Another Tweet Tasting from The Whisky Wire!
This time it’s put together with a selection of drams from Allied Glass and it’s really looking like an eclectic mix of whiskies.
We’ve got a mix of young, middle-aged, peated and unpeated with some old favourites and some new kids on the block.
Let’s dive in!
Raasay “While We Wait”
First up from R&B Distillers is the “While We Wait” expression, released in anticipation of the distillery on the Isle of Raasay in the Hebrides.
This expression is a lightly peated Highland malt from an undisclosed distillery finished in Tuscan red wine casks.
Nose: Waxy paper, redcurrants, cracked black pepper in butter, peach and apricot skin, roses.
Palate: Peaches and pineapples, orange peel and ripe pear with fizzy peat – a lot like the bubble burn you get with sparkling wine. There’s a smoked rosé thing going on for sure.
Finish: Dry, slightly spicy.
You can’t tell from the picture but this is actually a pink whisky! The flavour profile fits with rosé with fresh red and tropical fruit notes. It tastes young but it’s not a bad dram at all – reminiscent of sitting on a sun terrace with a glass of wine and a cigarette.
As for actual Raasay spirit, who knows how that’ll taste when it eventually ends up being bottled. Just as long as it’s better than Abhainn Dearg…
You can pick this up for £55.34 on Master of Malt.
Here’s one of Benriach’s core lineup – the 16 year old. I’ve had a fair bit of Benriach in my time but this is the first time I’ve tried the sixteen year old.
Nose: Very clean. Green apples and felt marker pens. Lots of flowers and nectar with honey and macaroons. A hint of Malibu rum, and undoubtedly the smell of honeysuckle blossom. Wow.
Palate: Strawberries with gingerbread ice cream and strüdel. Very well balanced between sweetness and spice.
Finish: A whisp of salty, tangy peat and then creamy oak.
Mmm, sublime! The nose is light and floral and the palate is perfectly balance between sweet fruit and barrel spices. This is a solid whisky and by far the standout dram of the tasting for me. I will almost certainly get a bottle on the shelf this Christmas.
Benriach 16 is on Whisky Exchange for £41.95. In my opinion, an absolute bargain.
Loch Lomond Original
Here’s the standard release from the Loch Lomond distillery. Loch Lomond Group are well known as the owners of the remaining stock of Littlemill, the infamous (and sadly closed) lowlands distillery.
I don’t often see bottlings of Loch Lomond, but they tend to be quite young and affordably priced as a result.
Nose: Salty bread dough on the nose. Olives, too. Are we making focaccia bread?? Grassy and honeyed. Vanilla cream, salt and pepper.
Palate: Very sugary and slightly chalky, like love hearts that’ve been ground into a paste and poured onto vanilla ice cream. Bit of new-make/Grappa going on in there. Reminds me of a crystallised grape juice confectionary we have in Cyprus.
Finish: Short and chalky.
Young and punchy. Not bad for the price, but I fear it’s bottom of the league in this particular lineup. I do like the nose on it, though.
The Loch Lomond Original is available on Master of Malt for a very reasonable £26.14.
Here’s another young and affordable dram, the Tomatin Legacy.
In homage to the traditions of the distillery and its role in the Highlands community, this release has picked up a fair few awards and got a nod from Jim Murray this year with 94.5/100.
Whether you’re a fan of “the ewok from Surrey” or not, it’s definitely proving popular amid a trend of sweeter virgin oak releases we’ve seen over recent years.
Nose: Very sweet! Barley sugar sweets and freshly sanded wood. Shoe polish and brushed suede. Pear cider and cinnamon. Green tea.
Palate: You can really taste the virgin cask in this! Vanilla oak with pear drops and spicy cloves.
Finish: Creamy and warming.
It’s not complex, but if you like the sweet vanilla flavour of oak (“ice cream in a glass”) then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. I’d certainly recommend it to people who are starting to explore Scotch as it’s very accessible, a bit unusual compared with supermarket whisky, and certainly well-priced.
You can pick up a bottle for a very affordable £25.84 on Master of Malt.
Old Pulteney 12
Mainland Britain’s most Northerly distillery, you see their twelve year old in most of the big UK supermarkets and often at a fantastic discount (I tend to see it around £20 per bottle).
Nose: It’s like eating honey by the sea washed down with strong malty beer. A complete classic.
Palate: Sweet and rich with sea salt and toffee. More beer barley, some boiled sweets and sweet oak. Milky coffee and a touch of citrus. Some baking spices towards the end.
Finish: Smooth and lip smacking.
Probably my favourite ever Highland distillery, this one’s an old friend for me and one of the first drams I had that really turned me on to Scotch whisky in my early twenties.
Definitely a landmark dram and one I’d recommend to anybody. If you’ve never tried it, I suggest you put that right!
You can pick it up on Amazon with free delivery for £24 – can’t say fairer than that!