Newbie Scotch appreciator exploring the world of whisky. Instagram: @spooky.iphone

  1. Hepburn’ Choice Inchfad

    Peated Single Malt — Scotland

    4.0 out of 5 stars
    With Disney Land Paris closing down this weekend, our planned family trip went down the drain. While I do understand the importance of some level of self-quarantine to control the spreading of the virus, personally I'm not all too worried, but since public social life has plummeted, we make it ourselves nice and cozy with some blankets, snacks and why not... spirited drinks. My choice for today is the rather rare 13-year-old 'Inchfad'. The 'Inchfad' is - spoiler-alert - really wonderful heavily peated highland-whisky by Loch Lomond distillery. It's apparently rarely seen as a Single Malt. Bottled by Hunter Laing under it's 'Hepburn's Choice' brand, it's a single-cask release, with only 345 bottles available. Now there's one less... :). While it's color (pale straw) clearly gives away that this 'Inchfad' hasn't been finished in wine, sherry or any other special cask, it's taste nevertheless doesn't fail to impress. The nose was at first somewhat sulfury, but after a short breath, the sulfur disappeared and the nose became sweet and smoky. On the palate, the Inchfad is full and oily, and confirms the sweet vanilla of the nose, while even adding some more gentle peat-smoke and a hint of fresh apples. It's a round and full dram, but not too complicated. The aftertaste lingers on for a moderate while and first is smoky and oily and at the end slightly salty. At this price level, this seems a tough one to beat. If you come across this bottle, and you like a sweet, peaty dram that is not overly complicated: don't hesitate.
    79.0 EUR per Bottle
  2. Scarabus Specially Selected Single Malt

    Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Celebrations! My 100th review is definitely a special one: a nice peaty dram called 'Scarabus'... A few months ago I was invited to a local small 'independent bottlers & limited releases' event. I tried following fine drams (you can read their respective reviews elsewhere on this site): - The Maltman (Secret Orkney Distillery) 2005 12 Year Old (Sherry Hogshead) - Hunter Laing's The Old Malt Cask Caol Ila 2009 (9 Year Old) Red Wine Finish - Hepburn's Choice Caol Ila 2009 5 Year Old (Quarter Cask). This was the fourth dram I wanted to try, but since I was by car, I didn't. Back then, I was explained by the host - importer for the Benelux area - that this NAS whisky, while being bottled by Hunter Laing, was acquired from a well known but non-disclosed distillery on Islay, rumored most likely to be Lagavulin or Coal Ila. He knew which one, but couldn't confirm either one - but nodded to my question that is one of those two. Yesterday a friend of mine wanted to share a dram with me and showed this bottle. I was instantly excited to try and tasted this dram. Would it hold up to my expectations? The nose started with moderate peat-smoke, some sea salt and a hint of vanilla, but was also a bit thin. The palate, however, showed more boldness. The smokey peat and vanilla returned, but with some added leathery and oaky notes, and an idea of sweet fruits. The finish added a surprising hint of some caramel to the peat smoke and was quite long and very pleasing. Overall, we found it both to be a very decent dram. The bottle wasn't entirely killed but ended up less than halfway. I also quite like the packaging. While not that expensive, the bottle has some luxury vibes. The gold font, the 'weird' symbols and even the name ('Scarabus' means 'Rocky Place' in old Norse) all certainly add to the mysterious atmosphere of this dram.
    40.0 EUR per Bottle
  3. Jura 10 Year

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    3.25 out of 5 stars
    When dining at a local restaurant which we last visited before I started appreciating Whisky, I was happily surprised of their small, but qualitative whisky menu. Besides Talisker 10, Lagavulin 16 and Dalwhinnie 15, they also carried the Jura 10 - one I hadn’t tried before. The nose was pleasant, a bit fruity, but with a whiff of peat smoke. The taste was similar, perhaps a tad more fruits, with some slight coffee notes. Some sweet chocolate. The aftertaste lingers on for a decent while, with the sweet notes giving way for the smoky notes after a few moments. Not a very complex dram, but very approachable. I enjoyed it. The level of peat smoke is somewhat similar to the Talisker 10.
    8.0 USD per Bottle
    Restaurant Jagersrust
  4. Chivas Regal 12 Year

