Whisky Tasting Notes

Contained within these pages is all the information on the whiskies tasted by the Society at its Tasting Meetings.  Tastings are listed starting with the most recent.  All tastings are blind tastings unless otherwise noted. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the link to our first year of tastings.

Rating System Used for Tastings starting 10-20-14 to present.  The scores shown for each tasting represent the average of the individual members' scores given each whisky.  Individual member scores are not reported. In an attempt to better assess each whisky, our club recently voted to adopt a revised rating system.

The Ones to Avoid Range
0 - 49 Nothing short of absolutely vile. 
50 - 64 Nasty and worth avoiding.

The Disappointing/Ho-Hum Range
65 - 69 Thoroughly unimpressive
70 - 74 Drinkable, but that's about it

The OK/Good Range
75 - 79 Average, pleasant, but not without some flaws/negatives
80 - 84 Good whisky - pleasant, enjoyable, and worth buying

The Great Ones Range
85 - 89 Very good
90 - 93 Excellent

The Off-the-Chart-Bottles Range
94-97 Superstar whisky
98 - 100 Hall of Famer - One of the best I've ever tasted!

59th Tasting (6-28-20) Theme - Wood Nymphs Drink to the Maiden Quercus  Host: Mike

For our second tasting under COVID protocols we went into the woods, not literally, but we did explore single malts aged in virgin oak casks.  With so many single malts being in aged in previously used casks containing bourbon, sherry, port, cognac, red wine, it's less common to find single malts that have been aged exclusively in virgin oak casks.  And while I love having all the different wood expressions available, virgin oak casks drive home just how important the cask is to the flavor and nuances of a whisky.  As you will see from our notes and ratings, there were some exceptional whiskies in the bottles we tasted.  It's interesting that even without all the lovely notes that previously used casks are able to add to a whisky, these virgin oak casked whiskies were bursting with all kinds of aromas, flavors, and richness.  Of course, special expressions, like virgin oak, don't come cheap as you can see from the prices for most of the whiskies tasted.  

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Benromach Organic 2010, 43% abv, Price: $80
  • Glen Garioch Virgin Oak, 46% abv, Price: $150
  • GlenAllachie Virgin Oak Single Cask 2006 12 Year Old, 61.9% abv, Price: $120
  • Auchentoshan Virgin Oak, 46% abv, Price: $160
  • Deanston Finished in Virgin Oak, 46.3% abv, Price: $50
Whisky TastedAverage
Selected Comments
Benromach Organic 2010 83Color: Old gold. Legs: Big and long. Nose: Grassy, vanilla, butter, honey, melon, malt late. Palate: Sweet malt, butter, vanilla, salt, licorice, burnt toffee, some pepper. Finish: Salt, malt, toffee.
Glen Garioch Virgin Oak 86Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting to massive legs. Nose: Sherry, nutmeg, mulling spices, vanilla. Palate: Mouthfeel is malt, salt, sugar, some white pepper, ginger.  Finish: Long, licorice and spices.
GlenAllachie Virgin Oak Single Cask 2006 12 Year Old 89Color: Old gold. Legs: Thin massive legs. Nose: Burnt sugar, caramel, honey, pine sap, candy.  Palate: Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, banana (?).  Finish:  Coffee and spice.
Auchentoshan Virgin Oak 90Color: Old gold on edge of amber. Legs: Thin and massive. Nose: Burnt creme brulee, butter, cinnamon, banana, cotton candy, vanilla.  Palate: Malt, chocolate, caramel, subtle mouthfeel, toast, pear, citrus. Finish: Heather, honey, and pear.
Deanston Finished in Virgin Oak 83Color: Gold. Legs: Big thick legs.  Nose: Lemon, vanilla, pineapple, slightly herbal, ginger. Palate: Salt, honey, and malt. Finish: Salt, spice, and lemon.

58th Tasting (5-24-20) Theme - St. Paddy's Day in May  Host: Mark

The COVID-19 stay-at-home order in Ohio meant no traditional St. Paddy celebrations and postponing our April  tasting to May.  So, once the stay-at-home was lifted we scheduled our 58th tasting for May and instituted COVID-19 social distancing and other precautions.  Since we didn't get to celebrate St. Paddy's Day in March, we decided to do it in May and feature an all Irish single malt whisky tasting.  Admittedly, there was no wearing of the green, no green beer, no corn beef, and no one turning green, but there were six delicious Irish malts to try with one another in 3D rather than 2D FaceTime or Zoom.  Irish whisky, like Scotch and Bourbon, is booming right now, with new distilleries opening and new expressions coming out on a regular basis.  The whiskies were exceptional and can foresee us possibly revisiting a different group of Irish single malts next year.

 Whiskies Tasted:
  • The Irishman 12 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $75
  • Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Marco De Bartoli Marsala Cask-Finished, 46% abv, Price: $80
  • Glendalough 7 Year Old Black Pitts Porter Barrel Finish, 46% abv, Price: $50
  • Connemara 12 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $75
  • Tyrconnell 16 Year Old Oloroso & Moscatel Cask Finished, 46% abv, Price: $100
  • Bushmill 16 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $80
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
The Irishman 12 Year Old 83Color: Gold. Legs: Long thin legs. Nose: Candy sweetness with malt/vanilla, some green apple, cotton candy notes and cinnamon. Palate: Cookie dough, burnt peanut, cinnamon spice, anise, toffee. Finish: Long with burnt nut, some bitterness.
Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Marco De Bartoli Marsala Cask-Finished 84Color: Old gold/amber. Legs: Thick, slow legs. Nose: Popcorn butter, malt rum notes (?), grassy, burnt caramel, nuts. Palate: A bit tarry, viscous mouthfeel, drying, apples (green), pear.  Finish: Salty with water and spicy.
Glendalough 7 Year Old Black Pitts Porter Barrel Finish 84Color: Old gold. Legs: Thin slow legs. Nose: Floral perfume, lavender, some peat (?), fresh cut grass, malt.  Palate: Oily, burnt toffee, earthy, chocolate.  Finish:  Long, some heat, chocolate.
Connemara 12 Year Old 85Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Sheeting, thick legs. Nose: Peat, sweet fennel, pear, grassy notes, floral perfume (gardenia ?).  Palate: Sweet grassy, viscous, asphalt tarriness, drying but creamy. Finish: Short peat but salt continues.
Tyrconnell 16 Year Old Oloroso & Moscatel Cask Finished 89Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting, thick legs.  Nose: Sugar, sherry, cherries, pecan, cacao/chocolate. Palate: Sherry, malt, creme brulee, graham crackers. Finish: Sherry, long and dry.
Bushmill 16 Year Old 90Color: Old gold, amber edges . Legs: Sheeting, fast thick legs. Nose: Sherry with raisin and malt, wood notes, dates, caramel, toffee. Palate: Woody, complex, nuts and plum. Finish: Long, great mouthfeel, chewy.

57th Tasting (2-16-20) Theme - Weird Wide World of Whisky  Host: Tim

We went traveling for our 57th tasting without the hassle of passports, TSA, airports, or customs!  As usual our tasting was a blind tasting so speculation was high as to what exactly would we be tasting and from where. Our host Tim assembled a range of single malts from Scotland, the U.S., France, Japan, and India.  We definitely accumulated some frequent flyer miles.  Not only did we taste their different countries' prowess in single malts but got to experience some scientific experimentation in distilling as we tasted whisky using a new speeded up methodology for aging whisky from Lost Spirits Distillery of California.  As you might imagine as serious single malt fanatics/connoisseurs (sometimes verging on single malt snobs perhaps in some people's opinions), had we not done a blind tasting, I'm quite sure we would have gone into the evening seriously prejudiced in advance of even tasting the Lost Spirits bottling.  However, as the evening results clearly show, our members thought the Lost Spirits bottling was exceptional (I liked it so much I outbid everyone for the bottle at the end of the evening).  Our other American single malt from Tenth Street Distillery was also a surprise to most us as well.  Given the rise of craft/boutique distilleries in the U.S., there's clearly lots of great whiskies that will need further exploration.  And that being said, the rise of great single malts coming from all parts of the world means we'll be probably traveling again in future tastings.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Glencadam 13 Year Old Limited Edition, The Reawakening, 46% abv, Price: $79
  • Tenth Street Peated Single Malt, 46% abv, Price: $61
  • Paul John Brilliance Non-Peated Indian Single Malt, 46% abv, Price: $55
  • Matsui Peated Japanese Whisky, 48% abv, Price: $85
  • Rozelieures Single Malt French Whisky - Rare Collection, 40% abv, Price: $68
  • Lost Spirits Abomination, "The Crying of the Puma," Heavily Peated Malt, 54% abv, Price: $60
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Glencadam 13 Year Old Limited Edition, The Reawakening 87Color: Pale gold/Chardonnay. Legs: Long legs. Nose: Honey, cereal, floral, citrus, and vanilla. Palate: Malt, sweet with lemon zest, salty, vanilla. Finish: Tarry and moderate length. Water makes whisky softer, creamy, and brings out spice.
Tenth Street Peated Single Malt 87Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting, slow legs. Nose: Fruit, acetone, overripe green apple, vanilla, Band-Aid. Palate: Earthy peat.  Very dry. Bubblegum and fruit.  Finish: Sweet peat notes.
Paul John Brilliance Non-Peated Indian Single Malt 87Color: Old gold/amber. Legs: Thin slow legs. Nose: Sherry, rock candy, spicy pear.  Palate: Buttery malt, white pepper, toffee (burnt), sweet, caramel.  Finish:  Hot, pepper, sherry, and malt.
Matsui Peated Japanese Whisky 87Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Thin, long legs. Nose:Earthy, sweet, some decay notes.  Forest floor, raspberry, musk, herbal.  Palate: Sweet, umami bomb, earthy peat.  Very interesting peat Finish: Sea kelp and long.
Rozelieures Single Malt French Whisky - Rare Collection 84Color: Amber. Legs: Long.  Nose: Apple, plum, some spice. Palate: Sweet, clove, some malt, banana. Finish: Very short.
Lost Spirits Abomination - "The Crying of the Puma" Heavily Peated Malt 91Color: Mahogany . Legs: Massive sheeting. Nose: Moldy wet wood nose with earthy mushroom, forest floor, raisins. Palate: Coffee, chocolate, char, Cracker Jacks (burnt caramel popcorn). Finish: Long and raisin sweet.

56th Tasting (12-12-19) Theme - Peat on Earth, Goodwill to Men  Host: Matt

The theme says it all....it was an evening of peat, specifically (but unknown to all during the tasting) it was an all Ardbeg evening of peat as we tasted six Ardbeg expressions, including the new Supernova 2019.  The evening was unique for a number of reasons.  First, our host even though he knew what the whiskies were because he bought them.  He did not know which was which at the tasting because he had someone else wrap the bottles prior to the tasting.  Second, because someone else wrapped and numbered the bottles, there was no particular order in terms of strength or age of the bottles which is unlike most of our tastings where the host will often order the bottles in some fashion.  Third, we did not reveal the bottles at the end of the tasting like we usually do but waited until they had been auctioned off.  It was a revealing tasting from a number of respects as well.  Even though our group has a heavy number of Ardbeg lovers and regular consumers of Ardbeg, no one guessed they were all Ardbegs, plus the scores for some of the Ardbegs we previously tasted at one of our other tastings were remarkably close to the previous scores given.  

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Ardbeg 10 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $44
  • Ardbeg Corryvreckan, 57.1% abv, Price: $83
  • Ardbeg Drum, 46% abv, Price: $110
  • Ardbeg An Oa, 46.6% abv, Price: $60
  • Ardbeg Supernova 2019, 53.8% abv, Price: $180
  • Ardbeg Uigeadail, 54.2% abv, Price: $74
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Ardbeg 10 Year Old 82Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Thick legs. Nose: Nutmeg, salt, lemon.  Malt with medicinal overtones. Palate: Dry with leather, rubber, black pepper.  Upfront peat. Finish: Salty, black licorice, long.
Ardbeg Corryvreckan 84Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Smoky, honey sweetness, lemon, heather. Palate: Vanilla sweet. Very peat forward with pepper.  Viscous, oily mouthfeel.  Can be harsh.  Finish: Long and briney.  Water improves.  Brings out marshmallow, lemon, more peat. Rounds out whisky.
Ardbeg Drum 86Color: Chenin blanc. Legs: Massive short legs. Nose: Heavy lemon, malt acetone, pine resin, smoke.  Palate: Sweet peat, meringue, pineapple, some black licorice (rum cask ?)Finish:  Malt, sea salt.
Ardbeg An Oa 85Color: Pale gold. Legs: Sheeting, fast legs. Nose: Musty, honey, grassy (alfalfa), caramel, Decay, hay, char.  Palate: Sweetness and wet peat.  Campfire, anise. Finish: Short, honey, black pepper.
Ardbeg Supernova 2019 86Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting.  Very slow legs. Nose: Lemon, licorice, gingerbread. Some acetone notes.  Medicinal. Palate: Rich, thick with a combination of malt and smoke.  Peanut nuggat. Finish: Smoke and peat.
Ardbeg Uigeadail 88Color: Old gold . Legs: Sheeting, with small, slow thin legs. Nose: Red fruit (raspberry).  Floral notes of heater and peat. Palate: Honey, sugar. Fruity (raspberry) notes (sherry casks??) Finish: Honey, peat and smoke.

