Say anything that you like about me except that I drink water. - W. C. Fields, Life, Jan 6th 1947
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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 2016 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



Auchentoshan 12yo (D) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

Auchentoshan 12yo

ImageDistilled at the Auchentoshan distillery in Clydebank, Glasgow. This single malt whisky is triple distilled and matured for over twelve years.  This whisky is chill-filtered prior to bottling for the international market.

It is described as a Lowland single malt with a tempting aroma of toasted almonds, caramelised toffee (probably from added colouring after chill filtering) and the signature smooth, delicate Auchentoshan taste.

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

Penderyn MadeiraA permanent feature here at the Blue Bell inn Penderyn Welsh Whisky is the single malt whisky that defines Penderyn's 'house style' being distilled in their unique copper pot still, matured in bourbon barrels, finished in rich Madeira wine casks and bottled at premium strength. The whisky is smooth, light in character and softly golden in colour.

At premium strength (46% vol) Penderyn has an exceptionally balanced taste with an aroma of cream toffee and fleetingly of fresh new leather. Then, as the initial sensations fade, the finishing notes of tropical fruits, raisins and vanilla emerge strongly and are long lasting.

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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The Arran Malt 10yo (G) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

The Arrran Malt 10yo

Isle of Arran Distillers is one of the few remaining independent distilleries in Scotland. Based at Lochranza on the Isle of Arran, one of the most beautiful and famous in Scotland which lies off the West Coast between Ayrshire and Kintyre.

Arran is a unique island known as 'Scotland in Miniature', for it has all of the scenery of Scotland, with mountains and lowlands, glens, lochs and royal castles (including one at Lochranza). Early in the 19th century there were more than 50 whisky distilleries on Arran, most of them illegal and carefully hidden from the eyes of the taxmen. The malt from Arran was shipped to the mainland and enjoyed by the gentry who regularly "took the Arran waters". It was acclaimed at the time as the best in Scotland, only rivalled by those from the 'Glen of Livet'.

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

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The Singleton 12yo (B) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

The Singleton 12yo

Distilled since 1896 with water so pure, legend has it rival distillers have even tried to divert its course. No wonder, since the exceptional quality of the water is just one of the factors that provides The Singleton of Dufftown single malt whisky with its exceptional smoothness.

The Dufftown distillery first drew water from Highlandman John's Well in 1896 and continues to do so to this day. Curiously, the new-make spirit that runs from the three pairs of stills is best described as spicy in character. However, 12 years in a combination of American and European Oak The unique bottle shape of The Singleton of Dufftown is inspired by a traditional hipflask while the colour of the glass reflects the blue flint glass used at the turn of the previous century.

“Perfectly Balanced, Naturally Rich and Smooth” is the wording on the label, and it is the ideal summary of this striking single malt.

...or so says the blurb on the Diageo website!

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Tobermory 10yo (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.

Notes from the distillery website...

Colour: Golden

Nose: Fine unpeated malt, yeast and water drawn from the dark aromatic Isle of Mull's peat lochans, combines with the unique climatic characteristics from Tobermory Bay to ensure a fresh, lightly peated, smokey nose.

Palate: The pleasantly surprising taste profile is medium dry with a smooth and fruity tang.

Finish: Well rounded and reassuringly rich

 

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Tomintoul 12yo Portwood (E) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - we've had

Tomintoul12yoPW.jpg

Located near to the village of Tomintoul (pronounced Tomintowl), the highest village in the Highlands of Scotland lies Tomintoul Distillery which is in the prestigious Glenlivet Estate at the heart of the Speyside region.

Tomintoul is produced in six standard expressions but we have a very unusual expression for you here, a limited quantity of Tomintoul 12 year old spent it's last 20 months of maturation in port pipes.  This process of finishing bestows on the whisky refined characteristics, most notably tones of fruity port sweetness.

Bottled at 46% this expression has not been coloured or chill-filtered retaining all of the aromatic components to preserve impact and flavour and a beautiful blush pink natural colouring making it a totally natural and true whisky.

Here for a 2nd time as I got to take youngest back up to his university in Aberdeen and it's such a lovely whisky!

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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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This site is authored by Steve Marquis for the Blue Bell Inn

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