Category Archives: Island

#76 – Tobermory 20 Year Old (Claxton’s)

Distillery: Tobermory
Name: N/A
Age: 20
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 48%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £? (was a present)
Bottle No.: 32 of 294
Cask No.: 1501-652
Cask Type: Refill Hogshead
Distilled: 26th April 1996
Bottled: 2016
Nose: Light, straw, malty, herbal, white pepper
Taste: Slight sweetness, malt, coastal, slight spice
Finish: Long, dry, spicy
Rating: 8/10

This is an independent bottling of Tobermory 20 year old by the York based bottler Claxton’s and is Natural in colour and Non-chill filtered.

Firstly, what an awesome looking bottle, a little more awkward to pour out of, but what it lacks in practicality it makes in style 🙂

tobermory20yoclaxtons

So the nose is light and delicate with a lovely hit of straw and some subtle malt coming through. There is also a well balanced herbal note to it making it very refreshing on the nose. There is a soft spice to it on the finish like white pepper.

The palate is light like the nose with a hint of malt to it. As you hold it in you mouth for a while you get some coastal notes coming through, not too overpowering, just enough to work with the slightly sweet mid-palate leading to a soft spice. The finish itself is long and dry with the spice building to a nice fiery heat.

Overall this has been a very enjoyable dram, the whole bottle has gone down well, especially over the summer when the majority of it went. It is light and easy drinking but has some depth to it when you are in the mood to take notice.

#75 – Arran 18 Year Old (Whiskybroker Bottling)

Distillery: Arran
Name: N/A
Age: 18
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 51.1%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £45 (No longer available)
Bottle No.: 8 of 319
Cask No.: 551
Cask Type: Refill Sherry Hogshead
Distilled: 17th July 1996
Bottled: 28th August 2014
Nose: Dried fruits, marzipan, almonds, sweet
Taste: Rich, sherry, oaky, dry
Finish: Long, warm, spicy
Rating: 7/10

This is an independent bottling of the Arran 18 year old offered by Whiskybroker. It was actually available a little before the official 18 year old release which is one of the reasons I bought it.

The sherry cask is very obvious from the lovely rich colour. The nose I found interesting, not as deep as I was expecting but does have some richness from the dried fruits, I can pick out dates in there, it is very sweet though, a sugary sweetness too. The usual fruity nose that I expect from an Arran is not present in this one, the sherry cask has definitely had an affect on that.

The sherry finish becomes very apparent on the palate, very rich with some spicy oak notes, leaving it a little dry. There is also some alcohol burn in there too without water. Speaking of which, in the unlikely event of you finding yourself with a dram of this, add some water as it helps to open it up a little. The finish is long and warm, the spice from the oak seems to go on forever.

Well I have enjoyed the bottle but I do think it is a little too overpowering on the sherry front, the delicacies that I can usually find in an Arran just aren’t there which is a shame. Fantastic value for money though, well worth checking out the website for their ever changing range.

