That Boutique-y Whisky Company
: Blended Whisky #3 Batch 1
: £80 (Master of Malt
Bottle: 119 of 463
Nose: Rich, dark toffee, sherry, summer fruits
Taste: Rich, sherry, oily, spicy
Finish: Long, sherry, spicy
You can’t go wrong with a TBWC dram, every one I have tried has been exceptional, will this 23 year old blend stand up to such a reputation? Lets see.
The nose is rich with a good amount of dark toffee going on but without the sweetness. There is also a well balanced sherry note there too. Given a little time it briefly hints at some metallic qualities but this disappears and some summer fruits begin coming through and settles with some marzipan too.
The palate is predominantly sherry for me, lovely and oily with a good spice kick mid through to end palate. Think of a good quality sherry finished whisky, just with a little less complexity. It’s just that nothing else quite stands out enough, maybe some chocolate notes but that’s about it.
This has a complex, developing nose to it. Plenty going on and strangely I find it keeps toing and froing with the sherry notes, very interesting. The palate is less complex, more balanced. There are not really any stand out notes, just a balanced sherry heavy blend. As a result it’s a strange one, a savouring dram for it’s nose but just an enjoyable dram on the palate.
Name: A.D.Rattray Bottling
Bottle Size: 70cl
Distilled: 19th February 1993
Bottled: 21st March 2016
Cask #: 8641
Nose: Light, fleshy fruits, floral, marzipan
Taste: Light, banana, malty
Finish: Dry, spicy, woody
I picked this bottle up at the A.D.Rattray shop last year during my Scotland trip as Auchroisk is a distillery I am unfamiliar with.
The nose is light with a lot of fleshy fruits present at first along with a slight floral note in the background. After a while this fruitiness softens and is replaced with marzipan and a touch of malt. When covering the glass for a few seconds you then get subtle hints of damp forest floor.
The palate is initially quite light with a bit of banana present but then quickly transforms into a malty, spicy dram, a lot richer than the colour and nose would suggest. With the addition of water the malt softens but the spice is still present. There is also a hint of pineapple in there too. The finish is quite short in flavour but long in spice.
Overall a quality dram, complex without being a challenge to identify it’s qualities. Powerful enough when neat but smooth with just a touch of water, and the spice just keeps building on the finish, lovely.
Name: Whisky Broker Bottling
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: Unavailable (was £45)
Distilled: 25th November 1991
Bottled: 15th August 2014
Bottle #: 77 of 206
Nose: Light, malty, slightly floral, sugar cane, hay
Taste: Smooth, spicy, barley
Finish: Medium, spicy, woody
A bottle I have had in for a while now and never got around to opening, but thankfully a couple of months ago I got to crack it open at last. With such a long wait and built up anticipation, was I going to be impressed or disappointed?
It’s a Bunnahabhain, what do you think, it’s great 😊
It is light on the nose with an initial malty note and slight floral note too, I get subtle lavender. With a little aeration a real sugar cane note starts to become prominent with a subtle hint of hay in the background. It’s not super light as the malt and sugar cane add some depth but works well on a warm day still.
Onto the palate and you get a really smooth yet spicy dram with a barley note present. There is a slight sweetness there but it is subtle. The spicy continues onto a medium finish with a woody note coming through towards the end. It’s not as complex as I’d expected for a 22 year old but that does not make it an unpleasant dram, oh no, very enjoyable in deed.
Overall I am very pleased with this dram, especially for £45, I mean how can you not be. Not particularly complex but a bit meatier than you would first expect from the colour. It is not worth what you would ordinarily pay for a 22 year old in my opinion, but I didn’t so it’s great 😊. It is good on a warm day but also with food. I had it with a few meals and found that it complimented succulent pork quite nicely.
