Category Archives: Scottish Whisky

Glen Grant 18 Year

Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 18 Years
43% ABV
What the Distillery Says:
This unrivaled single malt matures for at least 18 years in the highest quality, handpicked oak casks, which creates a radiant golden colour and seductive floral and oaky aroma.

Deeply layered and complex, this rich and vibrant whisky delivers beautifully intricate flavours of malted caramel, vanilla, and raisins and lingers with a long, sweet, and pleasantly spicy finish.

Tasting notes
Colour: Bright Gold
Aroma: Rich and floral with oaky overtones and hints of baking spices
Taste: Malty caramel, delicate, dried raisins and vanilla
Finish: Long, sweet with hints of nuts and spice

What Richard Says:
Nose: Grassy and straw-like with floral and crisp apple notes. In the background is a hint of treacle with honey and citrus rind.
Palate: Fresh malted grains and fresh cut hay drizzled with vanilla extract. There is also a light sweetness around the edges but it isn’t a forward sweetness at all. A little too delicate
Finish: The finish has some legs to it but it’s dancing out woody and slightly peppery.
Comments: This one just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t firing on all cylinders. The elements were light to the point of being barely there. If it only had a more buttery flavor and texture then I would’ve thought it was a grain whisky but not an exceptional one.
Rating: Probably Pass

We would like to thank Glen Grant for sending us a sample to review.

Glen Grant 12 Year

Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Aged 12 Years
43% ABV
What the Distillery Says:
Glen Grant 12 Year Old is a remarkable single malt.

With a bright, golden colour and pleasant aromas of orchard fruit, almond and citrus, this exceptional whisky delights the palate with exquisite and delicate notes of apple pie crust and caramel, and finishes with lingering fruit and subtle hints of spice.

Tasting notes
Colour: Bright Gold
Aroma: Honey, pear and apple with hints of almond and citrus
Taste: Apple pie crust, caramel and vanilla
Finish: Lingering fruit with subtle hints of spice

What Richard Says:
Nose: This nose is all kinds of light and fruity. That description gets a bit over used but if there was a tasting notes dictionary then this dram would be next to “light and fruity”. Sour apple candies, under ripe pears, orange blossom honey, and dew on fresh cut hay.
Palate: The whisky remains crisp and fresh to the taste. Granny Smith apples, vanilla candles, and some sweetness that’s like a house made floral infused simple syrup.
Finish: Kind of meh on the finish. It’s so light that wasn’t really expecting much.
Comments: You know, I really am not a fan of all this recent fancy, trendy new packaging for old whiskey brands. Glen Grant, Elijah Craig, etc. are all under this umbrella. I’m probably too old fashioned but I like the old stodgy packaging. This new sleek and sexy bottle for Glen Grant is just too damn sleek and sexy. I realize I’m in the minority and this rant has nothing to do with the liquid in the bottle but damn it I want dimpled hand blown imperfect glass with papyrus labels pasted on with horse glue. I want OLD!!!

So back to the actual whisky in the bottle…it’s okay. This is not a stunner by any means but it’s a light easy drinker that would be fine as an aperitif or a daily drinker for fans of the “Three Glens” (Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie).
Rating: Average

We would like to thank Glen Grant for sending us a bottle to review.

Nomad Outland Whisky

Nomad Outland Whisky
What the Bottler Says:
Nomad Outland Whisky is imbued with the characteristics of the wild, open space of the Scottish Highlands. A new concept that takes the Whisky itself on a journey from its birthplace to the warm and humid plains of Jerez.

In Jerez it is left to soak up the wonderful natural aspects of this special micro-climate giving Nomad its quintessential Scottish character and a soul that is truly Jerezano.

After a year of tests, ageing the Whisky in barrels that had previously held Fino, Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherries, to find the perfect blend, our Master Blenders chose those Whiskies that had been aged in Pedro Ximénez.

A premium blended whisky produced from a unique selection of over 30 different malt and grain whiskies from Speyside, The Higlands, Scotland, each 5 to 8 years old. The resulting blend is left to mature in Scotland in sherry casks for 3 years, altogether, before being transferred to Jerez where it will be finished for a mínimum of 12 months in old Pedro Ximenez casks in the San Fernando cellar of González Byass.

This outland whisky matures in the unique micro-climate of Jerez, subject to the different changes in temperature, the winds and the humidity of the Andalusian city close to the sea. NOMAD, over time, will absorb the native yeasts which are present in the atmosphere of the cellar, and it will be imbued with the tastes and flavours of the old Pedro Ximenez casks, previously used to age sherry, giving the whisky its unique character.

Bright, topaz coloured whisky

It has a unique aroma with malty notes, reminiscent of oak and sherry due to its ageing in american oak barrels.

Smooth and elegant on the palate

With prominent flavours of raisins, honey and distinctive bouquet as a result of the finishing of the whisky in Pedro Ximénez sherry barrels.

A long finish, pleasant

With hints of vanilla and dried fruits. A very elegant whisky with a complex aftertaste.

