My go to dram is the Balvenie Caribbean Cask so when a friend posted a bottle of this (online and not actually to me unfortunately!) I was keen to try it.
A portion of this dram was finished in barrels which previously held Caribbean rum so the nose is all toffee, fruit and vanilla. I get lots of red apples in particular with overtones of banana fritters
Neat the palette has loads of toffee with vanilla and summer fruits but when you add water it’s not as punchy as I’d hoped
The finish isn’t particularly long and is a bit “thinner” than Balvenie but it’s a nice enough dram which I’d be happy to drink anytime.
Not as much character (or age) as the Balvenie nor does it coat your mouth, but it’s pleasant enough without being outstanding
The nose offers toffee, honey, brown sugar, Terry’s chocolate orange and sweetie bananas. It’s been finished in Reserva barrels that previously held rum so those notes are unsurprising but very warm, sweet and welcoming
The initial taste has a real kick and is spicy. Neat I get vanilla and toffee but when I add water the palette manifests many more notes including spicy ginger, dark chocolate and overtones of Christmas cake
The finish is a joy. It lingers long and has a taste of orange marmalade and a hint of lime
This is a special dram which is definitely worth the investment and makes you realise that every day is special in some way!
The name of this dram comes from the size of barrel it was matured in. The quarter cask is, as the name suggests, a quarter of the size of a standard barrel and so has greater wood-to-liquid ratio which accelerates the maturation process and gives a more robust and sturdy finish
The nose is fabulously sweet, not unlike JD or similar bourbons, lots of vanilla and honey with citrusy overtones and a wee hint of maraschino cherries. The more I drank it, the more aromas I got, and latterly I got the scent of leather from a hot car. It reminded me of my brother Jack’s Austin Healey from the 60’s. Drinking whisky is great for evoking fantastic memories ❤️
On the palette this dram is a delight with a lovely sweetness of almonds, coconut and pineapple. There’s also more oaky leather overtones and a wee hint of cloves. It’s powerful too as it’s a healthy 56.2% ABV so easy tiger!
The finish is long and warming with more cherries and the bite of cinnamon and woody spices
There’s no age statement on the bottle but I’d guess it’s around the 10 year old mark. It’s a lovely dram but careful with the measure as it really packs a punch.
I was really keen to taste this after hearing a glowing review from a close whisky loving pal and it intrigued me. The nose was overwhelming honey but when you get above that it reminded me of butterscotch Angel Delight and dark coffee
The neat palette has an edge with an intense hit of treacle which mellows to Lyons syrup and then the overwhelming sweetness of honey. When you add water the whole palette mellows as you’d expect and you then appreciate notes of butterscotch toffee and a suggestion of a light marzipan. The more you sample the deeper you get with the flavour range.
The finish isn’t particularly long or memorable but sufficient to know you’ve sampled a good dram. It isn’t massively memorable but makes you inquisitive about what this distillery can offer
In summary this is a pleasant enough dram, especially for a 12 year old, but not enough to shout from the rooftops in my opinion
This is another expression of the 12 year old Orcadian malt which I’ve grown to love. I’ve previously tasted Dragon Legend and Viking Pride and the notes are on this blog. Viking Honour is different from both and worth investigating
The nose has loads of honey with overtones of sweet fruit and fresh cut grass. It also reminds me of sweet Christmas cake
The palette initially offers honey and dark toffee but not as dark as treacle toffee. I also detect a hint of smoke but not as pronounced as in the other expressions
There’s a nice long nippy finish that suggests light peat with a bit of a spice
Highland Park is a recent discovery of mine but one which has become a firm favourite. It’s not a particularly spectacular dram but easy to drink at any time