And we’ve reached the final Outturn of November. You probably won’t be surprised to hear the bottles released this week are a touch samey, but we’re happy to say there’s a few standouts among the releases.
Unfortunately, we were unable to try the 6, 9 or 13 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 Decembers 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.
100.30 - Strathmill Distillery
This is a fruit trifle, sponge, custard, cream and all that’d you’d expect. Nose has light sherry, but there’s an explosion of juicy raisins and sultanas on the palate. Some dried wood in the background but this is very well balanced. Water brings out a bit more of the sherry influence. It’s not a sherry bomb but it’s pretty damn tasty.
29.287 - Laphroaig Distillery
Nose has tar, coastal sea notes, smoked fish, a mechanics workshop, some TCP and a forest fire. Palate is classic Laphroaig, but with the addition of malt vinegar and smoked Turkey. This is very good, heavy on the peat but if you’re on board with that you’ll love this.
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.
2.131 - Glenlivet Distillery
Nosing this we’re getting strawberries, boiled sweets, a touch of fresh grass, along with the expected vanilla. Light and creamy palate with custard doughnuts. This is super sweet. Good beginners dram and good age, but a little simple and a bit pricey.
44.147 - Craigellachie Distillery
On the nose there's an initial hit of blackcurrant. This is a little metallic with the sherry influence mixing well with the spirit. The palate is quite dry. There’s blackberries just pulled off the bush, melted chocolate and Grande Champagne Cognac. We think this is surprisingly good, even though we typically steer clear of this distillery.
5.94 - Auchentoshan Distillery
The expected tropical fruit bowl on the nose. There’s less synthetic sugar notes here than we’re used to maybe more like apple pie made for a diabetic. Finish has some butteriness and bitterness as it goes on. It’s tough to rate these Auchentoshans as they’re very close together in terms of nose and palate, but the one earlier in the month trumps this very slightly.
82.41 - Glencadam Distillery
We’re getting to the point now where these drams are ones we’d recommend you try before you buy. This is crusty bread, a little yeasty, ethanol, chocolate buttons, a little pineapple juice and touch of watered down brandy. It’s not the worst dram of the evening, but it’s nothing special.
64.124 - Mannochmore Distillery
Ok, so there’s fruit pastels, wood shavings, milk chocolate, and citronella on the nose. Very punchy alcohol hit on the palate topped with citrus and dark chocolate with oak staves. It’s dry, but has a lot of citrus to try and balance it out. Not for us, but some may enjoy.
18.40 - Inchgower Distillery
Lots of gingerbread on the nose, almost too much. This should be under spicy and dry in our opinion, as we’re not getting the promised dried fruits. Instead there’s some tobacco, nutty woodiness, along with some young balsamic vinegar on the palate.
108.46 - Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery
On the nose it’s a touch salty and lemony, with some sand and white pepper. Some sweetened ginger beer, fennel and a hint of mint leaves appear on the palate. It’s not the worst whisky, but we’re not really that inspired. The last few bottles on this list are a perfect example of quantity over quality.
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.
71.48 - Glenburgie Distillery
Nose is mostly just buttered bread, like a sad breakfast where toaster has been on the Fritz. There’s typical oak and vanilla, with quite a hefty punch of alcohol and a little lemon juice on the finish. Better options about.
36.184 - Benrinnes Distillery
Nose is promising with rose water, ripe peach, touch of mango purée, very fragrant and floral on the nose. Palate however is harsh, bitter, ethanol and oak. What happened? This is 23 years old.. either it should have been bottled way earlier or something went horribly wrong in recent times. Either way, we can’t recommend the £103 price tag even at 23 years.
78.53 - Ben Nevis Distillery
Nope, the nose on this is definitely not for us. Its foosty, mouldy, and a little off. There’s also some earth and Jamaican rum. Palate is a bit better, it’s much deeper, with 80% cocoa chocolate, cola, but no sweetness to balance the earthy flavours. Not for us.
A couple of extra bottle reviews… as we understand it these will be out on the 29th of November in the UK.
93.171 - Glen Scotia Distillery
Name: Malty & Salty
Flavour Profile: Oily & Coastal
Cask Type: Recharred Refill Hogshead
First up a Scotia that we would include in our top sips. It’s sugary vanilla, strawberries and cream, a little olive oil that coats the mouth nicely. It’s a little salty but there’s also so much sweetness going on that we’re surprised we’re drinking Glen scotia. Lovely dram.
4.293 - Highland Park Distillery
Name: A Cunning Combo
Flavour Profile: Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits
Cask Type: 2nd fill Oloroso Butt
Nose has sour cherry, light coastal smoke, and sweet oak. It’s quite vegetal, citric and metallic on the palate. There’s some floral notes and Bakewell tart on the palate as well. This is pretty damn good, but it’s pretty pricey. If it was a few quid cheaper it’d be a must buy.
135.37 - Loch Lomond (Inchmoan) Distillery
Name: Pickle Me Timbers!
Flavour Profile: Peated
Cask Type: 2nd fill Bourbon Hogshead
We’re getting bacon bits, buttery smoke, a little smoke brisket. This is very meaty. Palate has dark chocolate coated raisins, light alcohol and a decently long finish. Not too bad if you’re in to your heavily peated, meaty drams. Good alternative if you want cheap peat but are bored with 53s.
Thanks for reading. Let us know what you thought of the outturn in the comments below.
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