, an un-chillfiltered and non-caramel coloured whisky, just as it should be!

Notes from the distillery website...

Colour: Bright lemony gold.

Nose: Rich island character with tantalising hints of grass, malt, gingerbread, stewed fruit syrup and finely polished oak.

Palate: Smooth, velvety with fruity tangs and exquisitely spiced gingerbread and aniseed for a medium sweetness to treasure.

Finish: Ginger and spicy oak, matched with bitter chocolate and almond that gently fades with a tail of sweet salty seas

 

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Old Poulteney 17yo (H) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

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Old Poulteney 17yo

Distilled at the Poulteney Distillery in Wick. Established in 1826 by Sir William Johnson Poulteney, The Pulteney Distillery can be found in the heart of 'Pulteneytown', the town he commisioned to be created by Thomas Telford to house fishermen during Wick’s 'herring boom'.  Over 10,000 people were employed in the herring industry and 1,000 boats could be harboured at Wick which is the Viking name for an opening or bay.

Old Poulteney is the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland, the spirit crafted here is a distillation of this unique location. The distillery was quite inaccessible when established, except by sea.

Nose - Sweet with traces of apples and pears: slightly woody with a hint of butterscotch.

Palate - Full bodied, with hints of vanilla and floral notes in the background; a long-lasting memorable finish.

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Macallan 13yo (C) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

The Macallan

Distilled in the Autumn of 1997 at the Macallan distillery in Clydebank, Glasgow and then bottled in Spring 2011.  This single malt whisky is a stunning young Macallan from a really good Bourbon hogshead cask refill (DMG Ref: 7197 if you really need to know)!  The bottling is a Douglas McGibbon Provenance special for The Whisky Castle.

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Braeval 10yo (E) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

Braeval 10yo

Distilled at the Braeval Distillery, Cairngorms Dew is a 46%vol non-chill filtered whisky and a Whisky Castle bottling. Mike at the Whisky Casttle says, "We though it was only very sensible with five distilleries in the Cairngorms National Park to have a label by which we can promote this wonderful place by filling up 70cl bottles with the local product. One distillery at a time as Single Malts.  This is bottled in Celebration of the area becoming a National Park. "

This malt is a very good example of the Braeval. Once known as the Braes of Glenlivet this expression has been matured in sherry oak for ten years. It is both light and extremely fruity at the same time. For a young dram really chewy with an enormous finish.  A soft well rounded dram with deep fruit notes almost light Christmas Cake in Nature. The bottling is a special Whisky Castle bottling by Douglas Laing.

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keyDavid 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.

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