Highland Park Cask Strength Edition No. 1
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedA relatively new Highland Park cask strength expression, called edition No.1, even if this distillery has a bunch of whiskies that are bottled at cask strength. This one has been advertised as a whisky that shows the full palette of aromas and flavors that Highland Park can achieve. Bottled at a very powerful 63.3%abv, golden color. On the nose, it is very floral and strong. Starts with a malted barley aroma note, lemon, heathery peat, cookie dough, vanilla and molasses. A lot of floral notes, hay, butter and grapefruit. On the palate the first sip is way too powerful. Very sulphuric, copper, a lot of metallic flavors. It is a very fiery flavor. The second sip is amazing though. Vanilla, vinegar, red fruits, red wine and apples. Aftertaste is a little difficult to handle due to the peatiness and the high abv. I am a peat head, but the sulphuric notes where just too harsh at the beggining. Smoke, pepper, cigarrettes, vanilla, incense and coal. A second sip gave me smoke, hay and bonfire. Wasabi is there too. Overall, this is a good expression, but it feels harsh sometimes. The flavor palette is good, not overly complex, but decent enough. My score for it is 89/100.
GlenDronach Boynsmill 16 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedAnother Glendronach, another jewel. This time a travel retail 16yo expression. I am a person who truly believes that duty free expressions are almost always inferior to normal core range ones. This one is the exception to that rule, and my analysis to that fact, is that you ask Pelé to take on a penalty kick on a friendly match, he is still Pelé, so, he is going to score. That is how Glendronach works, both travel exclusives, 10yo Forgue and 16yo Boynsmill, are still Glendronach beautiful spirit, therefore you can't miss. "Boynsmill", was the original name of the state where Glendronach is located, and actually the famous "Glen House" of Glendronach was originally called Boynsmill house. This whisky is bottled at 46%abv, tawny color. It was triple matured, in PX and Oloroso casks from Andalucía In Spain; and, Port Wine casks from The Duoro Valley in Portugal. Very fancy stuff. On the nose, your classic Glendronach massive aroma. Starts with Godiva Chocolate, the most accurate and clean aroma of maraschino cherries; dark chocolate, prunes, hazelnut, Chocolate Powder, toblerone chocolate, vanilla dry cake, toffee and a citric grapefruit. Lovely. On the palate, it is inmensely enjoyable. Red fruits, maraschino cherries, mild pleasant pepper; maple syrup. Some dim saltiness, hazelnuts and almonds. Aftertaste is very rewarding. Starts with dark chocolate, to then give you a puff of smoke that turns into a tobacco note. A little but very pleasant sulphur note; velvet. Overall, everything that Glendronach touches it turns into gold. This is an amazing whisky, and for $115, i truly believe you are getting more than what you paid for. My score for it is a solid 93 over 100. Nice whisky. Im happy.
Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire
Peated Blend — ScotlandTastedAs a whisky enthusiast, i am eager to try all whiskies possible. From the very best ones to the the worst. That is the only way to really learn and know about whisky. Having said that, i bought this "Song Of Fire" bottle from the Johnnie Walker Game of Thrones expression, knowning that this could be a bad dram. I previously had most of the GOT single malts and some of them where good, and i had the white walker from Johnnie Walker which was horrible. So, when i first tried the sister bottle of this one, called "Song of Ice" i expected a bad dram, but it was actually nice (my score for that one was 76 and maybe it deserved a little more). So, i had this "song of fire" to end the ordeal of tasting this special expressions and.... it is a forgettable dram. Bottled at 40.8%abv, golden color. It is suppossed to have a base of caol ila for extra smokiness. On the nose: Cinnamon; Red apples with cinnamon. Apple pie and Pepper. A little Sulphuric. Nothing more. On the palate it is an oily dram. Again Red apples and Cinammon, some Pepper, Honey and Cough syrup. Very simple. Aftertaste tries to give you something different, but fails. Sulphur, Red apples, Pepper and a mild Smoke from burning grass. Incense. Overall this is a very boring, simple and not very enjoyable whisky. Maybe to be used in cocktails (which i don't usually drink) it might work. Don't buy this one, it is useless to drink it. My score for it is a very generous 63 over 100.
Cragganmore 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedSometimes i feel sad about not having tasted before some classic malts, while having a lot of other whiskies. After 678 reviews i finally got to taste Cragganmore 12yo, a Diageo Classic, and the mother single malt of Old Parr, a blended whisky you might not have heard of, which is not that good but it is everywhere in Ecuador and Colombia. This review is for the old Cragganmore 12yo bottle, the one from 2000-2010, at 40%abv and golden color. On the nose, it is fair, your expected speysider. Honey, sawdust. Earthy, oranges, wet recently cut grass; chocolate. Some vanilla, toffee and more honey after having a first sip. On the palate, it follows the same path: honey, vanillq, slight saltiness; another sip revealed sawdust and new wood, like licking a log. Aftertaste is nice, nothing to die for. Peppery, grassy, hay and a dim sulphur note. There is some minor smokiness somewhere almost ghostly. Overall this is a fairly enjoyable dram, nothing too special but not bad. My score for it is a proper 76 over 100.
