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Whisky Bucket List

Welcome to the GreatDrams Whisky Bucket List. This rather long page (word count 24,837 if you’re interested) is my attempt to focus myself to ensuring I try as many of the world’s greatest whiskies whilst providing my readers, or GreatDramers if you will, a one stop hub of information about these incredible liquids.

The premise is pretty simple; this is a living list so will be added to and updated as I journey through life as a whisky writer and consultant so please do email me any ideas for additions to: [email protected] and I will happily add.

Each one has a status: Still to try, Sampled, Own and also links through to where you can get your hands on the product yourself and a review if there is one as yet on GreatDrams.

Stats

Total whiskies on the list: 161 (as of June 2017)

Whiskies from the list I own: 83

Whiskies from the list I have sampled: 44

Whiskies from the list I am still to try: 34

 

Aberfeldy 21 Year Old

Highland Single Malt
Aberfeldy 21 Year Old
Launched in October of 2005, this 21 year old lies at the core of the Aberfeldy range and is something of a flagship for the brand. This bottling was heralded as the Best Mainland Single Malt at the World Whisky Awards 2007.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Honey, fruity. Thick malt, enlivened by a fresh, zesty quality.

Palate: Smooth, vanilla, undulating, refined smoke.

Finish: Peters out gently, perhaps some ripe white peach notes and a good wave of honey.

Value: £110.43

Buy here

7


Aberlour a’bunadh

Speyside Single Malt
With each batch carefully made by hand, Aberlour A’bunadh is a unique cask strength whisky that has achieved cult status among whisky connoisseurs.
Meaning ‘the original’ in Gaelic, A’bunadh is made in homage to Aberlour’s founder, James Fleming, using only traditional methods without chill filtration or other modern processes.
The result is a heavier, creamier single malt than most have ever experienced – memorably flavoursome, with an intense raisin character.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Terrific aromas of all spice, praline and spiced orange, in harmony with deep notes of Oloroso Sherry.

Palate: Orange, black cherries, dried fruit and ginger, spiked with dark bitter chocolate and enriched with lingering Sherry and oak. Superlatively full bodied and creamy.

Finish: Robust and long lasting, with bittersweet notes of exotic spices, dark chocolate and oak.

Value: £44.99

Buy here

7

Amrut Fusion

Indian Single Malt

Jim Murray’s Third Finest Whisky in the World for 2010, Amrut Fusion is distilled from barley from Scotland and India, making this a true fusion of countries.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose: Heavy, thickly oaked and complex: some curious barley-sugar notes here shrouded in soft smoke. Big, but seductively gentle, too.

Palate: The delivery, though controlled at first, is massive! Then more like con-fusion as that smoke on the Nose turns into warming, full blown peat, but it far from gets its own way as a vague sherry trifle note (curious, seeing how there are no sherry butts involved) – the custard presumably is oaky vanilla – hammers home that barley – fruitiness to make for a bit of a free-for-all; but for extra food measure the flavours develop into a really intense chocolate fudge middle which absolutely resonates through the Palate

Finish: A slight struggle here as the mouthfeel gets a bit puffy here with the dry peat and oak; enough molassed sweetness to see the malt through to a satisfying end, though. Above all the spices, rather than lying down and accepting their fate, rise up and usher this extraordinary whisky to its exit.

Value: £47.47

Buy here

7

anCnoc 16 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

Wholly maturing anCnoc in American bourbon barrels allows the characteristic intense citrus notes to shine through. anCnoc 16 Years Old has been bottled in its most natural form, as it’s neither chill-filtered nor coloured. As a result, it may develop a light haze with the addition of water or if kept at a cold temperature. This haze is a natural characteristic of whisky that is unchill-filtered.

Status: Still to try

Nose: An intense aroma that awakens your senses with bursts of citrus fruit, before slowly melting into a soft and sweet, fragrant vanilla.

Palate: Light and zesty with a hint of spice, warming up to what can only be described as ‘stick to your teeth’ toffee. A long and lingering Finish leaving you ready for the next sip.

Finish: A slight struggle here as the mouthfeel gets a bit puffy here with the dry peat and oak; enough molassed sweetness to see the malt through to a satisfying end, though. Above all the spices, rather than lying down and accepting their fate, rise up and usher this extraordinary whisky to its exit.

Value: £58.90

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7

Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Islay Single Malt

Ardbeg Ten Years Old is revered around the world as the peatiest, smokiest, most complex single malt of them all. Yet it does not flaunt the peat; rather it gives way to the natural sweetness of the malt to produce a whisky of perfect balance.
Typically most whiskies are chill-filtered and reduced to a strength of 40% ABV. Ardbeg Ten Years Old, however, is non chill-filtered and has a strength of 46% ABV, thus retaining maximum flavour, at the same time giving more body and added depth. It’s whisky with none of the goodness taken out!

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: A ridge of vanilla leads to mountain of peat capped with citrus fruits and circled by clouds of sea spray.

Palate: Sweet vanilla counterbalanced with lemon and lime followed by that surging Ardbeg smoke that we all know and love.

Finish: Long and glorious; sea salted caramel and beach bonfire smoke.
Overall: Precise balance, big smoke and non-chill filtered. This is why this is such a famous dram.

Value: £36.48

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7

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Islay Single Malt

In 2009, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Ardbeg Uigeadail ‘World Whisky of the Year’ – in praise of its “utter silky brilliance” and “complexity on a level only a handful of distilleries in the world can even dream of reaching.”
Ardbeg Uigeadail (pronounced ‘Oog-a-dal’) is a special vatting that marries Ardbeg’s traditional deep, smoky notes with luscious, raisiny tones of old ex-Sherry casks. It’s non chill-filtered at high strength, which retains maximum flavour and gives more body and added depth.
Ardbeg Uigeadail was recently voted by the 100,000 strong Ardbeg Committee as their favourite Ardbeg. With whisky this good, who can blame them?

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Multifaceted, notes of peat and little flourishes of dark sugar, freshly ground espresso beans, cereal notes and a most sophisticated tar.

Palate: Led by sweet, ripe fruit and black forest honey. A good helping of malt. The throne then usurped by a powerful peat and smoked barley.

Finish: Very long, caramel and malt weave their way through peat smoke and dark sugar and just a hint of fresh espresso coffee before it finally peters out.

Value: £60.99

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7

Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Islay Single Malt

Corryvreckan takes its name from the famous whirlpool that lies to the north of Islay, where only the bravest souls dare to venture. Swirling aromas and torrents of deep, peaty, peppery taste lurk beneath the surface of this beautifully balanced dram. Like the whirlpool itself, Corryvreckan is not for the faint-hearted!

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Sticking plasters, buttery, creamy, roast chicken crisps, herbal, almost a hint of pine…

Palate: Cream, spices, tingling, fresh fruit, medicinal, plasters,
Finish: Salty, more medicinal, smoked meats, peat is fleeting, tarmac, chilli, salt. Salty, more medicinal, smoked meats, peat is fleeting, tarmac, chilli, salt.

Value: £60.99

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7

Ardbeg Galileo

Islay Single Malt

The rumour mill has been rumbling about this Ardbeg release for some time. In April 2012 Ardbeg sent some of their new-make spirit up into space to make Ardbeg the first inter-stellar whisky, so it came as little surprise that in September 2012, at the British Space Centre, the Ardbeg Galileo was LAUNCHED (apologies). All of this marketing aside, it’s still pretty damn good, unlike recent Ardbegs the Galileo features an age statement (1999-2012) and contains whisky matured in both ex-Marsala and ex-Bourbon barrels.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Pineapple slices and desiccated coconut rocket out of the glass followed by toffee and spice, finally there is a big phenolic launch-pad of peat.

Palate: When the Ardbeg smoke clears the first step is salty, before cream and dried apricots land.
Finish: The Finish is soft and sweet, with earthy smoke swirling about.

Value: £107.99

Buy here

7

Ardbeg Supernova 2014

Islay Single Malt

Supernova was brought back by popular demand in 2010.
 The 2010 expression was out of this world – even deeper, stronger and earthier than the award-winning 2009 edition. Peated to more than 100 parts per million Supernova is the peatiest Ardbeg ever and quite simply heavenly.

Click here for the GreatDrams Review

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Smoked bacon, Tarry ropes on a not-long-dry seashore. Loads of Vanilla. Pomegranates, Fizzy-sweets (refreshers, Sherbet Lemons) and Lemon-zest. Not convinced I’d have got Mocha, if not for the autosuggestion, but it’s definitely there now I think about it.

Palate: Initially sweet, restrained, more of that bacon, but this time it’s been cured with Muscovado sugar and maybe a touch of Juniper? Progresses through the inevitable onslaught of peat, but it’s there in a slightly different way – more ‘high’, medicinal phenols than we’ve come to expect with Ardbeg. From the Palate alone, I’m not even sure I’d peg this as Ardbeg – I might be tempted to go two distilleries further down the coast…

Finish: Long. Cocoa, Charred corners of a pulled pork butt, becomes more ashy as it fades, but clearly from good honest casks albeit with charred heads.

Buy here

7

Ardbeg Auriverdes

Islay Single Malt

A special edition single malt launched on Ardbeg Day 2014 – a day celebrated both at the Islay festival, Fèis Ìle and around the world. Auri(Gold)verdes(Green) is a name used to refer to Brazil’s sports teams (including the football team, of course), but in this case it refers to the golden whisky and the iconic Ardbeg green bottle it dwells within. Striker!

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate: Ardbeg challenges the Palate with a smoke and salt explosion – hot, sizzling and gristy sensations effervesce and explode on the tongue with a powerful peaty punch. Black and white crushed pepper pop with chilli and chocolate. Chewy sweet rolling tobacco, linseed oil and newly tanned leather roll backwards on a wave of brininess and burst of juicy lime marmalade. Cigar smoke builds up to a crescendo before drying out to bring dark roast earthy coffee, toasted almonds and liquorice root.

Finish: Long, deep and powerful, refusing to fade away – remaining warm and drying with tarry peat, cocoa and chilli.

Value: £149.99

Buy here

7

Asyla

Various Regions – Blend

A blend of soft, fruity malt whiskies on a bed of rich, sweet grain whiskies. All whiskies aged in first-fill American oak casks to yield the trademark Compass Box style: soft, rich, vanilla-tinged, delicious. See why this, the lightest of our whiskies, wins the most awards!

Status: Still to try

Nose : Melon, ethereal, ripe rosy apples, delicate smoke.

Palate: Gristy malt, touch of black pepper, grassy, oaky, orchard fruit.

Finish: Fairly uninteresting, malt, fruity, oak.

Value: £35.84

Buy here

7

Auchentoshan Classic

Lowland Single Malt

A Lowland single malt whisky from the Auchentoshan distillery, no age statement is given and one assumes it is a younger malt though certainly an enjoyable one. ‘Classic’ was launched in 2008 to replace the old staple ‘Select’.

Status: GreatDrams (do not own)

Nose : Fairly sweet, toasty Bourbon notes and creamy vanilla intertwined with lush, ripe cooked fruit. Perhaps coconut.

Palate: Fruity with typical Auchentoshan refinement. White peach and crème anglaise.

Finish: Clean, a floral freshness, a little more zest with white peach and apple.

Value: £24.95

Buy here

7

Balblair Vintage 1989

Highland Single Malt

Balblair Vintage 1989 2nd release was introduced in 2010. A full-bodied malt with aromas of raisin, green apple and hints of banana and lemon. Share your thoughts on all Balblair Vintages on The Gathering Place.Balblair 1989 is mid-amber in appearance with honey-gold highlights.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : The American oak barrels, used in the distillate’s maturation, lend a warm toffee, vanilla fragrance.

Palate: On the Palate there are raisins and fruits with a rich spiciness.

Finish: Long, complex and smooth Finish.

Value: £62.59

Buy here

7

Ballantine’s 17 Year Old

Various Regions – Blend

First blended in the 1930s, Ballantine’s 17 Year Old is a prestigious whisky that stays true to the Ballantine’s family style. Ballantine’s 17 year old displays all the flavours of Scotland, with a careful combination of malt and grain whiskies from all over Scotland.

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose : Deep, balanced, elegant and smooth with hints of sweet vanilla, oak and a sensation of smoke.

Palate: Full and complex, vibrant honey sweetness and creamy vanilla flavours with hints of oak and spicy liquorice.

Finish: Long, sweet and smooth with a hint of spice.

Value: £53.54

Buy here

7

Basil Hayden’s

American Bourbon

In 1796, Master Distiller Basil Hayden Sr. broke ‘the rules’ by mixing small grains into the mash of a traditional corn base. A Maryland transplant unafraid to stand out amidst the residing establishment, Basil conjectured that the spicy flavor of rye would be a striking complement to the sweet smoothness of corn in his distillery’s standard bourbon. And much to the chagrin of the traditionalist set, Basil was right. His recipe was a masterpiece, resulting in a unique, singular small batch bourbon whiskey that was blessed with rich hints of peppermint, notes of pepper, slight citrus overtones, and a spicy, warming Finish.
Artfully aged at a relatively mild 80 proof, Basil Hayden’s® is as novel and delectable a bourbon whiskey as it was when the master distiller rolled out his first barrel over 200 years ago. Marked by a rich cascade of aromas and flavors, Basil Hayden’s® is still a small batch bourbon, but with broader appeal. And just as it was in 1796, the only ‘rule’ to enjoying our Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is that it should be done responsibly.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Spice, tea, hint of pepper­mint

Palate: Spicy, peppery, honey, light-bodied, gentle bite

Finish: Dry, clean, brief

Value: £71.95

Buy here

7

BenRiach Curiositas Peated

Speyside Single Malt

Curiositas uses a heavily peated malted barley as the cereal varietal to produce a unique, fresh, peated expression. This rare peated single malt, from the Heartland of Speyside, has wonderful overtones of peat reek, combined cleverly with a background of fruity, floral, heathery notes and an appealing presence of oak wood in the Finish. Traditionalists believe that peated malts achieve optimum balance of peat-bittersweet and oak infusion after 10 years of maturation. In fact peated BenRiach is a return to the original Speyside character and flavour of malts typical of the nineteenth century. Curiositas is a distinctive and welcome addition to the Speyside scene – this is a dram to be savoured with a dash of water.

Status: Still to try

Nose :An explosion of aromatic peat reek, with fragrant hints of honey, fruit and mellow oak.

Palate:An avalanche of peat, followed by an extravagant and complex mix of fruit, heather, nuts, oak wood and spices.

Finish: Bittersweet, dry wood, creosote and phenol, and fennel, in fact.

Value:£25.84

Buy here

7

Benromach Organic

Speyside Single Malt

Pour yourself a dram of this beautiful Speysider, lift it to the light and notice the golden brown colour, imparted by our virgin oak casks. Even the wood we use for maturing the spirit is an intrinsic part of producing this beautifully balanced Organic Single Malt Whisky… a world-first when it was launched. With that in mind, enjoy the sumptuous aroma with water. It’s delightfully sweet and malty at first, and after a few inhalations you may detect vanilla, toffee and banana influences coming through. Enjoy the Taste without water… roll it around your mouth and savour the creamy pepper and sweet fruit flavours, particularly ripe bananas. Add a trickle of water to release the whisky and take in the aroma with water… fresh and malty with darker, delicious hints of coffee and cocoa. You may smell some vanilla notes, and a touch of the fruit bowl coming through once again – this time with citrus fruits, especially lemons. Now for the taste with water… the smooth and mellow body has an exotic carnival feel with some gorgeous chilli spice and tropical fruit flavours, balanced with creaminess and a dark chocolate edge: a mouth-watering balance with a smooth and long Finish.

