Ledaig 18 year 46.3%

Our June 2015 monsoon tasting trio featured whiskies from Ireland, USA and Scotland:

The Scottish contribution may have been last but was definitely not the least!

Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

  • Nose –  Opening up a box of biscuits, the dive  deep into the forest with wet moss, dripping in humidity, whiff of smoked bacon that became increasingly prominent, some fruit cake or Christmas pudding, fresh sawed lumber, sea salt, cod liver oil, musty
  • Taste – A meaty peaty, chewy body… As our host shared, as a vegetarian, the whisky simply doesn’t fall into a vegetarian profile so she had no real reference point! Tumeric, smokey tobacco, smooth and oddly mild, oily
  • Finish – Sweet, salty but significant. Some thought it had a salty bitter quality.
Ledaig is a whisky line from the Tobermory distillery – the only whisky distillery on the Isle of Mull. While it hearkens its origins to 1798, it has a checkered history with a revolving door of owners, times when the doors shut then re-opened and is currently owned by Burn Stewart Distillers who also own Deanston and Bunnahabhain distilleries.
The Tobermory distillery produces whiskies in various avatars:
  • The peated single malt Ledaig expressions
  • Some whiskies – both single malts and blends – under the Tobermory brand
  • And can be found in blends like Scottish Leader and Black Bottle
We previously sampled the Ledaig 1997 (bottled in 2013 i.e. 16 yr)  – this had some elements in common yet the 18-year-old was distinctively more ‘meaty’.
Ledaig 18 label (Whisky Lady)

Ledaig 18 label (Whisky Lady)

Official tasting notes:

A wonderfully smoky island single malt Scotch whisky which balances sweet and floral aromas with the richness and warmth of sea salt and smoke.

This 18 Year Old Ledaig represents the rebirth of the style of malt whisky that would have originally been produced at the distillery.

This sought after peated Hebridean style Single Malt Scotch Whisky balances rich and fruity, sherried smokiness with seaweed and light creosote that allows for a long and quite pungent finish with more smoke and a hint of liquorice and sea spray. Unchill-filtered @ 46.3% ABV.

Each whisky in our June tasting session was completely different from the others. For some, the winner of the day the American Westland – showing what quality, care and creativity can accomplish! For others, it was the Ledaig.
Monsoon trio - Tullamore DEW Phoenix, Westland Cask No 395, Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

Monsoon trio – Tullamore DEW Phoenix, Westland Cask No 395, Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

Westland Cask No 395 Hand Filled 54.6%

Can I simply admit I haven’t yet got on the American craft whiskey band-wagon? I’m just not a crazy bourbon fan… and while I certainly recognise there is some great stuff out there, most American whiskies just don’t seem to float my boat in the way a mature, complex, Scottish cask strength whisky does…

Til now… yes… this Westland just might make a convert out of me. I kid you not – it is that good.

Part of our June tasting trio, our host’s partner studied with the master distiller – Matt Hoffman – and they personally visited the ‘lab’ in Seattle to pick up this remarkable dram. Everything about it simply stood out and demanded undivided attention – in the best possible way.

Westland Whiskey (Whisky Lady)

Westland Whiskey (Whisky Lady)

Westland hand filled 54.6% 
Cask strength, cask No 395, bottle no 365 which was hand filled by our host on 2/5/2015
  • Nose – Sweet peaty charcoal, fills up the glass with its aroma, prunes and plums, the kind of nose that makes you salivate and want to immediately dive in, a scent reminiscent of village life heating water in copper handis with a hint of smoke, fermentation… after it is left for a bit, we returned to discover freshly baked cookies
  • Taste – A bubbly champagne, like a bright proseco with a ‘zing’ that continues, dry, smokey quality that remains on the tongue, an odd yet pleasant astringentness, chilli with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, secretive ash, complicated, an odd yet likable old dry roasted puffed rice
  • Finish – Long… sweet and lingers with a delayed  bitterness
  • Water – Spicy tarka
Here is a whiskey that is simply bursting with character! Very creative, complex, insanely interesting. While likely only three years, Westland has managed to produce a whisky people will definitely enjoy. In our opinion. this whisky is in the ‘watch out’ category as opposed to simply ‘interesting but…’ league.
Westland Cask No 395 (Whisky Lady)

Westland Cask No 395 (Whisky Lady)

Our host shared her experience visiting his  lab in Seattle, enjoying an opportunity to sample a range of whiskies before picking this one – hand filling her own bottle. She described the new make spirit as ‘almost there’ even before maturing in new American oak casks – amazing. In part, this is a result of Matt’s practise of using Belgium yeast which gives the whiskies a slightly chocolate flavour.