Glendronach Hand-Filled, Px Puncheon #210, single cask, distilled on 15/12/05, bottled 10/10/19
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedI love Glendronach. Glendronach is the best distillery and their whiskies are superb. Having said that, which was very important for you to know (lol), this particular expression is a hand-filled bottled bought at the distillery. It was a 13 year whisky (almost 14), Px puncheon, single cask, bottled at 60%abv. It was some one else's dream bottle, that he had to sell through an auction, and despicable old me, bought that person's dream, to drink it with my friends. Well, i got to say, it was absolutely fantastic, one of the best drams i have ever had. I had previously tasted my own hand filled bottle, which i filled at the distillery and to this date that is my favorite whisky of all time, so yes, you should get your hands on one of this expressions. (And no, it wasn't my favorite whisky because i filled the bottle, i have other bottles from other distilleries i have also filled myself and they don't come quite close on the score). After all that prelude, lets talk business: On the nose, an universe of aromas. Raisins, figs, dates, champagne cola; oranges, flan caramel, toffee; sawdust; a fancy burnt caramel creme bruleé; wet cake, tiramisu, cocoa powder, creamy ice cream; apple strudel and "tres leches" sweet. Out of this world. After a first sip, it gave me some blackberry maramalade, red wine, more figs and wet cake, raisins; a "Lolita Lempica" women's perfume; aunt jemima honey syrup, sandalwood and danish cookies. Go back, read all that and ask me if i can avoid giving this a perfect score on the nose. On the palate, what a marvel. Flan, a tres leches sweet dessert, pepper spice, cake. A second sip revealed red fruits, raisins, hazelnut and butterscotch. Aftertaste was sublime. Chocolate, flan, tres leches sweet; tobacco. A fine cuban cigar, oak spice; chilli. Everything amazingly delivered, super powerful but rewarding and not too strong for the high abv. Overall this is an incredible whisky, it fully deserves my perfect score. I have found, as many of you also have, my perfect distillery. Glendronach makes the 18yo and 21yo which always battle for the greatest "core range" whisky in my books. So, needless to say, my score for this is a perfect 100. Sláinte mhath!
Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice
Blended — ScotlandTastedAnother one of Johnnie Walker's expressions of HBO hit tv series "Game of Thrones". This time its "Song of Ice", a blended whisky that uses Clynelish as the base for the flavor, which should feel "cold" or something like that. Most of this Johnnie Walker GOT whiskies weren't very good, and the White Walker one was horrible, so lets se what we got here. Bottled at 40.2%abv, golden color. On the nose, it is very fruity. Grapefruit, super fresh apples, Pear and Vanilla. Letting it breath for a long time reveals a dim toffee note. There is a "ghostly" spiciness; Red apples with caramel. Not bad. On the palate, it follows the same rythm of the nose: Apples, Pears and Pepper. Very fruity, Pear peel. A second sip gave me grapefruit and some other citrus flavors. Aftertaste is ok, but a little straightforward Burnt dry grass, Ginger and Dim smokiness. After 3 sips, the grain whisky appeared with its maize and corn notes. Overall this is not that bad. I expected something worse. Fails to feel cold, or be complex; it feels like something everybody would enjoy. The other one, called "Song of Fire" is way more dissapointing, and i might actually finish this bottle someday, maybe sharing it a lot. My score for it is 76 over 100.
Edradour 2004 Single Cask Strength
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedPerfection. That is the word to describe this whisky. Starting for its natural color, which is almost mahogany; with a decanter that is absolutely lovely; and of course, a superb single cask strength single malt matured in oloroso sherry casks. Edradour is the smallest distillery in Scotland, and they made only 600 gallons of single malt whisky a year, and 2/3 of that whisky goes to blends. So, about 200 gallons are bottled as Edradour single malt, and if you have tried any of it, you know it is good. This one is a expression, distilled in 2004 and bottled in early 2018, at 57.2%abv. Lets talk about the whisky: On the nose, it is overwhelming. Starts with an aroma of Welsh grape juice; cognac, dark chocolate and hazelnut. Toblerone chocolate, cherries, christmas cake, molasses and a fancy aged rum. There are also notes of dark fruits, blackberries, figs, sherry and red wine. Just amazing. After a first sip, it revealed ritter chocolate with raisins; coffee and a more chocolate. Toffee and quince dessert. Incredible. On the palate, it is also a work of art. Cherries, red fruits, pepper spice. Chilli, dehydrated fruits, pecans. It is powerful and mouth numbing. A second sip is amazing, with cherry syrup, pepper, tobacco, coffee and hazelnut. Aftertaste is the perfect ending for a great whisky. Tobacco, oloroso sherry, clove, ginger, very dry. A little sulphur and dark chocolate, with coffee hints everywhere. Overall, this is one of the greatest whiskies i have had. I was actually going to score it 99 over 100, but one of my whisky pals said this phrase: "i just can't believe this is malted barley". And that made me think he was absolutely on the spot with that analysis. This whisky is the perfect example of what a single malt can become with perfect craftmanship. So, my final score is 100 over 100, outstanding dram, there are only 699 bottles of this 2004 edition, and if you happen to find one, buy it. Slàinte Mhath!
