Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve


Thanks to /u/unbreakablesausage from reddit for the sample.

This is one I’ve wanted to try for some time. A few years back I got a a bottle of Glenfiddich 14 Rich Oak, aged in virgin oak casks. I thought it was a gimmicky bottle but ended up being my favourite standard release from the distillery. This one was released for the American market and was aged in first fill bourbon instead of virgin oak and I’ve been curious as to how it stacks up against the other 14 year old.

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Old Old Pulteney 17


One of the more interesting stands at Whisky Live Tel Aviv last week wasn’t an importer or a distillery, it was a for a local group organised by some whisky fans to try and increase give a little boost to the increasing interest in quality spirits. The guys behind the group had brought some interesting and unique whiskies from their personal collections to show people what good whisky can be and what it has to offer. One of those whiskies was this older version of Old Pulteney 17 (from the late 2000’s/early 2010’s), which is probably my favourite of their standard range, or was since it’s been discontinued :(.  I’m not sure if the recipe changed when they changed to the most recent label design but I know at some point they stopped using PX in the mix of sherry casks, this one should still have that.

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A TheMacallan Tasting


A little while ago I attended a TheMacallan tasting organised by a local alcohol group with TheMacallan’s Middle Eastern brand ambassador. Disclaimer before I even get started: I am not a fan of TheMacallan, I think their whisky is obscenely overpriced and that it has taken a hit in quality over the past few years with more emphasis being placed on the brand than on the whisky, just so you know I’ve got a little bit of a bias so please take what I say with a pinch of salt. That said I’ll always open to having my mind changed when it comes to whisky.

We tried the following whiskies:

  • Fine Oak 12
  • Sherry Oak 12
  • Fine Oak 18
  • Sherry Oak 18
  • Rare Cask

TheMacallan 12 Fine Oak

Aged 12 years. 40% ABV. No colourant added.

Nose: New make. Boiled sweets. Citrus oil. Toffee. New wood.

Palate: Sticky sweet. Cinnamon candies. Slight sulphur. Waxy citrus peel.

Finish: Short-medium. Rich sweet fruits. Toffee. Marzipan. Dried citrus.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: No

VFM: 2/5

Really not a fan of this one. Tastes younger than 12 years, and very generic.

TheMacallan 12 Sherry Oak

Aged 12 years. 40% ABV. No-colourant added.

Nose: Very funky sherry. Red fruits. Sticky red sauce. Woodspice. Nutmeg.

Palate: Maple. Sticky sherry. Cinnamon. Citrus. Red grapefruit.

Finish: Medium. Cloves. Dried orange peel. Nutty wood.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 1/5

This one was a bit more complex than the fine oak, like there was actually something to be enjoyed here, but I found the sherry way too dominant and unbalanced for my tastes.

The Macallan 18 Fine Oak

Aged 18 years. 43% ABV. No-colourant added.

Nose: Light malt. Green herbs. Hay. Light wood. Toffee. Slight musty sherry. Icing sugar. Marshmallow.

Palate: Chewy red fruits. Toffee. Cinnamon flavouring. Malt. Oranges.

Finish: Medium. Woodspice. Maple syrup. Dry oak.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: No

VFM: 1/5

Well this was a nasty surprise. I had a bottle of this about 4 or 5 years ago and I remember there being a distinctive sherry character to it which I quite liked but that was gone, like the 12 year old, this was very generic and really had nothing going for it over several other whiskies which go for a third of the price.

TheMacallan 18 Sherry Oak

Aged 18 years. 43% ABV. No-colourant added.

Nose: Spicy sherry. Slightly sulphury. Wintergreen. Menthol. Wood oils. Cedar. Stewed fruits. Prunes. Silan.

Palate: Silan. Prunes. Dry sherry. Cough syrup. Cedar wood. Nutty wood. Cinnamon bark. Nutmeg.

