Glen Grant (12 year)

Glen Grant is one of those sleepy distilleries known for producing bulk malt for blends (Chivas, in this case) which has lately been dressed up in new packaging (in 2016) and pressed into service as a standalone single malt by its owners, the Campari Group. … This 12 year is aged in ex-bourbon for 12 years and bottled at 43% ABV, after being chill filtered. While Glen Grant does use sherry casks in some of its expressions, I can’t find anything online that indicates…

X by Glenmorangie

“X by Glenmorangie” is a made-for-mixing single malt. Dr. Bill Lumsden wanted to create a low-cost malt that could challenge ubiquitous blended scotch in the mixing arena. He approached the problem by vatting standard ex-bourbon Glenmorangie malt with some that was finished in new charred virgin oak casks. This resulted in a sweeter and richer…

GlenDronach Port Wood

The port wine in question is a finish, but unusually the whisky is first aged in GlenDronach’s typical combination of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez (PX) sherry casks. That makes this bottling kind of a “Double Fruit”, if you will. The whisky is bottled at 46% ABV, without chill filtration or added color, which is standard practice for GlenDronach, and always a laudable choice.

Oban Bay Reserve – Game of Thrones “The Night’s Watch”

I’ve always been a big fan of Oban. It’s one of the few distilleries that come to mind when I want something essentially “Highland” and with such a consistent house character that you know every bottle is going to contain that same predominant biscuity honey quality. Prices have crept up over the years, as they have with everything with the word “whisky” on the label, but I still think of Oban as my go-to Highland malt….

Tullibardine (Alexander Murray: Polly’s Casks)

This bottling is a “Double Cask” vatting of Tullibardine single malt, using both ex-bourbon casks as well as “Double Barrel Ale” beer casks from California brewery Firestone Walker. … The Tullibardine that was finished in the ale casks spent 1 year there, but we don’t know the full ages of the components. Interestingly, those ale casks – 60 of them – were shipped across the Pacific ocean the be filled with Tullibardine and matured in Scotland.

Boutique-y Whisky: Tomatin (11 year) Batch 4

Oh, I’ve had Tomatin before. It’s bland, sweet, banana-y. I’m sure this will be just another ho-hum sample that gets suck in the back of my “tastings notes” folder and never sees the light of day. I’ve even tasted the 12-year. How much different can a batch of 11-year from That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC) be? It’s not even sherried. At least, I don’t think it’s sherried…

Alexander Murray Bon Accord

…agreement that an independent bottler sometimes has to make with a whisky producer to not disclose the distillery name. The bottle has no age statement, so all we really know is that it is a Highland single malt from an ex-bourbon barrel and that is bottled at the bare legal minimum of 40% ABV. The release is a vatting of different ages from that undisclosed distillery, so it’s not a single barrel.

Old Pulteney Navigator

It’s definitely maritime in that it smells like something slathered on a hull to make it seaworthy. I kid. Sort of. There is an intrusion of peat but absolutely no smoke, which makes it smell and taste earthy but without evoking Islay’s style of smoky peat. The overall effect is brooding and difficult, and that so-called partial sherry cask aging is thoroughly in the background…

Tullibardine 500 Sherry Finish

The 500 Sherry Finish is matured for an undisclosed period of time in first-fill bourbon casks before being filled into 500-liter (hence the name) Spanish Pedro Ximenez sherry butts for one year. The final whisky is bottled at 43% ABV, and is both chill filtered and (probably) has added spirit caramel for coloring. (Sigh.)

Boutique-y Whisky: Teaninich (11 year) Batch 2

A very pale single malt from an ex-bourbon cask, and bottled at the potent but also very drinkable 47.9% ABV, this Teaninich makes me want to go find other (cheaper) bottles from the distillery. Those will all have to be independent bottlers as well, as there are no official bottlings from this distillery, aside from an occasional entry in Diageo’s Flora and Fauna series, most of which doesn’t make it to US.