55th Tasting (10-20-19) Theme - Witness Protection  Host: Ben

Although all of our tastings are typically blind, our host Ben wanted to make sure the identities of the evenings whiskies were impossible to identify....hence the title for our 55th Tasting - Witness Protection.  The tasting saw us revisiting some of The Lost Distillery Company bottlings and tasting a couple of new variations as well.  As mentioned in our 43rd Tasting, Lost Distillery is not producing their own unique expressions but attempting to recreate the whiskies from other distilleries that no longer exist and for which there are no remaining bottles.  We tasted three of their whiskies that we tasted at our 43rd Tasting and two of those that they labeled Vintage (no age statement given).  Interestingly, the prices have gone up since our initial tasting of these whiskies and the prices on the two Vintage versions rivaled the price of many 21 year old single malts by the major distilleries.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Towiemore (Classic Collection), 43% abv, Price: $49.00
  • Gerston (Archivist Collection), 46% abv, Price: $78.00
  • Gerston Vintage, 46% abv, Price: $249.00
  • Stratheden (Archivist Collection), 46% abv, Price: $75.00
  • Stratheden Vintage, 46% abv, Price: $279.00
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Towiemore 83Color: Amber. Legs: Thick legs. Nose: Decay, mushroom, caramel, some clove. Buttery and woody  Palate: Salty, cinnamon, butterscotch. Finish: Short.  Water brought out white pepper.
Gerston    86Color: Light gold. Legs: Thick legs. Nose: Custard, butter, licorice, sweet citric, white pepper, lemon zest. Palate: Buttery, butterscotch, cucumbers, very salty.  Iodine. Finish: Lemon, black licorice, white pepper, fades quickly.
Gerston Vintage 86Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting, thin legs. Nose: Phenol, raisins, lemon zest, peat, floral (rose?). Palate: Peat, salt, caramel, some pepper, nutmeg. Finish: Anise, white pepper, smoke.
Stratheden 86Color: Gold. Legs: Massive legs. Nose: Lemon, butter, some spice, caramel, orange zest. Green apple(?) Palate: Very sweet, malt/sugar (cakebread?). Finish: Sweet and medium length
Stratheden  86Color: Pale gold. Legs: Slow legs. Nose: Lemon zest, heather, clover honey. Some malt. Palate: Sweet peat with some medicinal notes, white pepper. Nice mouthfeel. Finish: Salt and white pepper.  

54th Tasting (8-18-19) Theme - Latest Edition  Host: Hugh

For our 54th tasting we decided to explore Diageo's Classic Malts' Distiller Editions which have received numerous awards since 1997.  While Diageo has over the years expanded the Classic Malts range from it's early days of just six distilleries, we decided to focus on five of the original six Classic Malts - Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Oban, Lagavulin, and Glenkinchie (We would have liked to have done all six but unfortunately we were unable to find a bottle of the Cragganmore Distiller's Edition for the tasting).  You'll notice in our list of whiskies tasted that we have tasted some of these previously.  If you have not had any of the Distiller's Editions, you don't know what you are missing.  Basically for the Distiller Editions of these already excellent whiskies, each whisky receives a second maturation in specially prepared casks that have previously held fortified wines (specifically different types of sherries).  This second maturation adds another whole level of complexity, flavors, and aromas to each whisky.  For the Dalwhinnie the second maturation is done in Oloroso sherry casks, for the Oban, Montilla Fino sherry casks, for the Glenkinchie, Amontillado sherry casks, for the Talisker, Amoroso sherry casks, and for the Lagavulin, Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.  Diageo releases Distiller Editions periodically so as you can from our list we tasting different versions from different years.  The whiskies are the same age statements as their regular counterpart, the year just refers to when the particular version of the Distiller's Edition of that whisky was bottled. As you can see from our tasting notes, each of the bottles fall into what we consider our Great Ones range and are definitely ones worthy of a space in your whisky collection/tasting.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Dalwhinnie Distiller's Edition 1997, 43% abv, Price: $85.
  • Oban Distiller's Edition 2017, 43% abv, Price: $90.
  • Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition 2000, 43% abv, Price: $92.
  • Talisker Distiller's Edition 2017, 45.8% abv, Price: $80.
  • Lagavulin Distiller's Edition 2017, 43% abv, Price: $120.
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Dalwhinnie Distiller's Edition 1997 87Color: Gold. Legs:  Big thick legs. Nose: Honey, malt/cereal, orange peel. Palate: Fruit (peach), spice, pepper, chocolate, malt.  Viscous mouthfeel. Finish: Salt, Brazil nut, dry, black pepper.
Oban Distiller's Edition 2017 89Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting with varied legs. Nose: Honey, lavender, orange, chocolate. Palate: Sweet, sugar, cinnamon, marzipan.  Big thick mouthfeel of malt, orange zest, vanilla. Finish: Arugula, salt, nuts, dry.
Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition 2000 88Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting. Thin legs. Nose: Coffee, dates, caramel, lemon.  Palate: Very sweet, malt, white pepper, chocolate. Finish: Malt, dry.  Water brings up nuttiness, sweetness, salt.
Talisker Distiller's Edition 2017 89Color: Amber. Legs: Massive legs. Nose: Medicinal peat, burnt sugar, earthy, heather, vanilla.  Palate: Sweet peat, wet fire, salt, seaweed, some malt. Finish: Sea salt, black pepper, smoke.
Lagavulin Distiller's Edition 2017 89Color: Amber. Legs: Unending sheeting. Nose: Peat, earth, lavender, mushrooms, mint. Palate: Sweet peat, almond, caramel, grassy, hazelnut (Frangelico),dark chocolate. Finish: Long finish is sweet, earthy peat, leather, smoky butterscotch.

53rd Tasting (6-23-19) Theme - When is a Highland not a Highland  Host: Mike
Our 53rd tasting took us to the Orkney Isles to explore some new and old friends from Highland Park's distillery. The scotch industry is riding a never before level of interest in and consumption of single malts and as a result all kinds of changes are happening from old/closed distilleries being reopened, to numerous new distilleries being built, to the rise of No Age Statements whiskies, and to existing distilleries shaking up their line ups to adding a plethora of new expressions. Highland Park seems to have certainly embraced the latter.  Their line up seems to be in such a flux that the old adage "You cant tell the players without a scorecard." seems to apropos. Our tasting included their two new recastings of their 12 and 18 year olds, their standard 15 year old, and one of their NAS bottlings (Dark Origins) that has been dropped from their line-up.  For those of us fortunate enough to have had all of their earlier editions, it a particularly revealing evening and for those less fortunate just another great evening of single malts.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Highland Park Viking Honour 12 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $57
  • Highland Park 15 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $92
  • Highland Park Viking Pride 18 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $120
  • Highland Park Dark Origins, 46.8% abv, Price: $82
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Highland Park Viking Honour 12 Year Old 84Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting, slow, big legs. Nose: Citric, malt, heather, grassy with honey/clover. Palate: Lemon, salt, and malt.  Soft, nice mouthfeel. Finish: Drying, salty, some peat. Long. 
Highland Park 15 Year Old 87Color: Old gold/amber. Legs: Sheeting is predominant; big thick legs. Nose: Iodine, honey, lemon, medicinal, butterscotch and orange.  Palate: Very thick mouthfeel.  Apple, smoke, caramel, almond, peat. Finish: Long with salt, malt, and peat smoke.
Highland Park Viking Pride 18 Year Old 88Color: Cloudy gold/amber. Legs: Sheeting with slow massive legs. Nose: Lemon is overwhelming, figs, malt and peat in background.  Palate: Sweet, honey, nougat, caramel, and lemon. Finish: Long, pepper (black), malt.
Highland Park Dark Origins 88Color: Cloudy amber. Legs: Sheeting, long legs. Nose: Smoky, floral, bourbon, cacao, vanilla, orange, cinnamon, dates.  Palate: Bog peat, black pepper, peanut, salt, nougat.  Orange? Finish: Seaweed, white pepper, and resin.

52nd Tasting (4-28-19) Theme - Uncharted Waters  Host: Tim
Our 52nd tasting, Uncharted Waters, explored low priced (or if you prefer "bargain priced") and for the most part unknown single malts (with the exception of Loch Lomond).  With rise in popularity of scotch and especially single malts, prices have correspondingly increased, especially for older single malts, but even for NAS single malts.  As with almost all of our tastings, each set of whiskies tasted are done on a blind basis.  As an experienced group of scotch drinkers this definitely benefited the whiskies in this tasting since, as with most scotch drinkers, our group links the price of a bottle to expectations about its overall quality.  However, as the results below show, without knowing anything about the bottles we were tasting our group on average found all of the single malts worthy of a try with a couple being surprisingly good.  

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Ainsley Brae Sherry Cask, 40% abv, Price: $26.98
  • Speyburn Companion Cask, 40% abv, Price: $29.98
  • Glen Fohdry Dublaich, 47.1% abv, Price: $26.98
  • Lismore 100 Proof, 50% abv, Price: $24.97
  • Shieldaig 14 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $34.97
  • Loch Lomond Original, 40% abv, Price: $34.49
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Ainsley Brae Sherry Cask 81Color: Old gold. Legs: Thick, long legs. Some sheeting. Nose: Lemon, honey, malt/cereal, burnt sugar. Palate: Creamy, green apple, orange, some honey. Finish: Salt.  Phenol on back palate. 
Speyburn Companion Cask 81Color: Pale gold. Legs: Sheeting and long thin legs. Nose: Butter, acetone, toffee, bubblegum, lemon, vanilla. Palate: Hints of spice, butter,salt. Coffee and bitter chocolate. Finish: Coffee, toffee, some sweetness.
Glen Fohdry Dublaich 82Color: Old gold. Legs: Some sheeting. Massive legs. Nose: Malt sweetness, heather, green apple.  Notable alcohol burn.  Palate: Chocolate/cacao, cigar, almond. Finish: Long, briney, nutty.  Much better with water.
Lismore 100 Proof 83Color: Amber gold. Legs: Long thin legs. Nose: Weedy, dark fruit, floral, honey/vanilla, apple.  Notable alcohol.  Palate: Malt, salt, some chocolate, fruit (pear?). Finish: Ashy, malt.
Shieldaig 14 Year Old 86Color: Gold. Legs: Massive thick legs. Nose: Heavy, sweet peat, mossy, salt/seaweed. Palate: Burnt marshmallow, herb (sage?), peaches/plum. Finish: Short.  Salt (sea salt), iodine.
Loch Lomond Original 87 Color: Old gold . Legs: Sheeting, massive legs. Nose: Malt, some smoke, touch of peat, grassy, lemon, pear, honey. Palate: Sweet malt, salt, viscous/creamy,cola, cerealFinish: Nutty, some citric tartness.

