I went to a great Scotch whisky tasting event at Kappy’s on Route 1, in Massachusetts. Thanks much to Anthony D. for being a great spirits manager and host!
Bruichladdich Scottish Barley
Bright finish, clean, a bit fruity. Although not peated through smoking, the resulting Scotch is peaty due to the peated soil in which it grows.
Bruichladdich Islay Barley
bright finish, but this time more peated. I’d suggest either of these to someone who wants a gentle introduction to peated whiskeys.
Made by the Bruichladdich Distillery, Islay, Scotland. Now owned by Rémy Cointreau; it is one of eight distilleries on the island.
Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch
Well, this was a surprise. Heard a lot of good things about it, and was pleasantly surprised that they turned out to be true. A very nice blend, just a hint of darkness, no peat. A blend of Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie (each a single malt whisky.) Are made in Dufftown, Moray, Scottland, making this a Speyside blend. Produced by the eminent William Grant & Sons Ltd.:
“An independent, family-owned Scottish company which distills Scotch whisky and other selected categories of spirits. It was established in 1887 by William Grant, and is now run by the descendants of the founder. It is the largest of the handful of Scotch whisky distillers remaining in family ownership.” – wikipedia
Glenfiddich Project XX
This whisky has an interesting story behind it – “Glenfiddich asked its 20 ambassadors to choose their favourite cask from the distillery’s warehouses. From the character of these casks, malt master Brian Kinsman created a new, experimental whisky – Project XX” How is it? It’s non-peated, yet retains a subtle, smoky taste, appealing to me even though I’m not a fan of peated whisky. Hints of vanilla, caramel, orange, spice. Some had been aged in Port pipes, sherry butts, or first-fill bourbon casks. Absolutely delicious.
Balvenie 12 Double Cask
First aged in used American bourbon oak casks, then a second aging in an ex-sherry cask. Medium gold color. Rich, sweet, some fruit and pepper tastes. A hint of tannins. The added sherry flavor is welcome because it is notable yet without being overpowering – exactly what I am looking for.
Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask
This whiskey was first aged in oak casks for 14 years, and then finished in specially made ex-Caribbean rum casks. “David C. Stewart MBE filled American oak casks with his own blend of select West Indian rums. When he judged the casks to be ready, the rum was replaced with the 14 year old spirit and the wood was put to work adding the final touches.” This is a single malt, pure barley whisky.
Color: burnt gold.
Nose: Toffee, vanilla,
Palate: I got notes of butterscotch and vanilla. Really quite good!
Balvenie 17 Double Cask
The same whisky as the 12 double cask with an extra 5 years of maturation. Mellower, darker , okay finish. Somewhat darker color than the 12 year old. Delicious but I am not sure that it is worth the added cost.
The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky
From The Glenlivet distillery, near Ballindalloch in Moray, Scotland. Owned by Pernod Ricard. No age statement, 80 proof.
When George Smith began distilling, The Glenlivet had no age statements and he selected whisky from casks of a range of ages. We have replicated this freedom with The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, selecting whisky from a variety of traditional aged oak casks. Then, to lend a modern twist to the flavour of the expression, Master Distiller Alan Winchester marries together a selection of the aged oak casks and American first-fill oak casks. American first-fill oak casks are those that have never before been used to mature Scotch Whisky. Selective use of these casks provides a smooth, creamy sweetness that mingles harmoniously with the delicate flavours and complex fruity tones already present in the whisky.
Color – pale gold
Nose -a kind of funky, fruity flavor. The fruitiness is offset by the sour. Other Scotch reviewers have noted citrus or orange, but I’m not getting that.
Palate – Very sweet – notes or pear and apples. A creamy smooth finish. No dryness.
I actually like this better than the Glenlivet 12 year old – but I’m still not feeling converted towards becoming a regular Scotch drinker. I’m still finding more pleasurable experiences in bourbon, or the occasional Irish and Canadian whiskey.