Talisker 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedStrong peat on the nose with just a hint of sweetness. The peat comes through as you taste and a dash of water brings out some molasses and a little salt. The finish has the smokiness and some malt. Clearly in the ilk of an Islay and very drinkable but for me lacks some complexity.
Kilchoman Machir Bay 2016
Peated Single Malt — ScotlandTastedFirst you smell the ash but underneath are citrus and pears. On the palate the bourbon casks combine with the peat but then a surprisingly honey sweetness. The peat and ash return in the finish. Enough complexity even for a young release to be comparable to other more mature Islays.
Glenkinchie 12 Year
Single Malt — Lowlands, ScotlandTastedLowland whisky with the light and grassy nose and palate. A drop of water takes away the slight astringency and opens up the lemon and honey finish.
Oban 14 Year
Peated Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedOne of the commonly found mid range whiskies along with Lagavulin, and find similarities between the two. Although from the Highland, Oban’s complexity is reminiscent of a mellow Islay where the peat is integral to the whisky rather than standing out. Easy drinking whisky with no need for water. The nose has some sweetness in honey and tropical fruits but tempered by the bourbon cask. The taste is smooth with some of the citrus, with embedded peat and backed by the bourbon cask. Finish is dry with some lingering saltiness. Difficult to fault it for the price, unless you are looking for more pronounced smoke or cask influence.
Caol Ila Stitchell Reserve (2013 Special Release)
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedUnpeated release at heavy cask strength. Surprisingly light on the nose with some woody, floral notes. You taste the oak with dried fruit and some spice. A little oily residue on the palate and a lingering smoky after taste despite the lack of peat. A nice thoughtful and complex Islay.
Orkney Single Cask 1999 18 Year Cask #40 (John Milroy Selection)
Single Malt — Orkney, ScotlandTastedIndependent cask strength bottling of Highland Park aged 18 years in a single refill Hogshead cask. Light aroma of honey and malt. The palate is sweet and savory with honey, lemon and some peat coming through in the finish.
GlenDronach Allardice 18 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedA mild nose that opens up with time dominated by dried fruit and a hint of vanilla. Matured fully in Spanish oloroso casks, it is sherry forward with richness in the spiced fruits and dates. The finish is long but a single note of sweetness. Not a favorite and feels more like an occasional desert whisky than a regular staple.
Octomore Masterclass 08.3/309 Islay Barley
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedOne of Bruichladdich's super heavily peated' whiskies at 309.1 ppm, compared to other typical Islay topping out at 40 ppm. The nose reflects the tar and heavy alcohol at 61.2%. Amazingly some of the sweetness still comes through. Typically drink in small sips with the taste of chocolate toffee quickly followed by the burn of alcohol and smoke. Enjoy for the uniqueness and the complexity under the peat. But not a drinking whisky and always the last drink of the day, leaving time for your taste buds to overcome the scorching.
Yellow Spot 12 Year Single Pot Still
Single Pot Still — IrelandTastedThe nose has some toasted oak with hints of the underlying sweetness. The forward taste is of this sweetness from the sherry and malaga casks, with a dry finish from the bourbon casks coming through.
Lagavulin 16 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedA favorite staple peated Islay. Strong salty smoke on the nose that carries through on the palate but doesn’t overpower a strong body of sherry and dried fruit. Smoke leaves a a dry finish with a surprising late sweet burst.