51st Tasting (2-10-19) Theme - Tasting the Classic Speysider  Host: Mario
Our 51st tasting explored six different expressions from Benromach.  If you're not familiar with Benromach, you don't know what you are missing.  With so many distilleries in Speyside, it's easy to miss one (or more, for that matter) of them.  Founded in the 1800s, Benromach is now owned by the very well-known independent bottlers Gordon and MacPhail of Elgin. Closed in 1983, Benromach was purchased by Gordon and MacPhail in 1993 and reopened in 1998.  They describes themselves as the Classic Speysider, although nowadays what that means may be a little hard to verbalize.  While  Michael Jackson (1999) described Speyside whiskies as being elegant, flowery, with heather-honey notes, and a touch of peat, you'll find that today's Speysides run the full gamut from lightly peated to peat monsters (such as Benromach Peat Smoke) and a full spectrum of flavors.  All that being said, we found them to be truly enjoyable with creamy notes and rich bodies that were truly enjoyable.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Benromach Organic, 43% abv, Price: $50
  • Benromach Sassicaia Wood Finish 9 Year Old, 45% abv, Price: $70
  • Benromach Hermitage Wood Finish 10 Year Old, 47% abv, Price: $70
  • Benromach Chateau Cissac Wood Finish 200945% abv, Price: $70
  • Benromach 15 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $77
  • Benromach 10 Year Old Peated Single Malt, 43% abv, Price: $44
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Benromach Organic 85Color: Gold. Legs: Massive legs. Nose: Malt, honey, floral (lavender?). Palate: Creamy, buttery.  Rosewater tones, mouth coating. Finish: Long and creamy. Chocolate notes develop. Water increases sweetness and heat. 
Benromach Sassicaia Wood Finish 9 Year Old 87Color: Amber. Legs: Sheeting and massive thin legs. Nose: Peat, phenol, wood, beeswax, fig and red fruit. Palate: Rich, Sweet, with a dandelion grassiness, lavender, and orange zest. Finish: Lemon zest, cream, pepper.
Benromach Hermitage Wood Finish 10 Year Old 86Color: Amber and rose tinges. Legs: Thick. Nose: Malt, burnt sugar, caramel, floral (lavender), apple.  Palate: Sweet, creamy, vanilla.  Nice mouthfeel.  Woody astringencyFinish: Caramel, salty, and wood.
Benromach Chateau Cissac Wood Finish 2009 84Color: Old gold. Legs: Slow legs. Nose: Rose, wood, burnt orange, lemon, honey, apples.  Palate: Malt, salt, some sweetness, vanilla, lemon. Finish: Tea tannins, smoke..
Benromach 15 Year Old 87Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Bourbon-like, maple syrup,pecans, plum. Palate: Sweet, malty, nutty (pecan), fruit. Finish: Bitter wood, short to medium.
Benromach 10 Year Old Peated Single Malt 85 Color: Old gold with a green edge. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Musty, malt, maple syrup, honey.  With water apple. Palate: Hot, sweet, phenol, white pepper, peat. Finish: Medicinal and peppery, salt.  Water cuts the burn and increases sweetness.

50th Tasting (12-16-18) Theme - Undiscovered Country  Host: David R
Our 50th tasting continued our quest to taste at least one whisky expression from each of the distilleries still in operation in Scotland.  We tasted whiskies from 5 different distilleries that as a group we had not tasted before (although individual members may have tasted some of these privately).  Perhaps the biggest surprises of the evening were Scapa's two new NAS bottlings that replaced their former 16 year old bottling.  Those members that were familiar Scapa 16 Year Old (Scapa's original main bottling) felt the NAS statements did not measure up to Scapa they remembered.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Deanston 12 Year Old, 46.3% abv, Price: $49.99
  • Scapa Skiren Orcadian, 40% abv, Price: $73.99
  • Cardhu 12 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $47.99
  • Aultmore 18 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $118.99
  • Scapa The Orcadian Glansa, 40% abv, Price: $76.99
  • Wolfburn Northland, 46% abv, Price: $59.99
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Deanston 12 Year Old 82Color: Old gold. Legs: Heavy legs, thin and active. Nose: Citrus, fruit (sweet pear), malt, cinnamon. Palate: Malt, some licorice, burnt (?) but good mouthfeel.  Some unbalanced notes.  Improves with water Finish: Short. 
Scapa Skiren Orcadian  79Color: Old gold. Legs: Thin legs. Nose: Baked apple with cinnamon sugar, malt, pear, baked bread, yeast. Palate: Salt, pecan, some sugar.  Midpalate is bitter. Finish: Salty and very long.  Some sweetness.
Cardhu 12 Year Old 80Color: Gold. Legs: Heavy sheeting. Nose: Malt, honey, cereal, grassy, butery tones.  Palate: Good mouthfeel, sweet, malty, well-balanced with salt and malt.  Light. Finish: Short, creamy, soft.
Aultmore 18 Year Old 84Color: Light gold. Legs: Slow legs. Nose: Heather, honey, lemon, beeswax.  Palate: Black licorice, salt, white pepper burn.  Nutty, herbal. Finish: Spicy hot, red pepper (?). With water dram is warmer, malt.
Scapa The Orcadian Glansa 83Color: Gold. Legs: Slow, thin legs. Nose: Cinnamon, sugar, malt, alochol forward, fuit notes (peach?). Palate: Mild cinnamon, some peat, salt.  Apricot? Finish: Short, but satisfying.
 Wolfburn Northland 86 Color: Pink gold. Legs: Slow, thin legs. Nose: Citrus, grassy, juicy fruit gum, some peat. Palate: Spicy (red pepper), floral, rich, sweet, honey, pear. Finish: Long burn with honey.

49th Tasting (10-21-18) Theme - Going, Going, Goyne!  Host: Matt
If you really want to see what role aging plays in a whisky, doing a vertical tasting of a distillery's different age statements will certainly make clear the importance of aging and casks on a whisky.   One of the advantages of being part of whisky club is that the club can buy several different age statements from a single distillery that as an individual might be bit more than you want to spend, especially if you aren't sure whether each of the age statements or the whisky in general is going to be to your liking.  Over the years we have done a number of verticals and without a doubt we can attest that, despite some very good NAS releases from different distilleries, age makes a noticeable difference.  Older may not always be better, but you'll never know until you've experience a vertical tasting.  The Glengoyne expressions were all good, but the contrasts between the younger expressions and the older 18 and 25 year old expressions were amazing.  We did five of their expressions and unfortunately were unable to obtain their 21 year old (oh well, guess we'll have to do that one sometime in the future).

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Glengoyne 10 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $26.00
  • Glengoyne 12 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $36.00
  • Glengoyne 15 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $52.00
  • Glengoyne 18 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $87.00
  • Glengoyne 25 Year Old, 48% abv, Price: $299.95
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Glengoyne 10 Year Old 84Color: Light gold. Legs: Thick, massive legs. Nose: Citrus, buttery, toffee, grassy, and apple. Palate: Apples, toffee, nuts. Mouthfeel is malty, viscous (oil), cayenne pepper. Finish: Wax, lemon, phenol. 
Glengoyne 12 Year Old  85Color: Gold color. Legs: Thick, massive legs. Nose: Lemon, vanilla, white oak, beeswax, melon (ripe)/peach. Palate: Creamy, malt, berry, some stewed fruit, toffee. Finish: Bit of a burn, malt, and anise.
Glengoyne 15 Year Old 88Color: Full gold. Legs: Heavy sheeting, small legs. Nose: Lemon zest, sweet, spice (cinnamon), vanilla, orange.  Palate: Malt, butterscotch, toffee (Werther's), cinnamon (fireball?). Rich, full. Finish: Salt, malt,dark chocolate.
Glengoyne 18 Year Old 88Color: Old gold (amber). Legs: Massive legs. Nose: Strawberry, burnt lemon, malt, vanilla, some rubber notes. Palate: Cinnamon, toffee, buttered popcorn.   Pepper. Finish: Caramel, salt.
Glengoyne 25 Year Old 89Color: Mahogany. Legs: Sheeting, massive legs. Nose: Toffee, brown sugar, cherry, fig/raisin, some nuttiness and berries. Palate: Salty, daes, oak (bourbon) notes.  Alcohol burn. Spice. Finish: Malt and bitter cacao, long finish.

48th Tasting (8-19-18) Theme - The Lost Region  Host: Ben
Campbeltown - once known as the "whisky capital of the world" had at one time as many as 28 distilleries and was one of the five officially recognized scotch producing regions.  However, as the number of its distilleries dwindled down to just two (Springbank and Glen Scotia) it lost its designation.  It status as an officially recognized region has recently been reinstated with the reopening of Glengyle distillery which produces Kilkerran.   Thanks to Ben's diligent work in putting together this excellent tasting, we not only got to enjoy some exceptional malts but learned something as well....proving our tastings aren't just about drinking scotch, they're educational!

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Longrow Red 11 Year Old, Cabernet Franc Finish, 55.9% abv, Price: $115.00
  • Hazelburn 10 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $92.00
  • Glen Scotia 15 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $90.00
  • Hazelburn 13 Year Old,  47.1% abv, Price: $145.00
  • Kilkerran 8 Year Old, 55.7% abv, Price: $112.00
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Longrow Red 11 Year Old, Cabernet Franc Finish 87Color: Old gold. Legs: Narrow legs after sheeting. Nose: Phenol, medicinal.  Herbal nose with some citrus and salt also. Floral and fruit notes as well. Palate: Salty with black pepper moving into cayenne.  Red fruit and spice. Finish: Iodine and sea salt on finish.  Smoke.
Hazelburn 10 Year Old   83Color: Light yellow/pale chardonnay. Legs: Small legs. Nose: Citrus (lemon), some peat, salt, clove and beeswax. Palate: Vanilla, malt with sweet peat notes. Finish: White pepper and salt on finish.
Glen Scotia 15 Year Old 87Color: Amber (Old Gold). Legs: Massive legs. Nose: Floral (heather), citrus (lemon), burnt caramel with peat, almonds and paraffin.  Palate: Rich with caramel and salt.  Some old fire notes.  Pecans. Finish: Salt, ash, and a slight black licorice.
Hazelburn 13 Year Old 86Color: Copper. Legs: Sheeting, very slight legs. Nose: Brine, paraffin and caramel. Palate: White, salt and wood.  Water adds nutty notes. Finish: Nutty. 
Kilkerran 8 Year Old 88Color: Light chardonnay.Legs: Sheeting, moving to massive legs. Nose: Lemon, salt and thyme.  Honey. Palate: Malt, caramel, some nuttiness. Finish: White pepper and phenol.

47th Tasting (6-16-18) Theme - To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before  Host: David D
In going through our list of whiskies we've tasted we discovered there were a number of distilleries that we have never tried.  So, we decided to make a goal of our group to eventually have tried at least one whisky from each distillery currently in operation  Our 47th tasting was our first effort toward achieving that goal.  Our tasting featured whiskies from four distilleries our group had never had before: Glen Scotia, Bladnoch, Glenglassaugh, and Glengyle (Kilkerran).  To our group's delight (as you can see below) we were treated to exquisite whiskies on our trip into the unknown.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Glen Scotia Double Cask, 51.5% abv, Price: $59.99
  • Glen Scotia Victorianna, 51.5% abv, Price: $108.99
  • Bladnoch Samsara, 46.7% abv, Price: $75.99
  • Bladnoch Adela 15 Year Old,  46.7% abv, Price: $104.99
  • Glenglassaugh Torfa Peat, 50% abv, Price: $49.99
  • Kilkerran 12 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $99.99
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Glen Scotia Double Cask 86Color: Amber. Legs: Sheeting, long thin legs. Nose: Malt, honey, heather.  Sweet candied with toffee notes. Palate: Viscous, sweet malt, burnt butterscotch/toffee.  Finish: Cinnamon and black pepper.  Moderate finish.
Glen Scotia Victorianna 86Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting, long legs (slow). Nose: Pineapple, green melon, chocolate. Palate: Chocolate, confectioner's sugar, malt/cereal, mexican mole-like with red pepper (cayenne).  Hot throughout. Nice! Finish: Long finish.  Malt chocolate.
Bladnoch Samsara 84Color: Rose gold. Legs: Sheeting, some legs. Nose: Creamy cheese notes.  Lavender, apples (green), lilacs. Palate: Is different.  White chocolate, hazelnut, buttery (popcorn?) Finish: Cinnamon/butter bread.
Bladnoch Adela 15 Year Old 89Color: Dark amber. Legs: Sheeting, some legs. Nose: Sherry, chocolate notes.  Massive whisky.  Creme brulee. Palate: Burnt toffee, sugar, figs/dates. Finish: Very long.  Outstanding!
Glenglassaugh Torfa Peat 87Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Thin legs. Nose: Peat, rubber, bacon.  Lemon, apple, herbal/gassy notes. Palate: Grassy, mossy peat.  Salt and viscous.  A virtual Bonfire of of the Vanities. Finish: Long and smoky.  
Kilkerran 12 Year Old 88Color: Honey. Legs: Simple sheeting. Nose: Citrus, honey and lemon and orange. Palate: Cream with vanilla, floral.  Silky peat.  Very refined.  Marshmallow, malt, some pepper. Finish: Salt and meat tones.

