Glen Garioch Virgin Oak
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedSmells like a musty barrel, peanut shells. Wood spice. Picks up some more bourbony notes. Very barrel forward, but the malt stands up pretty well. Toasted barley on the tongue. Woody and spicy.
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedLemon and peaches on the nose. Light grass and grain. Light citrus lemon/lime on the tongue. Barley with a touch of sweetness(honey?) Slight sour, yeasty finish. Malty but earthier. A bit of wood spice. This is a bit of an oddity, but definitely worth a try. The classic Glenmorangie is in there, but it's subdued behind the more unusual flavors.
Johnnie Walker Double Black
Peated Blend — ScotlandTastedNot a bad daily drink. Some barely malt on the nose with some smoke. Some sweetness that I can't quite identify- something like malted barley syrup? There is some smoke here, but it's not like peated Islay smoke. I think that the char comes through more than the smoke. There is cereal malt, but the most prominent flavors are burnt brown sugar, burnt marshmallows. There is a bit of sweetness again, like malted barley syrup. The finish is mostly the charred barrel notes. All in all, pretty decent, but I would love it if this were a bit more complex.
Cardhu Gold Reserve (Game of Thrones-House Targaryen)
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedToasted malt on the nose. Some fruit - pear? This tastes charred - burnt barley, burnt brown sugar, marshmallows lit on fire. Coffee flavors come out as you go through the glass. The burnt notes are a bit overdone to my taste, but it's interesting in that it's different.
The Singleton of Glendullan Select (Game of Thrones-House Tully)
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedVery malty nose. A little yeasty/funky. Toasted barley. Strong cereal elements- slight toasted barley flavor. A touch of sweetness and quite malty, reminds me of oat crackers. A decent amount of peppery spice. A hint of brown sugar and heather. Nothing spectacular, but pretty pleasant, particularly considering how cheap it is.
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedThis smells like Glenmorangie but you can definitely get the caramel and coffee notes from the roasted barley. The classic Glenmorangie flavor definitely comes through but the chocolate malted barley really elevates the whole experience in terms of body and complexity. There are great barley flavors, coffee, cocoa. The body is thick and oily. This is really great!
Highland Park The Dark 17 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTastedA nice mix of peat smoke, pepper, and heather and cask woody notes. This tastes like peat, salt, burnt caramel, charred barrel, maybe marshmallow. It has the classic Highland Park heather/honey but it is behind all the other stuff. As the finish starts, it tastes like burnt marshmallow s'mores(the best kind of smores). The burn adds a delicious layer of complexity which is very pronounced into the finish. This whiskey is a wonderful showcase of smoke and char, but classic Highland Park still muscles through. The finish is quite peppery amidst all the char notes. This is the best iteration of Highland Park that I have had to date.
Forager's Keep 26 Year
Single Malt — ScotlandTastedThe nose has some caramelized malt notes, coconut, and orange peel. This has a really wonderful flavor - it's bursting with wood spice, there's pepper, but much more than that there is loads of dried ground ginger, and that lingers from start to very long finish. It's almost too spicy, but is as spicy as can be without crossing that line. There is some wood in the body and finish, but it's far less woody than I was expecting after 26 years in a barrel. I can, surprisingly, still pick up some pleasant, malty barley notes. This is also quite oily and has a robust, rich body behind it. This is something special, I'd recommend grabbing a bottle if you can find it without an exorbitant markup.
Dalmore 15 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedThe nose has some dark bread notes a hint of tobacco and some funky sherry notes. Wood spice cedar and cinnamon. Maybe a faint hint of dried dates. The palate has some tobacco, dark chocolate, dates. The dark bread is back. The finish is long and astringent. There are slight hints of bitter chocolate and a faint whisper of raisins off to the side. There is tobacco and pepper spice in the finish. The mouthfeel is oily and thick. It's quite oily. The only thing negative that I can say about this is that I was hoping for a stronger sherry influence, but all in all, it's a fine whiskey with a lot of personality and a reasonable degree of complexity. It's fairly robust for a 40%, but I think this could easily go to a 43% or even better a 46% and that would bring out more boldness.
Glenmorangie 18 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedPerhaps I have been too harsh in judging this. I have offered 3 previous tasting notes, and this is actually totally delicious. I think maybe I was judging this by what I thought it would be and not what it actually is. I think for some dumb reason, I was expecting strong elements that come out in the various parts of the cask-finished Glenmorangie. The nose contains walnuts, almonds, rubbing alcohol, coconut, and perhaps a hint of artificial banana. Musty wood as an afterthought to an otherwise very clean spirit. The taste starts with walnuts and cashews and quickly evolves into fudgy dark chocolate followed by a bit of tar and tobacco. I get sugar cookies or snickerdoodles. The nutty flavors return in the finish but are melded with woody notes, walnut and pecan shells. I get a very minty aftertaste- I normally don't like mint in whiskey, but I think that it really works here. The spirit has a pronounced rubbing alcohol taste, but it's actually very pleasant. Wood spice and a bit of a spicy bite that reminds me of cloves. It's moderately creamy with a lingering spicy finish. It's very astringent.