Tamdhu (10 year)

It has a burst of orange peel, with the funky “almost off” meaty/nutty notes familiar to GlenDronach fans. … I know times have changed, still I’m never crazy to pay above $50 for a 10 year-old malt. At least this one delivers in the glass.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
1 Comment

Tomintoul (10 year)

his may indeed be “The Gentle Dram”, but even at 10 years of age it leaves a lot to be desired. The usual suspects for a Highland malt aged in middling ex-bourbon casks are present – the typical caramel, yeasty bread, brown sugar, and nuts – but nothing serves to elevate this dram above any other similarly-aged malt.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , ,
8 Comments

Speyburn (10 year)

Speyburn 10, aged in ex-bourbon barrels and bottled at a respectable 43% ABV, is better than the younger NAS Bradan Orach. It costs about $3 to $5 more ($20 at BevMo here in California), and is better suited to sipping than any other $20 whisky I’ve tasted.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , ,
7 Comments

Speyburn Bradan Orach

There aren’t many details about the makeup of Bradan Orach on Speyburn’s website. It’s matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks. It’s a vatting of different ages (probably, considering the lack of an age statement), likely most younger than 10 years old. After tasting it, I’d venture a guess that the average age is around 6. And it’s unthinkably cheap for a single-malt at $15.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , ,
1 Comment

The Balvenie (12 year) Signature

Uhh. This costs how much? No wonder it was discontinued. With about a quarter of the character of the 12-year DoubleWood, and about a third of the complexity of the 15-year Single Barrel, this is one lame duck of a whisky.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
10 Comments

Tormore (12 year)

A few more years and a bottle strength of 46% ABV would do wonders for this malt. The nose is straightforward but delectable. The palate is somewhat washed-out, and the finish suffers somewhat from its youth (or lack of heavy wood influence). This isn’t a malt to impress at this age, but it shows promise of complexity in its future.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , ,
Leave a comment

The Glenlivet Alpha

Games aside, this is some serious whisky. The aromas are fleeting and mild, but on the palate this malt explodes with the clearest chocolate-and-coffee notes I’ve yet to discover in a whisky.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , ,
4 Comments

The BenRiach (12 year)

The palate is even and crisp, with clear flavors of barley and light oak. It seems to me, however, to be a bit of a blank canvas, and the vinegar on the nose is a bit more sour than I’d like. In fact, the leanness of the malt is such that I’d wonder if it was a lowlander – it bears a lot of resemblance to younger Auchentoshan.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , ,
4 Comments

GlenDronach (15 year) Revival

Like the 12 year, this is fruity and savory at the same time. However, where the 12 year has many fresh fruit flavors, in three more years the 15 has quickly become more concentrated and resinous.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
4 Comments

GlenDronach (14 year) Sauternes Finish

This is dessert whisky, and no bones about it. While the GlenDronach house style (meaty/oily) is missing here, this is still one robust, flavor-filled escapade of a whisky. Sweet to the point of cloying, but excellently balanced by a grapey acidity and fruity complexity. Truly a pleasure, especially for a lover of dessert wines.

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
4 Comments