46th Tasting (4-15-18) Theme - A Trip Up the A9  Host: Mark
For our 46th tasting we took a virtual trip up Scotland's A9 tasting whiskies from distilleries located on or near the A9, the longest road in Scotland.  If you look at a map of distilleries in Scotland, you'll lots of familiar distillery names.  Unfortunately, there were far more distilleries than we could fit in one tasting (we may have to revisit the A9 in a future tasting), but the ones included in the tasting made the evening a big success.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Balblair Vintage 2003, 46% abv, Price: $65.00
  • Edradour Ballechin 10 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $70.00
  • Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old , 43% abv, Price: $65.00
  • Glenmorangie 18 Year Old,  43% abv, Price: $90.00
  • Dalmore Cigar Malt, 44% abv, Price: $125.00
  • Clynelish 14 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $53.00
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Balblair Vintage 2003 83Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Sheeting, thin, slow legs. Nose: Lemon zest, mowed grass, malt and herbal tones. Palate: Citric, salt, heavy malt. Sweet confectioners sugar.  Anise in the back palate.  Butter. Finish: Long with white pepper, salt, and dried fruit notes.
Edradour Ballechin 10 Year Old   86Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting predominates; thin legs. Nose: Peat, medicinal, rubber/phenol, caramel. Palate: Sweet, caramel, nutty. Great mouthfeel. Midpalate is peppery, then spicy (ginger). Finish: Long, medicinal, and dry.
Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old 82Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting predominates; thin legs. Nose: Grassy, malt, softer tones of toffee and lemon. Palate: Wood/oak notes.  Sweet, some spice.  Bubblegum. Finish: Salty, but short and smoky, some citrus.
Glenmorangie 18 Year Old 89Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting, with thin legs. Nose: Malt, honey, vanilla, and burnt oak. Palate: Ginger, honeydew/cantalope.  Honeysuckle and floral tones.  Fruit notes. Finish: Salty, peach.  Rich and long.  Improves with water
Dalmore Cigar Malt  91Color: Old gold/amber. Legs: Massive, slow legs. Nose: Sherry nose with dried fruit, apricot/plum/dates. Palate: Sweet candied yams, ginger, orange, and cinnamon.  Finish: Raisins and licorice.  
Clynelish 14 Year Old 89Color: Old Gold. Legs: Sheeting with thin legs. Nose: Sherry, malt, some lemon zest, honey, Fuji apple. Palate: Malt, vanilla, sweet oak tones (Bourbon notes?).  Nice mouthfeel. Finish: Some licorice, long, nice.

45th Tasting (2-25-18) Theme - Be Forgotten  Host: Tod
Our 45th tasting paid homage to Balvenie.  Despite the mysterious theme title for the tasting, all the bottles tasted that night were definitely whiskies you wouldn't forget.  We tasted six different Balvenie expressions and each were savored by everyone.  The Balvenie Distillery consistently turns out wonderfully rich, complex whiskies.  As a Balvenie lover all of these expressions except one were already are on my shelves.  The one that wasn't, the new Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old, was a wonderful surprise and has been added to my Balvenie shelf. 

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Balvenie Single Barrel 12 Year Old, 47.5% abv, Price: $80.00
  • Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $53.00
  • Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Year Old , 43% abv, Price: $75.00
  • Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Old, Sherry Cask, 47.5% abv, Price: $120.00
  • Balvenie Doublewood 17 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $160.00
  • Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old, 48% abv, Price: $100.00
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Balvenie Single Barrel 12 Year Old 84Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Big thick legs. Nose: Sugar, wood, peach/banana.  Acetone?. Palate: Very sweet with vanilla and malt notes Nice!. Finish: Salt on finish, some bitterness.  Long and malty.
Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year Old   85Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting, thin legs. Nose: Sweet, malt, green apple, plum and cinnamon. Palate: Caramel sweetness with salt and cereal malt. Finish: Malty with some phenol.  Moderate lasting finish.
Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Year Old 87Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting, thin legs. Nose: Butter, sugar, nutmeg, and apricots. Palate: Salty with cinnamon.  Very woody. Finish: Malty, salty, and some black licorice.
Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Old, Sherry Cask 87Color: Light gold. Legs: Sheeting, slow legs. Nose: Vanilla, honey, cinnamon. Palate: Salty, rum, rubber (?). Finish: Long.  Spice and salt.
Balvenie Doublewood 17 Year Old  84Color: Gold.Legs: Sheeting, slow legs. Nose: Hot.  Citrus (lemon), malt with orange spice as well. Palate: Vanilla, honey, buttery sweetness. Great mouthfeel. Finish: Long, syrupy (viscous), and orange.  
Balvenie Peat Week 14 Year Old 89Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting, slow legs. Nose: Ripe apple, malt, lemon, floral, and peat  Heather and sandalwood. Palate: Somewhat hot, salt, grass.  Complex, rich.. Finish: Balance of sweet and salt.  Herbal and rosewater.

44th Tasting (12-17-17) Theme - Sherry Baby  Host: Mario

For our 44th tasting we explored the influence of different sherry finishes on whisky by doing a tasting of four whiskies all from the same distillery, Tomatin, but each finished in a different sherry cask - Tomatin's Quatro Series.  The Tomatin Quatro Series was a limited edition production of four different expressions of their whisky.  A unique experiment, the Quatro Series were all distilled on the same day, then aged for nine years in American oak casks and then transferred to four different types of sherry butts for a period of over three years.  The four sherry expressions used for finishing were fino, manzanilla, oloroso, and pedro ximenez. If you missed trying these when they came out, you may have a hard time finding them now. Mario was smart and bought two sets when they came out.

To help us better understand the subtle nuances in the whiskies produced by these sherries, we decided to taste and explore each sherry before tasting the whiskies (which were tasted blind as we typically do when tasting whiskies and in no known order because we were trying to guess which was which and found it was not easy).  While many of us have had sherries, we must confess that as you might expect our preferred beverage is scotch and we don't drink sherry often and certainly not all its varied forms.  It was an eye-opening evening!

Sherries Tasted:

  • Barbadillo Fino Sherry - bonedry, flinty, nutty, briny
  • LaGuita Manzanilla Sherry -  less dry, lemon/citric notes
  • Asuncion Oloroso Sherry - semi-sweet, nutty, prunes
  • Pedro Ximenez 1730 Sherry - sweet, nutty, raisins/prunes

Whiskies Tasted:

  • Tomatin 12 Year Old Quatro Series Fino , 46% abv, Price: $69.99
  • Tomatin 12 Year Old Quatro Series Manzanilla , 46% abv, Price: $69.99
  • Tomatin 12 Year Old Quatro Series Oloroso , 46% abv, Price: $69.99
  • Tomatin 12 Year Old Quatro Series Pedro Ximenez , 46% abv, Price: $69.99 (It used to be $49.99)

Whisky TastedAverage
Selected Comments
Tomatin 12 Year Old Quatro Series Fino 88Color: Darker gold. Legs: Sheeting, thin legs. Nose: Sweet, prunes, honeysuckle. Palate: Salty, nutty (hazelnut), malt. Finish: Long, spice, salt, malt, floral.  Water improves whisky.  Brings out butter, cream and improved mouthfeel.
Tomatin 12 Year Old Quatro Series Manzanilla84Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting, thin, slow legs. Nose: Sharp, citric, buttery, and prunes. Palate: Cereal sweet, malt, some salt. Sharp tartness, bitter. Finish: Dry, salty, less pepper.  Water improves dram.
Tomatin 12 Year Old Quatro Series Oloroso 83Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting legs(Long). Nose: Malt,walnuts, bourbon, sherry, citrus (orange?). Palate: Salt/sweet, malt, retains citric/lemon notes. Dark chocolate. Finish: White pepper.  Water makes whisky sweeter, more sherry.
Tomatin 12 Year Old Quatro Series Pedro Ximenez 86Color: Golden. Legs: Sheeting, very slow legs. Nose: Warm and sweet, citric, malt with floral notes (lilac?) and sherry. Palate: Complex, rich, great body, buttery. Tannins? Finish: Pecan/cashews, pepper.

43nd Tasting (10-22-17) Theme - The Great Impostors  Host: John

Our 43nd tasting featured six whiskies from the Lost Distillery Company (www.lost-distillery.com)  The Lost Distillery Company, in case you are not familiar with it, was founded in 2013 by two Diageo employees, Scott Watson and Brian Woods.  It is a subsidiary brand of Crucial Drinks (the trading name of LDC Scotland Ltd.) according to its website. They are not your typical distillery producing their own single malts/scotches instead they are trying to recreate the whiskies from other distilleries that no longer exist and for which there are no remaining bottles.  Which from our perspective makes for an interesting challenge and thus intrigued John enough to put together this tasting so we could explore what they have come up.  As you might expect the concept of re-creating a whisky based on research but without any actual whisky available to actually analyze or taste immediately generated a good deal of discussion as well as skepticism in many members' minds.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Benachie (Classic Collection), 43% abv, Price: $44.00
  • Lossit (Classic Collection), 43% abv, Price: $44.00
  • Towiemore (Classic Collection), 43% abv, Price: $44.00
  • Auchnagie (Archivist Collection), 46% abv, Price: $65.00
  • Gerston (Archivist Collection), 46% abv, Price: $65.00
  • Stratheden (Archivist Collection), 46% abv, Price: $65.00
Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
Benachie 84Color: Dark amber. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Vanilla, fruit, wine, honey. Palate: Honey,licorice, carmelized sugar. Finish: Malt, burnt sugar, and chalky.  Improved with water.
Lossit   83Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Peach, apple, malt, phenol, smoky. Palate: Salt, dry, grassy, clover honey, medicinal,oatmeal, and raisins. Finish: Long with smoky peat.
Towiemore 82Color: Amber. Legs: Many fast legs. Nose: Fig, dates, perfume/floral, malt. Palate: Caramel, salt, simple (thin). Finish: Short, salt.
Auchnagie 84Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Sheeting, slow legs. Nose: Orange rind, pear. Palate: Malt, cereal, sweet (rock candy). Finish: Salt, peat, spice.  Improves with water
Gerston  84Color: Dark chardonnay. Legs: Long, slow legs. Nose: Malt, grass, salt, molasses sweetness. Palate: Peat, salt, earthiness/grassiness. Finish: Licorice, salt, smoke.  
Stratheden 86Color: Gold. Legs: Mini-legs, sheeting. Nose: Beeswax, pear, malt, cookie. Palate: Sweet pear, peppery. Finish: Licorice, black pepper, salt.

42nd Tasting (8-20-17) Theme - Twentieth Century Scotches  Host: Ken

Our 42nd tasting took us on a trip back in time as we tasted three single malts that were all distilled and bottled in the 20th Century.  The whiskies ranged in age from 26 to 28 years old. Once again, the impact and importance of wood and ageing on single malts was readily apparent. Soft, rich, flavorful notes were readily apparent.

We were lucky and fortunate that Ken worked hard and was able to find such fine aged single malts that were still within our club's budget given the continued upward trend in prices for any whisky with an age statement, aged whiskies are moving out of most people's budgets.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • 1988 Signatory Balmenach 26 Year Old, Hogshead #2805 Cask Strength Binny's Handpicked, 51.6% abv, Price: $149.00
  • Glenturret 27 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $159.99
  • 1985 Adelphi Longmorn 28 Year Old Cask Strength49.2% abv, Price: $249.99
Whisky TastedAverage
Selected Comments
1988 Signatory Balmenach 26 Year Old, Hogshead #2805 Cask Strength Binny's Handpicked 88Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Sheeting with thin slow legs. Nose: Malty, floral perfume, lemon and hints of vanilla. Palate: Salty nuts (hazel), vanilla, mlat, pecans.. Finish: Salty.  With water: Sweeter and anise notes
Glenturret 27 Year Old87Color: Pale gold. Legs: Sheeting, with massive legs. Nose: Pear and lemon notes as well as toffee and vanilla.  Palette: Malt, fruit, toffee.  Licorice (anise) in back of palateFinish: Salty caramel.  Long and warming.
1985 Adelphi Longmorn 28 Year Old Cask Strength 90Color: Pale gold.Legs: Big thick widely space legs with thin legs mixed in. Nose: Lemon, hay, heather and malt. Vanilla tones Palate: Very complex, malt and tropical fruit on back palate Finish: Licorice, salt.

41st Tasting (6-10-17) Theme - Island Whiskies and New England Oysters  Host: Hugh

Our 41st tasting was a reprise of last year's oysters and scotch tasting but with different whiskies and some different oysters.  This time all our oysters were New England oysters and all our whiskies were Island whiskies (Islay included). We chose three different types of New England oysters for the evening, four different single malts and one blended malt.  For this tasting, unlike all our normal tastings, we did not do a blind tasting of the whiskies).  We did not rate all of the whiskies  (we only rated the three whiskies our group had not tasted before as a group) or each whisky and oyster pairing specifically.   Instead, each member received their five whiskies at the beginning of the tasting and explored each type of oyster with each of the different whiskies as those chose to. Unlike our oyster and scotch tasting last year, this year's whiskies were all peated. The group's consensus was that the Island whiskies with their maritime notes and smokiness paired better with the oysters than did last year's non-peated whiskies tasted. Once again it was a very interesting evening!