Our whisky is certified Organic from start to Finish, meeting rigorous UK Soil Association standards for growing the ingredients, distillation, maturation and bottling. Unique on launch in 2006, it is still very rare today. What aromas and tastes do you sense?

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose : Woody, spicy and malty. Some caramel and resin.

Palate: Oaked, oily. Toffee sweetness with freshly cut overripe fruit. Toasty spice.

Finish: Wood shavings, quite fresh.

Value:£36.28

Buy here

7

Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey

Kentucky Single Malt

At its launch, Bernheim Original Straight Wheat Whiskey was the first truly new variety of American straight wheat whiskey introduced since Prohibition. Heaven Hill Master Distillers saw an opportunity to give today’s whiskey connoisseurs a unique taste experience. Bernheim was the only straight whiskey to use winter wheat as the primary grain in its mashbill, giving it a soft, sweet flavor and medium Finish.

Today, on the front of the bottle, Bernheim proudly displays its finest attributes: Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey, small batch, and a 7 year age statement. With an age statement of 7 years, Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey truly is well worth the wheat. It is the only straight wheat whiskey distributed nationally. As a straight whiskey, it meets the same criteria as Bourbon or rye—aged a minimum of two years in new, charred oak barrels, distilled at less than 160 proof, and contains no coloring, flavoring or blending agents. As a small batch product, it is made with a dump of 100 barrels or less.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Warm and sweet with buttered granary toast, a hint of salt, mixed spices and a distinct morello cherry character. Cooked fruit and a defined bakery note.

Palate: Quite full and sweet. Freshly baked sweet buns, a stewed fruit note and a mixed nut character. There are hints of tuck shop favourites and a touch of spearmint.

Finish: Long and slightly dry with toasty spices.

Value:£52.72

Buy here

7

Black Bottle

Various Regions – Blend

Every great story must find its beginning. A spark that shines from the darkness and someone willing to reach beyond the ordinary to clutch it.
For those inquisitive souls, the reward is Black Bottle; a dram so curiously rich and delicately smoky, that its family recipe has been shrouded in secrecy for over 130 years.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : Fresh and floral with freshly sawn oak aromas. Spicy with hints of smoke.

Palate: Silky, mellow and fruity with balanced smoky / peaty flavours then sweet oak and heather honey.

Finish: Soft, elegantly spicy, nutmeg, pepper and a gentle lingering smokiness.

Value:£19.89

Buy here

7

Black Grouse

Highland Blend

The Black Grouse combines our famous blend with specially selected peated malts to create a rich, dark, russet whisky with a rich, soft, smoky Nose.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Smoky, soft, musky, rich and full.

Palate: Full flavour, spice and dried fruits, smoke through the oak, with all The Famous Grouse smoothness.

Finish: Long, smoky and aromatic

Value:£17.99

Buy here

7

Bladnoch 8 Year Old

Islay Single Malt

An 8 year old Bladnoch, bottled at cask strength, this was aged in a single sherry cask. A stunning dram from the Lowland distillery, albeit with a picture of sheep on the label! Distilled on the 3rd March 2001 and aged on the 20th January 2010. Aged in sherry butt 28.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Peppery and spicy with big toffee sweetness and cut hay. Floral and reminiscent of the countryside.

Palate: Rich and floral, like a spicy version of rose petal jelly – perhaps made with ginger and nutmeg, and a little oak. Vanilla too.

Finish: Cinnamon, vanilla and butterscotch on the Finish. Loads of character.

Value:£36.95

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7

Blue Hanger

Various Regions – Blend

This is the 6th release of top wine merchants Berry Brother’s and Rudd’s acclaimed blend “Blue Hanger”, named for William Hanger, the third Lord Coleraine, who was said to often wear blue clothes, thus he was the blue hanger. People weren’t as good at nicknames in those days.

Status: GreatDrams (finished)

Nose : A malty, spiced Nose with notes of soft, supple stone fruit, hints of barley, sherried peels and almond.

Palate: A full, creamy Palate with just a soupcon of smoke. A development of calves leather, with a touch of hazelnut, cocoa and apple wood.

Finish: Malty, spiced Finish.

Value:£82.10

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7

BNJ Bailie Nicol Jarvie

Highland Blend

A very popular blend from Glenmorangie. Bailie Nicol Jarvie is a sweet, delicate blend with Highland, Islay and Speyside whisky, blended with top quality grain whisky.

Status: Still to try

Nose :

Palate: A full flavour, well balanced with a good body and a very slight trace of smoke. Every bit as mouth-watering on the Palate as the Nose suggests, with some lemon tartness countering the rich maltiness and almost chewable grain. Perhaps the finest and most supremely constructed of all Scotland’s lightweight whiskies.

Finish: Warm, balanced, with a whiff of smoke. Very long for such a fragile blend, with an astonishing depth of simple malt and toffee.

Value:£25

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Bowmore Tempest

Islay Single Malt

Aged for a decade in first-fill bourbon casks, with only our No. 1 Vaults’ wall to protect it from the crashing waves beyond, Bowmore Tempest encapsulates all the rugged, stormy sea qualities associated with our weather-beaten distillery. As complex as they come, this golden-coloured treasure still retains Bowmore’s differentiating quality – perfect balance. Bowmore Tempest is released in small batches.

Status: Still to try

Nose : earthy smoke and brine water.

Palate: bursts of citrus, lemons and oranges.

Finish: Long, fresh, tangy, salty.

Value:£48.40

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7

Bruichladdich 12 Year Old (2nd Edition)

Islay Single Malt

The second edition of the 12 year old was matured in bourbon casks, some first fill, some re fill. Distilled from Optic barley, the malt was peated to 3ppm. Originally Bruichladdich intended to keep this expression going for a few years, but they ran out of stocks after only a year and a half.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Gentle peat, quite coastal, light and fruity.

Palate: Slight burn, despite the low strength. Malty and salty, rather astringent.

Finish: Oak, tannic, quite sappy.

Value:£36.61

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7

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old

Islay Single Malt

Our 18 year old

Islay Single Malt

Scotch Whisky is now enjoying its full potential as the re-introduced unchill-filtered spirit: a story that has excited connoisseurs across the globe. With the move to unchill-filtered malt and a higher strength of 46.3%, this remarkable 18 year old has more than earned some new packaging.
Hinting at the tales the liquid within has to tell, the label highlights the move to a natural colour and an unchill-filtered process. Similarly, the bottle is now presented in a quality gift carton containing a welcoming booklet with information on the brand.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose : Salted caramel leading to sticky toffee pudding sprinkled with nutmeg. With time a leathery quality emerges.

Palate: Dense, rich sherried notes perked up with a coastal saltiness. On a second wave roast chestnuts emerge and gentle wood spice.

Finish: Woodspice becomes mixed spice. The Finish is warming and lengthy; salt and sherry towards the very end.

Value:£79.99

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7

Bushmills 16 Year Old

Irish Single Malt

A 16 year old Irish single malt from Bushmills aged in three different cask types: bourbon, port and sherry. The result is a beautiful whiskey which was awarded Gold at the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : A classic Irish Nose of honey, yoghurt and tinned stone fruit, this also has a lovely cassia bark character which develops in the glass.

Palate: Spiced and rich with juicy summer fruits, Christmas spices, pine oil, manuka honey and peaches in syrup.

Finish: Thick and syrupy with notes of red berries and Golden Syrup.

Value:£52.96

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7

Cameron Brig

Lowland Single Malt

This single grain whisky was distilled at the Cameronbridge distillery in fife. A very light, gentle whisky.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Light, subtle. Honey, spice.

Palate: Caramel, mixed peels, a touch of sherry, sultanas.

Finish: Medium length, oak and honey, more peels.

Value: £20.92

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7

Caol Ila 12 Year Old

Islay Single Malt

For lovers of Ardbeg, Laphroaig, and Lagavulin, this Islay distillery is less famous but very highly rated. Sweet, smoky and lip-smackingly good!

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Subdued, citric fruitiness; a whiff of bath oil and dentist’s mouthwash. A fresh and appetising Nose, with little or no trace of smoke. A little water raises almond oil and old-fashioned oilskins; still a fresh fruitiness (lychees?), a trace of olive oil, and after a while pot pourri or scented hand-soap.

Palate: Drinks well at natural strength; sweet start; pleasant, light fragrant smokiness and a lengthy Finish. Smooth, pleasant mouth-feel; with water light acidity, some salt and still the sweeter notes. A complex balance of primary tastes.

Finish: Sweet smokiness in the lingering, slightly sour Finish.

Value: £37.10

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7

Chivas Regal 25 Year Old

Various Regions – Blend

Chivas 25 is a rare and exclusive blend of the finest Scotch whiskies, which have all been aged for a minimum of 25 years. Chivas Regal 25 Year Old is available only as a strictly limited release in individually numbered bottles.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Rich, nutty and thick with notes of malt and berry fruits, hints of liquorice, raspberries and sweet porridge oats.

Palate: Soft and gentle but it builds with an elegant toffee-like character, very butter. Hints of boiled sweets, aniseed and custard.

Finish: Abrupt, but earthy, with butterscotch on the tail.

Value: £165.81

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7

Glenlivet 25 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

The XXV is a batch-produced whisky Finished in individually selected ex-sherry butts. The Oloroso-soaked oak imparts a nutty spiciness and enriches the flavour of the expression. Each cask is individually monitored in the Finishing process to ensure only the subtlest sherry tones are added to this intense, silky and elegant whisky.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Dark chocolate with scents of dried sultanas

Palate: Silky, sweet and caressing with cinnamon notes

Finish: Incredibly long, rich and balanced.

Value: £179.95

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7

Clynelish 14 Year Old

Highlands Single Malt

This is a superb example of what Clynelish can produce even at younger age. The balance is sublime and the mouthfeel is perfectly rounded. A great 14 year old Highland malt, quite coastal too.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose : Zesty, mandarin, tangerine. Smoky.

Palate: Quite light, great clarity. Orange, soft acidity. Dry oak. Mixed fruits, vanilla, leather.

Finish: Quite long, bitter sweetness developing, spicy oak.

Value: £38.15

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7

Crown Royal

Canadian Blend

The most famous of all the Canadian whiskies, Crown Royal is made with over 50 different whiskies, and they’ve been making it for over 70 years. It was first created in 1939 to celebrate the visit of King George VI to Canada.

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose :

Palate: Crown Royal has a taste profile defined by smoothness, enhanced by a rich, lingering Finish.

Finish:

Value: £31.43

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7

Cutty Sark Original

Speyside Blend

If a single malt is like a virtuoso musician, then a blended whisky is the full orchestra. A top quality blended whisky has more range, depth, complexity and balance than a malt. Carefully selected single malt whiskies, predominantly from Speyside (the cradle of single malt whisky distillation), are expertly blended with top quality grain whiskies to make Cutty Sark.
It is matured predominantly in American oak casks which impart less colour to the spirit but impart further subtle and complex flavours. Once matured, the malts are blended together, as are the grain whiskies. This process is a particular feature of Cutty Sark and ensures the final blend is harmonised and, therefore, consistent in colour and flavour.

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose : Accessible; fresh and enticing with vanilla and citrus fruits.

Palate: Clean; balanced and lively with vanilla ice cream and caramel.

Value: £17.76

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7

Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old

Highland Single Malt

This classic Highland malt, Dalwhinnie ages slowly to develop a remarkable character. Fifteen years of gentle aging make it a smooth and subtle malt. Take your time to discover creamy vanilla, heather honey and just a hint of Highland smoke.

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose : Aromatic, toffee, fruit salad, lush nectarine, custard. Floral, apple blossom, honeysuckle. Apple peels, pear, touch of smoke.

Palate: Malty. Walnuts steeped in manuka honey with vanilla sponge. Gentle smoke weaves its way through the cereal with a touch of spice.

Finish: Long, malty, walnut, almond.

Value: £35

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7

Dewar’s 12 Year Old

Various Regions – Blend

The classic 12 year old blend from Dewars, this stuff is the successor to Dewar’s “Double Aged” 12 Year Old – so named in reference to the additional 6 month marriage the whisky enjoys after the initial maturation and blending. The Practice is maintained despite the name change and the result is Loads of flavour…

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : A heady note of juicy fruit and thick, creamy malt. Rather floral, and quite sweet with notes of toasted barley, almond and a tinge of honey.

Palate: The Palate is perfectly poised with notes of barley malt, hot buttered toast, a little honey, and some aniseed spiciness.

Finish: A touch of smoke on the tail, alongside plenty of thick malt and sweetness.

Value: £29.15

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7

Dewar’s Signature

Various Regions – Blend

We blend Dewar’s Signature using the rarest of rare whiskies from across Scotland. We then return the blend to vintage oak caks, allowing these exclusive malts to age and harmonize to perfection. We do this because marrying in oak is the secret to execptional smoothness. When you do what you believe, it just tastes better.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : Soft, berry fruits. Vanilla fudge, cut flowers, cacao.

Palate: Quite fresh, balanced. Mixed conserves, touch of vanilla fudge.

Finish: Long, smoky, acacia honey.

Value: £201.04

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7

Dillon's Distillery White Rye

Various Regions – Blend


This purist’s rye is traditionally handcrafted from 100% Canadian grown rye but without ageing in wood, showcasing the true flavours of the grain.
Like a buck before time weathers moss on his antlers, the White Rye is a 100% Canadian Rye without age in the wood. Displaying the fervent character and complexity of youthful grains without the rounding of maturity, this spirit is an intensely angst filled rye for all those who know their Smith from their Wesson, and Rye from their Whisky!

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : New make whisky then mild peppermint. Very clean. Aromas of mashed grain and slightly beery.

Palate: Peppery sweet, floral, and spicy hot like ginger. Simple, clean and hot with hot liquorice, especially in the middle and strong flavours of grain.

Finish:

Value: £37.45

Click here for the GreatDrams Review

7

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

American Bourbon

Eagle Rare 17 year-old is one of the five bourbons included in the award-winning Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. This rare bourbon is released in small quantities once a year in the fall.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Dark candied fruit, cigar boxes, cinnamon.

Palate: Delicate and dry. Hints of leather, vanilla and tobacco.

Finish: Lingering, with a hint of toffee.

Value: £121.29

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7

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old

American Bourbon

Elijah Craig was named for a reverend who lived in Virginia. He kept a warehouse where he stored barrels and one day experienced a devastating fire. He used the charred casks regardless and found they imparted a lovely character. This is a great 12 year old small batch bourbon, named in his honour.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Palate: The Nose is quite thick and full. There is a beautiful sweetness with notes of toasty oak, toffee, spicy stewed fruits, a touch of resin and a lovely crème anglaise character. The Palate is full and sublimely smooth with notes if stewed Bramley apples, malmsey, a touch of aniseed and a hint of spice. The Finish is of good length with toasty oak notes and a creamy sweetness.

Value: £35.81

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7

Glenfarclas 21 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

A heavily sherried 21 year old from the Glenfarclas distillery. This offers loads of depth, a really thick dram and great Value for money too.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Intense, full of aromas – sherried fruit, tropical fruit, nutmeg and almonds with slight citrus notes at the end, all held together with a vanilla sweet smokiness

Palate: Full bodied rich and rounded develops slowly into fruity, smoky and spicy flavours.

