Bottle #3 of our 13-year Anniversary themed event – The Far Flung Regions of Scotland. The Southern Selection:
Officially Scotland’s southernmost distillery and representing the lowlands, Bladnoch 17 was matured in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in California red wine casks for 10 months. Look for dried fruit, cherries, vanilla and oak. An interesting compare to our eastern selection, aged its entire life in red wine casks! Bladnoch is one of Scotland’s largest distilleries to maintain privately owned status. Our 13th anniversary dram was bottled in 2017 to celebrate the distillery’s 200th anniversary. Been around for a while, but a new distillery to the Club! Sourced out-of-province.
Bottle #2 of our 13-year Anniversary themed event – The Far Flung Regions of Scotland. The Eastern Selection:
Distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2014, this Small Batch Limited Edition represents the most eastern distillery available to us (Glenugie is further east, but alas, cannot be found). Packed full of red fruit flavour, it is a sweet and spicy dram with wine at the forefront, having been matured for all 16 years in an ex-wine cask. Leave it to Glen Garioch to refuse to shy away from experimenting with whisky!
Bottle #1 of our 13-year Anniversary themed event – The Far Flung Regions of Scotland.
In a challenging time of physical distance, what a better way to celebrate such a remarkable year of remote and modified gatherings and tastings than with whisky selections from the most geographically distant Scottish distilleries (that we could get our hands on in Ontario anyway)!
Our Western selection was released under Diageo’s Rare by Nature theme. Big, sooty and earthy, with hits of ripe citrus and warm spice. Classic coastal and a new distillery to the Club. Sold out everywhere and sourced out-of-province. A much enjoyed bottle!
Another new distillery to the club, GlenAllachie 18 did not disappoint. Matured in Oloroso, PX and virgin oak, it sings of barley, raisins and butterscotch. Many naysayers knock GlenAllachie’s single malt range as the distillery focused its production on blends until ownership changed in 2017, but this offering is nothing to turn one’s nose up at. Overall, it has a pleasant, very drinkable body and sweetness and suggests that real thought was put into which casks would be earmarked for single malts. 46% ABV.
An interesting release from whisky giant Diageo as part of their Flora and Fauna Series. This 26-bottle series launched in the 1990’s allows the whisky enthusiast to sample single malt drams that often end up in blends. This offering is a 16 year-old single malt officially released from the Dailuaine distillery. Sherry matured. Look for fruitcake, cereals, nuts and spice. 43% ABV. A new distillery to the club, it was great to try a lesser-known bottle off the beaten path!
This whisky is one of my personal favourites, and I wish it was mass produced so it could be on my bar at all times!
It is a most impressive dram, the colour is a wonderful pale gold. But folks, I’m hear to tell you not let the paleness fool you, because what it lacks in clout it makes up in flavour and soul. The nose of this whisky is peaches and warm brown sugar and the palate is all spice. Pepper general spice and warm citrus notes lead the way to the long warm finish. Overall 12 out of 10. – Josh C.
A double-header of Irish whiskey rounded out the end of summer for the club. A fresh tasting offering with lots of fruit, vanilla and honey, plum and cinnamon. A regular Irish crowd-pleaser, crisp and light. 46% in an ex-bourbon barrel. $175 at the LCBO.
The second of our Irish Whiskey double-header, Glendalough Single Malt Mizunara Cask was aged in a bourbon barrel and finished in a cask crafted from Japan’s mizunara oak trees. Mizunara oak is a rarity in barrel making given the difficulty inherent in working with the crooked, porous wood, as well as the fact that one of these trees has to be at least 200 years old to be considered a barrel candidate. Vanilla, stone fruit, chocolate, coconut and oaky spice make for a unique dram. “Stunning stuff from the Glendalough range” – Masterofmalt.com. “This is a rare gem among Irish whiskies” – Jonny McCormick.
Bottled by Signatory Vintage as part of their fascinating cask strength collection (49.9%), it is always exciting to sample a whisky that will never be repeated as the distillery is simply now closed. Opened in 1799 and followed by a tumultuous history, Carsebridge was closed in 1983 and is now demolished. An obscure Lowland single grain in a refill sherry butt, this ghost wasn’t raved over by the club for any extraordinary complexity or surprise, but was surely appreciated as a 1-in-169 bottle privilege in which to partake. An easy drinker. It was available until recently in Alberta for $515 CAD.
I have no complaints about any Auchentosan I’ve tried, usually not a whisky that makes you go Wow, but consistent in quality. This 15 year-old is a bit of a different bird as it was bottled by Distiller’s Art from a refill Hogshead. At 48% ABV, it is pretty mild.
The nose is sweet honey and has hints of fresh grassy fields. The palate delivers a pepper spice, albeit mild and short, with hints of salt and mild citrus. The finish has a nice short burn that doesn’t linger.
Definitely a bottle you could sit around and keep pouring out on a summer night. Once again, Auchentoshan does not disappoint with a consistent and well manicured dram. $182 sourced from the LCBO in 2020 – Chad N.