Name: Dark Cove (2016 Committee Edition)
Bottle Size: 70cl
Nose: Petroleum, tar, dark chocolate, toffee
Taste: Peat, dark chocolate, coffee,
Finish: Medium, peaty, spice
I had the pleasure of visiting Islay around this time last year and while there I made the trip to the Ardbeg distillery to do the Warehouse Tasting. What a great place and great location/atmosphere to do a tasting. While at the distillery I spotted the Committee Edition of Dark Cove, knocked out at 55% rather than the 46.5% of the standard.
The initial hit on the nose as I pour is of petroleum, it’s strong but very short lived. It then opens up into a hot tar and dark chocolate mixture, if you can even imagine that. Give it a bit more time and it starts to soften and you begin to get a little more creamy toffee note. The ABV is very obvious at first but it does soften as it aerates and after a couple of minutes any burn has gone.
Onto the palate and you are presented with that much sort after Ardbeg peat, but it’s not alone. Oh no, it brings some welcome friends, high cocoa dark chocolate and a little bit of coffee come along for the ride, giving this peaty monster some real depth. Given a few minutes I start to detect a subtle sweetness coming through, some of that toffee from the nose maybe. This leads into a medium length finish that is a little dry, unsurprisingly peaty with a real spicy hit.
A truly wonderful expression from Ardbeg yet again, different enough from the core range with a much deeper quality to it coming from those sherry casks, and yet still light enough to be enjoyed on a summer evening. A great dram any time of the year.
: Single Malt
: £46 (The Whisky Exchange
Nose: Sweet, light fruits, citrus, minerals, malt, peat
Taste: Honey, malty, coastal, spicy
Finish: Long, floral, smokey, spicy
Wolfburn has a long history, the distillery originating back to 1821 and is the most northerly mainland distillery in Britain. This particular bottle was from the first release as I got my pre-order in as soon as I heard about the new distillery. A long wait later and here we are, ready to review.
As you would expect from such a young whisky, it is very light, straw colour. The initial nose has some sweetness to it with some light, fleshy fruits present. This moves into a citrus aroma with some slight mineral notes and a hint of peat. Given a bit of airing time the malty notes start to come through.
Onto the palate and you get an initial honey sweetness but is again quickly dismissed, this time by the spicy malt that follows. The malt dies down mid palate, though the spice remains for some time and blends in well with some subtle coastal/salty notes which, in turn leads into a slightly smokey floral edge on the finish. After a bit or aeration the sweetness begins to make a bold return and holds it’s ground which I found an interesting turn of events.
For 3 year old whisky this is actually quite a pleasant dram. It obviously has some of the youthful qualities you would expect with a whisky of this age, but with a drop of water/ice in it, this is an amazing dram to sit out in the sun with, or I dare say that youthfulness would be interesting in some cocktails.
I’m looking forward to trying some of their later expressions.
: 1995 – Benchmark Collection
: £135 (Master of Malt
Bottle No.: 1 of 255
Cask No.: 14341
Cask Type: Jurançon Wine Cask
Bottled: October 2015
Nose: Toffee, marzipan, slightly floral
Taste: Rich, dry, spicy, raisins
Finish: Long, spicy
This is an independent bottling of Glenrothes 25 year old by Murray McDavid as part of their Benchmark Collection. It has been matured in a wine cask from Jurançon, South West France, who produce both dry and sweet white wine, I am unsure which was used for the finish however.
It has a medium body to the nose with strong hints of light toffee, without too much sweetness though, and some initial marzipan. It is picked up a little by some floral notes making it lighter on the nose than the colour would suggest. On that note, Jurançon is known for white wines (according to Wikipedia) which again the colour would not suggest. The official notes also mention anise too which I can get a hint of once left to aerate a while.
The palate has a boldness to it; there is some initial sweetness but it is really well balanced by a dryness that follows and into a soft spice. All of this leads in to a raisin mid-palate. The finish is long and strong. There is an oaky dryness and spice to it too, lovely.
A real winter dram this one; very different finish from the wine cask but in all the right ways. I don’t have a sweet tooth but I like how well this balances the sweetness with the dryness. Credit to the guys at Claxton’s.