Peaty Mini – Ledaig 10 year 46.3%

Last in our peaty persuasion session of miniatures was the Ledaig 10 year. This certainly wasn’t my first brush with Tobermoray Distillery’s peaty product… a few years ago my 1st introduction was to a Gordon & MacPhail Ledaig 1997, then our original club sampled the Ledaig 18 year and last summer I picked up the Ledaig 10 year in Winnipeg.

Ledaig 10 year 46.3%

Here’s what we found:

  • Nose – Dry hay, farm peat, invitingly sweet, grassy
  • Palate – Peat spice, balanced and straight forward
  • Finish – Warming… like being wrapped in a nice warm fuzzy blanket

Overall we put this in the category of a quality bar standard – one to keep in your cupboard and trot out for folks who are getting to know their whiskies and interested in exploring further…

We sampled from a sample from closed miniature in October 2017 purchased from The Whisky Exchange for approximately $6.

And what else did we sample in our merry mini malts evening?

And here’s more malt miniatures from my The Whisky Exchange:

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Peaty Mini – BenRiach Peaty Quarter Cask 46%

Next in our miniatures sampling was a little nip from a recent trip to Canada. After some disastrous experiences with decent drams being devastated by poor storage, I was keen to shorten the gap between acquiring the sample and actually tasting it!

BenRiach Peat Quarter Cask 46%

Here’s what we found:

  • Nose – Peppery peat of a style that is “quite forward”, cinnamon apple crumble, chased by delicious oily bacon
  • Palate – Christmas peat, plum cake, very sweet
  • Finish – Spice sweet, cinnamon

Each sip tells a different whisky – the kind of one we wished we had more of to continue to explore.

We also tried it in the Norlan glass – it smoothed out the palate, yet punched up the flavours, gently rounding and bringing out a dry quality.

And what do the folks at BenRiach have to say?

This UNIQUE single malt has been distilled from PEATEDmalted barley and has been FULLY matured in quarter casks. A smaller cask allows for more INTERACTION between the wood and the spirit, giving the whisky a great depth of flavour and aroma in a shorter period of time. Bottled at 46%, non chill filtered and natural colour, this is an EXTRAORDINARY, full-flavoured dram.

  • Nose – Elegant waves of wood smoke intensify to burning heather with a delicious contribution of ripe orchard fruits. Subtle hints of peaches, cinnamon sugar and a slight herbal note of fresh barley give an added contrast to the unique, rich peat character.
  • Taste – Intense peat smoke mellows to smouldering peat embers infused with green pear and nectarine notes. Nutty oak and vanilla pods combine with a touch of white pepper and a twist of lime to give a crisp, smoky finish.

We sampled from a sample from an open bottle in October 2017… The original bottle was opened on my wedding in June 2017, purchased at a Winnipeg Liquor Store for approx $107.

And what else did we sample in our merry mini malts evening?

And here’s more malt miniatures from my The Whisky Exchange:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Minis of a peaty persuasion

It has been some time since the collection of minis were attacked! The collection came out with the intent to focus on whiskies of a peatier persuasion…

And what did we select?

What was remarkable was the range of peats we discovered…

After all this, we rewarded ourselves with a Machir Bay – no tasting notes, just pure unadulterated enjoyment!!

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R+B Distillers – Borders + Raasay

There are a dizzying array of new distilleries popping up all over the world. And yet setting up a new distillery – nay two – is no small feat.

The team at Raasay & Borders Distillers (R&B Distillers) recognize that “Building distilleries takes time though, so we are satisfying our impatience by working with a Highland distillery to very deliberately craft the styles of whisky representative of what’s to come.”

As part of our Monsoon Malts & More evening, we dove into two wee samples…

Borders Single Grain 51.7%

Here’s what we found:

  • Nose – While clearly a grain, it is soft not pushy, old flowers like chrysanthemums, slight sulfur, fruits and acetone, sweet the sour then sweet again
  • Palate – Sweet spices, lots of character, creamy, slightly astringent yet not unpleasant, hints of coffee
  • Finish – Staying power

Not in the least bit harsh and as we continued sipping, thought more and more of Koffee Toffee… and pronounced it as “rather a good grain!”

What do we know about it? It is distilled in the highlands, non-chill filtered and natural colour.

Here’s what they have to say:

  • Aroma: Prominent sherry notes on the nose, hints of sugar-coated nuts.
  • Taste: Surprisingly dry on the palate with the sherry influences dominating. Walnuts balanced with vanilla, herbaceous and floral notes coming through towards the end, and just a touch of warm spice.
  • Finish: Lingering, dry and complex.
  • Food Pairing: Pairs well with Cocoa Black dark praline chocolates.

