Adnams No 1 Whisky – 43% abv
Info: Adnams made this with 100% East Anglian barley and aged it for 3+ years in new French oak.
Colour: Rich evening summer’s gold.
Nose: Not a nose you’d readily identify with a Scotch whisky, but then again this isn’t Scotch, it’s English! It’s young, it’s been in virgin French oak, and you get a set of interesting smells. Toasted vanilla pods, damp nut shells, some milk chocolate and white PVA glue.
Palate: It’s got a bit of a bite, there’s some peppery spices which are quickly there upfront on the palate, then followed by the younger oak wood notes. Otherwise it’s a little one dimensional. Medium sweet.
Angels’ Nectar – Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – Rich Peat Edition – 46% abv
Info: Blend of Highland malts, heavy on the peat.
Colour: Light straw, nice and clear.
Nose: Instant mossy peat loveliness, slightly creamy and sweet.
Palate: A fairly thick palate, gently introduced to your tongue but soon followed up by those mossy peaty notes and then behind them a caramelly toffee richness.
Finish: A fairly gentle transition from mouth to chest, a little warming. It fades reasonably quickly, but the mossy sweet peat notes last much longer, a hint of TCP showing up at the end.
Thoughts: A very capable and enjoyable peaty blended malt whisky to enjoy on a cold evening.
Available: Master of Malt – £42.08.
Ailsa Bay – 48.9% abv
Info: Ailsa Bay Batch 1 is a peated lowland whisky. Different styles can be produced by the distillery, so batch 2 may be different (but probably not as they seem quite focussed on peated malt). Peated runs are 2 weeks per year. Matured in a combination of four different casks: refill American oak, first fill Bourbon, new oak and Baby Bourbon casks from the Hudson Distillery. No age statement, but no older than 8yo.
Colour: Clear and straw like. Seemingly quite natural.
Nose: If you didn’t know better you’d think this was an Islay dram; it’s not medicinal, but it’s very peaty. There’s sweet, mossy peat with hints of some tropical back notes. It’s creamy, rounded and full; really rather fabulous with a barley background.
Biersky – 44.4% abv
Info: It doesn’t seem to have been done before, but it has now! Biersky is a mix of 60% strong beer spirit*, and 40% single malt whisky, developed by Jean Metzger from the Bertrand distillery in Alsace, France. It’s unfiltered.
Colour: Golden, quite light, a little cloudy.
Nose: Fantastically full of flavours for your nose to enjoy, a real depth that you might find with many a good malt. Underneath it all there’s a good malty spirit, along with the sort of smells you might imagine from a rural, stone built warehouse. There’s a handful of sour berries & sweetness.
Elements of Islay Peat – 59.3% abv
Info: ‘Peat’ is Speciality Drinks / Elements of Islay’s first ongoing release. It’s a blend of non age statemented single malts from around the island.
Colour: Light straw, lovely pale Islay natured dram.
Nose: An instant peaty goodness; a nose to dive into, and one that feels immediately soothing. That’s if you like peat, of course. There’s a mixture of earthy, mossy peat, but also a more coastal, coal smoke type of thing. Behind all that there’s a gentle redcurrent sweetness and a gentle oak tone.
Octomore 7.4 – 61.2% abv
Info: Matured in virgin oak casks. Distilled 21/04/2008, making this 7 years old. 167 PPM.
Colour: Dark, rusty gold, red tints.
Nose: Bosh! Insanely good, really exciting stuff you can smell for ages. For those that have been lucky enough to have ever had Balcones goodies, there’s a definite parallel… rich virgin oak, smokiness, streaky fried bacon, bonfires and barley notes amongst many other smells.
Palate: Very thick oils which are really easy on your tongue considering the 61.2% volume of alcohol. Packed full of those virgin oak notes of smoked brushwood, barley and hints of tannin. After a while held on the tongue there’s kind of a cola cube sweet type of a note. It’s sweet, rich and moreish.
Longmorn Distiller’s Choice vs. Longmorn 16 Year Old
Longmorn – The Distiller’s Choice – 40% abv
Info: No Age Statement. Aged in a combination of hogsheads, sherry casks and bourbon barrels.
Colour: Lightish golden, ripe corn.
Nose: Distillery character evident, it’s good to smell whisky that smells like… whisky, if you get what I mean (you probably don’t, I’m rambling). There’s caramelly toffee notes, cracked dried nuts and hints of oaks and hessian and a handful of spices. There’s a slight spirit nip, even at 40% which might indicate (along with the distillery character) that this is a younger whisky.
Rock Oyster Cask Strength – Douglas Laing – 57.4% abv
Info: Contains Island malts, including those from Islay, Arran, Orkney and Jura. No colouring or chill-filtration.
Colour: Light straw, nice and honest.
Nose: Sweet and punchy barley spirit with nicely present, but gentle peat. Some younger distillery notes poking out which help to round the dram into something great.
Palate: Thick and oily, but quite easy on your tongue considering the high strength. It’s sweet, lightly peaty, some burning embers, and some green berries.
Finish: A finish that builds and builds, a really fresh almost eucalyptusy thing, leading into a sweet ending with just enough hints of peat to keep it going for ages.
Yula – 20yo – Douglas Laing – 52.6% abv
Info: First of a three part trilogy, 900 bottles. Cask strength maritime malt distilled in 1995, combining Islay and Island whiskies.
Colour: Ripe straw to light golden.
Nose: Instantly you’re into a gentle nose, the sort that you only get with a bit more age in good casks. There’s floral hints there, along with a note of coal and older peat, the sort of peat that’s lost some of it’s instant fireyness and toned down a little. It’s fruity with notes of grapefruit and gooseberries.
Palate: The palate is lovely and thick, with a little bit of drying wood tannins hitting you quite quickly before settling down with the floral notes coming forward (90’s Bowmore?). There’s reminiscent sweets here of things like Parma Violets, love hearts and refreshers, however they’re all there with an older edge to them.
Glenmorangie Private Edition VII Milsean – 46% abv
Info: Matured in ex-bourbon casks and then extra-matured in former wine casks, re-toasted for the purpose.
Colour: Bright golden with slight caramelly orange tints.
Nose: With some attention you can find the Morangie notes there, but at first it seems a bit of a different beast. It benefits from a few moments in the air to open up. There’s sweet nutty notes, candy floss, barley and spices (sweet spices, cinnamon, etc). Pleasant stuff.
Palate: Fairly thick and really quite easy, I was expecting it to be introduced more sharply. However, with a bit of time the spices build a little, but it stays thick and fairly sweet… we’re talking a balanced sweetness, not too much. Barley notes not so evident at this point.