Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve

Gloriously golden with fantastic legs

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

Glenfiddich 21 year old Reserva Rum Cask Finish

A rich and golden looking dram which promises to be something special. The legs are long and promising and make me want to dive in!

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!

Slainte mhath 🥃

Glenfiddich Unique Solera 15 Reserve

Beautiful colour and beautiful legs on what is a fantastic dram

This is a tremendous dram with a great reputation which is well deserved. The nose is sweet with honey, almonds with vanilla and freshly cut timber

The palette is really soft with honey, vanilla, Milky Bar and overtones of soft fruits like orange and peach

The finish is long and really soft and even my wife can tolerate it, and she’s not a whisky drinker. I get cherries like you get in a Christmas pudding and spice with raisins

In summary this is a wonderful dram and brilliant for introducing non-whisky drinkers to the “water of life”.

Slainte mhath 🥃

Arran Quarter Cask

Lovely golden coloured dram that makes you want to dive in!

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.

Slàinte mhath 🥃

Glen Allachie 12 year old

Golden mahogany colour with delicate legs

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 does however make you inquisitive about what this distillery can offer

In summary this is a pleasant enough dram, especially for a 12 year old, and makes me really want to experience their 15 year old as I’ve heard lots of good things about it

Glenfiddich XX

This dram looks absolutely stunning and has fabulous legs which indicate great character. The rich mahogany colour also promises much.

The nose is very woody at first which gives way to sharp orange notes like a freshly peeled satsuma. There’s also toffee with a kick like a dark tray toffee you’d hit with a wee hammer

The palette is a joy. Woody at first with spice and oil of cloves giving way to sweet creamy toffee. It’s a powerful combination and very robust

The finish, as you’d expect is long and dark with the lingering finish of a strong coffee and a real kick commensurate with the 47% abv

This is the second release in Glenfiddich’s Experimental Range and is worth checking out

Sláinte 🥃

Highland Park 12 year old Viking Honour

A lovely golden dram with great legs

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

Sláinte 🥃

Arran 18 year old

To coin a phrase from Burns’ Address To A Haggis, “what a glorious sight“! It’s due to being non chill filtered and being matured in a sherry cask and it promises much

The nose is caramel, caramel and caramel and once you get past that, there’s apple, pear and plum with an oaky overtone

The palette has loads of dark chocolate and orange, a bit like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange but more bitter, with fruity nuances of tinned peaches and dates

The finish is glorious too. It’s very long and smooth with a sweetness of caramel ice cream and hints of cinnamon

This dram was a gift (thanks Freddie!) but I’d happily pay the going rate for this as it’s a special dram

Sláinte 🥃🥃

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