Peated Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedHas almost a coastal nose with plenty of smoke. It has sort of a smokey meat scent. This is quite peaty - it has a sweet middle, probably light sherry, and a smokey hot finish. Salt and pepper, pepper, pepper, and more pepper. Tingly pepper, it actually reminds me of tingly sensation caused by szechuan peppercorns. It does have a beef jerky flavor. The balance of the whole package is not quite there, but I like this whiskey. It's an enjoyable drink and this would be a great pair for smokey barbecue.
Compass Box Great King St Glasgow Blend
Peated Blend — ScotlandTastedThis is absolutely great for the price point. The nose is nicely smokey with some sweet sherry notes. The palate definitely has some salt and peat and it's quite fruity, almost like a little bit of strawberry jam. There is also a sharp, pronounced peppery bite that is a big part of the finish. It feels a little thin on the tongue, but the flavor is fairly intense and enjoyable and clocking in at just $30, I'd be hard pressed to find a single malt that's as good with spending at least another $15 on the bottle. Not sure what the smoke in this is coming from, but I wouldn't be surprised if this has some Talisker or something from Islay as a part of it's backbone.
The Glenlivet Nàdurra 16 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedWonderful, okay nose - strong alcohol nose. Palate has wood, coconut, marshmallow, caramel. A bit of salt, and just enough smoke. This is really delicious.
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedInitial notes of red wine on the nose that evolves into more traditional sherry with raisins, caramel/salted caramel. Strong sherry flavor. It's got a strong caramel flavor on the palate. It's got some decent smoke. This is caramel through and through- the only fault I can really find is the body is not as thick as I like.
Aultmore 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedThe nose gas a bit of smoke, maybe a whiff of vanilla. Crisp with a bit of grass, a bit of sweetness with some herbs flavors - fresh honeysuckle. It's pleasant, but it's hard for me to pick out flavors. Maybe a touch of lemongrass or green tea? There is a bit of bitter woodiness part of the way through?
Hazelburn 12 Year
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandTastedThe nose is very malty with a big dose of salt and a hint of caramel and some oak. I get some dry sherry notes, something like fino. The palate is definitely light, with lots of biscuity malt at the front. The flavor is light, but the texture is oily. It's got a bit of a funky flavor, which I associate with Springbank, it's probably in part due to the sherry cask aging. There is a pleasant saltiness to the whole package. I get sherry notes in this, but they are dry - more like fino and not PX. I get a bit of lemon zest, again likely from the sherry. Something about the finish reminds me of yellow cake. The finish is very astringent with some dry woody notes, but it's not "licking a board" woody. This is not my favorite whiskey from the Springbank family, but it's definitely unique amongst their lineup. It's one of the most malt forward scotches that I've had in recent memory.
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedTastes like a sweetener Glenmorangie. Considering the huge price difference, I'll stick with the 10. Just not that interesting to me - it's just sweet Glenmorangie, and that's not something that I was really looking for...
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 Batch 1
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.