40% - No Age Statement – Scotch Blend
Nose: There is the instant suggestion of the influence of hops creating a cereal forward nose with sponge cake and honeyed cream. With time a grassy quality emerges becoming more and more gorse like.
Palate: Creamy with malt biscuit flavours with a bitterness I would associate with beer. Usually this would put me off a whisky but I thought it played nicely with its cask finish.
Finish: A little sharp but refreshing and malty.
Overall: This is the first ale cask finish I have ever tried and I like new approaches. The whisky didn’t have much depth but compensated with it’s beery character.
40% - Scotch Blend
Nose: Heavy on the cinnamon with plenty of vanilla and a hint of lemon curd. Most interestingly there is a charcoal element that is quite intriguing.
Palate: Very light and delicate with wood spice and an earthy quality that draws on the charcoal notes from the nose.
Finish: Brief with notes of spice and vanilla pods.
Overall: Great nose with lots going on, this blend really requires a longer finish to gain the favour it should deserve.
40% - Scotch Blend – Port Cask Finish
Nose: Port leaps out of the glass first with rich cake notes smothered in marzipan and candied orange peel. With time conifer forest notes appear with a hint of peat.
Palate: Very earthy, with rich fruitcake and warming peat adding depth and a satisfying aftertaste.
Finish: Spice and jam go hand in hand here in what I like to call a chutney finish.
Overall: So much more going on here than in the previous two whiskies. The port finish gives the nose delicious fortified wine notes, and the palate is beautifully rich and luxurious. A blend done good!
40% - Scotch Blend – Rare malts and early Girvan in the mix.
Nose: Peaches and ginger in a soft but spicy tango followed by rich brandy sauce and Christmas pudding. The Whisky Review noted cola sweets and I have to heartily agree here.
Palate: A creamy palate once again here but with plain chocolate stirred through. This leads to pulpy dried fruits, notably dates and prunes with an alcoholic cherry flavour following.
Finish: Long and spicy with almonds sprinkled over. Beyond this there is coffee and an essence of wood smoke.
Overall: Packed with interesting flavours that compliment and enhance one another, complexity is the word here. I couldn’t decide between this and the eighteen year old… although in hindsight it had to be the twenty-five, it makes me want to pour another glass.