Ledaig ‘Dùsgadh’ – 42 Year Old – 46.3%abv
Info: This contains some of the first spirit to be made at the distillery when it reopened in 1972. The old stills have since been decommissioned and used as part of the packaging. The replacement stills have now produced new spirit and in buying a bottle of this 24yo gets you a free bottle of 10yo in 2024 made from the spirit from those new stills. For the full PR info go here.
Colour: Deep and rich coppery gold. Old rusty tints.
Nose: Old and relaxed; a really smooth nasal delivery with a surprising amount of fresh papaya and tropical fruit notes coming through. There’s gentle smokey puffs and a leatheryness you get from old leather covered oak chairs. Some slight coffee notes followed by mushy plums, beeswax & honey.
Ledaig 1997 – G&M – 56.8% abv
Info: Sherry Cask #465 TWE Exclusive. 16 years old.
Colour: Fully golden, hints of orange.
Nose: Big powerful sherry peat smoke, gentle moss.
Palate: Thick, oily and easy for the strength. Oaks, light moss, peaty puffs and sherry flavours all combine well.
Finish: Relaxed and long with a farm note, muddy, mushey fruit malt smoked goodness!
Thoughts: Really tasty and luxurious, excellent stuff.
Thanks to my friend Dave (whiskyrepublic) for the sample.
Ledaig 8yo – Dramboree – 58.8% abv
Info: 2014’s Dramboree release from Tobermory.
Colour: Light sunny gold.
Nose: Rich and pungent mossy peat smoke, medium oak and sherry fruits with washy malted barley.
Palate: Strong and a little hot but rich and enjoyable peaty goodness. Bacon. Slightly fizzy and peppery.
Finish: Pepper, mossy peat and malt lasting out.
Thoughts: Powerful, full on and great fun. Excellent!
Thanks to my friend Dave (whiskyrepublic) for the sample.
Wild Buck Whiskey – 50% abv
Info: Wild Buck is an American rye whiskey that comes from the NJoy Spirits Distillery in Florida. It’s made in a copper pot still in small batches from 100% all natural home grown rye grain and aged in custom made new charred American Oak barrels.
Colour: Rich autumn gold, hints of rust.
Nose: Really thick oily legs with a sweet rye nose. There’s vanilla, oak, rye grain, some liquorice, a mineral thing and some cracked pepper notes right at the back.
Palate: Sweeter and smoother than I thought it would be at 50%abv, it’s very easy on your palate with a small pinch of spice to keep it interesting but mostly sticking with the sweeter creamy rye oils. The mineral nature remains in the background along with gentle vanilla oak notes from the small virgin casks and a handful of mushed up gooseberries.
The Girvan Patent Still
New Make, No. 4, 25yo & 30yo
A few months back I was invited up to go and visit Girvan distillery to have a look around. Sadly I couldn’t make it, so as a backup option I was sent a set of the distillery’s core range to take a look at. I’ve tried the 25yo old before, and really enjoyed it – review here – but to try the rest of the range was a bit of a treat to see how it compares. Let’s take a look…
Tomatin Contrast – 46% abv
Info: See the info here, however in short Tomatin have released a set of two 35cl bottles, one fully bourbon matured, and one fully sherry matured. They contain exactly the same make up of whisky so that you can compare how the maturation in different casks has affected things. Great geeky idea! It’s a NAS whisky, but they clearly state the makeup of the years in the malt blend, another thing which I love about this whisky, I wish more NAS releases from other brands would follow suit.
GlenDronach Cask Strength – Batch 4 – 54.7%abv
Info: Matured in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. Non chill filtered, natural colour.
Colour: Summer gold.
Nose: Malty, sherried and fun. Fairly full on, don’t sniff too hard. Nutty apple pie. Fresh with a bit of youth (not in a bad way though) and, after a while, a touch of acetate.
Palate: Easier on the palate than expected, it’s quite gentle to start with, sweet and packed full of fruity flavours and fun. The longer you hold it on the palate the more intense it becomes however.
Finish: The finish goes on for quite some time, it’s sweet, some young touches, and with spices building all the time before eventually fading out.
GlenDronach – ‘The Hielan’ – 8yo – 46% abv
Info: Matured and married in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks. Non chill filtered, natural colour and bottled at 46%.
Colour: Light to medium straw, nice and natural.
Nose: Plenty of fragrant malt, hints of oak, bourbon character at first giving way to the more fruity sherry – a fairly light summer sherry. A nice clean sweet nose.
Palate: Medium to thick, oily and sweet. There’s more spice than I was expecting to find. It gives way to fruity flavours of summer berries, and plenty of malty goodies. There’s a fiery chariness to it at the back.
Abbey Whisky – Anon. (Batch 1) – 13yo – 51.5%abv
Info: “Distilled in 2001 at one of Scotland’s finest distilleries, Anon. Batch 1 has been aged for 13 years in total, with the last 6 months of maturation spent in an Oloroso sherry cask. Bottled in 2015 at cask strength.”
Colour: Light to medium summer gold.
Nose: Rich, fruity malt, loads of malt, and… fruit! Mushed down red apples with some sultanas and custard. Hints of older oak, honey and some smoky hints from cask char.
Palate: Really thick oils coat your tongue with honey flavoured oaky malt. It’s very smooth for the higher than normal strength. A pinch of spices that make it interesting, but also not enough that it overloads your tongue. There’s a slight cardboardy thing going on nearer to the end.
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