We’ve made it to week 3, and it’s a bit of Déjà vu to be honest. While the lack of variety is disappointing we can say that our top sip for the week is out favourite bottle of the month so far, and we highly recommended you try and get one. The bad news is we have a fair few stinkers at in the bottom of the barrel section this week. We’re hoping this is a one off, and the society’s “roaring good times” aren’t heading for a “crash” as we end the month.
Unfortunately, we were unable to try the Clynelish at the preview, but will update the below with our thoughts in the coming days. Check out our social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to get an update on this bottle and heads up on our reviews of the rest of November’s releases as they come.
Our Top Sips are the bottles that we thought stood out amongst the rest. We would highly recommend you at least sample these drams if possible. Note that these are in no particular order.
3.335 - Bowmore Distillery
Sticking our nose in this we find memories of Warehouse No 1. flooding back to us. There’s also light smoke, sweet creme brûlée, white chocolate, and touch of citrus juice. Palate is filled with French pastries, and campfire smoke. This is beautifully balanced bourbon notes and Bowmore spirit. Thank you SMWS, this is exactly what we want from a number 3.
Middle of the Road
Our Middle of the Road bottles are whiskies we thought were good enough for a dram or two, but we weren't blown away by them. Some of this will be down to our personal preference, so if the notes we've written sound like something up your street then it may be perfect for you! We’ve listed these in order of our preference.
19.67 - Glen Giaroch Distillery
On the nose there’s milk chocolate, peach, and lime zest. The palate is very fruity with some papaya and pineapple. There’s a bit of white pepper spice lingering on the finish. This is good but not as good as the 19 released earlier this month. Even still this just missed our “Top Sips”.
Bat. 13 - Tabanco Time Blended Malt
Nosing this there’s crystallised ginger, orange peel, and dried apricots. Some chili pepper, sugar syrup, and cherry juice on the palate. This is nice, but a little one dimensional, and annoyingly there’s a very slight lingering bitterness on the finish which we’re not the biggest fans of. This falls short of Exotic Cargo Batch 1, while also being £10 more expensive. Saying that we’re sure lots of you will enjoy this.
1.251 - Glenfarclas Distillery
Chocolate orange, Bas Armagnac, and a slight metallic note are prominent on the nose. Palate has some woody sherry funk, dark fruits, and spice. This starts out well, but ends flat. It’s got a shorter than we’d like finish, which is mainly spice and ethanol. It’s perfectly drinkable but it’s also an 8 year old whisky at £60 which is a bit pricey for us.
89.16 - Tomintoul Distillery
Super buttery on the nose, it’s a toasted bagel smothered in butter. There’s also some nice dry fruit sweetness there as well. Nice enough, but not super deep or complex. Palate has some orangeade, and expected notes such as raisins and fruit cake. Unfortunately, the alcohol shows itself quite prominently on the finish knocking this down a notch.
4.299 - Highland Park Distillery
Nose is a a little funky, there's some hazelnut here, charcoal, a little lemon and some oil. It coats the mouth like a greasy smokey fish and chips from the local takeaway, but not in a bad way. It’s quite simple, a clean and pleasant dram. This is a good young highland park, but maybe a bit too much at £68.
73.127 - Aultmore Distillery
Light and pleasant on the nose, but not too much going on really. Some floral and vanilla notes with a backbone of ethanol and a touch of mint. Palate is pleasant, but lacks any interesting qualities or flavours. It tastes like a generic 10yo bourbon cask whisky.
We’re generous souls and that’s why we’re not putting the next couple of bottles in our bottom of the barrel section, but these did come close.
46.123 - Glenlossie Distillery
We’re nosing far into the glass before we get anything here, but keeping at it we’re getting some cucumber, oregano and thyme. On the palate it’s very spirit forward and not too much else. The first whisky we’ve tried that tasted more of salad than whisky.
63.87 - Glentauchers Distillery
Light on the nose with vanilla and alcohol, some Turkish delight, and icing sugar. Palate is a little thin with initial sweetness followed quickly by a bitter aftertaste. At 19 years old, and having spent its life in first fill bourbon we had high expectations for this, which fell significantly short of the mark.
135.41 - Loch Lomond (Inchmoan) Distillery
Much lighter on the nose than its counterpart 135.37, which is releasing later this month. Some coastal sea notes, freshly grilled white fish, light smoke and ash. Sweet with lots of citrus on the palate, but there’s also a hit of alcohol here which ruins this a for us. Nose is much better than the palate on this one.
Bottom of the Barrel
Our Bottom of the Barrel picks are bottlings we really didn't enjoy. That's not to say that these are bad whiskies, they're just not to our taste, and had we tried one of these as our first ever whiskies we’d probably be gin drinkers.
113.53 - Braeval (Braes of Glenlivet) Distillery
This opens with mustiness on the nose that suggests you’ll be disappointed on the palate. Palate has some dried lemon, sesame seeds, ample bitter oak and a reasonably sweet finish that lingers on. It’s not great to be honest. Sub par nose combined with a bitter palate make this a hard pass.
94.19 - Fettercairn Distillery
Nose has sugar water, faint vanilla, and wet stones. vanilla, alcohol, and sadness on the palate. It’s meh. Sorry, we don’t have much more than that. Plenty of other bottles this month to choose from. If you must have a Fettercairn, 94.17 was significantly better than this.
80.26 - Glen Spey Distillery
Wet Sandpaper and nothing. Really struggling to get anything on the nose, barely even any alcohol. Palate showcases raw spirit and that’s about it. Simple put this is horrible. We did say above that the bottom of the barrel picks aren’t necessarily bad whiskies, but we were wrong here avoid.
Thanks for reading. Let us know what you thought of the outturn in the comments below.
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