#69 – A Collection of Arrans

So I was going through some old notes recently and I came across some from the Arran Tweet Tasting that I did back in April of 2015. Since I never got around to posting them on the blog I thought I would do so now, allbeit 12 months late.
Distillery: Arran
Name: Sauternes Cask
Region: Island
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 50%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: ?
Nose: Pears, honey, citrus
Taste: Creamy, light fruits, honey, spicy
Finish: Long, dry, woody
Rating: 7/10
On the nose my notes were talking about pears and honey but state that it was not as sweet as expected from a Sauternes cask. There are also mentions of citrus, specifically orange and that it develops a slight metallic note after a bit.
The palate was creamy at first then thins on the finish. Some light ripe fruits and honey with a warm spicy edge coming in at the end. With a little water the fruits really beginning to come through making it fresher and slightly perfumey. The finish was long, slightly dry with some woodiness to it.
Distillery: Arran
Name: N/A
Region: Island
Age: 18
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 46%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: ?
Nose: Sugary, vanilla, baked fruit, earthy
Taste: Light, creamy, nutty, salty, oily, warm, spicy
Finish: Medium, lightly spicy
Rating: 8/10
On the nose my notes were saying that this one was sugary with some vanilla and baked fruit, developing a slightly earthy note after a while. There were mentions of sponge cake and apple strudel also.
The palate was creamy with notes of walnut but also had a saltiness to it. It was spicy with an oily texture yet remained quite light. Some sherry notes began to come through after a while too. With water the sherry notes were enhanced along with a fruitiness and some marzipan. The finish had a warming spice to it with a medium length.
Distillery: Arran
Name: Premium Single Bourbon Cask
Region: Island
Age: 13
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 55.3%
Batch No.: Casks 99/103
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: ?
Nose: Vanilla, citrus, light fruits, slightly salty
Taste: Fresh, tropical fruit, spicy
Finish: Short, light, spicy
Rating: 9/10
The nose was light and fresh with some vanilla, light fruits and citrus present as well as a salty quality. They also mention how much it developed when it was given time to aerate.
The palate was light and fresh with a heavy dose of tropical fruits and spice. Citrus notes is what was making it so light and fresh but also made it a very easy drinking dram, even at the high ABV. With water the vanilla was enhanced but the citrus lessened, it remained spicy however and got a little dryer. The finish was short but light and fruity with a well balanced spice to it.
Distillery: Arran
Name: 1st White Stag Bottling
Region: Island
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 54.2%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: ?
Nose: Creamy, marzipan, citrus, earthy
Taste: Creamy, dark fruits, sherry, some spice
Finish: Long, dry, spicy
Rating: 7/10
On the nose the creaminess of the first two came back along with some marzipan, then a sharper citrus and earthy note. Later some  dark chocolate, toffee and cherry came through.
The palate was creamy at first but when held in the mouth for a while it became clean and crisp. There was a nice balance of sweetness and dark fruits with the sherry notes also coming through. Some real spice but also some ABV burn along with it. With water it became more fragrant and more earthy but a sweetness developed along with it.

Scapa 16 Year Old

Distillery: Scapa
Name: N/A
Region: Island
Age: 16
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 40%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £60 (70cl)
Nose: Light, metallic, light toffee
Taste: Medium body, grass, coastal, oak, spice
Finish: Short, coastal, dry
Rating: 6/10

Scapa is the lesser known distillery from Orkney, Highland Park obviously being the better known one.

The nose is quite light with a metallic edge to it making it crisp and clean. There are some light toffee notes in there too which help to give a bit more depth to it.

The palate has a medium body, it starts as a light grassy whisky with some slightly coastal/salty notes but then, similar to the nose, deepens a little, this time with some oak and spice. It is quite refreshing as it picks up with the coastal notes again on the finish, although the oakyness does give it a dry finish.

Overall a pleasant dram, definitely a summer dram with its coastal notes.

Talisker 10 Year Old

Distillery: Talisker
Region: Island
Age: 10
Chill-filtered: ?
Strength: 45.8%
Batch No.: N/A
Colour: Golden
Nose: Light, fruity
Taste: Light, creamy, fresh, fruity, slight sweetness
Finish: Creamy, short, but with lasting warmth
Rating: 6/10
Talisker 10yo

Talisker 10yo

I hear a lot of people saying that Talisker 10yo is a great starter whisky for those wanting to get into single malts. Now it has been a few years since I last tasted it so couldn’t really remember, I wanted to check for myself, and I have to say, I agree. The 10 year old is a very pleasant dram indeed, well balanced with just enough flavour yet keeping it light enough to be an easy drinker, even an 45.8%. There is a sweetness there but not overpowering, it actually works really well with the creaminess of it.

Ledaig Single Malt

Distillery: Tobermory
Region: Island
Age: N/A
Chill-filtered: Yes
Strength: 42%
Batch No.: N/A
Colour: Very Light
Nose: Light and crisp but nothing complex
Taste: Fresh and lightly peated with a slight sweetness
Finish: Short, dries towards the end but not too much
Rating: 5/10
Tobermory Ledaig

Ledaig, pronounced ‘let-chick’, which is Gaelic for ‘safe haven’, is the original name for the Tobermory distillery and is now a discontinued bottling. It is still available to buy however, at a very reasonable price I might add, around £20 at time of writing. The Ledaig 10 year old is now available and is the replacement for the old no-age statement reviewed here.

It has to be one palest whisky I have had, with a very slight yellow tinge to it. For a no-age statement, budget whiskey though I was very impressed, there may be little complexity or overly powerful notes to the nose or taste, but that makes it a very well balanced, easy drinking whisky. If you like peated whisky but want a lighter peated whisky rather than something like a Laphroaig, then this is a very good choice, a fantastic value whisky.