Cadenhead Creations Light Fruity Syrupy 1996
Single Malt — ScotlandTastedAnother lovely blend from Cadenhead, this time comprising Ben Nevis, Blair Athol and Tomintoul, and bottled from a single cask that was vatted together in 2007. Bright orchard fruits up front, gooseberries in the middle, and a milky chocolate finish that fades to the partly dissolved sugar at the bottom of your tea cup.100.0 USD per Bottle
Bimber Recharred Oak
Single Malt — EnglandTastedThe second sample from my Bimber set is labeled as a test batch from a recharred cask bottled at 51.9%, so it may not be identical to the retail bottle but should be close enough to review here. The nose is malty with a hint of lemon, pine, salt and sweet orange oil. It’s crisp and malty in the mouth with a silky, oily texture and more of those sweet orange notes. The finish is long and toasty, although there’s a hint of a rough youthful spirit beneath the surface. Excellent for the age, especially when compared against the American craft distilleries.
Bimber the First
Single Malt — EnglandTastedThe whisky in my glass comes from a set of six samples you can buy from Bimber in London and while it isn’t identified as being exactly the whisky in this bottle, it does share the same PX-cask heritage and is bottled at the same strength of 54.2%. Only the words “Test Batch” on the label suggest it might not be identical, but let’s assume it’s close enough to warrant a review here rather than under a separate entry. At any rate, it’s excellent, consistent from nose to finish with a distinct milk chocolate profile and tasting nothing like a typical young spirit blasted with an overpowering sherry cask. In addition to creamy chocolate, the nose is milky toffee, butterscotch, salted caramel ice cream and nutmeg. Those flavors continue in the mouth, with the addition of cinnamon, chocolate Bourbon biscuits and coffee. The aftertaste is like licking a bowl of the aforementioned ice-cream - yum! For a three-year-old whisky, this is quite an achievement, and even if the flavor profile is ultimately a little narrow, it’s less so than many a much older sherry cask from a more established distillery. A debut that swaggers with the confidence of an East End barrow boy.
Deanston Virgin Oak
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedThis one’s all about the oak spice. Crackling black pepper on a malty canvas makes it a satisfying nightcap, despite the lack of a discernible nose or interesting finish. I’m usually not a fan of virgin oak, but its contribution here is precisely calibrated.
The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedRum casks aren’t usually my thing - they can veer too sweet. Here, the rum influence is very subtle and the resulting whisky as savory as much as it is sweet. America loves it - it’s on course to be Balvenie’s biggest seller in the U.S.Caledonia Bar
The Balvenie The Week of Peat 14 Year
Peated Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedThis is the third iteration of peated Balvenie that I’ve tried in the last couple of years and by my reckoning the best of the bunch. The peat has a seductively sweet profile and is more overt than I recall on the original 14 year peated edition and the triple cask travel retail version. The palate has the distinct Balvenie honey, well integrated with the smoke. The finish leans to the sweeter notes.Caledonia Bar
The Balvenie The Sweet Toast of American Oak 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedA Scotch engineered for the American palate sounds like it would be too sweet for my taste, but Balvenie had more subtle intentions when it launched this new 12-year-old with the US market in mind. The aromas are delicately sweet and floral, like honeysuckle or a light perfume. Spray a little eau de Balvenie behind the ears and you’ll make lots of fellas happy. Taste wise, it’s buttered toast with a gentle oak spice. The spice ramps up on the long and creamy finish, adding a dash of cinnamon. It’s altogether delicious and much better than the Doublewood - a lovely mix of sugar and spice that I could drink all night.Caledonia Bar
J.P. Wiser's Dissertation
Canadian — Ontario, CanadaTastedI’ve really enjoyed the limited edition whiskies from Canada in the last couple of years and this one was no exception. It’s creamy nose leans more towards bourbon than rye, but the taste is firmly in keeping with the mash bill: black pepper mixed with orange syrup and a hint of dairy. The spices linger, dancing on the tongue. A very good example of what Livermore is capable of producing and excellent value if you can find it.44.0 GBP per Bottle
Benromach 15 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedI’m drinking this tonight in London with my father, who bought a bottle after Whisky Exchange crowned it whisky of the year. Benromach is near the top of my bang-for-your-buck list and this is perhaps the best I’ve had from them. The nose is a little shy but the taste is a beautiful mix of butterscotch and peat, not too sweet or too smoky. The finish goes on and on, the caramel flavors twisting with the spiciness of the smoke. For 50 pounds, a bargain.49.0 GBP per Bottle
Longrow Red 11 Year Cabernet Franc
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedPost- Thanksgiving drink at a bar in MA that turned out to have a pretty good whisky selection. I always enjoy these Reds even if they never quite reach buy-a-bottle territory. This one has a lovely oily texture, mouth-puckering red berry flavors (cranberry even!) and a satisfying puff of smoke on the finish. A delicious end to the day.The Moan & Dove