What more do we know about it? It has 50% wheat & 50% malted barley, finished in Oloroso Sherry casks. In their words:

Our Borders highland single grain whisky is a testament to our 19th century heritage and a nod to our future. Our Co-founder Alasdair Day’s great-grandfather blended whisky in the Coldstream – marked by the golden dot on this bottle.

The River Tweed is iconic to this uncommon provenance. It is integral in our R&B story and in forming part of the border between Scotland and England. The soft rolling landscape that surrounds it is reflected in character through the light, sweet notes of this lowland-style whisky.

We then shifted gears to their second offering – Raasaay.

Raasay “While We Wait” 46%

Here’s what we found:

  • Nose – Iodine, light leather, oils
  • Palate – Sharp and initially an off quality, a bit rancid, olive oil, sour, peat, chewy and bitter then sweet
  • Finish – Sweet

You would think from the notes this would be a rather unpleasant whisky. But here is the thing, as we sipped it began to grow on us more and more.

For two of us, it reminded us of a Ledaig from Tobermoray, particularly when we added a few drops of water.

Here’s what they have to say:

  • Nose: Chocolate, pear, raisin. Blackcurrant, chocolate cake, slight kirsch brandy note, red wine note.
  • Palate: Cherry at the front palate, smoke, more chocolate notes, orangey notes, slight burnt oak note. Vanilla and oaky notes. Dash of orange and raspberry.
  • Finish: Slightly floral. More oak. Cookies.

What more do we know about it?  In their words:

While waiting for the Isle of Raasay Distillery to rise beneath Dùn Caan, we’ve crafted a single malt demonstrating our whisky making skills to offer a tantalising taster of what’s to come.

We achieved this by blending two expressions from one distillery; one peated, one unpeated. The whisky then finished in French oak Tuscan wine casks from three vineyards that produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Naturally, one turns so speculate, which Highland distillery produces both grain and malt whisky? Could it be Loch Lamond…?

Other whiskies sampled in our Mumbai monsoon malts evening included:

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Bruichladdich Octomore 07.1_208 5 years 59.5%

For the Whisky Ladies, our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evening closed with a second mighty Octomore expression! In this case, the Octomore 7.1… released in 2015 before the 7.2 travel edition and one of the last Jim McEwan expressions.

What did the Whisky Ladies think?

Bruichladdich Octomore 07.1_208 5 years PPM 208 Scottish Barley 59.5%

  • Nose – Leather, eucalyptus, pine cleaner, sweet cinnamon and a dash of pepper
  • Palate – Chewy tobacco, bitter chocolate, still has that trademark power peat with no harshness and surprising balance unique to Octomore given the whopping 208 PPM, however more like bitter kerela than fruity sweet, a bit of baked goods, toffee
  • Finish – It does indeed last, with a chaser that is almost like bitter tea and basil

As it followed the 7.2, it was hard not to compare… we found it did not have quite as many elements, and curiously more academic than the artistic flourish of the 7.2, certainly not as complex and yet though it had a little less polish it was still a compellingly good dram.

I suspect if sampled solo, we would have thought it quite fabulous however the combination of polished peat and silky sweet in the 7.2 was a hard act to follow.

I would consider the 7.1 like autumn following the sunshine summer of the 7.2. Both unique in their way.

What do the folks over at Bruichladdich have to say?

  • Character – Sweet and gentle belying an awesome power and hidden depths
  • Colour – Summer sun on Hebridean sand
  • Nose – Initially the nose is sea spray and caramel, lemon balm and pipe tobacco. Slowly, the peat smoke rises from the glass, gentle but strong lifting vanilla, mint, toffee, golden syrup and almond. Peach follows with pear syrup and buttercup. A symphony, a delight to experience.
  • Palate – Wow! Smoothness, sweetness and then smoke. A texture like no other, satin soft and devilishly warming. The American oak influence is in perfect tune with the smoke and soft fruits delicately, skilfully coaxed from the still during exceptionally slow distillation. Vanilla, honey, citrus rise up to be met with sea spray and leather, smoked mussels mix with autumn bracken and crème brûlée.
  • Finish – As the sweetness from the oak fades the salt comes to the fore one last time while the gentle peat smoke steady and true grows and outlasts all else.
  • Mood – The feeling is that of long summer nights turning cooler and shorter as autumn approaches. Watch the sun set over the sea and breathe the peat smoke hanging in the air.

