On the tasting mat this time we have a great blend from Suntory, some crackers from Bartels Whisky (who bottle whisky under their own Highland Laird label and sell the Malts of Scotland brand) and some wonderful new whiskies from The Whisky Exchange. Enjoy!
Suntory Hibiki Harmony [43%]
This is a fabulous whisky from Suntory. Yes it may be NAS but see beyond that and judge it on how it tastes. This spirit would be a great Christmas gift, or it could even be used in cocktails over the festive season. Cracking!
Nose: grassy, dusty, aniseed, pepper, vanilla ice cream, watermelon, cream soda, liquorice
Palate: silky, butter scotch, nice spice, raspberry, lots of pepper, ginger, metallic
Finish: drying, golden syrup, star anise
Highland Laird Tomatin 1994 19YO [53.8%] [bourbon hogshead]
Nose: apples, opal fruits, vanilla, black pepper
Palate: brown sugar, spices, apple pie, autumnal, good heat, malty
Finish: sweet, oranges, golden syrup
Malts of Scotland Linkwood 2000 14YO [55.8%] [refill sherry]
Nose: quite closed, touch sweet, raspberries, strawberries
Taste: silky, good spice, rich, love the sherry influence, dark chocolate, fudge, thick mouth feel
Finish: cocoa, toffee
Highland Laird Mortlach 1987 27YO [57%] [sherry hogshead]
This is the pick of the range here. It’s big, bold and delicious, and is a great example of how good Morltlach is. Beautiful!
Nose: earthy, high alcohol, all spice, red fruits, fruit cake
Palate: chilli spice, port like, massive, pepper, star anise, sticky, thick
Finish: long, sweet
The Whisky Exchange Benriach 1998 17YO [48.9%] [cask #7758]
Nose: banana, light brown sugar, nail varnish, cherry, cocoa powder, minstrels
Palate: spice, black pepper, strawberry, touch of struck match, plum
Finish: lasting spice, pepper again
The Whisky Exchange Arran 2000 14YO [55.5%] [cask #2000/1106]
This whisky was a pleasant surprise. It was a delight to find that jasmine note which brings back memories of one of my favourite ever bottlings; a SMWS Bladnoch. It’s a rare note for me, but one that grabs me. This would be a interesting choice for Christmas; the chilli heat and damsons add a delightful seasonal note.
Nose: light, aniseed, lovely jasmine note from a Bladnoch that I loved, grassy, touch herbal, white wine, whiff of smoke
Palate: buttery, chill heat, spice, damsons, black jacks, lots of heat, fresh
Finish: fades beautifully, spice lingers