Wemyss Tweet Tasting: Batch Strength Editions


Oh, I do love what those folks at Wemyss Malts do. Their single cask bottlings are exceptional and their core range of blends is excellent.

So what about a cask strength line up of those core range blends? Ooooh, do tell me more. I was lucky enough to be on the tasting last year where they introduced the standard editions. It’s going to be fun tasting them at full cask strength!

The Hive Batch Strength 001

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-22-35-12Bottler: Wemyss Malts
Age: NAS
ABV: 54.5%

In to start with is the cask strength counterpart to Wemyss’ “The Hive” blend, a sweet honeyed dram that’ll have all the Highland malt fans sitting up and paying attention.

Nose: Surprisingly…honey! That light, runny supermarket stuff. Boiled toffee sweets. Menthol. Throat sweets. A whiff of the coast with wax jacket, salty air, and chalky cliffs. There’s an orangey, beery thing happening. Like a pint of Blue Moon with a slice of orange in it. Very three dimensional.
Palate: Sweet, exuberant, and spicy. Honeycomb, yellow sultanas, menthol, and sweet fizzing oak. Orange pith. Waxy and luscious on the tongue.
Finish: Easter egg chocolate, more runny honey and a tingly black pepper numbness.

It’s young and kicking this one. Lots of fun to drink and with bags more going on than it’s bottle strength counterpart.


Spice King Batch Strength 001

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-22-34-56Bottler: Wemyss Malts

Up next is the Spice King, a very popular blend since its release a few years ago. So how is the full cask strength edition compared with the standard release?

Nose: Meaty with a sweet edge. A strong, peppery, smoky quality, too. Salt and pepper pork ribs. Dark, sticky prunes. Chargrilled pineapple. Salted caramel cake served with roast potatoes (weird, yes, but good weird). Wow.
Palate: Toffee apples with sweet cinnamon. Warm vanilla syrup. Cigar tobacco, mellow oak, smooth caramel. Not as spicy as the name would lead you to think!
Finish: Warm, long, and comforting. Rice pudding with nutmeg. Faint oak.

This is a lovely, complex, rich whisky that warms the cockles of your heart.

Peat Chimney Batch Strength 001

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-22-34-39Bottler: Wemyss Malts
Age: NAS
ABV: 57%

The final dram is the heavily peated “Peat Chimney” blend – an Islay blend special with a ton of beautiful smoky notes to enjoy.

Nose: Cured gammon over a pine log fire. Smoky and sweet. Roasted sweetcorn. Black coffee with cloves and treacle. A touch of o-zone with muddy boots and dry stone walls.
Palate: Boom! There’s the peat. Burnt lemons, followed by caramelised seaweed coated in hot butter. A mug of Ovaltine. Wafts of dry, hot smoke revealing sweet plum flesh and chilli peppers.
Finish: Very tingly, almost chewy peat. Cashew nuts and sweet peppers.

Oh yes. This is a rush. Loads of peat but balanced so well by a host of complementary flavours. I really do like this.


Rob Roy Cocktail


And finally… Wemyss have treated us Tweet Tasters to a pre-mixed cocktail: A Rob Roy made using the heavily peated Peat Chimney blend.

In a nutshell: Sweet smoky cherries. The smoke really balances the sweetness and the cherry bitters and PX give it a rounded texture and complexity. Very compelling indeed. I’m not usually a cocktail drinker but this is very pleasant… Bravo!

As ever, many thanks to Steve Rush at The Whisky Wire for organising and thank you to Wemyss Malts for letting us taste your lovely blends. All the blends are available to buy from Wemyss’ directly.


Tweet Tasting: The Dram Team


Another Tweet Tasting is upon us, and this time it’s the inaugural tasting pack from The Dram Team.

Each tasting pack produced will contain six drams sent by post and you can buy them one-off or subscribe to one per month. The first pack is a tasting tour of the six whisky regions of Scotland.

