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The Whisky Shop Dufftown Newsletter 13/08/2015

Dear All

Here is a round up of what's happening at The WSD.

New Releases

We have had many new releases coming in to stock over the last month or two.  Picking out just a few....

Wemyss

We have had a great new set of malts in from Wemyss.  This is the usual Wemyss gig where they have a phrase that sums up the flavour profile of the whisky.  You get the idea.  Click the links for more detailed tasting notes.  Just in case you have a brain like mine "Sea Haar Bound" is no more than what it it says on the tin (or in this case bottle).  It's just stuck in the fog but more romantically phrased.  It is nothing more sinister.  If you have met the ladies at Wemyss then what else could it be?  Having a soft spot for old grain then the "Toffee Apple Crisp" really appealed to us and the Glen Scotia is like no other.

Wemyss Cragganmore 1999 14 Years Old "Heather Moorland"

Wemyss Bunnahabhain 1997 17 Years Old "Sea Haar Bound"

Wemyss Glen Garioch 1989 25 Years Old "Gooseberry Mocha"

Wemyss Glenrothes 1997 17 Years Old "Buttered Tealoaf"

Wemyss Glen Scotia 1991 24 Years Old "Leather-bound Ledger"

Wemyss Invergordon 1988 27 Years Old "Toffee Apple Crisp"

Wemyss Glen Scotia 1991 Leather Bound

Imperial

Finding Imperial's is like finding the tooth from a hen who has been bare-back riding a Unicorn so this Imperial 1996 from Gordon & MacPhail is a real treat.  It's a delicate sherry cask whisky with possibly more bourbon cask characteristics on the palate.  Warning!  The supply is very limited.

Bargain Hunters

We have also obtained a small quantity of bargain priced single malts both from Provenance.  It's always a good feeling to price a single malt below £30.

Provenance Glenallachie 9 Years Old £29.95

Provenance Graigellachie 8 Years Old £29.95

Provenance Glenallachie 2005 9

Collectors

We have, what we are told, is the oldest (as in Years Old) bottle of Macallan to be bottled and it's a rare war-time bottling as well.

Speymalt Macallan 1945

Speymalt Macallan 1945

More of our new items can be seen by clicking here

Speyside Spirit Cocktail Competition

There is still time to enter our Cocktail competition to find the best cocktail featuring a Speyside Spirit.  There's a great prize as well.  Closing date is 1 September.  Click here for the full details.

Cocktail Competition Photo 1 v2

Festivals

The Whisky Shop Dufftown Autumn Festival

Tickets are still available for some events at our festival which runs from 24 to 28 September this year.  You can see the full programme by clicking here.

WhiskyShop

Other Festivals

It is rumoured that other festivals are available in the coming months but none are as fun and exciting as ours.  But if you can't get to Dufftown at the end of September that why not consider relaxing a Maltstock.  Go along to the quiz.  It will be shorter and far easier than the last 3 years.

*** I would like to personally apologise for the mistake that was in the paragraph above.  I of course meant to say Maltsock, *****

 

All the best from The WSD Team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Whisky Shop Dufftown Speyside Spirit Cocktail Competition

You cannot deny the growing trend for using single malt whisky in a cocktail.  This is really about cocktails coming of age.  Invented to use ingredients to hide the taste of poorly produced and bad tasting alcohol, cocktails are now focusing on the flavour that the base-line spirit gives to the drink.  So why not use single malts?  The best of all spirits.

We have been inspired by the Facebook posts from Tales of the Cocktail in NOLA so we at The Whisky Shop Dufftown have decided to jump on the cocktail band wagon and we are launching today a competition to find the best cocktail using a spirit from the Speyside whisky region. And what better time than when Tales of the Cocktail is on in NOLA.  You might get some inspiration from there!!!  You are just as likely to be inspired by Dufftown though.  Hurricanes and distilleries aside, Dufftown has so much in common with New Orleans.  A walk down Fife Street and you could be on Bourbon Street.  And the Stuart Arms, well it is difficult to say who copied whom but just think the Carousel Bar & Lounge in the Hotel Monteleone!

