Bunnahabhain Cask Strength 12 year old

A lovely deep golden colour which invites you to get up close and experience it

This dram has been bottled at cask strength which is a massive part of its attraction. The nose is nippy with massive presence and citrus overtones and an undercurrent of dark coffee

The palate has huge chocolate flavours synonymous with the taste of Border Biscuits Dark Chocolate Gingers. There’s also the sweetness of raisins and the suggestion of cloves and hazelnuts

The neat finish is huge and really warming and gives an incredibly strong, but not unpleasant, burn on the way down. With water this finish is much more tolerable but really, really awesome. There are suggestions of dark cherries and a wee bit of wood too. I did hope for a suggestion of sea salt on my lips as I get with the Stiúireadair but that wasn’t present

There are many drams that are bottled at cask strength to mask inadequacies; this isn’t one of them. This is a tremendously infectious dram that will have me revisiting time and time again


Powers John’s Lane 12 year old

This came recommended at Dublin Airport Duty Free (thanks Ken!) and is from a distiller I had never experienced. The original spirit was aged in ex bourbon casks and finished in Oloroso Sherry casks. The golden colour and great legs suggested a nice dram.

And so it transpired. The nose has a woody aroma with overtones of leather from an old car. There’s also rolling tobacco and Bournville chocolate

The palate is overwhelmingly vanilla with chocolate and coffee cream sweetness. There’s a nippiness to it as you’d expect from a 46% dram, but it’s incredibly smooth with a fantastic mouth feel and lots of honey

The finish lasts ages and coats your throat with honey and a charred wood flavour

This was a great recommendation and one that inspires me to try different expressions from this distillery

@PowersWhiskeyNI @NorlanGlass @DramduJour

Redbreast PX Edition

A good looking dram that promises much and delivers enormously. It’s from their limited edition range and apparently is highly sought after.

I saw this in Dublin Duty Free and thought I’d give it a go as the 12 and 15 year old expressions are SO good. It was also limited to one bottle per customer and that made it even more attractive. It’s been matured in ex bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks before being finished in Pedro Ximénez hogsheads

The nose is fantastic and is all toffee but when you get through that there’s loads of vanilla and hazelnuts with old leather and a wee citrus twist

The palate is enormous with loads of chewy toffee and honeycomb overlaid with vanilla. The mouthfeel is magnificent and this powerful dram keeps on giving with dark plums and glacé cherries

Stand by for a long, long finish that’s sweet and tangy with light citrus and the satisfying notes of digestive biscuits

Redbreast 12 year old was the dram that changed my opinion of Irish Whiskey and this expression takes it to a whole new level. This is one of the best whiskies I’ve tasted and I highly recommend it to you.

Slàinte mhath 🥃 @redbreastwhiskey

GlenAllachie 18 year old

Dark golden and full bodied with excellent legs

I had tried the 12 year old from GlenAllachie and it was tasty but lacked depth and a long finish so I was keen to experience the 18 year old and it didn’t disappoint.

The nose is dark toffee with a wee spicy nip. There’s also lots of vanilla and a bit of honeycomb

The palate is awash with marzipan, butter and boiled sultanas I also sensed candied fruits, McCowans toffee and butterscotch Angels Delight. It’s a sensational dram

Unlike it’s 12 year old cousin the finish lasts ages. It’s rich, sweet and honeyed with a pleasant “burn”. Tremendous

I could happily drink this whisky over and over again and probably shall!

@theglenallachie @norlanglass

Bunnahabhain 12 year old

Chilly nights call for a warming dram and this gorgeous golden fella looks like it’ll fit the bill!

The nose on this dram suggests that it’ll be sweet, much like you’d get on a sherried whisky, but it also has a salty side that reminds me of a walk along the prom on a stormy day. After a while there’s also a very light hint of smoke

The first taste brings a nutty caramel flavour that reminds me of an old bar from Rowntree’s called Nutty. I also taste digestive biscuits and there’s a definite hint of seaweed and sea salt. It packs a punch as well as it’s 46.3% ABV

The finish when neat gives a great burn like an “old school nippy” and lasts ages. There’s also that salty residue. When I add water it becomes very mellow with the malt and Sherry to the fore

I’ve gravitated to this expression after discovering the awesome Stiúireadair and it’s as lovely but with subtly different characteristics.

Not a typical Islay as it’s peat free but a fabulous dram. Slàinte mhath 🥃

Glengoyne 21 year old

A wonderful mahogany coloured dram that’s so inviting

The colour of this dram makes you love it before you taste it. The nose is malty with a hint of cinnamon and a little oaky

From the first sip this is silky smooth and spicy with notes of rich Sherry and a peppery nip. Overwhelmingly it suggests Christmas cake and honey with dark chocolate and treacle

The mouthfeel is amongst the best I’ve experienced and the finish is long and very satisfying with more malt and a suggestion of white port.

This is a tremendous dram which delivers on every level and is one that I’d be happy to drink neat although the addition of water doesn’t diminish the experience but does make the dram last longer!

@glengoyne @norlanglass

Talisker 10 year old

The warm and welcoming colour of mahogany and fantastic legs makes this dram really inviting

The nose is really fresh with a wee nip and lots of smoke. When the smoke clears it’s quite fresh and fruity with overtones of green apple. There’s also the faint hint of Toffos

The palette is smokey with toffee which clears to spice and a salty residue. Not like Old Pultney but gentler and more subtle with a wee peppery kick

The finish is long and smokey like being at a barbecue or after eating burnt toast

I’ve been recommended this dram for some time and I can see why most people like it.

There’s a peaty smell which should endear this to Islay fans, but it’s very accessible so shouldn’t preclude anyone from trying and enjoying it

Slainte mhath 🥃

The Glenlivet Batch Reserve 18 yo

A glorious sight of liquid amber fills the senses with anticipation and it certainly didn’t disappoint

The nose of this dram is full of toffee sweetness that eventually gives way to barley sugar and some smokey cereal. There’s also a hint of sweet fruits like baked plums and raisins

The palate is a joyous mix of apples, honey and Brazil nuts with overtones of oak, smoke and spice. Indeed that nip lasts a long time

The finish is long with a nip on the back of the throat and a dry oaky feel

This dram has a fantastic mouth feel and finish and could easily pass for a longer aged whisky It’s also suitable for drinking straight without water although this does dull the kick somewhat

Sláinte mhath! 🥃

Glenmorangie La Santa

A light golden dram that promises much and then delivers.

Matured in bourbon casks before finishing in Oloroso and Pedro Ximinez Sherry casks which gives it a magnificent golden colour

The nose gives lots of caramel and chocolate milk with a wee nip of spice

The spice is very evident on the palate, it’s a real “nip” of cinnamon which is accompanied by brown sugar, Christmas cake depth and sweet orange. There’s also a bit of maltiness there too

The finish is long and very pleasant with that cinnamon nip and a dark chocolate with orange and a nutty edge

It’s a great dram with a wee bite and very reasonably priced too.

Sláinte mhaith 🥃

Tamdhu 10 year old

A lovely shade of gold and a fantastic package made me want to try this dram and I wasn’t disappointed. Lovely legs on the side of the glass made it even more promising

The nose is overwhelmingly vanilla and it took a while to get through that but when I did I got lots of marzipan with a wee bit raspberry

The feel was great and the taste manifested toffee, red fruits and a bit of wood with a hint of spice

The finish wasn’t especially long but offered sweet apple and a bit of smoke

My first Tamdhu and made me want to try other expressions