Bowmore 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed August 23, 2021 (edited September 17, 2021)The nose is light and pleasant with an immediate waft of lemon and sweet nutty malt, black pepper with hints of peat, but not really smokey or phenolic as other Islay single malts. There is some notable oak and light leather on there as well. But after a few sips the lemon morphs into a orange marmalade among other darker notes. The palate is nicer and oily, bitter tea, nutty malt, orange marmalade. The finish is long with lingering peat smoke that becomes more phenolic/iodine as it goes. There’s also orange marmalade, a spicy chili sensation on the back of the palate along with a bitter earthyness. This one is pretty unique for how light it initially comes across. It’s very interesting how the very prominent lemon note totally changes overtime into orange marmalade. Also, I didn’t get hardly any peat in the palate but notice it most on the long finish. Adding just a few drops of water really changed this one. It made it more creamy and oily in texture with an extended orange marmalade note and increase in ashy smoke. This one offers enough complexity to keep things interesting. I would also suggest this as a gateway to those curious about peated single malts.69.0 USD per Bottle
Lagavulin 2005 Distillers Edition (Bottled 2020)
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed January 23, 2021 (edited May 15, 2022)I’m a fan of the standard 16yr and have been waiting to try this one, which is supposed to be a finished version of the 16. However this one says “Distilled 2005 and Bottled 2020”, which adds up to 15 years, not 16 like it normally states. Oh well, 2020 was a strange year anyway. The nose is very Lagavulin as expected, nutty, black pepper, a little salty smoked meat, some iodine, and then wonderful round dark cooked fruit and/or raisin. The palate is sweet and very oily with tons of raisin, and plum with also a lot of iodine/peat smoke. I also get the nuttiness and black pepper from the nose as well as some jalapeño and pickled ginger. The finish is long with lingering iodine and sweet cooked stone fruit and some sweet vanilla buried in there. This fades into a nice campfire smoke note that just hangs out in the background for a while. Wow, this is very good. Of course I had to do a side-by-side comparison with the Lagavulin 16. The lag 16 is also wonderful, but is way brighter (in color and taste) and a little more rough around the edges when directly comparing it to the Distiller’s Edition. The DE is just thicker, darker and rounded with some dark fruit notes, which are to be expected given the finishing it went through. Both are great, but I am definitely leaning towards the DE over the standard 16. And for me the DE was about $30 cheaper, not sure why that would be. Maybe I just lucked out.85.0 USD per Bottle
Talisker 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed January 9, 2021 (edited January 13, 2021)I’ve had Talisker’s non age stated “Storm”, so I’m interested to see how the standard 10 is as a Talisker baseline. The nose has bright fruits (citrus and fresh pear and apple) and cooked fruit, very salty/briny, smoked meat, roasted almonds, spicy chili pepper, and a hint of sweet vanilla The palate light body but packs a punch. It is salty, fairly spicy chili on the back of the palate, nice nuttiness, orange marmalade, peaty iodine and light vanilla cake. The finish is medium in length with spicy chili pepper lingering on the back of the throat along with peaty iodine. Some orange marmalade shows up as the former trails off. This is spicier than I expected. Overall it’s good, more focused and slightly refined flavors over the Storm. But for peated whiskey, I’m still favoring it’s Islay cousins.
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed December 7, 2020 (edited December 26, 2020)Being a Jim Beam fan, as far as Knob Creek, Baker’s and Booker’s goes, and being a fan of finished scotch and Japanese whiskies, I thought this would be a fun one to try. Here we go. The nose has a classic Jim Beam nuttiness to it (roasted peanuts) with sweet vanilla custard, sweet dried cherries, light black pepper, slightly perfumery and some definite oak influence. The palate is sweet and medium syrupy bodied with sweet vanilla, a distinct nuttiness, cherry candy, pepper spice on the back of the palate, and oak. The finish is long and has an initial nutty and spicy kick and then quickly fades into vanilla cake with artificial cherry and oak. Interesting product. I was hoping for a little more wine and sherry cask influence, but mainly got an artificial cherry note out of it, which I don’t mind, just expected a little more. I will say though, the blender did a great job filing off the edges of a typical Jim beam product. Not bad at all.37.0 USD per Bottle
Big Peat Blended Malt
Peated Blended Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed November 24, 2020 (edited November 25, 2020)I know this is a blend of Islay Single Malts, but that’s about all I know. Time to finally see what its about! The nose has a bright fruity and pettiness to it that jumps out at first. There is lemon zest, apple juice, sweet vanilla, pickled ginger, some iodine, light savory cooked meat at a campfire, light oak and nutty malt. The palate is sweet, savory and a little bitter with a medium body. There is iodine, burnt rubber and ash, vanilla, nutty malt, roasted jalapeño, and some oak. The finish is long with lingering spicy ginger, roasted jalapeño, smokey campfire, some iodine and chili pepper spice in the back pf the throat Overall pretty good. I can defiantly tell there is some Ardbeg in there, reminiscent of Wee Beastie. There is this lingering bitterness throughout that isn’t bad, just not what I was expecting. But sometimes that happens with blends, certain notes can get compounded.