Oysters Tasted:

  • Wellfleet Oysters, Wellfleet, MA
  • Bluepoint Oysters, Long Island Sound
  • Barnstable Oysters, Barnstable Harbor, Cape Cod Bay

Whiskies Tasted:

  • Ardbeg Dark Cove, 46.5% abv, Price: $119.99
  • Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2008, 50% abv, Price: $69.99
  • Bowmore 12 Year Old40% abv, Price: $49.99
  • Laphroaig Lore, 48%  abv, Price: $119.99
  • Douglas Laing's Rock Oyster Small Batch Blended Maritime Malt, 46.5% abv, Price: $49.99
Whisky TastedAverage
Selected Comments
Ardbeg Dark Cove 88Color: Dark gold. Legs: Slow legs. Nose: Earthy, peat, medicinal.  Burnt marshmallow, maple syrup. Palate: Malt, salted chocolate caramel.. Finish: Salted pork, pepper. Tarry notes.
Laphroaig Lore87Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting, slow legs. Nose: Sweet peat, baked grain/malt, vanilla. Palate: Sea salt, chalk,flint. Licorice. Finish: Sweet peat and pepper.  Some chocolate.
Douglas Laing's Rock Oyster Small Batch Blended Maritime Malt  87Color: Light chardonnay.Legs: Notable legs. Nose: Charcoal, heather,honey, salt. Palate: Rich, resin pine, salt, grassy. Finish: Salty, hot and spicey.  Water increases grassiness, caramel/maple notes.  Decreases heat.

40th Tasting (4-23-17)

 - Theme: 

Different Oaks for Different Folks

 Host: Mario

Our 40th tasting was generated and inspired by the Spring 2017 issue of Whisky Advocate.  While every issue of Whisky Advocate is packed with great articles and lots of great whisky reviews, this particular issue featured an article discussing different oaks by Jake Emen.  The article discussed five different oaks used in barrels for aging. While most whisky enthusiasts are familiar with American (Quercus alba) oak, Spanish/European (Quercus robur),an Limousin (Quercus petrae) oak,  the article also discussed two less familiar oaks, Mizunara (Quercus mongolica) and Garryana (Quercus garryana).  As we all know much of the flavor of whisky comes from the barrels it's aged in and Emen ended the article with suggestions about whiskies to try to experience the different woods.  We decided to take his advice and put together a tasting using four of his suggestions and one our host Mario wanted to try.  By the end of the evening felt that the trip to the woods was definitely an experience to savor. The ratings and tasting notes below tell the story.  Kudos to Emen and Whisky Advocate, the recommendations were spot on!

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Westland Garryan (Quercus garryana), 56.2% abv, Price: $120.00
  • Hibiki Japanese Harmony (Quercus mizunara), 43% abv, Price: $65.00
  • Brenna Ten (Quercus petraea), 48% abv, Price: $100
  • Macallan Edition No. 2 (Quercus alba and Quercus robur), 48.2% abv, Price: $100
  • Midleton Dair Ghaelach (Irish Quercus robur), 58% abv, Price: $250
Whisky TastedAverage
Selected Comments
Westland Garryana 87Color: Old gold. Legs: Rows of legs. Nose: Cinnamon, bitter orange, vanilla.. Palate: Vanilla, cotton candy, pepper, spice. Finish: Fruity,and soft but lingers.. Water increases sweetness and malt.
Hibiki Japanese Harmony 83Color: Gold. Legs: Slow legs, ring. Nose: Fruity, lemon, vanilla, nutty (almond), grassy, sandalwood (?). Palate:Soft on the palate with sweetness and buttery notes. Finish: Dry finish, salt and spice.  Water brings up salt and spice.
Brenna Ten83Color: Light gold. Legs: Sheeting, long legs. Nose: Oaky, floral nose (rosewater), walnuts, malt tones. Palate: Sweet, salt, bitter,Brazil nuts, vanilla. Finish: Malt, moderate in length. Water increases spice tones.
Macallan Edition No. 290Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting with massive legs. Nose: Honey, sherry, sweetness, vanilla, pecans, cacao. Palate: Malt (cereal),chocolate. Finish: Hazelnuts with salt/spice.  Water increases chocolate tones..
Midleton Dair Ghalach 89Color: Old gold.Legs: Sheeting, thin legs that turn to tears. Nose: Clove, malt, cinnamon, woody, balsamic. Palate: Rich, resin pine, salt, grassy. Finish: Salty, hot and spicey.  Water increases grassiness, caramel/maple notes.  Decreases heat.

39th Tasting (2-19-17)

 - Theme: 

Old Scotia's Grandeur Springs

 Host: Mike and Jim H

Our 39th tasting explored whisky and food pairings with five delightful dishes prepared Jim H and five Springbank expressions selected by Mike.  Whisky was blind tasted first, then with food.

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Springbank 10 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $60.00
  • Springbank 12 Year Old, Cask Strength, 54.6% abv, Price: $80.00
  • Springbank 15 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $100
  • Springbank 18 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $150
  • Springbank 9 Year Old, Gaja Barolo Cask Finished, 54.7% abv, Price: $120
Whisky TastedAverage
Selected Comments
Springbank 10 Year Old 87Color: Light gold. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Citrus, vanilla, lemon zest, poundcake, sweet, candied, malt. Palate: Sugared lemon, pears, salty,malt, rice krispy treats, dry oakiness, chocolate. Finish: Moderate, salty, spicy sweet..
Served with: Creamy Soup of Wild Mushrooms with Whisky Essence.
Sprinkbank 12 Year Old, Cask Strength 89Color: Deep gold. Legs: Sheeting, slow legs. Nose: Marzipan and Christmas cake, anise, malt, nuts. Palate:Salt, malt, Payday candy bar, honey, anise,phenol, marshmallow. Finish: Longer,pepper.
Served with: Carmalized (with Drambuie) Onion and Goat Cheese Tart
Springbank 15 Year Old89Color: Rose gold. Legs: Sheeting, many fast legs. Nose: Verbena, vanilla, salt, floral notes, oak. Palate: Vanilla, nutty, salt, spice, cinnamon, raisins, dark chocolate, figs Finish: Spice, white pepper, salt, sweet dried fig or raisin.
Served with:Cassoulet of Duck
Springbank 18 Year Old89Color: Dark gold. Legs: Long, thin slow legs. Nose: Baklava, honey, malt, toasted butter,banana, nuts (almond). Palate: Sweet, cinnamon, malt, salt, nuts, honey, apricot, licorice. Finish: Spicy, moderate, curry spice, chocolate, leather.
Served with:Roasted Rack of Lamb with Whisky Sweet Potatoes.
Springbank 9 Year Old, Gaja Barolo Cask Finished 88Color: Greenish tinged gold.Legs: Nice thick legs. Nose: Alcohol, chocolate, marshmallow, grain mash, campfire ash, fresh sod, grappa Palate: Fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, menthol, coconut, chocolate (Almond Joy or Mounds), red fruit. Finish: Chocolate, salty, malt, peat, spicy.
Served with: Malted Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Whisky Sauce

38th Tasting (12-18-16)

 - Theme: 

All Things Speyside

 Host: Ben

Our 38th tasting explored Speyside malts and the vast range of flavors and styles the region offers.  

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Craigellachie 13 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $60.00
  • Gordon and MacPhail Mortlach 15 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $100
  • Gordon and MacPhail Linkwood 15 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $80
  • Benromach 2003 Cask Strength, 59.9% abv, Price: $100
  • BenRiach 21 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $160
Whisky TastedAverage
Selected Comments
Craigellachie 13 Year Old 83Color: Light gold. Legs: Variable sheeting and legs. Nose: Lemon, grassy, buttery. Palate: Malt, salt, pepper, and spice. Finish: Moderate with black/red pepper and salt.  Black licorice.
Gordon and MacPhail Mortlach 15 Year Old 85Color: Gold. Legs: Nice falling legs. Nose: Malt, grass, vanilla, salted meat, and butterscotch. Palate:Buttery, caramel, cinnamon, some pepper. Finish: Long with malt, salt, and white pepper.  Better with water, more candy and floral tones.
Gordon and MacPhail Linkwood 15 Year Old 90Color: Full Gold. Legs: Massive legs. Nose: Honey notes with malt, caramel, buttery toffee, lemon and heather. Palate: Great mouthfeel.  Full rich flavor, sweet, vanilla, a touch of mint. Finish: Long finish, toffee and chocolate/berry.  Outstanding dram.
Benromach 2003 Cask Strength 88Color: Pale gold/chardonnay. Legs: Very slow legs. Nose: Hot, cask strength.  Lemon zest, pine, salt. Palate: Chestnuts. Black licorice and phenol. Sweet smoke. Finish: Long with peat and malt. Water increases creaminess, lemons, and maltiness. Cinnamon.
BenRiach 21 Year Old 88Color: Pale gold.Legs: Massive leg action. Nose: Rubbery, phenol, oak.  Some raisins, nuts. Palate: Tarry, salt, malt, medicinal notes. Smoky. Finish: Sweet peat and nuts.  

37th Tasting (10-31-16)

 - Theme: 

Old Enough to Drink – 21 Year Olds

 Host: David R

Our 37th tasting once again explored older whiskies; this time focusing on 21 year old bottles. Unlike the drinking age in the U.S., single malts don't have to be 21 to be old enough to drink but the four 21 year old single malts we tasted proved once again that age really does matter.  

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Glenfarclas 21 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $139.99
  • Aberfeldy 21 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $169.99
  • Glendronach Parliament 21 Year Old, 48% abv, Price: $189.99
  • Bruichladdich 21 Year Old Cuvée Series No. 640 Eroica Cognac Cask Finish, 46% abv, Price: $149.99

    Whisky Tasted
    Selected Comments
    Glenfarclas 21 Year Old 90Color: Old gold. Legs: Slow and fat. Nose: Fruit and citric notes, sherry, and malt. Palate: Sherry and and malt. Spicy and a touch of smoke. Finish: Long.  Sweeter with water. Some salt and cremier.
    Aberfeldy 21 Year Old 88Color: Gold. Legs: Skinny, slow, sheeting. Nose: Perfume notes of floral and heather. Cocoa. Palate: Malt, light salt, cinnamon, honey. Finish: Long and dry. Spicy with some wax notes.
    Glendronach Parliament 21 Year Old 92Color: Amber. Legs: Long thin legs. Nose: Sugar, vanilla, chocolate, candy, and caramel. Lots of sherry and fuits. Palate: Sherry and chocolate. Cinnamon and spice.  Sherry and fruit notes. Finish: Very long.  
    Bruichladdich 21 Year Old Cuvée Series No. 640 Eroica Cognac Cask Finish 93Color: Gold/Bronze. Legs: Fast, short, one at a time. Nose: Fruit, smoke, sugar, salt, and pecans. Palate: Fruits, nuts, subtle salt and smoke. Finish: Long.

    36th Tasting (9-11-16)

     - Theme: Honey, I'm Home! Host: Tim

    Our 36th tasting was one sweet tasting as we looked at honey notes in whiskies and tasted them with different honeys.  

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Auchentoshan American Oak, 40% abv, Price: $39.99
    • The Ardmore Traditional Legacy, 40% abv, Price: $39.99
    • Macallan Double Cask, 43% abv, Price: $59.99
    • Jura Diurach's Own 16 Year Old, 43% abv, $68.99
    • Wemyss Malts The Hive 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky, 40% abv, Price: $55.00
    Whisky Tasted
    Selected Comments
    Auchentoshan American Oak 84Color: Gold. Legs: Long, thick, slow and oily. Nose: Citric, sweet,spice, and mossy. Palate: Heavy on malt and honey. Finish: Salty and moderate. Honey make the whisky very smooth and winey.  Paired with Sourwood Honey.
    Ardmore Traditional Legacy  84Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Sheeting, lacking legs. Nose: Menthol and some peat. Palate: Malty, thin. Finish: Moderate and fast. Honey make the whisky gain aparagus tones and green tones.  Paired with Mielithun eucalipto Honey.
    Macallan Double Cask 89Color: Old gold. Legs: Nice long legs. Nose: Some alcohol burn, toasted almonds, honey, sherry (?), burnt caramel. Palate: More complex.  Cinnamon, viscous, herbal. Finish: Very long.  Honey increases herbal tones, more grassy, cofffee tones.  Paired with Mexican Coffee Blossom Honey
    Jura Diurach's Own 16 Year Old 87Color: Amber. Legs: Massive. Nose: Smoky (peat?), bitter orange, floral tones, cinnamon. Palate: Coffee, some pepper spice with salt and mint background. Finish: Long and peppery. Honey brings out big expresso tones.  Paired with Washington Buckwheat Honey.
    Wemyss Malts The Hive 12 Year Old 85Color: Cloudy old gold.Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Honey with citric tones, malt, leather notes. Palate: Malty and light with dried fruits, apricots. Finish: Short. Honey is variable in floral tones but almost wipes out whisky notes.  Paired with Wildflower Honey.

