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!


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
Average
Rating
 
 
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
Rating
 
 
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
Rating
 
 
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
Rating
 
 
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
Rating
 
 
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
Rating
 
 
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
    Average
    Rating
     
     
    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
    Average
    Rating
     
     
    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
    Average
    Rating
     
     
    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
    Average
    Rating
     
     
    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
    88
    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
    87
    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
    90
    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
    91
    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
    84.8
    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
    81.9
    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
    81.9
    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
    86.9
    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
    78
    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
    75
    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
    84
    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
    88
    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
    90
    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
    85
    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
    85
    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
    89
    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
    87
    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
    75
    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.
     

    Score

    Interpretation

    Recommendation

     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. 

    20th Tasting (10-15-13) Theme - Island Taste-Off: Talisker vs Highland Park. Host: Tod 

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Talisker 10 Year Old, 45.8%abv, Price: $59.99
    • Highland Park 12 Year Old, 40%abv, Price: $49.99
    • Highland Park 15 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $76.99 
    • Talisker 18 Year Old, 45.8% abv, Price: $99.99
    • Highland Park 18 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $119.99

    Whisky Tasted 
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments 
    Talisker 10 Year Old  4.0Color: Old gold. Legs: Slow and fat. Nose: Honey, spice (ginger?), clove, grass, candy nose.  Palate: Peat smoke notable with salt, tart fruit (ed). Finish: Lingering black pepper and cinnamon finish.  Very salty with seaweed notes. With water: Sweetens whisky. 
    Highland Park 12 Year Old 4.2Color: Old gold.  Legs: Slow and thick. Nose: Candy sweet, vanilla (bourbon?), molasses, very light smoke.    Palate: Iodine, citric.  Sea salt, caramels, again sweet candy.  Herbal notes. Finish: Black licorice with peat overtones.  With water: Brings up aroma of thyme and reduced sweetness, more peat. 
    Highland Park 15 Year Old  3.6Color: Gold. Legs: Fast and thin.. Nose: Sweet apricot, soap, perfume, red fruit (?).  Palate: Alcohol notable with malt and heather.  Light salt. Some lavender(?). Finish: Pepper late on finish. With water: Brings up floral tones and black pepper. 
    Talisker 18 Year Old  3.4Color: Copper. Legs: Sheeting cascade.. Nose: Candy notes, phenols, citrus, cinammon, blood orange, cyprus bark. Palate: Black rubber, malt and kelp/seaweed. Finish: Astringent with tar.  With water: Adds salt and peat. Herbs and black pepper. 
    Highland Park 18 Year Old  4.2Color: Full gold. Legs: Thin and slow. Nose: Honey, orange, sherry, vanilla, floral (heather?), honey and cedar spice.  Palate: Malt with caramel richness.  Thick, salt with peat undertones. Finish: Has a bitterness but is long.  With water: Softens and thins. 

    19th Tasting (8-20-13) Theme - Somethings Familiar, Somethings New. Host: David D

    Whiskies Tasted:
    • 1993 Lowland Signatory Vintage Bladnoch, 56.5%abv, Price: $79.99
    • 1995 Chieftain's Choice Benriach 17 Year Old Rum Cask Finish, Unchillfiltered, 46%abv, Price: $109.99
    • Bruichladdich 16 Year Old, Aged in Bourbon Casks, 46%abv, Price: $99.99
    • Glengoyne 21 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $139.99
    • Bowmore 15 Year, "Darkest", 43%abv, Price: $69.99

    Whisky Tasted
     
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments
     
    1993 Lowland Signatory Vintage Bladnoch
    3.3
    Color: Pale straw/Chardonnay.  Nose: Alchohol, malt, melon/lemon, grappa.. Palate: Very salty on plate, black pepper.  Some mint, herbal (green) notes. Finish: Short. but lingering malt. With water: Sweetens and softens whisky.  More mint, less lemon.
    1995 Chieftain's Choice Benriach 17 Year Old Rum Cask Finish, Unchillfiltered
    3.8
    Color: Pale straw. Legs: Sheeting for legs. Nose: Sweet.  Vanilla, honey, honeysuckle, floral.  Palate: Herbal, apple and honey on palate.  Wintergreen?  Oak? Outstanding whisky.  Finish: Malt finish goes on and on.
    Bruichladdich 16 Year Old, Aged in Bourbon Casks
    3.6
    Color: Gold. Legs: Thick, slow sheeting. Nose: Sweet cherry, chocolate, some peat (?). Palate: Very sweet with notable malt and salt.  Peat and bourbon, nuttiness.  Notable herbal tones.   Finish: Long with licorice and butter, bitter toffee.  With water: Increases sweet peat and salt.
    Glengoyne 21 Year Old
    4.4
    Color: Amber.  Legs: Long, long. Nose: Apple, caramel, toffee, sherry.  Bourbon.  Earl Grey tea?  . Palate: Very rich, cinnamon/apple, malt, and caramel. Finish: Bitter orange.  With water: Softens whisky but loses notes. 
     
