Buffalo Trace Tweet Tasting

Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Name: Bourbon
Region: Kentucky
Age: ?
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £22 (Master of Malt 70cl)
NoseSweet, baked fruits, slight spice, creamy
TasteCaramel, hint of lime, woody, spice
Finish: Medium length, slightly dry
Rating: 5/10

I had the pleasure of partaking in another Tweet Tasting on 24th September thanks to Steve at @TheWhiskyWire, this time it was the turn of the Buffalo Trace group.

First up was the Buffalo Trace. I found this to be a great entry into bourbon, it has a nice level of sweetness with some lovely baked fruits like pears, along with a little spice, all wrapped up in a lovely creamy aroma.

Onto the palate and you get a good amount of caramel with this really interesting and unexpected hint of lime. It also carries that slight spice over well and also some woodiness, giving it a medium length finish that has a slight dryness.

This went down fairly well by all accounts for it’s ease of drinking, good level of flavour and also price.

Distillery: Eagle Rare
Name: N/A
Region: Kentucky
Age: 10
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 45%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £37 (Master of Malt)
Nose: Rich, powerful, marzipan, oak, dried leaves, caramel
TasteThick, rich, powerful, dark chocolate, spicy, dark caramel, wood, aniseed
Finish: Medium, light, dryness, spice
Rating: 9/10

I actually had a bottle of this in anyway, and at time of writing, this is the best bourbon I have tried. Such a powerful aroma with the caramel, marzipan and oak along with an earthiness that is like dried leaves, think walking through the woods in autumn.

Then the palate comes along and throws everything at you, dark chocolate and caramel, that oak in there again with a little aniseed thrown in for good measure. This is all rolled into a thick and smooth texture, just wonderful. It has not done with you yet though, the finish of medium length but for all it’s power on the palate, it picks up a little and lightens, still with some oaky dryness and spice though.

One of those that I will always try to keep a bottle of I think, which is saying something, because I rarely buy a second bottle of anything, there are too many new ones out there to try.

Distillery: The Barton 1792
Name: Ridgemont Reserve
Region: Kentucky
Age: 8+
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 46.85%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £50 (Master of Malt 70cl)
Nose: Light, baked fruits, apricot, pear drops, lavender, pine trees, glue
TasteWarm, light, fruity, almonds, floral
Finish: Medium, slightly dry, spicy
Rating: 8/10

The final of the evening was The Barton 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, or just the 1792 as we all referred to it as. At £50 I think this is the most expensive bourbon I have tried so was looking forward to seeing what you get for the higher end of the bourbon market.

The 1792 did not disappoint, the nose was very different to the previous two but like the Eagle Rare, had lots to offer. Really fruity, moving into floral with some lavender and pine. A lot of people picked up on glue, I only got a hint of this personally.

The palate was as much a delight as the nose, a real warmth to it, partly from the higher ABV, light and again lots of fruit, pear and apricot coming through again. This started to develop into a slight floral note much like the nose but not before throwing a few almonds your way first.

The finish is of medium length like the others and has a slight dryness and hint of spice to it. The balance of sweet and dryness is just right for me, I was expecting something a little sweeter from the nose but was pleasantly surprised.

Conclusion

I thoroughly enjoyed an evening of Tweet Tasting again and would like to thank Steve at @TheWhiskyWire and also @BuffaloTraceUK for a wonderful evening. It was a good education into bourbon shared with some great friends and new associates.

Ardbeg – Blasda, Uigeadail & Corryvreckan

Distillery: Ardbeg
Name: Blasda
Region: Islay
Age: ?
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £170 (Master of Malt 70cl)
Nose: Light peat, floral, citrus, mint
Taste: Light, slightly sweet, slight spice
Finish: Medium, light, slight dryness
Rating: 7/10

 First up tonight is the Blasda, a lightly peated offering from the distillery known for their heavily peated whiskies. This one comes in a just 8ppm opposed to their more usual 24ppm.

The first thing that you notice is just how pale it is compared to the others, also that it is bottled at just 40% which is unusual for Ardbeg from what I have seen. The nose has a gentle peatiness with a citrus and floral freshness, a little vanilla sweetness finishing with just a hint of mint, very summary.

The palate is lovely and light, a real refreshing dram with a light toffee sweetness, a small amount of spice but with an overwhelming sense of flowers and just a hint of that mint again. It has a light, medium length finish to it that has a slight dryness to it.

