In this whisky tasting set, we dance a merry jig around the Scottish Highlands, which geographically captures three nominal whisky regions – the officially recognised Highland and Speyside regions, and the unofficial and more widely distributed Islands region. We’re not big on dancing, but this is our sort of Highland Fling! –The Dram Team.
Highland Fling! November 2022 Box
Benromach, Cask Strength Batch 1, 2012 Vintage
Speyside distillery Benromach’s standard 10 year old may be our all-time favourite 10 year old whisky - so this similarly-aged bottling at a whopping cask strength of over 60% is irresistible! Benromach’s rich and spicy sherried style is amped up to the max here – so sip gently, friends! Opens up delightfully with a few drops of water.
Nose: Vanilla pod and fruit cake aromas with hints of dark chocolate. Festive spices give way to citrus fruit and charred oak.
Palate: Black pepper on the palate initially, leading to orange zest and stewed fruit. Red berries and subtle ginger spice.
Finish: Long and full with lingering sultana and soft smoke.
Tullibardine, Aged 15 Years
This Highland distillery began whisky production in 1949, but was mothballed by former owners Whyte & Mackay in 1995. This 15 year old consists entirely of spirit distilled since Tullibardine happily reopened in 2003 under independent ownership, and is a very strong example of full maturation in first-fill Bourbon casks.
Nose: Delicate dried hay and parma violets, with touches of baked apple, cloves and vanilla ice-cream.
Palate: Freshly baked scones with hints of strawberry jam and clotted cream, marry with delicate spices.
Finish: A finish of subtle nuttiness.
Glengoyne, Aged 12 Years
Our second Highland dram is a delightful contrast to the Tullibardine, with sherry casks playing a very prominent role in its 12 year maturation. Glengoyne’s motto is “Unhurried in every way”, and is reflected both in their distillation method - the slowest in Scotland - and in the time and care taken to prepare their sherry casks - 6 years!
Nose: Coconut oil, honey, lemon zest, dried oak.
Palate: Toffee apples, cinnamon spice, ginger, orange, shortbread.
Finish: A hint of sherry and soft oak. Very well balanced.
Jura, Aged 10 Years
For this dram, we take a very scenic hop over to the island of Jura - close neighbour to the more crowded island of Islay (with 11 distilleries, it is in fact a standalone whisky region!). Jura 10 year old is a keystone of the distillery’s Signature Series, and after a decade in white oak ex-bourbon barrels, is given a finishing touch in fine Oloroso sherry casks.
Nose: Vanilla, orange, cracked black pepper, dark chocolate.
Palate: Nectarines, ginger, coffee, toasted almonds.
Glen Moray, Chardonnay Cask Finish
Speysider Glen Moray flies somewhat under the radar, but is in fact one of Scotland’s biggest producers of malt (a lot of which goes into the “Label 5” blend, remarkably popular with the whisky-thirsty French). Known for exploring the ways in which different casks can influence their spirit, this Chardonnay cask release is an outstanding example of the distillery’s experimental approach.
Nose: Spicy apple and pear, key lime pie and cinnamon sugar.
Palate: Caramelised tropical fruits, hints of freshly ground pepper and sweet vanilla.
Finish: Tropical fruit and nutty vanilla flavours combine to deliver a finish which is both intense and warm.
Tobermory, Aged 17 Years Oloroso Cask Matured
Tobermory is situated on the remarkably picturesque Isle of Mull - and bears a noteworthy resemblance to the fictional children’s TV town of Balamory. This well-matured and limited release is unusual for Tobermory, with full maturation in Oloroso sherry casks packing their high-quality spirit full of Christmassy flavours not seen in their core whiskies. This is one we’re especially excited to sample!
Nose: Packed full of toffee and caramel, followed by almonds, blackcurrant and a hint of spice.
Palate: Rose petals, tropical fruit, walnuts, cherry and creamy toffee balanced with oak, tannins and hints of leather.
Finish: Unusually dry and nutty finish with a ginger spice.
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