Our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evenings also featured:

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Bruichladdich Octomore 7.2_208 5 years PPM 208 58.5%

Our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evening shifted from Port Charlotte to the mighty Octomore expression!

In this case from their travel retail line, matured in American oak casks and casks which previous held Syrah wine. I believe it was released late 2015 and picked it up in Singapore in 2016.

The whisky was sampled in three sessions:

  • Initially with the Whisky Ladies with a freshly opened bottle
  • Then a mini Whisky Ladies session with two who missed our main night
  • Followed by our original Mumbai tasting group who had all whiskies completely blind before the reveal

Bruichladdich Octomore 07.2_208 5 years PPM 208 58.5%

What did the Whisky Ladies think?

  • Nose
    • Waves of sweat peat, nutty chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg
    • Mild menthol, deceptive as the peat becomes quite restrained – almost minimalist, creamy, a bit antiseptic, sinus clearing like horseradish, dark chocolate, molasses
  • Palate
    • Incredibly smooth, remarkable how there can be so much peat swirling about and yet not a single harsh note, there is passion but… no rough jagged edges
    • Simply delicious! Chocolate, cinnamon, so smooth….
  • Finish – Lingers, long yet restrained – more like the echo of sweet peat

For the Whisky Ladies, I introduced Bruichladdich’s brand ambassador Murray’s “trick” to enjoying whisky in Asian heat… out came a few glasses filled to the brim with ice then topped up with water.

A few shots of ice cold water to cool the mouth and then a sip of Octomore – sublime! Silky smooth, gentles and smooths the peat without subduing the seductive quality – I do believe the expression “Sex on toast” was mentioned. It brought out ice cream, floral, prunes with the peat becoming quite shy – there but holding back.

And our original underground Mumbai whisky club?

  • Nose – Peaty, heather, honey sweetness, marigold flowers or nasturtiums, incense, pipe tobacco, after opening more green apples and pears, shifting between subtle peat, floral and fruity elements
  • Palate – Very sweet, so incredibly smooth, thick body, incredibly balanced with the smoke, sweet flower and fruit with a light salt coming together in harmony
  • Finish – Initially bitter, then sweet vanilla on the back of the tongue, shifting between leather and honey
  • After a shot of ice water – Red velvet, salty caramel, sweet spice

With the reveal, it was impossible to believe a peat level of PPM 208. If anything the Port Charlotte 12 seemed to have more of a peat swagger or ‘punch’ at a paultry PPM 40. There was no doubt this was a stellar whisky of exceptional craft. Just as it was no surprise we polished off the last drop!

For the original group, this whisky closed our evening. We reflected back on the range and could see a thread of bitter sweet common to all with each having depth and character. There was no doubt of the tremendous care and craft that went into each creation… and we found it overall very impressive.

And for the ladies? Our night was yet to close! We moved on to contrast the Octomore 07.2 with the 07.1…

What do the folks over at Bruichladdich have to say?

  • Character – Enigmatic. Defiant. Forget what you thought you knew.
  • Colour – Liquid gold.
  • Nose – Golden syrup, smoke and red berry fruits to begin. The gentle smoke weaves through poached pear and apple pie from the distillation with the ripe fruits from the cask, red berries peach and apricot. As you inhale deeper, delicate floral notes unclouded by the smoke are released heather, lilies and orange blossom.
  • Palate – The combination of sweet fruits and smoke is classic Octomore. Huge levels of peat sit in perfect balance with the flavours released from the cask. Add a drop or two of water and we get cherry, bramble, strawberry from the Syrah casks; cinder toffee, brown sugar, honey and crème brulee from the American oak burst through. You can feel and taste the rewards of our patience – slow trickle distillation provides the soft silky texture that coats your mouth and releases wave after wave of the soft fruit and floral fragrance.
  • Finish – As lemon zest, red fruit and vanilla oak fades away the deep smoke lingers, a potent reminder of the strength and character of Islay.
  • Mood – To be enjoyed in good company. Pour another dram. Everything else can wait….

Our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evenings also featured:

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Bruichladdich PC 12 Oileanach Furachail 58.7%

Next in our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evening was another bolder peatier Port Charlotte offering with the PC 12 Oileanach Furachail…. peated to 40 PPM and bottled 21 July 2015.

It was sampled in three sessions – initially with the Whisky Ladies then a mini session with two ladies who missed the main evening, followed by our original Mumbai tasting group who had all whiskies completely blind before the reveal.

