A bunch of guys from my church got together for a Robbie Burns scotch night that they’ve held for the past 5 years and I was lucky enough to join in the fun. Everybody brought a bottle and me and another guy put them in the order we felt would be best… avoiding the peat barrier as tomodera would say. I had 8-9 drams, but only 6 that I hadn’t had before. Below are the notes I took on those 6… the others I drank were Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve – which i now realize I’ve had but never reviewed…dangit, Auchentoshan 12, Laphroaig QC and Ardbeg 10, which is the first scotch I ever reviewed! Photo credit goes to Leemarc Lao.
Glenkinchie 12 – 43% ABV
Glenkinchie and I have a difficult history. I tried the 10yr in a bar a long time ago and really didn’t enjoy it, but assumed it was just because it had been oxidized. we’ll see if that was just the bottle or if i really don’t like Glenkinchie spirit.
- Appearance: light yellow colour
- Nose: floral, nuts, heather
- Taste: bitter, hot for 43%, floral, aciic, rotted grass, fishy
- Finish: mid length, rotten fish
- Score: 59/100
- not pleasant. I hoped my bar experience with Glenkinchie 10 back in review #7 was an outlier, but I got the same fishy taste. Not a fan.
Arran Robert Burns Single Malt – 43% ABV
next up is a dram from one of my non-Islay distilleries, Arran. This one gets released each year around Robbie Burns Day and I’ve seen it every year but never taken the plunge. Figured a Robbie Burns night was as good an excuse to grab it as any.
- Appearance: very light yellow. Uncoloured, yay
- Nose: banana, pear, peach, apple, floral
- Taste: bananas again! Cashews, almond, fruit, grass, plum, sugary candy
- Finish: warm mellow, medium length.
- Score: 87/100
- pleasantly surprised by this one. Didn’t expect it to live up to the quality level of other Arrans, but it did. It’s young and a bit brash, but there’s nice stuff going on here.
Aberfeldy 12 – 40% ABV
Never had an Aberfeldy but have often seen this one at the LCBO. Glad I get to try it out.
- Appearance: light orange
- Nose: light, fruity, pears, apricot, flowers
- Taste: nutty, candy cane, light fruits, ginger, cnnamon, caramel
- Finish: short, light
- Score: 73/100
- decent but not anything special. Typical highland
Bruichladdich ‘The Classic Laddie’ – 50% ABV
I love Bruichladdich… when the Laddie Ten was being discontinued I stockpiled because I like it so much. I haven’t had a chance to try its replacement in the lineup and I’m hoping it lives up to its predecessor.
- Appearance: orangey… I’d almost think it’s coloured if the bottle didn’t say so.
- Nose: salty, briney, floral, slight peat maybe? Says unpeated but the Laddie had 10ppm anyway I think.
- Taste: hot, young, salty, slight peat, briney, brash, apple, maybe white chocolate
- Finish: medium length, salty
- Score: 84/100
- not nearly as good as the Ten. Was excited for this but a bit let down. It’s just unbalanced and young.
Tobermory 10 – 46.3% ABV
Tobermory.. Never had anything from the Mull distillery, but I’m excited to try it as I typically love Island malts.
- Appearance: light urinesque colour
- Nose: salty, floral, vegetal, light light peat, vanilla and oaky
- Taste: beautifully salty, smoke, tons of briney seawater. Parsnips. Hotter than expected, but not unpleasantly so.
- Finish: long and salty
- Score: 86/100
- very nice. More balanced than the bruichladdich. Very tasty
Cask Islay – 46% ABV
I saw this newly listed item at the LCBO and was curious about it. It’s obviously some distillery’s lower quality stuff sold to AD Rattray for bottling under a different name. don’t have very high hopes here.
- Appearance: light urinesque yellow
- Nose: heavy peat, iodine, dried fruit, ash, smoke
- Taste: ashy, charcoal, very smoky, prunes, oily.
- Finish: long and ashy. Sweet in the long run
- Score: 79/100
- it’s not horrible, but not great either. Definitely second tier malt from somewhere. Hard to decide which distillery I think it’s from. Not a good value at $70
overall a ton of fun. looking forward to hopefully more whisky nights with these guys in the future! great way to celebrate my bday… which started at midnight while we were still drinking 😛