    35th Tasting (6-12-16)

     - Theme: Halfway to Retirement: 30 something whiskies. Host: Ken

    For our 35th tasting we went all out and sampled two fantastic 30+ year old single malts. Not surprisingly, it was an absolutely superb evening with some of the greatest whisky we have ever tasted.  Despite the rise of NAS whiskies, some of which are extremely good, one taste of the whiskies we tried and the importance of a whisky's age becomes undeniable.  It was an evening of "oohs" and "aahs." 

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Balblair 1975 2nd Release, 37 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $350.00
    • Signatory Glenlivet 1981, 32 Year Old, 50% abv, Price: $300.00

    Whisky Tasted
    Selected Comments
    Balblair 1975 2nd Release, 37 Year Old 92Color: Tarnished Gold. Legs: Long legs, with sheeting. Nose: Floral, vanilla, pineapple/pear/banana notes, malted milk chocolate. Hint of lemon/citrus. Palate: Salty caramel, oily viscosity, honey and lemon with a creamy vanilla.  White pepper predominates. Finish: Long malt finish and spice is reduced.  Salt is notable throughout.  Anise very late in finish.
    Signatory Glenlivet 1981, 32 Year Old 95Color: Amber. Legs: Heavy sheeting, slow. Nose: Caramel/toffee, nutty, dried apricot, raisins, chocolate and cherry.  Palate: Dark chocolate, dried cherry, burnt toffee. Reminiscent of Banana Foster's mix of bananas, creme, and cinnamon.  Salt on the front palate. Finish: Salted caramel, some pepper.  Sweetness lingers as finish subsides. 

    34th Tasting (4-17-16)

     - Theme: Peat & RePeat Repeat. Hosts: Tim and Ron

    For our 34th tasting we revisited the theme for our very first tasting, an all peated whisky tasting. However, this time our focus was not so much on the differences in peat from different regions but just peat in general.  While not everyone in our group is a peat freak, like the hosts of the tasting, the quality of the whiskies tasted is reflected in the overall high scores each received.

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish, 53% abv, Price: $79.99
    • Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old Peated Single Malt Whisky, 43% abv, Price: $79.99
    • Bowmore The Devil’s Casks Limited Release III, 56.5% abv, Price: $99.99
    • Bunnahabhain Toiteach Heavily Peated Malt, 46% abv, Price: $69.99
    • Ballechin 7th Edition Bordeaux Casks (Edradour), 46% abv, Price: $79.99
    • Laphroaig 15 Year Old 200th Anniversary Bottling, 43% abv, Price: $79.99

    Whisky Tasted
    Selected Comments
    Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish 82Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Streaming. Nose: Buttery, cereal, malt, candy, and medicinal peat. Palate: Very hot, medicinal, salt, rubber. Finish: Long and improved with water.
    Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old Peated Single Malt Whisky  86Color: Light gold. Legs: Slow, long legs. Nose: Grassy, salt, seaweed, lemon, low peat. Palate: Orange, cereal, grass.  Very smooth and salty.  Some vanilla. Finish: Moderate, slight peat, tobacco notes. 
    Bowmore The Devil’s Casks Limited Release III 86Color: Mahogany (cola). Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Burnt sugar, cinnamon, cedar, marshmallow, baked apple, sherry/rum. Palate: Carmalized sugar, dates, port, coffee, chocolate. Finish: Very salty, sherry.  Water bring out sweetness. Long finish.
    Bunnahabhain Toiteach Heavily Peated Malt 88Color: Cloudy chardonnay. Legs: Dense legs. Nose: Very buttery, popcorn. Smoky cigar, peat, lemon. Melon, mango. Palate: Lemon with candy sweetness. Salt and nuts. Apricot. Finish: Long and salty. Water improves.  Sweeter peat. 
    Ballechin 7th Edition Bordeaux Casks (Edradour)  86Color: Cloudy copper.Legs: Sheeting, then long. Nose: Maraschino cherry, apricot, cashews, sugar, cinnamon. Lemon.  Very peaty. Palate: Wine,dry, salty, spice, sugar cookie. Nutty. Finish: Band-Aid, medicinal.  
    Laphroaig 15 Year Old 200th Anniversary Bottling  88Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Rubbery, iodine, medicinal. Cinnamon spice, herbal. Smoked meat. Palate: Herbal, nutty, sage, salty, coriander.  Vanilla. Complex. Finish: Peat sweet.

    33rd Tasting (2-21-16) Theme

     - How Sweet It Is!  Host: David R

    Our 33rd tasting delved into sweeter styles of whiskies and focused on whiskies finished in sauterne, pedro ximenez, and port casks.  We tasted two whiskies of each type of finish, with each casks expression coming from a different distillery.  As with almost all of our tastings, this was a blind tasting.  However, to spice things up, we prepared a sheet that had the key flavors and aromas identified in the distillery's tasting notes or published review.  The challenge was for each member to try to pick out the correct tastes and aromas for each whisky from the list, with the individual correctly identifying the most, receiving a prize.  It was a tough evening with our group's thoughts on each whisky differing widely from the published ones.  The notes for each whisky below are from the published ones available on the web.

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Tullibardine 225 Sauterne, 43% abv, Price: $59.99
    • BenRiach Sauternes Finish Aged 15 Years, 46% abv, Price: $99.99
    • Tomatin Curato 12 Year Old Pedro Ximenez46% abv, Price: $49.99
    • BenRiach Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish Aged 15 Years , 46%  abv, Price: $99.99
    • Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Wood Finish, 46% abv, Price: $79.99
    • Balvenie Portwood 21 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $229.99
    Whisky Tasted
    Average Rating 
    Published Tasting Notes from Distillery/Web 
    Tullibardine 225 Sauterne Finish 84Color: A wonderful golden whisky. Nose: Citrus peels and allspice. Notes of creamy vanilla, golden syrup, cocoa butter and black pepper. Palate: Citrus flavor, cereal notes and vanilla. Finish: There is a touch of pineapple and orange peel on the finish, which is medium to long. 
    BenRiach Sauternes Finish Aged 15 Years  88Color: Rich antique gold. Nose: Apricot jam and warm, peppery oak hold touches of crisp grape and mellow honeydew melon. Palate: Golden plums and nectarines balanced by contrasting waves of toasted oak and grape seed, followed by a delicate backnote of ground almonds and butterscotch. Finish: Long. Peppery and slightly dry. 
    Tomatin Cuatro 12 Year Old Pedro Ximenez  84Color: Old gold. Nose: Boiled sweets, dried prunes, dates and apricots, almonds, licorice, crème brûlée. Palate: Full bodied with peppery spice, Oolong tea, licorice. Light and oily. Finish: Gingery spiciness.   
    BenRiach Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish Aged 15 Years  88Color: Gold. Nose: Honey, sultanas, dark chocolate with a flood of Pedro Ximenez Sherry. Palate: Cream and honey, infused with papaya, rosehips, eucalyptus and dark chocolate, all interwoven with rich Pedro Ximenez Sherry and oak wood. Finish: Sappy, slightly bitter tannins mixed up with that milk chocolate. 
    Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Wood Finish  88Color: Coppery gold with a rosé blush. Nose: Honeydew melon, red berries, baked apples. Rich toffee, butterscotch, sweet honey and bitter dark chocolate. Palate: Fruit and nut. Peaches, apricots, mango and plum. Mixed walnut and pecan. Finish: Smooth fruit salad which lingers on the palate. 
    Balvenie PortWood 21 Year Old 92 Color: Amber. Nose: A perfume of fruity and ripe raisin notes, backed by a nutty dryness. Palate: Refined with remarkable character, it is creamy and silky with fruit, honey and spice notes. Finish: Long, gentle, nutty. 

    32nd Tasting (12-13-15) Theme

     - Does Age Matter?  Host: Mike

    Our 32nd tasting explored the age-old (pun intended) question of does age matter in single malts.  With so many distilleries introducing No Age Statement (NAS) whiskies, the Internet and various whisky publications have been abuzz with discussions on this very question.  There are proponents on both sides of this issue.  If you're on our website, then you're obviously into single malts and probably have been following the discussions and probably have your own answer to the question of "Does age matter?"  

    We decided to see how some new NAS whiskies compared with their distilleries' standard offering from over the years.  As usual, our tasting was a blind tasting with the only information given to our members that we would be tasting two single malts at time, each from one of three distilleries.  So we basically were doing three side-by-side comparisons.  It was an interesting evening and the results surprised a bit.  Check them out for yourself below. 

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Glenlivet 12 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $30.00
    • Glenlivet Founder's Reserve, 40% abv, Price: $43.00
    • Highland Park 12 Year Old43% abv, Price: $53.00
    • Highland Park Dark Origins , 46.8%  abv, Price: $80.00
    • Talisker 10 Year Old, 45.8% abv, Price: $65.00
    • Talisker Storm, 45.8% abv, Price: $70.00

    Whisky Tasted
    Average Rating  
    Glenlivet 12 Year Old 84Color: Gold. Legs: Notable. Nose: Grassy, leather, sweet honey, vanilla, apple. Palate: Cinnamon, pineapple, malt. Finish: Long and salty. 
    Glenlivet Founder's Reserve 84Color: Dark gold. Legs: Notable. Nose: Paint, banana oil, tropical fruit, chocolate. Palate: Very buttery, cinnamon, spice. Nice mouthfeel. Toffee. Finish: Long and salty. 
    Highland Park 12 Year Old  85Color: Old gold. Legs: Notable. Nose: Honey, cinnamon, grassy, salty sea notes, caramel. Palate: Burnt sugar, caramel, peat. Finish: Long. Black pepper and almonds. 
    Highland Park Dark Origins  88Color: Old gold/Amber. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Butterscotch, peat, salt, raspberry/orange fruit notes, cake. Palate: Rich and creamy with chocolate overtones. Finish: Long with notes of peat, apricot, and salt. 
    Talisker 10 Year Old  85Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Peat, sea salt, leather, and heather. Palate: Very smoky, black pepper. Finish: Long, seaweed, salt, pepper, peat. 
    Talisker Storm  87Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Phenol, apple, banana/plantane. Palate: Mincemeat, peat, white pepper. Finish: Smoky with salt. 

    31st Tasting (10-20-15) Theme

     - Excuse me, there's an oyster in my scotch!  Host: Hugh

    Our 31st tasting was a bit of a departure from our normal tastings.  Like our tastings that explored pairing different whiskies with different cigars and different chocolates, our 31st tasting explored pairing single malts with oysters.  We chose three different types of Atlantic oysters for the evening and six different single malts (as with almost all our tastings, it was a blind tasting of the whiskies).  However, unlike most of our tastings, we did not rate each whisky or each whisky and oyster pairing specifically.   Instead, each member chose a selection of three oysters to try with each whisky and our notes are based on the overall groups' impressions of how the whisky paired with oysters.  We did not comment on all of each whisky's characteristics but described in general and in terms of their taste when paired with the oysters.  
    It made for a very interesting evening!

