House of McCallum McPeat

This is a very pale dram which is natural as it’s unfiltered and matured in American oak bourbon barrels

This was a gift this week from one of my very closest friends. It was entirely unnecessary but, as a whisky, much welcomed gift. I was taken aback by the name as he knows my tastes but was keen to challenge them, and I’m delighted he did.

The nose is hugely peaty but once you get beyond that there are massive overtones of rubber inner tube. That stays for a long time and it’s easy to accept that’s all there is, but do persevere as there is a heathery finish

The palette is very smoky which gives way, eventually, to toffee and salty sea air. I also detected marzipan and dried fruits

The finish is very long and very pleasant. There’s heather and honey and some light citrus with salty air

This dram wouldn’t be one that I’d have chosen but I’m delighted that Calum chose it for me as it challenged my perception of peaty malts. Despite its name it isn’t a typical Islay malt but could be a pathway to you trying some. I’m keen to hear your opinion. Sláinte! 🥃

Glenfiddich Solera 15

This dram has a fantastic colour, deep golden with autumnal overtones. It’s been matured in bourbon and sherry casks before “harmonising” in a large Solera vat which gives it a warmth and depth

The nose is fabulous, it’s one of those drams that you close your eyes when nosing and could climb in to! The immediate smell is sherry, as you’d expect, toffee and light citrus like a blood orange

The palette is sweet like a malty loaf with spice and more sherry. It gives your tongue a tingle and nips the back of the throat when neat. When you add water it becomes velvety smooth and reminds me of foam sweetie bananas

The finish is medium with a pleasant glow as it slips down. The after taste is like a slab of Christmas pudding with loads of raisins.

I like this dram a lot and it’s ideal for a winter evening in front of the fire

Glenfiddich 18 Small Batch Reserve

This dram has a wonderful colour thanks to its maturation in Oloroso sherry and bourbon casks. These casks are hand selected by the Malt Master for these small batches

I found the nose to be really fruity with apples and the wee kick of citrus. That then gives way to cinnamon and chocolate

There’s more cinnamon on the palette with lots of toffee and tinned fruit. There’s also a sweetness that reminds me of barley sugar

The finish is long and smooth with more sweet toffee and hints of rum

It’s taken me a long time to sample this dram but it won’t be long till I’m doing so again!

Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake

I’ve been looking forward to tasting this since I first read of it and it didn’t disappoint. It’s been finished in casks that held Tokaji dessert wine (no me neither!) to give it a noticeable sweetness. The nose is immediately filled with oranges which then give way to gingerbread and clotted cream and then loads of burnt toffee

The palette is as smooth as you’d expect from Glenmorangie with lots of vanilla, honey and chocolate, particularly Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Later I got nutty overtones

The finish has a real bite with loads of oranges and the taste of Crunchie

This is a well balanced dram that, whilst it doesn’t remind me of any particular cake, does have lots of sweet, creamy and fruity notes commensurate with finishing in a dessert wine cask

Aultmore of the Foggie Moss 21 year old

I visited Dewar’s World of Whisky today and was keen to try Aultmore as I have an empty cask in my back garden that once contained this spirit. I tried the 12 year old and the 21 year old and this was my preference as it, naturally, has more character. The colour comes from its maturation in refill hogsheads for over 20 years and it’s not chill filtered

The nose is really fresh with lots of fruit like peaches and mangoes with mint and rosemary. It’s a really unusual nose but fantastic all the same

When you taste it the rosemary is really obvious but then you get porridge with bananas and toast. That makes it sound like a breakfast whisky but it’s a wee bit more sophisticated than that!

The finish is really long and smooth and packs a kick as its 46% abv and it leaves you with a nip in the throat

This is close to Balvenie’s Caribbean Cask albeit at 3 times the cost, but worth the investment IMHO. Slainje

Glenmorangie Legends -The Tayne

This dram has a rich mahogany colour and great legs commensurate with maturation in Amontillado sherry casks

The nose is full of almonds and toffee covered nuts with a wee nip of spice

On the palette is a riot of citrus and toffee with the sweetness of brown sugar a bit like nut brittle

The finish is very long and smooth and the toffee is accompanied by soft peachy overtones

This is a dram as good as it looks and worth seeking out next time you’re in Duty Free

Glenmorangie The Elementa 14 Year Old Charred Oak Cask Finish

This is brand new and for the travel market and I was keen to try it. Boy it didn’t disappoint!

The colour is golden and inviting which comes from being finished in new charred American Oak casks. Indeed it’s the only Glenmorangie entirely finished in new casks

The nose reeks of toffee with a nip of spice then loads of chocolate and vanilla

The palette has loads of ginger and masses of Terry’s chocolate orange. There’s also a suggestion of sticky toffee pudding

The finish is long and smooth, even neat, with a hint of sweetness

Sometimes when you look forward so much to a dram that it’s a disappointment, but that’s not the case here. Slainje 🥃


Black Tartan

Fantastic colour which manifests itself from four different charred Highland casks

This is a blend which isn’t something I normally indulge in but I met this dram at a Roseberry Club gathering a couple of years ago and was keen to get a bottle. The nose is all honey and vanilla with overtones of jammy Victoria Sponge and a wee nip of spice

The palette has loads of apple pie and hints of Butterscotch Angel Delight

The finish is long and reminds me of the sweet taste of banana fritters and Scottish tablet

I don’t know how available this is but it’s worth seeking out. Slainje! 🥃

Wayne Gretzky Red Cask No 99

Lovely golden colour from being finished in red wine casks makes me want to crack this bottle open!

The nose is woody but not old wood, it’s a bit like a fresh pallet if that makes sense. There’s also lots of vanilla and caramel and it reminds me of McCowans toffee Dainties (Scottish colloquialism!) I get a wee bit of spice as well

The finish is very smooth but lacking in the real conviction you’d get from an aged dram but not thin like a young spirit either. It’s woody and nutty on the way down and not unpleasant at all

Kininvie 17 1996 Bottling

A lovely pale dram that’s been matured in American Oak and Sherry casks giving a lovely pale colour and great finish

The nose was very peppery initially, so much so that it made me sneeze! Afterwards I got loads of vanilla, honey, heather, citrusy orange and nutmeg. Very pleasant indeed

The finish was long and lingered. It was oaky with more sweet honey and overtones of dried fruit. It lasted ages in my throat and has a lovely warm, but not nippy, feeling going down

Noticeably different from the 23 year old and very satisfying. I’d recommend you try this dram especially on a chilly evening. Slainje!