Bruichladdich: Octomore 9.1

Octomore 09.1

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Nose: Soft, malty, earthy. Weet-bix with creamed honey. A touch of burnt gingerbread. There's smoke lingering, but it's only really in the background. Palate: Lots of vanilla, and big on the malt-biscuit notes as well. A little bit nutty, and thoughts of wet grass in there somewhere too. There's also some floral overtones as it passes to the back of the tongue, and wafts of strong black tea turning into a deeply vegetal smoke. Mouthfeel: Soft, creamy, velvety. Typical Octomore - nearly 60% shouldn't be this soft! Finish: The honey hides, and the malt biscuits are now coated in dark…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely - a solid whisky.

Bruichladdich: Octomore 8.4

Bruichladdich Octomore 8.4

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Nose: Like a banana sponge cake with lemon & coconut cream icing. A touch of cinnamon, and some earthy notes - with slightly medicinal salty peat overtones. Palate: Coconut, toffee, cloves, and oak spices, battle with old leather, barbequed meats, and iodine. Touches of vanilla and cinnamon throughout. A little bit salty, yet still sweet. Mouthfeel: Mid-weight, oily, almost effervescent on the tongue at first - not any real burn though. Finish: Medium length (which is short for Octomore), salty, spicy - more an impression of the palate slowly dying than any particular flavours of its own. The fourth, and…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Maybe - although a decent whisky, this really isn't my style. You can make one hell of a good BBQ marinade with it though!

Bruichladdich: Octomore 8.3

Bruichladdich Octomore 8.3

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Nose: Malty, with oodles of honey and vanilla. Smoked meats and canned pears round out the nose for me - apart from the volcanic blast of smoke that is released when you first pop the cork. Palate: If you like smoke, you'll love this whisky - I'm not just getting your usual campfire smoke or peat-bog embers or your charred soot/tar smoke - but all three as separate and distinct flavours in your mouth at once. A little bit spicy and bitter at the front of the mouth - like a mixture of over-roasted coffee and seaweed; it settles down…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

For sure - this is a pretty good whisky.

Bruichladdich: Octomore 8.2

Bruichladdich Octomore 8.2

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Nose: Red berries, mixed berry jam, plums; sweet, but not sugary - more of the fruit smoothie sweetness than the dried fruits often talked about with sweeter fruity whiskies. Also notes of honey-laden fruit salad with melons, grapes, and apples. Plenty of fresh clean campfire smoke intertwined with all the fruit. Palate: All that sweet fruitiness from the nose has marched right along to the palate. The smoke is now even more present, and has brought with it some BBQ jerky. A little ashy, with just a hint of dark chocolate. Mouthfeel: Thick. Oily. Creamy. Everything you dream a whisky…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely. This is a stunning whisky!

Bruichladdich: Octomore 8.1

Bruichladdich Octomore 8.1

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Nose: Fresh citrus, vanilla, quite herbacious. Plenty of smoke as you'd expect from an Octomore, although there's also notes of iodine - which depsite being common with Islay malts, is not a common note for me with Octomore. Palate: Citrus an melons are present, although almost drowned out by big notes of vanilla, and big punching earthy and grassy notes. Plenty of smoke encapsulating the whole thing. Mouthfeel: Mid-weight - which is honestly a bit light for an Octomore. Not a lot of burn despite the alcohol percentage. Finish: Long, earthy, with a perppery spiciness to it. There's also this…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Yes. Probably wouldn't buy a bottle though - there are a lot of other Octomore releases that I like a fair bit more.

Bruichladdich: Islay Barley 2004 – Feis Ile 2010 Bottling

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2004 for Feis Ile 2010

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Nose:  Burnt sugar, raisins, dried red berries, vanilla, and burnt fruit cake. Palate:  Both sweet and sour.  Pretty much the same as the nose - definitely heavy on the berries and vanilla.  Also quite a solid malty creaminess enveloping the other flavours. Mouthfeel:  Mid-heavy weight, dry, creamy, with an alcoholic tingle right on the tip of the tongue. Finish:  Pretty long.  Some heat from the higher than average alcohol.  Not as sweet as the palate - some dried cake at the back of the throat.  The finish doesn't last a long time, but the impression the whisky leaves behind lasts…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Absolutely. This is a stunning whisky made even more desirable by its rarity.

Bruichladdich: Octomore 9.2

Bruichladdich Octomore 09.2

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Nose: Rich, smokey, sweet, and dark. Like opening the lid on a barbeque after you've left a rack of lamb glazed with berry jam on the grill for just a touch too long. Jammy (mixed berries), meaty, and a little ashy. Palate: Straight up, this is quite a dark, closed whisky; with ash, meat juice, some cloves, and pepper, being the mainstay on the palate. Add a dash of water though and you get a whole lot of tart raspberries and sour cherries on the palate. The ash turns more earthy and medicinal - going from barbeque to beachside camp…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Probably - not my favourite Octomore, but still a good whisky.

Glenmorangie: A Midwinter Night’s Dram

Glenmorangie A Midwinter Nights Dram

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Nose: Sultanas, red apples, brown sugar, marmalade, and sponge cake. Palate: Much the same as the nose, but with some added almonds and citrus peel - and perhaps just a slight touch of cinnamon and vanilla. Mouthfeel: On the heavier side of mid-weight.  Silky smooth, and slightly oily, with not a hint of alcohol Finish: Mid-length, a reasonable amount of heat, with traces of red apples and a touch of marmalade. [divider] Bottled at 43%, the Midwinter Night's Dram was a limited release by Glenmorangie in 2015.  It is a no-age statement whisky that was aged in ex-Bourbon casks before…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Definitely. I imported several bottles after first trying it, and will import more again if I can.

Ardbeg 10

Ardbeg 10

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Nose:  Tar.  The predominant note on the nose is definitely tar.  Citrus and salt are also present, as are some notes of dried grass around the edges. Palate:  Crap-tonnes of coastal, medicinal, peat.  Some citrus and vanilla, as well as hints of tar and some charcoal.  Traces of over-brewed black tea floating around at the edges. Mouthfeel:  Not the thinnest whisky, but not exactly a heavyweight - especially for an Ardbeg.  Smooth, and with no alcohol bite. Finish:  Long and punchy.  Plenty of lemon and salt, with an absolute mountain of peat still hanging around. [divider] Ardbeg's youngest age-stated whisky,…

Would I Drink It Again?

Total Score

Probably - I certainly wouldn't turn down a dram, but not sure it beats out nearby rivals, or even other Ardbeg bottlings to ensure I'd buy a bottle.

Tomintoul 16

Tomintoul 16

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Nose:  Granny Smith apples, well-ripe pears, pie crust, brown sugar, and just the faintest trace of nail polish. Palate:  Stewed apples and pairs with cloves, roasted almonds, and just a touch of cinnamon.  The lightest hint of something creamy - like the foam from a cappuccino hanging around the edges. Mouthfeel:  Lusciously thick and velvety.  Viscous, but slightly dry.  Just a feather-light touch of heat. Finish:  The stewed apples from the palate leave quickly, but the stewed pears with cloves hang around for an eternity.  The touch of cinnamon is still there - and brings with it a lasting warmth…

Would I Drink It Again?

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