Anyway, here’s the whisky.
Aultmore 12 Year Old
Aultmore returned in 2014 as part of Dewar’s Last Great Malts line, and the world is richer for it.
Pale straw colour. Notes of honey, citrus, and vanilla on the nose. Similarly light on the palate, alone with grassiness and a slight biscuity note. A bright, breezy, refreshing dram.
Keith, Scotland – 46% ABV
Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
Aberfeldy makes some of the most approachable, no-nonsense whiskies out there.
Medium amber. Creamy nose with sherried fruits and a hint of smoke. Sweet palate with hints of honey and grain, followed by a touch of peat, but clean nonetheless. Malty finish and a light citrus touch.
Aberfeldy, Scotland – 40% ABV
Tamdhu 10 Year Old
Tamdhu was founded at the end of the nineteenth century by some of the biggest men in whisky: Grant, Walker, and Dewar. They built the distillery to be state-of-the-art for the time, inventing the famous pagoda roofs you see on distilleries today. Shuttered in 2010, it recently reopened and the whisky has had something of a rethink. In fact, Tamdhu 10 is all sherry.
Amber. Rich nose of sultanas, almonds, and marzipan. Sweet and soft palate of cinnamon, vanilla, and slight coconut. Finish of cinnamon hearts.
Knockando, Scotland – 43% ABV
Auchentoshan Three Wood
Auchentoshan is one of the six remaining lowland distilleries and has the distinction of being one of the few to distil three times, for a sweet and delicate malt. Since you’re wondering, the three woods are Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, bourbon casks, and Oloroso sherry.
Dark amber. Rich nose of preserved cherries, butterscotch, and a faint nuttiness. Palate is rich, round, and sweet, with notes of dark chocolate, cooked cherries, and black forest cake. Similarly rich finish with notes of molasses and wood.
Dalmuir – 43% ABV
Bowmore 15 Year Old
Bowmore is noted for having the only maturation warehouse below sea level. Peaty? Yes, but the sherry casks they use balance the whisky out.
Finished for three years in sherry casks, and it shows. Aromas of raisins, maraschino cherries, dates, and gentle smoke. Palate is rich, with thick, rum-like legs, and notes of cherry, dark chocolate, pine, and smoke. The finish is a bit spicy, and the grain finally makes an appearance.
Bowmore, Scotland – 43% ABV
Laphroaig 10 Year Old
Laphroaig isn’t a whisky for the new drinker. Levels of peat are high, and a glass of Laphroaig will permeate a whole room with that delightful smell.
Just in case you forgot you were drinking an Islay, the 10 Years Old opens with a big peat note on the nose, followed by seaweed, salt, and a touch of sweetness. On the palate, salt and peat is layered with iodine, vanilla, black pepper, cardamom, and something vaguely medicinal. “Lingering” doesn’t do the finish justice—drying peat will take up residence in your senses for the remainder of the evening.
Islay, Scotland — 40% ABV