Glen Scotia 15 Year
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedOn the nose it presents itself wearing a very evident Bourbon robe, with marzipan, vanilla, apricot, freshly baked tart. Over time, the aromas grow and stratify, with a surge of fruit (peach, melon, yellow orange), lemon zest and a delicate coastal profile. Sprinkled with cinnamon. The palate turns out to be very saline, with a herbaceous and moist cut that clears the olfactory aromas, making the unfriendly soul of Glen Scotia a little rediscovered. Pepper, walnuts, touch of malt and smooth wood, ginger, light bitter undertone. Lemon. The contrast between palate and smell when drinking is in some ways unsettling, it almost seems to be with two different whiskeys, practically a bipolar distillate. Underneath, but just underneath, there is also a hint of peaty smoke, but the time to notice it is already gone. Rather long, dry, herbaceous and lemon-like finish, with wood, spices and a hint of orange. It is a drink so unconventional that it is fun! Definitely not easy, probably repelling for some, but really fun and original.
Caol Ila 18 Year (2017 Special Release)
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedBewildering to find yourself with a Caol Ila with such a gentle, herbaceous and fruity nose. Warm and inviting, with vanilla cream cake, fruit (mango, peach, kiwi), fresh flowers, cut grass. Slight hint of wet wood in the background. If you couldn't feel it on the nose, on the palate the alcoholic power is explosive, a cannonade of burning shortcrust pastry which you have to get used to, giving space just to the citrus notes with vanilla and cinnamon. Generally refractory to the addition of water, I find myself having to do it for the really important aggressiveness of alcohol, being rewarded by a broadening of the aromatic horizon, with the release of ripe fruit (peach and banana), malt, custard and licorice. There is an impression, really little more than an impression, of peat in the background. Long finish, with cream cake, licorice, wood and always that idea of peat. If it weren't for the uncentered alcoholic content, I would have given it a few more points: if the bottler chooses a certain alcoholic strength for their own whisky, that's what I have to deal with to understand whether or not it meets my taste, having to add water for me is a malus. However, it remains an unusual and pleasant drink, a "fake highlander" who cannot completely hide its true identity.
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedMarine is marine, no doubt about it, and in this the kelpie could well represent it. Indeed, considering how deep and thick is the smell, the desire to be dragged into the glass like the Scottish demon does to its victims is well on spot. Cloves, very intense, are propped up on a blanket of acrid and brackish smoke, smoked herring and tar, from which you can discern an apple pie with cream that resists strenuously to this assault, like a victim of the lake demon. Ardbeg do not break even with the wood of the Dead Sea! The peat ocean soup ignites and burns in the mouth, with the smoke here more meaty that thins out leaving more space for the sweet soul of the whisky, caramelized and sugary with a delicate supply of apple. Pepper olives stuffed with licorice, medicinal touch in the background. A contrast that confuses and even stuns, layered and unusual: Ardbeg less Ardbeg than usual but very Ardbeg. Clear, isn't it? The finish is long, very, of ash and algae, dried fish and caramel, pepper. I have to sya that they the name they chose is just perfect. It is not a balanced but certainly complex whisky, enthralling and fun, with moments of sincere bewilderment. An experiential drink, like not many others can give you.
Tomatin 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedWarm biscuits and malt welcome the nose, along with vanilla, caramel, toffee, and a wave of honey. Sweet and lovable, with this soul from a candy store infused with ripe fruit (mango, yellow peach, apricot) and brown sugar, very welcoming and caloric. A marked herbaceous note stems the diabetic explosion. And it is the herbaceous profile that makes its way onto the palate, very fresh and clean, at times balsamic, with the more subdued confectionary tendency expressed by raisins, ripe fruit, honey, orange peel and malt again, which gives warmth and a pinch of salinity. Less expressive than the sense of smell, but more balanced. The finish is medium, herbaceous and saline, slightly spiced with honey and raisins. A nice introductory whisky, not too complex, easily affordable (also for the price) without being anonymous or flat, an effective expression of the Highlands for those who want to start discovering them.
Lagavulin 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedStrong peatiness on the nose, with notes of leather and tobacco, manly like the guy from the Marlboro Country but without the stench of horse poop. Underneat, however, there is a sweet soul that shows up, of caramel, nutmeg, crispy with sesame and licorice. Stratified and complex, a rough but buttery man like a cross between John Goodman and Ed Harris in Westworld. In the mouth there are smoked herrings wrapped in leather, chewing durettes perhaps, with a lot of licorice, caramel, a drop of honey, cereals, salted butter, ripe apple. Touch of ginger. What on the nose struggled a little to emerge, here blends in harmony, with a slight pre-eminence of the sweetest notes, but remaining fiercely Lagavulin although at a more subdued gradation. Fairly long finish, used ashtray soaked with sea water, cereals, hazelnuts. Lower grade and youth could do the damage, and instead this Lagavulin defends itself well (which one does not do?) and it also delivers a certain complexity while being highly drinkable.