Finish: Long-lasting, smooth a smoky with a chocolate feel at the back of your throat.

Value: £75.25

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7

Glenfarclas 105

Speyside Single Malt

The Glenfarclas 105, which is a 10 year old high strength Glenfarclas, is one of the greatest everyday whiskies. If any criticism could be levelled at it, it might be that it doesn’t have an enough ageing. So Glenfarclas have created this limited release twenty year old to satisfy that demand.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Complex, oaky, apples and pears, and a tempting dark toffee sweetness.

Palate: Dry and assertive, develops quickly to reveal a rich spiciness, combined with a hint of oak and sherried fruit.

Finish: Amazingly smooth for the strength; wonderfully warming and with a lingering smokiness, yet very rounded.

Value: £179.99

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Glenfiddich 30 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

An exceptional expression that has spent at least 30 years in Spanish Oloroso and American bourbon oak. Every cask Nosed, selected and married by our Malt Master. For the finest balance of hearty oak and honeyed warmth. A 30 Year Old with deep, layered flavours and a masterful Finish. Handcrafted by the expert.
Colour: Rich Bronze.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : A finely balanced Nose, with substantial oakiness matched by fruit and luscious sherry notes.

Palate: The taste is complex and seductively woody, emphasised by a floral sweetness.

Finish: Exceedingly long, honeyed and warm.

Value: £332.01

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7

Glenfiddich 40 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

An exemplary single malt. Our Malt Master handpicks some of the oldest casks in the world, marrying 40 year old vattings to craft a peerless whisky. Infinite depth and layer upon
layer of aroma and flavour create a 40 year old unrivalled by other rare whiskies of this age.
Each bottle is individually numbered and wrapped in hand-stitched calf leather. Each is accompanied by a leather bound book telling its 40 year old story, with certification hand-signed by our longest-serving craftsmen.
Only 600 bottles are released to the world each year. Each batch eagerly anticipated by the experts.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose : Beautifully rich with layer upon layer of dried fruits, dark chocolate, roasted coffee and ripe black cherries. Waves of gentle wood smoke, polished leather and cloves.

Palate: Silky smooth and luxurious. Intense dried fruit notes are followed by rich fruitcake, dates, raisins and stewed apples. Over time slightly dry oak notes appear, with a hint of bitter chocolate and the faintest peat notes.

Finish: Incredibly long lasting and complex. Truly memorable.

Value: £1777.77

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7

Glenfiddich 50 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

50 bottles of this single malt Scotch whisky are released each year.
A culmination of over a century of expert craft, traditions passed down by five generations and spirited invention. Inspired by the first vatting from just nine casks honouring each of William Grant’s nine children, who helped to build Glenfiddich by hand. This exquisite whisky was drawn from two exceptional casks, both matured for 50 years. Our Malt Master married them with great care to craft a perfectly harmonious aroma and flavour.
Rare, sought after, historic.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : A beautifully harmonious, uplifting, vibrant and complex aroma. Delicate rose petal and violets intertwine with green tobacco leaf, oak and faint hints of smoke.

Palate: nitially very sweet, with zesty orange marmalade and vanilla toffee, cascading through layer after layer of aromatic herb, floral and soft fruits, silky oak tannin and gentle smoke.
Finish: Amazingly smooth for the strength; wonderfully warming and with a lingering smokiness, yet very rounded.

Finish: Exceptionally long, with a touch of dry oak and the merest trace of peat.

Value: £16,500

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7

Glenfiddich 125

Speyside Single Malt

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : CMid gold with amber lights. The aroma is distinctly smoky (an expired autumnal bonfire), with initial medicinal base-notes (light antiseptic; sphagnum moss) giving way for a while to the more familiar Speyside sweet toffee (chewy Highland Toffee) and fruity (dried figs, also Seville orange marmalade) scents, before returning to smoke, with a hint of pine sap. With a dash of water, the latter edges towards natural artists’ varnish and the smoke spreads.

Palate: A smooth texture with a predominantly sweet taste, fresh acidity and a slightly mineralic Finish. Multi-layered.

Finish: Slightly more smoky, and distinctly spicy

Value: £71.99

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7

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

We use fine Spanish Oloroso wood and American oak to mature this rich, intriguingly fruity and robust oak expression, but there are many more reasons why this expression is special.
Every batch is individually numbered and carefully watched over. Each has extraordinary consistency and character from an intense marrying period, and a warming, distinguished Finish.
A truly exceptional single malt, the result not just of eighteen years of care and attention, but of whisky-making craft and knowledge passed down through the generations.

Click here for the GreatDrams Review

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : A remarkably rich aroma with ripe orchard fruit, baked apple and robust oak.

Palate: Richly delivers luxurious dried fruit, candy peel and dates. Overlaid with elegant oak notes.

Finish: Warming, rewarding and distinguished.

Value: £59.90

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7

Glengoyne 21 Year Old

Highlands Single Malt

Christmas cake, honey and rich fruit – with a long cinnamon Finish. Perfect after dinner, or frankly, anytime. We distil slower than anyone else in Scotland. Then we mature exclusively in hand-selected sherry casks, for twenty one character-building years.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Red apples, toffee, sherry, spicy strudel.

Palate: Lots of Sherry, honey, oak with a developing aromatic sensation. Ends with a heavenly cinnamon nip.

Finish: Long, sherry, spicy, warm and dry

Value: £92.51

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7

Glenmorangie

Highlands Single Malt

The original expression of our elegant, floral spirit and the real backbone of the Glenmorangie range. A ten-year-old single malt, Glenmorangie Original is produced by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland’s tallest stills, with first and second fill American white oak casks.
It is here, maturing for ten long years in a range of ex-bourbon casks such as our famous slow-grown and air-dried ‘designer casks’ from Missouri, that our raw spirit develops a perfect balance between sweetness and complexity. Resulting in a mature spirit that is soft, mellow and creamy. Perfect for enjoying at any time.

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose : The scent of citrus and ripening peaches is softened by the aroma of vanilla.

Palate: First, vanilla is detected on the tongue before it ripples along the Palate bringing a burst of flowery fruitiness.

Finish: About a minute after tasting, you are left with a clean and salving aftertaste with hints of orange and peach.

Value: £29.99

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7

Glen Grant 25 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

An exclusive Limited Edition whisky of only 800 bottles, the 25 Year Old Sherry Single Cask has been especially developed to meet the demands of the most discerning of whisky connoisseurs, offering a truly inimitable experience.
Boasting an intensely rich Palate with an array of deeply fruity flavors, the 25Yo perfectly delivers the seductively smooth taste for which Glen Grant is renowned; it features soft sultana notes, sweet Oloroso Sherry aromas, inter laced with hints of heather honey and a powerful long, lingering Finish. In contrast to the distillery’s customary clear, light gold single malts, the 25 year old boasts a deeper, more intense dark amber brown colour – a result of slow aging in sherry oak casks at the 170 year old distillery, where it matures over time to create a fresh and natural Single Malt Scotch whisky.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Rich, sweet Oloroso Sherry aromas, inter laced with hints of fruit and heather honey.

Palate: Soft, fruity raisins and sultanas notes.

Finish: Smooth long and lingering with a slight hint of smoke.

Value: £215.71

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7

Green Spot

Irish Single Malt

A wonderful single pot still whiskey, Green Spot is fabulous stuff, and much loved by the critics.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose :Hints of peppermint, malt, sweet barley, sugary porridge, creamy vanilla, papaya and citrus.

Palate: Spicy and soft, gentle bourbon oak, green woods, menthol, potpourri.

Finish: Creamy, long Finish, vanilla.

Value: £34.95

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7

Hakushu 18 Year Old

Japanse Single Malt

A fantastic 18 year old Japanese whisky from the Hakushu distillery, a malty, fruity whisky of real quality.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : Orange, pear and a dry smokiness. Fruit salad.

Palate: Patisserie sweet, baked goods and baked goodness!

Finish: Long and fruity with Manuka honey with subtle smokiness.

Value: £155.57

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7

Kininvie 23 Year Old

Islay Single Malt

If you’ve been wondering about the whisky from the Kininvie Distillery, (which you might have seen if you’ve visited the Balvinie Distillery, or even read about in Jake’s blog) here’s your chance to get a taste of their single malt! This is the first official release under the Kininvie name for the UK, a 23 year old whisky matured in a combination of bourbon and Sherry casks, presented in 35cl bottles.

Click here for the GreatDrams Review


Status: GreatDrams (finished)

Nose : Sweet, sugary fruits and deep syrupy goodness. Spicy, ripe peaches being torn open, vanilla, a little kiwi, hints of that Sherry.

Palate: More peach, with cream at first like a Campino sweet, before becoming more removed from the central sweetness with gentle oak building. All fairly light, but full of flavour.

Finish: A little bigger and longer than expected with more sweet syrup notes.

Value: £185

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7

Lagavulin Feis Ile 2014

Islay Single Malt

Taken from European oak Sherry butts specially selected by Iain McArthur, this Fèis Ìle 2014 bottling of Lagavulin was distilled back in 1995 and stood out as one of the best festival release of the year. 3,500 bottles were produced.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose :Smoky, waxy, Manchego cheese. A whole fruit bowl including berries and oranges. Those pink and blue Liquorice Allsorts. Pepper berries throughout.

Palate: Ash and Tabac, soot and blackcurrant, and a little more of that sweet liquorice.

Finish: Sweet, Sherried oak magic.

Value: £147.18

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7

Compass Box Hedonism

Various Regions – Blend

Our bottlings of Hedonism are made from a combination of eight to 15 casks of grain whisky from distilleries such as Cameron Bridge, one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in Scotland, and Cambus. Most whisky in Hedonism has been aged in first-fill American oak casks. This ageing yields a very special whisky that is full and round with richly textured flavours of vanilla and toffee.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose : From that first, delectable, introduction Hedonism is all ripe fruit, fraises des bois and sponge cake. Some red pepper provides an interesting point to mull.

Palate: Very sensual, disarmingly sleek and creamy. Black cherry and sweet spices, some cereal notes.

Finish: Very warm and spiced, toasty, some oak and milk chocolate.

Value: £55.99

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7

Compass Box Peat Monster

Various Regions – Blend

For those who love big, rich, peaty and smoky malt whiskies, this is your whisky. Bottled at 46%, “The Peat Monster” combines extremely smoky malt whisky from Islay with medium-peated Highland whiskies to create a balanced and approachable monster, but a monster nonetheless. Enjoy!

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose : Peat, marked salinity, leans to Caol Ila in style, something medicinal. Sweet and fruity, grainy.

Palate: Peat, oak. Botanicals, floral, coppery, sweet, smoky bacon, hint of papaya.

Finish: A lingering sweetness, more peat, floral: roses and violets, sweet spice, oak.

Value: £41.94

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7

Big Peat

Islay Blend

Big Peat: A small batch bottling traditionally non chill-filtered, not coloured and containing ONLY Islay Malt Whiskies!
But what exactly is a Vatted Malt? It is what the Scotch Whisky industry has traditionally called “a marriage of Malts”. Big Peat contains Malt Whisky ONLY from the island of Islay – some say it’s the ultimate taste of Islay… we’d be bound to agree!
With a PPM of 40, Big Peat is a feisty Islay character but with a sweet side too – ‘he’ carries a big peaty (“phenolic”), beachy, oceanic, rather ashy selection of malts only from the magical Whisky Island of Islay… Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and (even the now closed) Port Ellen to name but a few!
We do not chill-filter – we prefer a more old fashioned traditional approach – so you will detect a massive amplification of sea-faring qualities on the Nose, Palate, and Finish

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose : Fresh, salty and clean, developing to malted barley dried over peat with a damp earthy character.

Palate: Ashes, sweet tar, beaches and smoking chimneys.

Finish: Long and lingering, it replicates the Palate with salty, tangy liquorice, smoke, bonfire ashes – being foremost: PHENOLIC.

Value: £35.99

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7

Hibiki 17 Year Old

Japanese Blend

This Japanese blend was awarded an “Editor’s Choice” from Whisky Magazine. Hibiki 17 year old is a superb whisky from Suntory.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate: The Nose is quite full. There are notes of honey and wax, resin and oak. There are notes of gentle smoke and cacao, hints of cooked fruit and a nutty note. The Palate is sweet and rich. There are crisp notes of mixed peels, raisin and custard with a little zest and plenty of oak. The Finish is long with notes of oak and cocoa and sherried peels.

Value: £75.85

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7

Hibiki 30 Year Old

Japanese Blend

An absolutely stunning release from Hibiki. This was awarded the Trophy at the International Spirits Challenge in 2004, 2006 and 2008. It was also awarded the coveted title “World’s Best Blended Whisky” at the World Whiskies Award in 2007 and 2008! This is stonkingly good stuff!

Status: Still to try

Nose : Raisins, figs and sweet ripe dates with a hint of brazil nut and the sweetness of dark cocoa.

Palate: This mouth filling and rich whisky balances dark sweetness and a pleasant lingering woodiness perfectly – with a long, dark and very rich Finish.

Value: £1099.95

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7

Highland Park 18 Year Old

Isle of Orkney Single Malt

Considered by many whisky writers across the globe as the ‘industry’s favourite whisky’, Highland Park 18 year old is a masterclass of balance, complexity and refinement. Lingering layers of sweet honeyed malt, meet characterful dried fruit notes, marzipan and golden syrup, all wrapped up in swathes of our distinctive, subtle floral peat smoke. A whisky, which reveals more layers with every glass you enjoy.

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose: Rich, mature oak, top note of aromatic smoke

Palate: Rich, full flavour, honey and peat

Finish: Soft, round and long

Value: £86.77

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7

Highland Park 21 Year Old

Isle of Orkney Single Malt

Drawing its incredible character from predominantly American oak casks which have been seasoned with sherry, our 21 year old is a truly dynamic whisky, with an intensely fruity and spicy centre, surrounded by complex layers of candied orange peel, dark chocolate and rich, slightly drier smoke. It is a malt whisky that rewards patience and delivers an experience like no other.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Butterscotch, dark chocolate and orange.

Palate: Full flavour, candied orange peel with spicy dark chocolate leading to a rich smoky sensation.

Finish: Rich, complex, sweet smoky sensation then soft medium dry.

Value: £117.95

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7

Highland Park 30 Year Old

Isle of Orkney Single Malt

30 years ago, our master distiller decided to lay down the casks that would go on to become the heart of this exceptional whisky and over these three decades, the whisky maturing inside them has developed an outstanding balance, with a seductive sweetness and extremely delicate smoke. Treating this whisky with respect will reward you with breath taking results: characteristic fudge sweetness comes together with complex aromatic spices and dark chocolate orange. It has a drying Finish, leaving a gentle smoky flavour and an incredibly lengthy Finish.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose: Spicy, aromatic with notes of nutmeg and darkest chocolate.

Palate: A powerful, full flavour with toffee, dark chocolate orange and peat.

Finish: Complex, rich, long and smoky

Value: £384.95

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7

Highland Park 40 Year Old

Isle of Orkney Single Malt

First released in April 2008, this is the oldest permanent expression of Highland Park and is and the culmination of years of our finest whisky making experience.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose: Spicy, aromatic, background rich dark fruits, nutmeg and darkest chocolate.