PC 12 Oileanach Furachail 58.7%

What did the Whisky Ladies think?

  • Nose
    • Much more complex than the CC:01, bursting with character, musty, old leather shoes, yet beyond the tobacco factory was lily
    • Sour, leather, betel nut leaf, old leather polish, black sour cherry, a mechanics garage, quite industrial, then becomes sweet with vanilla, then black peppercorn
  • Palate
    • Super amazingly smooth, well rounded, much more subtle on the palate than one would have anticipated from the nose, absolutely delicious – think spicy smoked chickpeas, dark berries, clove encrusted oranges
    • Musty, sweet, round without a single harsh edge – a contrast from the industrial nose, black pepper, clearly ‘peat’ yet a ‘collaborative peat’ that marries well with the other elements
  • Finish
    • The aftertaste has subtle bitter chocolate with absolutely no burn
    • Long drawn out finish – like having a chunk of spicy red chilli, invites you to introspect
  • Water
    • Bringing out a vegetal quality – think celery root. Not unpleasant but a tinge harsh initially before opening up. Some thought under no circumstances should water be added. Others thought it brought out more…
    • Became initially quite floral on the nose, with fruit, tobacco, a dried potpourri, almost too much spice on the palate til it settles down…

Absolutely beautiful to drink. The palate is truly superb. It is not your standard whisky on the nose – one called it “Stinky feet on the nose but when sipping… I absolutely love it!”

The ladies thought it to be an after dinner whisky, a sociable dram to enjoy with old friends. Without a doubt – this was clearly a “hit!” for many ladies.

Our original underground Mumbai whisky club found the following:

  • Nose – Burnt rubber, sweaty socks, lemon citrus, rotting fruit, car manufacturing unit, fresh leather, burnt dry wood, then apricot… after airing for much longer it was remarkable how the peat settled down and the fruitiness became much more apparent with a chaser of nuts
  • Palate – Starts sweet, then flat, clearly high on spirit, some speculated if there might be a hint of sherry as it had chewy dark berries and slight prune
  • Finish – Bitter cinnamon spice, dum biryani
  • Water – For some, they found it helped bring out a more sophisticated side to this whisky – revealing more complex elements. For others they found it made it more ‘singular’ in an interesting way but with less complexity. One shared that with water it goes from “lust to love”

For the original group, this one was much more industrial. While quite interesting, we had become ‘tuned’ to the sophisticated nuance of the CC:01 that curled around the Port Charlotte character. By contrast the Oileanach Furachail swaggered about with much more ‘in your face’ qualities. With the reveal, we were surprised at how little peat there is compared to its bold peaty character!

What do the folks over at Bruichladdich have to say?

Adam Hannett has been working alongside Jim McEwan since 2006, watching and learning from the legendary distiller. Adam has a special talent, a perceptive nose and a rare ability to analyse and objectify sensory experience. One day the ultimate responsibility for this precious spirit will rest on his shoulders. Here we acknowledge Adam and his ongoing journey with Jim. “Oileanach furachail”.

  • Character – A heavyweight Islay – rich, smokey and smooth.
  • Colour – Polished walnut in an autumn sunset.
  • Nose – Opens with bursts of smoke, salt and dark fruit then develops raisins, toffee, sweet oak and ripe plum. Hints of cinnamon spice, polish, candied orange and lemon peels. hazelnut and dates.
  • Palate – Rich and succulent in texture bringing harmony to a spirit of 58.7%. Sherry flavours of date and fig combine with peat smoke to balance honey, lemon and hot toasted oak. Apricot pear and green apple are subtle but the character of our pure spirit cannot be hidden. There have been no shortcuts to get here. Long years in our warehouses on the shores of Loch Indaal have brought out the exceptional qualities of casks sourced from far and wide. Combine this with the influence of fresh salty Islay air and you have a dram of unmistakable character.
  • Finish -You may think it will never end as the smoke lingers releasing touches of liquorice, date and sweet malt. Close your eyes and you are on Islay. As this dram fades you can reflect on another step of your journey and look forward with confidence as there are many more to come.
  • Mood – To be enjoyed when there is time to relax. Throw a few more peats on the fire and settle back in contemplation.

Our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evenings also featured:

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Bruichladdich PC 2007 CC:01 8 years 57.8%

Next in our Bruichladdich Peat Progression evening was introduction to the peatier Port Charlotte line with the 2007 Cognac Cask 8 year…. their first experiment with aging completely in French Oak that previously held cognac.

