Girvan 25 Year Old – Old Particular – 51.1% abv
Info: Distilled by Girvan grain distillery in December 1989 and filled into cask 10805. Bottled by Old Particular (Douglas Laing) in June 2015.
Colour: Ripening straw.
Nose: Nice, light and sprightly… fairly spirity with a great grain nose, slightly closed, but opens up with time and a bit of warmth. Lovely old, subtle nut tones from the cask. Sweet vanilla and milk chocolatey hints.
Palate: The higher abv is fairly easy going on your palate – very slightly hot maybe, but the age helps to make it rounded and creamy. It’s medium thick feeling, and fairly sweet.
GlenDronach Cask Strength – Batch 5 – 55.3% abv
Info: NAS, cask strength, non chill filtered and natural colour. Matured in a combination of PX and Oloroso sherry casks.
Colour: Vibrant autumnal gold.
Nose: Rich, punchy deep sherry nose. There’s winter fruits in abundance, blackcurrants, redcurrants, loganberries, cranberries, fat juicy currants, sultanas and raisins. All underlined with a buttery creamy malt and hints of oak wood.
Palate: Instantly a great crushed nut and gentle oak note which leads into the sweet deep malty fruits. It’s a bowl of stewed winter fruits with thick Birds vanilla custard on it. Thick and enjoyably oily.
Tullamore D.E.W Cider Cask Finished – 40% abv
Info: No age statement, but finished in ex-cider casks for 3 months. Triple distilled, triple blend Irish whiskey. Limited production made yearly between September and November.
Colour: Evening gold.
Nose: Rich, refined and malty with a real flinty metallic quality. After a short while it becomes quite aromatic and fragrant. If there are apples then they’re more in the background, quite a sour dry cider apple; don’t think sweet apple juice… they show their head after the whisky has had plenty of time to breath.
Aberfeldy 16yo – 40% abv
Info: To finish off a trio of Last Great Malts related reviews, we arrive at Aberfeldy, a distillery I’ve always enjoyed ever since I had some of their whisky directly out of a cask in one of their warehouses whilst on a visit… It was one of the best drams I’ve ever had. Happily, Aberfeldy have now added and extra bottling into their core range and released a 16yo which is finished in Oloroso sherry casks. More info on SWB here.
Colour: Fairly bright and clear gold. Aberfeldy uses colouring although this seems rather more natural than some others in the range so maybe (as I know they would like) it’s now colouring free?
Back in September John Dewar & Sons Ltd. released a new range of bottlings from Royal Brackla distillery. They released a 12yo, a 16yo and a 21yo, all at 40% abv. The fairly tall and slow run stills help to give a delicate and light spirit.
Let’s take a look at the three of them…
Back in October, John Dewar & Sons Ltd. released The Deveron from the Macduff distillery… a 10yo (exclusive to France), 12yo and 18yo.
Madcuff is located next to the Deveron river which enters the sea just up from the distillery.
Let’s take a little look at the 12yo and the 18yo…
Compass Box – Flaming Heart 15th Anniversary – 48.9% abv
Info: First released in 2006, Flaming Heart was the first whisky to combine the rich, complex spice of Scotch aged in new French oak with the evocative peat-fired smoke of Islay malt.
Colour: Ripe corn to light gold; no colouring (or chilling) here.
Nose: There’s a light to medium smokey peat note there, amongst bourboney fruits and hints of honey and wax polish.
Palate: Thick, oaky and peaty… yum. There’s a good set of berry fruits at the front, followed up by an earthy clean peat with a good sweetness behind it to make it really enjoyable.
Finish: Slow, long and really warming on your chest, a good tickle of gentle spices to keep the dram going. Crushed berry fruits, raspberries and smoke.
Compass Box – This Is Not A Luxury Whisky – 53.1% abv
Info: Inspired by René Magritte’s famous 1929 painting The Treachery of Images. Lots of Glen Ord in it.
Colour: Orangey golden.
Nose: Instant hints of old oak and dunnagey warehouses all mixed with seville marmalade, berry notes and some spices.
Palate: Nice and thick oils which cover your mouth in spices which get to a level that they’re fun but not overpowering. It’s enjoyably approachable, even at cask strength. There’s a gorgeous gentle sweetness running through it, hints of toffee.
Finish: The finish shows the most layers to me, fresh, quality old casks, a cola cube, spices, tannins and oak. It’s long and massively enjoyable.
Royal Mile Whiskies 40 Year Old, Three Cask Blended Malt Whisky – 47.1% abv
Info: A blend of three sherry cask single malts (Glenrothes, Macallan & Tamdhu) bottled at natural strength and colour without filtration. 337 bottles.
Colour: Rich autumnal leaves, plenty of rusty tints.
Nose: Deep, rich and nutty; plenty of malt and aged sherry fruits. Nice and layered with good complexity. Gentle oak notes with a damp dunnage background.
Palate: Gently spiced, but easy and thick on the palate hold it on your tongue for a long while and enjoy. There’s plenty of caramelized brown sugar along with mashed up winter fruits and a very small dollop of cream on top. Old antique malt.
John Dewar & Sons unveils its latest expression from The Golden Dram – Aberfeldy 16 Years Old.
Aberfeldy 16 Years Old is entirely finished in premium Oloroso sherry casks, allowing a sumptuous and more pronounced sherry accent to the malt, giving a suggestion of dried fruit and spicy notes that only the finest of quality casks contribute.
Built by the Dewar family in 1898, the distillery is one of a handful remaining in Perthshire. The house style is rich but smooth and accessible with an emphasis on notes of honey. The long fermentation time of 70 hours allows for greater flavour development as an extended fermentation encourages the creation of more esters which in turn give the whisky fruitiness.