Bryan’s Scotland Trip Part 5 – Duty Free

At the Edinburgh duty free for an evening flight. The whisky reps are out in full force pouring samples. took some very sparse, quick notes, didn’t comment on appearance for most because they all look like e150.


I’d seen the Talisker Skye in bottle shops and was curious so I started with it, expecting a standard Talisker dram

Talisker Skye – 45.8% ABV

  • Nose: Salty. Sweet. Little peat.
  • Palate: Salty, rough. Young. Sweet peat. Bitter.
  • Finish: Short. Salty
  • Score: 75/100
  • not worth it.

Next I tried this Dalwhinnie travel retail exclusive. Fan of the 15, not expecting much here.

Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold – 43% ABV

  • Nose: Fruity, dried raisin
  • Palate: Sour, fruity, bitter, salty. Light
  • Finish: Short sour.
  • Score: 73/100
  • not good at all. Don’t buy

and now an Oban DF exclusive. lets see how they fucked this one up.

Oban Little Bay – 43% ABV

  • Nose: Fruity sweet, malty
  • Palate: Salty , fruity, honey, light.
  • Finish: Short sweet
  • Score: 72/100
  • what is wrong with these drams, they keep getting worse

JWG, never had it before and coincidentally it’s the community review I posted before leaving for the trip. Now I can participate!

Johnnie Walker Green – 43% ABV

  • Nose: Light slight salt, slight fruit
  • Palate: Light, slightly salty, fruity. Sour and bitter
  • Finish: Short and sour
  • Score: 78/100
  • and it tastes much like the others I’ve had so far other than combining saltiness and some fruit. Ugh this is disappointing

This one was the last at the table I was interested in trying. A special edition Caol Ila always sounds good. This is finished in Moscatel casks.

Caol Ila Distiller’s Edition Special Release C-si-2-475 – 43% ABV

  • Nose: Salty peat, smokey, sweet
  • Palate: Peppery, light sweet peat, some dried fruit
  • Finish: Long and smoky
  • Score: 85/100
  • much nicer. Glad I saved this till after the others. Too bad it’s bottled at 43%. It would be amazing at cask strength.

I went to the other table to try a few more. Started with the Nadurra Olorosso.

Glenlivet Nadurra Olorosso – 48% ABV

  • Nose: Sweet, grapey, red fruit
  • Palate: Very sweet, lots of red fruit, quite hot. Must be young.
  • Finish: Short hot
  • Score: 80/100
  • sad they dropped age statements on Nadurra and started bottling at lower proof. Not great

after my disappointment, the bartender asked me what I Liked and didn’t like about it and then reached under the counter for a bottle he said he only pulls out occasionally. This Single cask glenlivet is aged in sherry hogshead for 14 years and bottled at cask strength. needless to say, I was excited.

Glenlivet 14 Single Cask Sherry – 55.8% ABV

  • Nose: Tons of fruit, strawberry, raspberry, apricot
  • Palate: Wow. Gorgeous oaky flavour behind a bouquet of fruit. Caramel, dances on the tongue.
  • Finish: Long oaky and fruity.
  • Score: 89/100
  • fantastic step up from everything else I’d had so far. I’d buy this if it weren’t 250 pounds.

After that single cask, I tried a Hibiki which I’ve posted in World Whisky. Needless to say that was a mistake. So I came back for something peaty to overwhelm that disappointment.

anCnoc Barrow – 46% ABV

  • Appearance: almost completely clear. Crazy light
  • Nose: Smoky, slight peat, sweet light apple,
  • Palate: Lots of ashy smoke, iodine, peat,
  • Finish: Long and smoky
  • Score: 81/100
  • not a great peated dram, but not the worst I’ve had this trip.

then moving on, I found a dalmore table with their new sherry DF exclusive lineup. I went for the most expensive one, Dominium which is finished in Matusalem sherry casks. It’s NAS but the rep said it’s 12-15 years, and talked about the casks which she claims held sherry for 45 years. hmm

Dalmore Dominium – 46% ABV

  • Nose: Sherry, raisins,apricots, raspberry, tobacco.
  • Palate: Raisins, fruit, sweet, . Well rounded, lots of oak, berries,
  • Finish: Short and bitter. gross off taste.
  • Score: 80/100
  • that finish is so bad. The flavours are great on the palate but that finish is horrendous. Too bad. Also suffers from low ABV.

so those were my adventures at duty free. sure made the time waiting at the airport go by quicker and more enjoyably, even if the drams were a mixed bag. i think this is the last of my Scotland review posts. hope you’ve enjoyed them!

Long story short, go to Scotland, go to Islay, go to Arran. It’s not only an amazing experience to see the distilleries, the scenery is incredible too. Slainte!

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