Mortlach 12 Year "The Wee Witchie"
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedThe smell is initially a little closed, but with patience it reveals a very sherried nose: plum, ripe banana, pear, candied orange, a touch of cinnamon. Honey. Waxy consistency with light alcoholic puncture. On the length, a substantial woody presence is perceived. The palate is warm and vinous, fruity with spicy touches, quite linear. Butter biscuits, honey, vanilla, ripe peach, hazelnuts, cinnamon and sultanas. Pinch of lemon. All very peaceful and well kneaded. Medium long finish, of wood, dried fruit, malt. Without infamy and without praise, a well-done homework that does not shine in any aspect, given the reasonable overall cost it is acceptable, had been priced as in the early days it would have been to be completely discarded.
Compass Box Peat Monster (Classic Brown Label)
Peated Blended Malt — ScotlandTastedLaphroaig's medicinal peat roars, which is a pleasure to the nose! Mineral and fleshy, with buckets of ocean and disinfectant, which is needed while you roll in this "dirty" whisky, also thanks to the earthiness given by Ledaig. But in this large bonfire, not all peat is the one that burns, as pineapples, candied orange, cloves and brulee creams appear distinctly to complete an oily and full picture. Spectacular, for those who love the genre ça va sans dire. On the palate the peat becomes more docile while remaining the owner of the field, allowing the other aromas to run around on the lawn with mineral and ashy hints: candied fruit, butter, a touch of licorice, malt biscuit. Light wood in the background. Less dirty than the sense of smell, and perhaps it losts a bit, but always satisfactory. Long and persistent finish, mineral, of licorice, biscuit, nutmeg and candied fruit, mixed with burnt cigars.
GlenDronach The Hielan' 8 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedThe smell is preeminently sherried, with prunes, black cherries, milk chocolate, nutmeg and a touch of licorice. Butter biscuits. Yeast is very present, almost like smelling a freshly made dough. Young, simple, but pleasant. And it is the malt that makes itself felt on the palate, always loaded with yeast, and carries herbaceous hints and a lot of almonds. Licorice, a pinch of ginger, vanilla. Pain au chocolat and a lemon touch. Full-bodied and fat, sweet but not cloying. The finish is medium long, of bread, almonds and licorice with a wooden background. Young but already with clear ideas, he is in first grade but has chosen which college to go to. GlenDronach's skill can also be seen here, the ability to make a young whisky interesting and tasty, with its own personality in which the defects of low maturation become qualities.
Clynelish Reserve (Game of Thrones-House Tyrell)
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedFragrant fruit on the nose, with mango, pineapple and mandarin surrounded by caramel, hazelnut and wax. Let's throw some marshmellow and dried dates in between. Sweet and silky, with a hint of minerality, very round. The mineral side is more evident on the palate, with a peppery push that makes the whisky more jaunty, reviving the sweet composure of tropical fruit, hazelnuts, biscuits and toffee. The alcoholic boost keeps the attention high, avoiding the risk of flat drinking. The finish is medium-long, with hazelnuts, malt and a citrus touch. The elegant signature of Clynelish clashes with the youth of the malt, but the end result defends itself all in all well, thanks also to the choice of full alcohol content which also makes it fun.
Longrow 18 Year
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTasted(This regards the 2019 edition) The nose is unexpectedly caressing, of vanilla, ripe cherry, plum and white chocolate, with the peat that collects and incorporates the aromas in its fleshy and medicinal heart. Tobacco. Very balanced and elegant. The mouth is oily and ashy, with a very pleasant vinous dryness. The dance between peat and fruity notes continues graceful, with notes of Caribbean cigar, plums, black cherries, yellow peach, vanilla, a slight herbaceous hint on the background, a touch of dried fruit. Full-bodied, with hints that alternate and mingle with each sip, where peat knows how to be the protagonist without gigionizing, in a very enjoyable overall chorus. The finish is rather long, ashy and dry with plums and almonds. An example of great balance and wisdom, with a peat that you expected to explode and instead knows how to integrate masterfully with the aromas of the aging casks. Elegant and sober as you don't expect.