Whisky Tasting Notes

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  4.0ColorOld 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 4.2ColorOld 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  3.6ColorGold. 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  3.4ColorCopper. 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  4.2ColorFull 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
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
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
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
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" 
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 Across 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
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
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
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
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) 
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  3.8ColorStraw (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  3.3ColorPale 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  3.8ColorGold. 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   3.7ColorSauvignon 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  4.1ColorLight 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. 

15th Tasting (1

2-19-12) Theme

 - Keep The Yule Log Burning.  Host: Ron

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Ardmore Traditional Cask, 46%abv, Price: $29.99
  • Ledaig 10 YearOld, 46.3%abv, Price: $49.99
  • Kilchoman - Machir Bay, 46%abv, Price: $49.99
  • Ardbeg Corryvreckan, 57.1% abv, Price: $79.99
  • Compass Box Peat Monster, 46%abv, Price: $54.99
  • Caol Ila Signatory Cask Strength 10 Year Old Sauterne Cask Finished (1999), 64.1%abv, Price: $79.99
Whisky Tasted

Selected Comments
Ardmore Traditional Cask
Color: Old gold.  Legs: Slow legs.  Nose: Lemon zest, vanilla, grassy, malt.  Palate: Malt, raisins.  Finish: Notable peat on late finish. Caramel and salt.  With water: Mutes peat and makes whisky sweeter, more malt/cereal notes.
Ledaig 10 Year Old
Color: Pale gold.  Legs: Sheeting. Nose: Malty, rubber, salt, and pears.  Palate: Smoke, salt pork, medicinal/spice overtones.  Finish: Short.  Vanilla. With water: Sweeter, with burnt sugar.  Salt still notable.  Softens peat.  Much longer finish.  Rounder.
Kilchoman Machir Bay
Color: Straw.  Legs: Sheeting.  Nose: Smoky with salt.  Medicinal, anise, solvent, phenol.  Palate: Powerful saltiness and smoke.  Cinnamon/wood.  Finish: Moderate with salt.  With water: More medicinal. More phenol notes.
Ardbeg Corryvreckan
Color: Honey/copper.  Nose: Smoky peat, heavy alcohol burn.  Sweet burnt oak.  Grassy, cucumber, sweet hay.  Palate: Very salty palate with toffee and caramel.  Tar. Licorice/anise.  Finish: Very long, lingering.  With water: More malt and intensifies peat.  Reduces sweetness.  Spice notable. 
Compass Box Peat Monster 
Color: Pale straw. Nose: Candy, soft peat, sweet cereal/malt.  Honey, leather. Palate: Light and delicate. Sweet candy.  Honeydew melon. Salt.  Finish: Very short, lingering grassiness.  With water: More candy. 
Caol Ila Signatory Cask Strength 10 Year Old Sauterne Cask Finished (1999)  4.1Color: New gold. Legs: Long. Nose: Sweet, burnt sugar nose. Phenol, honey, lemon & basil. Palate: Salty, spicy, cinnamon.  White pepper. Powerful. Viscous. Thick mouthfeel.  Finish: Long. With water: Brings up caramel and sugar, but with still notable burn. More water reduces peat and increases sugar, caramel, and malt.  Some citrus. 

14th Tasting (10-16-12) Theme

 - Which is Which?  Distillery Bottlings versus Independent Bottlings.  Host: Rich

Whiskies Tasted:

  • 2000 Chieftain's Choice Strathisla 10 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $59.99

  • Strathisla 12 Year Old Speyside Malt, 43%abv, Price: $44.99

  • Glen Grant 16 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $79.99

  • Signatory Glen Grant 15 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $59.99

  • Signatory Laphroaig 12 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $79.99

  • Laphroaig, 10 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $46.99

Whisky Tasted 
 Average Rating
Selected Comments 

2000 Chieftain's Choice Strathisla 10 Year Old

3.3Color: Sunlight (Pale yellow). Legs: Long sheeting.  Nose: Buttery, honey nose.  Palate: Honeydew rind and butterscotch.  Cereal/malt, butter .  Finish: Oily, long. Citric.  With water: butterscotch more prevalent with some cinnamon.
Strathisla 12 Year Old Speyside Malt
Color: Full gold .  Legs: Long.  Nose: Orange (Grand Marnier), vanilla, clove.  Palate: Cinnamon, salt.  Nice mouthfeel.  Finish: Surprisingly short.  With water: More nuttiness, cereal, graham cracker. Longer finish.