    Oysters Tasted:
    • Wellfleet Oysters, Wellfleet, MA
    • Pleasant Bay Oysters, Pleasant Bay, MA
    • Malpeque Oysters, Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Whiskies Tasted:
    • An Cnoc 12 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $39.99
    • Dalmore 12 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $54.99
    • Ardbeg 10 Year Old46% abv, Price: $49.99
    • Talisker 10 Year Old , 45.8%  abv, Price: $64.99
    • Lagavulin 16 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $79.99
    • Laphroaig Quarter Cask, 48% abv, Price: $54.99
    Whisky Tasted
     Average Rating 
    Selected Comments
    An Cnoc 12 Year Old NA Color: Chardonnay.  Nose: Vanilla, honey, lemon, very creamy. Palate with oysters: Oyster made mouthfeel very viscous. Salty with malt overtones. Finish with oysters: Very sweet, honey. 
    Dalmore 12 Year Old NA Color: Copper.  NoseCereal, dried fruit (orange).  Palate with oysters: Salty, butterscotch/toffee.  Finish with oysters: Burnt toast and salt. 
    Ardbeg 10 Year Old NAColorLight chardonnay.  Nose: Hot,spicy (cinnamon), peat sweetness.  Palate with oysters: Paired perfectly with saltiness of whisky. Cooked cabbage notes? Finish with oysters: Moderate and light.  With water improves whisky.  Malt sweetness. Salt predominates, more complex. 
    Talisker 10 Year Old NAColor: Old gold. Nose: Sherry sweet, peat, and pepper. Palate with oyster: Oyster does not overpower sherry sweetness/cinnamon notes.  There is a Tabasco pepperiness with the oyster brine. Finish with oysters: Earthiness remains,  Very beautiful and dirty with oysters. 
    Lagavulin 16 Year Old NAColor: Old gold. Nose: Mossy peat, sherry.  Iodine, sea salt.  Palate with oysters: Oyster creates a creamy brine mouthfeel.  Oyster makes scotch much more smoky.  Finish with oysters: Very nice blend of flavors.  Unexpected. 
    Laphroaig Quarter Cask NAColor: LIght gold. Nose: Sweet peat, tarry, sugar/salt.  Palate with oysters: Medicinal, seaweed, herbal. Finish with oysters: Increases tar,peat, but reduces medicinal tones. 

    30th Tasting (8-18-15) Theme

     - Not Clyde, Not Firth, What Firth Am I?  Host: Mario

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Glen Moray 10 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $30
    • Glen Moray Elgin Classic, 40% abv, Price: $20
    • Glen Moray Port Cask, 40% abv, Price: $25
    • Glen Moray 12 Year Old , 40%  abv, Price: $30
    • Glen Moray 16 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $45
    • Glen Moray 25 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $230

    Whisky Tasted
    Average Rating
    Selected Comments 
    Glen Moray 10 Year Old  86Color: Old gold.  Legs: Long, dense. Nose: Cinnamon spice, sweet, honey, malt, lilac/lavender, linseed oil. Palate: Macadamia nut, cinnamon, malt, black rubber. Finish: Very long, salty, and nutty. 
    Glen Moray Elgin Classic  82Color: Chardonnay.  Legs: Long, sheeting. NoseCitrus (lemon zest), sugar, vanilla, honeysuckle.  Palate: Nutty, malt, honey, yeast, dusty aftertaste, black licorice.  Richer with water.  Finish: Moderate. 
    Glen Moray Port Cask  83Color: Rose gold.  Legs: Layered.  Nose: Sweet apricot, plum, maple.  Palate: Strawberry sweetness, caramel, winey.  Water opens it up. Finish: Moderate and light. With water improves whisky.  Malt sweetness. Salt predominates, more complex. 
    Glen Moray 12 Year Old  84Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Dense,long. Nose: Oak, vanilla, malt with sugar upfront.  Earthy, heather. Palate: Peat (?), Smoky bonfire, grassy. Finish: Malt, smoke, grass, some licorice. Long. 
    Glen Moray 16 Year Old  87Color: Old gold. Legs: Dense sheeting. Nose: Lemon, cinnamon. Mint? Malt, honey with coconut/almond.  Grassy, rhubarb.  Cooked fruit.  Floral and honey notes. Palate: Nutty, salt, citrus. Finish: Long. With water longer and salt. 
    Glen Moray 25 Year Old  90Color: Bronze/amber. Legs: Long, thin legs. Nose: Musty cork. Ripe apple/pear. Oak, bing cherry. Raisins, tartness.  Nutty. Palate: Smooth, black walnut, salt, honey. Tobacco notes.Finish: Long, rich, mouth-coating. Caramel.

    29th Tasting (6-30-15) Theme

     - Low to High.  Host: John

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Glendronach 12Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $55
    • Gordon and MacPhail Highland Park 8 Year Old , 43% abv, Price: $34
    • Gordon and MacPhail Connoisseur's Choice Bladnoch 18
       Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $98
    • Ardbeg Perpetuum (NAS), 47.4%  abv, Price: $105
    • Tomatin 12 Year Old, 43%  abv, Price: $30
    • Duncan Taylor Glen Grant Octave Cask 22 Year Old, 55.8% abv, Price: $119

    Whisky Tasted
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments 
    Glendronach 12 Year Old  88Color: Old gold.  Legs: Slow, thin legs. Nose: Honey, leather, sherry, and cereal (malt). Citrus notes, orange rind, vanilla. Palate: Dry, bitter almond with malt overtones.  Sherry notes. Finish: Long, salty, and nutty. 
    Gordon and MacPhail Highland Park 8 Year Old  84Color: Chablis/chardonnay.  Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Phenol, medicinal with floral tones.  Some citrus (lemon balm) and some smoke.  Palate: Thin, with salt, lemon, and peat.  Finish: Moderate. 
    Gordon and MacPhail Connoisseur's Choice Bladnock 18 Year Old  83Color: Pale gold.  Legs: Thin.  Nose: Heather, honey, peat, citrus tones.  Palate: Malt/cereal, sweet caramel, fruity, light in style.   Finish: Moderate and light. 
    Ardbeg Perpetuum  88Color: Pale gold/chardonnay. Legs: Thin sheeting. Nose: Iodine, smoky peat, heavy burnt wood, and butter. Palate: Toffee, rubber, toasted malt, and salt. Finish: Salty, smoky with a buttery mouthfeel.  Long, coffee. 
    Tomatin 12 Year Old  87Color: Gold. Legs: Heavy sheeting. Nose: Lemon zest, vanilla, butterscotch.  Palate: Rich vanilla, cereal/malt with thick honey. Very viscous, hot, sweet nuttiness. Finish: Salty with sweet honey. 
     Duncan Tayor Glen Grant Octave Cask 22 Year Old  90Color: Old gold. Legs: Massive legs. Nose: Apricot, stone fruit.  Honey, cinnamon, lemon, herbal.  Palate: Malt and butterscotch, and toffee.  Hot, full strength, citrus also. Finish: Mouth coating with sugar and malt. Salt. Peat? 

    28th Tasting (4-21-15) Theme

     - Legally Old Enough to Vote - 18 Year Olds.  Host: David R.

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Tomatin 18 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $60
    • Glenfiddich 18 Year Old , 43%abv, Price: $95
    • Glenlivet 18 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $100
    • Glendronach 18 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $130
    • Springbank 18 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $150
    • Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $150

    Whisky Tasted
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments
    Tomatin 18 Year Old
    Color: Amber.  Legs: Long and slow, very oily looking. Nose: Honey, nuts, cherries and heather. Palate: Malt, spiced dates, honey, hazelnut. Finish: Lingering. Chest warming burn.
    Glenfiddich 18 Year Old
    Color: Bronze.  Legs: Slow and fat. Nose: Hay, honey, honeysuckle,lemon, violets.  Palate: Dry mouthfeel, burnt sugar, lemon, salt, and malt.  Finish: Moderate,malt, and salt.
    Glenlivet 18 Year Old
    Color: Old gold.  Legs: Thick tear drops.  Nose: Floral (roses?), honey, ethereal.  Palate: Cinnamon, salt, malt, and honeyed.   Finish: Pear and bananas foster.
    Glendronach 18 Year old
    Color: Copper, mahogany. Legs: Hanging, slow legs.. Nose: Leather, rubber, woody, sherry, and butter.  Palate: Butterscotch, cherry, bourbon, sherry, syrup, and raisins. Finish: Burnt almonds, hazelnut.
     Springbank 18 Year Old 90Color: Gold. Legs: Tiny, slow. Nose: Heather, iodine, bell pepper, citrus, aloe. Palate: Salt, sweet oak, black pepper, menthol, bitter, coffee. Finish: Coffee, long.
     Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old 89Color: Maple syrup, sweet vermouth. Legs: Long and slow. Nose: Licorice, hay, burnt sugar, butterscotch. Palate: Creme brulee, licorice, bell pepper, almond.  Finish: Long.

    27th Tasting (2-17-15)Theme

     - Cast in a New Light, "The Rising Sun." Host: Chen

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Taketsuru 12 Year Old, 40%abv, Price: $70
    • Hibiki 12 Year Old , 43%abv, Price: $66
    • Miyagikyo 12 Year Old, 45%abv, Price: $120
    • Yoichi 15 Year Old, 45% abv, Price: $135
    • Hakushu 12 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $65

    Whisky Tasted
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments
    Taketsuru 12 Year Old
    Color: Full gold.  Legs: Sheeting legs. Nose: Honey, apple, malt, cherry/sherry, chocolate, vanilla. Palate: Nice oily mouthfeel, malt black licorice, rubber notes, developing sweetness. Finish: Cinnamon spice.  Moderate.
    Hibiki 12 Year Old
    Color: Pale gold  Legs: Sheeting, thick legs. Nose: Floral tones (honeysuckle), honeydew, strawberry fruit.  Palate: Mouthfeel is thick and salty.  Caramel sweetness, bitter almond.  Chewy, sweet finish.  Finish: Long.
    Miyagikyo 12 Year Old
    Color: Light sauterne.  Legs: Wide thin legs.  Nose: Orange zest, peach (ripe), prickly pear, rock candy.  Rubber notes.  Palate: Salt, cinnamon to anise.   Finish: Salty and white pepper
    Yoichi 15 Year old
    Color: Pale gold. Legs: Independent legs, developed into sheeting. Nose: Lemon zest, burnt vanilla, tamerind, honey..  Palate: Very sweet palate, pecan pie, brown sugar, nuts. Finish: Sweet potato finish, slight bitterness/kelp.  With water peat and iodine tones.
     Hakushu 12 Year Old 85.6Color: Pale straw. Legs: Thick even legs. Nose: Sugary lemon (Lemonheads), perfume, black locust, honey. Palate: Sweet with lemon, salt, malt.  Smoky tones, some peat(?).  Finish: Moderately long finish.

    26th Tasting (12-26-14) Theme 

    - Benchmark Whiskies. Host: Ron

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Glenrothes 2001 Vinatage, 43%abv, Price: $59.99, Jim Murray Rating = 72
    • Glenrothes Alba Reserve , 40%abv, Price: $44.99
      Jim Murray Rating = 87.5
    • Glenfarclas 12 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $54.99
      Jim Murray Rating = 94
    • Jura Superstition, 43% abv, Price: $54.99
      Jim Murray Rating = 73.5
    • Ledaig 10 Year Old, 46.3% abv, Price: $49.99
      Jim Murray Rating = 85.5
    • Lagavulin 16 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $79.99
      Jim Murray Rating = 95

    Whisky Tasted 
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments
    Glenrothes 2001 Vintage
    Color: Gold.  Legs: Big, long, oily legs. Nose: Malty, sweet, honey, with butterscotch notes as it warms. Palate: Malt (cereal),salt and honey, with slight alcohol burn. Finish: Medium salty finish which becomes more intense with water.
    Glenrothes Alba Reserve
    Color: Chardonnay, straw.  Legs: Slow with sheeting. Nose: Citrus, pineapple, beeswax.  Palate: Sugary, candy, tropical fruit, dry becoming spicy with water.  Finish: Bitterness, short with a faint medicinal hint.  Slightly improved with water.
    Glenfarclas 12 Year Old
    Color: Gold, light gold.  Legs: Sheeting followed by long legs.  Nose: Floral, bubble gum (Juicy Fruit), lemon, mulch/wood, sulfur, lemon Pledge furniture polish.  Palate: Tastes much better than nose, lemon, a little malt, salt, honey and "burnt match".   Finish: Moderate with salt and a little spice. With water it becomes salty/rubbery.
    Jura Superstition
    Color: Amber. Legs: Lots of thin legs, almost sheeting. Nose: Cinnamon, spice, raisins, dates, figs, nutty, salt/briny, citrus, pine.  Palate: Salt, peat, cinnamon, raisins, mince meat. Becomes sweeter with water  Finish: Dry, cinnamon (dusty), salt, malt that coats the tongue. Finish is long with just a little peat.
     Ledaig 10 Year Old 90Color: Straw. Legs: Slow to form. Fat legs. Nose: Bourbon notes, peat (mossy, wood), sea shore with a hint of salt. Palate: Sweet, smoky, medicinal.  Hint of mint.  Mince meat.  Finish: Very long, sweet finish with some tar notes.  Slightly medicinal, hint of spearmint.
     Lagavulin 16 Year Old
    Color: Amber. Legs: Long, thin legs. Nose: Medicinal (peat), salt, some hints of cinnamon after tasting.. Palate: Creamy on the mouth, peat (vegetable), medicinal, old asphalt, burnt rubber, "rough around the edges". Finish: Long.

