The free whisky newsletters listed below each have the first page shown.
To read the full newsletter, click on the issue number in bold Blue type and it will open in a pdf.
"Of course size matters.
No-one wants a small cocktail."
Issue 196 Glefiddich "Excellence".
I now take a look at the Glenfiddich 26-year-old "Excellence" which I tasted at the bar, in the Glenfiddich Distillery.
Does, standing at the bar in a kilt in the Glenfiddich distillery, drinking an aptly named "Excellence" whisky make the whisky taste even better. No, probably not, but damn! It felt so right! And the whisky was just stellar!
I have tasted a number of Glenfiddich whiskies (that would probably be an understatement).
I have to say, I haven’t had a bad one, and I’ve certainly had a number of great ones, and this one would be one of the greats.
If I had to try and compare the flavor to another whisky that you may have tried, I would say that it has some similarities to the Highland Park “Ice” edition, which was also stellar.
So, would I buy it? That would have to be a definite yes!
You can buy Glenfiddich 26-year-old "Excellence" for around $450.00 a bottle.
Nose - Floral & fruity
Palate - Pineapple, toffee & Vanilla
Finish - Pineapple crumble
Issue 195 Teaninich 10-year-old
I now take a look at the Teaninich 10-year-old, part of their “Flora and Fauna” series, which I tasted recently in Scotland. I have to say, I have never seen any Teaninich whisky on sale in the USA or even in a bar over here.
The Teaninich distillery is located up north of Inverness and close to the Dalmore Distillery and is owned by Diagio.
The reason you don’t see Teaninich very often would appear to be that Teaninich is a key component of the Johnnie Walker blended whiskies.
So single malt releases are fairly rare, and therefore hard to come by.
What did I think of it? I’m fairly ambivalent on this one, it doesn’t excite me, nor would I turn it down if offered a bottle or even a dram, it’s OK, but that’s about it.
So, would I buy it? That would have to be a no, on buying a bottle, it’s relative rarity means a slightly inflated price and the taste doesn’t stand up to laying out that much cash.
You can buy “Teaninich 10-year-old” for around $60.00 a bottle.
Nose - Dry grass, fruit
Palate - Barley sugar, lemon cookies
Finish - Medium with grassy notes
Issue 194 Glen Keith “Distiller’s Edition,”
I now take a look at the Glen Keith “Distiller’s Edition,” this is a no age statement NAS whisky and was the first release by the distillery after being re-opened in 2013.
It has been matured in American white oak casks and bottled at 40% ABV.
What did I think of it?
Taste; Not dissimilar to a Glenfiddich 15-year-old, which is a very good thing, there are similar flavors there, unfortunately, this would be Glenfiddich-lite. Yes, the flavors are there, just not as well pronounced, this needs a few more years in the cask to deepen its flavors.
Also, the finish is a bit short, again more aging would improve that.
Would I buy it? I do love the similar flavors to the Glenfiddich 15, but I think I would rather pay an extra $20.00 and get the real thing rather than a pale imitation. I do intend to try a few other Glen Keith’s as I believe there is potential there for good whiskies.
You can buy Glen Keith “Distiller’s Edition” for around $35.00 a bottle.
Nose - Sweet fruit
Palate - Honey, pears & vanilla
Finish - Short with oak and a little heat
Issue 193 GlenAllachie 12-year-old
I now take a look at the GlenAllachie 12-year-old (pronounced
‘Glen-al-ACK-ee’)which was founded by Mackinlay, McPherson
and Co. to provide malt whisky for Mackinlay blends (Famous for
the whisky that Ernest Shackleton took with him on his Antarctic
expeditions. The distillery was bought from Pernod Ricard and is
now independently owned.
In July this year, they released their first core range of single malt
whiskies. The range features a 10, 12, 18 and 25-years-old
This whisky is Bottled at 46% and is non-chill filtered with the
Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez (px) cask maturation really evident
from the first taste, with lots of fruit on the palate.
I tried it a few weeks ago on my recent visit to Scotland. So, do I
like it and would I buy it, that would be a yes from me.
You can’t beat the lovely sherried flavors at this price, go out and
get yourself a bottle.
You can buy Glenallachie 12-year-old for around $45.00 a bottle.
