Royal Brackla 16 Year
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed July 10, 2022Caramel, oranges and heather on the nose. Palate is mellow with fruity sweetness, but marred by an astringent (slightly sulfuric?) woody finish.
Glen Scotia 15 Year
Single Malt — Campbeltown, ScotlandReviewed May 27, 2021I get tropical fruit and malt sweetness but not much more. Quite a bit of burn at the end, likely both alcohol and wood spice. Good, but just short of great — expected more complexity.
Ledaig 10 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed October 10, 2020Peat dominates the nose, smoky mostly, with more subdued seaweed and medicinal notes. A little time and a little water let vanilla and something sweet — honey, caramel, cake? — shine through. Taste is sweet (fruity and malty), nutty and spicy throughout, with the latter two lingering for a decent-lasting aftertaste. Very good dram; definitely getting a full bottle of this down the line.
Bowmore Darkest 15 Year
Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed July 30, 2020Smoky, earthy peat, like cigar ash and struck matches, dominates the nose; water and a few minutes tease forth a little toffee and nuts. Palate starts with smoky peat, that sticks with you throughout and is then joined by wood spice and finally a little caramel sweetness, with a whiff of sherry. I generally find sherry + peat a tricky combo to pull out; here peat carries the day and sherry is visibly muted. Not a bad whisky by any means but not really my thing.
Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac
Cognac — Cognac, FranceReviewed July 29, 2020Dried fruit and toffee are there, but muted by intense oak-driven vanilla and spice; a few minutes in the glass and a few drops of water work wonders, taming the latter two and bringing fruit and toffee to the forefront. Aftertaste is surprisingly long. A fine drink that probably goes great with a cigar, but not quite enough to convert this whisky drinker. Santé!
Balblair 1997 1st Release
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed June 2, 2020Fruity up front (I get citrus, mostly, with some orchard and stone fruit) with floral honey and vanilla in the distance. Surprisingly hefty body with a very balanced mouthfeel, with fruity and malty sweetness, plus a little peppery spice in a medium-lasting finish. Very, very, very good scotch.
Redbreast 12 Year
Single Pot Still — IrelandReviewed March 17, 2020Toffee, vanilla, orange, sherry and maybe peach and honey on the nose. Palate is surprisingly creamy/oily, sweet up front but closes with a marked wood spice note. It’s my first single pot still whiskey, and it’s really, really good, but maybe my expectations were a dash higher. Still, if in doubt — get it!
Ardbeg An Oa
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed March 5, 2020When first poured, peat dominates — trademark Ardbeg peat, earthy, medicinal, herbaceous, full, with notes like struck match and cigar ash — but give it a little time in the glass and the unmistakable whiff of sherry emerges as peaty smokiness is dialed down. In the palate it opens up with a dab of sherried sweetness, followed by strong smoky peat as described above, and then by a little more sweetness and a finish rich in black pepper. Good whisky but a bit jarring in the sense that the sherry and peat influences seem to clash at times, rather than evolve into the harmony you see in Laphroaig Lore or Edradour Ballechin. I can’t quite put my finger on it but there you go.
Bunnahabhain An Cladach
Peated Single Malt — Islay, ScotlandReviewed February 23, 2020Nose is all sherry. Palate is also markedly sherried, with caramel, salt and fruit, but a brackish, metallic piquancy interferes right up front and again near the end. Young and unbalanced.
Booker's Bourbon Batch 2018-04 "Kitchen Table"
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed January 19, 2020It really is amazing that also high proof a dram might be so gently smooth on the palate. Fairly complex for a bourbon, with the typical caramel, corn and spice layered on a nutty, creamy texture. Good stuff!