Carousel Bar

 

The winner will get a £250 voucher to spend in the shop.  The winning cocktail will be announced at The Whisky Shop Dufftown Autumn Festival.

To get you in the mood here is our Speyside cocktail - Forres Skyline.

  • 1 measure of Benromach 10 Years Old 100 Proof
  • 1 measure of Woodford Reserve Double Oak
  • 1 measure of dry Vermouth
  • 1 measure of sweet Vermouth
  • A couple of generous dashes of orange bitters
  • A twist of orange peel

Place the ingredients except the peel into a shaker.  Add a few cubes of ice and stir.  We do not want this too cold or with too much water. Strain the mixture into a martini glass and add the peel.

We have obviously been inspired by a classic Manhattan and we have meddled with it in the same way the skyline of Forres is just a twist on the Manhattan skyline.  Especially if you are looking at it from the roof of Benromach distillery while standing on your head blindfolded.

We think the balanced smoke of the Benromach gives an extra kick to this drink and the flavours of the Benromach and the Woodford interact nicely with the orange elements.  Smoky Manhattans have been around for a while but we think this is much more complex than any we have had before.

Here are the rules:

  1. The drink must be a cocktail i.e. a mixture of 3 or more liquids.
  2. The cocktail must contain at least one measure of a Speyside spirit.
  3. We need to be able to make it - I know some of you are just wanting to use meldon berries from the Serengeti picked at dawn on the summer equinox to flavour Dalmore Constellation 1964. But lets face it, if we cannot reasonably get the ingredients, and that means generally available at reasonable cost, we ain't gonna make it.
  4. It needs to be judged better than Forres Skyline by our panel of willing judges.
  5. It needs to have a great name as that is all part of the fun and come with a short piece about why it works for you.
  6. The entry must come with a detailed recipe and instructions plus a picture.

The rules have been deliberately worded.

Please get your entries in by 1 September 2015 by email to enquiries@whiskyshopdufftown.com.

 

Cocktail Competition Photo 1 v2

What is the Best Malt for a Bacon Roll?

Here at The Whisky Shop Dufftown we have been continuing our "scientific" search for the best Single Malt to go with a Bacon Roll - unsmoked, no sauce.  That's the scientific bit.

At this year's Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival we took the 2 winning whiskies from our festivals last year, Benriach 20 Years Old and Singleton Sunray, and pitched them against 2 new whiskies selected by Mike Lord - Balvenie 14 Years Old Caribbean Cask and Glen Moray Elgin Classic Port Finish.

We held 4 tastings, 1 each day of the festival, and each one was a sell out with over 80 people taking part.  It was a tight race and each combination received a significant number of votes. This proved again that everyone's palate is different and there is a whisky for everyone and every whisky has someone.

The tastings were conducted blind - guests were not told which whiskies they were sampling until after submitting their vote for their favourite.  We were delighted again to watch people see how the food and whisky combination brought different flavours to the fore and even created new ones.  This is what it is all about for us.  Showing how well whisky pairs with food in a new and exciting way.

The clear winner was Balvenie 14 Years Old Caribbean cask which pipped Benriach 20 Years Old.  That makes the Balvenie the best out of 21 different malts we have tried in this competition.  Thank you to all our guests that took part.  I hope you had fun!

Balvenie 14

WSD Image Bacon 01WSD Image Bacon 02

The Whisky Shop Dufftown's Challenge for Independent Bottlers

At each Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival we run a competition for Independent Bottlers to find the best expression they have released during the first half of the year.  This complements the festival's own competition to find the best Speyside whiskies.  We go one step further.  We of course have an award for the best Speyside Whisky but we like to acknowledge that other whiskies are available so we also have a category for The Rest of Whisky.