Nose - Bananas & brown sugar
Palate - Ginger, sultanas & vanilla
Finish - Chocolate
Issue 192 Ardmore 20-year-old
I now try the Ardmore 20-year-old single malt highland whisky. I seem to be on a roll with my last few whisky newsletters, by picking whiskies that are not that common, at least on this side of the Atlantic. Until fairly recently the bulk of the 5 million liters produced by the distillery went to the “Teacher’s Highland Cream” blended whisky.
Which I had not tasted in years, until friends recently gave me a half bottle, it is a superb and inexpensive blend with a hint of smoke.
Anyway I digress, Ardmore is now producing more single malts and you should be able to find some in the larger liquor stores.
I like this one a lot and plan on tasting the rest of their range as soon as the chance permits.
Give them a try, I’m sure you’ll like them and the same goes for the
Would I buy it? Hell yes, I would, at that price, it’s a great deal,
You can buy Ardmore 20-year-old for around $70.00 a bottle.
Nose - Citrus, chocolate & peat
Palate - Millionaire’s shortbread, blackberry & peat
Finish - Honey & peat
Issue 191 Tomintoul 10-year-old
I now try the Tomintoul 10-year-old (pronounced ‘tom-in-TOWEL’), the distillery was built in 1964 and is one of Scotland’s biggest whisky producers. So why you ask, have I not heard of it, well in 1974, the first official bottling was launched in the form of Tomintoul twelve-year-old.
Which I find a bit confusing, maybe it’s my grasp of math, but built-in 1964, and the first whisky released is a 12-year-old, 10 years later, that’s pretty damn impressive, or someone has the facts wrong, but I can’t find anything to contradict that statement.
Sorry, as I was saying, why have you not heard of it, up until the last 10 or so years, they were not prolific with their releases, but that has changed so you should be seeing more of their whiskies on the shelves of your local booze store.
Would I buy it? Yes, I would, at that price, it’s a great deal, and I can’t wait to taste some of their older stuff.
You can buy Tomintoul 10-year-old for around $33.00 a bottle.
Nose - Vanilla fudge
Palate - Toffee & a hint of mocha
Finish - Vanilla fudge
Issue 190 Blair Athol 12-year-old
I now try the Blair Athol 12-year-old Flora and Fauna Single Malt,
This whisky reminds me of a Dalmore 15, and that’s a good thing, like the Dalmore there is a lot going on in the flavor department. Lots of sherry influences and definite hints of Christmas pudding, with stewed fruits and citrus to the forefront on your taste-buds.
Considering how nice this whisky tastes and the fact the distillery
produces 2.s million liters per year, and has been distilling since 1789, it really should be much better known.
I can’t find definitive proof (pun intended), but I think that a lot of what Blair Athol produces goes into the Bells blended whisky, and if that is the
case, that would explain it.
Would I buy it? Yes, most definitely, this is a nice whisky.
You can buy Blair Athol 12-year-old Single Malt for $50.00 a bottle.
Nose - Nuts & sherry
Palate - Stewed fruits, citrus & spice
Finish - Sweet peat smoke
Issue 189 Finlaggan
I now partake of a little of the Finlaggan, Islay Single Malt, from, of all places Trader Joe’s supermarket!
I was first introduced to this whisky, when a friend (Dave Berman) brought a bottle to our office for our traditional Friday after work whisky get together.
Dave’s enthusiasm for this whisky, seemed at odds with the price he said that he had bought it for, something that cheap couldn’t taste that good.
Well, just goes to show that no matter what you think you know about whisky, there will always be something to trip you up.
I frequently say that the Glenfiddich 15-year-old is the best whisky for the price on the market today, well I have to say that it has a contender and its name is Finlaggan.
Does it taste as good as the Glenfiddich, no, but it’s less than half the price and it does taste good? Would I buy it? Yes, I already have. Don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, then buy it from their website and have it delivered.
You can buy Finlaggan Islay Single Malt for $18.99.00 a bottle.
Nose - Smokey
Palate - Sweet Peat, smoke & a little spice
Finish - Long, smoky finish
Issue 188 Inchgower 14-year-old
I now take a look at the Inchgower 14-year-old, this is a very rare whisky nowadays and it was purely by chance that I stumbled upon it, in a hotel bar on our last visit to Scotland.