Palate: Beautiful balance of sweet toffee notes, dark chocolate, sun-dried orange zest and heather peat smokiness.

Finish: Rich, long smoky and surprisingly sweet

Value: £1615

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7

Teeling 21 Year Old

Irish Single Malt

This Silver Reserve bottling consists of 21 Year Old Irish Single Malt whiskey matured firstly in Bourbon casks then allowed to marry in Sauternes wine casks for an extra twelve months to provide a full flavoured Irish whiskey taste experience. Consisting of only hand selected casks chosen for their distinctive taste qualities this small batch bottling is limited to just 5,000 bottles and was honoured as the Best Irish Single Malt in the World.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose: Aromas of white grapes, cut grass, apricots and white chocolate.

Palate: Silky smooth, with flavours of fig jam, honey, apricots, white chocolate and crisp saltiness at the end to balance the sweetness off.

Finish: Long and mellow.

Value: £123.95

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7

Isle of Jura Superstition

Isle of Jura Single Malt

For all of you taste gurus out there, you may pick out hints of honey and pine, as the balance of peated and unpeated spirits is matured to perfection in ex-Bourbon casks. The finest young and aged (up to 21 years) whiskies go into this mysterious bottle, so there’s a different flavour to explore with every drop.

Click here for the GreatDrams Review

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose: Gristy and quite like new make. This is a young whisky, though it offers up the same evocative smoke and heady malt that you’d expect from an older Jura. It’s quite sweet and creamy, and reminds us of Chantilly cream.

Palate: Sweet and porridge-like. A cereal fest on the tongue, with hints of white pepper and black forest honey with hot buttered toast. Oily.

Finish: Medium length with hints of honey and spice on the tail.

Value: £35.99

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7

Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve

Irish Single Malt

With age comes beauty, and our Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve is no exception. The exceptionally balanced blend is mellow, complex with a lingering finale of wood, spice and toffee. These 3 beautifully matched whiskeys are matured for at least 18 years in hand selected American bourbon barrels and European oak casks, where they complete their rite of passage and are finished in first fill bourbon barrels delivering subtle traces of vanilla on the palate. Since its debut, the reserve has been limited, so any opportunity to enjoy this whiskey should be savoured.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose: Aromatic oils with a touch of wood, spicy toffee.

Palate: Wonderfully mellow and smooth, a mouthful of complex flavour – fudge, toffee, spice, hints of wood and leather, vanilla and a gentle sherry nuttiness.

Finish: A long, lingering finish carries the theme of the wood, spice and toffee right through to the end.

Value: £69.99

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7

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Various Regions – Blend

With its origins in the 1870’s Old Special Whisky, JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL became simply “BLACK LABEL” in 1909. It is regarded by experts as the ultimate Scotch deluxe whisky, the benchmark by which all others are measured.
Each bottle of BLACK LABEL will have been two decades in the planning and draws whisky from the finest distilleries across Scotland aged in the finest whisky casks. Each whisky is matured in a slightly different way, due to the intricacies of wood, climate and location. The Master Blenders’ skill is in blending these whiskies together to create a whisky with an extraordinary range of flavour.
A continued focus on quality and style has resulted in JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL earning numerous awards. Today the blend remains as rich and smooth as it was when John Walker’s son and grandson were Master Blenders. It has been called “a masterpiece, the Michelangelo’s David of the blender’s art, the very best in its category” – Charles Maclean, whisky writer, and “the Savoy, the Everest of deluxe whiskies” – Jim Murray, author of the ‘Whisky Bible’.
BLACK LABEL retains the authenticity of its creator and currently outsells every other deluxe Blended Scotch Whisky around the globe. That it’s stood the test of time is testament to the pioneering spirit and the skills of the Walker family.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate: The nose is quite full. There are notes of winter spice and treacle, hints of white pepper and a little citrus. The palate is quite rich and full. There are notes of wood smoke and dry spice, hints of barley and cereal with creamy toffee and a distinct herbal note. The finish is quite fruity and long with a note of sultanas and mixed peels.

Value: £25.60

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7

Johnnie Walker Double Black Label

Various Regions – Blend

The pioneering spirit & unique blending skills of our founders created JOHNNIE WALKER® BLACK LABEL™ in 1909. It is now recognised as the world’s No.1 best selling deluxe Blended Scotch Whisky.
JOHNNIE WALKER® DOUBLE BLACK™ is a Blended Whisky created in the style of JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL but with a rich, more intense, smokier flavour. It’s proof that this pioneering spirit is still alive and well today.
Created through blending selected aged whiskies that are naturally smoky and rich in character, with those matured in deep charred old oak casks, our Master Blender has created a whisky of real character and depth of taste.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Slightly smoky and almost medicinal on the nose, it offers up hints of vanilla, a little tar, a touch of barbecue sauce, citrus and malt.

Palate: Good body and very creamy with a sublimely malty core. It offers up a surprising level of peat smoke which works really well. Creamy sweetness, hints of soft wood smoke, salty butter, custard and cereal grains.

Finish: Good length with notes of malt, boiled sweets, black pepper and cool smoke.

Value: £32.85

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7

Johnnie Walker Platinum Label

Various Regions – Blend

From the earliest days of their business, the Walker family and subsequent generations of Master Blenders have crafted exclusive Scotch Whiskies for the directors of their company and for private gatherings – treasured whiskies that have only ever been shared with a select few, at special occasions.
Inspired by this tradition, JOHNNIE WALKER PLATINUM LABEL™ is a supremely rich and full-flavoured 18 year old Scotch Whisky, created for those truly special moments.
JOHNNIE WALKER PLATINUM LABEL is drawn from a limited number of casks, carefully chosen and retained throughout their maturation because of their exceptional character. It is an intense, smooth and subtly smoky blend, crafted from Single Malt and Grain Whiskies, each matured to perfection for a minimum of 18 years.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Value: £64.99

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7

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

Various Regions – Blend

JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL is a commemoration of Alexander Walker’s remarkable 1867 Old Highland Whisky. Its epic story is one that has seen it travel it from the four corners of Scotland, to the four corners of the earth.
Using blending skills learnt from his father, carefully honed through the blending of teas and spices from the New World, Alexander Walker harnessed whisky flavours from across Scotland to craft a blend of truly rare quality and sent it ‘wherever ships could sail’.
Crafted in a time of remarkable achievements, in an age that would change the world forever, Old Highland Whisky was seen as a defining statement in whisky excellence and quickly became a dominant force in the global Scotch Whisky market.
Alexander’s entrepreneurial vision knew no bounds, and as a result, JOHNNIE WALKER whiskies were being sold in more than 120 countries by 1920 winning worldwide acclaim.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Sweet rich and deep notes with maraschino cherries, toffee caramel, vanilla, baked rhubarb crumble and a very thin whiff of smoke.

Palate: The richness continues onto the palate, which is sweet and warming, with creamy malt, oats and cereal. A spicy vanilla cinnamon dusting too with the gentle smoke again developing.

Finish: Dark chocolate with caramalised peel.
Overall: Another pleasing blend from Johnnie Walker, this is quite different from the gold label.

Value: £134.95

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7

Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Edition

Various Regions – Blend

A very special edition of Johnnie Walker’s legendary Blue Label. King George V was released originally for the travel retail market, this release commemorates the Royal Warrant bestowed to the company in 1934.

Status: Still to try

Nose: A mix of heady toffee apple and very faint smoke. Thick, syrupy malt, digestive biscuits, oak.

Palate: Soft, buttery toffee and general fruitiness. Medium bodied, but very malty and well-constructed blend.

Finish: Golden syrup, creamy spices and malt on the finish.

Value: £351.45

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7

Kilchoman (any)

Islay Single Malt

The 2014 release of Kilchoman’s Loch Gorm single malt, which has been fully matured in Oloroso Sherry butts from 2009 to 2014. The previous Loch Gorm release won the Islay distillery a Gold Medal in the Scotch Single Malt category of the International Wine & Spirits Competition. The name ‘Loch Gorm’ comes from a notoriously peaty loch near the distillery.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : There’s the peat, straight away, earthy and rich. This is followed by red berries and sweet citrus with a medicinal hint developing along the way.

Palate :Crumbly biscuits and vanilla, an inviting pair to open up a palate. This is swiftly followed by smoky peat once again, which stays with you through the Sherry soaked berries until the finish.

Finish : Sweet and smoky right to the end, cherries lasting.

Value: £53.40

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Lagavulin 16 Year Old

Islay Single Malt

This dram really reflects the place of its birth. Dramatic, robust and feisty just like the land and seascape of Lagavulin itself. Intense peat smoke backed up with rich cereal under-note that rounds the whole experience off.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: More like Lapsang Souchong tea than Lapsang Souchong! One of the smokiest noses from Islay. It’s big, very, very concentrated, and redolent of iodine, sweet spices, good, mature sherry and creamy vanilla. Stunning.

Palate: Very thick and rich. A massive mouthful of malt and sherry with good fruity sweetness, but also a wonderful sweetness. Big, powerful peat and oak.

Finish: Long, spicy finish, figs, dates, peat smoke, vanilla.

Value: £48.50

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7

Laphroaig 10

Islay Single Malt

BRAND CHAT

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose:A finely balanced nose, with substantial oakiness matched by fruit and luscious sherry notes.

Palate:The taste is complex and seductively woody, emphasised by a floral sweetness.

Finish: Exceedingly long, honeyed and warm.

Value: £332.01

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7

Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Islay Single Malt

Laphroaig Quarter Cask offers an irresistible doubling of flavour, due to the double maturation in two barrels made of American oak. Still-maturing whisky from our standard ex-bourbon barrels is transferred to quarter casks and left to rest in our warehouse just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic shore.
This process represents Laphroaig breathing new life into a once-defunct tradition: the use of the smaller cask size, which ensures increased contact with the oak, creating a soft and velvety edge to complement Laphroaig’s distinctive peatiness.
On the nose the sensation is toffee and caramel, caused by the vanillas and tannins of the American oak, plus a dryness from the wood oil. The finish is long and alternates between this sweetness and smoke.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Burning embers of peat in a crofters fireplace, hints of coconut and banana aromas.

Palate: Deep, complex and smoky yet offers and surprises the palate with a gentle sweetness.

Finish: Really long, and dries appropriately with smoke and spice.

Value: £41.99

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7

Laphroaig Feis Ile 2014

Islay Single Malt

The Cairdeas for 2014 is a Laphroaig that has been double matured first in “first fill” ex-bourbon casks then in Amontillado hogsheads for one year.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate: The Amontillado barrels give it a rich burnt orange colour.
The nose starts off with dusty, gentle cinnamon hints and then distinctive lemon zest.
This moves into earthy figs and dates before nutty, creamy brazil nuts come to the fore.
This complex nose then changes with elements of carbolic soap before finally finishing with a lovely lingering salted liquorice note.

Value: £88.30

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7

Laphroaig 18 Year Old

Islay Single Malt

This 18 Year Old expression of Laphroaig is made in limited quantities each year and savoured by a fortunate few. A soft, sweet and spicy Islay peat smoke greets you when you first open the bottle. The immediate taste is an oak sweetness, from 18 years in the barrel. A faint hint of the sea can be detected, testimony to its time maturing on the remote island of Islay.
It is bottled at 48% ABV and is non-chill filtered for a depth of taste and texture.

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose: At bottling strength, a soft toffee sweet but faintly spicy flavour counterbalances the trace of delicate phenols and fruit. An all encompassing smoothness brings these together. A touch of water allows the seaweed and salt to come through but not enough to overpower the vanilla and honey sweetness with just a trace of new mown hay and peat at the finish.

Palate: An instant warming tang of smoke fades into smooth floral scents, which blends seamlessly into an oaky nuttiness and leaves a lasting sweetness on the taste. With a touch of water, the peaty warmth fills the mouth but does not overshadow the sweet chocolate smoothness. This is balanced by the rich toffee taste and slowly fades into a delicate hint of heather and peat smoke.

Finish: Full bodied, long with a luxurious oily smoothness.

Value: £74.99

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7

Mackmyra

Swedish Single Malt

Mackmyra’s core expression is a light Swedish whisky matured primarily in first fill bourbon barrels but also includes whisky aged in Sherry and Swedish oak casks too as well as some smokier malt, which all adds to the complexity.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Fresh, delicate fruit aromas with vanilla pods. Raspberry bushes, citrus.

Palate: Vanilla cream, custard even and more fruit. Red berries, boiled sweets and rich, warming bourbon.

Finish: Spicy oak and apple pie whilst remaining light and nimble.

Value: £35.99

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Balvenie Double Wood

Speyside Single Malt

The Balvenie DoubleWood is a 12 year old single malt which gains its distinctive character from being matured in two wood types. Over the period of maturation it is transferred from a traditional oak whisky cask to a first fill European oak sherry cask. Each stage lends different qualities to the resulting single malt ~ the traditional casks soften and add character, whilst the sherry wood brings depth and fullness of flavour.

GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Sweet fruit and Oloroso sherry notes, layered with honey and vanilla.

Palate: Smooth and mellow with beautifully combined flavours ~ nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry.

Finish: Long and Warming.

Value: £33.79

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Balvenie Portwood 21 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

To create The Balvenie PortWood Aged 21 Years, a marriage of rare Balvenie is transferred to port casks, or pipes, which have held fine port wines. Here it is sampled regularly by The Balvenie Malt Master to ensure that just the right amount of character is imparted by the port casks, enhancing and developing the single malt whilst preserving its original characteristics. In duty free The Balvenie PortWood Aged 21 Years is non chill-filtered and bottled at a higher strength of 47.6% abv.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose: A perfume of fruity and ripe raisin notes, backed by a nutty dryness.

Palate: Refined with remarkable character, it is creamy and silky with fruit, honey and spice notes.

Finish: Long, gentle, nutty.

Value: £114.95

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7

Balvenie 30 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

The Balvenie Thirty is a rare and especially fine single malt for which David Stewart selects only exceptional casks that were laid down over thirty years ago. By marrying The Balvenie slowly aged in traditional oak whisky casks with that aged in European oak sherry casks, David creates a rich, mellow Scotch whisky with unusual depth and complexity. ‘Thirty’ is bottled at 47.3% abv to capture all the signature characteristics of The Balvenie.

Status: Still to try

Nose: Silky smooth and honeyed on the nose with mellow oaky tones and hints of candied orange peel.

Palate: Great depth with rich dark chocolate, hints of plum, marzipan and caramelised pear.

Finish: Exceptionally smooth and warming with gentle spice and lingering sweetness.

Value: £465.67

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7

Mortlach 16 Year Old

Mortlach Single Malt

A full-bodied, sherried single malt from Mortlach, matured for 16 years and released as part of the Flora and Fauna series.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Palate: The nose is quite fresh and floral, with developing smoke. Notes of rubber spearmint leaves and gentle smoke with a hint of warm kippers. The palate is very well-balanced and the flavours firm and full. Notes of heather root and gentle wafting smoke with toffee sweetness. Juicy and thoroughly chewy sultanas and mixed peels with a hint of amontillado. The finish is long and well-smoked with oaken warmth.

Value: £155.01

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7

Nikka All Malt

Japanese Blend

A blended Japanese whisky from Nikka made with malt from Yoichi and a combination of malt and Coffey Still whisky from Miyagikyou.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: floral, a bit smoke, acrylic paint tamiya brand (not negative), slighty pear juice in the background.