Voting is carried out by guests of the festival who visit The Whisky Shop Dufftown and take part in an informal do-it-yourself tasting.  All we ask is that people enjoy the drams and if possible vote for their favourite.  We also give a prize for the best tasting note written by one of the guests who take part in the judging.

We had a great competition this year and over 150 people took part.

The full list of whiskies entered are at the bottom of this post but lets get straight in to the winners:-

Speyside

1st Place - Adelphi Glenrothes 2007 (This sold out so quickly we were not able to get a photo.  Hopefully we will get some more stock in soon).

2nd Place - Provenance Miltonduff 2005 8 Years Old

Provenance Miltonduff 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both of these whiskies were exceptional sherry cask whiskies and great examples of how young whisky can also be exceptional.

Rest of Whisky

1st Place - Clan Denny Strathclyde 2005 9 Years Old

Clan Denny Strathclyde 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd Place -  Carn Mor Strictly Limited Fettercairn 2000 14 Years Old

Strictly Limited Fettercairn 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great win for a grain whisky.  A grain has won this category many times before but this is by far the youngest.

Congratulations to the winners.  A particular well done goes to the Douglas Laing stable of companies for a 1st and 2nd and also to Morrison & MacKay for a second and third with 2 of the most affordable entries.

Speyside
BBR Caperdonich 1995
G&M Connoisseurs Choice Inchgower 2000
G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glen Elgin 1998
Morrison & MacKay Strictly Limited Benrinnes 1996 17 Years Old
Hunter Laing Speyside's Finest 1986 28 Years Old
Douglas Laing Provenance Miltonduff 2005 8 Years Old
Adelphi Glenrothes 2007

 

Rest of Whisky
Tweeddale Lowland 14 Years Old
Morrison & MacKay Strictly Limited Fettercairn 2000
BB&R Blue Hangar 11th Release
Douglas Laing Clan Denny Strathclyde 2005 9 Years Old
Wemyss Peat Chimney

The Secret Tasting

The Secret Tasting. sshhhh

By The Lady of the Drams

Hello again, this weekend myself and a few select others (erm.. yes we’ll stay with select) were invited to a secret whisky tasting, at a secret location, by a secret distillery worker with some secret whiskies.  Needless to say I was very intrigued by this - secretly.  Arriving a few minutes early so we could partake of some alcoholic beverage of the non whisky type (i.e. Peroni – other brands are available) and after initially being banned as soon as we step foot in the place for being ‘trouble’ – don’t know what they meant, we found the room to be set out ready with 8 whisky glasses for each person on tasting mats with no name or numbers (guess that was a secret too) and only 4 of them had whisky in!  As we started the tasting our host told us the empty glasses were so we could choose which other whiskies we wanted.  Now I should explain here that our host is not a professional speaker, nor a brand ambassador (although that would be quite funny).  He is just a great lover of whisky and has some fantastic tales to tell.  Most of which aren’t repeatable.  All the whiskies were at cask strength.

We started our tasting with a blend of 70% malt and 30% grain at around 56% abv.  The nose was very sweet, had light sherry notes and the unmistakeable cereal notes you associate with blends.  The taste was sweet and spicy, with vanilla and cinnamon flavours and heavily soaked raisins.  Unfortunately adding a drop of water killed off the taste even though it made the cereal notes more pronounced.

Whisky number 2 was from a local distillery with a splash of whisky from another local distillery at around 52% abv.  The nose was rather strange as I initially got salted caramel chocolate but then the smell of petrol on your hands after you have filled the car at the petrol station appeared. The taste was better giving floral notes of freshly cut hay, spices, liquorice and toffee.  The spices stayed on the tongue for quite a while after.

Whisky number 3 was from a different local distillery with a teaspoon from another local distillery.  Confused yet?  This sat at around 55% abv.  It would seem our most gracious host was one of the angels taking their angels share, just his wings had fallen off.  The nose on this was more earthy like your garden just after a heavy rain shower, but then light brown sugar and malt loaf crept in. The taste however was rather spicy initially but then gave way to soft melted caramel with a very slight touch of smoke.