A real summer dram this one, wonderfully light and refreshing, I believe a bottle would find itself empty quite quickly on a summers day with friends, and without them come to think of it :)

I was a little worried about the low ABV to be honest, but I think it really works well with the gentleness of this dram. This just goes to prove that Ardbeg are about more than heavy peat like some people believe. My only real criticism is the price tag, it’s lovely, but it ain’t worth £170.

Distillery: Ardbeg
Name: Uigeadail
Region: Islay
Age: ?
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 54.2%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £50 (Master of Malt)
Nose: Peat, smoke, rich, caramel sweetness, floral
Taste: Peat, sweet, oily, marzipan, dark toffee
Finish: Long, warm, spicy, peaty, malt
Rating: 9/10

 This was actually the first Ardbeg I tried, and I was sold on the distillery with the first sip. It’s not as heavily peated on the nose as I remembered to be honest, you do get the peaty, smokiness but not too strong. It has a real depth and richness to it with some caramel sweetness and a slight floral note at the end to just lighten it a little.

The palate is where the peat and smoke come through but not before some sweetness and slight marzipan notes, all wrapped up in a wonderful mouth-coating oily texture. It is deep and powerful with some richer dark toffee in there also. The finish is unsurprisingly long and peaty but also warm, spicy with a lasting malty flavour.

At 54.2% the Uigeadail can handle a bit of water, it opens the nose up to make it a little lighter with more floral notes but also highlights the caramel. The lovely oily character remains even with water. It increases the sweetness a little, decreases the peat and toffee but also removes the marzipan note.

An amazing dram this one, I love it every time I pour a glass. It’s a bit of a kick in the teeth compared to the Blasda but if you like your peat, you can’t go far wrong with this, worth every penny.

Distillery: Ardbeg
Name: Corryvreckan
Region: Islay
Age: ?
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 57.1%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £60 (Master of Malt 70cl)
Nose: Rich, caramel, tropical fruits
Taste: Sweet, peaty, spicy, rich but light, tropical fruits
Finish: Long, peaty, dry
Rating: 9/10

 Last in the trio is the Corryvreckan. The nose a some great depth to it,  a rich, creamy caramel quality is what first hits but then gets lightened by some tropical fruits. There is a lot going on in the glass but it is wonderfully balanced. Surprisingly note that peaty or smoky though.

On the palate you get that same sort of sweetness as with the Uigeadail along with a lot of spice. The peat comes through on the palate but is not too overpowering as it also has great richness yet remaining reasonably light somehow. The tropical fruits come through from the nose which helps to keep it light on the long and peaty finish. It is a lot drier than the Uigeadail however.

Another amazing expression from Ardbeg this, different enough from the Uigeadail but equally as good in my opinion. Again for the money I think it is worth it, not sure which I’d have though, might need a bottle of each in I think.

Conclusion

Ardbeg is awesome! Just about sums it up I think. All three would be great in summer, especially the Blasda but the Uigeadail & Corryvreckan also have a great richness and spice to them that make them a great winter dram as well, year round drams, what more can you ask for. Like I said earlier though, I think the Blasda is over priced unfortunately, especially given how quickly it would go.

Loch Lomond – Inchmurrin 15yo-21yo

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Name: Inchmurrin (Signatory)
Region: Highland
Age: 15
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 43%
Cask No.: 24 & 25
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: Sold Out
Nose: Cereal, fresh bread, musty, metallic
Taste: Light, sweet, marzipan, cereal
Finish: Short, warm, slight spice, metallic
Rating: 4/10

This is my first visit to the land of Inchmurrin. I had a single sample but decided to give it a fair test by getting a selection of 5 drams and do a side-by-side tasting.

Nose is very musty at first, think wet winter leaves with some cereal and fresh bread thrown in there also; this finishes with a slight metallic note. It’s quite an unusual nose that is dram has, not like anything I have had before from memory.

Onto the palate and you get a light but sugary sweet welcome, a little marzipan in there along with that slight cereal note just showing it’s head. It all leads onto a fairly short and metallic finish but it does come with a slightly warm, spiciness to it.

Not my favourite dram, the nose is not great and the metallic notes spoil it for me.

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Name: Inchmurrin (Signatory)
Region: Highland
Age: 15
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 43%
Cask No.: 28
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: Sold Out
Nose: Light, metallic, cereal, light fruits
Taste: Light, sweet, cereal, dryish
Finish: Medium, warm, dry, metallic
Rating: 4/10

So I thought it would be interesting to try another 15 year old from the same bottler, Signatory, just from a slightly later cask, cask 28 rather than the mix of 24 & 25 that the last one was. Lets see how it compares.

