Finishes – Glenfiddich IPA 43%

We started our “Unusual Finishes” journey in Speyside with one of the grandaddy’s of the Glens – Glenfiddich with their IPA beer experiment.

Glenfiddich IPA 43%

  • Colour – Pale golden
  • Nose – Started off with a bit peach, sweet and grassy, some citrus, then back to a granary, barley and hay, then a crepe with sugar and lemon
  • Palate – Some spice, very sweet, yet flat with no body, a bit oily
  • Finish – Not bad, the spice remains for a bit. One even described it as “lumpy”

Our overall reaction was that it was exceedingly…. average. Yup average. It was also pronounced superficially drinkable.

Could we discern the hops influence? Perhaps a bit but it wasn’t massively pronounced.

It is also relatively easy to find in duty free – so accessible that we discovered 3 whisky ladies had picked it up! Sparking a joke that this would go into the category of whiskies decent enough to not be embarrassed to gift.

Debate turned to whether this would make a good cocktail – a Whisky Sour perhaps? Or maybe an Old Fashioned or Sazerac?

I set a glass with the IPA aside and revisited it after an hour – it was pleasant, grassy and inoffensive.

And their official tasting notes?

  • Colour – Rich golden.
  • Nose – An elegant harmony of fresh green apple, William’s pear and spring blossom. Complemented with aromatic hops and fresh herbs.
  • Taste – Vibrant with a zesty citrus note followed by creamy vanilla and a hint of fresh hops.
  • Finish – Enduring sweetness with an echo of green hops.

While travel retail prices vary wildly around the world, if you picked it up from Whisky Exchange in the UK, it would set you back approx £45.

What other finishes did the Whisky Ladies explore that eve?

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Feeling rather Scottish… Farewell 2016!

Living in Mumbai means while we aren’t on most globe trotters “top spot to travel” list, we do get on some.

This also means we have house guests from time to time.

And some of them just so happen to know about my wee predilection for things whisky wise…


Hence these wee gifts made their way into our home. I happened to also spot the Bombay Scottish 2016 Tartan book… all looking rather festive together.

I have yet to crack open the tartan hip flask or sample the Glenfiddich trio… That will be something to try in 2017.

For now, I just wanted to wish all you wonderful whisky & non-whisky folks around the globe a very Happy New Year!

Farewell 2016 and raising a toast to welcome 2017!


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Airport adventures with Àraid 21 year 43% for DFS SIN + HKG

Typically when traveling, I can be found hiding out in a lounge tapping away on my laptop however this trip from Mumbai to Jakarta via Singapore had no lounge access. So after picking up the new Bruichladdich PC 2007 CC:01, discovering my onward flight was delayed, slipped upstairs to browse through the rarified whiskies.2016-12-04-rusty-nail

I found myself chatting with the fellow behind the Long Bar by Raffles. He spotted my Bruichladdich and we began to swap whisky tales (as one does in such situations!). He shared insights into the session Murray Campbell, Bruichladdich Brand Ambassador did for the DFS team while I shared chance conversations with Murray at Whisky Live Singapore.

With time to kill, I spotted a nice little table beside the bar and settled down to get some work done while waiting for my flight.

Completely absorbed with writing on my laptop, first an exceedingly refreshing and indulgent rusty nail found its way into my hand.

Followed by a small sample of… something…

  • Nose – Citrus pineapple, peaches, honey, cinnamon, lightly woodsy, vanilla, subtle light bright inviting nose
  • Palate – Spice with substance, a contrast to the sunshine nose there is enough swirling around on the palate to properly keep one company
  • Finish – The spice lingers and becomes slightly tart and bitter

Was it a single malt? A blend? The reveal…

Àraid 21 yea4 43% Batch 15/0508, Selected 19.04.2015, Bottle No 1,182/3, 400.


A DFS Group exclusive blend for Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN) and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG).

“Àraid” is Scots Gaelic for “unique” and the whisky is intended as “an idea which summons the spirit of the selection process in which we collaborated to arrive at this magnificent whiskey.”

Here is what they have to say about it:

“A deep and luxurious whisky replete with a fresh and fruity nose of delicate character, a rich and silky palate and a long-lasting oaky finish.

This exquisite spirit inherits its silky texture and floral delicacy from the splendid malts in the Grant family’s whisky ledgers which have given them life. Its long-lasting finish, with a sweet laziness, completes this blend’s unique perfection.”

It was like having a high end Monkey Shoulder, brighter, lighter and more complex. Apparently it has some KinInvie & Glenfiddich and…?

Regardless of contents, sipping it was a rather nice way to while away my time til my flight to Jakarta… A “sweet laziness” is actually a rather good way to describe how this whisky leaves you…

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Glenfiddich 15 year Batch 15 (2012) 55%

After the remarkable Glenmorangie, next up in our exceptional evening of hand-filled cask strength whiskies was this Glenfiddich 15 year.

Glenfiddich is one of the classic single malts… a standard most have encountered and consumed at some point. Our host is particularly partial to the 15 year, hence this was his choice when selecting a whisky to hand fill at their distillery in Dufftown.

Glenfiddich 15 year

Glenfiddich 15 year (19 April 2012) Batch No 15, Bottle No 11/15, 55%

Here is what we found:

  • Nose – Honey, light fruit, black pepper, a little spice, wood, musty, floral, dash of vanilla
  • Palate – Plum, cherry sour, spice, warm, wood, sawdust, light sherry
  • Finish – Tart sour cherry that sweetens out
  • Water – Absolutely add it! Takes the acidity out and smoothes it.

This cask strength whisky is known as the “Distillery Edition” and we anticipated it to be “more” with greater complexity and character than the standard 15 year. It has been a long time since I had a Glenfiddich 15 year, so couldn’t add much to the debate on how they differ… however indeed felt privileged to sample a dram straight from the distillery.

The Glenfiddich tastings notes for this whisky:

  • Colour – Rich and golden
  • Nose – A complex aroma with sweet, fruity notes and delicate vanilla oakness. Addition of a little water releases a beautiful combination of heathery spiciness and rich fruit cake.
  • Taste – Silky smooth and warming when tasted at full strength. With the addition of water it produces intriguing layers of spice, sherry oak, marzipan, dark chocolate and ginger.
  • Finish – Long lasting with a lingering vanilla sweetness.

Also part of our cask strength hand-filled whisky evening:

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