Our final pre-poured whisky was from a Speyside distillery and was from a re-racked hogshead which had then been finished in a Pedro Ximinez cask and was distilled in 1995.  Chocolate toffees and tinned fruit cocktail in syrup immediately came to mind for me on the nosing of this one and the taste again was quite different to the nose. The taste was like spiced caramel with pink peppercorns slightly singed and a bit of salt was fighting its way through. A nice chewy dram.

Now for the bottles we could pick from. One in particular had quite a few calling to try it. It was from a distillery near a loch from 1995 at around 68% which is probably why it was so popular.  The nose gave up Thornton’s dark toffee (other brands are available), muscovado sugar and burnt oranges. The taste threw me though it was drying and woody with ash notes.  Think I’ll just sit and nose this (I didn’t pick this one by the way).

This next one, however I did pick, as it was a whisky from 1967 (when I pointed out that this was 6 years before I was born I was asked to leave) from a Speyside distillery.  It had lived in a hogshead and was 40.8%.  The nose was of newly varnished wood, sweet candy bananas, crème caramel and custard (hungry now). The taste on this one didn’t let you down either it had vanilla custard mixed with creamy melted toffee.  Just delicious.  I did try to keep the tasting bottle but it was noticed and removed from my reach.

Another one which was a popular choice was from a currently expanding distillery and was distilled in 1989 which is apparently when they produced some of their best whisky.  The nose was sooo good.  Banana toffees with ground almonds and lychees. It was a bit spicier on the tongue than the nose suggested but there was still the creaminess of cream with fresh vanilla pods scraped into it.

The next whisky was from a coastal distillery and was a peated wine cask. The colour was a delicate pink.  The nose gave you sweet peated notes, which was surprising as our host doesn’t like peated whisky, with rose petals mashed in a jar like when you used to make rose petal perfume as a child. The taste was of a wood fire ash with the sweetness gently pushing through letting you know it was still there.

The final whisky of the evening before we all fell down was an Islay from 2001. The colour was a darker shade of pink then the previous and had come from one of my favourite casks – Port.  There was very soft smoke on the nose, with soft fruits and heather peat following on while the taste gave out a spicy smoke to start with followed by freshly cooked oranges.  This was both beautiful to look at and to taste.  What a dram to finish on.  I did manage to keep the bottle for a while on this one.

Altogether it was a great evening and we were asked to just donate to the local charity our host supported rather than pay a tasting fee which we were all more than happy to do. We had been given great whiskies that we probably wouldn’t normally have got to taste and entertained by some great stories.

 

<No Images Allowed>

 

 

 

Whisky Magazine World Whiskies Awards 2015, Icons of Whisky Global 2015 & Hall of Fame 2015

Press release from Whisky Magazine

Whisky Magazine Title

Ian Chang of Kavalan, The BenRiach Distillery Company and Bill Lark among the winners of the top Whisky Magazine Awards

The finest products and individuals were celebrated at Whisky Magazine’s most prestigious awards ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London on Thursday 19th March. The Managing Editor of Whisky Magazine, Mr Rupert Wheeler, hosted a dinner for the industry and guests made the journey from as far as Japan, Taiwan, Australia and America to join the celebrations. During the evening, three of the magazine’s top awards were announced and presented including Icons of Whisky Global 2015, the World Whiskies Awards 2015 and the Hall of Fame 2015.

Mr Wheeler says: “I was delighted to welcome all our guests to the ceremony last night. The evening was a huge success and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our international panel of judges and all of our sponsors.”