Finish: Medium. Cinnamon rolls. Nutmeg. Red liquorice.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 1/5

This is more like it. This had all the hallmarks of a really fantastic sherried dram and shows more of what this distillery has built its reputation on. It was complex, rich and balanced, really lovely stuff.

TheMacallan Rare Cask

Aged 3 years*. 43% ABV. No-colourant added.

*for lack of age statement

Nose: Red liquorice. Sweet, sticky raisins. Honey. Toffee. A little too much woodspice.

Palate: Sweet sherry, leads into dry. Marzipan. Cinnamon candy. Cloves. Cherry flavoring.

Finish: Medium. Drying. Stewed fruit. Red liquorice. Woodspice. Nutmeg.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: No

VFM: 1/5

Not a fan of this one. It comes in a very fancy bottle with a very fancy price but what’s inside it very odd, and not in a good way. I found it sickeningly sweet to my tastes and lacking anything else to it really.

Glen Keith 1998 Gordon & Macphail Hopewell Buy-Rite Exclusive


Thanks to /u/unbreakablesausage from /r/Scotch on reddit for the sample

Glen Keith is a somewhat obscure distillery with quite a rocky history. It’s currently owned by Chivas Brother and is mainly used to beef up their blends, with independent bottlings floating around usually from a few specific distillation year, and some very hard to find original bottlings. This sample is an exclusive bottling from Gordon & Macphail for a specific shop that I got from /u/unbreakablesausage when we did a small in-person swap recently.

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Clynelish 1995 Signatory Vintage

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-16 at 19.14.59Thanks to Yosi for the sample (and the image)

I sometimes regret how little love I give to Clynelish, for years my favourite distillery, still is I’ve just added several others to the list as well. This is one of many many bottles of mid to late 90’s distillate put out by Signatory as part of their Cask Strength Collection. It’s one of the independent bottling labels I really feel confident when trying as they’re almost always fantastic and when they’re not they’re still pretty damn good.

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Ledaig 2007 A.D. Rattray


Thanks to /u/nofansky for the sample

More Ledaig? Of course I’ll have more Ledaig. This was a sample /u/nofansky sent over with a bottle split we did over the Summer. Being Summer it was pushed to the back of my sample shelf but has slowly crept its way forward and the weather could not be more appropriate now.

Aged 9 years. 59.7% ABV. Matured in a bourbon hogshead. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Nose: Ash. Malt. Barley sugar. A bit new makey. Brine. Custard powder. Lychees. Limes. Chemical smoke, like lye in water. Slight sweet woody undertones.

Palate: Milk chocolate. Irish cream. Vegetal peat. Charred wood. Wet campfire. Bit of vanilla and salt going down.

Finish: Long. Very briney and quite creamy along with some herbal honey, ash and peat.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

This is a very apparently young whisky, with not a huge amount of complexity, but I can’t really fault it for that because it’s a Ledaig, and Ledaig can work really well like that, all that raw distillate character is there and in your face, yum.


Arran 1996 Alambic Calssique Rhum Finish


I feel like I’m seeing more and more rum cask matured whiskies around, which is great because rum is good, and whisky is good, and the combination of the right whisky with the right rum cask can be amazing. The problem I have is a lot of whiskies will just use something general like  “Caribbean Rum”, but rum is a hugely diverse spirit with so many different character profiles so it can get bloody annoying, because not every type of rum cask would work with let’s say a light Speyside whisky.

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Springbank Local Barley 10 – Reddit Scotch Review #500!


Local Barley 11 just in the picture for fun

Well this is quite a milestone. Enough of one to have cracked open my recently received bottle of Springbank’s latest Local Barley bottling (though that would have happened anyway). It took me a while to start taking notes on the whiskies I drink, but a huge encouragement to do so was the reddit /r/scotch sub. Now that I’m 500 (Scotch) whiskies down the line, I can’t express how awesome of a community it is and how great it feels to be a part of it.

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