Our inaugural foray into premium tippling territory, this box takes us time-travelling through three decades of Scotch. From a feisty 10 year old cask strength Islay to a 30 year old independently-bottled single grain, this is an incredible array of age-stated malts and truly a tasting for the…ages! A heartfelt slàinte mhath. – The Dram Team
Scotch Through the Ages, February 2024 Box
Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire & Sherry Casks, Cask Strength 10 Year Old
What this feisty 10 year old Islay single malt lacks in age, it more than makes up for with youthful vigour. This robust cask strength release packs a real punch of peat with an intense follow-through from the sherry cask finish, and aptly demonstrates how epic younger peaty whiskies can be.
Nose: Waves of vegetal peat arrive first, swiftly backed up by fruit cake and chocolate notes, plus a whisper of seashell minerality.
Palate: Dried fruit moves to the fore on the palate, with dried cherry and chewy raisin. Still powerfully smoky. A flash of cinnamon and caraway appears later on.
Finish: Seville orange marmalade, smoky peanut shells, a smidge of charred oak, chocolatey mocha.
Càrn Mòr, Ardmore 13 Year Old
We’re into the teens and sticking to the smoke theme, this time with a peated Highlander that was fully matured in Pedro Ximénez sherry hogsheads. The heathery Highland peat notes are accompanied by oodles of rich spice and dried fruit notes. Here at the Dram Team we LOVE Ardmore indie bottlings, especially when sherry-matured, and this is a real doozy from Càrn Mòr!
Nose: Sweet spice, rum-soaked raisins, vanilla, a whisper of smoke.
Palate: Smoky ham, glazed with sticky brown sugar.
Finish: Oak, gentle smoke, tobacco.
Tomatin, 18 Year Old
We're starting to up the aged-based ante now, with a classic 18 year old distillery release. Tomatin is in the Highlands, but just outside Speyside, and their sherry-driven style bears more than a passing resemblance to that you'd expect from their Speyside neighbours. We're still aboard the good ship sherry, here with a finish in Oloroso sherry butts. This mature dram is silky smooth and delightfully elegant.
Dried apricot, nougat and distinctive nutty flavours develop into bursts of tropical fruit with mellow undertones and a rich, full-bodied finish.
That Boutique-y Whisky Co., Blended Malt #6 24 Year Old
Fun indies Boutique-y like to tease with cryptic clues on their comic-book-style labels. Here we see "Soup Town" (Campbeltown!), "Glen Coacher" Taxis (Glen Scotia!) and the Bonny Bonny Bank (the banks of Loch Lomond, as the famous song goes). So, dear Watson, here we have a vatted blend of 24 year old malts, 70% Glen Scotia and 30% Loch Lomond. Elementary!
Nose: Toasted hazelnut and flamed orange peel, with a heap of raisins thrown in for good measure. A hint of baked earth sticks around.
Palate: Rye crackers, marmalade, soft smoke, salted butter on crumpets, chocolate ganache and beeswax.
Finish: Salted caramel, shortbread, oak and basil leaf.
Claxton's Spirits, Grain Barn 30 Year Old
It is a well-established fact that the Dram Team love long-aged grain whisky. It turns our pals at Claxton's do too - so much so that they have dedicated their latest - and most premium - staple release to celebrating the magnificence of a good grain whisky, aged in great wood - here for a full three decades. A shining example of just how exceptional this under-appreciated style of whisky can be. Enjoy!
Nose: Custard sweetness with vanilla and trace of nutmeg. Strudel. Sweet Oak.
Palate: Egg custard tart. Wave upon wave of vanilla and rich creamy-dessert flavours.
Finish: Satisfyingly syrupy-sweet finish. Candied fruit - Panettone in the aftertaste.
Dramfool, Bruichladdich 20 Year Old
Dramfool have a real knack for bottling near-impossible-to-get Islays due to their strong links with one of the island's best-known residents (google Jim McEwan and you'll see what we mean!). Here, a classic Bruichladdich was aged for two decades in a first fill bourbon cask and bottled at cask strength. A stunning example of unpeated Islay at its absolute finest.
Nose: Barley/oak notes shine, with brilliant Atlantic freshness. Hints of ripe guava & melon in harmony crisp malt & oak bringing mellow soft sweetness.
Palate: Clean and flavourful. Sweet malt sugars are held beautifully in a cradle of spicy oak. Fruitiness and a fresh vibrant mouthfeel.
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