For the Whisky Ladies, this wasn’t our first tryst with a whisky matured in a cognac cask – just a few months earlier we enjoyed the delightful Brenne. For the original tasting club, this was the 1st that I could recall of sampling together a whisky matured in a cognac cask.

The whisky was sampled in three sessions – initially with the Whisky Ladies then a mini session with two ladies who missed followed by our original Mumbai tasting group who had all whiskies completely blind before the reveal.

Bruichladdich PC 2007 CC:01 8 years 57.8%

What did the Whisky Ladies think?

  • Nose
    • Peat, black forest ham, pine, an organic natural quality
    • Bacon, hickory, with a woodsy quality, then smooth apricot, subtle liquorice
  • Palate
    • OMG peat! Woodsy, cigar chomping but not in an overwhelming way at all
    • Smooth, oily with prunes, complex
  • Finish
    • A bit strange or off at first, after the initial ashtray, settled in
    • Bitter, sweet underneath the peat, long drawn out
  • Water
    • With water, cherries were added to the mix. Dampening the forest fire, making it much more approachable, brought out the iron minerals, like entering a wet cave
    • Almond nougat, spice, prunes, raisins, dusty musty fur coat from a teak closet on the nose, whereas became a fruitcake on the palate, and an incredibly long drawn out cinnamon sweet finish – much more subtle than before yet lingers in a lovely way

There was initially a sense of this being like a wilder Caol Ila. Yet oddly not quite balanced. One commented that it was “Really good to look at but…” 

Whereas the 2nd tasting with just two whisky ladies found this to be more of a “nostalgic ‘character’ whisky” – it was not in the least unbalanced and one that grows on you more and more.

What was clear is that this was no sweet civilized Brenne gently matured in a Cognac cask, instead the underlying sea spray and peat of the Port Charlotte came to the fore for an interesting interplay with Cognac!

And our original underground Mumbai whisky club?

  • Nose – A happy hello to peat! Hamond soap, pork bacon, rum sweet, dampened smoke like you doused water on a campfire, wet mud, a dispensary, then a peak of perfume beneath the peat, become sweeter and sweeter, taking on a jasmine or lily quality… as it kept evolving different elements emerged from blue cheese to apricots to an incredibly sweet sticky toffee
  • Palate – Unexpectedly robust, yet equally silky smooth, clearly peat with a rounded tar quality, lots of body, character, chewy, almost buttery, many layers with spice, chilli chocolate, meaty, leather
  • Finish – Very long big oily finish that just doesn’t disappear
  • Water – Some debate on this – for some it brought out more sweet, rancio qualities yet when contrasting those with water and those without – we found without water the whisky continued to evolve its character in a beautiful way whereas the one with water arrested it at that stage

The most remarkable element of this whisky was how it simply kept evolving… we gave time to the experience and the more we spent with it the more we appreciated its unique qualities. This was clearly a ‘non-veg’ kind of whisky… one to enjoy as an after dinner drink with a cigar. One gent asked if he could get away with calling it quite a ‘masculine’ whisky yet it had a sophisticated quality too.

Overall I was thoroughly impressed with how this particular whisky transformed… it is certainly  one I would recommend not rushing and possibly deliberately letting it oxidate just a bit. The layers and complexity that revealed itself in the 3rd tasting was far superior to the experience freshly opened.

What do the folks over at Bruichladdich have to say?

As with every Port Charlotte the starting point is rich, elegant and thought-provoking spirit. High-provenance, smoky, heavily peated barley married to our slow, Victorian, trickle distillation delivers power with finesse. Here, this fascinating spirit has been matured full term in casks of finest French oak [Quercus robur]. They previously held one of the greatest Eau de Vie, from the western Cognac region. The salt spray of Islay combines with peat smoke to vie with the toasted oak and lemon barley sugar flavours of the wood to give a complex and unbelievably rewarding dram.

