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

Aberlour Double Cask Matured 12 year old

You can’t beat a good dram to start a holiday weekend and this fits the bill

Ruby red thanks to maturation in American and Sherry Oak casks. Powerful legs that promise an oily dram

The nose gives honey, toffee, vanilla and rosy red apples

On the palate it’s a smooth combination of bourneville chocolate, toffee, coco pops and a wee nip from ginger

The finish is great and it coats your throat with warmth and a nip of spice

I tried another Aberlour expression last week and it was underwhelming. This dram has reaffirmed my faith in the brand

Slainte mhath 🥃

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 palate 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 palate 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 palate 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 🥃