THE RESULTS

World Whiskies Awards 2015, Chairman - Mr Neil Ridley

 

Single Malt Sponsored by Rankin Cork

World’s Best Single Malt and Best Asian Single Malt   Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique Cask Strength

Best Islay Single Malt   Ardbeg Kildalton

Best Islands Single Malt   Ledaig 10 Years Old

Best Speyside Single Malt   The BenRiach 16 Years Old

Best Highland Single Malt   Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 Years Old

Best Campbeltown Single Malt   Longrow 11 Years Old

Best Lowland Single Malt   Highland Harvest Organic Single Malt Sauternes Wood

Best Japanese Single Malt   Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 18 Years Old

Best European Single Malt   Mackmyra Iskristall

Best Australian Single Malt   Sullivans Cove French Oak Cask Matured

Best Irish Single Malt   Teeling Whiskey Single Malt

Best American Single Malt   Balcones Texas Single Malt

Best African Single Malt   Three Ships Single Malt 10 Years Old

 World’s Best Design   Haig Club, Diageo

World’s Best Design Agency   Stranger & Stranger

 

Blended Sponsored by McLaren Packaging

World’s Best Blended and Best Scotch Blended   That Boutique-y Whiskey Company Blended Whisky #1 Batch 1

Best Japanese Blended   Suntory Hibiki 21 Years Old

Best Irish Blended   Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix

Best European Blended   Black Mountain Whisky Sélection BM No1

Best African Blended   Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish

 

Blended Malt Sponsored by G. F. Smith

World’s Best Blended Malt and Best Japanese Blended Malt   Nikka Whisky Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 Years Old

Best Scotch Blended    Wemyss Malts Velvet Fig

 

American Whiskey

World’s Best American and Best American Rye   Thomas H. Handy Sazerac

 

Canadian Whisky

World’s Best Canadian Whisky and Best Canadian Blended   Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve

 

Pot Still

World’s Best Pot Still   Redbreast Single Pot Still 15 Years Old

 

Grain Whisky

World’s Best Grain and Best European Grain   Darkness! North British 18 Years Old Oloroso Cask Finish

Best Japanese Grain   Kirin, The Fuji Gotemba Distillery Blender’s Choice Single Grain Whisky

 

Flavoured Whisky

World’s Best Flavoured and Best European Flavoured   Master of Malt 40 Years Old Speyside Whisky Liqueur

Best American Flavoured   Sons of Liberty Seasonals Hop Flavored Whiskey

 

For the complete list of results including all Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards, visit http://www.worldwhiskiesawards.com/

 

Icons of Whisky Global 2015, Chairman - Mr Rupert Wheeler

Whisky Distiller of the Year in association with Glencairn Crystal   The BenRiach Distillery Company

Whisky Brand Innovator of the Year in association with Multi Packaging Solutions   Buffalo Trace Distillery

Craft Whisky Producer of the Year   St. George Spirits

Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year in association with Christie’s   Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

Whisky Distillery Manager of the Year in association with Broxburn   Ian Chang, Kavalan Distillery

Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year in association with Boisdale   Jack Teeling, Teeling Whisky Company

Whisky Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year   Julie Gorham, Four Roses Distillery

Whisky Retailer of the Year – Multiple Outlets   Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop

Whisky Retailer of the Year – Single Outlet   Berry Bros. & Rudd

Whisky Retailer of the Year – Online   Royal Mile Whiskies www.royalmilewhiskies.com

Whisky Distributor of the Year   Southern Wine & Spirits

Whisky Importer of the Year   Whisk-e Ltd

 

For the complete list of results including the shortlist, visit http://iconsofwhisky.com/

 

Hall of Fame, Sponsored by Amorim, Chairman - Mr Rupert Wheeler

Inductee 25   Steve Beal, Diageo

Inductee 26   Al Young, Four Roses

Inductee 27   Bill Samuels Jr., Maker’s Mark Distillery

Inductee 28   Bill Lark, Lark Distillery

Inductee 29   Seiichi Koshimizu, Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

Inductee 30   Jim Beveridge, Diageo

 

For the complete list of inductees, visit http://halloffame.whiskymag.com/

END

For more information on all Whisky Magazine Awards, please contact Rebecca Sterritt by email rebecca@whiskymag.com or by telephone on +44 (0) 1603 633 808.