There are few reviews out there of Westland and even fewer for Cask No 395 – which alas is now sold out. The official notes share:

The latest cask in our Hand-Filled series is Cask #395, filled with 30% of our signature 5-malt new make spirit and 70% peated new make spirit. Interestingly, the peated malt doesn’t dominate the character of the final whiskey. The 5-malt holds its own and more while the heavy toast/light char cask adds a nice third dimension to the overall profile.

FLAVOR PROFILE NOTES

This multi-dimensional whiskey has a lot to offer. The peat notes are floral and fruity with a mossy aroma on the nose, all underpinned by smoky barbecued meat. The presence of the 5-malt is exhibited by a backdrop of waffle cone with chocolate custard.

For more info, check out their website – Westland Distillery – Thoughtfully Made

Or see what others say about the distillery:

For many, the Westland was the highlight of our June 2015 monsoon tasting trio which also featured whiskies from Ireland and Scotland:
Monsoon trio - Tullamore DEW Phoenix, Westland Cask No 395, Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

Monsoon trio – Tullamore DEW Phoenix, Westland Cask No 395, Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix 55%

Our June monsoon tasting session featured a merry trio from Ireland, the US and Scotland – harkening back to our May session which also represented each country.

It kicked off with a little Irish lilt from Tullamore D.E.W….

Tullamore DEW Phoenix (Whisky Lady)

Tullamore DEW Phoenix (Whisky Lady)

Limited edition bottle no 14/08360
  • Nose – Freshly opened, it greeted us with a hit of instant alcohol – sharp! Then it started to have the more familiar whisky notes with a hint of vanilla, out popped a fruit basket, overripe bananas, sweet and pleasant, classic malt smell, not dry, in a comfortable band, caramel, taking time to open.. sweet milk chocolate
  • Taste – It tingled on the tongue –  bright, sweet, yet surprisingly ‘thick.’ As it rested on the palate, it continued to remain sweet, then a bit of chocolate, gaining a salty then bitter turkish coffee quality, and finally a little sour, creamy element
  • Finish – Mild spice with a bit of a kick
  • Water – Made it much sweeter, harsher on the throat. Spoiled the whisky for some, enhanced for others…
Before the unveiling, one member kept saying how it reminded him of Irish whiskies sampled til date – spot on! Though it didn’t have the ‘sociable’ character of the Teeling Single Malt.
The Tullamore Dew Phoenix was released to celebrate the first aviation disaster in history and the re-opening of the Tullamore distillery. It also has a higher alcohol percentage than most Tullamores.
Tullamore Dew Phoenix close-up (Whisky Lady)

Tullamore Dew Phoenix close-up (Whisky Lady)

Official tasting notes – with slightly confusing information abut the ‘3 types’ of whiskies:
This special limited edition is a triple distilled blend of all three types of Irish whiskey; golden grain, malt and pure pot still whiskey. It is characterised by its high content pot still whiskey finished in old oloroso sherry casks and comes to you at 55% ABV. Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix is a medium bodied whiskey, with distinctive sherry notes and pleasantly spicy creamy pot still whiskey flavours nicely balanced. 
  • Nose – Warm and spicy initially, then rich, toffee, vanilla notes become evident. The characteristic leafy, malty notes of Tullamore D.E.W. are enriched with deeper, toasted oak aroma and a hint of sherry nuttiness.
  • Taste – The higher strength tingles on the tongue leaving a spicy pot still flavour. Addition of a little water releases layers of caramel sweetness, delicate floral notes and oak tannins.
  • Finish – Long lasting with a lingering warmth. A perfect balance of oloroso sherry sweetness and spicy creamy pot still.

While we didn’t pick up on the nutty quality, the sherry was unmistakably there and ‘creamy’ is an excellent way to describe it overall.

