Glenfarclas 40 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted March 30, 2021Glenfarclas 40 year old at 43%ABV. I found it amusing to say $900 is cheap for a bottle of 40 year old single malt scotch considering that 900 bucks ain’t pocket change but you rarely see a 40 year old scotch at this price either. So how much of a bargain is this? Let’s find out. Nose: fragrant but light, dry fruits such as sultanas and raisins, light grassy and surprisingly creamy. The sherry influence is subdued and harmonious after 4 decades in the cask, Not too oaky at all considering the age. Palate: light honey suckle, dried wood spice up front. Dark chocolate, nutmeg, and nuts, then slowly faded with traces of oak bitterness. Finish: long, warm and dry, lingering oak and rich chocolate. This is simply superb and one of the very best I’ve ever had, period. It is stunningly balanced and yet complex with Glenfarclas’ signature mellow, well aged and classic old spirit quality. For the money, this is a no brainer. The big conglomerate would charge you an arm or leg for it but because Glenfarclas is a family own small business, it’s only 900 bucks. If you ever come by this bottle at a decent price, don’t hesitate! It’s that good!
Penderyn 13 Year Rich Oak Single Cask #D1062
Single Malt — WalesTasted March 16, 20211 of the 2 2021 single cask release for the US importer ImpEx Beverages. Aged 11 years in Buffalo trace bourbon barrel, finished in STR (no question a Sherry) cask. Bottled at cask strength of course. Neat without adding water. Nose: no doubt it’s finished in sherry cask, the influence is apparent. Behind the sherry note, there’s a beautiful mixture of dark chocolate, soda cream, caramelized brown sugar and the vanilla. Palate: sweet and fruity initially, then came the heat of alcohol and spiciness of the oak. Juicy and chewy Finish: dried raisin, the heat tingles at the back of tongue, quite tannic from the oak, medium length. Adding several drops of water. Sweeter nose with less pungent smell of alcohol. Tropical fruits came out to play. Less heat but nuttier palate, much drinkable. A well crafted single malt. I would’ve guessed a highland sherry bomb if I tasted it blind but it’s a Walsh single cask! Well done from such a young distillery.
Caol Ila 18 Year (2017 Special Release)
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted March 15, 2021Unpeated Caol Ila?! Is this possible? Well, let’s find out. Trying it neat first. Nose: the light smoke and briny smell hit the nose first and then it evolved into salted caramel with charred oak, the vanilla slowly but surely came through with dried fruits hanging at the back, hmmm fragrant and fantastic smell! Palate: surprisingly light and fruity to start out with, then bang the pepper and heat came with tender sweetness. Finish: long, citrus, vanilla, smoky and trace of bitter. Several drops of water later... More creamier and fruity, sweeter also on the nose. Noticeably sweeter, bitter honey and oakier on palate. 95 on the nose easily, such such wonderful nose! The not so complex palate seems a little bit lacking compared to the nose. Overall a fantastic dram. Did I mention the price?? $100 USD for a bottle, such a bargain! Highly impressive unpeated Caol Ila release!
Hazelburn 12 Year
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTasted July 8, 2020Quite a pricey bottle here in the states. Paid $100+. Color: gold Nose: citrus, lemon zest, honey, traces of smoke, light and funky. Palate: sweet malt, light fruitiness, but quickly overwhelmed by the oak bitterness, it’s quite tannic and woody, hint of smoke, together with the heat from the alcohol made it quite unpleasant. Finish: medium length, bitter oak and tannic taste lingers in your mouth This is just too much wood, the casks were probably refilled many times and were certainly at its last legs. Quite disappointing dram from my favorite distillery Springbank. If they used quality cask this could’ve been a great bottle.