Glen Grant 16 Year Old 

3.3Color: Pale gold.  Legs: Long sheeting. Nose: Lemon vanilla, candied pear. Palate: Very rich.  Sugary, thick. Stewed prunes. Finish: Walnuts with raisins and spice.  With water: Loss of complexity.
Signatory Glen Grant 15 Year Old 3.5Color: Straw/pale yellow. Legs: Moderately long. Nose: Lemon zest, light vanilla. Palate: Thick malt, rich lemon. Clean feel, very structured. Finish: Late salt and caramel.  With water: Loss of complexity but notable malt.  Nose picks up dried apricot.
 Signatory Laphroaig 12 Year Old  3.8Color: Pale straw color. Legs: Long! Nose: Peat and iodine.  Clean smoke. Palate: Sweat, smoky char with seaweed and iodine. Finish: Peat leaves early, smoke lingers.  With water: Increased sweetness and saltiness.
 Laphroaig 10 Year Old 3.5Color: Full gold. Legs: Long. Nose: Peat, subtle iodine.  Nuts. Soft smoke. Palate: Smooth, sweet and medicinal.  Peat and seaweed notable. Play between sweet and salty. Finish: Biscuit and malt, long.  With water: Brings up medicinal and sweet tones.  Smoke becomes much less prevalent.

13th Tasting (8-21-12) Theme

 - A BenRiach Evening.  Host: Ken


Whiskies Tasted:

  • BenRiach 12 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $37.99

  • BenRiach 16 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $63.99

  • BenRiach 15 Year Old Dark Rum Finish, 46%abv, Price: $73.99

  • BenRiach 16 Year Old Sauterne Finish, 46% abv, Price: $72.99

  • BenRiach 15 Year Old Tawny Port Finish, 46%abv, Price: $73.99

Whisky Tasted
Average Rating  
Selected Comments

BenRiach 12 Year Old

3.6Color: Gold. Legs: Long. Nose: floral perfume.  Green mint. Vanilla, nutmeg, and honey. Palate: white cake with cinnamon.  Honey with spice on the soft palate. Finish: Some coffee notes on finish. Water adds nothing.
BenRiach 16 Year Old
Color: Gold. Legs: Long. Nose: floral (lavender/lilac).  Honey and vanilla. Palate: Hint of peat, malt (cereal), honey.  Toffee with salt tones.  Molasses. Finish: With water bring up cinnamon tones.  Opens up.

BenRiach 15 Year Old Dark Rum Finish

4.2Color: Pale gold/straw. Nose: chocolate with red and white fruit (peaches?).  Cinnamon, toffee, cereal, and grain.  Notes of marshmallow and tropical fruit. Palate: burnt sugar, some bitterness, cinnamon and apple.  Bananas' Foster. Finish: Long.
BenRiach 16 Year Old Sauterne Finish4.0Color: Amber. Nose: chocolate with red fruit. Palate: Cherry with butterscotch.  Spice, cinnamon and pepper on soft palate.  Toffee. Finish: With water more butterscotch and flavors marry. 
 BenRiach 15 Year Old Tawny Port Finish 4.1Color: Full gold. Legs: Great legs! Nose: chocolate, toffee, honey, and pomegranates. Palate: Sugar and malt. Finish: Water opens up whisky.  More chocolate plus almonds and nuts.

12th Tasting (6-26-12) Theme

 - An Evening with Bruichladdich Host: Tim


Whiskies Tasted:

  • The Organic, Multi-Vintage, Mid-Coul and Mains Farms, 46%abv, Price: $60

  • 16 Year Old First Growth Series Chateau Haut Brion Cuvee Pessac Leognan, 46%abv, Price: $100.00

  • Port Charlotte An Turas Mor, Multi-Vintage, 46%abv, Price: $60.00

  • Octomore Orpheus Version 2.2, Aged in Chateau Petrus casks, 61% abv, Price: $160.00

