Category Archives: Tasting Notes

Cragganmore 12 YO – Speyside

Cragganmore

 

 

 

 

CRAGGANMORE STORY
The Cragganmore Distillery was founded in 1869 by John
Smith, who is said to have been the most experienced
distiller of his day. He had been manager of Macallan,
Glenlivet and Wishaw distilleries, and was lease-holder of
Glenfarclas Distillery when he persuaded his landlord, Sir
George Macpherson-Grant, to lease him the land to build
a new distillery at Ballindalloch beside the Strathspey
railway line.

Cragganmore was the first distillery to be deliberately
sited to take advantage of the railway line and a private
siding was built to accommodate distillery traffic. John
Smith was a great railway enthusiast, but since he
weighed 22 stones (140kg) and was too wide to enter a
railway carriage, he was obliged to travel in the Guard’s
van.

PERFECT SERVE
Cragganmore 12 Year Old is one of the most complex
single malts with layers of sweet floral fragrances, wood
smoke, riverside herbs, vanilla and cereals. It is best
enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

Cragganmore 110349Appearance: Gold
Nose: A combination of sweet floral fragrances, riverside herbs and
flowers with some honey and vanilla.
Body: Firm, rounded, light to medium
Palate: A strong malty taste with hints of sweet wood smoke and
sandalwood.
Finish: A long, malt-driven finish with light smoke and hints of
sweetness.

Lagavulin 16 YO – Islay

Lagavulin

LAGAVULIN STORY
Founded in 1816 by local farmer John Johnston,
succeeding more than 10 illicit stills that had previously
been on the site. Now one of eight operating distilleries
on Islay off the west coast of Scotland
Named Lagavulin after a Gaelic word meaning “the
hollow where the mill is”

Aged in ex bourbon casks, the high levels of peat,
coupled with its rich flavours make this the definitive
Islay malt and the Holy Grail for many whisky drinkers.

PERFECT SERVE
Lagavulin 16 Year Old is an intense, smoky-sweet single
malt with seaweed flavours and a huge finish, aged in oak
casks for at least sixteen years. This is best appreciated
neat or on the rocks.

Picture 2934
Picture 2934

Appearance: Deep Amber Gold
Nose: Intense peat-smoke and a rich, deep sweetness
Body: Full
Palate: Srong and intense with a rich, dried fruit sweetness &
peppery smoky
Finish: Huge, long and warming

Caol Ila 12 YO – Islay

Caol ila

 

CAOL ILA STORY
Caol Ila is the Gaelic name for the Sound of Islay, which
separates the island from Jura in one of the most remote
and beautiful parts of Scotland’s West Coast. Caol Ila is
the only distillery on Islay to face due east, and every
morning the six stills are the first to feel the dawn of the
day on their copper faces.
Nestled in a hidden cove near Port Askaig, the Caol Ila
(pronounced “Cull Eela”) distillery sent its whisky to
market by sea for over a hundred years.

PERFECT SERVE
Caol Ila 12 Year Old is a fresh, sweetly fruity and smoothbodied,
with a delicate balance of tastes which is best enjoyed
neat or on the rocks.

Caol ila Bottle 12yrs low-res

Appearance: Pale Straw
Nose: Subdued, citric fruitiness, a fresh and appetizing nose, with
little or no trace of smoke.
Body: Firm, smooth, light to medium
Palate: Drinks well at natural strength; sweet start; pleasant, light
fragrant smokiness and a lengthy finish. Smooth, pleasant
mouth-feel.. A complex balance of primary tastes.
Finish: Sweet smokiness in the lingering, slightly sour finish

Oban 14 YO – West Highland

Oban

 

 

OBAN STORY
Fine single malt whisky has been made here in Oban for
over 200 years, in one of the oldest licensed distilleries in
Scotland. In effect, the town grew up around the
distillery and since its foundation in 1794 it has played a
crucial role in local life. Oban is the frontier between the
West Highlands and the Islands; the meeting place
between land and sea.