    Peated Blend — Scotland

    2.5 out of 5 stars
  5. Southern Comfort Original

    Herbal/Spice Liqueurs — USA

    0.25 out of 5 stars
    Accidentally ordered this flavoured drink. This is not whisky. Tastes like cough syrup with bubblegum. Avoid.
    7.0 EUR per Pour
    Hôtel Ibis Chalon-sur-Saône Nord
  6. Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey

    Blended — Ireland

    3.0 out of 5 stars
  7. Teeling Single Malt Irish Whiskey

    Single Malt — Ireland

    2.0 out of 5 stars
  8. Glenfiddich Our Solera Fifteen

    Single Malt — Speyside, Scotland

    3.25 out of 5 stars
    While this Glenfiddich Our Solera 15 is basically a rebrand of the Glenfiddich 15 Year Solera Reserve, and should basically the same liquid, I seem to like it a tad better than the dram I had during a business trip in Germany a while ago. On the nose, I discover some apple and pear, typically Glenfiddich, in my opinion. The palate then reveals some more - baked - apple, but with a touch of cinnamon and some mild spices. Dark red fruits. The aftertaste is rather long, mostly sweat, but pleasing. While I don't rate it top-notch, one definitely can't go wrong with a Glenfiddich. I do like the solera principle, and the fact that it's running since 1998. I'm doing something slightly similar with my very own 'Perpetuum blend' in which I pour a single dram of every bottle of scotch I buy. When the bottle is full, I pour five sample bottles and make room for some new drams. In theory, there always will be a trace of the first whiskies in it.
    56.0 EUR per Bottle
  9. Ledaig 12 Year Discovery (Gordon & Macphail)

    Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland

    3.75 out of 5 stars
    During some early Christmas-shopping, I discovered this 12-year-old Ledaig of Gordon & MacPhail's Discovery Range. So far, I liked everything Ledaig I've tasted and I had some fine experiences with some other private bottlings, so I had good faith in this one. At only 50 euro's per bottle, one can't go wrong too badly either... On the nose, there's pleasant smoke combined with some grassy peat-notes. The palate additionally reveals sweet and tasty baked apples, and some mild sweet spices, but also some soft caramel/syrup notes but also a hint of smoked meat (or a nice baked steak?). The aftertaste lingers on, with mostly sweet but smoky meat notes. This entry-level Gordon and MacPhail didn't fail to please me one bit. Compared to the regular Ledaig 10, this 12-year-old sibling is perfectly on par: Slightly more mature + slightly more expensive. In this price range, this is a top-notch dram, in my opinion.
    50.0 EUR per Bottle
  10. Aberfeldy 16 Year

    Single Malt — Scotland

    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Aberfeldy was my first ever purchased single malt brand. While I prefer peated drams nowadays, the 12 year old was a huge step up from the cheaper blends I tasted before. At a dinner with friends, I noticed the restaurant served this Aberfeldy 16 as it's premium whisky choice. While I'm accustomed to it's 12 years old variant, I never had a taste of this older sibling. As far as my memory goes, the nose it pretty similar to the Aberfeldy 12 and reveals hits of apples, raisins, and more prominently, some caramel. The palate is full, round bodied and adds some more apple, but also some not-too-sweet honey. The Oloroso influences are noticeable, but not too apparent. The finish is rather moderate, and adds a slight - but pleasant - oakyness. While not peated, I still love Aberfeldy. I feel it's sometimes a bit underrated, but in my opinion it's price-quality is top notch. This 16 year old was definitely a perfect dram on a great evening with friends!
    15.0 EUR per Pour
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