Up first, the contender for The Highlands…


Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 09.08.43Inchmurrin 18 Year Old

Distillery: Loch Lomond
Age: 18
ABV: 46%
Cask: Bourbon 1st fill, refill, and re-charred
More Info: WhiskyBase

Nose: Toffee, heather honey and cereal with green bananas and Ester-rich pear drops. Rum-soaked raisins and a malty beeriness. There’s a lot of funky notes incongruous with the style: pickled onions, soy sauce, Manzanilla, sulphur, and fermenting fruit.

Palate: Sour cider apples and green peppercorns. Beery malt and hops. Sourdough bread and grappa. Very young and new-make-ish for an 18 year old.

Finish: Short and chalky.

Frankly, for eighty pounds a bottle I know plenty of other 18 year old expressions I’d prefer to buy. This is a flawed whisky, full of new-make character and off notes. I’m a fan of unusual flavours (in fact I prefer whiskies that surprise me) but this isn’t the kind of surprise I enjoy…

Next up, the Lowlander…

Auchentoshan Three Wood

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 09.17.30Distillery: Auchentoshan
Age: NAS
ABV: 43%
Cask: Bourbon, Oloroso and PX
More Info: WhiskyBase

Nose: Oloroso sherry notes, nutty and sweet. Hot cross buns. Cough mixture and cola cubes.

Palate: Looks viscous in the glass but it’s lighter on the tongue. Gentle barley sugar sweets, old fashioned cough mixture, and a rising pepper spice. Dusty sherry.

Finish: Oaky vanilla and rum raisin ice cream.

This isn’t bad, though it is somewhat over engineered. I prefer Auchentoshan as it comes out of the cask, without watering down, chill filtering, or caramel. This just tastes like whisky-flavoured whisky.

From Campbeltown now…

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 15.11.17Glen Scotia Double Cask

Distillery: Glen Scotia
Age: NAS
ABV: 46%
Cask: 1st Fill Bourbon and PX
More Info: WhiskyBase

Nose: Soft cotton, like sheets out of the dryer. Freshly sliced banana. Dark sugar and cracked black pepper.

Palate: Thick and resinous. Bourbon barrel spice with vanilla, cinder toffee, and caramel sauce. Sweet and tasty.

Finish: Lipsmacking with gingerbread.

Amazing nose! Really impressed all round, for an affordable NAS this is eminently quaffable.

I’m definitely getting a bottle of this on pay day!

And weighing in from Islay, we have…

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 15.11.33

Bowmore Darkest

Distillery: Bowmore
Age: 15
ABV: 43%
Cask: Oloroso Sherry
More Info: WhiskyBase

Nose: Leathery and coastal, like a wax jacket on a clifftop walk. Dark chocolate with prunes and dates. A little marzipan with tangy marmalade.

Palate: Sumptuous sherry with juicy raisins and figs giving way to that signature Bowmore floral peat.

Finish: Dry oak and flower petals.

A classic! One of the better sherried peaty whiskies on the market. If you like this, I also recommend a bottle of its cask strength cousin, Laimrig.

Up next, the Speyside candidate…

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 15.11.57Glenfarclas 105

Distillery: Glenfarclas
Age: NAS
ABV: 60%
Cask: Oloroso Sherry
More Info: WhiskyBase

Nose: Fierce! That ABV packs a punch. A drop of water reveals ripe apple flesh, and soft toffee. Really dark bitter cocoa and burnt treacle with a touch of rubber plimsol.

Palate: Café mocha with dark berries and orange peel. Creamy and spicy, like nutmeg in rice pudding.

Finish: Warm oaky chocolate.

Great value for the ABV. This is in the same league as A’Bunadh, a sherry bomb fresh from the barrel. Both need water in my opnion, so they’re almost like a whisky cordial. The ‘farclas is a more subtle and complex beast though, some great dark low notes in it.

