Malts of Scotland NAS Blended Malt Whisky 40%

Sherry/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A big, malty and treacly nose with milk chocolate, warm spice and hints of orange peel, lime and herbs. With time a touch of Demerara sugar appears and the dried fruit takes on a very rum-like character.

The palate is malty and dense with milk chocolate, coffee, spice, herbs and citrus. Good depth with a touch of burnt spice and soft tannins. Long and slightly drying, but the faintly bittering tannins are balanced by the milk chocolate and treacle.

Malts of  Scotland Dalmore 1996 (21 year old) 57.4%

Sherry Hogshead 17063/ Dist: 1996 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Very soft aromas of coffee and treacle with hints of malt, milk chocolate, raisin, sultana and a touch of citrus. There’s plenty of character from the oak with developing burnt wood, astringent herbs, sweet orange, dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla.

The palate is quite tannic and grainy but supple with plenty of balancing treacle. There’s a touch of dark chocolate, herbs and a slight bittering from the wood, but like the nose the treacle and malt balances. Subtly citric with a touch of coffee. Long and remaining coffee’d  with peppery tannins and drying wood notes. Impeccably clean and quite impressive for a sherry monster!

Highland Laird Port Charlotte 2004 (12 year old) 57.3%

Bourbon Barrel 900/ Dist: 2004 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is intense and briny with a good dollop of medicinal peat, fish oils and underlying, beautifully sweet and balancing barley. Hints of malt, orange, tangerine follow along with some very subtle oak, which adds a very subtle creaminess but more importantly it adds structure. Overall, it’s a classic, fresh, vibrant and briny Port Charlotte.

The palate opens with malt and a touch of  vanilla and milk chocolate before the medicinal peat and dusty peat encroaches along with hints of tar, rope, coal dust, coffee, earth and more malt. Lovely richness and depth with some balancing coastal notes. Long and crisp as the citrus and salt kicks in. Lingering coffee, tar, malt, loam and pure, oily peat.

Highland Laird Isle of Arran 1996 (20 year old) 51.3%

Sherry Butt 1337/ Dist: 1996 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A pruney and winey nose with lashings of Oloroso, treacle, dark malt, wood smoke and hints of raisin, orange, tangerine along with some lightly herbal and coffee’d tannins. Obviously a first fill butt!

The palate is dense and raisinated with pruney dried fruit and coffee. No distillery character but a good depth of clean sherry with a touch of salt and herbs on the middle. Long with bitter chocolate, alcohol enhanced spice, burnt wood and tannin.

Highland Laird Glentauchers 1996 (18 year old) 52.2%

Bourbon/ Dist: 1996 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Oct 2014

The aromas are quite gristy and fresh with taught honey, grass and robust herbal barley. Lovely intensity with a touch of gritty coffee’d tannins, spice an creamy oak with time.

The palate is dense and honeyed with sweet-ish barley and coffee’d tannins. More mature than the nose suggests and maltier too! Lovely herbal note on the middle and a long finish with the creamy oak coming through with a touch of sweet tangerine. 

Highland Laird Glentauchers 1996 (20 year old) 58%

Bourbon Barrel 7301/ Dist: 1996 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Crisp, fresh and very mineral aromas with an almost grainy bite. Barley, citrus and grass follows with a touch of honey and creamy vanilla oak. Pleasantly fragrant and aromatic.

The palate is fuller with more oak character and more barley. It’s still quite mineral and citric with subtle honey and building, crisp, grainy spice. Long, white fruit and mineral finish with lingering oak and honey.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Royal Brackla 1998 (18 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Barrel/ Code: OMC2642/ Dist: May 1998 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A softly spiced and deliciously honeyed nose with white fruit and barley. The sweetness is well balanced by a fresh citric note appearing . With time hints of straw and coffee’d oak.

The palate is considerably maltier and darker with a distinct baked fruit character. However the citrus note found on the nose, is here on the palate and along with a subtle minerality adds vibrancy. Hints of vanilla and barley. Long with the oak and barley becoming quite fragrant and lightening the finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Dufftown 2007 (9 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: HEP0249/ Dist: May 2007 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Aromas of damp earth, liqourice, malt, barley and lightly toffee’d oak. It’s a little raw and edgy, but there is a touch of estery fruit and the barley notes develop well.

The palate is relatively robust and barley’d. Relatively clean and displaying a pleasant barley sweetness. A little edgy citrus appears on the middle, but it doesn’t get bent out of shape. Good length with the oak coming through long with hints of greengage and white liquorice.

Edition Spirits ‘The First Editions’ Glenallachie 1995 (21 year old) 58.7%

Sherry Butt/ Code: EDI0218/ Dist: Mar 1995 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

There’s not much sherry influence on the nose. In fact it is very estery with pineapple, peach, apricot and wonderfully luscious, mature honey. Hints of straw-like barley follow and with time it does develop a slight edginess, but also some floral honey as well.

The palate is maltier and darker with thick slabs of toffee-malt, barley and honey. Lightly herbal (finally a little sherry influence?) and citric with hints of oak vanilla. Slightly masked finish but the juicy fruit returns along with the mouth-watering citrus.

A drop of water makes the nose classically Spey – crisp and grassy. The palate displays more toffee’d oak and less of the citrus, but either neat or diluted it is very pleasant.

Edition Spirits ‘The First Editions’ Inchmurrin 1984 (32 year old) 46.5%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: EDI0213/ Dist: Jun 1984 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is relatively fresh with lanolin, mature, decaying  rose-petal marc, green citrus fruit and a touch of vanilla. It’s edgy with an almost metallic freshness and late malt and herbal rye-like notes.

The palate is edgy and malty with again old marc-like notes, heavy oils, toast and mature rose petals. Subtle, mature dusty eat, apricot, leather, tobacco and rye-like herbs follow. Edgy and oily finish with a touch of sweet raspberry and dusty spice. From the marc-like/ highly rectified character I would assume that a fair proportion was distilled using the Lomond stills.

Edition Spirits ‘The First Editions’ Tormore 1992 (25 year old) 55.9%

Refill Sherry Butt/ Code: EDI0221/ Dist: Jan 1992 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A dense and quite malty nose with baked fruit, dark honey, milk chocolate and subtle herbal-barley. The aromas display a lovely, elegant, Cognac-esque rancio and reek of age. Late hints of straw, old wood spice, vanilla, alcohol seeped apricot and tangerine.

The palate is mature and straw-like with delicate barley and refreshing citrus notes. Cognac-esque notes of apple and apricot come though on the middle. Excellent depth and complexity. Long, subtly spiced and sweet vanilla finish with lingering barley, minerals, malt, coffee, liquorice and almost grainy dried fruit.