Mortlach (12 year) ‘Wee Witchie’

The “Wee Witchie” is the name of Mortlach’s small experimental pot still, and “some” of its output was included in the batch for this bottling. “Some” is one of the worst words in the English language, so we don’t know if we’re talking about a literal teaspoon, or if 30% of the vatting comes from The Wee Witchie, so it’s kind of an irrelevant piece of information…

Kirkland Islay Single Malt (2022)

Getting the easy stuff out of the way: This is a single malt scotch whisky, from a single distillery on the island of Islay in Scotland. It is heavily peated like other Islay stalwarts (Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Caol Ila, etc.) and should not be considered unless you know you’re ready for a face-full of smoke and weird brine flavors in your whisky. It is bottled at the impressive strength of…

Kirkland Speyside Sherry Cask Finish – 19 year (2022)

You’re not going to pick up an 18 year-old Kirkland single malt for $50 and find the next best whisky in the world. What you’re going to get is a whisky that has a few relatively minor flaws but is otherwise quite good for the price. I’ll say this for Alexander Murray (the independent bottler that supplies both Costco and Trader Joe’s with their own-branded scotches): they…

The Ardmore Legacy

Ardmore is one of the pantheon of venerable scotch distilleries that nobody has heard of, because the vast majority of its output goes into blends – in this case mostly Teacher’s. The Aberdeenshire distillery was built in 1898, straddling the imaginary line that divides Speyside from the arbitrary region called The Highlands. Ardmore’s lightly-peated malt serves as…

The Balvenie (21 year) PortWood

The Balvenie PortWood is a marriage of casks of The Balvenie aged for 21 years in ex-bourbon barrels, which have been finished for an additional period – likely a few months – in port pipes. The bottling strength depends on where you buy it. In the UK, it’s 40% ABV. In the US market (at 750ml size), it’s 43%. In Duty Free aka Travel Retail, it’s 47.6% and non-chill-filtered. It’s probably safe to say that Balvenie is using fairly inactive refill…

Benromach Triple Distilled

This Benromach can still be found on shelves (and, sometimes, on sale!). It was distilled from partially-peated malted barley in 2011 and bottled in 2019, making it 7 years of age. No, I’m not bad at math, it’s just that the month of bottling means the whisky was under 8 years which by law means any age statement must be “7 years”. It’s bottled at a robust 50% ABV, higher than Benromach’s usual 46%. This might be an intentional choice to combat the reduced concentration of flavor from…

Kilkerran (12 year)

The name Kilkerran is Scots Gaelic for “head of the lake of Saint Kieran’s cell” and refers to a local historic settlement. Glengyle distillery uses a local water source, Crosshill Loch, for its process and proofing water. After a series of “Work in Progress” malts, Kilkerran is now bottled under a range with an 8 year-old cask strength expression, an NAS “heavily peated” expression, and this flagship 12 year-old. Glengyle actually uses Springbank’s…