Finally, we go to the Islands for the sixth dram of the night…

Highland Park 21 Year Old

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 15.12.14Distillery: Highland Park
Age: 21
ABV: 47.5%
More Info: WhiskyBase

Nose: Calm and gentle, soft and delicate. Chamois leather with a hint of clifftop sea breeze petrichor. Fresh blossoms. There’s an ice cream van in the distance.

Palate: Divinely balanced. Smoky grilled pineapple with black pepper. Vanilla cream and condensed milk with a handful of baking spices and waxy fruit skin.

Finish: Peat smoke reveals itself with gentle wafts that stay with you long after your last sip.

Oh, wow. I love old Highland Park and this does not disappoint. Classy, balanced, delicious. Absolute heaven.

Allied Glass Tweet Tasting

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 15.01.09

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”

Distillery: Unknown (Raasay isn’t operational yet)
Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 14.05.25
Bottler: R&B Distillers
ABV: 46%
Cask: Bourbon with finishing period in Tuscan red wine
More Info: WhiskyBase

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.


Benriach 16

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 14.22.38Distillery: Benriach
ABV: 43%
Age: 16 years
Cask: Bourbon
More Info: WhiskyBase

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 14.56.29Distillery: Loch Lomond
ABV: 40%
Age: Unknown
Cask: Bourbon
More Info: WhiskyBase

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.


Tomatin Legacy

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 15.09.07Distillery: Tomatin
ABV: 43%
Age: Unknown
Cask: Bourbon and Virgin Oak
More Info: WhiskyBase

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 15.24.18Distillery: Old Pulteney
ABV: 40%
Age: 12 years old
Cask: Bourbon and sherry
More Info: WhiskyBase

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!

Wemyss Tweet Tasting #4

Wemyss have really impressed me over the past 12 months. At last year’s TWE Whisky Show, their single cask bottling of Caol Ila was sublime – far better than any other bottling I tried.

Up here in this tasting is their range of delicious blended malts, showcasing particularly the brand new release: Kiln Embers.

Let’s get started!

The Hive

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 19.03.55Bottler: Wemyss Malts
Age: NAS
ABV: 46%

Nose: Sweet straw, treacle, herbs, sea salt, boiled sweets

Palate: Lemon throat sweets leading to runny honey – like someone melted a Locket. Barley mixed with salt and pepper.

Body: Quite light and soft, drying at the end.

Finish: Long, oaky and lip smackingly sweet.

More coastal than expected! An easy sipping sweet dram with a good savoury side for balance.

Spice King

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 19.04.13Bottler: Wemyss Malts

Nose: Nail polish, pear drops, dark sugar, ginger, sandy earth.

Palate: Cinnamon sticks, apple strüdel, golden syrup, chilli peppers

Body: Light and tangy.

Finish: Peppery with mixed nuts

Does what it says on the tin! Lots of barrel spice, like a very fragrant Bourbon.

Peat Chimney

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 19.04.26Bottler: Wemyss Malts
Age: NAS
ABV: 46%

Nose: Vacuum-packed ham, oatcakes, sea salt, sherbet.

Palate: Fruit and salty smoke. Pears, apples, lemons mixed with coastal spray and charcoal ash.

Body: Thick with beady legs.

Finish: Very oaky and dry with a sherbet tingle and chewy, nutty peat.

Very warming and comforting. Great meaty notes with coastal smoke. A beach BBQ dram. I feel like there’s Caol Ila in it.

Kiln Embers

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 19.04.38Bottler: Wemyss Malts
Age: NAS
ABV: 46%

Nose: Medicinal TCP and bandages. Burnt bacon. Sweet shop aromas of boiled sweets and sticky lollipops. After a while, a strong smell of sticky peanut butter.

Palate: Starts sweet and fragrant and builds to bonfire and gunpowder. Oranges, peaches and cream briefly before hot smoke and a deep, numbing chilli pepper burn.

Body: Viscous and mouthcoating.

Finish: When the fire calms down to embers, it leaves hot salted peanuts and peppery oak with buttery, burnt fried cabbage (nicer than it sounds!). Very long and moreish.

Reminds me very much of Big Peat. I think there’s some Ardbeg in this. Very nice stuff indeed. I think a bottle is in order for the Winter months.

Thanks to Steve Rush and the folks at Wemyss Malts for another great selection of whisky!

Glen Moray Tweet Tasting

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 07.56.22Wednesday night and time for another Tweet tasting!

This time we’ve got five drams lined up from that quiet gem of Speyside, Glen Moray. The distillery’s been in business since 1897 and produces a fairly classic Speyside style of spirit but without heavy sherry maturation to detract from the light, fruity distillate. All standard releases are matured full term in Bourbon casks and generally bottled at 40% ABV with chill filtering and caramel colouring.

We’ve got the Classic, Peated Classic, and the Port Cask Finish as well as peated and unpeated new make spirit. It’s very rare to be able to try new make so this really is a pleasure.

All the drams we’re trying are on sale in the UK (except the new makes, of course) for £25 or less per bottle so the distillery core range is really aimed at the low budget end of the market.

Let’s try them!

Dram 1: Glen Moray New Make

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 07.41.55Distillery: Glen Moray
ABV: 69%
Age: N/A
Cask: N/A
More Info: N/A

Nose: Very, very creamy. Brandy butter and icing sugar. Dried banana chips in thick custard. Juicy sultanas, with a good waft of grappa. Bubblegum.

Palate: Oof! It’s smooth but it packs a wallop at 69%. Needs water. Fermented fruit – sweet cider apples. Sweet shop flavours of pear drops and rhubarb and custard. White rum. Waxy, like eating a Crayola. Not that I know from experience, of course…

Finish: Tingly and numbing, with the strength. But the fruit notes linger and settle nicely. Stewed rhubarb crumble at the end.

This definitely needs the water adding, but once you bring it down to around the 50% mark it becomes very drinkable with a lot of those lovely Ester-rich sweet shop flavours you expect from Speyside spirit.

Dram 2: Classic Glen Moray

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 07.42.03Distillery: Glen Moray
ABV: 40%
Age: NAS
Cask: Bourbon
Color/Chill Filter: Yes/Yes
More Info: WhiskyBase

Nose: Hard fruit candy. Barley sugar sweets. White wine. Apple blossom. Juicy fruit gum. Pineapple cube sweets and fruit salads. Green apples.

Palate: Very clean and light. Oodles of vanilla bean. Fermented apples, again. Sweet cider. Malty barley and honey.

Finish: Middle length and smooth. Slightly peppery with lots of oak.

I have to confess, chill filtered whisky at 40% is usually a “Thanks, but no thanks” from me, being more of a “straight from the cask” kind of whisky drinker. However, for the price (around the £20 mark in supermarkets), this actually delivers a lot of very nice fruity and barley notes and is a perfect easy-going sipping dram.

You can pick this up for £21.95 at Master Of Malt or a similar price in your local supermarket.

Dram 3: Port Cask Finish

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 07.42.09Distillery: Glen Moray
ABV: 40%
Age: NAS
Cask: Bourbon + 8 months in Tawny Port
Color/Chill Filter: Yes/Yes
More Info: WhiskyBase

Nose: Cherry and lime skins. Muscavado sugar and ripe banana. Egg custard tarts and Jammy Dodgers. Marzipan-rich wedding cake. Calvados and blackberries. Yankee candle.

Palate: Oily and soft on the tongue. Jammy with red wine gums. Soft toffee leading to oaky red wine notes. Tart and tangy.

Finish: Oaky red wine lingers – reminiscent of Beaujolais.

Here’s a port finish that definitely complements the spirit. It gives it a heavier, plummier profile but without being overpowering. Well worth a taste if you like your lighter style red wine flavours.