Whisky Tasted
Average Rating 
Selected Comments
Bruichladdich:The Organic  4.6Color: Champagne. Legs: Moderate to long.  High oil content.  Nose: lemon drops, malt, notes of pear, apricot, and toffee. Palate: salt and butter, malt with honey throughout, and almond notes. Finish: is long, creamy, and malty.  Easy drinking.  An any time malt.  Best buy of the evening!
Bruichladdich 16 Year Old First Growth Series Chateau Haut Brion Cuvee Pessac Leognan 4.6Color: Amber color with pink on edges. Legs: Long. Nose: Cinnamon, toffee, caramel, nutmeg. Palate: Sweet, burnt sugar, custard/creme brulee.  Toasted marshmallow notes.Malt with flowers.  With water, this excellent whisky becomes even better. Accentuates flavors.  Salt becomes more apparent with subtle peat tones.  Toffee predominates with touches of burnt wood undertones. Finish: Long finish with continued richness. 
Bruichladdich Port Charlotte An Turas Mor, Multi-Vintage  3.8Color: Rich olive oilr. Legs: Moderate. Nose: Peat nose predominates, spearmint and floral tones.  Some lemon/citrus. Palate: sugar and smoke.  With water, salt becomes more apparent.  White pepper/black pepper and vanilla notes come out. Finish: Late rubber taste on finish.  Long, sustained finish. 
Bruichladdich Octomore Orpheus Version 2.2, Aged in Chateau Petrus casks  4.6Color: Old gold. A Whopping 140 ppm of peat and 61% alcohol. The most heavily peated single malt. Legs: Moderate. Nose: Surprisingly not as peaty as one would expect given 140 ppm of peat. Burnt sugar, marshmallow, toffee, caramel, vanilla, and orange notes.  Some underlying rubber. Palate: vanilla, orange, burnt sugar, heather, and honey.  Very volatile on soft palate and olfactory sensation. Finish: Long, long finish.  So good straight from bottle, no one would add water. 

11th Tasting (4-27-12) Theme

 - Great Growths: Whiskies Aged in Bordeaux Casks. Host: Mike


Whiskies Tasted:

  • Murray McDavid Bowmore 2002, 8 Year Old, Cask Type: Bourbon/Pauillac, ACE'd in Chateau Latour casks, 46%abv, Price: $70

  • Murray McDavid Laphroaig 1999, 11 Year Old, 46%abv, Cask Type: Bourbon/Pauillac, ACE'd in Chateau Lafite casks, Price: $99.00

  • Murray McDavid Isle of Arran, 12 Year Old, Cask Type: Bourbon/Margaux, ACE'd in Chateau Marguax casks, 46%abv, Price: $65.00

  • Murray McDavid Laphroaig 1998, 11 Year Old, Cask Type: Bourbon/Pomerol, ACE'd in Chateau Petrus casks, 46% abv, Price: $80.00

  • Murray McDavid Tobermory 1995, 15 Year Old, Cask type: Bourbon/Sauternes, ACE'd in Chateau Climens casks, 46%abv, Price: $75.00

  • Murray McDavid Mission Gold Caol Ila 1990, 21 Year Old, Cask Type: Bourbon/Chateau Haut-Brion, ACE'd in Chateau Haut-Brion, 49.9% abv, Price: $145.00

Whisky Tasted 
Average Rating 
Selected Comments 
Murray McDavid Bowmore 2002, 8 Year Old  4.0Color: Amber. Legs: Long. Nose: Peat, smoke, lemon, cinnamon. Palate: Cherry with spice. Nutty with some fruit.   With water, better.  Sherry and salt. Finish: Long finish. 
Murray McDavid Laphroaig 1999, 11 Year Old  3.8Color: Amber. Legs: Long. Nose: Malt with flowers.  Medicinal. Palate: Bonfire smoke. Marshmallow and mocha. Chocolate. With water sweetness on sides of tongue. Markedly better. Finish: Long finish. 
Murray McDavid Isle of Arran, 12 Year Old  3.5Color: Amber. Legs: Moderate. Nose: honey, lemon, sherry, salt. Floral (rose) and nuts. Palate: sweet, floral, honey. Malt, apricot, peach. Finish: Moderately long. 
Murray McDavid Laphroaig 1998, 11 Year Old  3.8Color: Light amber. Legs: Moderate. Nose: Peat, molasses, smoke, and vanilla. Palate: Peat, rubber, coconut and tropical fruit.  Black licorice.  With water: salt and smoke,  very medicinal.  Oaky.  Finish: Long. 
Murray McDavid Tobermory 1995, 15 Year Old  4.3Color: Full gold to amber in color. Nose: Honey, spice, lemon, orange, vanilla, caramel. Palate: Hazelnut, tobacco, vanilla creme. Sugar, very sweet. Finish: Moderately long.
Murray McDavid Mission Gold Caol Ila 1990, 21 Year Old  4.8Color: Amber. Nose: Peat, seawater, pear, leather. Cigar notes and cedar, tobacco. Palate: Salt, spice, citrus, chocolate. Finish: Very long finish. Outstanding complexity. 

10th Tasting (2-21-12) Theme

 - Twenty-Somethings Revisted  and a Youngster? 

Re-tasting Previously Tasted Older Whiskies. 