This bottling was a part of Inchgower’s Flora and Fauna series, which is unfortunately discontinued, each whisky had a different illustration on the bottle. In the case of this 14-year-old, it has an Oystercatcher on the label.
The Inchgower distillery is situated in the Speyside region, but this
whisky tastes more like a lowlander to me.
Do I like it and would I buy it? If I could find a bottle and could afford it, then yes I would. And there is hope for you whisky lovers out there, a number of independent bottlings are available in particular by Hunter Laing, Gordon & MacPhail, and Douglas Laing.
You can buy Inchgower 14-year-old for around $53.00 a bottle. I just saw that Masters of Malt has one bottle of this available.
Nose - Citrus & hay
Palate - Ginger, cereal & a hint of Licorice
Finish - Cereal & spicy citrus
Issue 187 Balmenach 8-year-old
I now take a look at the Balmenach 8-year-old, from their benchmark series by the independent bottler Murray McDavid
This might be a new distillery to you, Balmenach is a little-known distillery In Speyside owned by Inver House Distillers, who bought it in 1997 from United Distillers (Diageo).
The reason this whisky is not well known is that Inver House does not release single malt whiskies. So you have to rely on finding their whiskies in bottlings by companies like Murray McDavid, Cadenhead, Douglas Laing or one of the other independent bottlers. The reason the distillery does not release their own single malt is that the whisky they produce is unusual these days, and is too highly-prized as fillings for blends.
Do I like it and would I buy it, that’s a yes, and a yes if I could find a bottle.
For all that, it is only an 8-year-old, this is a nice whisky and the price isn’t terrible.
You can buy Balmenach 8-year-old for around $50.00 a bottle.
Nose - Citrus, honey & thyme
Palate - Citrus, grass & chocolate
Finish - Almonds & mango
Issue 186 Tormore-16-year-old
I now take a look at the Tormore-16-year-old single malt whisky.
This whisky is from the Speyside region with the distillery situated
in the Cromdale Hills, surrounded by pine forest and overlooking
the River Spey.
The distillery is a relative newcomer having been Built-in 1958,
with the whisky production initially planned to be used for the
“Long John” brand of blended whisky.
This particular whisky is matured in American Oak casks, is
non-chilled filtered and bottled at the higher than average 48%
You might assume that the higher ABV would make for a strong
alcoholic burn when drunk, rest easy, that is not the case,
this is a wonderfully smooth drinking whisky.
This is one to be savored; so kick back relax, sip it slowly and enjoy
the rich fruit flavors.
Do I like and would I buy it, that’s a yes on both counts. Highly
You can buy Tormore-16-year-old for around $75.00 a bottle.
Nose - Pear & vanilla
Palate - Apple, cinnamon, melon & orange
Finish - Cinnamon & vanilla
Issue 185 Blanton’s “single Barrel” Bourbon
As this will be my 4th of July issue I’m looking at Blanton’s “single Barrel” Bourbon.
Although I am not a huge Bourbon drinker, I do tend to drink a Bourbon during the warmer months, as I’m disinclined to add ice to my scotch, but I do like Bourbon over ice.
The Pappy Van Winkle “feeding frenzy” has probably come to your attention over the last couple of years, I couldn’t believe the lines to taste it at WhiskyFest in San Francisco. Anyway, I have tasted both the Pappy 23-year-old and this Blanton’s and am inclined to think that the Blanton’s is as good, if not better.
The droves of Pappy zombies, have bought into way too much hype, it’s a great Bourbon, but really……….
Would I buy the Blanton’s single barrel, yes I have and would do so again. In my opinion, you get as good a quality product as the Pappy, at a third of the price.
“Happy Independence Day.”
You can buy Blanton’s bourbon for around $60.00 a bottle.
Nose - Citrus & toffee
Palate - Citrus, floral notes & toffee
Finish - Citrus, floral, toffee & nuts
Issue 184 Aultmore 12-year-old
I now look at a whisky from the Speyside region of Scotland, the
Aultmore 12-year-old single malt whisky, one of Dewar's “The Last Great Malts range” which was launched in 2014.
Dewar’s is a subsidiary of Bacardi and more usually produces whisky for blends).
This 12-year-old from Aultmore is their first release of a single malt
from the distillery in a number of years and is elegant, light and
fruity and in my opinion does not need any water added.
This whisky is non-chill-filtered and is bottled at 46% abv.
