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Balblair 99

Balblair 99

Big thanks to Vin from No Nonsense Whisky for firing over this sample for me, helping me tick off another 101 whiskies. Bottled at 46%. Nose: Quite oaky and peppery, and then vanilla pushes through. Overall it’s quite leathery with some cinnamon and a sudden hit of granny smith apples. Palate: Spicy as the nose suggests and the granny smith is there in abundance. Cinnamon and salted caramel make their way through in time. Finish: Warm, spicy and lingering. I…

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Claxton’s – Ben Nevis 17 Years Old

Claxton’s – Ben Nevis 17 Years Old

This is another independent single cask expression from the clever folks at Claxton’s. Distilled at the end of 1998 and bottled in 2016, this has spent 17 years under wraps in a hogshead (1608-1552). Available to buy here. This is bottled at 54% ABV. Nose: Lots of oak and alcohol as you open the door, but then you’re welcomed in warmly with assam tea, fresh figs, and honey. Vanilla punches through as it rests along with buttery toffee. This is…

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Tomatin – 9 Years old Caribbean Rum Cask

Tomatin – 9 Years old Caribbean Rum Cask

This whisky has spent the whole of its maturation inside Caribbean Rum casks, and is apparently the first of its kind from Tomatin. Huge thanks to Steve Prentice for the sample. Bottled at 46% ABV Nose: Loads of coconut and pineapple. A smattering of mango. A little oak. Milk chocolate. Palate: Oily and sweet. More coconut and chocolate. Like Bounty bars, but without the annoying bits stuck in your teeth. Finish: Salty and sweet. Fades quite quickly.

Tomatin – Cù Bòcan 2005

Tomatin – Cù Bòcan 2005

Matured in sherry and bourbon casks for over 11 years. The malt in this has been lightly peated so it promises to have some nice smoke in the mix as well. Non chill filtered and no added colours, bottled at 50% ABV. Nose: Stewed apples, very light smoke, bracken, damp bog. A little vanilla, and sweet fudge. Palate: Quite a lot of spice, bursting with honey sweetness, a smoky earthiness. Roasting coffee beans. Finish: Sweet and spicy.

Dalmore – 12 Years Old

Dalmore – 12 Years Old

It’s been a while, but I’ve finally got round to knocking another dram off the 101 whiskies list. Thanks to Vin at No Nonsense Whisky for sending over the sample for me. Very kind! Dalmore is aged for 9 years in bourbon casks, and then half of it is finished in oloroso sherry wood. Bottled at 40% ABV with colour added. Nose: Immediately get the sweet dried fruit sherry notes as I pour. A little windscreen wash. Then almonds toasted…

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Douglas Laing – Provenance Fettercairn 10 Years Old

Douglas Laing – Provenance Fettercairn 10 Years Old

Dram 2 in The Dram Team’s Incredible Indies box is this Fettercairn from Douglas Laing. Bottled at 46% ABV without chill filtration or added colours. Nose: Foam bananas, rosemary, lavender, a little oak. A little WD40 suggests itself. Palate: oily and mouth coating, citrus zings, ginger, watermelon Unfortunately this was rather underwhelming. It was as if the cask had been a little lazy over the 10 years and not imbued the spirit with much flavour or character.

Glen Garioch – Founders Reserve

Glen Garioch – Founders Reserve

This is a new one on me. I have no idea what to expect. Bottled at 48% ABV so it’s not overly watered down, that’s for sure. Nose: Leather, honey, oak, ripening Brie, hints of pepper Palate: Oily and peppery, bags of malt and sweetness. The Brie is there with grapefruit zest. Finish: Still lots of pepper, joined by good dark chocolate.

Highland Park – 21 Years Old

Highland Park – 21 Years Old

Dram 6 of the @TheDramTeam launch Twitter Tasting. The sixth dram. The real treat of the package. Another bucket lister for me. 47.5% ABV Nose: Very subtle and inviting. Toasted hazelnuts. Syrup sweetness. Vanilla fudge. Palate: Very oily, grapefruit zest, golden syrup sucked off a spoon, pepper, sticky malt loaf, @ConistonBrewCo Oatmeal Stout And then it was all gone. Like a sultry maiden luring you in with subtle charms, leaving you helpless to resist then leaving you wanting more. A Lionel Richie…

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Inchmurrin – 18 Year Old

Inchmurrin – 18 Year Old

Dram 1 of the @TheDramTeam launch Twitter Tasting. This is the 2013 edition of this dram. 46% ABV A really light coloured dram, belying its age. Nose: Vanilla, some tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple, hints of raisins and sultanas. Loads of heather honey. Really reminiscent of some Irish whiskies I’ve been tasting lately. Very young smelling considering its age. Palate: Loads of peppery spice and oakiness rolling around the mouth giving evidence of the age of the spirit…

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Highland Park – 18 Years Old

Highland Park – 18 Years Old

Nose: Samphire grass, soggy salt marsh and brine combine with subtle dried fruits. After a little while zingy green apples and refresher sweets join the party. Palate: Very oily and chewy straight away. I like that. Pinapple, light smoke, pepper. Hints of the meat from the DO there too. After a little while freshly candied almonds and roast chestnuts.