I have noticed I have a number of single grain whiskies in at present and thought it time for a comparison. The bulk of them are from the Girvan distillery but there is also a Signatory bottling of an undisclosed Ayrshire distillery.
I will start with a few notes I found from a previous tasting for 2 whiskies from The Girvan Patent Still, their New Make Spirit and No4 Apps whiskies.
Name: New Make Spirit
Taste: Smooth, light, light fruits, vodkaish
Name: No4. Apps
Taste: Toffee, peppery, vanilla, citrusy
And now onto the rest of the Single Grain whiskies.
Name: 1998 Ayrshire – Single Grain Collection from Signatory
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 70cl
Price: £31 (Master of Malt)
Taste: Light, spicy, pepper, dry, earthy, chocolate, tobacco
Finish: Short, spicy, dry
This is an undisclosed Single Grain whisky from Ayrshire that was distilled on 21st August 1998 and bottled on 30th October 2015 by Signatory.
So surprisingly this does not have a particularly spicy nose which is a characteristic that I have come to expect from grain whiskies, instead it has a sugary sweetness, sponge cake. It is not particularly complicated but for £30 I’m not expecting it to be. The sweetness lessens after a couple of minutes leaving the sponge cake and a new, slightly metallic crispness.
Onto the palate and you are hit with that lovely peppery spice that I was expecting. It is very light with an initial sweetness that evolves into a slightly earthy note and a hint of chocolate and cigar tobacco just at the end, I wasn’t expecting the chocolate and tobacco. The earthiness is like wet leaves, gives it a surprising depth given the nose. The finish is short in flavour but quite long in a lingering spice.
Overall I am very impressed with this whisky. It is cheap so a great drinking whisky, light and refreshing so a great summer dram but has a lovely warming spice too, will still be good in winter then. A great all rounder by all accounts.
Bottle Size: 5cl
Price: £245 (Master of Malt)
Taste: Dark toffee, sherry, creamy, spice
Finish: Medium, spice, oak
Onto the 25 year old from The Girvan Patent Still and the nose is wonderful, deep and complex with a good level of spice, not too overpowering. You get a little vanilla and toffee sweetness that is well managed by the oak to ensure it is not too sweet, the raisins also help to add depth. There is a subtle orange citrus note there also to lighten it a touch.
Dark toffee again on the palate with a sherry note there also. It is very smooth with a well balanced spice towards the end that continues onto the medium length finish. Depth is added by the raisins, similar to the nose.
A very pleasant dram, plenty of complexity on both the nose and palate making it a great savouring whisky.
Bottle Size: 5cl
Price: £366 (Master of Malt)
Taste: Smooth, oily, slight raisin, battenberg cake, woody, spice
Finish: Light spice, dry
Great nose again, light toffee this time along with some sugared almonds. Not as deep as the 25 year old but lighter and more fruit present.
Super smooth on the palate, the oily texture coats the mouth with the subtle spice and notes of Battenberg cake. There is some depth to it also from the raisin notes and wood, also giving it a slightly dry finish.
Another great offering from The Girvan Patent Still, well balanced with good sweetness, spice and dryness. Another savouring dram for sure.
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: Sold out (Master of Malt)
Taste: Leather, baked fruit, nutmeg
Finish: Long, dry, spicy, charred wood, salty
This is a 1965 bottle from Douglas Laing as part of their The Clan Denny range. It is a sample that I got in my pack from Whisky Tasting Company a while back that I have been looking forward to.