You can pick this up for £26.95 on Master Of Malt, or cheaper still at your local supermarket. Keep an eye out for the Chardonnay finish as well.

Dram 4: Peated New Make

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 07.42.15Distillery: Glen Moray
ABV: 69%
Age: N/A
Cask: N/A
More Info: N/A

Nose: Salty and starchy – like a packet of ready salted crisps. Strong breathmints. Smoky cured ham. Sourdough toasting over oily barbecue charcoal.

Palate: Holy moly that’s hot! Needs water. It’s smoky but also thick, sweet and syrupy. More peardrop but with coal tar and wood ash. American cream soda. More grappa again. A hint of wet dog, but that’s not a bad thing. Mossy.

Finish: Drying and ashy – a little chewy, to the point where you feel you could pick bits of peat from out of your teeth.

This is really very nice indeed. You need water, of course, but it’s packed with barbecued bread flavours and an oily, sticky peat that’s dry and wood-smoky, rather than medicinal.

Dram 5: Peated Classic

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 07.42.20Distillery: Glen Moray
ABV: 40%
Age: NAS
Cask: Bourbon
Color/Chill Filter: Yes/Yes
More Info: Distillery Shop

Nose: Wet paint, marker pens and coal dust. Salty sea air and fresh straw. A little lemon drizzle cake. A bit more of that ready-salted crisp smell from the new make.

Palate: Pear drops and salted caramel with a zingy lemon meringue kick. Cardomoms and liqourice.

Finish: Salty charcoal

Calmer than the new make, with more fruity and ester-rich aromas making their way through the peat bog. I’d say it has a lot in common with Caol Ila – that lightly peated yet fruity flavour, except very firmly from Speyside and not Islay.

This seems to just be available on the distillery website’s shop – a bargain at £25!


When drinking whisky, it’s important to keep an open mind. It’s the common wisdom among whisky-philes to steer clear of drams that are released with chill-filtering, added colouring, and no age statement. I’d normally do the same, but I was curious about Glen Moray having been lucky enough to try a 1960 vintage at a whisky festival – a truly beautiful dram that was.

And I’m very glad I have. These whiskies, for the price, represent very good value for money. I’d recommend them as good introductory drams for whisky newbies, or as an easy sipping weeknight dram.

It may not fit their business plan of being a budget whisky, but I hope the distillery considers releasing higher ABV versions without colouring and filtering. Having tried the new makes, it’s clear that they have very good stills that produce a high quality distillate. It’d be a pleasure to see what the whisky’s like when cranked up a gear or two…

Thanks very much to Steve Rush and the folks at the Glen Moray distillery.

Arran 1st Official White Stag Bottling

Distillery: Arran
Bottled: June 2015
Age: 18 years old (at least, it will be in June)
ABV: 55.3%
Cask: Sherry Hogshead
More Info: Twitter

Here’s the final dram in the lineup for the Third Arran Tweet Tasting April 2015 – the eagerly awaited White Stag bottling.

The White Stag club is the distillery’s members’ club. Anyone can sign up for free, and be entitled to exclusive offers. This club bottling has been a long time coming and it’s a privilege to be tasting it before it’s officially released in June…

Nose: Ooh. I smell Oriental cooking here. Soy sauce, lemongrass, and fragrant five-spice notes coming through. Cherries in chocolate sauce with melted butter on top. A good stout. Blackcurrant and mint leaves. Freshly shelled peas.

Palate: Luscious and musky. Baked apple, barbecued bananas, cigar tobacco. Chocolate coconut brownies and sweet cider.

Finish: Drying and chalky with more sweet cigar tobacco.

This is divine. A great balance between savoury and sweet. That sherry hogshead approach is working wonders again. I bet this sells out in minutes when it’s released!

So there ends another brilliant tasting from Arran and Steve Rush. What a treat – thanks guys!