In 1883 the unforgettably named J. Walter Higgin bought
the distillery. Between 1890 and 1894 he dismantled and
rebuilt it bit by bit, in order to keep it in production – such
was the demand for Oban Single Malt Scotch Whisky. He
carefully replicated the famously small stills and other
traditional features in order to preserve the quality of the
whisky.

The distillery buildings and their internal arrangements
remain almost the same today as they were following
Higgin’s refurbishment.

PERFECT SERVE
Oban 14 Year Old has a rich sweetness followed by a
smokey dryness that is best appreciated neat or on the
rocks.

Picture 2959
Picture 2959

Appearance: Olive Gold
Nose: Rich sweetness and oranges & lemons with sea-salt and
peaty smokiness
Body: full, rich
Palate: Mouth filling, dried figs and honey-sweet spices, followed
by a smoky, malty dryness
Finish: Long, smooth-sweet finish with oak-wood, dryness and a
grain of salt

Glenkinchie 12 YO – Lowland

Glenkinchie (416520)

 

GLENKINCHIE STORY
One of the few remaining Lowland distilleries,
Glenkinchie’s rural location amid fields of barley, just
twenty miles from the hustle and bustle of the capital,
makes this “The Edinburgh Malt”.

Founded in 1825, the distillery was later purchased and
restored by an association of whisky merchants and
blenders from Edinburgh in the 1890s. It took ten years
but the result was the Victorian distillery that we know
today, with its characteristic red-brick buildings, houses
for workers and even its own bowling green.

PERFECT SERVE
Glenkinchie 12 Year Old is light, sweet, fresh yet creamy with
hints of flowers and cut grass, underpinned by toasted malt
and cheesecake notes. It is best enjoyed neat or on the
rocks.

Glenkinchie 12 Yo Bottle

Appearance: Pale Gold
Nose: Aromatic, vanilla, cut flowers and a clean, toasty note.
Body: Light, smooth
Palate: Sweet, soft start becoming flowery. Crisp mid-palate then
butter icing, lemon, cheesecake and freesias
Finish: Herbal and drying, a little like pot pourri.

Clynelish 14 YO – Coastal Highland

Clynelish

 

 

 

CLYNELISH STORY
The original distillery at Clynelish was purpose built to
serve the new farms being established on the fertile land
of Sutherland’s coastal strip. For a cost of just £750 in
1819, the future Duke of Sutherland was able to provide
a ready market for the barley grown by his tenant
farmers. It’s from these origins that we’re able to enjoy
the highly regarded Clynelish today.

The economic recession of 1931 forced the distillery to
close. Production restarted in 1938, only to shut down
again from May 1941 until November 1945 due to
restrictions on the supply of barley during World War
two.

In the 1960’s, Clynelish was brought up to date when
electricity was installed and still which had previously
been heated by a hand-fired coal burning furnace were
converted to internal steam heating. Then, true to its
origins as a model design, Clynelish was replaced by a
new distillery built on an adjacent site in 1967-68.

PERFECT SERVE
Clynelish 14 Year Old has floral fragrances and maritime
flavours with a light, dry finish, best appreciated on the
rocks or neat.

Clynelish 110348

Appearance: Yellow Gold
Nose: Light candle wax, sugar. Faint floral fragrance. Scented
candle wax comes up with water. Dried flowers on a beach. Later,
brown sugar
Body: Firm, light to medium
Palate: Pleasant, creamy mouthfeel; maritime generally
Finish: Some salt, dryish, attractive slight bitterness

Dalwhinnie 15 YO – Highland

Dalwhinnie Logo

 

 

DALWHINNIE STORY
The distillery was founded by Grant, Mackenzie and
Sellar in 1898 (when known as Strathspey distillery). Its
name derives from the Gaelic for a ‘meeting place’ of
sheep and cattle drovers. It is incredibly remote but was
purpose built to be close to the geographic centre of the
Highlands and enjoy easy access to the reliable link to
market offered by the new Highland Railway. This helped
the distillery to survive its fragile beginnings.

As well as being a fine distillery, Dalwhinnie also has the
distinction of being an official weather station, with one
of the lowest recorded average temperatures in Great
Britain.