A Night Out on the Cobbles

Sunday nights used to be about sitting at home and relaxing before starting work the next day.  Not anymore – once a month The Drouthy Cobbler, Elgin has a whisky tasting and like the previous tastings, last night was another great hit.

Graham Coull from Glen Moray took the spotlight this time and even after running a half marathon that afternoon (well done Graham) he still managed to entertain us and bring the audience some fabulous and unusual whiskies.  The whiskies we tasted were all cask strength and not yet bottled.

First up was a single cask, 2006 Sauternes Finish.  The nose was so rich and delightful giving promises of freshly cooked Christmas cake and orange and cinnamon. The taste lived up to the nose giving spicy then sweet hits and bringing the cinnamon to the fore. Well baked Christmas fruit cake and a great one to start with.

Next, came a single cask, 2004 Chenin Blanc. This had earthy notes with vanilla and a slight note of spent matches.  The palate was spicy with soaked raisins coming through leading to a drying finish. A very interesting whisky.

The third whisky of the evening was a 2001 Madeira cask finish which had dark fruits soaked in rum and red grapefruit on the nose. The palate firstly brought a sweet hit then spice before the fruit reappeared. Personally I got fruit pastels but Graham said his tasted like ‘adult jam’ which, after a few cask strength whiskies, caused many laughs and giggles from the audience.

The final wood finish was a 1998 Port wood.  This one blew me away, an amazing dram of which I will definitely be buying a bottle when it’s ready.  Polished mahogany, cream soda and port soaked sultanas on the nose with sweet brown sugar on the palate making me think of warm Caribbean nights.

Before taking a well-earned break Graham then introduced us to the first of the peated whiskies of the evening which was a real surprise.  This was a 1994 21 years old which had spent its first 17 years in a bourbon cask then the following 4 years in an Islay cask from a distillery which Graham wasn’t allowed to disclose or he would be gagged and tied to a post on Bowmore pier (covered in adult jam no doubt). The peat was light and gentle and made me hungry for a smoked bacon sandwich, but there were also citrus fruits lurking underneath.

After light refreshments to cleanse our palate (well gin & tonic) we moved onto whisky number 6 which was a 1995 sherry cask Glen Moray finished for 3 years in a peated cask. The peat came through a bit more on this one but it was more of a coal fire ash with a zing of lime in single origin dark chocolate.

The final whisky was a young 2010 for which Glen Moray had peated their own barley (which Graham was obviously very proud of) and started out in an ex-cognac cask then transferred to a sherry cask. The nose on this was of freshly lit fires with a taste of tangy, spicy, smoked meat and an underlying sweetness.

The final surprise of the night was a shot of peated cleric which was around 71% abv.  The nose was of malty cereal and very fruity while the taste offered up tangy, fruity, coal peat and finished the night off very, very well.

PS  Mike came up with the title of this post so don't blame me.

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Letting Search Engines See "Out of Stock" Products

I have been buying whisky on the web probably for as long as you have been able to.  Not so much these days obviously.  I have always been annoyed when you are searching for a whisky and you enter its name into the Google search box and it comes back with 5 results that when you click on each one you go to a page which says the whisky is Sold Out.  My time has been wasted.  Actually this really annoys me.

The Whisky Shop Dufftown is now on its third website (actually we are working on 3.2) and each time I developed one I have paid extra to have an automatic routine that runs each night and hides our out of stock products from search engines.  I think this is being fair to my customers.  I don not want to waste their time but am I being an idiot?

Why do other companies allow their out of stock products to be indexed by search engines?  The most practical reason is you have to pay extra development costs to have this done.  I have not come across any e-commerce shop where there is a global switch to hide out of stock products.  In reality the cost of doing this is minuscule to what we have to pay for our websites so there must be another reason.