The first thing that hits me is that metallic nose, just like the last one. The cereal note is also there but not quite as strong. In place of the cereal is some light fruit notes like green apples. This makes it a little lighter on the nose, not that the last wasn’t already though.

The palate is also very similar but a little lighter, not as sweet, no marzipan but more cereal and with a definite dryness to it. The finish is a little longer with the dryness continuing. It looses some of the spice yet manages to keep the warmth, it also shares that metallic note unfortunately.

Still not great but a little better than the previous expression.

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Name: Inchmurrin
Region: Highland
Age: 18
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 46%
Cask No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £56 (Master of Malt 70cl)
Nose: Citrus, cereal, toffee
Taste: Creamy, toffee, raisins, malt
Finish: Medium, warm, spicy
Rating: 5/10

Onto an official bottling this time for the 18 year old. The nose is a delight compared to the previous ones I have to say, a real citrus note to it but with an added depth from a toffee sweetness that is also present. The cereal note that I found in the previous drams is also there but not as overpowering and I’m glad to say the metallic note has almost gone.

The palate has a lovely creamy toffee quality to it with the addition of some raisins. A little of the citrus comes through towards the end to lighten the load a little and leads onto a medium length but very warm finish. There is a hint of something spicy on the finish but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. With the addition of water a maltiness comes through on the palate and the finish dries out quite a lot.

Much better than the two 15 year old in my opinion, that nose is greatly improved and the metallic quality has all but gone.

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Name: Inchmurrin
Region: Highland
Age: 19
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 58.1%
Cask No.: 2844 & 2845
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: Sold Out
Nose: Vanilla, citrus, metallic, toffee
Taste: Spicy, slightly dry, toffee
Finish: Long, warm, spicy, malty
Rating: 5/10

Back to Signatory this time for the 19 year old coming from casks 2844 & 2845, lets hope the extra 4 years has removed that metallic edge.

First impressions are that there is an improvement, there is a strong vanilla note present at first along with some citrus to lighten it. The cereal has gone from this one but unfortunately the metallic quality is back, to a much lesser degree though. The vanilla and metallic notes dispense after a while and are replaced with welcome toffee notes.

Lots of spice is what hits you as you take a sip, lots of spice with a slight dryness when held in the mouth for a while. That toffee also comes through to give a richness with a slight sweetness. The finish is long, warm and really spicy with a surprising maltiness there also that works quite well.

There is no hiding the fact that this is cask strength, there is a definite ABV burn without water, but with the addition of it the spice is greatly reduced on the palate which takes some of the attraction away, still present on the finish however.

A big improvement on the 15s I have to say, those 4 years did the trick. It is still lacking something for me though to score highly.

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Name: Inchmurrin
Region: Highland
Age: 21
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 46%
Cask No.:
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £77 (Master of Malt 70cl)
Nose: Floral, citrus, toffee
Taste: Light, crisp, floral, malty
Finish: Long, light, malty
Rating: 6/10

The final one of the night is the distillery bottling of a 21 year old. It has a very pleasant but unusually nose to it. There is an overpowering note to the nose that I have to say I am not familiar with, it seems floral; Master of Malt mention honeysuckle, but that is not something I can identify with. It has a light citrus note to it also along with some toffee sweetness.

The palate is lighter than I expected with a real crispness to it from the citrus carried through from the nose. That floral quality is still there also with a little malt making an appearance towards the end. Quite a well balanced and refreshing dram this one. The finish is quite long yet light with the malt holding on.

Best of the lot this one, well balanced and easy to drink without any of that metallic nonsense going on. Still nothing amazing in my eyes, but if you like your whiskies light and malty then this is not a bad choice, and for the money it’s not bad value for a 21 year old.

Adnams Triple Grain No2

Distillery: Adnams
Name: Triple Grain No2
Region: England
Age: 3
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 43%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £44
Nose: Charred wood, citrus, spicy, sugared almonds
Taste: Charred wood, dark chocolate, smooth, spice, honey
Finish: Long, warm, spicy
Rating: 4/10

Before I started spending my spare time on Twitter, learning about the goings on in the whisky industry, I happened to stumble upon the Adnams website, where I learned they were to be launching their first whiskies in just a matter of months. As I’m sure you can imagine, this got me all excited, after all I love trying new whiskies and the thought of another English whisky hitting the market got me thinking where this whisky boom would take us next.

