Aultmore 14 2002 SMWS 73.81 “Dark chocolate destiny”

Aultmore SMWS 73.81

Price: Discontinued

Distilled/Owned by: Aultmore / SMWS

Region: Speyside

59.8% ABV

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Aged For: 14 years (distilled 2002)

Cask Type: Refill ex-Sherry butt

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No

Color: Dark gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn.

Nose: Malt, honey, alcohol, cocoa, spice, vanilla, and subtle fruit

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body

Palate/Taste: Chocolate, malt, vanilla, oak, bitter sweets, clove oil, caramel and honey

Finish: Medium warmth and length, true to the namesake I pick up more chocolate, Turkish delight, malt, and brown sugar with baking spice

Thoughts: I didn’t detect any fruit from the sherry influence, but it imparts a chocolatey caramel flavor that’s very enjoyable.

Score: 83 out of 100


Glenfiddich 15 Solera


Price: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Glenfiddich / William Grant & Sons

Region: Speyside

40% ABV

Aged For: 15 Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, sherry, virgin oak, and solera vatted

Chill Filtered: Yes

Color Added: Yes



Color: Dark gold

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Apples, honey, oak, vanilla, sherry, brown sugar

Feel: Light bodied

Taste: Citrus and malt, vanilla, almond, and orchard fruits

Finish: Light warmth, but decent for the proof, medium length, oak and dried fruit with citrus and ginger, bit of oak tannins

Thoughts: I usually am not a fan of 80 proof scotches as they are too light for my palate. However this on was pretty surprising, and I think may be my favorite of Glenfiddich’s core lineup.

Score: 78 out of 100


BenRiach 17 1998 PX Finish TWE Exclusive

BenRiach 17 1998 PX Finish TWE Exclusive

Price: Discontinued

Distilled/Owned by: Benriach / Brown-Forman

Region: Speyside

48.9% ABV

Aged For: 17 Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Refill hogsheads, finished in PX sherry casks

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No



Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Chocolate, walnuts, raisins, figs, citrus, orange peel, cinnamon

Feel: Medium body, supple

Taste: Coffee, dark chocolate, sherry, oak, cinnamon, mandarins, nutmeg

Finish: Oak and dry sherry with a hint of espresso, good warmth and length

Thoughts: I liked the dark chocolate and coffee notes with a fruity background, the triple distillation certainly made the mouthfeel supple, similar to what you’d find in Redbreast CS, but I think that aging in the PX as opposed to just finishing would have put this over the top.

Score: 85 out of 100

Glenrothes 20 1997 Signatory Vintage Spec’s Pick

Glenrothes 20 1997 Signatory Vintage Spec's Pick

Price: Discontinued

Distilled/Owned by: Glenrothes / Signatory Vintage

Region: Speyside

51.5% ABV

Aged For: 20 Years (Distilled 1997)

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Undisclosed

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No



Color: Oloroso Sherry

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Sherry, orchard fruit, honey, ginger, and citrus

Feel:Slightly oily, medium body

Taste: Fruity, with raisins, ginger, oranges, citrus, honey, vanilla, caramel, and nuts

Finish: Warm and lasting, oak and sherry with fruit and coffee notes

Thoughts: Much better than the OB bottlings I have tried of Glenrothes, but nothing too outstanding for a 20 year.

Score: 82 out of 100

Do note that I couldn’t find an exact photo of this bottling.


Benrinnes 18 1997 Distiller’s Art

Benrinnes 18 Distillers Art

Price: $100 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Benrinnes / Hunter Laing & Company

Region: Speyside

49.4% ABV

Aged For: 18 Years

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: Refill hogshead

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No



Color: White wine

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Vanilla, malt, honey white chocolate, white grapes, apples, citrus

Feel: Velvety

Taste: Croissants with butter and honey, malt, gentle oak, cream, vanilla, ginger, almond, and grapeskins

Finish: Light warmth and medium length, gentle oak and caramel with a bit of milk chocolate

Thoughts: This one had a very creamy butter consistency and flavor I can really get behind. The finish was a bit weak, but nose and palate were on point.

Score: 85 out of 100

Glenlivet 11 2006 Signatory Vintage TWB 10th Anniversary


Paid: $87 + Shipping for 700ml

Distilled/Owned by: Glenlivet / Signatory Vintage

Region: Speyside

63.5% ABV

Aged For: 11 years (Distilled 2006)

Mashbill: 100% malted barley

Cask Type: First-fill sherry

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No



Color: Deep tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Sherry, citrus, dried fruits, caramel, pepper, spices, cinnamon

Feel:Thick, warm

Taste: Syrupy fruits, caramel, raisins, sherry, pepper, oranges, and chocolate

Finish: Warm and lasting, with cinnamon, oak, figs, plum, maple butter, and sherry

Thoughts: Aged stated, cask strength, NCF, no coloring, sherry monster from a distillery with decent malt when they don’t water it to oblivion for under $100? I’ll buy that all day long, and I shoulda bought two. Closer to the Macallan and Dalmore style of sherry than Aberlour or Glenfarclas, and is a great improvement on the Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso.

Score: 88 out of 100


Aultmore 9-Year 2008 The Sovereign (K&L)


Paid: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Aultmore / The Sovereign

Region: Speyside

59.7% ABV

Aged For: 9 Years

Mashbill: 100% Malted barley

Cask Type: First Fill Sherry

Chill Filtered: No

Color Added: No



Color: Brown Sherry

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Sherry, nutty, leather, dry chocolate, pipe tobacco

Feel: Medium body, dry

Taste: Sherry, dried fruits, pepper, leather, cinnamon, charred oak

Finish: Medium warmth and length, cigar smoke, pepper, sherry, blackberry, dark chocolate

Thoughts: This is a drier sherry bomb, and I’d compare it against Aberlour A’bundah, this has more of a leathery dark chocolate that straight fruit presence and for the price was an excellent value.

Score: 82 out of 100