Bunnahabhain 12 Year
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed November 23, 2020 (edited November 25, 2020)I’ve had just about every other Islay Single Malt, but have put this one off due it being basically unpeated. But let’s see how it is. The nose is soft and sweet with orange citrus and pear fruits, slight saltiness, sweet vanilla, and a buttery/nut note that I take as the malt coming through. The palate is sweet with a creamy texture. There is orange vanilla spice cake, a nice buttery nutty mid palate, light oak and just a hint of black pepper spice on the back along with an alcohol note and burn that I don’t usually associate with this low of an abv 46.3%. The finish is medium with nice sweet vanilla cake, light oak and that nutty note I got from nose and palate. Though the alcohol burn lingers well past any flavors. Not bad, but nothing really that special at this point.
Caol Ila 12 Years
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed November 12, 2020 (edited April 25, 2021)I’ve been wanting to try this one for a while, but never went for a bottle due to the price of it these days. But I found a small 200mL bottle in a Diageo sampler box. So here we go... The nose has bright lemon zest, nutty malt, slight brine, light medicinal peat notes (for an Islay), light black pepper, and sweet vanilla. The palate is sweet and slightly salty with the same nutty malt in the nose, a very nice smokey campfire note with smoked meat, some iodine, cayenne pepper spice, and vanilla. The finish is medium in length with an initial hit of lemon and jalapeño pepper that quickly fades to lingering iodine, smoky campfire. This one started off good, but a little underwhelming. But in subsequent sips, it really build and revolves nicely. I enjoy this and would love to try some independent bottlings from this distiller, as I hear that’s wheee Caol Ila really shines.
Ardbeg Wee Beastie
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed November 10, 2020 (edited January 22, 2021)I am definitely a fan of Ardbeg, and given the smoky campfire and protein that I get from the standard Ardbeg 10, I’m expecting even more peat form this one, due to its youth. Let’s see. The nose has a forward nuttiness representing the malt. There is apple juice, vanilla, black pepper and a briney medicinal/iodine peat presence. This is interesting to me because I normally get smoky campfire with Ardbeg. The palate is viscous and salty-sweet. There’s the Ardbeg campfire I’m used to! And with it comes grilled bacon wrapped jalapeño! As well as black pepper, lemon citrus, and sweet vanilla. The finish is medium in length with lingering smoked jalapeño, black pepper and vanilla. I am surprised how this one turned out, not as peaty as I expected it to be, but I am overall very pleased. It does have a shorter finish, but that’s to be expected for only being a 5 year old.47.0 USD per Bottle
Lagavulin 16 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed November 3, 2020 (edited April 10, 2021)I’ve had a bottle of Lagavulin 8 for a little bit and finally got around to having a bottle of the old standard Lagavulin 16. Here we go... The nose is salty sweet, with a salted meat type of smoke with a lighter, but still present, medicinal/iodine. There are fresh pears, dried fruit, pecan, vanilla icing, and chili spice. The palate is salty/sweet and viscous with spicy peppers, cooked fruits, nice medicinal and smokey peat notes, vanilla and a pecan nuttiness character of the malt. The finish has an initial hit of charred jalapeños that fade into cooked fruit sweetness, vanilla and lingering old campfire smoke. Just a fantastic peated Islay single malt. The 8 is good and all, but the 16 tastes how its slightly yellowed label looks, older and intriguing. The 16 is just so well balanced, no wonder it is an all time favorite.
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed October 27, 2020 (edited March 1, 2021)I am a big fan of Ardbeg 10 and have heard really good things about Uigeadail. Let’s see how this unique ardbeg offering goes. The nose is dark with some black pepper/chili pepper, a nuttiness, raisin, smoked meat, campfire, light iodine, and sweet vanilla. The palate is salty-sweet, savory and oily. With a blast of old campfire, pipe tobacco, sweet leather, malty/nuttiness, aged dried fruit sweetness, chili pepper, vanilla cream. Very rich and complex. The finish is long with lingering semi-smoldering campfire, a touch of sweet vanilla, and some of that pipe tobacco. This is such a great example of how rich and even more complex an Islay can be. Very delicious and a great abv at that. One of my favorites. I like how you aren’t hit over the head with mostly prunes and raisins that I typically get with any sort of sherry influence. A very nice balance, and you can tell there is some age in there too.75.0 USD per Bottle