A rare bottle from 1988 from the dusty shelf of our very own Lee Snetsinger. Great presentation! Sweetness from the port finish is apparent, along with vanilla and oak notes. A great opportunity to taste a unique Speysider.
A double-header March Speyside tasting rounded out with another novel distillery to the Club. Tamdhu Single Cask, distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2018, was another great example of a little-known distillery that can pack a punch. This bottle is 1 of only 317. Adding a little water to this dram did change it significantly – thanks to “Ben” for that “magical” post-it note tip, and Club member Lee for sacrificing this one to the cause! A lovely taster with lots of dried fruit, raisins, apricots, jam and of course, toasty sherry.
Another first-timer for Club Expensive Taste. An interesting sampler with a lovely bright straw (natural) colour. Light and fruity, grape-forward, certain vanilla, with a hit of spice on the end. A delicate and appealing combination. 43%, hogshead maturation and a very appealing price point at only $100 with shipping from out-of-country. Glad we broadened the horizons with this little rarity.
Bottle #5 of our 13-year Anniversary themed event – The Far Flung Regions of Scotland. The Northern Selection:
For this aged group of dedicated ET members (13 years!) I am of solid opinion that every anniversary needs a Unicorn. The Valhalla Collection from Highland Park celebrates the Norse Gods of Freya, Loki, Thor and Odin, one released per year from 2012 to 2015. HP later released 2 additional similarly packaged bottles in 2016, Fire (celebrating Ragnarok) and Ice (celebrating the Ice Realm). We all know HP has carried on with several more bottles celebrating the northern Scottish Island of Orkney, HP’s blustery home, and its roots in Norse mythology.
Alas, the entire Valhalla collection is as yet out of reach. But even a piece of this rare collection, the few bottles of which are left in existence sitting on private collector’s shelves, was a Viking Honour to sample…
Bottle #4 of our 13-year Anniversary themed event – The Far Flung Regions of Scotland. The Islay Detour:
Betcha thought we were headed north! But we shall take a brief jaunt to the very distinct and beloved Islay, the most populated and popular (distillery-wise) of the remote Scottish islands. Hunter Liang’s Old & Rare Platinum range brilliantly picked up enough for only 209 bottles of Laphroaig 18, before the vintage was discontinued by the distillery in 2016 as it started to phase out some age statements in exchange for other special release drams. Hence it now being both old and rare! Hard to come by even from independent bottlers, this wee beastie is beautifully packaged and, of course, boldly peated. Sure to be a bottle auction hot topic for this Club, it’s the perfect she-be-gone cask-strength sipper for a cold Canadian winter night. (The club loved it – wish we had more!).
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!