Monsoon trio - Tullamore DEW Phoenix, Westland Cask No 395, Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

Monsoon trio – Tullamore DEW Phoenix, Westland Cask No 395, Ledaig 18 year (Whisky Lady)

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Hazelburn 12 year 46%

My astute whisky sampling companion in Singapore selected the Hazelburn 12 year at Quaich bar. Thank goodness as our first sample – the Glengassaugh Torfa – simply wasn’t to our taste!
Hazelburn 12 year (Whisky Lady)

Hazelburn 12 year (Whisky Lady)

Hazelburn 12 year
  • Nose – Clear sherry element with caramel, fruit – particularly plums. A hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and then dried fruits. Quite peaceful… with wet moss, a drizzle of rain… After sampling and more time to breathe, the nose gained even more sugar until it became almost too sweet like sugary orange marmalade
  • Palate – Well-structured, balanced, smooth, spice with a very pleasant curl of smoke, not ‘chewy’ but has some substance with darker elements – roasted coffee and chocolate?
  •  Finish –  Some warm spice, licorice, sweet…
  • Overall – Simply delicious, complex, lots of sherry yet still well-balanced

The Hazelburn is triple distilled, non-chill filtered with no caramel added.

Without a doubt, both my fellow Whisky Lady in Singapore and I put this in our ‘Would buy‘ category… Satisfying in every way and enough to make me regret passing up buying a 1st release Hazelburn 8 year from earlier in the week.

While most would already be aware, the Hazelburn distillery in Campletown was technically in operation only from 1825 and 1925, when it was bought by Springbank distilleries and shut down. Which means this whisky is produced in honour of Hazelburn rather than actually from the original distillery.

Springbank produces three distinct whiskies:
  • The Hazelburn’s you find today are part of their un-peated line
  • They use the Longrow brand for their peated line and
  • Their most popular Springbank standard can most readily found in their 10 year vintage

So far, I’ve overall enjoyed all three ranges from Springbank and look forward to seeing what will emerge with 18 years maturity – for many Scottish whiskies this seems to be their most interesting age.

What others say:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Glenglassaugh Torfa NAS 50%

I’m all for experiments. I’m also not averse to trying younger variants and have found some promising young bucks out there!

When I shared that I had already traipsed through most of the suggested whisky sample sets at Quaich bar in Singapore, the Glenglassaugh Torfa was recommended. I thought why not?

However just because something is ‘new’ (or in this case ‘re-new‘) or ‘different’ doesn’t necessarily make it ‘good’…

Glenglassaugh Torfa (Whisky Lady)

Glenglassaugh Torfa (Whisky Lady)

  • Nose – Overripe fruit, peat, grass… as it continued to breathe, could identify some gingery orange citrus. After sipping, the nose took on a sour curd note with a hint of jackfruit
  • Palate – Sharp, bitter, almost like diesel, young, brash and not balanced. My fellow sampler identified something akin to cleaning solvent. As soon as she said this, I couldn’t help but agree and then couldn’t get past this element either…
  • Finish – Smoke, but nothing significant and quickly dissipated
  • 1st impression – Disappointing

As the 2nd whisky we sampled (Hazelburn 12 year) was simply so much more to both our tastes, we left the Torfa alone for some time. We found it mellowed out a bit yet still retained the overall young attitude.

So we decided to see what happens when we added water…

  • On the nose, it shifted into overripe fruit, salty (almost like salted popcorn)
  • On the palate, became smoother, then some spice and finally light leather in the finish

As my companion put it

“Kinda like a hip hop dude who realised he needed to drop the attitude and be a bit more real.”

Certainly the drops of water helped, however the Torfa still feels like it has been pulled out of the maturation process too soon. I wonder if that is also the case with the other Glenglassaugh expressions – Revival and Evolution?

Of the three, Torfa is their ‘richly peated’ expression and my issue isn’t with the peat, it is the lack of balance.

However, in fairness, I should share that we have no idea how long this bottle lay open with Quaich and whether that had an impact, dulling other elements. The official tasting notes speak of melon, pineapple and roasted red apples on the palate – we discovered nothing of the sort! And when I checked the reviews from folks whose opinions I’ve found reliable, they seemed to have a different experience.

Bottom line – would we buy? Nope. In fact, we didn’t even finish our dram.

If this experience is any indication (which it may not be), one has to wonder if the investors for Glenglassaugh are simply being too impatient. The Speyside distillery only re-started production in 2008 and has already pumped out a trio of whisky expressions plus a few experiments like “The Spirit Drink that dare not speak its name” which is one mash of malted barley, fermented and distilled twice then bottled without ageing and “The Spirit Drink that blushes to speak its name” which is produced in the same way then aged 6 months in California red wine casks.