MacNair's Lum Reek Peated 12 Year
Peated Blended Malt — ScotlandTastedLet me start telling you this, i bought this whisky not because of the bottle (which is not the best looking one), i did it since the 21yo one won best blended malt and i said to myself, "might as well drink all of them, and everything from Glenallachie". I have been reviewing lately some Glenallachies, which i found to be very good whiskies, and now i am to the task of tasting and writting my critic on this MacNair's Lum Reek, which is one of 4262829 translations for peat smoke. This is a 12yo peated blended malt, bottled at 46%abv, golden color. On the nose it is like going to a Dry cleaning shop to wash your clothes. No, i was not kidding, this are my aroma notes: Pears, Apples, Cloth softener. Some Spices, Lightly peated; Clean clothes. A dim ashy aroma note. Freshly cut pear. After taking a first sip it gave me chilli on the nose, that is very interesting. Detergent. You can say this one has "clean" notes on the nose. On the palate, it is mostly spicy, to then turn fruity. Spicy right from the start, Pepper and chilli but bot harsh; A little sulphur. Green apples and Pears. Apple juice, Sider. Salt after 12 seconds on the mouth. After the third sip it gave me the heart of a pineapple. Aftertaste is where the peat is, a mild, tasty peat. Nice cigarrette smoke, very well delivered. Ginger. Grassy. Overall, i believe this is like a smokey Glenfiddich 12. I think it is very drinkable, an everyday dram, and i am not happy with my 85 over 100 score for it since it doesn't show how much i truly enjoy it, but my score system has been beneficial other times, this time is the other way around.
Tamdhu Batch Strength Batch 003
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedTamdhu was unknown to me till 2020. Now it is essential in my bar. Actually most of whisky drinkers have taste Tamdhu in some form, since it was used for popular blends as the Famous Grouse, J&B and Cutty Sark. This batch strength 3, is the third release of their purest, strongest spirit, bottled at 58.3%abv., chesnut color. On the nose, hard to beat. It starts with a home-made beautiful toffee note, thick caramel, tangerine and caramelized apple. Nutmeg, aniseed, pepper; it is really spicy on the nose!. Chocolate truffle, coffee, oranges, flan caramel, new wood and condensed milk. Marvelous. On the palate it is a little oily, harsh, and spicy, maybe too much. Toffee mixed with wasabi and chilli. A second sip revealed orange juice, pepper, salt and leather. Chocolate milk powder. It gets easier as you drink more :) Aftertaste is great. The first time i had it, it gave me a smokey note. Chilli, white chocolate, tobacco. Medium long. Overall, this is like having a steroid version of the Tamdhu 12. It is very good and rewarding. You should let it breath a little to atone it. My score for it is a solid 90 over 100.
GlenAllachie 15 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedMy second Glenallachie, this time the older brother, the 15yo. (Previously ihad and loved the 12yo one). This one is matured in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Casks. Bottled at 46%abv, a nice chesnut color. On the nose, it is one of the most fruity drams i have ever perceived. Old orange peel, Dark dry cake; various citrus, green apples and grapefruit. So fruity, so piercing, various fruit pulps and peels. Agave. Dates and raisins. Its like nosing a fresh fruit salad. Lime. After the first sip it revealed lemon, Yeast, Vanilla cake and Cookie dough. It smells like... speyside. The fields of speyside. It took me back there, ¡¡oh the memories!! On the palate it is super easy drinkable and incredibly smooth. Dark cake, Apples and Sider. Pepper grows after 5 seconds, but very mild. You can hold it easily forever in your palate. The second sip gave me lots of vanilla and Cookie dough. Super gentle. The third sip was all about the fanciest toffee note ever. Aftertaste is fancy and incredible. A little puff of Smoke, Hay. Beautiful spiciness; There is some mouth numbing, dry, after a copule seconds. Sweet and smokey, Vanilla and ashes. Lovely. Overall i truly believe this is a smoother dram than the outstanding 12yo. This one is way fruitier and fresh, while the other one was darker and the sherry influence was better. I can see why this whisky will be preferred over the 12yo, but not in my case. For me, it was very nice, but way too "Speysider". My score for it is a well deserved (and maybe a little harsh) 89 over 100. Good whisky.