Spent a recent mid-week evening reuniting with a couple of old friends from my undergrad over a collection of slivers from different bottles. A great night to share some old favourites, and to try some new ones. Because we’d intended this to be a rather peaty occasion, a couple of the latter drams didn’t get the most unbiased palate I had to offer. I did, however, get to save a little of the Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition for another night, so that review is more honest than the Select Oak.
No. 1: Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban
Nose: Toffee. Butterscotch. Slightly winey.
Palate: Smooth, sweet and nose-confirming.
All the best parts of the Lasanta without any of the off-notes. This is Glenmorangie getting finishing right.
No. 2: Laphroaig Triple Wood
Nose: Typical Laphroaig tobacco, but where the Cairdeas is like an unlit cigar, the TW is more unlit cigarette. Tar and iodine. Sweet red wine, and almost Speyside-esque.
Palate: Peat and tobacco smoke, honey, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Finish: Long and smoky.
So, we had a whole flight of Laphroaig (10yo, TW, QC and Cairdeas) and this one came in 3rd. The QC is still so much for so little, and the Cairdeas blows me a way. That said, the TW is a nice, sweeter Laphroaig than the QC, and would make a great choice for a winter dram on the nights when you can’t decide between a sweet Speyside and a beasty Islay.
No. 3: Springbank 12 Cask Strength
Nose: Cookies, vanilla, leather and dried apircots. Toffee pudding.
Palate: Cherry, apricot and wheat, vanilla and a hint of chocolate. This one is superbly complex for something so young, and it really knocks the socks off the 10yo. Springbank, we are friends again.
Finish: Long, warming and smoky.
Of the ones I hadn’t tried, this Springbank was the best. Everything the 10yo wants to be, but isn’t. Makes me think that the 18yo must be truly amazing.
No. 4: The Macallan Select Oak
Nose: Vanilla, Toffee and raisins.
Palate: Floral, vanilla, and toffee
My least favourite of the night. Not bad, but a rather plain Macallan. Smooth, easy drinking, and a great daily dram, but for something that would probably be in the $90 range in Canada, you’d expect more. Drams like this make me want to guard my discontinued Macallan Cask Strength carefully.
No. 5: The Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition
Nose: Honeycomb, butter and toffee. Hints of mushrooms and a bit of sulphur.
Palate: Cherry, strawberry and chocolate. Some of the mushroom scent. Medium viscosity (not watery, but less viscous than the the 12yo).
Finish: Medium, slightly smoky.
Good, easy drinking whisky. Not my favourite of the night, but not my least favourite! Similar sentiments to #4, but this one is more of that classic rich cherry-like Macallan than the select oak. Another case of a good nose, but a weak palate. Not as elegant as the 12yo, though.