I just found out an unusual factoid, the distillery is located in splendid isolation on the route which runs from the fishing port of Buckie to the town of Keith and when drinking locally, you would never ask for an Aultmore, but for ‘a dram of the Buckie road’.
So what do I think of it and would I buy it? I like it a lot, it is a nice
light summer whisky, I think the price point is a little high when
compared to some other 12-year-olds, but I would buy one for my
You can buy Aultmore 12-year-old for around $50.00 a bottle.
Nose - Green apple & pear
Palate - Citrus & pear
Finish - Cream & lemon
Issue 183 Tomatin 10-year-old
I now look at the Tomatin 10-year-old single malt whisky, which I
believe is no longer being produced, which in my opinion is a good thing.
I don’t really like to be too severe in my criticism of someone’s hard work, but damn this stuff was bad, again it’s just my taste buds telling me to put the bottle down and back away. If you’ve tried it and you like it, then good for you, if we all liked the same thing it would be a boring old world.
To be fair to Tomatin, they were in the business of producing massive amounts of whisky and their distillery was the largest in Scotland.
Latterly, they have scaled back the amount they are producing and are improving the quality with new expressions, new labeling and hopefully nicer tasting whisky.
I am looking forward to trying some of their new expressions and some of their older whiskies, then I can come back and write nice things about them.
You can buy Tomatin 10-year-old for around $65.00 a bottle.
Why such a high price for such a bad whisky? They have stopped making it, So people are buying it because it’s getting rare.
Nose - Floral & Cookie
Palate - Ginger & spice
Finish - Slightly hot
Issue 182 Singleton of Glendullan
I now look at the Singleton of Glendullan 18-year-old. The
Glendullan distillery is owned and operated by the giant drinks
company “Diagio” and is it’s second-biggest producer of whisky, so why haven’t you heard of it? Maybe you have, but it’s not that
That’s because most of what they produce goes into blends, and
if that is not enough to confuse you Diagio also own many other
distilleries such as Glen Ord and Dufftown and both these distilleries release a Singleton whisky.
The Singleton of Glen Ord is for the European market, the Singleton of Dufftown is for the Asian market and the Singleton of Glendullan for the American market, so if you do any traveling you may well have seen all three at some point and not realized they were all from different distilleries.
What do I think of this “Singleton?”, I like its flavor, but the price, not so much. It comes down to my usual argument, what can you buy for the price of this bottle? How about a Glenfiddich 18, with $50.00 leftover.
You can buy Singleton of Glendullan 18-year-old for around
$130.00 a bottle.
Nose - Apple, milk chocolate & sultanas
Palate - Cinnamon, coconut & lemon
Finish - Malt & spicy oak
Issue 181 Wolfburn "Northland"
I now look at the Wolfburn “Northland” single malt, which I tasted in the bar of the Ardshiel Hotel in Campbeltown, Scotland.
This is a no age statement (NAS) non-chill filtered single malt,
which comes in at 46%.
This is obviously a young whisky, I say obviously because they only started building the distillery in August of 2012.
Having said that, there is nothing about this whisky, that would
indicate that it is only 3-years-old, there is nothing harsh or hot in
this whisky, this is a whisky that if I were to taste it blind, I would
have said was much older. Very smooth with a hint of peat, that it
gets from having part of the distillate being matured in quarter
casks from Islay.
Would I buy it? Probably not. Why not? I’m having a problem
with the price, there are a great many whiskies that you can buy
for this price.
I am keen to see how Woldburn’s whiskies develop, this is a great
start and with a few more years of maturation, we could be in for
some stunning whiskies.
You can buy Wolfburn “Northland” for around $60.00 a bottle.
Nose - Apple with a hint of smoke
Palate - Honey, melon, cereal & peat
Finish - Long & honey’d
Issue 180 - Tamdhu 10-year-old
I now look at the Tamdhu 10-year-old single malt, which I tasted at Duke’s on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Possibly it’s just the laid back beach vibe taking over, but everything I ate and drank in there tasted great?
Tamdhu distillery is located a world away from Waikiki beach in the town of Knockando (yes, you read that correctly) in Banffshire, Scotland.
You may not have come across a Tamdhu before, and that’s
understandable, Tamdhu whisky is almost completely used for the production of blended whiskies, such as The Famous Grouse, J & B, and Cutty Sark.
