Annoyingly COVID-19 meant that we missed out on January's releases, but we’ll attempt to post details of the missing bottles over the next few days. Check out our social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to get an updates on the missing bottles and heads up on our other reviews.
We’re trying a slightly different approach this month as we’re going to give a score to all the bottles we try. The score will be based on our initial impressions. Full disclosure, we won’t be spending the time we usually would with a dram we’d do a full review for, but we’re hoping scores will be a little more helpful. Feel free to let us know what you think of our new approach in the comments below.
For reference, our scale is...
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
Onto the bottles...
1.256 - Glenfarclas Distillery
Whipped cream over freshly cut grapefruit, but the nose is very restrained. There’s a touch of salt there too. It’s like the spirit has been in touch with its sherried side, even though it’s only been in bourbon. There’s a nice rich bitter chocolate orange flavour riding through but the finish dissipates quickly. Maybe a little young and pricey for the age.
2.133 - Glenlivet Distillery
Artificial Strawberries, light vanilla, touch of pineapple, a little honey, it’s clearly got a bit of age on it. Lovely viscous mouthfeel with papaya and fresh mint. There’s a citrusy zing on the finish, but it isn’t as long as we’d like. It’s maybe a little one dimensional. It’s a good age but a bit pricey, if you live glenlivet it’s a solid purchase, but for us it’s a little simple.
4.306 - Highland Park Distillery
We’re in a farmyard with some cattle that had a heavy breakfast. Funk funk funk. Grassy, hay, touch of cake but nowhere near enough to save it. Dry, touch of sweet oak, muted flavours mixing reasonably well with the alcohol. If this was £50, we’d pass. At £150, we may just take up gin drinking.
5.86 - Auchentoshan Distillery
Candy floss, tinned pineapple, a little more herbal than the other auchentoshans released over the past months. Not as artificially sweet as usual, but it’s incredibly well balanced. There are peaches dominating the palate with a little pineapple juice and grilled pineapple too. This is a more balanced dram than the last few 5’s, but we do love the over the top sweetness.
Score: 8/10 Technical, 7/10 Value
6.48 - Macduff Distillery
Vanilla cream with a cold mountain air, a bit of spearmint, a little rosemary. Palate is a little flat, some sweet oak and a dark chocolate bite too. It’s a bit boring but overall pleasant. There’s a spicy finish that lingers for a decent length.
7.271 - Longmorn Distillery
Victoria sponge cake, lots of fresh whipped cream and a hint of raspberry jam with the vanilla fondant sweetness lingering on the nose. The palate has a zingy sour note but is balanced nicely with the oak from the cask and the sweet vanilla cream. Perfect example of a mid teens longmorn, would recommend.
26.195 - Clynelish Distillery
Fresh bread dough, maybe a little cookie dough too. The spirit is quite prominent on the nose. Palate is a little flat, a little waxiness but not the usual amount. There’s some Turkish delight and pistachio. Please leave your clynelish in the cask for longer, that’s all we ask.
46.125 - Glenlossie Distillery
A little waxy, a little menthol, a little spearmint, but quite young, raw and restrained. The palate is quite sweet, icing sugar and condensed milk with honeycomb. The nose doesn’t give the palate the credit that it deserves. If you’re into sweet whiskies, this is perfect.
68.68 - Blair Athol Distillery
Chocolate digestives, maybe some muesli, maybe even a Chinese steamed custard bun. Palate is a little spicy with some irn bru, chocolate orange, liquorice and a little forest floor. The alcohol is a bit too much here though, too fiery and unbalanced.
71.87 - Glenburgie Distillery
Meat meets chocolate. There’s a artificial beef note here alongside some chocolate orange for dessert. We’re getting some cloves, cinnamon and more orange zest with a reasonable finish. It’s a perfect example of deep, rich and dried fruits without being standout or overly exciting. Solid bottle for £56 through.
73.130 - Aultmore Distillery
Sawdust, stale bread, dried yeast, a little cinnamon. Ginger, spiced cinnamon bun without any of the needed sugar. Finish is dry and short, not the most pleasant dram. Too spicy without many redeeming features.
78.54 - Ben Nevis Distillery
Melon, sourdough, balsamic vinegar, ginger cake. The mouthfeel is nice, there’s honey, hazelnuts and a Sauternes from a 4th growth chateau. The finish is viscous with a nicely warming alcohol flowing through.
80.34 - Glen Spey Distillery
Honeydew melon, tree sap, sugar water. Palate has a slight bitterness followed by a little brown sugar and honeycomb. Quite well balanced but a little simple. Cheap and cheerful.
82.39 - Glencadam Distillery
Back to the vanilla sponge cake, touch of lemon zest, some light oak. Palate has some spicy ginger, warming alcohol and vanilla fondant. Alcohol is slightly abrasive and the finish is medium length. A bit basic
88.27 - Speyburn Distillery
Quite spirit forward, touch of vanilla and hazelnut. Palate has some overcooked pastry, bitter oak. This is tough to swallow to be honest, very bitter without many redeeming qualities.
91.33 - Dufftown Distillery
Minty toothpaste, a little herbal, some tea leaves. Alcohol is overwhelming, super sour with only a slight reprieve of sweetness after. Honestly just avoid, really not enjoyable.
108.17 - Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery
Wet, salty, fishy peat. It’s a fish supper doused in vinegar enjoyed on a highland beach. Picked onions in sweet vinegar, salted caramel and a touch of bonfire smoke round out the alcohol bite. Really quite delicious, but maybe a little sour.
112.65 - Inchmurrin Distillery
A little cinnamon, chili, maybe some Indian food here. There’s a nice sweetness mixed with some savoury spice. A little woody, oaky but some fresh mint and nuttiness. Honestly we don’t like this that much, but we can appreciate the balance of flavours and sweetness, and for some this may be the perfect dram
140.6 - Balcones Distillery
Sweet raspberries and strawberries doused in custard with a little pepper kick that warms the soul. The palate is slightly drier than expected but still has the strawberry and back pepper dessert. The finish has a good length with a nice jammy ending.
G10.31 - Strathclyde Distillery
Tingles the nosebuds on first sniff, light and zesty on the nose. A touch of honey too. The alcohol shows quite a bite on the nose. For us, it tastes like a hurricane cocktail from New Orleans, punchy spiced rum with fruit and citrus. Finish is a little nonexistent and even though we really like young grains, this misses the mark for us.
B3.10 - Rock Town Distillery
Deep roasted wood, vanilla bean, a little menthol with a little cakiness too. Palate has overly toasted hazelnuts and burnt chocolate brownie. Good alcohol integration but too bitter and charred for us.
Thanks for reading. Let us know what you thought of the outturn in the comments below.
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