I signed up to be notified as soon as they were available and was pleasantly surprised about a month after to be invited to the opening day. Now with Adnams being based in Southwold, it is not exactly close, about 450 mile round trip to be exact, but I thought what the hell, why not make a bit of a holiday of it, so booked a B&B and put my name down.

So down (and over) I went to try both the Triple Grain No2 (wheat, barley and oats) and the Single Malt No1, as well as a selection of other goodies they had open such as their gins (very nice also). The Single Malt No1 was as expected, too young with not enough going on to be honest, the Triple Grain No2 however was better, hence I bought a bottle (signed by Mr Jonathan Adnams and the Master Distiller John McCarthy).

On the nose you get a strong charred/toasted wood note which is lighted however by the citrus aroma. There is also a sweetness there but more of a sugary sweetness rather than a honey one, reminds me of sugared almonds. Added to this is a lovely spice, not too much but it is present throughout the length of the nose.

The palate still holds onto the charred wood notes but also with a real sense of dark chocolate, something like a 50% cocoa as it has some smoothness there also. The spice remains but again is well balanced and some sweetness comes through also, but unlike the nose it is more of a honey sweetness. The finish is long, strong, warm and spicy.

I have heard a few people give the Triple Grain a bit of a hard time and I think it is unjust. It is a young spirit and I think they have done very well to get such a powerful flavour in just 3 years. I actually see it more of a Bourbon alternative rather than a single malt alternative, and maybe if more people thought this way it would have a better following.

Gin Tasting

So tonight, my old man and myself have decided to do a gin tasting. We have collected a number of bottles of, hopefully, various styles to give us a interesting range of gins to try. We have ended up with 7 different gins from 6 different distilleries to try, plus a sloe gin.

Hayman’s London Dry Gin 40% (£18)
Nose: Floral, slight cucumber, sweet, creamy
Palate: Creamy, powerful, floral
Finish: Short, warm

Hayman’s Old Tom 40% (£21)
Nose: Dry, heavy botanicals, reasonably subtle
Palate: Sweet, smooth, citrus, lime
Finish: Short, smooth

Williams Chase Gin 48% (£32)
Nose: Mandarin, clotted cream, sugary sweetness
Palate: Crisp, slight sweetness, well balanced, creamy smoothness
Finish: Medium, smooth, warm

Cadenhead’s Old Raj 55% (£25)
Nose: Initial light, fresh, juniper, saffron
Palate: Powerful, juniper, mouth-coating, saffron
Finish: Long, warm, dry

Fifty Pounds 43.5% (£32)
Nose: Dry, juniper, fresh
Palate: Dry, creamy, slight juniper
Finish: Medium, warm, dry

Whitley Neill 42% (£24)
Nose: Strong, crisp, juniper, floral
Palate: Powerful, fresh, juniper,
Finish: Medium, warm, sweet, dry

Warner Edwards Harrington Dry 44% (£32)
Nose: Complex, lavender, heavy floral
Palate: Viscous, sweet, lighter floral
Finish: Medium, little warmth

Hayman’s Sloe Gin 26% (£19)
Nose: Sloe, sweet, crisp
Palate: Sloes, fruity, sweet, viscous
Finish: Long, sloes, slight dryness to the end

Conclusion
This is the first gin tasting I have actually done, I have tried a number of them but never as a side by side tasting session, so it was interesting to do and a few things that came out of it for me. For one it was great to see just how different the gins can be, wildly different you could say. It was not that many years ago that I would not touch gin because I thought them bland and all the same, how my eyes have been opened.

The Hayman’s London and Old Tom were interesting, they had the nose the wrong way around. The London had a lovely floral nose that better matched the palate of the Old Tom we thought, both very pleasant though, especially for the money. The Old Raj was a favourite of ours before the tasting and remains so after it, does everything a gin is supposed to do in our eyes. Onto the Fifty Pounds gin and you get a dry yet refreshing gin that we both really enjoyed, however when moving onto the Whitley Neill, although quite different, we felt that we would much prefer to save a few quid and have a bottle of that. Super complex yet refreshing all the way, and much like the Old Raj, does everything we expect from a gin. This left the Warner Edwards as the final gin. We were split on this one, my father was not particularly struck on it but I found it quite nice, not as good as some of the others but very complex and unique which I liked.

