Clynelish 14 Year
Peated Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed May 24, 2020Bought this a few years ago while on sale at my local liquor store and stuck at the back of my cabinet. Finally opened it a few weeks ago. The first pour wasn’t that good and I felt a little let down by it, but a few drams later as the level dropped provided a better evaluation and revealed its true character. Sweet honey with a hint of orange on the nose. More of the same on the palate but mixed with some fruits, malt, nutty flavors, and a whiff of smoke. The finish is medium in length with some spices and toffee coming through. Bottled at 46% ABV, it certainly can take some water which tones down the tongue tingle and opens up the sweet fruity notes at little, but it’s really not that hot, and I enjoy the higher ABV and the tongue tingle. Probably not for someone fairly new to scotch as it’s quite complex. It’s a little pricey for people who prefer to shop in the sub-$60 range, but if you are happy to buy scotches in the $70 to $80 range then this is a must try.59.99 USD per BottleWichita
Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt
Blended Malt — Speyside, ScotlandReviewed April 28, 2020One of the best bang-for-the-buck scotches available. It’s not overly complex and the finish is on the short side, but anyone looking for a daily sipper at a bargain price should grab a bottle. Light, sweet fruits on the nose. Zesty (lemon and a hint of grapefruit?) on the palate with malt and honey notes on the finish. At around $30 it’s a steal.29.99 USD per BottleWichita
Redbreast 15 Year
Single Pot Still — IrelandReviewed April 5, 2020Some reviews have said that the 12 year is better but I disagree. The15 is expensive but those extra three years and higher ABV really kick this whisky up a notch with regard to the spices and the fruit/cherry notes. The nose and palate share many of the tasting notes from the 12, but the 15 provides a better, more rounded mouthfeel that coats the tongue better and holds the finish longer. I rate the 12 as a solid 88. This is a step up and scores 90 in my book. Yes, it’s expensive, so if money is a priority then stick with the 12, but if the extra dollars are within your budget, then go with the 15 because it’s a wonderful example of what Ireland has to offer.
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed February 25, 2020Not for the feint hearted, the high ABV packs a punch, but in a nice way that bourbon lovers who like that extra boost of flavor will appreciate. Cherries dominant the sweet nose. Spices, cherries, and dark fruits on the palate. Lovely big/thick mouthfeel that coats the tongue and lingers. A dash of water tones down the spices a little and brings out even more of the sweet cherry notes on the finish. You could pour over ice but that wouldn’t be my recommendation. At around $48 where I live, this is a bargain.48.0 USD per BottleWichita
Glenlivet 12 Year Double Oak
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandReviewed February 15, 2020Excellent value for money. Not overly complex, nor does it have a long finish, but the orchard fruits and hints of vanilla come through on both the nose and the palate to provide an easy-sipping dram that’s just fine for most people who just want a Speyside Scotch in the $35 to $40 range. Buy it — you won’t be disappointed.
Macallan Edition No. 5
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed January 19, 2020Wonderful blend of dark fruits and spices. Adding a few drops of water tones down the spices and opens up the fruits. Macallan fans will love it . Yes, it’s a lot of money for a no-age-statement scotch (I paid $104), but if you are comfortable buying whiskies at that price point, then I say go for it you won’t be disappointed.