Category Archives: Whisky of the Month

Posts of each month’s taster!

Strathisla 2008

Treacle Toffee! That elusive yet common tasting note appears in force for this independent bottling from Gordon & MacPhail’s “Distillery Labels” series. Strathisla is the oldest continuously operating distillery in the Scottish Highlands (founded in 1786 under another name). It is also now considered home to Chivas Regal. This bottle was sourced direct from Scotland. I liked it enough to finally figure out what exactly treacle toffee is… 46% ABV.

Old Pulteney 18

Surprising that our archive doesn’t have an OP yet! Available at the LCBO for $189.95, but it won’t stick around long. A pretty gold, with a homey vanilla and honey palate. The Old Pulteney distillery is far north on the Scottish mainland in the fishing port/former Viking settlement of Wick. I can almost imagine sipping it under a tartan blanket by a huge fire in a crumbling coastal castle…a classic (and in a rather classic bottle!). 46% ABV.

Signatory Vintage North British 1991

A tasty 28-year whisky from North British, one of few dedicated grain distilleries in Scotland. It’s a big place, located right in the City of Edinburgh and established in 1885. I don’t think it can be classified as a mind-blowing bottle, but I am very appreciative of the chance to try something off the beaten track, a sherry-aged grain whisky! (FYI that means a whisky made with at least some grain other than malted barley). I think it works. 46.2% ABV and one of 461 bottles. $250, sourced from The Whisky Barrel.

Ardbeg Wee Beastie

For only 5 Years old, this was a very pleasing taster, and went over well with most of the Club. A great add-on to our annual Halloween Party. It is sold at the LCBO for $78.45, but it was difficult to get your hands on when it was first released in 2020 (and still can be). It is a permanent expression for Ardbeg, so watch for it. Young, smoky and herbal, a feisty one for sure! 47.4% ABV.

The Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch No. 4

What a damn fine whisky! Tun 1509 Batch No. 4 was acquired by the club after a few members “unofficially” enjoyed a bottle of Tun 1509 Batch No. 5 on vacation. Batch No. 5 hit the spot with a heavy sweet sherry and bourbon influence, while Batch No. 4 backs off on the spirit influence and highlights more American oak aged whisky. There were mixed feelings among those lucky enough to sample both as to which was preferred (I am hands down team No. 5!). An excellent tasting experience all around, the Tun series offerings (the previous run being 1401) have been around for quite some time, a style that involves marrying numerous casks of specially selected whisky in a large vessel, “the Tun”. 51.7% ABV. Acquired for $650 on the secondary market. One of those rare finds where you’d easily spend the money again.

Deanston 2006 Cream Sherry Finish

July highlighted a double-header Deanston tasting, a Highland Distillery. Cream Sherry was another interesting offering, with a little heat from the high alcohol content, big legs, lots of dried fruit, all sorts of caramel and all the lovely sweetness you’d expect from Oloroso Sherry. Overall, the Cream Sherry finish definitely had the edge over the Pinot Noir for the club. 54.2% ABV.