Now, if the Glenglassaugh folks had the advantage (or disadvantage) of a hot climate like India, perhaps one can understand releasing expressions after limited time… however in Scotland? Me thinks a wee bit more patience is in order!

What others say:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Will Quaich Bar in Singapore quench your whisky cravings?

The ‘big close’ to my Singapore whisky tasting adventures was my last evening in town – Saturday night – with a fellow Whisky Lady. We had ambitious plans to hit a few different places however after a slow start at her place, then the limitations of my newly twisted ankle, we decided to take a more selective approach.

After a stellar evening earlier in the week at The Auld Alliance and the usual delightful purchasing pit stop at La Maison du Whisky, I was primed for surprises and an opportunity to discover something completely different – in a good way!

After considering :

  • The Secret Mermaid – known for craft American whiskies yet eliminated as shortly off to N America
  • 28 Hong Kong Street – reservations required
  • Pony & Jigger – likely crowded Saturday night
  • B28 – the latest incarnation of the Malt Vault – closed for an indeterminate time…

We finally settled on beginning our evening at Quaich

Quaich (pronounced Quake) takes its name from a traditional whisky bowl offered as a symbol of friendship. Around since 2006, it is one of the well-known whisky sampling spots of Singapore.
Quaich Bar Singapore (Whisky Lady)

Quaich Bar Singapore (Whisky Lady)

We strolled into a cosy space that conveniently has both an outdoor area for smokers, indoor for non-smokers plus semi-private cigar lounges around the side… in which a couple were (ahem), taking advantage of the seclusion offered.

The whisky menu began with suggested tasting sets then long lists by region.

Excited, I perused the sets, then had a sinking realisation that I’ve sampled just about all the whiskies listed in the them…

Now… I consider myself a novice in the world of whisky, so this did not bode well.

While the overall selection is fantastic by Indian standards (easy to achieve!), clearly one of the pre-set samplers was not going to satisfy my quench for something unique.

So naturally I asked for help from the staff which was… erm… just not on par with my Singapore single malt sampling experiences til date.

Whisky dram (Whisky Lady)

Whisky dram (Whisky Lady)

Now, I’m sure they must get this a lot “I want to try something different!”

And it is not easy to know what someone will enjoy until you have a deeper conversation about experiences til date and preferences… but that’s just it, there wasn’t much of a further probe and well… let’s just say the lass helping us didn’t seem terribly enthusiastic.

I shared my quandary about the sample sets with a sincere request for guidance.

No offer to craft a modified set, and in the dance to determine what may be of interest, my queries lead to her frankly admitting that she hadn’t been permitted to sample most of those I asked about, and hence could not speak to their character. Hmm…

Not that it should impact the equation, however, I shared a bit more background:
  • I live in India and appreciate the range available in Singapore
  • Am part of a whisky tasting group in Mumbai and
  • Share our tasting notes in a blog on whisky

All to provide context as to why I was so keen to try something less accessible and open to recommendations.

Normally, this would be the point during which other support would be brought in, if needed…

Off she went and came back suggesting the Glenglassaugh Torfa which, indeed, I’ve not tried. Unfortunately, it was not an entirely positive experience and we did not even finish our whisky. My friend opted for the Hazelburn 12 year – smart choice!

A bit of India at Quaich Bar, Singapore (Whisky Lady)

India at Quaich Bar, Singapore (Whisky Lady)

What amused me the most was spotting two bottles of India’s Paul John proudly displayed… with one bottle clearly already empty!

It could be that I just happened to get someone newer to the team or perhaps I wasn’t able to articulate my expectation well enough. However, would I go to Quaich again? Doubtful unless there is a specific draw…

What stood out was staff pride in their new Quaich bar in Myanmar “Do come visit us in Myanmar! Here is the card!” I simply wish that level of passion had extended to the collection right there in Singapore.

In our case, the evening ended on a high note as we gave up on further whisky adventures in favour of going straight to BluJaz to catch the end of a friend’s set. There the whisky choices may be limited, but the price is as reasonable as one gets in Singapore and best of all, by the time we reached, the band was smoking. I opted for a Macallan and considered my Singapore trip overall a success.

Slainthe!

Quiach Bar is located at 390A Havelock Rd, Grand Copthorne Waterfront, Singapore 169664. 

