Jura 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTasted February 21, 2022This bottle feels like your favourite old chair, saggy and stained - out of place and an eye sore according to my wife. Yet we are drawn to it. Is it the comfort? The smell? Or the memories it draws that we enjoy. On the nose: it’s a mixed bag, with roasted berries and honey standing out at first. A second pull bring sea salt with chilli, and some vanilla. An lovely oak note lingers. On the palate; light at first - berries make a small appearance, I detect roasted strawberries followed by a soft smoke note. Honey follows with some chilli, then a touch of pine. The finish starts off light, a breathe of fresh pine followed by the spice. Smoke comes after and lasts around for a while. I’ve never thought much of this bottle, but the fact that it is always on sale has be buying it over and over. This bottle is complex, not necessarily balanced, but does have a lot to offer. Jura 10 year is similar, but the 12 brings in more smoke and spice. Not a knockout for flavour, but this does a great job at being good and interesting. I’ll continue to buy it as the value is competitive.74.95 CAD per Bottle
Auchentoshan 18 Year
Single Malt — Lowlands, ScotlandTasted February 21, 2022Very smooth with a palate full of soft notes. It’s easy to mistake this for a “weak” 18 year, but if you give it time and appreciate the flavour profile this is a fine dram. Not to mention it is of great value! I don’t typically mention price up front but felt compelled given this one ($129 CAD at LCBO, that is considerably less than almost all of the age statement segment). On the nose; chocolate and mint at first, subtle but hints of complexity drawing me in. A deeper pull bring a warm green tea essence with some pear and cinnamon. The nose is particularly polite, nothing in your face, both delicate and balanced. On the plate; green tea make a stronger presence here, milk chocolate follows with some cinnamon and spice. On its way down the cinnamon and green tea remain. Exhaling after brings back the chocolate to your nose. The finish is smooth and medium short. Green tea and cinnamon lasting afterwards. Compared to other at the same age statement, this is not a complex bottle, nor does it make its age known or easy to detect. However if you like your scotch to be more soft and light? this is a great bottle. Similar to that of the 12th, it’s a great smooth sipper - but has much more soft and delicate notes.129.99 CAD per Bottle
Bowmore 15 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTasted February 18, 2022The dried fruit taste almost had me thinking I was sipping a Sauvignon Blanc. This is one you have to drink a bit first before you can appreciate it. Bowmore 15 has a delightful fruity earth nose. A deeper pull brings torched wood and raisins. The nose is strong, creating a taste of raisin jam to the mouth with a little smoke. The palate is not as impressive for me: raisins and some kindle wood at first, followed by an oak taste with sea salt. There is little burn, but the salt and wood leave a dry taste in the mouth as it makes its way down. Not nice at first, but the more you consume the more you begin to enjoy.104.95 CAD per Bottle
Dalwhinnie 15 Year
Peated Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted February 18, 2022When you find that jar of honey that’s so tasty you prefer to put a spoonful in your mouth and let it sit. This is a tasty-easy sipper. The nose brings delightful aromas of honey, vanilla, and some faint leather varnish. On the palate, a pleasant amount of honey greets you - nothing overpowering as this is a well aged Scotch. Following the honey I taste vanilla with a bit of salt. No spice to be found so this goes down smooth. It’s not complex, but it is great at what it does. Smooth flavour that is well matured.114.99 CAD per Bottle
Auchentoshan Three Wood
Single Malt — Lowlands, ScotlandTasted October 18, 2021Coke & whisky? nope! Hello Three wood, oddly enough the wood is not very present here. I’ve held off on buying this based on the vastly different reviews. As a fan of Auchentoshan I grabbed it. While it does not offer the palate profile I typically enjoy, it is unique and deserves appreciation. There is more to be enjoyed here than meets the tongue. One the nose, Dark berries mixed with vanilla and banana. I smell Blackberry, Raspberry and raisins. It’s smells sweet with a touch of spice. The palate; caramel and banana greet you, followed by vanilla and fudge. It’s smooth and very sweet. As it makes it way down chilli and Tobacco appear with a touch of coco bean. The finish gives a nice leather varnish with Carmel and fudge. It is pleasant without any burn. It makes an impression but does not last long. This bottle has a similar texture to the other offerings from Auchentoshan. It is smooth with some surprises, tastes light and not overpowering.