 Host: David R


Be sure to check out how the current descriptions compare to our first pass at these whiskies at our Fourth Tasting: Twenty-somethings.  The previous rating for each whisky is in parentheses below the current rating.

Whiskies Tasted:

  • Gordon and MacPhail Rare Old Mortlach 21 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $129.99

  • Benromach 21 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $119.99

  • Gordon and MacPhail Caol Ila (1984) Cask Strength 25 Year Old, 57.7%abv, Price: $169.00

  • Glengoyne 21 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $129.99

  • Old Pulteney 21 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $99.00

  • Bowmore Tempest First US Release, 10 Year Old, 55%abv, Price: $89.99

Whisky Tasted
Average Rating 
Selected Comments 
Gordon and MacPhail Rare Old Mortlach 21 Year Old 3.9 (4.1) Color: Full gold. Legs: Long. Nose: Honey, heather, and citrus on nose (bit of alcohol). Palate: Citrus and vanilla on palate. Very hot on palate. Finish: Long finish with honey and nut. Water enriches scotch. Much more candied. Butterscotch and creme brulee.  Tames alcohol. 
Benromach 21 Year Old  4.4 (4.3) Color: Full gold.Legs: Long. Nose:Vanilla and cinnamon on nose. Palate: Spicy, oak, and vanilla on palate. Hints of sherry. Some phenol on soft palate. Finish: Short finish overall. With water becomes sweeter with a longer finish & vanilla notes 
Gordon and MacPhail Caol Ila (1984) Cask Strength 25 Year Old 3.9 (4.0) Color: Light gold. Legs: Moderate. Nose: Burnt rubber/phenol and peat on nose. Oak, bourbon cask notes. Palate: Heavy peat with salt on palate. Medicinal. Finish: Long finish with licorice notes. With water actually becomes hotter with more iodine. 
Glengoyne 21 Year Ol 4.2 (4.4) Color: Amber. Legs: Sheeting action. Nose: Candied, burnt sugar and molasses on nose. Palate: On palate were sugar and molasses with hazelnut and butterscotch in background. Finish: Salty long finish. With water becomes cream but loses spices and richness, becomes more medicinal. 
Old Pulteney 21 Year Old 4.0 (4.4) Color: Light gold. Legs: Long. Nose: Citrus, grassy, sweet nose. Palate: Tangerine, sweet almonds/pecans on palate.  Also hints of wine and peat. Finish: Long finish. Water softens alcohol, but takes away richness. More orange tones. 
Bowmore Tempest US 1st Release 10 Year Old 4.0 Color: Light gold. Legs: Moderate, long. Nose: Heavy peat and salt on nose. Some floral tones (lavender). Burnt rubber tones. Palate: Hot overall on palate. On palate orange, anise/licorice and salt. Finish: Very long finish. With water much better. Softens peat and increases floral notes. Very sweet. 

9th Tasting (11-15-11) Theme
 - Perfect Pairs: 
Pairing Cigars and Whiskies  Hosts: David and Mike

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Oban 14 Year Old 43% abv, Price: $70
  • Aberlour 12 Year Old, 43% abv, Price: $44
  • Laphroaig 10 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $60
Cigars Tasted:
  • Gurkha Park Avenue, Churchill, Price: $4.50 a stick ($60/box of 20)
  • Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Robusto, Price: $8 a stick ($140/box of 20)

Whisky and Cigar Pairing
Average Rating 
Match Flavor Profile 
Oban 14 Year Old and Gurkha Park Avenue  5Whisky becomes nutty (brazil nut?) with salty bittersweet chocolate notes. Toasted oat finish. Great mouthfeel. 
Oban 14 Year Old and Rocky Patel Vintage 1990  5These sing together. A great match. Marvelous mouthfeel. Heavy dark chocolate. Coffee. Earthiness. Powerful up front; finish tighter. 
Aberlour 12 Year Old and Gurkha Park Avenue  5Sweet butter. Hints of caramel and cookie dough, marshmallow and grain. 
Aberlour 12 Year Old and Rocky Patel Vintage 1990  5Wow! Immediate mouthfeel and lip smacking taste. Loads of chocolate, coffee, nuts, and subtle spiciness (cedar?). 
Laphroaig 10 Year Old and Gurkha Park Avenue  5Light medicinal tones. Salted buttered popcorn. Softens peat. 
Laprhoaig 10 Year Old and Rocky Patel Vintage 1990  5Burnt toffee & caramel. Tastes like Mister Salty chocolate covered pretzels on palate. Sweet, woody finish (cedar?) with malt notes. 