The tweet tastings organised by Steve Rush are a lot of fun. Get involved over at www.thewhiskywire.com

Arran Single Bourbon Cask 99/103

Distillery: Arran
Bottled: 2013, Distilled: 1999
Age: 13 years old
ABV: 55.3%
Cask: 1st-Fill Bourbon
More Info: Twitter

Here’s the third whisky in the lineup for the Third Arran Tweet Tasting April 2015 – a premium single cask bottling from a first-fill Bourbon cask.

Nose: Wow. You can really get lost in this nose… Mmmmmmm…. Soft and waxy woodshavings with greengages and lychee. Rowntrees Fruit Pastilles. Sweet pickled cabbage. Tons and tons of Bourbon spice: nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. Salty rock dust. Vanilla custard.

Palate: Oh my god – it’s like someone poured a can of Lilt into the cask! Fizzy tropical fruit notes, sour and sweet with zesty lemon sherbet. Cola cubes, and tart cranberry juice.

Finish: Loads more of that Bourbon barrel spice. Long and tingly.

This dram just keeps on giving. A big, happy, bear-hug of a whisky. I adore bold 1st-fill Bourbon expressions and this is one of the best I’ve tasted. My favourite of the night. So sad it’s already sold out!

There’s currently a similar 15 year old expression available for £71.99 online. I haven’t tried it, but if it’s anything like this one then you’re in for a treat!

Finally, we have the highlight of the evening – a preview taste of the 1st official White Stag bottling due for release in June…

The tweet tastings organised by Steve Rush are a lot of fun. Get involved over at www.thewhiskywire.com

Arran 18 Year Old

Distillery: Arran
Bottled: 2015, Distilled: 1997
Age: 18 years old
ABV: 46%
Cask: Oloroso Sherry Hogsheads
More Info: WhiskyBase

Here’s the second whisky in the lineup for the Third Arran Tweet Tasting April 2015 – the hotly anticipated Arran 18 Year Old.

Nose: A little leathery, with sweet apple blossom, fresh peaches, juicy pears, white wine, and a sherbety (almost) smoky edge. Vanilla fudge and Highland chewy toffee. A pear strudel emerges. Bananas and salted cashews. Wow.

Palate: Toffee and cinnamon. Runny honey. Barley sugar sweets. A lovely, almost peaty tingle runs through the middle. Mellow fruit notes of tangerines, pineapples and ripe plums.

Finish: Slightly drying with tea leaves, egg custard, dried mangoes and apricots.

Those Oloroso hogsheads, being smaller than those big butts (tee hee!) get more wood contact so they’re imparted some great flavour here.

This is a refined and sexy whisky. Balanced, fruity, and very more-ish. Well worth the £72.99 asking price on the distillery website.

Next is an exclusive premium single Bourbon cask bottling

The tweet tastings organised by Steve Rush are a lot of fun. Get involved over at www.thewhiskywire.com

Arran Sauternes Cask Finish

Distillery: Arran
Bottled: 2014
ABV: 50.0%
Cask: Ex-Bourbon, finished in Sauternes wine
More Info: WhiskyBase

Here’s the first whisky in the lineup for the Third Arran Tweet Tasting April 2015 – the Sauternes finish.

Nose: Glacé cherries, salty caramel wafers and cream. Sweet meadowy notes – grass, flowers and pollen. Bit of a meaty, sulphurous note in there too. Spicy gingerbread. Wet raspberries and melon rind. A bit musty too. Anti perspirant, but in a good way.

Palate: Cold black coffee and chocolate. Orange hard boiled sweets. Lovely luscious oily mouthfeel on this. Golden delicious apples, grapes, and sultanas.

Finish: Dry tobacco, leaf litter and slightly ashy.

I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a Summer whisky but this is definitely it! Sweet, floral, luscious and mouthwatering. A perfect dram to enjoy in the recent bout of sunshine we’ve had in the UK.

Next is the hotly anticipated Arran 18 Year Old

The tweet tastings organised by Steve Rush are a lot of fun. Get involved over at www.thewhiskywire.com