    25th Tasting (10-21-14) Theme

     - Value for the Money. Host: Mark

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Cragganmore 12 Year Old, 40%abv, Price: $59.99
    • Macallan 12 Year Old Traditional, 43%abv, Price: $49.99
    • Highland Park 12 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $49.99
    • Talisker 10 Year Old, 45.8% abv, Price: $69.99
    • BenRiach Curiositas 10 Year Old, 46% abv, Price: $49.99
    • Laphroaig Quarter Cask, 48% abv, Price: $54.99

    Whisky Tasted
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments
    Cragganmore 12 Year Old
    Color: Gold, light gold.  Legs: Slow with lots of legs. Nose: Grass, lemon, citrus notes, hay, honey, floral accents. Palate: Honey, spice, malt. Finish: Long, salty, spice, warming.  With water there was less character but sweeter.
    Macallan 12 Year Old Traditional
    Color: Copper (red hue).  Legs: Long and thin. Nose: Chocolate, floral, caramel, sherry, vanilla and Black Locust.  Palate: Spice, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, sherry, nuttiness (almond) with lemon on the end.  Finish: Cinnamon, malt,butterscotch.  With water - bitter, however aromas were more pronounced and flavors sharpened.
    Highland Park 12 Year Old
    Color: New gold, light gold.  Legs: Long legs.  Nose: Medicinal, vanilla, bourbon, spearmint, banana.  Palate: Peat, malt, sweet, smoke and chocolate.   Finish: Long, salty almost briny.  With water peat comes out on nose, chocolate dominates the peat.
    Talisker 10 Year Old
    Color: Straw, chardonnay. Legs: Sheeting, then long legs, sheeting. Nose: Caramel, peat (medicinal), lemon drops.  Palate: Peat, burning leaves, chocolate, peaches (creamy).  Finish: Malt, peat, burnt malt, pepper.  Richer without water, however, water mellows it and opens the nose. 
     BenRiach Curiositas 10 Year Old 87Color: Rose gold. Legs: Lots of thin legs. Nose: Sugary, lemon with soft hints of peat, burnt sugar (creme brulee) custard.  Palate: Sea salt, sugary, citrus, black pepper, cinnamon.  Finish: Long, sweet, malty with subtle smoke. With water, more hints of candy and softens the peat.
     Laphroaig Quarter Cask
    Color: Gold. Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Medicinal (peat), salt, some hints of cinnamon after tasting.. Palate: Creamy on the mouth, peat (vegetable), medicinal, old asphalt, burnt rubber, "rough around the edges". Finish: Long.

    Rating System Used for Tastings from 7-20-10 through 8-19-14.  

    The scores shown for each tasting represent the average of the individual members' scores given each whisky.  Individual member scores are not reported.




     4.5 - 5.0 Outstanding One of The Greats – Absolute Must Have - Go Buy It Now!
     4.0 - 4.49 Excellent Exceptional Single Malt - Go Buy It Now!
     3.5 - 3.99 Very Good Definite Cabinet Member - Buy It
     3.0 - 3.49 Good Single Malt Worth Having
     2.5 - 2.99 Pretty Good Distinctive Characteristics, But Not to Everyone's Liking
     2.0 - 2.49 Average Worth A Try, But Not Necessarily Owning
     1.5 - 1.99 Below Average Should Have Been Sent to a Blender
     1.0 - 1.49 Horrible REALLY!? Why Did They Bottle This?

    24th Tasting (8-19-14) Theme

     - Age Matters!  A Vertical Tasting of BenRiach's Peated Whiskies.  Host: David R.

    Whiskies Tasted:

    • Heart of Speyside, NAS, 40% abv, $39.99

    • Curiositas 10 Year Old, 46% abv, $49.99
    • Septendecim 17 Year Old, 46% abv, $79.99
    • 1994 BenRiach Peated 19 Year Old, Cask #1722, 53.5% abv, $149.99
    • Authenticus  21 Year Old Heavily Peated, 46% abv, $124.99
    • Authenticus  25 Year Old Heavily Peated, 46% abv, $259.99

    Whisky Tasted
     Average Rating 
    Selected Comments
    Heart of Speyside 3.1Color: Gold. Legs: Conflicting reports, several thought fat and slow, others thought skinny and fast. Nose:  Buttery, salty, caramel, nutty (aroma softens with water). Palate:  Malty, salty, very light alcohol burn. Finish:  short with hints of nuts and malt.
    Curiositas 10 Year Old 3.73Color: Verde(yellowish green). Legs: Sheeting, slow to develop. Nose: Peat, hints of floral (heather) and ripe plum. Palate:  Salt, peat, sweet, roasted walnuts, herbal taste in the back of the mouth.  Richer with water. Finish: Long. 
    Septendecim 17 Year Old 4.25Color: Old gold. Legs: Sheeting (they just “stick” there). Nose:Creamy, floral (rose, apple blossom). Palate: Salt, vanilla, peat (smoky sweet peat).  Also some spice and floral.  Hints of green grass with water. Finish: Long dry finish. Salty, sweet and malty. 
    1994 BenRiach Peated 19 Year Old, Cask #1722 4.04 Color: Green gold. Legs: Fast and thin. Nose: Salty, cinnamon on the end with hints of honey and roasted walnuts.  Also hints of melon (honeydew or cantaloupe). Palate: Creamy, summer fruit, oak, melon, malt, and smoke. Finish: Moderately long. Black licorice on finish, especially with water. 
    Authenticus 21 Year Old 4.25 Color: Greenish gold. Legs: Thin, fast and lots of them. Nose: Citrus, grapefruit, lemon grass, peach, vanilla, very subtle peat, slight hint of burnt sugar. Palate: Sweet, vegetative, salt, nuts, hay infusion. Finish: FABULOUS, very smooth subtle finish with a hint of black licorice. Water destroyed finish. 
    Authenticus 25 Year Old 4.52 Color: Amber. Legs: Sheeting with lots of long legs. Nose: Caramel, bourbon, vanilla, molasses, toffee, hazelnuts, Coca-Cola. Palate: Coffee, almond, oak (wood notes), salt but very light, creamy, vanilla and dark chocolate. Finish:Long, fruity, well-rounded. 

    23rd Tasting (6-17-14) Theme

     - The Arran Malts.  Host:Brian

    Whiskies Tasted: 

    • Arran 14 Year Old, 46% abv, $69.99
    • Arran ,The Devil's Punch Bowl, 53.1% abv, $119.00
    • Arran Sauternes Cask Finished, 50% abv, $69.99
    • Arran Port Cask Finished, 50% abv, $69.99
    • Arran Amarone Cask Finished, 50% abv, $69.99

    Whisky Tasted 
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments 
    The Arran Malt 14 Year Old 3.2 Color: Straw, Gold. Legs: Lots of long thin legs. Nose: Apples, honey, herbal hints, perhaps a scent of wine, citrus (possibly lemon) alcohol burn on nose. Palate: High alcohol content, buttery, fruity, sugar, pear. Finish: Water sweetened the flavor. 
    Arran, The Devil's Punch Bowl 3.0 Color: Straw. Legs: Slow to develop and mostly thin. Nose: Lemon grass, a hint of citrus, cherry and marshmallow (sweetness). Palate: Sweetness, licorice, candy, a little alcohol burn. Finish:  Pepper, shorter finish with water and more burn without water. 
    Arran, Sauternes Cask Finished 3.5 Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Slow with sheeting. Nose:  Sweetness, vanilla, lemon zest, Kiwi fruit hint of pear on the edges. Palate: Sugary/sweet, vanilla, spice, salt, a touch of bitters, camelized apple on the back of the mouth.  Water brings out the spice also raisiny. Finish: Long.
    Arran, Port Cask Finished 3.7 Color: Copper. Legs: Lots of legs that ran thin and slow. Nose: Nuts (almond and hazel nuts), musty on the nose with water, plum raisin. Palate: Raisin, plum, hazelnut, salt, carmel.  Sweeter with water and more rounded. Finish: Long finish with hints of salt. 
    Arran, Amarone Cask Finished 3.4 Color: Rose, pale strawberry. Legs: Long slow legs. Nose: Floral (honeysuckle), vanilla crème, red berries, cherry vanilla, chocolate with cherry. Palate: Sweet, tart cherry, “perfume”, fruit, honey, cinnamon spice. Finish: Long 

    22nd Tasting (4-20-14) Theme

     - Be Independent and Join the 3rd Party.  Host: Linda

    Whiskies Tasted:

    • Lombard Jewels of Scotland - Springbank 1991, 50%abv, $74.99
    • McGibbons Provenance Caol Ila 19 Year Old, 43%abv, $115.9
    • Gordon & McPhail Glenturret 11 Year Old, 46%abv, $74.99
    • Gordon & McPhail Highland Park 8 Year Old, 43%abv, $39.99
    • MacGavin Islay Single Malt Scotch, 40%abv, $41.99 (1.75 liter)
      Whisky TastedAverage Rating  Selected Comments 
    Lombard Jewels of Scotland Springbank 1991   3.6Color: bright gold. Legs: thin and fast with sheeting. Nose: candy, lemon, marshmallow, cinnamon. Palate: thick mouth feel, salty, salted caramel, spicy, with water there were hints of bourbon and wood notes, better with water. Finish: long but soft, malt on finish. 
    McGibbons Caol Ila 19 Year Old  3.5Color: straw or sunlight, non chill filtered. Legs: sheeting, slow to form. Nose: musty, floral. Palate: peaty with notes of pine. Finish: Long on the front of the tongue, bitter, dry, chalky with water the taste salt and peat decreases. 
    Gordon & MacPhail Genturret 11 Year Old  3.2Color: Gold. Legs: Many but slow. Nose: banana, grassy, candy, vanilla fresh green apple. Palate: earthy, lemon, Granny Smith green apple, salty. Finish: long and salty, great with bacon or chocolate. 
    Gordon & MacPhail Highland Park 8 Year Old  2.9Color: straw, with green tints. Legs: lots of legs. Nose: crabapple, as it warms hints of rubber. Palate: earthy, jalapena peppers, banana, peat, pepper. Finish: long even longer with water. 
    MacGavin Islay Single Malt  3.7Color: Amber. Legs: Lots of legs and fast. Nose: Lemon, citrus, vanilla, grass, milk chocolate. Palate: Malty, nutty (hazelnut) caramel. Finish: Nuts, chocolate, salt. 

    21st Tasting (12-17-13) Theme

     - Local Finds.  Host: Tim

    Whiskies Tasted:

    • MacGavin Highland, 40%abv, $21.96
    • Glenkinchie Distiller’s Edition, 43%abv, $71.99
    • Benromach Peat Smoke, 46%abv , $79.99
    • Balcones Texas Single Malt, 52%abv, $62.00
    • Talisker Storm,  45.8%abv, $76.99

    Whisky Tasted 
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments 
    MacGavin Highland  3.2Colorhoney, gold. Legs: sheeting, slow. Nose: earthy, honey, lavender, nutmeg, clove, spiced pear. Palate: slightly peaty, vanilla, honey. Finish: moderate with salt, malt, minerals. 
    Glenkinchie Distliller's Edition  3.3Colorgold. Legs: long & numerous. Nose: perfume, strawberry, sherry, acetone, chocolate & fruit cream. Palate: malt sweetness & caramel w/ salt on sides of tongue. Finish: cinnamon. 
    Benromach Peat Smoke  3.8Colorstraw. Legs:long, numerous, thin, fast. Nose: almond, leather (fading), some peat, boggy, burnt sugar. Palate: salty, almond, charcoal, sweeter with water. Finish: long & salty. 
    Balcones Texas Single Malt  4.2Color: amber, copper. Legs:sheeting to very fine legs. Nose:caramel, brown sugar, apple, chocolate note & banana. Palate:chocolate, malt, cinnamon/spice, butter. Finish: long w/ burnt sugar, crème brulee, licorice, molasses. 
    Talisker Storm  3.8Color: gold. Legs: long & slow. Nose: salt, banana, pear, grass, medicinal. Palate: rich mouth feel, buttery, malt, honey, lemon, smoky, salt, phenol. Finish: long & salty. 

    Subpages (1): Whisky Tasting Notes