Tasting Notes for an Orkney Whisky

Distillery: An Orkney Distillery (bottled by Morrison & MacKay) Region: Islands Cask: Hogshead Age: 8 years ABV: 54.8% Nose: Subtle honey or honeysuckle, a floral smoke, notes of caramel. I’ve nosed it for a good while and I also get pepper with a dash of salt. Palate: Out of the bottle and it tastes a bit like smoke-wreathed melted Werthers candy (hat tip to Travis for that note). It wraps my tongue in warmth and has a wonderful weight. With water, the peppery notes jump right up to the front and brings a bit of an edge. Is there a bit of seaside there? Finish: The peppery notes fade, there’s the saltiness, and some lovely earthy notes show up. As the finish continues, the salt and earth develop nicely. Overall:…
Read More

Miltonduff 23 years

Distillery: Miltonduff (bottled by The Old Malt Cask) Cask Type: Refill Barrel Cask Number: HL15138 Region: Speyside Age: 23 years ABV: 50% Nose: Big blast of tropical fruit, honeycomb, underripe bananas. Palate: Notes that make me think of fruit flan that quickly give way to woody notes (especially oak) and spices. Finish: As it finishes, this whisky really turns up the volume on the richer wood notes which then turn bitter and a bit burnt. An oaky spice is what remains as it coats my tongue and fades away. Overall: An exquisitely layered whisky! (more…)
Read More

Scotch Tasting – Whiskies Aged 15 Years

The theme for this scotch tasting was whiskies aged 15 years from across Scotland. Eleven of us - from first-timers to many-timers - sat down to see how these six distilleries expressed themselves. Our lineup was: Glen Moray 15 Glenfarclas 15 Glen Scotia 15 Dalmore 15 Distiller's Art Auchentoshan 15 Bowmore 15 Darkest It was a great evening of whisky, food, laughter, and camaraderie. (more…)
Read More

Tasting notes for Macaloney’s Twa Cask Islay: Caol Ila & Bunnahabhain

Distillery: Coal Ila and Bunnahabhain Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon, Red Wine Barriques Region: Islay Age: NAS ABV: 46% Nose: Peat and smoke, salty sea air hinting at medicinal iodine, sweet chocolate and dark fruit. Very subtle grass or hay. Palate: Oh wow. Smooth, a bit oily, strong woody notes and earthy peat. The medicinal iodine is there alongside almost a bitterness of dark chocolate. Cinnamon and cloves and dried fruit. Just love how it envelopes my tongue and brings so much flavour. Finish: There’s a flicker of spiciness early in the finish with sweet smoke curling its way throughout. The salty, earthy notes really hang on as the rest drifts away and the whisky leaves my whole mouth coated in layers of flavour. Overall: This whisky is out of control. The…
Read More

Whisky Advent 2018

Edmonton (Alberta) has an enthusiastic whisky scene that seems to have really grown in profile over the past few years (hat tip to the folks at the Edmonton Scotch Club for playing a big part in that). It’s given many people (myself included) the opportunity to connect with other whisky enthusiasts and share our passion for the aqua vitae. Looking back over the year, I’ve sampled a lot of whisky at tastings and other events and I can’t believe it’s already time to crack open the 5th Edition of Secret Spirits’ Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar. As always, Jonathan Bray publishes his tasting notes over at singlemalting.com so please head over there to see what he has to say about each one. Also, you can check out Instagram and Twitter for…
Read More

Scotch Tasting on November 24, 2018

What a solid tasting on Saturday night! There were 10 of us who sat down and explored: Aberfeldy 16Bunnahabhain 12Wemyss Treacle ChestSpringbank 15Distiller’s Art Fettercairn 14The Sovereign Invergordon 27 The Springbank 15 was the group favourite as a first or second choice. The nose started with peat and maple or brown sugar. Dark fruits on the palate with walnuts. Oaky in the finish surrounded by peat and a hint of floral. The middle of the pack was the Bunnahabhain, Treacle Chest, and Fettercairn. The Bunnahabhain 12 smelled of a sweet and salty caramel, its palate had a seaside sweetness with dried fruit, and it finished slow by coating your tongue. The Treacle Chest smelled of plums and sweetness. Cinnamon, raisins, and nuttiness on the palate into a long, sweet sherry…
Read More