    Bowmore 15 Year Old, "Darkest" 
    4.2
    Color: Copper. Legs: Thick sheeting. Nose: Very smoky, peat, medicinal,iodine, and honey.  Palate: Very sweet, toffee, honey, brown sugar, and salt. Finish: Black rubber, chocolate, long.
     

    18th Tasting (6-18-13) 

    Theme - Tasting Our Way Acrocss the U.S.A. Host: John


    Whiskies Tasted:
    • McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, 42.5%abv, Price: $54.99
    • Lost Spirits Distillery's Leviathon I Peated Single Malt Whiskey (California), 53%abv, Price: $54.99
    • Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, 47%abv, Price: $59.99
    • Benjamin Prichard's Tennessee Whiskey, 40% abv, Price: $39.99
    • New Holland Zeppelin Bend (Michigan), 45%abv, Price: $69.99

    Whisky Tasted
     
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments
     
    McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey
    3.3
    Color: Pale gold.  Legs: Long, sheeting legs. Nose: Citric, rubber, straw, malt. Palate: Notable honey and malt/bread on soft palate.  Not bitey for a 3 year old. Finish: Short.  Smoke (slight). With water: Group split on whether better with water
    Lost Spirits Distillery's Leviathon I Peated Single Malt Whiskey
    2.5
    Color: Old gold.  Legs: Sheeting for legs. Nose: Date/figs, cranberry.  Materized wine quality.  Palate: Weedy, peat, grapy, malt.  Finish: Moderately long, sulfur.  Water reduces peat and heat.  More floral and sweetness is evident.
    Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey
    3.5
    Color: Amber.  Legs: Fast legs.  Nose: Bubblegum candy.  Ripe bananas.  Palate: Bourbon, barley, charred oak.  Vanilla and many cask flavors.  Many malts used?  Vatted?  Bananas.   Finish: Short.
    Benjamin Prichard's Tennessee Whiskey
    2.8
    Color: Deep ember. Legs: Fast legs, sheeting. Nose: Bourbon, vanilla (oak). Thyme, fennel herbed edges.  Palate: Heavy malt.  Very smooth.  Vanilla, monoflavored.  Finish: Cinnamon and moderate. 
     
    New Holland Zeppelin Bend (Michigan) 
    2.7
    Color: Old gold. Legs: Long legs, fast. Nose: Parsley, soft cotton candy, butter, honeysuckle.. Palate: Rubber, phenol, oak, malt. Finish: Bitter wood, butter.

    17th Tasting (4-23-13) Theme

     - Binny's Handpicked Cask Strength Bottlings.  Host: Hugh


    Whiskies Tasted:
    • Signatory Bladnock 1993, 113%abv, Price: $80.00
    • Signatory Glenlossie 1992, 116%abv, Price: $80.00
    • Gordon & MacPhail Mannochmore 1998, 115%abv, Price: $60.00
    • Signatory Mortlach 1990, 105% abv, Price: $100.00
    • Kilchoman 2007 4 Year Old, Bourbon Cask, 121%abv, Price: $80.00

