Review: Tamdhu 10 Year 2005 Signatory Vintage

Price: $85 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Tamdhu / Signatory Vintage

Region: Highland

60.5% ABV

Aged For: 10-Years, distilled 2005

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: 1st Fill Sherry Butt

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Cask & Bottle #: Cask 354, bottle 524

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Toffee, raisins, citrus, sherry, vanilla, nuts

Feel: Medium bodied

Taste: Vanilla, toffee, apple, cinnamon, nuts, malt, cream, sherry

Finish: Medium warmth and length, caramel, sherry, cream, nuts, apple

Thoughts: This is a caramel/toffee, apple cinnamon bomb with sherry influences, I think I’ll save most of this for fall as it seems perfect for that season!

Score: 85 out of 100

Review: Laphroaig Cairdeas 2019 Triple Wood

Price: $75 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Laphroaig / Beam Suntory

Region: Islay

59.5% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon, quarter casks and Oloroso sherry casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Auburn

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Smoke, ash, grape skins, malt, honey, oak, iodine, melon, vanilla, berry

Feel: Full bodied, oily

Taste: Very strong charred oak and peat smoke hit immediately, followed by mixed of salt, dried fruits, oloroso sherry, and citrus, then returning to a strong tannin and spice backbone

Finish: Long and warm, heavy damp oak and peat still dominate, with bits of herb, white grape, and sherry notes.

Thoughts: Very strong and powerful spice and smoke on the front end, but you can pick up the fruit notes if you dig past the warmth and tannins. As my palate adapted fruit become more to the front of the drink, but with heavy spice still a constant.

Score: 80 out of 100

Review: Deanston 13 Year 2005 French Oak

Paid: $86 for 700ml

Distilled/Owned by: Deanston / Distell

Region: Highland

55.6% ABV

Aged For: 13-Years

Mashbill: 100% malted balrey

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon 12-years, finished in French oak for 1 year

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Rich oak nose, with cinnamon, ginger, baking spice, sour pears, cocoa powder, mulled apple cider, and saltwater toffee

Feel: Full bodied

Taste: Vanilla, honey, malt, ginger, birch root, nutmeg, clove, berry, and nuts

Finish: Medium warmth and length, nutty, oak, malt, cream, butter, salt, vanilla, caramel, and slightly bitter orchard fruit

Thoughts: It’s a spicier take on the 12 year with some added body and heat. If you are a fan of Deanston and want a bit more oak spice punch this fits the bill.

Score: 85 out of 100

Review: Laphroaig 16 Year 1987 Old Malt Cask #745

Distilled/Owned by: Laphroaig / Hunter Laing

Region: Islay

50% ABV

Aged For: 16 years, distilled 1987

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Pale gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: “bright”, honey, vanilla, oats, malt, peat smoke, iodine, tar, citrus, pears

Feel: Oily, full bodied

Taste: Lots of vanilla, cream, oak, peat, pear, honey, malt, apple, and subtle undertones of ash

Finish: Medium warmth, long lasting, soft smokiness, malt, honey, vanilla, oak, and a bit of pepper

Thoughts: Lots of creamy vanilla and malt notes in this one. Still has underlying frog smoke, but not a punchy blast.

Score: 87 out of 100

Review: Balvenie 12 Year Single Barrel First Fill

Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

47.8% ABV

Aged For: 12 Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: First-fill ex-bourbon

Cask Info: Cask #6694, Bottle #189

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Pale straw

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Sliced green apples, honey, oats, vanilla, cider, malt, the green apple note is extremely dominate, after a few sips caramel emerges

Feel: Medium bodied

Taste: Caramel, apples, cinnamon, vanilla, light oak, honey, floral flourishes, and butter

Finish: Light to medium warmth, and medium length, oak becomes more pronounced with drying tannins, a bit of chocolate and honey with orchard fruits in the background

Thoughts: While living in the northeast I found a lot of bourbon cask aged scotches to be a bit plain and boring to my palate. Now that I am sweating my ass off on the gulf coast I am enjoying their lightness and subtleties and bit more. Very fruit dominate on the nose, proceeding to a buttery palate, and gentle oaked finish.

Score: 83 out of 100

Review: Balvenie 12 Sweet Toast of American Oak

Paid: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Balvenie / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

43% ABV

Aged For: 12 Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, finished in toasted virgin American oak

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: Yes

Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Honey, malt, apple, pear, citrus, vanilla, oak, and bread

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Vanilla, caramel, honey, malt, oak, apple, and butterscotch

Finish: Light warmth, short finish, yeasty bread, malt, honey, vanilla, malt

Thoughts: One of the better examples of virgin oak being used for single malt, it makes for a straight-forward profile but an enjoyable one. Finish is the weakest part.

Score: 78 out of 100

Review: Ardbeg Drum Committee Release

Paid: $100 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Ardbeg / LVHM

Region: Islay

52% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, finished in ex-rum casks from the Americas

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: White wine

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Bright and fresh, white wine, pear, pine, gentle smoke, citrus, pineapple, honey, malt, and vanilla

Feel: Medium body and slightly supple

Taste: Smoked pepper, vanilla, honey, rum creaminess, sweet peat, lime, banana, smoked & cured meats, pineapple

Finish: Medium-long length and a medium to warm finish. Bits of oak, peat, pepper, and chocolate.

Thoughts: The rum finish adds a few light fruit notes to the Ardbeg profile. An above average dram.

Score: 81 out of 100

Review: The Peat Fairie Batch 03 SMWS

Paid: $100 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Blend / SMWS

Region: Speyside & Islay

50% ABV

Aged For: 10 Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon barrels

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: White wine

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Saline, gentle peat smoke, floral, buttercream, oak, grass, and black tea

Feel: Medium body, creamy

Taste: Honey, malt, vanilla, hay, gentle smoke, oak, butterscotch, cream, citrus

Finish: Medium warmth and length. Saline reappears with lots of cream honey and vanilla accompanied by a constant gentle smokiness in the background

Thoughts: Very creamy with just a touch of peat smoke. If you just want a little smoke or looking to get into peated malts I’d recommend this.

Score: 82 out of 100

Review: Macallan Classic Cut 2018

Paid: $95 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Macallan / Edrington Group

Region: Speyside

51.2% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: “Sherry seasoned oak”

Chill Filtered: Yes?

Color Added: No

Color: Amber

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Raisins, honey, malt, apple, caramel, oak, vanilla

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Caramel, light sherry, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, oak, and leather

Finish: Medium warmth and length, Dried fruits, vanilla, oak, sherry, pepper

Thoughts: Pretty basic for a sherry aged Macallan, the age on some of the malt has to be pretty young. I’m pretty disappointed in this release, especially compared to the more sherry forward 2017 version.

Score: 78 out of 100

Review: Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition

Price: $100 for 700ml

Distilled/Owned by: Macallan / Edrington Group

Region: Speyside

42.8% ABV

Aged For: NAS

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-sherry and bourbon

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: No

Color: Burnished

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Raisins, sherry, citrus, malt, vanilla, nuts, apple, and pine resin

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Chocolate, oloroso sherry, nuts, dried fruit, leather, oak, caramel, and sultanas

Finish: Medium to light warmth and has a pretty good length. Malt, cocoa powder, sherry, pepper, ginger, and coffee

Thoughts: Not bad for an NAS travel malt, but not worth the price they were charging back in the day.

Score: 82 out of 100