Fortunately, they do produce the bottle to the right, a sherry cask matured single malt that is worth tracking down, as well as a no-age-statement batch strength, which I haven’t tried as yet.
What do I think of it? It is a nice smooth whisky, with plenty of flavor and well worth the price, not to mention that the bottle looks really cool and would add a touch of class to any bar.
You can buy Tamdhu 10-year-old for around $40.00 a bottle.
Nose - Cinnamon & Vanilla
Palate - Fruit, Spice & Toffee
Finish - Fruity with a hint of smoke
Issue 179 - Strathisla 12-year-old
I now have a look at the Strathisla 12-year-old single malt,
produced at the oldest continuously operating distillery in
Scotland (and in my opinion and the opinion of many others,
the prettiest). You should go on the internet and look as some
photos of the distillery if you haven’t already.
As I write this, I have just convinced myself that on my next trip
to Scotland, I am going to visit the Strathisla distillery.
The distillery was founded as the Milltown Distillery by George
Taylor and Alexander Milne in 1786, which makes it the oldest
continuously operating distillery in Scotland.
The Strathisla distillery is considered the spiritual home of
Chivas Regal who own the distillery, which they purchased in
1950 to guarantee this Speyside malt would always be available
to them for their Chivas blends.
This is a nice fruity, sherried whisky at a very reasonable price,
I can only think of a couple of others that are as good, at this
I will be buying this one again, and you should too.
You can buy the Strathisla 12-year-old for about $40.00 a bottle.
Nose - Floral & fresh-baked pastry
Palate - Apple pie & sultanas
Finish - Long & fruity
Issue 178 - Jameson 10-year-old
Happy St. Patrick’s day to one and all. I now look at the Jameson blended Irish whiskey, which I tasted at…………...hold on, where haven’t I tasted it, this ubiquitous whiskey can be found wherever there are people drinking alcohol and telling tall tales.
Jameson whiskey is produced at the Midleton distillery, Midleton county Cork and is owned by Pernod Ricard.
It is my generally held belief that the third distillation that is common in Irish whiskeys, removes around 25% of the flavor from the finished
product. So they are not (generally) as complex or deeply flavored as a Scotch whiskey, they are, however (in my opinion), very smooth and easy to drink.
That holds true for most Irish single malts and pretty much all of their
blends, again, that is my opinion. I’m not saying that Irish whiskey is
inferior or superior to Scotch or any other whisk(e)y from around the
world, just a wee bit different.
Most importantly, would I buy it? Yes, I would, in fact, I have some in the house right now, but it is mainly used for Irish coffee, as I lean towards Single malts, both Irish and Scottish when drinking a “sippin” whisk(e)y.
You can buy the Jameson for around $30.00 a bottle.
Nose - Floral & spicy
Palate - Spicy, sweet apple & nuts
Finish - Smooth with honey
Issue 177 - Tobermory 15-year-old
I now look at the Tobermory 15-year-old, which I tasted in a bar called “Whiski” on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Tobermory distillery is situated on the Isle of Mull and is the only distillery on the island.
You may not have tasted anything from the Tobermory distillery, or then again maybe you have, they also make a peated whisky that they sell under the name “Ledaig”.
Anyway, back to the Tobermory 15-year-old, this particular offering has been matured in Gonzalez Byass Oloroso Sherry Casks. As you would expect, with any whisky being finished in a sherry cask you get a sherry bomb’ish type of whisky. To me, it has similar characteristics to the Dalmore 15-year-old.
Is it a nice whisky, yes, it is, would I buy a bottle, no I would not, look at the price below, you can buy a Dalmore 15-year-old, or a Glenfiddich 15-year-old for $50 to $60 dollars, why would you pay 3 times as much for a whisky that may be comparable in taste (or in my opinion, not quite comparable).
You can buy Tobermory 15-year-old for around $150.00 a bottle.
Nose - Sherried fruits and moist Christmas cake
Palate - Citrus peels, nutmeg, cinnamon & chocolate
Finish - Butter, nuts & spices
Issue 176 - Glen Moray "Classic"
I now look at the Glen Moray “Classic”, which my brother-in-law Ivor
First of all, it is a Speyside whisky, made in, or at least close by to the
town of Elgin, the capital of the Speyside region.