Palate: mild, a bit smokey, malty

Finish: peppery, herbs, malty, a tiny tad bitter in the background

Value: £30.30

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7

Oban 14 Year Old

Highland Single Malt

A bustling seaside resort has grown up around the distillery in the two centuries since it was first built in the fishing town of Oban. The West Highland malt is still produced in the same unhurried, traditional fashion and this 14 year old is a classic dram from the distillery.


Oban 14 Year Old

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate: The nose is rich and smoky. The medicinal notes are quite evident with notes of the sea; seaweed, tarry ropes. There are notes of cut hay and wood smoke rising with a gentle estery sweetness. The palate is thick and full. Notes of citrus with smooth sweetness. The smoke wafts with notes of seaweed. The oak is quite rich with grist and cereal and malt. The finish is of good length with fruit and dry oak.

Value: £41.68

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7

Old Pulteney 17 Year Old

Highland Single Malt

Our 17-year-old predominantly features ex-bourbon maturation, with the addition of spirit that has been wholly matured in Spanish wood ex-sherry casks, predominantly Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso. This adds a subtle depth and complexity to the whisky, making for an outstanding after-dinner drink.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose: Sweet with traces of apples and pears: slightly woody with a hint of butterscotch.

Palate: Sweet with soft fruits: kiwi, guava, peach.

Value: £58.67

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7

Redbreast 12 Year Old

Irish Single Malt

A delightful Pure Pot Still Irish whiskey, Redbreast 12 is highly praised by Jim Murray and a host of other notable whisky critics. Named ‘Overall Irish Whiskey of the Year’ at the 2013 Irish Whiskey Awards, we can’t get enough of it.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate: The nose is nutty and rich. There are notes of dried peels and spice, an oily note and cut fruits. The palate is spice and of good body. There are notes of nuts and citrus and the peel and juice thereof. There are hints of marzipan and dried peels and a hint of sherry. The finish is long and creamy with custard and spice.

Value: £39.79

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7

Sheep Dip

Islay Single Malt

Eccentrically named, yet of an unsurpassed quality, Sheep Dip was once (back in the 80’s) the best selling whisky in Harrods. A whisky whose distinctively full-bodied flavour is only reached through weaving together sixteen different single malt whiskies, aged between eight and twenty years, in specially selected first-fill oak casks.
Jim Murray describes the award-winning Sheep Dip in his 2006 Whisky Bible as “Young and sprightly like a new-born lamb a fresh, mouthwatering grassy style with a touch of spice. Maligned by some, but to me a clever accomplished vatting of alluring complexity.”

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Delicate and refined. Soft sensual floral notes arise in perfect harmony supported by an attractive array of complex fruit flavours. Melon, pear and orange with a hint of almonds conclude this profusion of charming nuances.

Palate: Finesse and elegance gives way to a majestic assertion of pure malty flavours drawn from the four distilling regions of Scotland. Each area forges and makes its own inimitable contribution to this outstanding pure malt — the main accent being expressed from the Highlands and Speyside Valleys.

Finish: Long and Warming.

Value: £33.42

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7

Smokehead

Single Malt

Smokehead is a rich, seaweedy and intensely peaty whisky. The flavour is fresh, fruity and immense, with notes of sherry, iodine, toffee, smoke and sea salt all fighting for recognition.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Heavy smoke and peat. Amazing richness. Lemon, fresh ginger, plum jam. Salty and spicy.

Palate: Smooth and mellow with beautifully combined flavours ~ nutty sweetness, cinnamon spiciness and a delicately proportioned layer of sherry.

Finish: Even more peat, spice, mandarin – then dries up. When you think it’s all over the peat comes back to hit you again.

Value: £38.42

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7

Smokehead Extra Black

Single Malt

A release of 6,000 bottles of 18 year old Smokehead, packaged smartly in an “extra black” bottle. Full bodied and rich.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Very peaty and smoky, rich and deep with notes of spice, herbal, some tropical fruit.

Palate: Medium on palate entry, then builds with spices and peat smoke. Sweet oak, chocolate and peat.

Finish: Long, fruity, cocoa.

Value: £86.77

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7

Springbank 10 Year Old

Campbeltown

The 10 year old from the Springbank distillery in Campbeltown, a mixture of both bourbon and sherry matured whisky.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Palate: The nose is big-bodied with oaked aridity. The peat is present and quite pungent with an earthen rootiness. Notes of exotic fruits and a hint of salinity. The palate is full-bodied with a good helping of cereal sweetness. There is a richness to the peat, with a dark nuttiness and whirling smoke. The finish is long and crisp with a coastal tang and a trailing peat with oaked dryness.

Value: £32.67

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7

Talisker 10 Year Old

Islands

A rich dried-fruit sweetness with clouds of smoke and strong barley-malt flavours, warming and intense. At the back of the mouth is an explosion of pepper.

Status: GreatDrams (finished)

Nose : Thick, pungent smoke. Notes of kippers, seaweed, apple peels. Fresh and fragrant.

Palate: Full bodied with huge plumes of smoke and volcanic, peppery peat. Intense.

Finish : Long finish, barley, malt.

Value: £32foimisBuy here

7

Talisker Storm

Islands

Talisker Storm is a new no age statement whisky released at the beginning of 2013. It offers up plenty of distillery character alongside some smokier depth and complexity.

Status: GreatDrams (finished)

Nose : Initial brine, but not as abrupt as the 10 Year Old, quite creamy by comparison. Banana. Banana angel delight? Window putty, hint of sticking plasters and barbecues, citrus. White pepper develops towards the bottom of the glass.

Palate: Thick and mouth-coating with wood smoke, brine, some tin and chilli heat too.

Finish : Red chilli peppers and oak dryness with a hint of embers.

Value: £39

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7

Talisker Dark Storm

Islands Single Malt

Talisker Dark Storm is a 45.8% single malt Scotch matured in heavily charred oak casks for flavours of blackcurrant, liquorice and powerful smoke.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Value: £42.99

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7

Talisker 18 Year Old

Islands Single Malt

A rich fruity nose- Victoria plums/perhaps dried orange peel, with a hint of butterscotch or rum toffee, some smoke in the foreground- medium finish.

Status: Still to try

Palate : The nose is quite clean and fresh. There is a mixed fruity sweetness with a spicy character. The peat and smoke rise with notes of perfume and thick oak. Hints of Calvados and a touch of acidity with ground ginger. The palate is thick and rich and full-bodied. Notes of spicy, peppery oak, espresso beans and wood smoke. A little allspice creeps in, there is a certain zesty character lurking somewhere. The spice builds and builds with utter intent.

Finish : Long and with peppery oak.
Value: £73.99

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7

Dalmore 12 Year Old

Single Malt

Matured for an initial nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being carefully divided. One half continues its maturation in bourbon barrels, the other half is transferred to 30 year old Matusalem oloroso sherry casks. Complex, yet balanced, The Dalmore 12 year old is the epitome of the Dalmore house style.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : A warm coffee house in Seattle; roasting beans, the oily nuttiness in a fine espresso, there are little notes of malt and cereal and butter from the pastry counter with rich orange from the fruit bowl on the counter.

Palate : Notes of Seville marmalade and triple sec with winter spices and fruitcake. Zesty cocoa and milk chocolate.

Finish : Medium, oranges.
Value: £39.21

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7

Glenlivet 21 Year Old

Speyside

The 21 Year Old is produced in small, bespoke batches.
Each cask is nosed and approved, making every batch unique.
A sizable inventory of whisky of this age is extremely rare and only the best are selected for this expression.
The complex combination of cask types imparts richness, intensity and a long finish to the whisky.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Aromas of dried fruit with a sherry influence.

Palate : Cinnamon and ginger with a syrupy mouth feel.

Finish : Lasting and warm with a hint of toasted hazelnuts.

Value: £93.23

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7

Glenrothes Select Reserve

Islay Single Malt

John Ramsay, our Malt Master, has crafted a selection of The Glenrothes which typifies the distillery house character – ripe fruits, citrus, vanilla and hints of spice.
The Select Reserve is a first for us. A non-Vintage-specific selection carefully chosen by John and produced to the same high quality standards as The Glenrothes Vintage selections; only here we select and vat from casks from different years.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Palate : Full malty flavour, medium sweet, vanilla and orange zest

Finish : Long and slightly spicy

Value: £31.70

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7

The Macallan 10 Year Old

Islay Single Malt

This 10 year old from The Macallan was matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks.

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose : Complex with a hint of fruit and heather honey

Palate : Soft and malty balanced with oak and fruit

Finish : Lingering with hints of oak and fruit

Value: £59.69

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7

The Macallan 18 Year Old

Islay Single Malt

Another year, another greatly anticipated 18 year old The Macallan single malt matured in Sherry casks from Jerez, Spain. This is the 1996 vintage and it’s just as gorgeous as previous bottlings.

GreatDrams (Own)

Nose : Dried fruits and ginger, with a hint of citrus, vanilla and cinnamon.

Palate : Rich dried fruits with spice, clove, orange and wood smoke.

Finish : Full and lingering with dried fruits and sweet toffee, ginger and a hint of wood smoke.

Value: £129.99

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7

The Macallan 30 Year Old

Single Malt

The Macallan 30 Year Old was matured in Spanish oak casks which were handmade and seasoned with sherry in Jerez, Spain.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Rich sherry with orange, clove, nutmeg and wood smoke.

Palate : Deliciously smooth with dried fruits, sherry, orange and wood smoke.

Finish :Long with dried fruits, wood smoke and spice.

Value: £1420.68

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The Macallan Ruby

Single Malt

The jewel in the crown of The Macallan’s 1824 Series is erm, a Ruby! With the darkest hue in a no age statement range where colour is king, Ruby has spent the longest time in only the very finest sherry casks. The colour has been taken on naturally with no artificial colouring.

Status: GreatDrams (finished)

Nose: Rich wedding cake and espresso, cocoa, a little clove and walnut.

Palate: Raspberry coulis, maraschino, prunes, marmalade.

Finish: Long and rich, dark berries and ginger.

Overall: Big, bold, fruity sherried Speyside.

Value: £129.95

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Apr13-Macallan-Ruby-1824

SMWS Wonderful World

Single Cask Single Malt

First comments were; luscious, elegant and sophisticated. We got carried away back in time to the 1930s and found ourselves in the Art Deco designed American Bar in the Savoy. It is the afternoon and ladies, filling the air with conversation and aromas of expensive perfume, face cream and rich leather from quality gloves, enjoy a cucumber sandwich from the pyramid of treats. The taste is like a sip from a very expensive China cup of Lapsang Souchong tea with a spoonful of sugar, slightly smoky, slightly sweet and the hint of pine wood. With water the afternoon turns into evening. The Jazz pianist is playing in the corner and the air is now filled with ash and smoke from ladies using long cigarette holders, and the cucumber slice is now in a Gin & Tonic.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate : Old & dignified.

Value: £125.50

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7

The Spice Tree

Islay Single Malt

Our storied malt whisky The Spice Tree is made from Highland malt whiskies which we age in custom-made casks fitted with new French oak heads. We source this oak from a mill in the Vosges which produces some of the highest quality cooperage oak for winemakers. The result is a big malt whisky of richness and spice-like complexity. To discover the full story behind The Spice Tree see the links below.

Nose : Fragrant and aromatic with notes of dried herbs, spices, oak and vanilla. Has a bourbon note to it and a peppery tang.

Palate : Gingernut biscuits, toffee spices, peppery, herbal, vanilla, very rich and peppery.

Finish : Very spicy, big and rich.

Value: £42.99

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7

Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye

American Rye

Until now, most rye whiskeys were 4 years old or younger. This 13-year breaks the mold as it is one of the oldest rye whiskeys available today. The maturity it has achieved while aging is quite obvious when you take the first sip. Flavors include cocoa, vanilla, spice, and white pepper. Rye whiskey lovers who try this bottling will never again look back at the younger versions.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : Good and oily, tangy spices, and sublime toasty oak. This is a more charred whiskey that the others in the range, and it offers up fresh black pepper and applewood aromas.

Palate : Very spicy/sweet. Here caramel is joined by prune, dates and thick, biscuity oak.

Finish : Spices and crunchy wood, at 47.8% abv, this is a HUGE whiskey!

Value: £74.80

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7

Van Winkle 10 Cask Strength

American Bourbon

This wonderful bourbon is bottled as close to barrel proof as possible. We add just a splash of our Kentucky limestone well-water when we empty the barrels for bottling. Thus, this whiskey is as smooth as any you will find. The more water you add to whiskey from its natural barrel proof to its bottle proof, the harsher it becomes. This 107 barrel proof seems to be just right.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : Sweet and soft, with notes of wheat, corn and custard. Caramel, candy floss and dried fruits.

Palate : Rich and thick with notes of caramel, vanilla, dates, walnuts, coffee beans and soft oak. Very buttery and incredibly smooth.

Finish : Long and spicy with notes of gingernut biscuit and golden syrup on the tail.

Value: £74.25

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7

Wild Turkey Rare Breed

American Bourbon

Rare Breed is a “barrel-proof bourbon” (108.2 proof, 54.1% alcohol), meaning it has no added water to lower the proof or dilute the flavor after it’s been distilled. This bourbon is a unique marriage of Wild Turkey 6-, 8-, and 12-year-old stocks, giving it a remarkably smooth flavor considering its high alcohol content. It has hints of light oranges, mint, and tones of sweet tobacco.
Jimmy Russell keeps his Rare Breed in the freezer so he doesn’t have to add ice, which would dilute the flavor.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate : Hints of light oranges, mint, and tones of sweet tobacco

Value:£41.95

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7

Woodford Reserve

Kentucky Bourbon

The mashbill for Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. Unusual also for being triple distilled and having the lowest proof upon entering the barrel where it matures for at least six years. A must have Kentucky bourbon. Makes a wonderful Old-Fashioned cocktail!

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate : The nose is quite thick and creamy. There are notes of honey and spice, leather, a touch of cocoa, a little smoke, toasty oak and vanilla cream with a hint of butterscotch. The palate is thick and full. There are notes of espresso beans, winter spice, cereal sweetness, plenty of rye, ground ginger, almond oil, toasty oak and a little rum. The finish is long and mature with notes of cereals and toasty oaken spice.

Value: £31.29

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7

Yamazaki 12 Year Old

Japanese Single Malt

This 12 year old from Yamazaki first came onto the market in 1984 and was the first seriously marketed Japanese single malt whisky.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose : Peach, pineapple, grapefruit,clove, candied orange, vanilla, Mizunara (Japanese oak).

Palate : coconut, cranberry, butter

Finish : sweet ginger, cinnamon, long finish

Value: £46.90

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7

Yoichi 10 Year Old

Japanese Single Malt

This single malt whisky from the Yoichi distillery, stored and matured for 10 years or more, is characterized by a festive nose reminiscent of fruit and a smooth, velvety palate.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose : A clean fresh fragrance with notes of peat, light smoke and spice.

Palate : More light peat with some rounded vanilla and tobacco coming from the oak casks.

Finish : Excellent balance between the fruit and oak with some light fruit and flower elements coming through.

