Talisker Distiller's Edition
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedTalisker transports me to the sea more than any whisky and this Amoroso-sherry finish edition is no different, despite the addition of a layer of rich dark fruits. The maritime air positively breezes out of the glass, transporting you to a breezy clifftop path dusted with sand and crushed shells. It’s oily and salty on first sip, then tangy and laden with preserved oranges. The finish is dry and earthy. Despite my love of Talisker, I don’t find myself chasing the annual releases as much as I do their Islay brethren, which speaks both to my susceptibility to marketing and Diageo’s more modest promotion of their Skye distillery. That’s a mistake I should correct based on this delicious sample from @jonwilkinson7309.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedMalty and creamy, like a rich mix of porridge and custard. There’s a dash of apricot jam in the mix too. The finish is gently spicy and sweet.
Bruichladdich Yellow Submarine 1991
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedThis was the highlight of a recent Bruichladdich tasting I attended online. On the nose: pepper, cream, light toffee sauce, faint berry notes, funky mushrooms. In the mouth, there are ginger snaps, caramel and more pepper spice. The finish is long and spicy, with a subtle caramel finish and a hint of sweetness. A lovely balance and probably the best Laddie I’ve yet tasted.
Glenmorangie The Cadboll Estate 15 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedThis largely US exclusive uses the same local barley as Glenmorangie’s Alltar special release, but while that one showcased a bespoke yeast this bottling utilizes the distiller’s usual one. As such, it’s a more typical representation of what barley grown on Glenmorangie’s own land brings to the table, if you’re in the camp that thinks variations in barley make a difference. The first-fill bourbon barrels give it a creamy nose and the barley shines with a crispy maltness. But it’s all rather generic and one-note and it’s not clear what an extra five years in the barrel have added to Glenmorangie’s baseline profile. Perhaps a higher ABV would help, but this one’s too bland for me.
Benrinnes 1995 19 Year (Alexander Murray & Co.)
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedFrom the same vintage and bottler, but matured for 23 years, my sample was packed with far more flavor than the 40% ABV might suggest. Jasmine, lemon, apples and custard on the nose warm you up for rich malty flavors in the mouth and a zesty oak spice finish, with a hint of salt. I don’t know how much this retails for as it was a sample from Flaviar and I can’t find a full bottle online, but perhaps it’s been held up by the pandemic as the bottler posted a video about it only in March: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjxi-28t6XqAhXshOAKHdXGDd8QwqsBMAB6BAgKEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-wlz2yto6hg&usg=AOvVaw0ci5qAmyO6afsxpBLEp7xK
Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2019 Rum Cask Finish
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedWeird, in a good way. Flambe bananas, pear drops, funky rum. More successful than many a rum cask finish.
Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2020 Tawny Port Finish
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedA nice mix of sugar and spice, leaning perhaps a little too much to the sweet side. Pink.
Glen Scotia 1991 Benchmark (Murray McDavid)
Single Malt — ScotlandTastedMatured in a sherry hogshead and finished for four years in a French Pinot Noir barrique, this bottle adds a well integrated layer of strawberry to the citrus and malty flavors of the Glen Scotia spirit. Perfectly balanced sweetness. Red wine finishes frequently miss the mark in my experience, but this one is a winner.
Glen Scotia 25 Year
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedAn intriguing nose combining a light jasmine-like perfume with a dank forest undertone. There’s peach and apricots in the mouth and a delicate spice on the finish.
Glen Scotia Victoriana
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedA nose of crackling firewood and bitter orange rind. Similar in the mouth, with an undertone of malt and sweet syrup. The finish is long and subtly sweet.