What Gary Says:
Nose: Thick, dusky sherried raisins, figs, plum wine.
Palate: Creamy, but less intense than the nose; sweet raisins, plum, sherry with a bit of smoke.
Finish: Moderate in length, and on the wet side.
Comments: When I first nosed this whisky, I thought “Whoa – this is REALLY different!” The nose is very thick and dense, and very unique. While unhelpful to 99% of you, it immediately reminded me of a friend’s International Whisky Night, where I sampled whiskies from Australia, Korea, and all over the world. My point is this is a pretty unique pour. On the palate, I felt a bit let down – as the flavor was much less intense, although not off-putting or unpleasant. This is one of those drams where I could sit with an ounce and nose it for hours if for whatever reason I couldn’t drink that night. For me, the nose was “Must Try”, while the palate was closer to “Average” – although still different enough. I’d love to have tried this at a higher proof.
Rating: Stands Out

What Richard Says:
Nose: Heavy on the raisins. Very rich and dark fruit forward. The sherry dominates the nose…probably too much.
Palate: Sherry, raisins, Fig Newtons, and just about any other baked dark fruits.
Finish: The finish shows the youth of the malt more than anything else. Not terribly developed but unoffensive.
Comments: So…for $30 I can’t be too critical. This is VERY sherry forward. It’s almost like a refortified fortified wine. The sherry makes this one dimensional and not reminiscent of scotch in any way.
Rating: Average

We would like to thank Nomad for sending us samples to review.

Laphroaig Lore

Laphroaig Lore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
48% ABV
What the Distillery Says:
Since 1815, each Laphroaig Distillery Manager has been the custodian of the craft to make the richest single malt in the world. Over the years, each has passed on their skills and traditions to the next generation to continue this legacy. To honour this passing of knowledge, our Distillery Manager John Campbell has created Laphroaig Lore, the richest ever Laphroaig. Lore, meaning the passing of a skill or tradition through word of mouth, is the story of how we make Laphroaig, encapsulating the craft passed down from generation to generation over two centuries.

‘Lore’ is a complex marriage of both classical Laphroaig styles and many ages of Laphroaig. The marriage draws from the peaty power of Laphroaig in the same vein as Quarter Cask but with the smoothness of double matured stock finished in European oak hogsheads. To add even further depth and complexity we used our most heavily peated whisky matured in ex-Laphroaig barrels along with some fully sherry matured casks. To ensure none of this amazing flavour was lost we bottled Lore at a full 48% ABV and simply barrier filled before bottling. The result is stunningly complex.

COLOUR: Deep mahogany
NOSE: Rich and smoky with seaside minerals with a hint of ash and bitter chocolate drops. Vanilla follows with oily unroasted chestnuts and a hint of fudge with a malty sweetness. A drop of water adds a creamy clotted cream note with fruit appearing in the form of unripe citrus in a flan glaze.
PALATE: Richly peaty with a spicy chilli bite
FINISH: Short dry finish and a long sweet aftertaste

What Richard Says:
Nose: The nose has a deeper, richer smokiness than normal Laphroaig. Nutty with layers of worn leather.
Palate: This is popping with sherried sweetness. Malty, smokey, and salty.
Finish: Dry and salty.
Comments: This dram integrates the sherry much better that other Laphroaigs and other heavily peated drams in general. I’m not sure it is a $125 bottle but scotch prices keep climbing so maybe my baseline is just off. Either way, it is a stand out dram.
Rating: Stands Out

We would like to than DBC PR for sending us a sample for review.

Laphroaig PX Cask

Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey PX Cask Triple Matured
48% ABV
$95 (liter bottle)
What the Distillery Says:
PX Cask is the first to enjoy maturation in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, widely referred to as “PX” casks. Pedro Ximenez sherry is known to be naturally sweet made from dried Pedro Ximenez grapes.

The three types of barrels used in the maturation each impart a subtly different character, from American oak to Quarter Cask to Pedro Ximenez sherry. The last maturation in the ex-PX Cask provides the rich, sweeter and full bodied notes which perfectly complement the peat-smoke tang of Laphroaig, creating an expression which needs to be appreciated over time to fully explore.

Currently only available in Travel Retail.

COLOUR: Antique Gold
NOSE: From the bottle there is a nice sherry aroma of sweet sultanas and raisins with a hint of sweet liquorice and only the slightest tang of peat. Adding a little water brings out the marzipan and almond aroma with a counterpoint of creamy nuts and lots of ripe fruits but again there’s only the slightest tang of peat smoke.
BODY: An intense and profound deepness
PALATE: Without water a massive explosion of peat fills the mouth with huge amounts of oakiness only just moderated by the sweeter heavy sherry flavour. Adding a touch of water only slightly moderates the massive peat reek which very slowly fades and just allows a little of the sweeter sherried flavours to come through although there is always that burst of peat smoke that dries the mouth.
FINISH: Concentrated peat and thick sherried oak with a deep dryness

What Gary Says:
Nose: Sherry, seaweed, peat, smoke, subtle medicinal notes, rich.
Palate: Silky mouthfeel, sherry sweet w/ trademark Laphroaig peat & sea-air saltiness, subtle spice with smoke.
Finish: Moderate, peppery and drying.
Comments: The sherry finishing really tamps down the medicinal band-aid notes typically found with Laphroaig’s standard bearer 10yr. It isn’t the beast of peat that I do enjoy, but if you are a fan of Laphroaig and also a fan of Scotch aged in sherry, I would consider this a “Must Try”. I really enjoy this intersection, and only wish it was more widely accessible.
Rating: Stands Out/Must Try

What Richard Says:
Nose: Stewed stone fruits, Band Aids, bits of anise, and the smell of a campfire the morning after a light rain.
Palate: A nice inviting sweetness greets you before smacking you hard in the mouth with peat smoke, black pepper, and a dry woody flavor.
Finish: All peat, pepper, and wood on the finish. I’m a little surprised at the woody nature given the relative young age.
Comments: I like my Laphroaig like I like my coffee. No finishing, flavored syrups, extra foam, or funkiness. I find the 10 year old cask strength to be the epitome of the distillery. The more they “do” to that wonderful liquid the more that I move away. Quarter Cask is nice, Triple Wood is pushing it, Select is kind of nasty. This PX falls somewhere between the Quarter Cask and Triple Wood on my scale. Why would I move over there when the Cask Strength 10 year old is so damn good?
Rating: Average