Label 5 Gold Heritage – 40% abv
Info: At the end of 2014 Label 5 (owned by La Martiniquaise who also own Glen Moray – the blend’s main component) released “Gold Heritage” to expand their range. It’s a blend containing a mix of whiskies including single malts up to 20 years old, the result being an exceptionally smooth whisky loaded with fruit, spice, warm vanilla oak and subtle smoke.
Colour: Spring sun gold.
Nose: Some grain top notes leading into a sweet fruity malt base. Touches of oak and sherry sweetness. There’s some quality malt backing this blend up for sure.
Palate: Instant honey sweetness with touches of oaky wood giving it depth to join the brown sugars and malt.
The Antiquary – Blended Scotch Whisky – 40% abv
Info: This is the entry level expression from the Antiquary blended Scotch whisky range, owned by the Tomatin distillery after their acquisition of J. W. Hardie in 1997.
Colour: Orangey golden.
Nose: Much more interesting than I imagined it might be, there’s a peatiness to it along with younger oak notes and lemon drop sweets. The best flavours dissipate fairly quickly in the air leaving mossy malt.
Palate: Very easy and velvet smooth although not hugely thick. It’s nicely balanced sweetness comes through along with smoky puffs.
Finish: Slight bonfire notes stick around with sweetness to give your chest a little warming hug, very pleasant indeed. At the end there’s some younger notes coming out which belies it’s price point.
The Famous Grouse Mellow Gold – 40% abv
Info: The recipe has a higher proportion of sherry casks than standard Grouse to deliver a subtly sweeter, mellow flavour. More info here.
Colour: Autumn gold, a fair bit darker than the standard Famous Grouse blend.
Nose: Fairly sweet with quite a lot of sherry nuttiness about it. Vanilla along with red and green apples and a slight fudgeyness.
Palate: Actually a fairly thick mouthfeel leading to gently building spices, the red and green apples are there but held back somewhat.
Hyde ‘No. 1 President’s Cask’ 10 Year Old – 46% abv
Info: Hyde comes from Hibernia Distilleries and is a single malt Irish whiskey from West Cork. It’s made from 100% malted Irish barley and matured in first fill bourbon and then finished in Oloroso sherry casks. Non-chill filtered. 5000 bottles.
Colour: Summer gold.
Nose: A nice mix of things on the nose, great to keep you smelling. There’s almost slight peaty whiffs, malt, some mossy oak notes, slight overripe fruits, stewed autumn berries and hints of a metallic nature. There’s a creamy vanilla custard there too.
Palate: A thick oily mouthfeel which is fairly easy going on your palate, there’s a small pinch of spices, medium sweetness with those stewed berries leading the way and the cream there too.