Rating: 14/23 N: Grain, malt wax, lemon peel. It just avoids smelling soapy. A nice balance between light and rich; dry and sweet. It smells 12 to 15 years old - mature enough that I don't expect to taste much or any of the alcohol. There's also a faint birch syrup scent that's kind of interesting. It really makes me think a lot of Dewar's 15 The Monarch, but a bit less rich, lacking that bitter alcohol note, and more complex. P: What hits me first is some grain and a bit of alcohol. Kind of a lowland or southern highland style. Balanced maltiness. Some complexity, but it's subtle. The maltiness is a bit lighter than I'd expected with some sort of syrup (not quite as rich as birch) filling in the rest of the sweetness. A touch of waxy lemon peel. There's a bit too much of the alcohol flavor here, but at least it isn't sharply flavored or harsh.It's still a fairly enjoyable palate, though I would believe you if you told me that this was a blend because it almost seems like there's some grain flavor to it - though a smoother grain flavor than I would expect in a 12 year old F: Clean. The sweet flavors remain and the alcohol drops out. Not much happening here. - Conclusion - This is pretty enjoyable, but when I put it side by side with other drams, I find that there are plenty that rival or beat it in a similar price range. I do like this a little more than Dewar's 15 The Monarch (13) because this has less of that oily alcohol flavor and kind of a nice crisp lightness going on. They have quite similar profiles. This also reminds me with its subtle, clean flavor of Glen Grant 18, but I'm confident that the Glen Grant is much better formed, and I just have a small sample of this, so I'm not going to side by side them. Old Pulteney 12 (14) is about on the same level as this. What keeps the Old Pulteney from being better is that its profile is a little more muddled. Pure Scot Virgin Oak (14) is also neck and neck with this. They're both generally simple with some subtle nuances if you really search and both just barely avoid being too youthful. Loch Lomond 12 (16) is substantially richer and more complex than this is, so I know this can't be a 16. It's very close to a couple of 14s (though the Old Pulteney is a little farther (but also a high 14)), above a 13, and kind of distant from a 16, so this is getting a solid 14.
37.0 USD per Bottle