8th Tasting (9-27-11) Theme: 

Wheel of Fortune: 

Whisky Wheel Aromas 

Host: Linda 

Whiskies Tasted:
  • Oban 14 Year Old 43% abv, Price: $70
  • Glen Grant 10 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $47
  • Arran Port Wood, 50% abv, Price: $65
  • McClelland 18 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $30
  • Lagavulin Double Matured 1993, 43% abv, Price: $95
  • Laphroaig Triple Wood, 48% abv, Price: $60

Whisky Tasted 
Average Rating 
Selected Comments 

Oban 14 Year Old

3.6Color: Light amber/Old gold. Legs: Long. Nose: Alcohol on nose. Sweet fruit (red berry and pear) and cinnamon aromas. Palate: Wood notes, cereal on palate along with black licorice and bourbon. Finish: Short finish, longer with water

Glen Grant 10 Year Old

3.8Color: Chardonnay. Legs: Thin sheeting. Nose: Honey, cereal nose along with fruit and heather. Palate: Complex light palate. Winey, bitter chocolate. Nice mouthfeel. Finish: Water brings up sweetness, cereal, and richness.  Silky, not as crisp with water.

Arran Port Wood

4.0Color: Amber color. Legs: Long.Nose:Port richness.  Alcohol, peat, and wine on nose. Palate: Pepper, wine, and toffee on palate. Finish: Sweet with water. Complex.
McClelland 18 Year Old3.4Color: Gold. Legs: long. Nose: Cinnamon, nutmeg, bitter orange, with floral notes. Cereal on edges.  Palate: Very light on palate with cereal notes. Very nice! Finish: Malty, moderate finish. Water smooths it out.

Lagavulin Double Matured 1993

3.7   Color: Amber.Legs:Thick sheeting. Nose: Sherry, peat, and some leather on nose. Palate: Sherry, maple, and rubber on palate. Complex notes. Good mouthfeel. Finish: Moderate to long finish. Water doesn't make much of change.
 Laphroaig Triple Wood 3.1Color: Full gold.Legs: Consistent sheeting. Nose: Alcoholic on first nosing. Butterscotch and burnt leafy notes on nosing. Palate: Very peaty, burnt wood on palate. Finish: Water improves.  Pine finish with toffee.

7th Tasting (7-19-11) Theme

 - Blind Man's Bluffs: 

Silent evaluations. 

Host: Ron 


Whiskies Tasted:
  • Sprinbank CV, 46% abv, Price: $40
  • Old Pulteney 12 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $45
  • Old Pulteney 17 Year Old, 46% abv, Price:$80
  • Hazelburn 8 Year Old, 47.7% abv, Price:$95
  • Old Pulteney 21 Year, 46% abv, Price: $100
  • Longrow CV, 46% abv, Price: $75

Whisky Tasted 
Average Rating 
Selected Comments 

Springbank CV

3.7Color: Pale gold. Legs: Long. Nose: Very alcoholic nose. Lemon zest and pineapple. Medicinal, herbal. Touch of rubber/asphalt. Peat. Palate: Sweet peat on palate. Notable salt and malt increases with water. Water opens flavors. Finish: Long pepper finish.

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old

4.0Color: Light gold. Legs: Long. Nose: Moderate alcohol on nose with heather, honey and a fruity lemon and pear aroma. Floral tones of honeysuckle. Vanilla beans and almonds. Palate: Complex palate of caramel and butterscotch. Peat and malt with some pepper undertones. Finish: Nice mouthfeel, long finish with late peat. Not as good with water.

Old Pulteney 17 Year Old

3.5Color: Golden. Legs: Medium. Nose: Complex nose at first difficult to categorize. Water opens up whisky. Citric, peach. Floral tones. Salt. Palate: Palate is very sweet with vanilla (bourbon?), rock sugar. Finish: Whisky finishes with licorice and spice (pepper?). Water brings out malt and nuttiness.
Hazelburn 8 Year Old4.0Color: Amber. Legs: Long. Nose: Very alcoholic on nose. Hot, sweet butter toffee. Some floral tones. Peat. Palate: Very rich on palate. Alcohol burn. Raisins and anise. Cereal. With water more buttery malt. Finish: Long spicy finish with a creamy bourbon sweetness.

Old Pulteney 21 Year Old

4.3   Color: Gold. Legs: Moderate. Nose:Very approachable with nose that is sweet and candied. Perfume and orange (?). Palate: Also sweet on palate with butterscotch and a touch of citric. Water brings up salt and nuts. Finish: Long, salty finish.
 Longrow CV 4.1Color: Straw. Legs: Long. Nose: Notable peat on the nose. High alcohol. Smoky, sweet honey. Wet straw tones. Palate: Very sweet peat on the palate. Incredibly rich with vanilla malt and molasses.Chocolate. Finish: Long rich finish with a mushroom earthiness.