Macallan Double Cask 12 Year
Single Malt — Highland, ScotlandTasted October 5, 2021My first time trying a Macallan. I’ve had an opinion that this distillery has been “discovered”, and is overrated. This bottle did not change my mind. The nose: a very pleasant dessert of milk chocolate and butterscotch on top of some roasted nuts. The palate: Warm butterscotch greets the mouth, a pinch of salt and zest follow before the chocolate arrives with some oak. This has depth, and it is balanced. Very enjoyable to sip. The finish: chocolate and pepper leave a lasting impression on the way down. The finish is not strong and does stick around to leave you an impression. Unfortunately the impression is a very safe one; some secrets to discover, but nothing exciting. A very easy drinker, I’d recommend for beginners but not at this price. Far more exciting drams to discover at a better price.
Balblair 12 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted October 2, 2021A lovely dram to sip that does not have much depth, not very memorable and overpriced, in my opinion. The nose: first pull is overwhelmed with citrus and spice, not a pairing I like. After allowing it to breathe, a deeper pull does bring some vanilla, nuts and honey. The palate: faint orange, spice, honey, more spice, and some tingling spice with… well spice. It is very delicate and you truly have to let it sit to discover what’s going on. No depth at all, it is nice to sip and test your palate to discover what is happening behind the spice. Be careful, it doesn’t last long except for the spice and heat. The finish: a saving Grace here, this dram has the right amount of “that oily taste & texture” which does wonders IMO. It’s slaps my tongue on the way down with a nice amount of honey, but this quickly fades and the spice is left. It’s an easy drinker, but for me the spice is too much here. Lovely light flavours, but overpowered by the chilli. At the price point I will not be buying this bottle, I’d much prefer my ABG’s for similar profile at better value. (Aberfeldy, Balvenie, Glenfiddich).
Glenlivet 15 Year French Oak Reserve
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted March 27, 2021The curtains role back in the theatre, the smell of leather varnish and moth balls in the air. The upholstery’s Smells of lint and dust. On the nose: Leather and Oak. Smells of cinnamon and some fruit. I pick up faint apple. On the palate: some cinnamon makes an appearance with vanilla. Oak fills the mouth faintly before a zest of spice strikes. It happens rather quickly, and unfortunately in my opinion overpowers and then you are left with leather and a short finish. Similar to its 12 year old sibling, there are faint flavours to discover - very faint. The finish: it’s short. The Cinnamon and spice is constant but drops suddenly on the finish. I don’t taste anything after. This bottle is like having an old cinnamon heart candy. If you enjoy them you will like this! For me it’s a step up from the 12, but not as good as other in the lineup.
Jura Seven Wood
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandTasted March 12, 2021Got Wood? Yup. Bourbon Barrels? Yup. Wine barrels? Yup, yup. Whiskey Barrels, you know it! All sounds spectacular, but is it?? On the nose: some floral notes strike first. Followed by a note of vanilla spice, leather, and a touch of honey. Green grape with Oak come in at the end. On the palate: Chocolate and spice. A soft palate with a little kick; sea salt and coffee opens the show with chocolate being the main event. - taste of Oak and Pine make an appearance. The feel is rich, but lighter than that of other Jura offerings. It coats the mouth nicely, but doesn’t last long. The finish returns some salt and light vanilla, but doesn’t stick around. Bottom line: Jura has a lot of controversy from its fan- you either love it or hate it.Some bottles are great, others forget about it. I respect that they try new and different things, but this bottle is forgettable in my opinion. Some unique offerings yes, but far too light and nothing memorable IMO. Give it a try if you want to quiz your palate, but I think Jura has better variations to offer in their 10&12 year.
Tomatin caribbean rum, 2009, limited edition
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTasted March 9, 2021Saw this at the LCBO and grabbed it without hesitation - selection in Ontario just isn’t as good as other places in Canada, though it is improving. The bottle reads this is a limit edition, 10 year age statement from Tomatin. It spends 9 years in Oak barrels, and the final year in a Caribbean rum barrel. Sounds fantastic, but why O why must these limited releases drop to 700ML. On the nose: red wine and apples. A deeper pull brings some vanilla and banana with some grape and salt. The palate: apple and citrus make an appearance on first taste. It greets the mouth like a fine cotton bedsheet, gentle and smooth. Caramel and sea salt come through with a touch of cinnamon and it fills your mouth with happiness. The finish: sweet and smooth. As it makes its way down the citrus fruit reappears with a touch of sweetness. Apple is left in the mouth for some time. At 46 ABV it’s quite pleasing to have a delicate, yet memorable finish.