Value: £56.99

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7

Sullivan’s Cove Double Cask

Tasmanian Single Malt

The best of both worlds come together in this exceptionally easy to drink single malt. Made up of 40% French Oak and 60% American Oak, this is a delicious whisky that fits in as easily around the BBQ on a Sunday afternoon as it does in front of a fire with a cigar. Non-chill filtered and a truly delightful introduction to our range and to Tasmanian single malt in general.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Vanilla driven perfume, floral fruit, soft spice and cloves.

Palate : Soft, creamy, well structured and balanced. Herbal, then some spices and honey. English candy notes and a hint of pear.

Finish : Well-rounded fruity finish of a medium length with hints of honey and milk chocolate.

Value: £64.87

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7

Reisetbauer 7 Year Old

Austrian Single Malt

Seven year old single malt from Austria, distilled by Mr Hans Reisetbauer. Our basic German tells us this has been matured in ex-Chardonnay and Trockenbeerenauslese casks.

Status: Still to try

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7

The Belgian Owl

Belgian Single Malt

3 Year Old Single Malt-

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : At the same time rich and delicate, it opens on a pleasant fruity softness: flesh of mirabelle, ripe pear, candy with butter then a pleasant floral touch confers a small spring dimension.
While opening still a little more, it reveals an almost exotic dimension of coconut cream, vanilla, ice cream with banana and fig.

Palate : Full and fresh at the same time, it confirms the promises of the nose…
The attack is delicate and savours are spread in astonishing crescendo: cream vanilla with lemon, frozen apples, ginger jam.

Finish : A beautiful length, it develops on the vanilla of the American oak while
preserving the feeling of delicacy of the distillate. Ripe fruit savours: pears, apples, bananas and Reine Claude grow blurred as in a greedy echo.

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7

Gibson’s Finest 12 Year Old

Canadian Single Malt

This full flavoured Canadian whisky exhibits depth by virtue of its barrel-aged character, its defining feature. It excels as an ultra-smooth whisky with vanilla-sweet oakiness that carries through to the finish. Best enjoyed neat or on the rocks.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Hearty vanilla oak with hint of clove and apricot.

Palate : Pronounced vanilla, warm oak and a hint of almond.

Finish : Clean with subtle enduring oak.

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7

Hammer Head 1989 Vintage

Czech Single Malt

A fascinating little gem from the Czech Republic, this single malt was made from Czech barley which was milled using a hammer mill, thus the name Hammer Head! This is a 1989 vintage and it’s really rather wonderful!

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Perfumed and floral with notes of sweet vanilla, walnut, almonds and coffee beans. A touch of acetone, tarmac and fresh flowers.

Palate : Thick and warming, spices, malt, aniseed and cinnamon. Toasty, aromatic, hints of bergamot.

Finish : Cigar leaves and pepper, honeycomb, herbal.

Value: £43.99

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7

Adnams

English Single Malt

Handcrafted in Southwold. Made from 100% East Anglian malted barley and matured for over three years in new French oak casks. Limited edition.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Palate : Apricot and berry notes combine with lush spices and a delicate mineral edge to tantalise the nose. A lovely mouthfeel of runny honey mixed with crackling spices followed by a moreish, warm finish.

Value: £47.20

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7

St. George’s Chapter 6

English Single Malt

Following the limited edition Chapter 5, this is the first widely available English whisky, distilled in Norfolk from locally grown barley. We’re a patriotic bunch at Master of Malt, so we’re thrilled that not only do we have English whisky, it’s bloomin’ good whisky too – even at just 3 years old.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Light and smooth. Fresh and frgrant, sweet, soft & slightly spicy. Fresh cut grassy notes, along with gentle vanilla. Fruity with hints of lime, banana and pear. A gentle waft of marzipan. Nose softens with water and is quite nutty (hazelnuts, cashews, almonds).

Palate : Quite full-bodied. Tingling and textured on the palate. Fresh wood, vanilla, again fruity and nutty, malty, cereal character comes through. Slightly citrus. Very clean.

Value: £36.09

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7

Teerenpeli 8 Year Old

Finish Single Malt

Teerenpeli is the first commercially available single malt whisky. The distillery is part of a group of restaurants that also own a brewery, so obviously the best thing to do next was to open a distillery. This whisky is eight years old and is bottled from a selection of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks at 43% abv. This a great offering from Finland and undoubtedly is one to watch in the future!

Status: Still to try

Nose : The nose is very floral with light citrus notes and hints of dessicated coconut.

Palate : The Bourbon cask is more dominant on the palate with notes of Acacia honey and vanilla pods.

Finish : The finish is fairly long for a whisky of this age, with notes of caramel and a touch of peat.

Value: £68.95

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Slyrs

Bavarian Single Malt

Since 1999, we distil our single malt whisky as a vintage whisky.
SLYRS Whisky is carefully stored in new 225 litre barrels made from American white oak.
The traditional production process and the nature in Bavaria provide our whisky with a unique taste.
With continuous passion and love for distilling, we give each vintage its incomparable character.

GreatDrams (Own)

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Amrut Single Malt

Amrut Single Malt

According to Indian Mythology, when Gods and Rakshasas – the demons – churned the oceans using the mountain Meru as churner, a golden pot sprang out containing the Elixir of Life.That was called the “Amrut” The great founders of our distillery aptly named it Amrut Distilleries. AMRUT Single Malt Whisky is a product of many years research to produce whiskies matching world standards. This whisky is made from selected Indian barley grown at the feet of the Himalayas, nurtured by the waters flowing there and cultivated by old and traditional agricultural practices. It is carefully mashed and distilled in small batches to preserve the natural aroma and matured in oak barrels in a unique tropical condition,at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level at Bangalore, the garden city of India.To retain the natural characteristics of this oak aged Indian Malt Whisky, we do not chill filter, some haze may therefore be noticed in the product. Amrut presents this product as a humble tribute to the Indian farmer,who has grown this barley with care and affection with which he has tilled the soil.We hope as a connoisseur of all good things you will appreciate this fine product at your leisure

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Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Biscuity, fruity, fig-rolls, herbal, Werther’s Originals, almost pepperminty.

Palate : Biscuit and fruit, citrus, malt perks up now, slightly tarry, toffee.

Finish : Apricot, spicy, blackcurrant tea. Sweetness.

Value: £37.12

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Connemara

Irish Single Malt

Inspired by Ireland’s ancient distilling traditions, Connemara’s smooth sweet malt taste and complex peat flavours makes it a truly unique Irish whiskey. Connemara is the most decorated Irish whiskey with a huge collection of Gold Medals and has been honoured as the “Worlds Best Irish Single Malt”. Connemara allows you to unearth the Peated Pleasures of Ireland.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Well-smoked and peated, heather freshness and floral notes with a honeyed sweetness and a little wood.

Palate : Full and smooth with notes of malt and peat, honeyed smoke and barley sweetness.

Finish : Long and pungent with honey and peat smoke.

Value: £32.85

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Greenore

Irish Single Malt

Greenore is a completely unique Irish whiskey, as the only expression of an Irish Single Grain whiskey in the world. Greenore’s remarkably silky smooth sweet taste profile is immediately accessible to every palate and has been recognised as the Worlds Best Single Grain for the last two years. Greenore truly is the next generation of Irish whiskey.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : Lemon sponge, honeyed cereal, vanilla and a little caramel. Toasted oak, banana and tropical fruit. Fairly light, but full of flavour – very nice indeed!

Palate : Sweet, smooth vanilla before spicy oak comes in. Touches of menthol and coconut ice.

Finish : Long with maple and pecan, milk chocolate and a hint of salinity.

Value: £30.94

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Jameson Gold Reserve

Irish Single Malt

Jameson Gold Reserve has been the toast of whiskey critics for many years now. Perhaps, they love the creative blend of three aged whiskeys, one of which is uniquely matured in virgin oak barrels delivering a smooth complex taste profile. When the spirit is aged in bourbon barrels and sherry casks, the whiskey’s honey toasted sweetness blossoms with notes of spice surface, winning over even the most, ahem, stubborn critics worldwide.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose : Fragrant wood, rich pot still with a touch of sherry sweetness.

Palate : All the creaminess and honey sweetness come together to create a taste sensation of spicy character, a smooth complex whiskey experience.

Finish : A very long finish with a pleasantly peppery finale.

Value: £54.40

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Middleton Barry Crockett Legacy

Irish Single Malt

Released in 2011, Midleton’s Barry Crockett edition was named after the distillery’s master distiller, and it is aged in both bourbon and new American oak barrels! Very interesting indeed and a limited release of around 2,500 bottles per year.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Soft, sweet notes of barley, floral honey, rosemary, citrus, cut hay, Summer meadows and toffee apples.

Palate : Sweet tobacco leaves and ceda, sugared peels, toffee, honey softness, vanilla and boiled sweets.

Finish : Very creamy and vanilla-rich, cinnamon and a little pear drop on the tail.

Value: £136.57

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Powers

Irish Single Malt

Powers is a rich, round, complex and full-flavoured drinking experience, rated as “One of the best in all Ireland. Classic stuff”, in Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2007.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Fruity, spicy with some dry peppery tones.

Palate : Full flavoured predominantly pot still with honeyed spicy notes.

Finish : Sweet yet spicy with lingering Barley notes.

Value: £34.57

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Redbreast Cask Strength

Irish Single Malt

Have you ever been enjoying a glass of the multi-award winning Redbreast 12 Year Old single pot still Irish whiskey and thought to yourself “This is great (because it is), but I’d quite like to taste it at cask strength…”? Well now you can! Get stuck in to the cask strength goodness of 12 year old Redbreast from the Midleton distillery.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Yellow bananas, dates and parma ham, warm copper, Christmas cake and a little sherry hit.

Palate : Big, dried fruit and aromatic spices. Jaffa cakes, fresh vanilla pods. Sweet creamy oak.

Finish : Warming and massively complex, a touch of butterscotch.

Value: £72.80

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Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old

Irish Single Malt

Our 12 Year Old Special Reserve is a carefully crafted blend of old Irish whiskeys. They say with age comes wisdom, or in this case, complexity, character and maturity – one of the reasons why this truly unique whiskey has been awarded plaudits in abundance from whiskey connoisseurs around the world.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Early spice accompanied by red wine while a nice nuttiness follows. A hint of citrus can also be noted.

Palate : A deep robust taste with spice and linseed oil giving a creamy body and powerful flavour. Sherry notes are evident with a real depth of cinnamon and vanilla.

Finish : The finish is long and rich with a creamy sherry, dark chocolate and almond taste lingering.

Value: £44.21

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Nikka from the Barrel

Japanese Blend

Matured malt whisky and grain whisky are blended and then re-casked (a process known as “marriage”) to create a rich harmony of distinctly different whiskies. “From the Barrel” is bottled directly from re-casked barrels of whisky and features almost the same alcohol percentage. At 51.4% alcohol content, this whisky possesses a distinctive personality characterized by solidity, depth of taste and a richly expanding aroma.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Medium-body with good balance. There are notes of cut flowers and fresh fruits, spice and a little oak.

Palate : Full-bodied and punchy. There is plenty of winter spice and toffee, a little caramel and vanilla and a good mouthful of fruit.

Finish : Long and fruity with a little oaken spice.

Value: £32.49

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Millstone 8 Year Old

Dutch Single Malt

Dutch single malt! This was distilled in 2000 at the Zuidam distillery, which has unique handmade, small copper pot stills. Matured in American oak casks.

GreatDrams (Own)

Palate : Millstone 8 Year Old Single Cask American Oak shows delicate tones of fruit and honey on the nose combined with vanilla and wood and a hint of coconuts. The palate has rich honey sweetness, delicate spicy notes and a long vanilla oak finish.

Value: £55.33

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Bushmill’s 12 Year Old

Irish Single Malt

Distillery Reserve
Exclusive to the old Bushmills distillery is the Bushmills malt ‘distillery reserve’ 12 Year-old. It’s matured mainly in old Spanish Oloroso sherry casks which give the whiskey a deep amber colour and wonderful dried fruit aromas. Like all Bushmills whiskeys, it is gentle and approachable, with added weight, but unlike the others, it is only available to buy from the distillery shop, where you can also get a personalised label for your bottle. Great as a gift for a friend or to treat yourself.”

Status: GreatDrams (own)

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Black Bull 12 Year Old

Highland Blend

A classic, first produced during the 1930s. Duncan Taylor took the helm in 2001 and continues to blend Black Bull from equal measures of malt and grain whisky. This is the more recently released 12 year old expression and we’re thrilled to announce it picked up a Gold Medal at the 2011 International Wine and Spirit Competition!

Status: mi to try

Nose : Sweetness, cereals, berry fruits, nutty, tangy, spices, cocoa.

Palate : Thick and rounded. Nutty and soft with orchard fruits and cream.

Finish : Thick and fruity, hint of under-ripe fruits now, creamy.

Value: £41.43

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Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten

Islay Single Malt

This whisky, this spirit, malted from only Scottish barley for authenticity, slow-fermented for purity, trickle-distilled for creamy texture and cask-filled at 70% for extra flavour, has been quietly slumbering in our loch-side warehouses for the last 10 years, and we are immensely proud to offer this landmark dram to you now.The true beginning of a new era.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Palate : The mellow, oak sweetness is welcoming as are hints of bourbon and gingerbread, sherry and sultanas; and as they move on, there are the lighter, icing sugar-coated fruits. It’s fresh and frictionless, the texture of warm honey – then dry, crispy, malt barley; together with the oak they merge beautifully to cradle the lighter flavours, adding the strong pulse to our long awaited Laddie!

Value: £36.27

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Bruichladdich (oldest)

Islay Single Malt

A release of just 500 bottles, this 40 year old is the oldest bottling one can find from the Bruichladdich distillery, only 100 bottles have been allocated for the UK market.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Fresh. Watermelon, honeydew melon, bruised pears, grenadine. Vibrant floral character, gentle wood smoke.

Palate : Firm, fresh. Creamy, jammy, juicy citrus, hints of mixed herbal teas.

Finish : Quite long, gentle sweetness, oaky dryness.

Value: £1452.22

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Octomore 5.1

Islay Single Malt

This is another classic Octomore, and again the peating level rises, now to 169 PPM. But at this degree of peating it’s not about ultimate strength, it’s about achieving the exceptional balance between the brooding power of this incredibly peated barley and the finesse and poise of one of the world’s most elegant and sophisticated spirits – about craft, not ultimate strength.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate : This Octomore is surprisingly coastal with waves of stormy sea water crashing into cliffs of peat and turf. Beneath this smoulder ember sof coal and burning heather. The palate entertains a distinct fruitiness, reminiscent of citrus and tropical fruits before a finish of Icelandic ash clouds concludes this monumental dram.

Value: £70.25

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Cutty Sark Storm

Speyside Single Malt

A blend of brooding depth and exciting complexity, Cutty Sark Storm has been crafted from older single malts. Master Blender, Kirsteen Campbell, has used a greater proportion of malts from Scotland’s most celebrated distilleries to create a profoundly rich whisky. Although bolder and deeper, Storm is in keeping with the Cutty Sark philosophy of accessibility and versatility. The tension of Storm lies between the depth of flavour of the older malts and the vibrancy of the fresher grains. The blend includes aged malts from Highland Park, The Macallan and other renowned distilleries. The top-quality grain whisky comes from Edinburgh’s North British Distillery. Cutty Sark Storm is the latest inspired expression from one of the Top 10 blended Scotch whiskies in the world.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Sweet, ripe stone fruit, peaches and cream – layers of complexity and attractive velvet texture.