6th Tasting (5-17-11) Theme - Into the Woods: 

Effects of Different Casks/Wood

  Host: Tod  

Whiskies Tasted:

  • The  Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Old, 47.8% abv, Price: $65.99
  • Glenlivet French Oak 15 Year Old, 40% abv, Price: $45.99
  • Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition 1991, 43% abv, Price:$69.99
  • Laphroaig Quarter Cask, 48% abv, Price:$56.99
  • Bowmore 16 Year Old Cask Strength Sherry Cask, 53.8% abv, Price: $79.99

Whisky Tasted
Average Rating 
Selected Comments 

The Balvenie Single Barrel 15 Year Old

3.7Color: Full gold. Legs:Nice legs. Nose: Sweet apricot nose with a touch of lemon grass. Some orange marmalade/nectarine. Palate: Nutty on palate, vanilla plus Coca-cola  and caramel. Opens nicely with water. Bourbon char on back palate. Some spice, pepper. Drawn from a single bourbon oak cask. Finish: Medium.

Glenlivet French Oak 15 Year Old

4.0Color: Light, pale gold. Legs: Big legs. Nose: Very floral, lilac and honeysuckle.Citrus (lemon?) tones. Mint?  Palate: Light on palate. Anise and clove. Salt. With water more lemon and malt. Aged in European new Limousin casks. Finish: Medium.

Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition 1991

3.5Color: Amber. Legs: Big, thick legs, oily. Nose: Sweet overripe bananas. Honey-nut and lemon on nose. Palate: Very sweet on palate, toffee, brown sugar. Coconut, macadamia nut tones. Water brings up more banana. Finish: Short finish. Finished first in bourbon casks and then in amontillado sherry butts.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask4.0Color: Full gold. Legs: Moderate. Nose: Peat, very smoky, malt. Burnt sugar, medicinal nose. Palate: Alcohol prevalent up front. Water brings up salt and smoke. Some cinnamon. Finish: Long finish. Aged 5 years in bourbon casks before transfer.

Bowmore 16 Year Old Cask Strength Sherry Cask

4.3   Color: Amber. Legs: Moderate. Nose:Cotton candy nose. Phenol peat, sherry forward (oloroso?). Palate: Heather, honey with salt and iodine on palate. Leathery, subtle smokiness with water. Some tar. Finish: Very long peat finish. Matured in Spanish oloroso sherry casks.

5th Tasting (3-22-11) Theme

 – 90+ Rated Whiskies: 

Recognized Top Whiskies.

 Host: Ben 

Whiskies Tasted:

  • Glenlivet Nadurra 16 Year Old, 57.2%abv, Price: $64.00

  • Glenmorangie Astar, 57.1%abv, Price: $80.00

  • Highland Park 15 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $70.00

  • Aberlour a'bunadh, 59.9%abv, Price: $60.00

  • The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $80.00

Whisky Tasted 
Average Rating 
Selected Comments 

Glenlivet Nadurra 16 Year Old

4.2Color: Gold. Nose: Sugar notes on nose also sherry, butterscotch and alcohol. Palate: Rich and thick on palate, sugar cotton candy along with cinnamon, honey, and vanilla. Finish: Long, dry finish. With water, more sugar plus lemon zest and nuts (hazelnut). Better with water, longer finish.

Glenmorangie Astar

3.5Color: Pale straw/gold. Legs: Long. Nose: Fruit (apricot) and candy on nose. Char notable. Palate: On palate salty, nutty (almond), sweet pear, earthiness, cinnamon and honey. Finish: Short finish. With water pear and fruit notes become more pronounced.  

Highland Park 15 Year Old

3.4Color: Amber. Nose: Rubber as it opens then sherry notes with sugar. Pungent. Resin (pine) taste with earthiness. Palate: Brazil nut on back palate.Hint of graphite. Finish: Round with iodine and salt on finish. With water still pungent but more butterscotch. Improved by water.
Aberlour a'bunadh 3.9Color: Dark amber/copper. Nose: Cask char, saw dusk.  
High alcohol, raisin, and apple. Palate: Toffee, sherry, and mint on palate. Finish: Salt, anise (black licorice) finish. With water alcohol is softened, licorice, malt, and molasses on finish. Enhanced by water

The Macallan Fine Oak 15 Year Old

3.9    Color: Full gold. Legs: Long. Nose: Oak, phenol, and lemon zest on nose. Palate: Mild chocolate with peanut on palate. Finish: Moderate finish with orange notes. With water smoother, more fruit, and malt.