You may have noticed that I skipped the Williams Chase gin, well there is a reason for that. Despite it being a lovely drink, amazing aroma and beautiful palate, it’s not gin in our eyes. On a blind tasting neither of us would put gin down as our first guess. Gin should have a predominant flavour of juniper, and the Williams Chase just doesn’t. Like I said though, a fabulous drink.

The final drink of the night was a Hayman’s Sloe Gin, which neither of us were particularly taken on, but we kind of expected that as we don’t like sweet drinks much, and sloe gin is always a bit sweet.

Mackinlay’s Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt – The Discovery

Distillery: Mackinlay’s
Name: Shackleton Rare Old Highland Malt – The Discovery
Region: Scotland
Age: NAS
Chill-filtered:
Strength: 47.3%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £98 (70cl from Master of Malt)
Nose: Delicate, citrus, fruity, caramelised sugar, honey, marmalade, smoke
Taste: Slight smoke, orange zest, spice, oak, caramel
Finish: Medium, oaky dryness, subtle smoke
Rating: 7/10

Limited to 50000 bottles, this is as close a replica as is possible to the whisky that Sir Ernest Shackleton took to the Antarctic during his 1907 attempt to reach the South Pole, since the distillery that originally produced it no longer exists, Glen Mhor.

Whyte and Mackay’s master blender Richard Paterson was asked to create this replica, and he did so using malts from Speyside, including Glen Mhor and Dalmore, as well as Island and Highland malts.

The nose starts of reasonably delicate with a slightly citrus note to it along with just a subtle vanilla sweetness, but with orchard fruits note slightly overpowering it. There is also a hint of caramelised sugar coming through as well as heavier hit of marmalade all finishing with just a hint of smoke. It is complex that’s for sure but remains delicate throughout with is nice.

The palate also has a lot going on, an initial hit of smoke quickly gives way to fresh orange zest and then onto a spicy oaky edge, leading back to a hint of smoke again. Get a bit of air around it and the caramel notes come through. This leads onto a medium length finish with a real oaky dryness to it and that subtle smoke lingering around also.

Overall it is a nice dram, develops well with time and has a decent amount of complexity. Works well neat and with water due to the strength, with the water bring some cereal notes and the smoke out more.

Top 10 Summer Drams

I recently read a post by Tom Thomson on his top 10 summer drams which got me thinking about what mine would be, so I though I would spend a little time thinking about it. I have not had that many to judge from at this point (around 170 at time of writing) but this is what I came up with:

Aberlour 16 Year Old
I found the Aberlour 16 year old was an easy drinking sherry finished dram, plenty of flavour there as you would expect from a sherry finished whisky, but not as bold and heavy as may I have had. I think it would be suitable for a late evening dram.

Balblair 2003 1st Release
A light, fruity and refreshing dram with just a hint of spice. Benefits from a drop of water so maybe a cube of ice instead on those hot summer days.

Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old
It’s been a while since I’ve had this but I remember it being really refreshing with coastal notes, which I always find helps make a good summer dram. There was some good flavour there with just a bit of sweetness going on.

Clynelish 14 Year Old
One of my stable drams and one of the few that I have purchased more than one bottle of. Again this is a light, fruity, smooth, coastal and refreshing dram with enough complexity to keep you interested.

Glenglassaugh Revival
Would you believe it, the Revival is light with some coastal notes to it making it refreshing and easy drinking. It can handle a little water at 46%, but not loads, so a little ice could work well during summer again.

Lagavulin 16 Year Old
This is another late evening dram for me, sitting out with the chiminea going, the smoky, peaty qualities would work well along with the slightly heavier and bolder body. Alternatively it might work well during a BBQ.

Mackmyra – The 1st Edition
I was really impressed with this dram, the bottle went down quicker than expected. It is light, fruity with just a bit of citrus to it, which always makes for a good summer dram, and a hint of spice to the end.

Old Pulteney 17 Year Old
I had this at a whisky festival earlier this year and could see why people rave about it. A wonderful dram that is light and easy drinking yet with lots of complexity there also. It has the Old Pulteney coastal qualities plus so much more. Could work well during the day due to if freshness, or evening due to it’s complexity. Alternatively you can just go with the 12 year old, another great dram.

Springbank 10 Year Old
Really impressed with this one, light, fruity with a peaty and slightly coastal finish to it. It has enough complexity and strength that will mean it would probably handle a little ice well, helping to make it a good summer dram.