    Whisky Tasted 
    Average Rating 
    Selected Comments 
    Signatory Bladnoch 1993  3.8Color: Straw (Chardonnay?). Legs: Total sheeting for legs. Nose: Predominate citric, lemon nose, floral notes.Palate: Vanilla, malt, honey, lemon meringue(?).  Lemon on tip of tongue with malt on sides. Finish: Anise.  With water: More lemon/orange nose.  Salt predominates.  Malt finish. 
    Signatory Glenlossie 1992  3.3Color: Pale gold. Legs: Total sheeting for legs. Nose: Subtle fruit on nose, apricot & pear. Palate: Cinnamon, caramel, cotton candy/spun sugar sweetness. Finish: Moderate.  With water: Loses fruit notes, picks up mlat and salt.  Earthy bitterness overall.  Finish is malt and licorice.  
    Gordon & MacPhail Mannochmore 1998  3.8Color: Gold. Legs: Total sheeting for legs. Nose: Ripe cantalope, fermented grass. Palate: Nuttiness, salty nutty nougate.  Cinammon component. Finish: Bananas/Bananas foster. With water: Very hot and some chest burn.  Notable banana tones. Malt on finish. 
    Signatory Mortlach 1990   3.7Color: Sauvignon blanc. Legs: Total sheeting for legs. Nose: Major lemon, herbal, and lavender . Palate: Sweet and salty. Finish: Chocolate and nuts. With water: Still lemon, more salt and malt.  Musky, earthy, long finish. 
    Kilchoman 2007 4 Year Old, Bourbon Cask  4.1Color: Light gold. Legs: Moderate sheeting for legs.  Nose: Peat, smoke, medicinal (iodine). Palate: Burn on palate.   Notable medicinal notes and salt.  Dark chocolate and tar. Finish:Tar.  With water: Peat is diminished.  Sweetness increases.  Medicinal tones decrease.  Lower aggressiveness on palate but smoke is sustained.  Bitter finish. 

    16th Tasting (2-19-13)Theme

     - Single Malts and Chocolates

    :Pa

    iring Single Malts with Chocolates.

     Host: David R


    Whiskies Tasted:
     
    • Balvenie Carribean Rum Cask 14 Year Old 43% abv, Price: $78
    • Macallan 12 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $61
    • Dalmore 12 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $62
    • Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old, 46.3% abv, Price: $58
    • Bowmore 15 Year Old "Darkest", 43% abv, Price: $80
    • Ardbeg Uideadail, 54.2% abv, Price: $99
    Chocolates Paired (ea. $5.99 a bar):
    • Vosges - Bapchi's Caramel Toffee Bar, 45% Cacao
      • Flavor profile: Sweet butter toffee, walnuts, pecans, deep milk chocolate
    • Vosges - Mo's Milk Bar, 45% Cacao
      • Flavor profile: Deep milk chocolate, hickory smoked uncured bacon, alderwood smoked salt
    • Vosges - Red Fire Bar, 55% Cacao
      • Flavor profile: Mexican ancho y chipotle chillies, Ceylon cinnamon, dark chocolate

    Single MaltChocolate BarSelected Comments 
    Balvenie Carribean Rum Cask 14 Year Old Caramel Toffee Bar Chocolate becomes sweeter and nutty tones diminish. 
     Milk Bar Bar becomes creamier. Bacon also diminished. Okay overall. 
     Red Fire Bar Bar had a more pronounced chili burn. Cinnamon tones blend with whisky. 
    Macallan 12 Year Old Caramel Toffee Bar Bar loses some sweetness. Caramel tones lessened. Salt predominates 
     Milk Bar Bacon notable.  Nice balance. 
     Red Fire Bar Cinnamon predominates.  Hot due to chilies.  Christmas! 
    Dalmore 12 Year Old Caramel Toffee Bar Bar becomes very creamy.  Nutty tones diminished. 
     Milk Bar Very salty with whisky. Fatty notes here! 
     Red Fire Bar Cinnamon predominates. Heat is less chili and more chipotle. 
    Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old Caramel Toffee Bar Butter tones!  Creamy. Nuttiness lost. 
     Milk Bar Very salty!  Bacon lessened. Cherry tart tones.  Fatty. 
     Red Fire Bar Cinnamon big.  Chili burn lessened.  "Red Hot" tastes. 
    Bowmore 15 Year Old Caramel Toffee Bar Thick salt and cream.  Very nice, but basic. 
     Milk Bar Salt, fat, bacon. Creamy.  Nice overall. 
     Red Fire Bar Rich, burn lessened. Creamy.  Dessert!  Floral tones.  Brownies! 
    Ardbeg Uigeadail Caramel Toffee Bar Total salt.  Other tones suffer. 
     Milk Bar Very Nice overall. Bacon tones gone.  No smoke. 
     Red Fire Bar Chocolate and salt. Chilies notable.  Hot.  Cinnamon tones gone. 



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