Balblair 1997 1st Release
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted(Review for Balblair 97 2nd Ed.) When it comes to whisky, (almost) everyone loves some peat and different casks thrown in the mix but sometimes all you need is a plain unpeated malt aged solely in ex-bourbon casks. This Balblair is 14/15 years old, 46% abv, NFC, beautiful natural golden color and aged only in 1st fill ex-bourbon casks. The nose is a flavor bomb of tropical fresh fruits: pineapple, banana and citrusy fruits, some sweet vanilla, all wrapped by a hard to explain floral aroma. DELICIOUS! The palate is gorgeous with a very thick mouthfeel, a sweet taste and a very long finish with a welcome spicy kick, just to keep things interesting. Bravo Balblair!
Ardbeg An Oa
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedSo... this seems to be the least favorite from Ardbeg core range, at least amongst us hardcore whisky fans. I beg to disagree! While I would have some difficult to rank them (10, An Oa, Uige and Corry) on any particular order as I love them all, I would say this one is at least as good as it companions. This is so complex that some could call it a chameleon whisky... First time I opened the bottle all I got was smoky banana pudding and a creamy sweetness background. Some weeks later I got some lemon citrus with peat/smoke background and I could swear it was the TEN I was smelling... Today I’m sipping it again and as I’m trying to focus very hard on my senses, I can get a very big cloves and cigar ash aroma... May seem weird but it’s great! Ahhhh, we whisky geeks may sound crazy sometimes... ;) On the mouth this one is very creamy, with a great mouthfeel and has that familiar heavy smoky/peaty/ashy Ardbeg taste that we all love but this time some extra sweetness tag along, probably from the PX Casks in the mix. The aftertaste is ashy and a little bit more bitter than I like, but nothing that spoils the ride. Overall another stellar dram from Ardbeg. Highly recommended!68.0 USD per Bottle
Bunnahabhain An Cladach
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedNot a review! Also not a bad drop... at all! Can’t quite understand the super low score this whisky got from the oficial review. Maybe he just got a bad/sulphured batch, maybe our palate is just too ordinary... Who knows?! Everything I know is this whisky may be a bit young (as the nose suggest), but it is good, with lots of Sherry goodness and an amazing value! Glad that I got over the bad score and bought it anyway.55.0 USD per Bottle
Talisker 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedOrange citrus, brine, pepper and a little smoke... But put together in such a perfect way that words fail me. This ought to be the best under $50 bottle available on the market. It’s my 3rd bottle and it never ceases to amaze me. Highly recommend it if you don’t mind some peat, salt and pepper.
Bowmore 18 Year Deep & Complex
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedChill filtered ..... ✔️ Lots of E150 ..... ✔️ 43 abv .............. ✔️ Do I care? No! Why? Read on... I see a lot of whiskies around here being judged by this parameters when I think what really matters at the end is how it smells/tastes and specially how you like it. Do I like this one? A lot! This one has a lovely deep chestnut color (yes, E150, I know...) that happens to match the overall darker profile of the whisky, so no problem here. The aroma is the highlight on this one, I could just pour a dram and keep smelling the glencairn for hours... There is a smoky peat/chocolate combo that assault your senses as soon as you put your nose into the glass, but soon after there is more, a lot of dark fruits join the party, specially figs, plums and ripe cherries, all covered by the smoked chocolate... Just yummy! 😋 The palate is also delicious, although a bit thin (my only complain here). You can feel the sweet PX influence and there is less peat and more spice than the nose suggest but something I can’t put my finger on just keeps me sipping over and over again, maybe the overall balance, maybe the finish, that is a lot smokier than the palate and a great surprise. Anyhow, this one (imho) joins the likes of Lagavulin 16 and Dalmore 18 as a great whisky despite of the “flaws” early mentioned that all of them share.95.0 USD per Bottle
Hazelburn 13 Year Oloroso Cask Matured
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedStrawberry jam with Sherry and a strong mushroom funkiness background. Super viscous and full bodied for a triple distilled malt. I know it’s unpeated but I can swear that’s a light peat somewhere to be found. This is so good on so many levels. And finally I join to the Springbank cult! 😄 (Had Springbank 10 and Longrow 10 before and it was just ok)
Lagavulin Distillery Exclusive 2017
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedAnother bottle I feel the urge to give it some justice... Just one rating so far and far too low for the quality of this whisky. Tasted almost a year ago so I don’t have precise tasting notes but remember being some points above the 2017 Jazz Ed., that was already a great bottle. More creamy & sweet and less sooty and peaty than the 12 series, this one probably have some Oloroso cask in the mix and/or some kind of wine finish. I also could bet that the average age of this one is older. As per the Ledaig 13 review, I promise detailed tasting notes as soon as I open my bottle. 4.75 for now, but I have the feeling I’ll change this for a full 5 stars after trying it again.
Ledaig 13 Amontillado Cask Finish
Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedTasted at Deanston distillery. (1 year ago) This is a very complex and tasteful whisky. Just so smoky, meaty and full of flavors. Amazing stuff! I will write some detailed tasting notes as soon as I open the bottle that I bought right after my fist sip. The low score on this one was bothering me because this is simple put - brilliant!
Bruichladdich Black Art 1992 05.1 Edition 24 Year
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedTasted at Drumbar (Chicago) some months ago. This is very good whisky but not on the same league as 4.1, that was AMAZING.
Glen Grant 10 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedI just opened this one to replace the now gone Aberfeldy 12 as the light and cheap whisky from my rotation. The nose is lovely with ripe pear, floral sweetness and a hint of lemon citrus in the background. The taste is sweet and reminds me of caramel and honeysuckle. There is no alcohol burn at all. The finish is also sweet and carry a little bit of spiceness and a tad more bitterness than I would like, but nothing that would ruin it. Although I don’t agree with it, I don’t think that Jim Murray was completely out of his mind when he called this one Single Malt Scotch of the year 2017 (10 yrs & under). This is a lovely whisky with an unbelievable low price tag and certainly is a must buy for fans of floral/sweet speysiders.