Tobermory Ledaig
I have had both a NAS and the 10 year old Ledaig and find them both light, easy drinking with a nice level of peaty freshness to them. The 10 year old has slightly more body than the NAS but both are great offerings.

Monde Shuzo Isawa Blend

Distillery: Monde Shuzo
Name: Isawa Blend
Region: Japan
Age: NAS
Chill-filtered:
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £39 (50cl from Master of Malt)
Nose: Earthy, sake, spice, metallic
Taste: Light, earthy, sake, dry
Finish: Short, dry
Rating: 3/10

The nose is most unusual, like no whisky I have smelt before. It reminds me a little of sake (I’ve only ever had one bottle of sake though so I’m no expert) but with a slight spice to it. Once the air has gotten around it, it becomes a little metallic for me.

The palate is light and reasonably complex, with a lot of the earthiness following on from the nose. I can’t help but think of sake again on the palate, just a hint of it, with a real dry edge to the fairly short finish. That metallic quality is also present a little on the palate after aerating.

Well I have to be honest, I have not had a whisky like this before, not exactly struck on it I’m afraid, but it was interesting to try it. A 3cl sample is easy enough to drink but I would not fancy a full bottle, I would find it hard work I think.

White Oak – Akashi Blended Whisky

Distillery: White Oak
Name: Akashi Blended Whisky
Region: Japan
Age: NAS
Chill-filtered:
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £34 (50cl from Master of Malt)
Nose: Fruity, slightly sweet, vanilla, citrus
Taste: Fresh, spice, oaky, creamy
Finish: Medium, spicy, woody
Rating: 5/10

Continuing my blended whisky journey I have a couple of Japanese blends to try. I have tried a few Japanese whiskies in the past, some blends and some single malts, at whisky festivals I have attended, but never done proper tasting as of yet.

First up is a blend from the White Oak distillery called Akashi Blended Whisky. It is a NAS whisky that is a blend of malt and grain whiskies.

The nose starts of with a slight sweetness and fruitiness to it, quite delicate but pleasant. It opens up a little into a light citrusy aroma, still with a little sweetness, but very refreshing. Once aired it begins to open up a lot more, you can detect just a hint of vanilla coming through and a more intense fruitiness also develops. I left the last bit for about 40 minutes and the nose really opened up, lots of dark fruit going on in there now, lovely.

On the palate it is light and fresh initially with the citrus notes coming through from the nose. This moves onto a palate with a good level of spice and oak on offer, with a subtle sweetness that develops into a slightly creamy body. The spice and woody notes continue onto a medium length finish.

Overall I am actually impressed with one, it is a light and refreshing dram that has a nice balance of complexity and ease of drinking. I prefer the nose to the palate as it has a lot to offer given time. I would say that to get the most out of this dram you need to leave it to aerate for 10-15 minutes (same as most drams to be fair).

Compass Box The Peat Monster

Distillery: Compass Box
Name: The Peat Monster
Region: Highland
Age:
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 46%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 5cl
Price: £37 (70cl)
Nose: Iodine, salty, sweet, orchard fruits
Taste: Peaty, smoky, light, salty, floral, spice
Finish: Long, peaty, oak, light, spicy
Rating: 5/10
Lastly I move onto Peat Monster, a blend of an Islay malt, Isle of Mull malt and a slightly peated Speyside malt to give “a balanced, highly drinkable peaty blended malt Scotch whisky”. I’m partial to peated whiskies, both highly peated Islay drams as well as other more subtle offerings from various distilleries, so this one should be interesting to try.
Well unsurprisingly it hits you with iodine initially but also with a refreshing salty note to it and a sweetness, a little too much for me at first but it does lessen are the air gets around it. As it aerates, hidden behind the iodine which also begins to lessens, you can get the orchard fruit notes coming through. The 46% ABV is also apparent on the nose.
The palate is predominately peaty as you would expect but it does have a lovely smoky note to it as well. The peat dies down some leading into a more delicate palate, a slightly coastal saltiness maybe followed by a soft floral note and a little spice. This leads on to the inevitably long peaty finish which is still light and spicy with an oaky dryness present also.
Yet another light and easy drinking dram from Compass Box. For the peat heads amongst us, this is a well balanced and easily approached dram suitable for both summer evenings due to it’s lightness, but also as a winter warmer due to it’s warm and spicy characters. I’m not sure I’m struck on the nose as such to be honest but the palate is certainly pleasant enough.
Thanks to Compass Box for the sample.