La Maison du Whisky, Singapore

Most trips to Singapore with a bit of time include a stop at La Maison du Whisky for an enjoyable hour spent chatting, sampling and slowly deciding which whisky will make the final ‘cut’ for the journey home to Mumbai.

This June 2015 trip was no exception.

La Maison du Whisky, Singapore (Whisky Lady)

La Maison du Whisky, Singapore (Whisky Lady)

Over the years, the gents there have gained a sense of what we enjoy, what will peak our interest and also what we’ve managed to acquire by other means.

  • Last trip, I showed a spreadsheet tracking our tasting sessions
  • This trip, I could happily show this blog record of our sampling adventures

I’ve shared before how much I appreciate a chance to discover, discuss, sniff and sip before making a final purchasing choice. I prefer to take my time, so deliberately pop by late afternoon when there is more ‘trade traffic’ than ‘customer traffic.’ After all, it isn’t such a bad place to hang around and invariably those that do wander in will lead to an interesting conversational turn or two about a shared passion – whisky and fine spirits.

Our goal this time was:

  • Something that cannot be so easily obtained in London far cheaper… given that I would shortly be traveling there
  • No repeats of previous whiskies
  • At least one in the more mature and complex range
  • As always, an unpredictable ‘twist’ is appreciated

I shared how we enjoyed the Ledaig from an earlier trip and confessed we hadn’t yet opened the one selected late 2014 as it was trumped by my Japanese quartet from Tokyo.

Diego started with a rum, just because he recalled that the Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva Extra Anejo tequila was such a hit!

Clarin Vaval 52.5% – Small batch Haiti clear rum from Cavallon village, double distilled from ‘Madame Meuze’ cane sugar in 2013. It was a delightful discovery with overripe fruit, hot, tropical and distinctly different. It was like sunshine in a bottle.

Clarin Vaval (Whisky Lady)

Clarin Vaval (Whisky Lady)

We then moved on to two Compass Box whiskies:

Glasgow Blend (Whisky Lady)

Glasgow Blend (Whisky Lady)

We discussed several other whiskies – including suggestions for my London ‘wish list’. I was sorely tempted by this Hazelburn 8 year 1st bottling…

Hazelburn 8 year (Whisky Lady)

Hazelburn 8 yr (Whisky Lady)

In addition to the whiskies sampled, I’ll admit to sniffing more before finalising my selection for this trip…

What did I pick?

It was the Bunnahabhain 26 years.. part of a special Signatory Session held in February 2016:

Previous reviews sourced via La Maison du Whisky Singapore:

La Maison du Whisky is located at 80 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-10 The Pier, Singapore
 Tel: 6733 0059

Compass Box – Juveniles 46%

One of the Compass Box whiskies I sampled recently at La Maison du Whisky in Singapore was the playful Compass Box Juveniles.

Compass Box Juveniles sampled at La Maison du Whisky (Whisky Lady)

Juveniles sampled at La Maison du Whisky (Whisky Lady)

Here is what I found:

  • Colour – Light straw
  • Nose – Sweet, fruit with plums and pears, a touch of vanilla… after the first sip, takes on an even sweeter overripe fruit dimension
  • Taste – A little spicy with cinnamon, cardamon and perhaps a little cumin, herbal with sage and thyme, delicate
  • Finish – Light and sweet, doesn’t scamper off immediately but remains teasing
  • Overall – Delightfully playful

This is a clear example where the marketing and whisky character are a perfect match. The green juvenile joker on the label is spot on with the whisky – joking, teasing, chortling its way around your palate. This is no mature robust serious complex dram, it is unabashedly effervescent and fun.

The original bottling was exclusively for the Juveniles Bistro a vins in Paris and I understand it had a stronger character yet still in keeping with a light convivial atmosphere. However its popularity lead to Compass Box creating a 20 year anniversary edition and now a limited retail version.

The one I sampled was bottled in September 2014, part of 1,806 bottles and contains whiskies sourced from Glen Elgin (apparently 15 year) and Clynelish (thought to be 9 year) distilleries, aged in American oak barrels.