  • Character – It’s Port Charlotte, but not as we know it. the spirit of adventure is alive with a wonderful marriage of Port Charlotte spirit with its classic Islay DNA and truly exceptional casks from the heart of France.
  • Colour – Rose gold.
  • Nose – The DNA is Islay. Peat smoke and salt spray collide with the fruit and complexity of our classic spirit. poached pears, vanilla fudge and sweet apricots. Toasted oak and lemon barley sugar notes rise from the glass as it warms in your hand. As it breathes the whisky will release festive, warming aromas of cinnamon, ginger and more rich vanilla.
  • Palate – Irresistibly complex. This dram has layer upon layer of subtle fruit flavours so characteristic of our spirit wrapped comfortingly in the blanket of peat smoke. Yet there is a new dimension to this next release of Port Charlotte. A depth of character that comes from the years of maturation in ex cognac barrels. We have watched the spirit mature slowly over the last eight years to become a beguiling spirit that shows our spirit of curiosity and adventure is alive and well. This spirit has taken us down many paths and this particular journey has come to fruition with a spirit that is a joy to taste. The wonderful french oak gives vanilla and spice and has brought this heavily peated Islay spirit to maturity with a class and finesse beyond its years. The fruit is rich and sweet – apples apricots and plums – as is the barley sugar and lemon honey notes that reassure you this is an Islay spirit matured in our warehouses under our watchful eye.
  • Finish – This whisky stays on your mind for longer than your palate and it stays on your palate for an age. Floral heather honey, zesty lemon and a nutty smoothness settle with the peat smoke that is always last to leave you. A truly astonishing whisky.

Our Peat Progression evenings also featured:

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A Bruichladdich Peat Progression…

This was an evening much awaited! Planned back in early 2016 initially for January 2017 then postponed to May 2017… To say I was rather impatient waiting for this session is a bit of an understatement!

Now normally, we prefer to keep our sampling to 3 whiskies… however the idea of sampling two unpeated, two peated and two super turbo peated from the same distillery was impossible to resist! Particularly if that distillery happened to be Bruichladdich.

Our Whisky Ladies are made of sterner stuff and have proven we are up to the challenge! Hence the ‘birth’ of the Bruichladdich “Peat Progression”  evening…

As all but the Classic Laddie and Octomore 7.1 were my bottles, I decided to share with our original underground group too – just to contrast and compare what the Whisky Ladies thought vs another Mumbai malt club!

Then one our ‘whisky mules’ made his way to India just in time to substitute The Laddie Eight for The Classic Laddie for the original club’s line up…

Which meant the Whisky Ladies experience was with freshly opened bottles (except the 7.1) whereas the original club’s sampling was from open bottles (except The Laddie Eight) – which does change the whisky as it starts to oxidate even with a ‘vacu-vin’ trick to slow down the process.

Added to the mix was a follow-up tasting with two Whisky Ladies who could not make it to the main event but were not willing to be left behind our whisky adventures!

Read on over the coming days as it will tell you as much about the whisky tasting sessions as it will about the whisky itself!!

Other Bruichladdich’s sampled previously include:

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Kavalan Solist Peaty Cask 54.8%

In fashion, there is a little something called the “show stopper” which closes all the prancing and posing with panache and much applause. In our NAS whisky night, there was no doubt this Kavalan Solist Peaty Cask was the hit of the night!

Over the years I’ve become a Kavalan convert. From a slightly disappointing start with the Concertmaster I picked up in Taipei to most recently a fantastic quick zip through their full core range at Whisky Live Singapore, there have been a few stunners along the way… particularly from the Solist Sherry Casks.

So when I spotted this Peaty Cask at Singapore airport, it simply had to be acquired and fit perfectly into our original club’s NAS themed evening. What makes it particularly interesting is the spirit isn’t peated… instead the peat comes from a cask that previously held a peaty Islay whisky, bringing a more subtle approach to peat dimension.

Kavalan Peaty Cask No R091214006A Bottle No 043/137 54.8%

Here is what we found:

  • Nose – Citrus lemon spice, bitter almond, oranges, apricots, subtle curl of smoke or perhaps a whiff of leather, vanilla
  • Palate – Peat, chocolate, coffee, oily and well-rounded, fruity, cinnamon
  • Finish – Fabulous! Long, lightly peated with a hint of ginger spice

The initial reaction was “Aaah… nice!” Then as we became more acquainted with it, “Oh! Really nice!” which then became “Very very good!” and overall degenerated into “Yummy!!!”

Overall our conclusion that while age plays a role, it is completely possible to have a complex, interesting and worthy dram when the whisky in question is one like this Kavalan.

Here’s what they have to say:

  • Nose – Rich in honey, toffee, bees wax and coconut. With water, more of the classic tropical fruit notes especially golden kiwi comes through. Very delicious and refreshing…
  • Palate – More toffee and butterscotch bring a peaty taste but rather subdued and more earthy than maritime. 
  • Finish – The finish is quite long with peppery notes of red chili. 

It is a perfectly balanced and quite complex – a beautiful whisky!

What else did we try in our NAS evening?

Other Kavalan’s explored include:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: