Peated Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedThis is much peatier than I expected- this is like Islay levels of peat. Behind the peat is the rich sherry nose of Glendronach. You can taste the smoke and behind it is all the wonderful sherry from the standard Glendronach. This is a very good whiskey, but I can't help but feeling that the peat smoke throws the balance off and masks the sublime sherry that might otherwise be there. There is a pleasant edge of black pepper along with the smoke. As much as I love peat, I prefer this one without it, despite the new flavors that jump out.
GlenDronach Cask Strength
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedDelightful on the nose strong, rich sherry notes. The body is also full of sherry - very strong sherry body, but not overly sweet, it has a nice balance. I get raisins and wood, but the wood is not too strong - it sort of hides behind the sweeter sherry notes. I get a bit of vanilla and a puff of smoke to round out the sherry. This is a rich, excellent dram.
Glenfiddich 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedThe nose has a lot of malt and pear. The pear notes follow through on the palate- tastes like pear skin and pear flesh right under the skin. It's got kinda of a bitter herb flavor in the finish with a sharp, woodiness that isn't my favorite. As far as entry level single malts go among the great "Glens" in this price range, I think my preference Glenmorangie 10 followed by Glenlivet 12 followed by Glenfiddich 12. It's not a bad drink, but the aftertaste is not my favorite. Granted, I'd take a Laphroaig or Highland Park any day of the week over these, but unfortunately you can't buy Laphroaig or Highland Park in 1.75L, so it's nice to have a decent, "bulk" single malt.
Bunnahabhain 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedMalt and caramel on the nose. This is a seriously malty, biscuity whiskey. It tastes like shortbread and caramel. It's got a dry, salty bite, with a drying, astringent ethanol character. I also get some rubbing alcohol. Dry and coastal, with none of the characteristic Islay smoke. This is a really delicious whiskey - it's not the crazy smokey Islay whiskey that I love, but this is a great whiskey nonetheless.
Caol Ila 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedReally pleasant peaty nose with a great amount of smoke. Great peat and smoke on the palate with some sweeter malty flavors and a lovely coastal influence. I get seaweed, salt, a bit of a black pepper bite, and smoke all around. The balance is also really nice. While it's not Laphroaig, my first love, this is a great drink. It's been years since my last glass of Caol Ila, and that's a regrettable fact!
Jura 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedSome smoke on the nose, with a lot of malt, maybe some lemon? I can definitely smell the sherry. The palate has malt and a pleasant amount of smoke. I can taste the sherry. It's got a bit of pepper, more white pepper than black, and brine. The body is light, but not in a bad way, it carries the coastal flavors nicely. There is a decent amount going on here- the balance is not perfect, but there is a lot to like - it's got a lingering, intense, salty finish, and that is just fine by me. It's a good drink for a cool fall day.
Dalmore 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedCereal nose with vanilla and honey Nice soft toasted cereal palate - creamy and balanced. It's got a bit of peppery spice and a warm and lingering finish with honey and pepper. The mouth feel is very creamy. This is not my favorite style of scotch, but this a very pleasant drink. I'm normally a peat fiend, but it's nice to have something more moderate from time to time.
Rye — Kentucky, USATastedOne of the most dependable and reliable ryes out there, in my opinion and it's priced right. Good enough to drink neat on a weeknight, cheap enough to put in a cocktail. It has a pleasant rye flavor, with a bit of wood, and vanilla. It's got a bit of an herbal and grassy edge with the rye spice.
Wild Turkey Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USATastedA pleasant, sweet, affordable rye. It's a bit syrupy and had a nice sharp black pepper bite in the finish. Good for the price. Makes a good daily drink, though I think I prefer Old Forester rye, which comes in around the same price point.
Old Forester Single Barrel
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedIt's the signature Old Forester - burnt brown sugar, marshmallow, some vanilla, barrel char. Some caramel flavors. It's got a little bit of a funky flavor. My only complaint is that the mouthfeel is thinner/lighter than I expected, even at 90 proof.