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 Small Batch (Cadenhead's)
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.
GlenDronach The Hielan' 8 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandTastedThis is one of the best 8 year drams I have ever had. I've begged Glendronach to release this in the USA. The nose brings a nice balance of fruit, sweetness, woody notes, and nuttiness. Pecans, cashews, walnuts come out to the forefront, along with honey and vanilla. I think the bourbon and sherry cask combination makes this a special glass. The palate is buttery, a pecan danish perfectly cooked, and sourdough. It's a thin mouth coat, but it's not bad. Outstanding long finish with caramel, mocha, and dark chocolate goodness. I'll put a 4.0 on it, and the theme will be a long sweet song... "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. Definitely more than worth seeking out.
Kilchoman Original Cask Strength (2016 Release)
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandTastedThis is A LOT better than the 2014 version. This is a nice earthy Lagavulin-like peat. The nose brings bright oranges, vanilla, salted pretzels, mango, jasmine, and peat smoke. The palate is fantastic, even neat, and brings barbecue, creme brulee, bakery pastry, almonds, marzipan, cashews, peanut brittle, smoky peat, white grapes, pear, candied apples, caramel, and molasses. Sheesh it's damn good. Long finish and a heavy mouth coat, so what are you waiting for? 4.75 ... only age would make this better. The theme to this dram should be a masterpiece, but powerful. "Heaven and Hell" by Black Sabbath will work.
Kilkerran 8 Year Cask Strength
Peated Single Malt — Campbeltown , ScotlandTastedThis is one of my favorite distilleries. Fruit is the first prominent note on the nose. Dried banana chips, lemons, peaches, pineapples, tobacco, tea bags, hay and straw show up too. Going in neat is hot at 56.2% ABV, but not surprising. The palate brings a lot of flavors (same notes as nose), but needs a couple drops to fine tune it, more than usual. It has a nice medium mouth coat with a long woody, sourdough, and fruit salad finish. With all this talk of fruit, the theme to this dram should be "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel because of the cool claymation video. A very nice 4.0, but I think I may prefer the 12, depending on the mood. This one is great, but you have to be in the mood to work for it with the water drops.
Weller Antique 107
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATastedTypically, I stick to scotch, but I have been known to occasionally enjoy a bourbon. Not being into corn liquor, it makes me happy to hear this is based mostly off of wheat. I’ve done a bit of ryes, but not sure if I’ve had a wheat version. The nose is very inviting since I can detect some powdered sugar balanced by cinnamon. Apples, nuts, honey and vanilla are in there too. The more you nose though the sweetness fades. Seems like the legs run fast so I think it’s going to be a thin mouthfeel, but we’ll see. I was wrong, it’s a medium mouth coat. At 53% ABV, only a couple drops of water may be used. Mmmmm the palate is really nice, and I consider it like a bourbon/rye hybrid, but the wheat really saves the taste. Nice amount of spices like nutmeg, cumin, coriander, mixed with some nice vanilla, red apples and brown sugar. The finish is medium to long, but comes with some bitter almonds and walnuts. Not overly dry, but not sure if I am enjoying the aftermath. I think I should drink more of it. Thanks so much @Scott_E. It might not be a home run for me, but it’s a very nice triple. Complex 4.0!
Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum Finish
Blended — IrelandTastedI’ll preface this by stating I usually just stick to scotch. Thanks to @Scott_E, I’ll be able to give this a try. The nose reminds me of a grain, which I am not fond of, but I’ll give it a try. There is a nice orange and vanilla with spice underneath some sawdust and woody elements. The palate is more of the same to me with some metallic notes on the finish. It dries out quickly. I get some tea, floral properties, subtle caramel, and toffee on the palate too, but there isn’t enough actual sweetness to balance out the other notes. This is just not in my wheelhouse at all, but I appreciate the experience. 1.75!