Laphroaig 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedEXPLORATION: When someone opens a bottle of this sea-soaked serum, you smell it from across the room. The nose is smoky, as expected, but it’s also salty and sweet. On the palate you’re met with the same, and more. The sweet smoke rides alongside peppery oak in an impressively smooth swim across the tongue. The smoke finish is present, but not overbearing. EXHORTATION: Seek for your first or fifteenth journey into peat. A veritable steal for its price tag.
Suntory Whisky Toki
Blended — JapanTastedEXPLORATION: Nothing bombastic, but certainly not boring. The nose is tame and discreet. Upon arrival, a cereal sweetness disguises a quiet smoke that meets you halfway. Solid. EXHORTATION: Seek if you’re looking for an affordable but pleasing blend to share with others.
Bowmore 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedEXPLORATION: The scent of oaken smoke greets the nose, along with mulled fruit, brine, and, by the gods—rubber tires. The taste is smooth. A peated vanilla smoke, with a slight note of chocolate somewhere in the background. It’s a little bitter in the middle, but this faded after a time. A nice smoke finish lingers. EXHORTATION: Seek a dram if ye be a peat lover or no. This is pleasant, yet makes one wonder if it is but a shadow of what could be.
Grangestone Rum Finish
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedEXPLORATION: From the glass wafts familiar notes of caramel, citrus, spice, and butterscotch. Alas, the taste doesn’t quite live up to its rum-y nose. Dry spice and lemon are followed by a vanilla finish that ends strangely watery. Other than that, totally acceptable. But do we want just acceptable? EXHORTATION: Seek not, lest ye be in the market for tasting samplers from different barrel finishes, or in need of a cheap mixer. Though I feel there are probably better mixers for the same price.
Grangestone Sherry Finish
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedEXPLORATION: The nose is so sour I think my glass might be unwashed. The sherry is distinct in the smell, along with some pepper, but I have trouble identifying the taste. Dry fruit. Bitter. Cereal? I'm not quite sure wtf I'm tasting tbh. Is this dram elusively complex? Or am I overthinking it? Probably the latter. EXHORTATION: Seek not, lest ye be in the market for tasting samplers from different barrel finishes.
Single Malt — Highland , ScotlandTastedEXPLORATION: At first serviceable, but lacks complexity. Nose is vanilla, orange, and cereal. Tastes sweet, bitter orange, with a brief vanilla finish. Upon further tasting it begins to flatten. I wouldn’t buy a bottle of this, but I’d be happy throwing it in a cocktail or, gods forbid, some coke. But perhaps there's nothing wrong with that. EXHORTATION: Seek not, lest ye be in the market for tasting samplers from different barrel finishes, or you’re in need of a cheap mixer. Though I feel there’s probably better mixers for the same price.
Highland Park 12 Year Viking Honour
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedEXPLORATION: Strong ethanol nose gave way to a sweet citrus smell, almost honey-like. Peat is elusive here. As for the taste, balanced sweetness is backed by a smooth lemon that’s never too bright. The promised peat smoke comes in echoes from a delicate but short-lived finish. Seems to reveal itself slowly, with more layers becoming apparent by the end of the dram. Very solid, interested in another round. EXHORTATION: Seek a dram.
Springbank 15 Year
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedEXPLORATION: Nice nose of creamy smoke. Tastes spicy, notes of bitter medicine are followed by a smooth smoke finish. Didn’t wow, but I’ll leave the book open on it for the time being. EXHORTATION: Seek a dram if you'd like to explore Campbeltown.
Springbank Green 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedEXPLORATION: The nose is vanilla, creamy orange, with a dash of peat. Tastes briney and a bit oily—though not overly so. Getting a slight mint with that orange that was present in the smell. Some bitterness in the center. Apricot finish. Pleasant but my life wasn’t changed. I’d like to try again at some point. EXHORTATION: Seek for a worthwhile dram, but not necessarily over other Springbank expressions.
Octomore 07.1/208 Scottish Barley
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedEXPLORATION: (Purple Prose Warning) At first intense, but ultimately rewarding. Smoke and wood on the nose, but it doesn’t bludgeon you. It’s the smell of burning logs on a breezy summer day, and a campfire beneath the stars. There’s something very rich, almost wine-like in there. It’s warming...and it beckons. Diving in, you’re met with dark fruit and a strong peat that never overwhelms. It invites you to kick off your traveling shoes and stay a while. There’s a cozy chair next to the fireplace and your favorite book is on the mantle. Contemplate life. Enjoy yourself. The finish lingers long after the event. The purple prose is admittedly a bit much, but this was really good and warrants further exploration. If only it weren’t so rare...makes one wonder what else is out there. Giving it 4.5 stars to leave room for some god dram that I don’t know exists yet. EXHORTATION: Seek, dear Seeker. I'd commend you to buy it, but it is rare and expensive. A dram might have to do.