Ironically, my first sips and favorites started in Islay, and then I branched all over Scotland. Learning as I go! Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/user/Telex2112
The Winter Queen (Adelphi)
Blended Malt — Multiple CountriesTastedThis reminds me of a good batch of Aberlour A’bunadh right away even from the nose. Thanks so much for the chance to try this @PBMichiganWolverine. Nutmeg, cinnamon, gingerbread, and ruby fruits jump out at you. The palate is a great Christmas fruitcake. Really, the only thing I think I would “ding” it for would be some slight bitterness from the walnut finish in the end, but that’s such a “first world problem” lol. You get some other nutty notes and cloves too that balance it, so I think it deserves a 4.5. I really nice ABV, and I wish it wasn’t so damn rare.
Tamnavulin Double Cask
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedA nice intense nose that brings dried banana chips, vanilla custard, subtle lemon, more cream, and floral properties, like jasmine. The palate is hot for 40%, but it's on the nice sweet end, reminiscent to a Monkey Shoulder blend. I am not sure if that's good though since we are comparing that to this single malt. The finish is sadly non-existent on this one with a thin and dry mouthfeel. 2.5 for me. The theme is "The Sound of Settling" by Death Cab for Cutie. Thanks for the sip @LeeEvolved!
Beinn Dubh- Black Mountain (The Speyside Distillery)
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTasted@LeeEvolved, where in the world did you find this... black gold... texas tea? This is the darkest whisky I think I have ever seen. Black jellybeans, dark fruit, floral properties, and honeycomb. The palate isn't like anything I've ever had. Mocha, espresso, cola, vanilla/caramel cream, concord grapes and sassafras notes follow, but a thinner mouth coat than expected. A real surprise though that it's overall better than I thought it was going to be. The short finish brings on milk chocolate and black pepper, but no fruit or herbal notes to speak of. Far from being a typical scotch, and is close to my experience of the Auchentoshan Three Wood. I think a 3.25 is fair. The theme of this dram is "Mirage Rock" by Band of Horses.
Glen Grant 10 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedYou can tell it's going to be young from the first sniff. Faint pears, vanilla, straw, hay, cinnamon and sugarcane. Thin mouthfeel, but 40% ABV, so not surprising. The palate is a little better, with white grapes, pears, and your other typical vanilla, woody notes flavors etc. Decent 10 year, but a short and dry white pepper finish to me. It needs some smoke, peat, or sherry... something else. 2.75 for me. Thanks for the taste though @Generously_Paul. The theme of this dram needs to be a bit of a boring song. I am thinking "Tom Dooley" by the Kingston Trio. LOL.
Glen Elgin 12 Year
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedThe nose on this guy brings pears, apples, vanilla, cream, and some blended spices. The palate is hot for 40% ABV. I can taste the elements of the bourbon cask, royal icing, grassy notes come through, savory pastry, sour dough, peaches and finally herbal notes. Complex to me for a 12 year old, and seems to be well-rounded. The finish brings in more shortbread cookies, almonds, but was a little short. I actually liked this one guys, so I will give it a 3.5. Thanks so much for @Scott_E for the chance to experience this one. The theme to this one is going to be "Amorphous Surprise" by Guided by Voices.
Dailuaine 1995 12 Year Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedYou really have to dig deep on this one. The nose is very subtle with white grapes, pears, ginger, vanilla, and gumdrops. The palate brings caramel, mocha, powdered sugar, corn syrup, and salted pretzels. The finish is a little too short and dry for my taste though. Might not be a jaw dropper, but the solid palate brings it to a 3.25. The theme of this dram is "Dig for Fire" by The Pixies. Thanks so much for the sample Mr. @LeeEvolved.
Linkwood-Glenlivet 23 Year (Wm Cadenhead)
Single Malt — Speyside, ScotlandTastedStrawberries, light oranges, roses, heather, powdered sugar and white grapes are on the nose. Pretty subtle, but hopefully just from the age. The neat palate is hot and burns without a little water. Adding a couple drops brought out raspberries, lime zest, vegetal properties, caramel, and brown sugar. It’s a medium to long finish for me containing cream, white chocolates, butter, and then dries. It is complex, but almost all over the place. I am trying to decide if it meshes well, maybe just not in my wheelhouse. It starts out like a Japanese whisky on the nose. The palate is unlike anything I’ve experienced, and is a bit chaotic. The finish ends with a heavy mouth coat and the opposite of delicate. Quite a journey that’s hard to put into words, but I’m trying. Man, the theme to this is a masterpiece. “Happiness is a Warm Gun” by The Beatles. It covers all the bases, that’s for sure. Thanks sooooo much for getting this one for us @Generously_Paul. I’m going to say 3.75.
Fettercairn 7 Year - Battlehill (Duncan Taylor)
Single Malt — Highlands , ScotlandTastedI don’t think @LeeEvolved is going to enjoy this one because it needs a TON of one thing he evades at all cost. H2O. Lol. The nose is a little off putting at first, but beneath there was some lemon zest, tea, sulfur, tannin, leather and vanilla. The palate neat is way too hot, but heavy water brings a ton of honey, oak, lemon curd, vanilla, toffee, and more subtle sulfuric notes. The short finish is uneventful and dry. Not horrible like other Battlehill bottles I’ve had, but far from great. Thanks for the samples Tash and @Generously_Paul. Oxidation does help this bottle a ton, but it’s a 2.75 out of the gate. The theme to this dram is “Dam That River” by Alice In Chains.”
Teaninich Flora & Fauna 10 Year
Single Malt — Highland, ScotlandTastedNo legs to speak of, but I doubt there is added color. A very faint nose, but it’s pleasant. Subtle woodiness, vanilla, ginger, lemon, tea, white grapes, and a ton of floral properties. Unfortunately, it’s not drawing me in for a taste since it’s outside the scope of what I usually enjoy, but let’s try. Palate is delicate, but with an oily mouth coat. Slight honey, sourdough, slight mineral, mint, very slight smoke and cream. Hmm, it’s not bad, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I need a bit more sherry or peat. The finish is long, buttery, and ends with some more honey and orange rind notes, which are redeeming qualities. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster. The theme will be the RHCP’s cover of “Love Rollercoaster” 2.5. I can see why it’s mostly used for blends.
Bowmore No. 1
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedGot this one for about 26 bucks, so I got a nice deal, but I am not expecting a superb experience. The nose brings pleasant subtle peat smoke, vanilla, salty brine, woody notes, and floral properties. The mouth coat is thin, and the 40% ABV is a bit of a downer. The palate is good though, especially for the price. Milk chocolate, maritime brine, vanilla, honey, a touch of wood and peat smoke on the palate as well. Doesn't blow your socks off, but definitely a really nice economical daily sipper. It's a 3.0, and the theme is going to be "Sailing" by Christopher Cross. Not normally available in the USA, but worth a look.