Secondly, at least to my taste buds, it tastes like a lowland whisky, with
it’s citrus, grass notes, and light texture.
Thirdly, would I buy it? I would indeed, I’ve tasted better single malts,
but not at this price, it’s not a bad wee dram, and the price can’t be beaten.
You may not be familiar with Glen Moray whiskies, but I believe you
soon will be, the distillery was expanded in 2012, and expanded again
in 2016, so it may be a few years down the road, but there is going to be
a lot more and possibly a greater variety of Glen Moray single malts
hitting the shops.
By the way, for those of you that don’t know what “Millionaire’s
shortbread” is, it was one of my favorite treats as a child. Scottish
shortbread with a layer of caramel on top and then a layer of chocolate
on top of that.
You can buy the Glen Moray “Classic” for around $30.00 a bottle.
Nose - Millionaire’s shortbread & grass
Palate - Blackcurrant & lemon
Finish - Shortbread & orange
Issue 175 - Glenburgie 10-year-old
I now look at the Glenburgie (pronounced glen-burg-ee) 10-year-old,
which I tried at the Corbie Inn in Bo’ness, Scotland. I had a birthday
dinner with family here and noticed that there was to be a whisky tasting
the next night, so my brother-in-law and I came back the next night and
enjoyed a range of different whiskies. Unfortunately for this whisky, the
one enduring whisky memory from that night’s tasting was of the new
“Ailsa Bay” whisky by William Grant and Sons (Glenfiddich etc). It’s not
that this is a bad whisky, it’s not, for the price it’s eminently drinkable. It
just suffered by being presented to my taste buds the same evening as the
“Ailsa Bay” (more on that whisky in a later edition).
The Glenburgie distillery is situated in the Speyside whisky region, and
stands at the side of the main road between Aberdeen and Inverness,
just outside the town of Forres. The current owners are Chivas Brothers,
part of the larger Pernod Ricard group, who took over of Glenburgie in
An interesting side note; The Irish author Maurice Walsh having
trained as a Customs and Excise officer, was posted to Scotland, where
He spent some time at the Glenburgie whisky distillery. One of his works,
“The Quiet Man”, would later be reproduced in a film starring John
Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.
You can buy Glenburgie 10-year-old for around $40.00 a bottle.
Nose - Christmas fruit cake
Palate - Sweet cooked fruits
Finish - Fruits & malt
Issue 174 - Glengyle "Kilkerran
Welcome to 2018 and another year of whisk(e)y tasting. I now look at the Mitchell’s Glengyle distillery’s “Kilkerran work in progress ‘5’ Sherry Matured”.
This whisky was released in 2013, with only 9000 bottles available to the
worldwide market. It is still available, as I just bought a bottle a couple of
months ago. So why the long name?
The name Glengyle is already in use for a blended Highland malt, and
they did not want any confusion. Also, the distillery has released a number of “Works in progress” so that fans of Springbank whiskies (the Mitchell family, owners of Springbank, also own Glengyle) can get a taste of what the new distillery is producing, as we wait for the original distillation to mature.
This particular bottling is 9-years-old and although relatively young by
single malt standards is a nice whisky and I can recommend it. I liked it
so much I bought a bottle of the 10-year-old, 2014 release “Kilkerran work
in progress ‘6’ Bourbon Matured”. There is a good video of Frank
McHardy telling how the distillery came back to life on their website at
http://www.kilkerransinglemalt.com/about. I had the good fortune to be
taken around the distillery by Frank last year.
You can buy Glengyle “Kilkerran” for around $60.00 a bottle.
Nose - Chocolate, orange, marzipan, honey and dates
Palate - Honey, dates & molasses
Finish - Medium, with dark chocolate
(10) Dewar's Signature
This is a nice elegant, easy-drinking whisky, that comes in at 40% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and in my opinion, does not need any water to calm it down or open it up, it’s perfect as it is.
Featured in issue 153, March 2017
Approximate Cost per bottle - $200.00 a bottle.
Nose - Berry fruits. Vanilla chocolate fudge
Palate - Fruit conserves, vanilla, and chocolate
Finish - Long finish with honey and a hint of smoke
(9) Springbank 12-year-old "Burgundy"
As you have probably guessed from the name, it was aged in fresh Burgundy wine Casks. This is a limited edition, bottled at a cask strength of 53.5% which helps give nice bold flavors.