Palate : Rich and exotic, fudge and tropical fruit – intriguing depth that only comes from aged malts.

Finish : Gently drying, medium to good length, spicy with undertones of oak – exuberant yet mature with perfect balance.

Value: £21.11

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Glen Deveron 10 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

A 10 year old from the MacDuff distillery, bottled as Glen Deveron.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Palate : The nose offers up a fresh greenness with toasty cereal notes and dried barley sugar. Tones of wood shavings and blossom with a musty attic note. A touch of cream and grist and a pleasant floral note. The palate is full of stemmy cut hay notes and an earthen rooty quality. There are toasted cereal notes and wood shavings with a grist and soft oak. The fiish is long and full of cereal and dry wood notes.

Value: £30.04

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Grant’s 25 Year Old

Various Regions – Blend

Grant’s 25 Year Old is a unique blend, containing twenty-five of the world’s most highly-prized and distinctive malt and grain whiskies. This includes the first whisky ever laid down at Grant’s Girvan distillery along with rare whiskies from distilleries no longer in existence (and which therefore cannot be replaced).
Unhurried over time, each finished has matured in old oak casks, carefully watched over by our master craftsmen and chosen only when each has reached its point of perfection. The whiskies are then married in oak casks for six months to give enhanced depth and complexity. The result is an exquisite final blend that captures the very essence of our dedication to craftsmanship.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Deftly balanced notes of fragrant summer peach blossom and polished leather.

Palate : Cinnamon and a touch of ginger bite along with fresh and mellow sweetness.

Finish : Rich spices that linger enthrallingly on the tongue.

Value: £163.35

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Grant’s Distillery Edition

Various Regions – Blend

An exclusive and exceptional blended Scotch whisky, Grant’s Distillery Edition is non chill-filtered to give it a greater depth of flavour and intensity of taste.
Our Master Blender recommends adding a dash of water to release additional layers of complexity. As a non chill-filtered whisky, adding water causes it to haze slightly, but that is quite normal.

Status: GreatDrams (finished)

Nose : Clean yet complex with fluting malty notes and a touch of vanilla sweetness.

Palate : Smooth, complex oakiness where sweetness is perfectly balanced by malty tones.

Finish : Long, lingering and harmonious maintaining a hint of sweetness.

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Girvan 25 Year Old

Lowland Single Malt

Determined to give grain whisky the respect it truly deserves, William Grant & Sons are releasing a range of Girvan Patent Still Single Grain Whiskies, starting with this launch edition of their 25 Year Old, a UK exclusive.
The original Girvan Patent Still was built by William Grant’s great-grandson, Charles Gordon, in 1963, when it was given the rather catchy name “No 1 Apps” (referring to the term apparatus). After distillation, this whisky was aged for a massive 25 years before being popped into some incredibly elegant bottles, which are then put into striking boxes that are decorated with metal badges and side panels.

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Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Vanilla fudge, Werther’s Original, touch of lemon and lime zest. Peppercorns, banana and honey.

Palate : Pleasant mouthfeel with more some more vanilla and a little apricot.

Finish : Woody, sparkling water.

Value: £269.14

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girvan 25

Girvan 30 Year Old

Lowland Single Grain

The 30 year old edition of Girvan single grain Scotch whisky, part of the new range from William Grant and Sons which aims to give grain whisky the respect it deserves. What better way to do that, than with some very, very well aged whisky?
The 30 year old Girvan Patent Still, was matured in American white oak casks for 3 decades before being bottled and elegantly presented. A truly deluxe example of gorgeous grain whisky.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : Floral honey, home-made vanilla ice cream, toffee pennies and dried sultanas. Old oak sits at the centre.

Palate : Up front we’re treated to fried bananas drizzled with honey, juicy peaches and oodles of vanilla. Rich nutty notes follow on, as does spiced oak and Victoria Sponge Cake.

Finish : Long and full of all the great stuff that came before, the vanilla and oak standing out amongst it all.

Value: £374.95

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Kilchoman 100% Islay

Islay Single Malt

All parts of the production process for the 100% Islay have taken place at the distillery – from barley to bottle. The barley is grown, malted, distilled, matured and bottled at Kilchoman making for a unique character. Bottled at 50% abv and peated to a lower level to that of other releases, 100% Islay has a lighter, fresher feel to it. Citrus and lemon notes come through with soft peat smoke and a long smooth finish.

GreatDrams (own)

Nose: Oranges and ripe nectarines, crumbly pastry and a good swirl of peat.

Palate: Coastal peat comes through first, but this subsides to make way for rich vanilla, citrus and fragrant smoke.

Finish: Very subtle hints of cigar box on the finish, along with more citrus.

Value: £58.99

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Port Askaig Harbour

Islay Single Malt

Bottled by Speciality Drinks, this is a superb cask-strength, 19 year old single malt whisky from the Port Askaig range. The bottlers will not reveal from which distillery this hails… We can only guess (perhaps it’s the one at Port Askaig… Caol something isn’t it? I forget).

Status: Still to try

Nose : Fresh, coastal nose. A little oily, and faintly smoky. The smoke develops over time and becomes rather peaty, with a touch of cranberry too.

Palate : Thick, fruity palate, with notes of peat smoke, a touch of dried banana, biscuity malt and cocoa butter. Very interesting indeed, with an oily mouth-feel.

Finish : Sweet, peaty finish. Dusty and oily.

Value: £79.16

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Port Ellen 1983

Islay Single Malt

Saying that Port Ellen whisky is sought-after is like saying jam is pretty good on toast – a massive understatement! The distillery on Islay closed in 1983, to the disappointment of many who loved their excellent expressions. However, Port Ellen is still delighting the world 30 years later, as every once in a while an old cask of their whisky is bottled and released, like this Tantalus bottling by Duncan Taylor.
Cask 671 of Port Ellen was distilled in 1983, the year the distillery was mothballed. This Tantalus release is housed in a hand-blown glass decanter which sits in an elegant Tantalus made from the cask that aged this Port Ellen single malt Scotch whisky for 30 years. Absolutely mental.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Value: £1805.57

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Royal Salute 21 Year Old

Various Regions – Blend

On 2nd June 1953, the young Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey, watched by the world for the first time on television. Five hundred miles from London, a man called Charles Julian, who was the Master Blender at Chivas Brothers, set out to honour the new monarch by creating the ultimate blended Scotch whisky. Drawing from the exceptionally aged range of casks laid down over the years by Chivas Brothers in the Highlands of Scotland, Charles skilfully married the powerful flavours of whiskies aged no less than 21 years to craft a blend fit for royalty. He would name his masterpiece Royal Salute 21 Years Old, in reference to the long tradition of firing cannons as a sign of respect or welcome to sovereigns and dignitaries: the 21-Gun Royal Salute. Over the years, this special blend has stayed true to its roots. The porcelain flagon, crafted by the world-famous artisans at Wade, is sculpted in Cornish clay from the Jurassic-era, then naturally air-dried and finished by hand with a double layer of glazing to protect its precious contents. The three different colours of glaze used to dress the flagons – Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald – symbolize the precious gems on the Imperial State Crown.

GreatDrams (Own)

Palate : Full, deep fruity flavours with a subtle smokiness. The first taste of Royal Salute brings the subtleties of the nose to life. Sumptuous sweet orange marmalade flavours infused with fresh pears burst across the tongue. The second taste brings in a rich medley of spices and a nuttiness of hazelnuts that have a mouth-filling intensity and then the final warmth from hints of masculine smokiness.

Value: £96.99

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Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

South African Single Malt

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is distilled and double matured at The James Sedgwick Distillery, which is situated near the foothills of the Bainskloof Pass in Wellington. The Cape Mountains rearing their heads of 850 million year old sandstone are covered by many indigenous fynbos species and this is the canvas against which South Africa’s first Single Grain whisky is created.

GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Combination of toffee, floral and vanilla aromas.

Palate :A hint of spice softened by the sweet undertones of oak.

Finish : A warm and extended mouth-feel with an exceptionally smooth finish.

Value: £26.77

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Whisky Castle Edition Kaser

Swiss Single Malt

In the Fricktal in Aargau, the Käser family runs a fine foods farm with an orchard, vegetable garden and vineyards. They insist on the highest quality produce for making their premium spirits and other fine foods, and for preparing tasty dishes from pure, unprocessed ingredients. On full moon nights, guests can take part in the production of the unique “Full Moon Whisky” in the whisky distillery.

Status: Still to try

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Kavalan Classic

Taiwanese Single Malt

King Car distillery is located in Yilan County, Taiwan, and the single malt whisky produced there is named after the indigenous people who originally inhabited this northeastern corner of the island: the Kavalan.
Although the distillery was only brought on stream in 2005, the warm sub-tropical climate means that the whisky effectively matures more quickly and an impressive range of whiskies are available (now finally in the UK too!). This Kavalan Single Malt Whisky, for example was awarded a Gold Medal at the 2011 International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Fragrant and tropical fruits with floral notes, vanilla and mango.

Palate : There’s mango throughout, spicy barley, gentle oak and creamy richness.

Finish : A touch of allspice, vanilla and fragrant pear skin.

Value: £52.25

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Buffalo Trace

American Bourno Single Malt

Ancient buffalo carved paths through the wilderness that led America’s first pioneers and explorers westward. One such trail led to the banks of the Kentucky River where Buffalo Trace Distillery has been making bourbon whiskey the same way for more than 200 years. In tribute to the mighty buffalo and the rugged, independent spirit of the pioneers who followed them westward, we created our signature Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate : This deep amber whiskey has a complex aroma of vanilla, mint and molasses. Pleasantly sweet to the taste with notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak, toffee, dark fruit and anise. This whiskey finishes long and smooth with serious depth.

Value: £23.29

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Bulleit Frontier Whisky

American Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon is made with small-batch techniques inspired by those pioneered by Augustus Bulleit over 150 years ago. Only ingredients of the very highest quality are used. The subtlety and complexity of Bulleit Bourbon come from its unique blend of rye, corn, and barley malt, along with special strains of yeast and pure Kentucky limestone filtered water. Due to its especially high rye content, Bulleit Bourbon has a bold, spicy character with a finish that’s distinctively clean and smooth.

Status: Still to try

Palate : Medium amber in color, with gentle spiciness and sweet oak aromas. Mid-palate is smooth with tones of maple, oak, and nutmeg. Finish is long, dry, and satiny with a light toffee flavor.

Value: £24.68

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Four Roses Yellow Label

American Bourbon

A worldwide favorite, especially when creating mixed drinks with a sophisticated, contemporary flair. Hints of pear and apple compliment floral aromas and mix with a taste of honey and spice. Smooth and mellow with a unique, long and soft finish. 80 proof. 40% alcohol/volume.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Fruity, floral, gentle spice, honey.

Palate : Crisp, yet soft & smooth, fresh fruit, hints of pear & apple.

Finish : Soft & smooth.

http://fourrosesbourbon.com/yellow/

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Gentleman Jack

American Bourbon

Just like Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Gentleman Jack is charcoal mellowed before going into the barrel. Gentleman Jack, however, receives an additional “blessing” when it is charcoal mellowed again after reaching maturity – making it the only whiskey in the world to be charcoal mellowed twice, giving it ultimate smoothness. Gentleman Jack is full-bodied with fruit and spices, and its finish is silky, warm, and pleasant. When you drink Gentleman Jack, do so with pride, for this is the whiskey a gentleman orders.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Value: £30.29

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George Dickel Barrel Select

American Single Malt

Our very finest whisky, for the truly discerning whisky drinker. Only 10 barrels are hand-selected by our Master Distiller John Lunn for this small-batch handcrafted whisky. Aged between 10 and 12 years.
Charcoal mellowing and our unique ageing process form a smooth, premium whisky that stands in a class all by itself. A perfectly balanced, rich and silky taste with hints of vanilla, spice and charcoal.

Status: Still to try

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Georgia

American Moonshine

Guaranteed less than thirty days old! Georgia Moon is a very interesting and rather enjoyable drink, essentially new make, but distilled from corn.

Status: Still to try

Value: £23.93

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High West Rendezvous Rye

American Rye

Rendezvous® Rye is a blend of two exotic straight rye whiskies; one old, and one young. It marries the rich aromatic qualities of a 16-year-old rye with the bold spicy properties of 6-year-old rye to create a full flavored, very complex whiskey. The 6-year-old boasts an uncommonly high 95% rye mash bill. Almost every other straight rye whiskey you can buy today is barely legal, with 51-53% rye in the mash bill. Not Rendezvous® Rye. It honors the way rye whiskey used to be made, with a high rye content and full, uncompromised flavor. With Rendezvous® Rye, you get a taste of authentic rye whiskey. We hope you enjoy it.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Rustic notes of oak and fruit, a little menthol. Slightly grassy, followed by sweeter notes of toffee and classic vanilla.

Palate : Oak spices, pepper and even some chillies. Needles to say, it’s rather spicy. Deep inside you’ll find a little treasure cove of sweetness, but then it’s back to the savoury notes from the nose.

Finish : The heat continues from the palate (how could it not?) with fresh oak and tea leaves.

Value: £50.44

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Hudson Four Grain

American Bourbon

Hudson Four Grain bourbon whiskey brings together the distinct characteristics of corn, rye, wheat and malted barley. Each batch starts with 800 pounds of grain which is ground at the distillery, cooked and fermented, then distilled twice. It is aged in our signature small barrels. Our Four Grain Bourbon is a rich full-flavored spirit. The grains are perfectly suited one to the others so that the end result balances the soft richness of corn, the sharp peppery notes of rye, all the smooth subtlety of wheat and the sweetness of malted barley. Each bottle is hand numbered.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Value: £49.99

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Jefferson’s Very Small Batch

American Bourbon

We make our bourbon in small batches, ridiculously small batches. This enables us to showcase the different flavors that result from the wood in each barrel, as in the case of single barrel bourbons. We maintain the consistency that is found in small batch bottling. It’s like making dinner for 8 friends rather than a group of 80 people.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Very crisp and fresh on the nose, lots of creamy vanilla and warm, spicy flavour. Notes of oak, toffee, hints of smoke.

Palate : Soft, warming and supple. Notes of sweet vanilla, spices, toffee, berry fruits, a touch of orange zest, spices and honey.

Finish : Soft and easy-going, very quaffable as it fades out on notes of vanilla sweetness, custard and corn.

Value: £33.87

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Maker’s 46

American Single Malt

We age Maker’s 46® a bit longer inside barrels containing seared French oak staves. The staves create bolder, more complex flavors — while eliminating the bitterness that usually comes with whiskies that are aged longer.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : Toffee sweetness and the saw dust from freshly cut wood. Has a very toasty aroma, with sweet spices and deep, thick caramel.

Palate : Creamy and very soft. Then it opens up, in fact it explodes with spiciness which concentrates on the tip of the tongue. It’s on nutmeg, mulled wine spices, allspice, cinnamon. Also a hint of hot apple juice. Kevin remarks that it’s not unlike the cinnamon flavoured gum, “Big Red” – we’ve literally no idea what Big Red is, but it sounds really manly.

Finish : A natural progression of the palate with the sweet spices and it concentrates on the tongue – this may be one of the few times you’ll notice a concentration of sweetness like this from a bourbon. It also becomes grassy after a minute or so.