From developers and the owners / runners of other websites I have been told some other reasons.  Firstly, if you click through to an Out of Stock product you might just stay on the website and buy something else.  I am told that if only 1 person in a 100 does this it's worthwhile doing.  Secondly, just having the click through helps with your Google ranking etc.  But is all of that worth wasting the time for the other 99 customers or am I missing out on that 1 sale?WSD SOLD OUT

Over night another issue with my strategy has come to light.  A customer thought that as he could not find a fast selling / rare product on my website that I had not stocked it and therefore he assumed that I actually do not ever stock rare or fast selling whiskies.  If this is a general view created by my strategy then this could be a real problem.

This practice of continuing to list out of stock products is almost universal now so is it now the expectation of customers that they have to click through multiple search hits to actually find a site where the whisky they want is still listed? Are you as a whisky buyer now numb to this time wasting?

I am generally interested in what you think and I will be posting this article on Facebook and ask for comments.  You can always email me at enquires@whiskyshopdufftown.com.

And before anyone mentions there are ways to see out of stock products on my website but they should not be indexed by the search engines.

Morrison & Mackay Latest Carn Mor Bottlings

Last night Mike and I sat down with 4 of the latest bottlings in the Carn Mor Strictly Limited range and we were quite surprised at some of the flavours we found.

First up was Benrinnes 1996

The nose on this reminded me of lime zest with a light floral note, whereas Mike got floral toffee, roast lemon and candy with sea salt and we both agreed on the presence of pear drops.  The taste gave me an initial chilli prickle with vanilla and lychees, melon and pear and Mike had similar flavours with a coffee bitterness.  This we found after being left for a short while turned to custard creams.  A great dram to get us started.

Next up was Mortlach 1998.

Most prominent on the nose for both of us was fresh laundry, honeysuckle, lemon and coconut.  Although whether the laundry smell was from the whisky or the dishwasher I'm not sure - I may have to try this one again to check.  And again.  The taste began with an icing sugar sweetness over nectarines then a kick of chilli chocolate burst through (milk chocolate that is) leaving a light, fruity, boiled sweets finish.  If the first whisky doesnt wake you up and refresh you then this one sure will.

We moved on then to Glentauchers 2010.

Whilst immediately reminding me of a fruity malt loaf, toffee and Jasmine Mike had stewed prunes with rhubard and liquorice.  Quite a lot off different smells from this young dram.  The taste moved onto over cooked toffee with an orange bitters and smoky edge to it reminding us both of a collection of baking before it goes into the oven. This was so warming and spicy as it went down you could feel it warming you all the way to your belly button.

And finally the Caol Ila 2006

Well, all I am going to say about this is wow! a great mixture of icing sugar sweetness, bonfires on the beach mixed with smoked kippers and smoked ham.  I'm now going to get my BBQ, take it to the beach and relax with a Carn Mor Caol Ila and smoked ham sandwiches.  This is deffinately one you need to buy to try for yourselves.

Slainte

 

A Selection of Hepburn's Choice Tasting Notes

By Lady of the Drams

Hepburns Choice Mortlach 7 Years Old

I found the nose on this very fruity (Fruitellas) and citrussy (sherbet Lemons) with a hint of polished wood in the background and honeysuckle.  This then led to a taste with an initial spicy hit giving way to liquorice, spiced oranges, star anise with a light hint of smoke in the background.  The smoke lingers on the finish with spices added in and it leaves your mouth tingling.

Hepburns Choice Talisker 6 Years Old

From this whisky I get Mattesson smoked sausage (other sausages are available) covered with salted caramel chocolate. The taste is surprisingly smooth  reminding me of salted pork with a creamy peppercorn sauce poured over the top.  A vibrant finish that makes your mouth come alive, and some lingering smoke ash.

Hepburns Choice Caol Ila 5 Years Old

The nose on this whisky reminds me of cold tar with a hint of seaweed, giving way to a taste of ash from a wood fire, then briny with a hint of waxy lemon skins.  The finish is rather smoky and waxy coating the mouth leaving a finish that lasts quite a while.