Tastings The Bottle price guide: £11-25 (US$17-40) £26-70 (US$40-110) £71-120 (US$110-190) £121-180 (US$190-280) £181 plus (US$280 plus) = == === ==== ===== ANCNOC ARBIKIE 18 YEARS OLD HIGHLAND RYE Inver House Distillers Arbikie Distillery Rob Rob 46% 46% ABV: BOTTLING: STYLE: REGION: PRICE: AVAILABILITY: ABV: BOTTLING: STYLE: REGION: PRICE: AVAILABILITY: Distillery Single Malt Independent Single Grain Nose: Nose: Huge and sweet up front, like demerara sugar. Brandy snap biscuits and clotted cream. Orange segments dipped in dark chocolate. A slight foam banana vibe going on too. Spun sugar, honeycomb and milk chocolate, melted marshmallows. There’s a little spice layer with cinnamon and cumin. Just keeps on going, no sign of it drying out. Sweet and lush with figs in sherry holding the fort. A really stand up dram. Gentle burning moorland, heather and bracken foliage. Like opening a log burner in full flow. A little menthol note, peppermint sweets. A slow building sweetness.. Bang, everything wakes up, full on black pepper spice, salted caramel ice cream.. Lots of fruit develops here as it slowly dries out. Speyside Highlands ===== ===== Specialist, UK, US, Asia, Specialists Palate: Palate: Worldwide Finish: Finish: Comments: Takes its time but a wonderful earthiness to this, hints of a richness and roundness to come. 8.4 8.2 Comments: Sam Christopher Nose: Nose: Lots of delicate touches on the nose; milk chocolate, fresh pastries and a few spent coffee grains. There’s vanilla in the wings. A nice body to this. Oak forward, with a peppery note coming through. Becomes a touch sweeter, a red apple note providing some balance to the oak. Vanilla and then green tea. Long and really drying. Excellent bouquet on the nose, however becomes a bit too oaky on the palate for this taster. Well this is different. Very delicate and elegant. Pencil shavings, dusty hay bales, coconut rum, white pepper and amaretto biscuits. Condensed milk and a subtle floral note, almost perfumed and in the vein of fresh roses. Coconut ice, a splash of Camp Coffee in lots of milk. That perfumed floral note dances. There’s nougat and subtle nuttiness too, sesame and pistachio – it reminds me of Halva. Very delicate, with butterscotch. Very sophisticated grain. Palate: Palate: Finish: Comments: 7.9 8.5 Finish: Comments: ARDBEG ARRAN DRUM - COMMITTEE EDITION SHERRY CASK The Glenmorangie Company Isle of Arran Distillers Rob Lyndsey 52% 55.8% Distillery Single Malt ABV: BOTTLING: STYLE: REGION: PRICE: AVAILABILITY: ABV: BOTTLING: STYLE: REGION: PRICE: AVAILABILITY: Distillery Single Malt Nose: Nose: Sweet up front, then comes the peat and some burning heather. A touch of pickled cucumbers. There’s a salinity and little rye bread. Smoke abounds here, like standing next to a bonfire while it's being put out, charred woody notes, then a flush of sweetness. Barbequed pineapple and chilli. Oak spice grips then a long, oily and warm finish with herbal bitterness. Has me thinking of a smoky Piña Colada, just for fun. Peppermint candyfloss, liquorice and flying saucers filled with mandarin sherbet. Pine needles, rose oil and aloe vera. Terry’s chocolate oranges soaked in a blend of pink grapefruit juice, green tea and sautéed red cabbage with dashes of red wine and star anise. Green bell peppers. Wood polish. A nutty and vegetal finish. You know THAT rollercoaster that stops and suddenly reverses out of nowhere. This is that. Islay Islands ===== ===== Palate: Palate: Worldwide Specialist, Worldwide Finish: Finish: Comments: 8.6 8.9 Comments: Lyndsey Christopher Nose: Nose: Rock salt and rosemary seasoned roast lamb, sweet tobacco, key lime pie, barbequed pineapple and a sprinkle of parmesan all stuffed into a bag of Frazzles. A charcoaled barbeque of pineapple, banana skin and pork and black pudding sausages. Chocolate covered coffee beans, Marmite, squeezed pink grapefruit and lime jelly babies form a very juicy bitter edge. Chewy, spicy and buttery. A Sunday lunch barbeque. A touch prickly, but full of red fruit. There’s cedarwood and cola bottles, a touch of all spice and black cherry. There’s rolling tobacco, raisins, dark chocolate and candied ginger too. . The red berry sweetness is balanced by robust tannin and a touch of pleasant bitterness. Chinotto and Black Forest gateau is balanced by all spice and a touch of pistachio. Long and full of forest fruits. . Impeccably balanced. A superb sherry cask whisky. Palate: Palate: Finish: Comments: 8.8 8.8 Finish: Comments: 107 Scotch Whisky
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