Value: £35.95

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Templeton Rye

American Rye

Much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, at Templeton Rye, we believe taste depends on the taster. So while we focus our attention on making a consistently superior rye whiskey, we prefer to let you determine what flavors you detect in our product.
Aroma dry, grassy, Christmas spice

Status: Still to try

Palate: hint of caramel, butterscotch, toffee and allspice

Finish: wonderful balance, clean and silk smooth

Value: £34.99

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7

Penderyn Dylan

Welsh Single Malt

Penderyn Distillery is pleased to announce the release of the third in the series ‘Icons of Wales’ which is a new Single Malt, specially created to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the famed Welsh writer, poet and broadcaster ‘Dylan Thomas’. This Sherrywood finish edition was awarded Silver in the Worldwide Whisky No Age Statement Category at the International Wines & Spirit Competition 2014.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Palate : This Penderyn Sherrywood begins with the aroma of sugar Bon bons rich with the smell of creamy toffee and vanilla. Soon Penderyn’s own fresh green apples and boiled berry fruits join in. In the mouth cream sherry flavours, obvious but not overt, mingle with delicate fruits reminiscent of white currants and honeydew melon.
An aperitif whisky with a medium long finish that ends up with an attractive aftertaste of mixed fruits. Dinner beckons!

Value: £48

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7

Penderyn Madeira Finished

Welsh Single Malt

Awarded Gold in the Best World Whisky category at the 2012 International Whisky Competition, Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky is finished in Madeira casks to impart a generous flavour of subtle complexity. Hand crafted to perfection, the unique distillation process at Penderyn Distillery produces a single malt whisky that is smooth, light in character and softly golden in colour. This fine whisky captures THE TRUE SPIRIT OF WALES.
Finished in rare Madeira casks, Penderyn has a beautifully balanced taste, and is suitable for drinking on all occasions.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Palate : The original Penderyn in this bottle has been aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in ex-Madeira wine casks to bring out its full golden character. At a generous 46% ABV, it has a classic freshness with aromas of cream toffee, rich fruit and raisins. The palate is crisp and finely rounded, with the sweetness to balance an appetising dryness. Notes of tropical fruit, raisins and vanilla persist in the finish.

Value: £41

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7

Ardbeg 1965

Islay Single Malt

Ardbeg 1965 is presented in a hand blown bottle, its glass containing sand from the shores of Islay, the spiritual home of Ardbeg. Just 261 bottles in existence makes it a sin to consume Ardbeg 1965 in haste. So each numbered bottle is accompanied by a miniature of 1965, giving new owners the opportunity to experience a tantilising drop or two.

Status: Still to try

Palate : The mouth-feel is warming with a tingly effect. The flavor is initially of a salty sea breeze with fish smoked over a heather and peat fire. In a few seconds, rich dried fruits (raisins and sultanas) come to the fore with elements of cherry pie and cream. Vanilla is present throughout, with peat, and espresso coffee and berry fruits completing a myriad of flavours.

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7

Balvenie 50 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

The Balvenie Fifty was matured in a European oak sherry hogshead, rarely used today in whisky making. Filled with newly distilled spirit in 1962, over the following 50 years, while David Stewart perfected and practiced his craft, the spirit slowly matured into a truly exceptional outstanding single malt Scotch whisky. The particularly long maturation has created a wonderful fragrant and floral whisky, velvety sweet with a beautifully balanced combination of sweet citrus notes and gentle hints of honey, spice and oak. ABV of 44.1%. Limited edition release with only 88 bottles available.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Fragrant and floral with fruit and oak lusciously intermingled. Citrus notes of lemons and orange peel are followed by honey and vanilla and finally a gentle hint of cinnamon and subtle oak.

Palate : Velvety sweet and wonderfully soft, fruit and citrus notes are accompanied by a beautiful outburst of cinnamon and nutmeg and a subtle back note of honey, all balanced with oak.

Finish : Velvety smooth with a delicious citrus sweetness.

Buy here: https://uk.thebalvenie.com/our-range/fifty-aged-50-years

7

Bowmore Devil’s Cask

Islay Single Malt

These whiskies get their name from a legend nearly as old as the distillery itself. It was claimed that the Devil was once spotted and chased through the town, eventually hiding away in the distillery. After searching, the Devil was nowhere to be seen, having made his escape in a whisky barrel to the mainlaind.

Status: Still to try

Nose : dark fruits, birch tar, the seductive warmth of old leather, brandy, fruitcake and maple syrup.

Value: £58.08

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7

Bowmore Devil’s Cask II

Islay Single Malt

The second small batch release of Devil’s Casks is still mischievous. Having mellowed under a cloak of smooth velvet and sublime sherry cask indulgence, it reveals even more of Bowmore’s devilish dark side.

Click here for the GreatDrams Review

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : rich sherried sweetness with dates and sultanas smothered in the indulgence of treacle toffee, pecan and maple syrup.

Value: £64.58

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7

Chivas Regal Royal Salute 50 Year Old

Various Regions – Blend

Royal Salute 50yo was launched in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the coronation of Elizabeth II – and the 50th birthday of the original Royal Salute, which was created as a tribute from Chivas Brothers to the new Queen in 1953.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Rich sweet fruity aromas are balanced with a deep floral oakiness and a soft smoky nuttiness.

Palate : Full sweet floral and fruity raisin flavours enhanced with a smoky sweetness and nutty oakiness.

Finish : Deep and sumptuous with a warm sweet fruitiness and dry smokiness. Unrivalled Excellence.

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7

Dalmore Trinitas

Highland Single Malt

Only truly outstanding single malts can mature to a great age such as 50 years old and more. To date only a handful of whiskies have been released at the venerable 64 years of age.
Such little whisky was available that only 3 bottles of this timeless collectable can be released. One bottle has already been sold to a private collector from the USA and the other bottle has been acquired for our own private collection.
We were delighted to be invited to work on this project with The Dalmore over a year ago and worked tirelessly with them to develop a presentation that would reflect the aristocratic heritage and pedigree of the brand.
Only the finest materials were identified, sourced and used, ensuring that Trinitas can sit proudly alongside the world’s most luxurious and elegant masterpieces.
The last remaining bottle is now offered for sale at the same price as the others…

Status: Still to try

Value: £100,000

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7

Dewar’s White Label

Various Regions – Blend

We blend up to 40 of Scotland’s finest single malt and grain whiskies to create Dewar’s White Label. Each is hand picked to create this full, round whisky. Our first master blender started this process one hundred years ago. It’s how we made it then. It’s how me make it now.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : Honey, peach, apple and wood. Cut hay.

Palate : Medium, vanilla fudge, smoke, toffee, heather honey, oak.

Finish : Good length, cut herbs, honeyed sweetness.

Value: £16.26

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7

Glenfiddich Spirit of a Nation

Speyside Single Malt

A limited edition release of just 250 bottles, this very special single malt was created in honour of #TeamGlenfiddich’s epic race to the South Pole for Walking With The Wounded.
Matured for 29 years in a single refill sherry cask and personally selected by our Malt Master, this expression has been finished in a special ex-bourbon cask covered in messages of support for the team, adding additional layers of depth and complexity.
The resulting single malt is an intricate and rewarding combination of rich and oaky flavours with subtle notes of cinnamon, leather and beeswax with sweet vanilla notes.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Rich and oaky with notes of dried fruit and spices.

Palate : Sweet vanilla oak notes with a hint of cinnamon spice, polished leather and beeswax.

Finish : Exquisitely long and smooth with warm notes of subtle vanilla sweetness.

Value: £1000

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7

Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve

Speyside Single Malt

She lived to be the oldest person in Scotland, honoured with one of the oldest single malts in the world. Only 11 bottles were ever released, celebrating each decade of her remarkable life. The late Janet Sheed Roberts was the last grandchild of our founder, William Grant.
Orange blossom and violets fold into toasted almonds with a modicum of smoke. Creamy vanilla and a drifting smoke beautifully balance with sweeter oak notes. A drop or two of water releases zesty orange and outstanding vibrancy.
These incredibly rare 55 year old bottles were auctioned for charity, raising over £400,000 for good causes around the world. And breaking auction records along the way.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Light aromas of soft orange blossom and delicate violets mix with notes of toasted almond, and the subtlest hint of smoke.

Palate : Luxurious creamy vanilla and gentle smokiness are beautifully counterbalanced with sweeter oak notes. A drop or two of water releases further zesty orange flavours and an incredible vibrancy.

Finish : Extremely long, lively and sweet.

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7

Hazelwood 100

Speyside Single Malt

 

Finest blend of one hundred specially selected casks in celebration of the one hundredth birthday of Janet Sheed Roberts. A very rare and collectable item that was originally only available to employees

Value: £489.95

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7

Gordon & MacPhail Glenlivet 70 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt

They’ve done it again! The second in Gordon and MacPhail’s Generations range, that’s right, the second ever 70 year old whisky! It looks unbelievable when written down, but this genuinely is a 70 year old Glenlivet, distilled on the 3rd February 1940, and aged in a first fill sherry butt. This is quite literally one of the most extraordinary creations we have ever witnessed.
Just 125, stunning 20cl decanter bottles have been released!

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Nose : At first, the impact is blood oranges, tangerines and a waxy nature. Then what follows is vanilla pastries, Jaffa cake jelly, bananas and a biscuity malty note. Really fresh. It jumps out of the glass and has such life for something with such age.

Palate : Slight hint of ash, slight hint of peat, again an orange jelly and zestiness Creamy and slight hints of a Ruby Port.

Value: £3857.57

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7

Hibiki 12 Year Old

Japanese Blend

An exquisite 12 year old blended Japanese whisky. Hibiki includes malt whisky from Yamazaki and Hakushu, as well as grain whisky from Chita. The whisky is partly matured in plum liqueur barrels.

Status: GreatDrams (sampled)

Nose : pineapple, plum, raspberry, honey, hibiscus

Palate : banana, pomegranate, custard, pink pepper

Finish : sweet, sour and complex

Value: £52

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7

Highland Park 50 Year Old

Isle of Orkney Single Malt

Our oldest and most prestigious release to date, this remarkable single malt whisky has been matured for over 50 years, the result represent the pinnacle of the five key stones in our whisky production. Distilled in 1960, the 50 year old has been carefully constructed from just five casks of whisky, then additional rested to ensure perfect balance and consistency, a process we call cask-harmonisation.
Highland Park 50 Year Old has been bottled at 44.8% abv to ensure the full impact of the rich, complex flavours, which are the result of such a lengthy maturation, adding vibrancy on the palate, which is rare in a single malt whisky of this age.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Complex and multi-layered; dusty wood and old tobacco pouch at first. Slowly the emphasis moves to fruit and spices; cooked damsons, raisins and nutmeg are all prevalent.

Palate : Complex and multi-layered; dusty wood and old tobacco pouch at first. Slowly the emphasis moves to fruit and spices; cooked damsons, raisins and nutmeg are all prevalent.

Finish : Long and very spicy, slightly smoky remnants.

Value: £7874.95

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7

Johnnie Walker Diamond Jubilee

Various Regions – Blend

John Walker & Sons celebrates 60th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s accession to the throne with the bottling of Diamond Jubilee by John Walker & Sons, a blend of rare scotch whiskies distilled in 1952.
Each edition also includes a pair of lead Cumbria Crystal glasses engraved by Philip Lawson Johnston and a commemorative artefact book, hand bound by Laura West at her Isle of Skye bindery and personalised for each owner by Sally Mangum, Calligrapher By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen. All the elements will be housed in a chest made by the cabinet makers at N.E.J. Stevenson, incorporating oak from Sandringham to echo the whisky marrying casks and Caledonian pine from The Queen’s Balmoral Estate.

Status: Still to try

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7

House of Commons 12 Year Old

Various Regions – Blend

James Buchanan secured the contract to supply Scotch Whisky to the House of Commons in 1885 and this contract has continued unbroken to the present day. A letter he received from the Refreshment Department of the House of Commons in November 1885 states ‘The Buchanan Blend of Scotch Whisky you now supply to this Department is much liked by the Members and others who use it. It is with great pleasure that we express our high opinion of its quality’, this same high quality and flavour has been maintained to this day.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Value: £220.45

7

Johnnie Walker Director’s Blend Series

Various Regions – Blend

In 2008, Johnnie Walker re-introduced the company’s tradition for creating Directors’ Blends, special one-off editions of around 500 bottles given as a personal gift to esteemed friends of Johnnie Walker. Master Blender Jim Beveridge and his team have created six annual releases, each one a study in an element of the Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch craftsmanship and house style.

Status: Still to try

Value: £40,000

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7

Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition

Islay Single Malt

From the Lagavulin distillery on the island of Islay comes the 1997 Distillers Edition, a fantastic single malt which has been maturing since 1997 and enjoyed a finishing period in Pedro Ximénez cask before being bottled in 2013. Thick and honeyed with characteristic smoky notes, these Distillers Editions from Lagavulin are always an excellent excuse to crack open a box of dark chocolates alongside your whisky after dinner.

GreatDrams (Sampled)

Value: £70.45

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7

Longmorn 16

Speyside Single Malt

Released to replace the 15 year old, part of a relaunch of Longmorn, promoting the brand as a super premium single malt maker. This is a superb 16 year old, recommended.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : Fresh and green. Notes of apple peel and bramley apple, hints of citrus and herbal notes. There are some notes of balsa wood, calvados and plenty of dry oaken tannins.

Palate : Rich and compact. Notes of lemon zest and a leafy greenness. A good level of tannins develops with a vinous character and spice. The oak is dry and full.

Finish : Long and dry with a zesty quality.

Value: £49.30

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7

Port Ellen 2012

Islay Single Malt

A 1979 vintage whisky from cult closed distillery Port Ellen. Distilled in March 1979 and bottled in March 2012 by Mackillop’s.

Status: Still to try

Value: £399

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7

Springbank 21 Year Old

Cambpeltown Single Malt

Springbank 21 Year Old has become something of a legend among whisky lovers and with good reason. It’s a spectacular dram that offers unbelievable complexity.

Status: GreatDrams (own)

Nose : There is a lot going on here; heather, plums and peach, quite dry but with hints of honey. There’s a slight waxy note too with a little bit of leather.Mouth: Very soft, with caramelised fruit and raisins and cassis. The spices include cinnamon and vanilla and there’s some oaky dryness to balance the honey. A subtle wood smoke and a hint of the sea. Finish: Very long with hints of aniseed and raisin sweetness.

Value: £208.95

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7

The Macallan M Decanter

Speyside Single Malt

The final entry in Macallan’s 1824 Series steers away from the evocative, colour inspired names and goes simply by The Macallan M. Made with whiskies that reach far into Macallan’s past with an affinity for expressions matured in sherry casks, it is a decidedly luxury whisky that takes inspiration from the distillery’s history.
The Macallan M comes in a crystal decanter designed by renowned fashion and luxury goods designer Fabien Baron and crafted by Lalique, who have also worked with Macallan on The Macallan in Lalique Collection. This comes presented in a deluxe box and with a crystal stopper.

Status: Still to try

Nose : Dried fruits ripen, then soften showing off velvet sateen. Vanilla accompanies green apple hand in hand, neither taking the lead. Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon create an ensemble in the background, with polished oak offering to overstate, yet never does, but plays with a depth of resinous, juicy oranges.

Palate : The palate opens rich in wood spices, slowly showing all their viscosity. Wood smoke flits in and out.

Finish : The heavier raisin and sultana flavours take over, meandering to a long full finish.

Value: £2699.99

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7

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