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!

Glenfiddich Rich Oak 14 year old

The first thing that impressed me with this dram was the colour, rich and golden commensurate with it being finished in American and Spanish oak casks.
If the sight was glorious then so is the nose. I got creamy toffee like the McCowans toffee dainties of my childhood. There’s lots of fruit too with raisins and sweet dates to the fore along with the nip of cinnamon and nutmeg
The palette is sweet with toffee and caramel and incredibly smooth
The finish is long and smooth with lightly toasted bread and nuts
This is such a moreish dram that I’ll revisit regularly

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban Port Cask Finish

The Quinta Ruban 14 is a fabulous deep golden colour due to its maturation in Bourbon casks then finished in ruby Port casks
The nose suggests rose, milk chocolate, almond croissants and sweet oranges
The palette is very smooth with the sweetness of strawberries and the tartness of orange entwined with bourbon biscuits and mint reminiscent of a Mint Cracknel (a chocolate bar from the 70’s)
The finish is long with a nip of spice and dark chocolate
The Quinta Ruban 12 year old was an exceptional dram and this is different and difficult to compare so it’s unfair to do so but I’ll simply say, whilst it lacks the depth of its predecessor, it’s worth the effort to try it

Ardbeg Drum

After dipping my toe metaphorically into the Sound of Islay last night I thought I’d try again, but what were the chances of getting lucky and avoiding the peat again?
The nose told me I may be out of luck as my initial lungful was medicinal and TCP-like so I was despondent. However, much to my surprise, that aroma cleared allowing me to get woody smoke with an element of pine with banana bread and overtones of dark chocolate ginger
I was now keen to see what my palette told me and it was awash with ginger, pepper, spice, mild vanilla and smoke and of course dark chocolate
The finish suggests coffee and cinnamon but with a smokey overtone and sea spray rather than sea salt
Drum is a limited edition dram launched for Ardbeg Day and I was desperate to like it as it’s been matured in ex bourbon casks before being rested in rum casks, very different for Ardbeg.
A year ago I’d have been overwhelmed by the medicinal nose and turned off. Maybe I’ve matured as a whisky drinker or maybe this is just a special, special dram. This will never be a go-to dram for me but will feature on special occasions and on tastings that I host.
If you’re an Islay fan you may like the wee twist with this, however if you’re usually a Speyside/Highland drinker this may just open your mind to Islay whiskies. I’d be keen to hear what you think.

Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair

I’m not really an Islay type of guy but I was intrigued to try this when I saw it advertised and was lucky enough to be given this as a gift.
The nose is salty but not like the saltiness of Old Pulteney, and sweet too, which sounds like a contradiction in terms but it’s actually the case. The sweetness is like that from a caramel pudding
I was expecting to be overwhelmed by peat and smoke but there’s none and that’s a great surprise. The palette has more salt with cinnamon and a real hint of nutty sweetness with honey overtones
The finish is long and smooth with a wee chilli like kick and then a sense of dark chocolate
This was a great surprise and is testament that not every Islay malt has to be heavy on the peat.
Slainte mhath 🥃


Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask Reserve

This dram has a lovely golden colour that’s very inviting
The nose has loads of toffee and vanilla and hints of red apples
The palette has a wee kick but is overwhelmingly full of toffee and vanilla with a nutty overtone
The finish is incredibly long with the taste of apple crumble and toffee sauce
There are 3 whiskies in the Age of Discovery range and they’re all different and worth, erm discovering!

Glenfiddich Cask Collection Reserve Cask

This is a wonderfully coloured dram due to the malts being matured in Spanish sherry casks and married in a Solero Vat. it’s deep, rich and very inviting
The nose smells of old leather and vanilla with hints of spice and orange peel
The palette is really smooth with masses of custard, almonds and Christmas cake. It also reminds me of sweetie bananas
The finish is long and oaky with more vanilla and lemony citrus
This dram is very moreish and worth seeking next time you’re in Duty Free