Daftmill 2006 Summer Batch Release (US)
Single Malt — Lowlands, ScotlandTasted July 2, 2020Bought 3 bottles of this Daftmill 2006 summer release of 1680 bottles exclusively for the US market. The story behind Daftmill is unique where the Cuthbert brothers grow and malt their own barley, distillation and aging are all done in the farm. Daftmill is the only distillery from Scotland that does this from top to bottom all in house. Color: light gold Nose: very fragrant, pear, sweet honey suckle, rose petals, mint. Palate: light sweet barley, creamy arrival, honey, light viscosity, then fresh fruits, the warmth of the alcohol shines through and the oak bitterness lingers at the back. Finish: medium long, the honey sweetness lingers with the oakiness makes you wanna keep sipping. This is a well crafted and balanced single malt from a single farm. The nose is amazing and I can smell it all day everyday. The palate is delicate and delivers to the high promise of the nose. All in all this is a great bottle, it’s very rare too and if you can get a bottle at the retail price, it’s well worth the price. The hype is real.
Glen Scotia 15 Year
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTasted June 24, 2020Probably the cheapest 15 yr old single malt scotch you can buy, widely available, hugely under appreciated, here’s why below Nose: dry fruit, apricot, ginger, salty caramel, lemon peel, honey, hint of smoke. Palate: light arrival, medium viscosity, honey sweet, citrus, apricot, traces of smoke and spice, the salty coastal flavor complimented it really well. Finish: medium length, citrus lingers with oak bitterness. Well crafted and balanced, a tasty classic Campbell town dram, punches way above the $65 I paid and puts some of more expensive malts to shame. A true hidden gem that’s under the radar. Will always have a place on my shelf.
Port Charlotte MRC:01 2010
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted June 22, 2020Found at a store that don’t know what they are selling since it was not entered into their computer. Ended up selling it at normal PC10 price. What a steal, their lost my gain. Neat in glencairn Color: deep brownish copper Nose: brine, seaweed, salty, nuts, smoke, peat, faint red wine smell, strong alcohol smell gives it quite a rubbery scent. It definitely smells young. Palate: oily, great viscosity, arrives light and sweet on the tongue, then exploded into berries, red grapes, smoke, ash, roasted peanut and almond. Complimented at the back with spicy pepper, oak, and hint of bitterness. Finish: very long and warm. Traces of smoke, bacon and nuts. The pepper spices linger. Added drops of water More sweet fruitiness, tamed not as hot, dry, the red wine influence shows. Great stuff, there’s a lot going on that gives you a unique experience. This is it if you want an adventure! 4.25 for the spirit 4.5 for the steal of price
Deanston 2008 Bordeaux Red Wine
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted February 26, 2020Found it at $55, for the price it’s a steal. Nose: red wine influence is profound, on the fruity side, dry, honey, sugary Palate: neat without water, almost overpowering alcohol burn with berries, peppery, then the bitter oak at the end. The wine influence is apparent. It’s dry, tannic, but the high abv is very punchy makes you forgot all the quality of the wine. with water: it’s much softer and mellow, honey, the water really brings out the oak and the depth of the wine. Finish: medium, warm, fruity and sweet notes. Hint of bitter and wood. For the price hell ya it’s a steal, but it is a young 9 yr old unconventional scotch that really tests your palate.
Bunnahabhain 18 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted February 3, 2020Lucky enough to find 4 bottles of this older packing bunny 18 instead of newer one at $110 a box, what a steal! Nose: brown sugary sweetness, hint of ginger spiciness, the sherry influence is quite apparent, dried fruits, nuts, vanilla. Palate: oily and creamy mouthfeel, not nearly as sweet as the nose indicated, toasty nuts, spiciness, again the sherry influence is pleasantly apparent, the heat from alcohol shines through and a hint of smoke at the end Finish: thick, long and malty, little bit of bitterness lingers and makes you wanna keep sipping This is very well, elegantly crafted Islay malt, bunnahabhain really is one of the kind, this expression is unique and hugely under appreciated. This is a must have from any serious scotch addict!
Yamazaki 12 Year
Single Malt — Honshu, JapanTasted January 24, 2020Open it for the Chinese New Year. Nose: floral, fruity, vanilla, butterscotch, honey Palate: the gentle honey sweetness arrives first, then the fruits, grape, citrus play at the back, the nuts, then at the end the charred oak smokiness Finish: medium, slight bitterness, the fantastic fusion of malt and oak This is fantastic dram, well balanced and easy sipper. The palate is especially good and things arrive one by one, nobody is overpowering anybody. Well crafted whisky.