Scotch whisky has always had fierce competition from the likes of Ireland and Japan, but these days the battle for whisky supremacy grows ever-fiercer, with more and more nations around the globe joining the whisky-making melee. In this box, we pit some of those competitors head to head with Scotland and each other. Who will win? You decide! The Dram Team
Scotland vs. The World! June 2023 Box
Milk & Honey, Classic
The land of Milk & Honey's first whisky distillery has been producing excellent single malts from the start. Although young, their flagship bottling displays remarkable flavour - a result of how Israel's climate affects maturation, along with very clever use of casks (in this case, bourbon and special red wine "STR" casks, i.e. shaved, toasted & recharred!).
Nose: Gentle vanilla sweetness, followed by light oak and floral notes.
Palate: Light body, vanilla, caramel and honey sweetness, balanced by oaky notes and light black pepper spiciness.
Finish: Short but delicate. The oak notes linger on the palate for a while with a nice light spiciness.
Nikka, Coffey Malt
Despite being made from 100% malted barley, this Nikka is technically a single grain whisky as it's distilled in a "Coffey" column still, rather than the traditional pot still. A classic Japanese gem!
Nose: Fruity and spicy, with plenty of sweet spice, refreshing lemon notes and an appealing nuttiness.
Palate: Rich and full flavoured. A hefty whack of spice – cinnamon and clove – at first, then joined by notes of dark chocolate and roasted nuts, then a touch of orange lightens the feeling.
Finish: Perfectly balanced between the fresh citrus, heady spices and toasty oak.
Thompson Bros., SRV5 Aged 8 Years
Thompson Bros. have established such a stellar indie bottling reputation that everything they produce is for sale by ballot only. We were therefore very excited when they released their very own blended malt on general sale, and snapped it up straight away!
Nose: Galia melon, lemongrass, apricot, cucumber, waxed lemons, green peppercorns & capers in brine, green apples, lime cordial, grapefruit bitters, green peppers, coastal peat & beach bonfires.
Palate: Greengage, cantaloupe melon, banana smoothie, lemon oil, grapefruit juice, capers, lemongrass, thyme, 1st press olive oil, candlewax and gentle smoke.
Finish: Lemon balm, thyme, camphor, earthy peat & gentle smoke. Long with a coating of waxiness.
Wormtub, 10 Year Old - Batch 2
Wormtubs are classic bits of distilling equipment that create much-sought-after, heavy and robust flavours in a whisky. Consisting of long, coiled copper tubes in a cold water vat and used to condense spirit vapours, they are now somewhat rare having been replaced by more modern equivalents. This sherry-driven tribute to the style is at a whopping cask strength. Enjoy!
Nose: A distinct forest floor note as well as layers of dark chocolate, flamed orange peel, punchy cassia, and smoky oak.
Palate: Through more sherried influence come flavours of salty jerky, caramel, tangy dried cranberries, and oily walnuts.
Finish: Long and rich.
Paul John, Edited
Barley from the Himalayan foothills "edited" with 15% peated barley from Scotland. Proof of the rise and rise of Indian single malt in recent years, and a Dram Team HQ shelf staple.
Nose: Honey and cocoa are laced with a hint of smokiness and a shot of espresso. A deeper whiff reveals fruity fragrances.
Palate: The grassy flavours of barley show up first, but gently make way for subtle peat notes. They slowly dissolve and pave the way for a rush of mint and mocha.
Finish: Long and drawn out. You can sense a hint of spice and chocolate mint as it ends on gentle peat notes.
Longmorn, 18 Year Old
A rare treat, as Longmorn spirit doesn't often see the light of day as a single malt, with the vast majority of the distillery's output instead lending a sweet and deeply fruity component to Chivas blends. This very special 18 year old bottling displays oodles of those same tasty characteristics!
Nose: Pear and tropical fruits abound, with a vanilla note and some caramel and fudge elements.
Palate: Remarkably smooth and very juicy with those tropical fruits continuing, more fudge, with oak notes and a hint of spice.
Finish: Nutty with fruits and oak.
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