Review Stub: Ledaig 10

I have heard mixed things about the Ledaig 10, though the darts have mainly been directed at the older 43% ABV version. I had the pleasure of trying the 46.03% ABV (yes, 0.03% above 46%) just a couple nights ago with the strapping young lad who introduced me to the Laphroaig QC, and I have to say that there aren’t too many darts I’d direct at this version.

Nose: Light coal smoke, a waxy honey with some salt and pepper (in the vein of the Laddie 10, but with a little Caol Ila).

Palate: Briny, medicinal peat (something like you’d imagine a lemon oil polish might taste like), sweet honey and icing sugar, vanilla.

Finish: Medium. White pepper and sweet vanilla.

Grade: B

I liked this one. Though the polish note is slightly off, it adds an interesting complexity that makes me come back for more. In many ways, it’s like the Bowmore 10 Tempest lite; a bit more straightforward, less complex, but tasty.

Note: I do tend to refer to other drams when reviewing whiskies, but that’s not without good purpose. My hope is that it helps fellow enthusiasts pair future purchases to profiles that they may have previously enjoyed. It also helps me properly rank drams into their grade bins.

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Review Stub: The Arran Malt, Amarone Cask Finish

A friend’s recent birthday get together just happened to be at a bar with a decent Scotch collection, stocking many whiskies that I would be unlikely to buy a bottle of because of the price and/or review consensus. This is review 2 of 2 for that series.

Nose: Rich and thick with all sorts of berries. More savoury than sweet. Leathery. A little salt and smoke, too.

Palate: Spicy, woody, with plenty of chocolate cherries and sour berries. Not all that thick. The full-bodied dry wine characteristic is there, but not overpoweringly so. Almonds.

Finish: Medium length with almonds all over the place.

Grade: B-

This one was a bit of a step up from the Glenfarclas 15 I had that night. Still rougher than I’d like my whisky to be, but at what is about 7 years younger, this one was smoother than the Glenfarclas. A little different from what you expect in a Scotch, but I’m always up for new whisky experiences. Am I glad I didn’t buy a bottle when this hit the shelves? Mostly (if only for the fact that my cabinet was rather full at the time.) But, after two tastes of some relatively good Arran, am I going to buy the 12yo CS Arran when it comes out? You betcha.

Review Stub: The Arran Malt – Sleeping Warrior

I had a chance to try this excellent 11 year old malt tonight, at a birthday meet-up for my dear brother. The price charged was a tad steep, but I can’t say I was all that disappointed.

Nose: Vanilla. That vegetal note (grassy—mossy, even) that the Singleton of Glendullan imparts, but so much better. Sherry. Soft fruits and almonds. Hints of tobacco.

Palate: Caramel, sherry, almonds and more soft fruits (think apricots, peaches).

Finish: Mostly toasted almonds, vanilla, and a great tobacco ending.

Grade: B

A nice dram that requires a bit of water. At 54.9%, it’s a bit too hot to truly enjoy neat, but with a little water it really opens up. A pleasant dram that is not all too terribly complex, but quite comforting in its simplicity.

Talisker 10

Talisker 10 gets a lot of praise across the board as a great daily dram malt, but sadly to say, I haven’t had that same experience.

These notes are relative to a re-tasting with a 20cl bottle that I had bought just recently. I had a full 70cl bottle that a friend gave me as a present, and since it stood in a rather lonely cabinet with only the Ardbeg Ten by it’s side, it received relatively weak reviews. Hence, my desire to give it that second shot.

Nose: Pepper, coastal saltyness. Leather. Slightly peaty with a little lemon.

Palate: Medium oily. Peppery and leathery (holy wow is it leathery!). Quite spiritus. Not as off-putting as the Glenmorangie Original, and doesn’t taste too much like bad bar alcohol, but it’s rough.

Finish: Medium long, dry, peaty with some jam notes.

Grade: B-

Maybe–like Lagavulin 16–Talisker 10 was a beast in it’s earlier days, but now it’s a little too edgy for me. Still a great bang-for-your-buck Scotch in many markets, but as you’ll find, the Laphroaig QC is $5-$20 cheaper, and it really needs binoculars to see the Talisker from so high up on its pedistal.

(Note to Talisker: raise the ABV 0.02% and skip the chill-filtration!)

Review Stub: Jura Superstition

A quick review of Jura Superstition from a tasting at a bar a few months ago.

Nose: Noticeable alcohol. Straight-forward honey and caramel. Sweet.

Palate: Medium-oily. Much of what the nose suggests, with honey, caramel, and that ‘bar-alcohol’ tinge.

Finish: Medium finish.

Grade: C

A rather one-note whisky that would be fine at a bar, but it falls below the benchmark set by Glenfiddich 12 and Glenlivet 12. It has that alcohol tinge that soured me on the Glenmorangie Original.