“John Dewar & Sons Ltd. has unveiled a new range of proprietary bottlings from Aultmore distillery, forming part of its ‘Last Great Malts’ of Scotland range, with Aultmore 12-year-old, Aultmore 21-year-old (in Travel Retail only) and Aultmore 25-year-old.”
Back at the end of last year I was lucky enough to go around all of Dewar’s distilleries and I tried the 3 Aultmore’s at that point, you can read about my trip and my initial impressions here. However, below is my further thoughts / tasting notes now that the range has officially been launched.
Glenmoranie has quite a lot of expressions of varying ages and rarities, and I’ve not really reviewed any of them here before now. I don’t know why not, I’ve enjoyed a good Glenmo for many a year now. So let’s take a little look at four expressions that I think it’s safe to call part of Glenmo’s core range, the 10yo The Original, 12yo The Lasanta, 12yo The Quinta Ruban and 12yo The Nectar D’or. All easily available, affordable whiskies.
So without further ado let’s kick off…
Port Charlotte (Bruichladdich) – 12yo – 58.7% abv
Info: This is a Travel Retail release (i.e. you can mostly only get it in airports or at the distillery). It’s being launched tomorrow aboard a Viking Line ferry in the Baltic sea (I hope the storms hold off!).
Colour: Full gold with orangey tints.
Nose: At first maybe slightly closed on the nose; it could be the fairly high ABV, or it could just be that the aging process has given this more of a maturity than you have seen before from Port Charlotte. Given time and warmth there’s a leathery note alongside the gentle beefy peat and thicker oils. A drop of water helps open the nose up a bit.
Glenkinchie 12yo – 43% abv
Let’s start off 2015 with a readily available malt that’s not to expensive!
Info: One of only a handful of lowland whiskies, Glenkinchie is situated near Edinburgh.
Colour: Fairly honest pale gold.
Nose: Quite fragrant, packed full of malt grass and fruity aromas with a base of toffee and hints of oak.
Palate: At first slightly spicy, followed by plenty of malt. Slightly dry with medium oils.
Ok, it’s the time of year that apparently every whisky blogger publishes a list of his or her “top drams”. Well, blah to that eh? No one really cares I’m sure… But not to be outdone, here’s just the quickest of quick lists of drams I’ve enjoyed this year… nice and short so hopefully you might pass your eye and take something away to try sometime!
Bunnahabhain 23yo (Abbey Whisky / Rare Casks)
Glen Garioch Vintage 1995
Somerset Cider Brandy 10yo
Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
Pretty much anything by Balblair
(Plenty of others, but I won’t bore you any further)
And that’s it. Simples. Happy New Year yous lot!
Buffalo Trace – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – 45% ABV
Info: The 45% abv version that’s in review here is sadly not so easy to find any more, it was replaced with the lower 40% version that’s now generally available in the UK. You can take the following as a basis for that 40%, but expect it to be a slight shadow of this version.
Further Info: The 45% version was first introduced in 1999 and is a marriage of no more than 45 barrels of 9 year old whiskey and is bottled by hand.
Hazelburn 10 Year Old – 46%
Released in 2014, I tried this at the distillery a few days before it was due to hit the shelves and really enjoyed it. Part of the Hazelburn core range, this is a 10 year old bottling of Hazelburn single malt Scotch whisky from the Springbank distillery in the Campbeltown region. It is triple distilled, unpeated, matured in bourbon casks and bottled at 46% ABV. Not chill filtered and no colouring.
Nose: Quality and craft pours out of this as soon as you get your nose to it, packed with great oak, the sort of old oaky smell you get in dunnage warehouses. A slight mineral tone and sweet barley. It noses as something slightly older maybe. A tiny bit of salt and some gentle sweet summer fruits. After a bit of time to breath a bit of waxiness also comes through.