4th Tasting (1-20-11) Theme

 – Twenty Somethings: 

Older whiskies. 

Host: David R 

Whiskies Tasted:

  • Gordon and MacPhail Rare Old Mortlach 21 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $129.99

  • Benromach 21 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $119.99

  • Gordon and MacPhail Caol Ila (1984) Cask Strength 25 Year Old, 57.7%abv, Price: $169.00

  • Glengoyne 21 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $129.99

  • Old Pulteney 21 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $99.00

Whisky Tasted 
Average Rating 
Selected Comments 

Gordon and MacPhail Rare Old Mortlach 21 Year Old

4.1Color: Full gold. Nose: Phenol and sherry nose. Palate: On the palate, buttery almost with perhaps some coconut up front as well as mint and honey. Finish: Soft finish. Water diminishes flavors but cut alcohol heat.

Benromach 21 Year Old

4.3Color: Full gold. Nose: Candied, sweet nose with some lemon/citrus notes, butterscotch and a hint of pineapple. Palate: Deceptively light on the palate. Very rich sherry notes. Very easy drinking. Finish: Short but pleasant sweet malt finish. Adding water accentuates fruit and butterscotch notes and creaminess of the whisky. Some pepper on finish with hint of licorice. Very nice whisky.

Gordon and MacPhail Caol Ila (1984) Cask Strength 25 Year Old

4.0Color: Light gold. Nose: Buttery with lemon notes.Phenol also present. Sherry (oloroso?) notes also. Palate: Nice sweet peat, with characteristic Islay saltiness. Slightly medicinal with some licorice notes late. Finish: Long finish. Water softens whisky and intensified sugars. Interesting difference in peat compared to other Islays.

Glengoyne 21 Year Old

4.4Color: Amber/gold. Nose: Sweet sherry predominates on nose. Palate: On the palate there were hints of brown sugar, butterscotch, nuts (pecans and almonds?) and sweet tea. Finish: Water softened whisky while retaining the flavors and bringing out a hint of cinnamon.

Old Pulteney 21 Year Old

4.4Color: Full gold/amber. Nose: Floral and fruit notes in nose. Palate: Lots of fruit on palate - orange marmalade, apricots. Very creamy with underlying vanilla. Finish: Nutty finish.  So very nice!

3rd Tasting (11-16-10) Theme

 – Think Outside the Bottle 


Single malts most people haven't tried. 

Host: Mike

Whiskies Tasted:

  • Amrut Fusion - Indian Single Malt Whiskey, 50%abv, Price: $60.00

  • Glendronach 15 Year Old, Revival, 46%abv, Price: $90.00

  • Chatoe Rogue - Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, 40%abv, Price: $45.00

  • Arran 10 Year Old, 46%abv, Price: $45.00

  • Suntory Yamazaki 12 Year Old, 43%abv, Price: $45.00

  • New Holland (MI) Zeppelin Bend Straight Malt Whiskey, 45%abv, Price: $75

Whisky Tasted 
Average Rating 
Selected Comments 
Amrut Fusion - Indian Single Malt Whiskey2.4Color: Light golden. Nose: Grassy, sweet, phenol on nose. Palate: Chalky, sweet, vanilla bourbon char and some pear on palate. Water sweetens whiskey - brings up salty brine. Finish: Smoky, licorice finish.
Glendronach 15 Year Old, Revival3.8Color: Amber. Nose: Massive sherry nose with orange/chocolate. Palate: Hazelnut, coffee and char on palate. Thick linseed mouthfeel. Water smooths and sweetens whisky (honey). Finish: Light smoke and licorice finish.
Chatoe Rogue - Oregon Single Malt Whiskey3.3Color: Full gold. Nose: Banana and cinnamon nose with hints of anise and cedar spice. Palate: Soft, round on the palate reminiscent of Bananas Foster. Some apple fruit. Finish: Moderately short finish.
Arran 10 Year Old    3.2Color: Light gold. Nose: Vanilla and phenol on the nose with hints of orange and lemon. Palate: Yeasty vanilla malt, cereal on palate. Buttery. Finish: Smoke and malt on a long finish. Water makes even better.
Suntory Yamzaki 12 Year Old3.6Color: Full gold. Nose: Hot, sweet mint, heather, honey nose.Second nosing - pecans, maple syrup, some lemon. Palate: Wheat/cereal,honey, chocolate on palate. Finish: Moderately long finish with licorice.
New Holland Zeppelin Bend Straight Malt3.2Color: Gold. Nose: Caramel and phenol with malt nose. Hints of vanilla and clove (cinnamon?). Palate:Palate shows sweet honey, toffee, and nuts. Bourbon char. Water brings out malt and spice, lessens penols. Finish: Moderate.