Featured in issue 160, June 2017
Approximate Cost per bottle - $110.00 a bottle.
Nose - Raisins & red currants
Palate - Think pancakes spread with Nutella & drizzled in cream
Finish - An initial herb/spice note, fading to vanilla & mint ice cream
(8) Bushmills "Sherry cask"
Unfortunately; it’s only available to buy in the travel retail sector. I say
unfortunately because, it is a lovely whiskey and quite the surprise, for me, at least, it is the first time I have tasted an Irish whiskey that has a sherry finish.
I could have easily mistaken this for a quality Speysider.
Featured in issue 157, May 2017
Approximate Cost per bottle - $130.00
Nose - Sherried fruits and honey
Palate - Dried fruits dipped in chocolate
Finish - Chocolate, spicy fruits
(7) Oban 14 year old
I like this single malt a lot and would recommend it to everyone, even Speyside fans, who live in fear of smokey/peaty Western Isle whiskies. This is west coast, not islands, and it’s smoke and peat are restrained. This is a very nice whisky.
Featured in issue 27, December 2011.
Approximate Cost per bottle - $70.00
Nose - Sweet, fruity, with sea salt, small amounts of peat & smoke
Palate - Rich fruit, honey, malt, spice & light smoke
Finish - Sweet oak with a pinch of salt
(6) Glenfiddich 15-year-old
In my opinion, the best-tasting whisky (against price), on the market today, a constant in my whisky cabinet. This is also my breakthrough whisky, after years of trying to taste something specific listed in the tasting notes, this is the one that delivered.
Featured in issue 11, April 2011
Approximate Cost per bottle - $55.00
Nose - Rich, spicy with oak & a small amount of peat
Palate - Honey, Pears, coffee, Spice with oak & chocolate.
Finish - Dry and spicy with some pepper
(5) Springbank 18-year-old
This is yet another stellar whisky from the folks at Springbank. It’s not a cheap whisky, but in this case you definitely get what you pay for. If you should purchase this fine scotch, and are inclined to the occasional cigar, try it with a Partagas Corona they match up very Well.
Featured in issue 135, June 2016
Approximate Cost per bottle - $160.00
Nose - Strawberry, rhubarb, Marzipan
Palate - Honey, fruit, oats, liquorice
Finish - Long with coconut, chocolate and a hint of smoke
(4) Highland Park 15-year-old
I have yet to taste a Highland Park that wasn’t worth buying and putting on my bar, and it’s a damn shame that they decided to stop producing this whisky.
If you see one buy it, you won’t be disappointed.
Featured in issue 152, February 2017.
Approximate Cost per bottle - $90.00
Nose - Citrus and smoke
Palate - Peaty smoke, with sherried sultanas
Finish - Smokey & long
(3) Springbank 15-year-old
Hailing from the Campbeltown Region (once proclaimed the ‘whisky capital of the world’) of Scotland.
This is an outstanding whisky, I like this a great deal, highly recommended.
Featured in issue 110, May 2015.
Approximate Cost per bottle - $100.00.
Nose - Dark chocolate, Christmas cake, almonds, toffee
Palate - Raisins, dark chocolate, marzipan & vanilla
Finish - Long with vanilla, Oak, sherry & cocoa
(2) Dalmore 18-year-old
I am very familiar with the Dalmore whiskies and was fully expecting huge amounts of Christmas fruitcake and spices, like those in the 15-year-old.
To my surprise, this was much more subdued, more mellow and very easy to drink, it still has lots of fruit, but it also has chocolate aspects. Buy one, it’s so worth it.
Featured in issue 162, July 2017
Approximate Cost per bottle - $115.00
Nose - Chocolate, raisins & orange
Palate - Chocolate, coffee, raisins, pear & orange
Finish - Citrus & oak
(1) Highland Park "Ice"
This is a rather special whisky from Highland Park called “Ice edition”. What does it taste like? A little bit of Heaven (or Asgard), this is a truly wonderful whisky, the Pineapple with the peat smoke makes for an unusual, but tasty combination.
Featured in issue 150, January 2017
Approximate Cost per bottle - $375.00
Nose - Pineapple, mango hint of smoke
Palate - Peat smoke, pineapple and citrus
Finish - Long with a little heat