Blended — IrelandTastedNose: light sweet honey/honeysuckle, maybe some shortbread, slight caramel, hint of vanilla, faint citrus that leans towards lemon. Taste: similar to nose, wood notes come in quickly afterwards, mild spice from the barrel, finishes with a light touch of bitterness. Not exactly what I’m looking for in an Irish whiskey but some may think it’s decent. I could see this mixing fairly well.
Slane Irish Whiskey
Blended — IrelandTastedNose: a mild pleasant nose, honey, vanilla, hint of butterscotch, dried fruits, sherry finishing does show very gently, not overly complex. Taste: starts with a light sweetness of honey and quickly transitions to oak spices, fades to some honey sweetness and dried fruits, vanilla, butterscotch, spice notes linger and change some. Middle of the road Irish whisky but certainly not horrible.
McClelland's Single Malt Lowland
Single Malt — Lowlands, ScotlandTastedNose: sweet, sugary like, some fruit, floral notes but I can’t place what it is, sitting will open up a hint of a cinnamon note, not overly complicated. Taste: thin, sweetness on the frontside, fruit, transitions to spice like ginger, finish isn’t anything complex either. A bit disappointed in this one.
Shieldaig Speyside Single Malt 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedNose: drying paint, almost harsh fumes (like I’m in a Sherman Williams store), alcohol, will subside if you let it sit and open up for a few minutes, perfume, bright fruits, pear, apple, some (sticky) sweetness, darker sugar notes, hint of old leather. Taste: sweet, maybe honey, moderate fruitiness, spiciness takes over, oak spice, cinnamon like note, ginger, slight earthy tone on the finish. Finish is medium but fades quick enough. It’s middle of the road in my book.
Grangestone 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedNose: light fruitiness, crisp orchard fruits, Light sweetness, hint of honey, mildest of a floral garden note, oak barrel notes, may get some vanilla, fairly simple and straight forward. Taste: light fruit, spice notes, grassy notes, slight bitterness, finishes a little hot and lingers some, not the greatest but may please some palates more.
Blended — Japan, JapanTastedNose: perfume, floral, slightly bright, alcohol vapors, sharp grain, some sweetness but like a very light spun sugary candy- almost sticky, alcohol will push aside if left to sit, hint of fruitier sweetness comes out and becomes more tame, honey notes. Taste: sweet, sharp barrel spice, lingers hot, not much else. You can tell it uses a lot of grain vs malt. Not that great neat. Mix this one.
Blended — ScotlandTastedNose: light, fruity, crisp orchard fruits, light sweetness, honey notes, some sharp grain notes, alcohol tones. For science, do something that’s a little unorthodox with this one. Let it sit and open up a bit. Also, let it warm a little in the glass with your hand as the nose will change. The alcohol vapors will subside and let it be what it actually is. Inhale very, very slowly and very gently. You will get the fruitiness, but with the faintest hint of briny sea air and peat. It is subtle but it is there. Taste: fruity, light, a little alcohol, peppery oak cask notes, malt, spicy almost cinnamon like, the peat flashes for a moment and fades quick enough, finish is medium in length with spicy peppery tones and a light malty sweetness. You actually can drink this neat but is likely better as a mixing scotch. For the price, very surprised it is was it is.
Ballantine’s Hard Fired
Blended — ScotlandTastedNose: not overly complex, mildly fragrant of lighter crisp fruits, orchard fruits, sweetness, slightly floral and/or perfume, slightest hint of spice or cinnamon, grain note. Taste: slight fruit, sweetness, but then gets dominated by a hot spicy quality, peppery, spicy note lingers quite a bit, grain notes. If a fiery lingering effect is what they were after, mission success. Would be much better if that were backed off some and replaced with a little more of a sweetness note that stuck around. Also might benefit from some slight peaty smokiness to help balance that spicy quality. A bit disappointed with this one.
Caol Ila 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedNose: immediate autumn air notes (as suggested) with a bright campfire smoke quality (think autumn harvest), light smoked herbal note, green notes, slightly fruity, a hint of a light candied fruit sweetness. Taste: light to medium smoke that’s pleasant, coastal air, hint of sweetness, light fruitiness that gives way to a light spiced quality, mild smokiness returns mixed with a touch of sweetness. Lingers well and fades evenly.
Clynelish 14 Year
Peated Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedNose: light floral perfume note, almost waxy, mild sweet fresh fruit, glimpse of dried vanilla, hint of brininess, hint of spice. Taste: fruit, apple, pear, generally a fresh fruit basket of flavors, spices, ginger, tea, grain notes. A few drops of water open up herbal almost mint like notes, hint of mineral notes. Finish is medium in length that stays pleasant just long enough.