PERFECT SERVE
Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old is a smooth, creamy, fragrant
whisky. Heather, honey and delicate sweet spice notes
make it the Gentle Spirit that is best enjoyed neat or
on the rocks.

Dalwhinnie

Appearance: Gold
Nose: Crisp, dry and very aromatic with hints of heather and peat
Body: Light to medium
Palate: Smooth and lasting flavours of honey sweetness & vanilla
followed by deeper citrus flavours
Finish: Lingering, starts sweetly, then gives way to smoke & peat

Cardhu 12 YO – Speyside

Cardhu

 

CARDHU STORY
Cardhu Distillery-previously called Cardow-must be one
of the best-located distilleries in Speyside. High on the
hills on the north side of the Spey Valley with extensive
views to the south, it is also the spiritual home of Johnnie
Walker; the number one blended Scotch whisky in the
world.
By the time John Cumming bought a license for his
Cardhu distillery in 1824, he and his wife Helen had
already been producing illicit whisky for 13 years.
Whenever the Excise officers passed by, Helen would
disguise the mashing and fermenting as bread-making.
Then, while the officers drank the tea she made for them,
she would fly a red flag from the barn to warn their
neighbours that revenue men were around.

PERFECT SERVE
Cardhu 12 Year Old is a generous, multi-layered malt
whisky. Richly fruity, with honey and nut flavours, it is
best enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

Cardhu New Bottle

Appearance: Golden Honey
Nose: Heady, pear drops and sweet honey-nut notes, with faint
traces of wood smoke
Body: Soft, pleasing, medium
Palate: Well balanced, sweet and fresh, then a pronounced drying
effect
Finish: Short, lingering sweet smoke with an attractive, drying
aftertaste

Talisker 10 YO – Isle of Skye

Talisker Descriptor Blue CMYK

 

 

 

 

TALISKER STORY
Built by the side of Loch Harport on the western shores
of the Isle of Skye by Hugh and Kenneth
MacGaskill(sons of the local Doctor) in 1830. The name
Talisker comes from the Norse, Thalas Gair, meaning
“sloping rock”
In 1880, Robert Louis Stevenson describes it as “the
King o’ Drinks” and by 1900 it was already one of the
best selling whiskies in the world.
In 1960, the still house was completely destroyed by
fire. Two years later, the distillery re-opened, the old
stills having been replaced with exact copies.

PERFECT SERVE
The powerful, sweet-smoky, pepperiness and saltiness
of TALISKER 10 year old Isle of skye Single Malt Scotch
Whisky is best enjoyed from a rocking glass, neat or on
the rocks.

Talisker 10yo(730724)

Appearance: Brilliant Gold
Nose: Powerful peat smoke with just a hint of sea-water saltiness,
fresh oysters and a citrus sweetness
Body: Full
Palate: A rich dried-fruit sweetness with clouds of smoke and
strong barley-malt flavours, warming and intense. Pepper at the
back of the mouth.
Finish: Huge, long, warming and peppery in the finish with an
appetising sweetness

The Singleton of Glen Ord 12 YO – Highland

(TRI01148) Singleton_Logo with SMW

 

THE SINGLETON STORY
The Singleton of Glen Ord comes from a distillery
founded in the 19th Century that keeps with the
traditional methods of production with in-house malting,
a very long fermentation combined with a slow
distillation. All these elements combine to produce a
very unique single malt.

TASTE CELEBRATION
Aged in ex American whiskey and Spanish Sherry casks,
The Singleton of Glen Oed hasa warm, fruity flavour that
has seen it win numberous gold medals at several of
themost prestigious sprits competitions in the world.

PERFECT SERVE
The Singleton of Glen Ord Single Malt Sctoch Whisky is
silky sweet and medium bodied with traces of ginger
and biscuit and is best appreciated neat or over ice.

Singleton12

 

Appearance: Deep Shining amber
Nose: Warming, rich and fruity with dried orange peel
Body: Light to medium
Palate: Gingery, soft, silky sweet, smooth, and chewy
Finish: Medium to long with dark chocolate notes