2nd Tasting (9-28-10) Theme

 – High Road, Low Road 


Differences/similarities in highland versus lowland whiskies.

 Host: Mark

Whiskies Tasted:

  • Auchentoshan 12 Year Old, 40%abv, Lowland Price: $44.99

  • Glendronach 12 Year Old, 40%abv, Highland, Price: $48.00

  • Glenmorangie Original 10 year old, 43%abv, Highland, Price: $39.99

  • Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition, 1991 Edition 43%abv, Lowland, Price: $65.00

  • Signatory Selection (distilled at Bladnoch) Vintage, 59%abv, Lowland, Price: $59.99

  • Signatory Benrinnes 1997 Vintage 11 Year Old Cask Strength, 59.3% abv, Highland, Price: $49.99

Whisky Tasted Average Rating Selected Comments 
Auchentoshan 12 Year Old 4.3 Color: Dark gold. Nose: Outstanding nose. Sherry, oak, and bourbon sweetness up front. Notes of cognac noted by some. Palate: Soft, rich, and well-rounded palate. Finish: Great finish with hints of orange liquor. 
Glendronach 12 Year Old 3.9 Color: Dark gold to light amber. Nose: Sweet cinnamon, spice, cantaloupe, and citrus in the nosing. Palate: Nutty, malty flavors on the palate. Finish: Somewhat musky, nutty finish. 
Glenmorangie 10 Year Old 3.6Color: Full gold. Nose: Citrus, floral (lavender), and bourbon mash on the nose. Palate: Round toffee, cinnamon, and nuts on the palate. Finish: Bitter chocolate/burnt molasses on the finish. 
Glenkinchie Distiller's Edition, 1991 Edition 3.2Color: Dark gold to light amber. Nose: Sweet sherry nose with hints of grassiness, wet straw, toffee, and malt. Palate: Nutty, toffee on the palate. Finish: Nuts and black licorice (Anise) on the finish. Aggressive without water 
Signatory (distilled at Bladnoch) Vintage 3.5 Color: Pale gold. Nose: Buttery, vanilla, apple, and pears on nose. Lots of alcohol up front. Palate:Very sweet on the palate with vanilla notes.Some chest burn from alcohol. Finish: Long finish with hints of pepper. 
Signatory Benrinnes1997 Vintage 11 Year Old Cask Strength 3.2 Color: Light gold. Nose: High alcohol up front. Palate: Citrus, honey, heather, and nuts on palate. Finish: Saltiness and vanilla on finish. 

1st Tasting (7-20-10) Theme

 – Peat and RePeat! 

Differences in peat from different regions. 

Host: Tim

Whiskies Tasted:

  • Amrut Peated Indian Single Malt Whiskey, 46%abv Price: $80.00

  • Ardbeg Airidh Nam Beist, 1990 Vintage, 46%abv Price: $100.00

  • BenRiach "Curiositas," 10 year old, 46%abv Price: $65.00

  • Longrow C.V., 46%abv Price: $75.00

  • Tomintoul Peaty Tang, 40%abv Price: $45.00

Whisky Tasted
Selected Comments
 Amrut Peated (India)3.5Color: Golden yellow. Nose: Bit of an alcohol burn on first nosing. Viscous, butterscotch, smoke, nuts, possible sherry notes on nose. Palate: Oak,peat/smoke, sherry on palate. Finish: Long finish with peat and oak hanging there.
 Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist 2.92Color: Chardonnay. Nose: Honey, vanilla, phenol, earthiness, root bitterness on nose. Palate: Moderate peat smoke and burnt marshmallow on palate. Finish: Moderate.
 Benriach Curiositas 10 Year Old 2.95Color: Amber. Nose: Honey, vanilla, lemon zest, iodine, phenols, and some nuttiness on nose. Palate: Defined sweetness on palate behind the peat up front. Finish: Honeyed with a long finish.
 Longrow CV2.5Color: Light gold. Nose: Smoke, butterscotch, lemon nose.Palate: Peat lighter and fruit on palate. Finish: Moderate.
 Tomintoul Peaty Tang3.08Color: Gold. Nose: Butter, heather, nuts and soft peat on nose. Palate: Butterscotch, candied fruit, and marshmallow on palate. Finish: Moderate.