Compass Box Juveniles (Whisky Lady)

Compass Box Juveniles (Whisky Lady)

We’ve so far enjoyed the following Compass Box :

From time to time, you can also find other whisky related updates and activities on:

Compass Box – The Peat Monster 46%

A recent visit to La Maison du Whisky in Singapore provided a chance to try two new Compass Box offerings. Which prompted a desire to revisit our Compass Box trilogy evening…

Tasting Notes from 21 August 2014

Following our standard approach, we tried ‘blind’ different whiskies before unveiling a theme night of three remarkable blends from Compass Box: Great King Street Artist’s Blend, Spice Tree and The Peat Monster.

Peat Monster isn't so scary after all..

The Peat Monster 46%

  • Colour – Again back to a lighter wheatish shade à la Great King Street Artist’s Blend
  • Nose – Instant Wow! Peat, rubber, a little blue cheese …. After the first powerful notes faded, revisiting was like the waft on opening a closed closet in the rains – that peculiar queer monsoon mold odour!
  • Palate – Peat and ash with mellow spice, not so much smoky as just a well-rounded complex peat, surprisingly smooth for such a forceful dram
  • Finish – Oh baby! A peaty ash, sweet and not harsh at all…. 5 mins after sipping, it still remained romancing ones taste buds…
  • Add water? Oops! We missed trying that… somehow it was just one we enjoyed ‘as is’ without the temptation to try a few drops of pani

Our blind verdict? Yummy yummy! Well worth revisiting during those moments where you need something to just envelope in rich peaty warmth!

The unveiling – Don’t let the name dissuade you! Yes The Peat Monster is peaty but it is also exceptionally balanced.

As Compass Box describes it

“combines extremely smoky malt whisky from Islay with medium-peated Highland whiskies to create a balanced and approachable monster, but a monster nonetheless. Enjoy!”

And yes… enjoy it we did!

Comment of the night

“The Peat monster had a queer smell but was certainly not monstrous enough to scare any of us.”

Compass Box Trilogy

The unveiling was a visual treat. Compass Box takes creative design of the bottles as seriously as the blending. For several, the evening favourite was Spice Tree, however all are well worth trying!

Now… I’ve had my eye on The General but that price tag in Singapore is definitely a deterrent…

Other Compass Box treats sampled:

From time to time, you can also find other whisky related updates and activities on:

Compass Box – Spice Tree 46%

On a recent trip to Singapore, I stopped by La Maison du Whisky and sampled two new Compass Box offerings. It reminded me of an August evening a year ago when we were treated to a Compass Box trilogy and decided to revisit…

Tasting Notes from 21 August 2014

Following our standard approach, we tried ‘blind’ different whiskies before unveiling a theme night of three remarkable blends from Compass Box: Great King Street Artist’s Blend, Spice Tree and The Peat Monster.

Spice Tree was the second from our trilogy…

Spice it up with Spice Tree

Spice Tree 46%

  • Colour – A bit more depth than our 1st offering (Great King Street Artist’s Blend)
  • Nose – A delight! Cheese, jack fruit, more sea salt, sweet with a little zest of orange. Quite playful, with a hint rubber and vanilla. From the nose alone, speculated may have spent some time in a bourbon cask…
  • Taste – Rubber, well roasted spices, yet still roguish. Some described it like the sweet spice one finds in chilli chocolate
  • Finish – Much more character than the Great King Street Artist’s Blend. Warm, lingering, sweet like a turmeric leaf
  • Add water?  The chili spice burns even sweeter

Our blind verdict? More of a weekend drink – perhaps Sunday evening when one can sip and savour. The finish alone is superb and worth a lazy leisurely setting. Could pair with chocolate to melt with the sweetness or perhaps cheese? Yet has enough character to hold its own with a meat course. None could quite place it, though there was a sense we have tried cousins of it.

The unveiling – Made from 10 year Highland malt whiskies with new French oak heads, perhaps the cousin we sensed is the Clynelish element? Apparently our friends at Compass Box got themselves into a spot of trouble when they first launched this remarkable blended malt. Check out more of the story here.

Comment

“The Spice Tree was more complex than I initially thought. The spices start “cooking” if you keep the whisky long enough in your mouth (just like my wife starts getting irritated if I keep her waiting long enough), and yet the finish has the sweetness of a bourbon cask (unlike the finish of my wife’s wait.)”

Aside from getting our whisky sampler in trouble with his better half, I would certainly agree that the Spice Tree does better when it has an opportunity to breathe a little, slowly sipping over time as the spice elements blend and mellow.

Other Compass Box treats sampled:

From time to time, you can also find other whisky related updates and activities on: