Tomatin 15

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Tomatin 15

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COLOR: Pale straw yellow
NOSE: The nose is much sweeter than the 12 year old Tomatin that we’d reviewed. Gobs of sweet vanilla caramel, brown sugar, candied red apple and sour apple. I’d written the word “lace” in my review…to be honest I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s lacy in the nose =)
PALATE: This flavor is completely different than the 12 year old and full of tropical fruit like pineapple, papaya and tangerine. Light lemon oil comes out with bright citrus notes.
FINISH: The finish ends with a woodsy core of pineapple, dry and quite lengthy.
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This Tomatin 15 year along with the 12 year are both quite delicious. And for the price, $25 and $18 at my local store, it’s hard to pass up a new scotch to try. I enjoyed the 12 year old more, because I’m more into the darker, nuttier scotches. But if you like a lighter, fruitier scotch, definitely go for the 15.
Slainte Mhath!

Tomatin 12

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Tomatin 12

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COLOR: Golden wheat
NOSE: Tomatin brought grains and bread to mind on first sniff. Heavy in the malt and wheat bread smells. Then figs and juicy pear sweetness. With the addition of spring water toffee and vanilla caramels and a stronger pear fragrance arrived. For being 12 years old, it has developed a very complex nose.
PALATE: At first sip the pear comes right out, along with granny smith apples without the tartness. Spice and oak develop on the tongue while swirling it around. Freshly grated nutmeg and sweet salt-water taffy.
FINISH: The finish here is much longer than expected, but single noted with an interesting cigar box like finish. Spicy and drying.
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I’d seen this scotch at my liquor store forever and it was always on sale for $25. Since it was always on sale I never wanted to pick it up. And then it went on sale for $18 dollars and I said I have to have it. Even if it’s bad, I’ll still feel good about trying it. Who knew that it would be far more complex then I ever thought it would be. Why is no one buying this?? My guess is, it’s the perception of price to quality. No one wants to buy something that’s always on sale because they assume it’s of poor quality. This is still a Scottish single malt, aged for 12 years and spending time in expensive sherry casks. This is a nice neat drinker and probably solid in your Rob Roys or Bloody sand cocktails.
Reach outside of your norm and enjoy!
Slainte Mhath!

Aberlour A’Bunadh


A'Bunadh

Aberlour A’Bunadh

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COLOR: Dark caramel
NOSE: I immediately get dark dried fruits like dark raisins, dried figs and dried apple skins. Then baking spices like nutmeg, hints of cinnamon and orange rind. It smells very sweet of brown sugar and un-refined low grade honey.
PALATE: Spicy and smooth oak finish. Breathe in gently because the 60.4% alcohol by volume will burn the hairs out of your nose. A little spring water quiets down the bite and brings out an AWESOME SWEET ROUNDNESS. The baking spices intensify and then bourbon characteristics arise. Delicious.
FINISH: The finish is deliciously lengthy and stays in your mouth and nose for a while before needing to take another sip. It’s got nice body and weight on the tongue. Reminds me of some fine cognacs in nose and palate.
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A’Bunadh seems to be the go to for the Aberlour brand and I can see why people rave about it. If you didn’t know what scotch tasted like, but you know you like a good bourbon, A’Bunadh is your go to. A great place to start and a great place to finish your night.
Slainte Mhath!

The Glenlivet 21 Archive

The Glenlivet 21The Glenlivet 21 Archive

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COLOR: Brown toast
NOSE: At first nosing it has characteristics from the 40 but drowning over powered by spices. It has sweet fruit overtones. The spices from the oak shine through but the oak itself isn’t crazy. Tangerine.
PALATE: VERY smooth, more tangerines, dang nice, soft, velvety,
FINISH: All the spice from the nose come barreling forward for a light finish. Citrusy hints. Pleasant, nothing too crazy.
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The poor man’s 40 (that’s still expensive lol)
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ADD WATER
NOSE: the spices have muted a bit
PALATE: wow, sour fruit rises to the occasion with tons the spices front and center
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FINISH: it’s all business with water. Oak. Spices.Overall it’s a fantastic scotch that does a great job of being the affordable version ($170) of the 40 year ($1400/$700 costco bottled). It’s priced to be much more of a gift than a daily sipper.  Still, I wouldn’t kick it out of my booze cabinet.-Sniff

The Balvenie Triple Cask

The Balvenie Triple CaskThe Balvenie Triple Cask 16

This bottle is a little… lacking? Disappointing? Awkward?

COLOR: medium brown gold
NOSE: Granny Smith apples up front, sweet vanilla
PALATE: lacking and too smooth, more like scotch flavored water than a 16 year old three cask specimen 😦
FINISH: delicious and amazingly fruity, buttery on the tongue

ADD WATER

NOSE: a little less sweet, a little more spice
PALATE: almost like a scotch that forgot to be a scotch, the spice and flavor is almost invisible
FINISH: is full of spice this time and still buttery

It’s kind of a strange dram. Doubly so when compared to the Caribbean Cask and the Doublewood we’ll be reviewing soon.
The palate wasn’t smooth like the blended Hibiki which is smooth but full of subtle flavors worth deciphering.
And it’s certainly not as friendly as the Balvenie Caribbean Cask and it’s brown sugar bubble gum handshake with your tongue.
This Balvenie is just an oddball.

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 year

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The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 year

COLOR: Orange, rust and toasted wheat

NOSE: A lot of sherry on the nose, followed by cherry/fruit capri-sun. It’s a very light nose and still a distinct fig spirit comes through, maybe to the detriment of the spirit. So far, an okay start.

PALATE: Woodsy sherry with a very light balanced smoke. A sourness comes through after some light spice, like chewing on a toothpick and not knowing when enough is enough. Water opens up vanilla extract, round bosc pear, mint/spearmint and oddly enough, cabbage.
FINISH: It’s a medium to short finish, laden with spice, smoke and sherry.

This is a perfect example of a scotch that really showcases that not everyone loves a highly rated scotch. I will never buy another bottle of this 12 year old DoubleWood ever again. I don’t enjoy it and I feel like, especially for the price, it doesn’t bring anything to the table. The Balvenie is a great distillery and this might just be a poor showing or an unfortunate bottling.

Don’t be discouraged!! Where there is a bad scotch, there is a great bottle right behind it…look…There it is! Don’t see it? Just come back for another review by scotch N sniff!

Slainte Mhath!

The Glenlivet 40

Sometimes in life you have to take a chance on something amazing in hopes that it works out. This bottle of Glenlivet 40 (bottled by Alexander Murray & Co, sold by Costco under the Kirkland brand name) is that chance that we wanted to take.

Glenlivet 40 bottled by Alexander Murray and Co for KirklandGlenlivet 40 (1972)
Bottled by Alexander Murray & Co

Having spoken to a few other scotch loving gentlemen it would seem there are two schools of thought on a bottle like this.

The first school of thought only cares about what’s in the bottle and the actual scotch itself. A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet and a scotch in any other bottle is still the same delicious dram.

The second school of thought actually cares about the bottle and the distillery doing the original bottling. Snobs. 😛

At ScotchNSniff, we’ve chosen to follow the first school of thought. The one that doesn’t judge a scotch by it’s color or bottle or packaging or name.

With all of that said, let’s review this beauty.

COLOR: Darkened Caramel, ironically Kirkland’s 18 looks exactly the same but that is where their similarities end!
NOSE: Sweet oak, cherries, no alcoholic bite, refined, mellow is an awesome word to describe it, creamy sweet fruits, sweet cream, I can’t speak enough to how sweet it smells, baked apples like in apple pie, my normal trick of inhaling the nose across the palate doesn’t work with an alcohol this subdued, on to the palate!
PALATE: oh. My. Goodness. Some very specific spices just shy of pepper but like smooth butter on the tongue, this dram is SO SMOOTH
FINISH: smooth as a baby’s bottom and as light as a cloud in the sky, this creamy dram is so ridiculously smooth on the palate, coating the tongue like butter without any oily feel, I need a second bottle to save for retirement!
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I feel wrong adding water but it’s a part of our process so I’ll do this exactly once. This scotch needs no water.
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ADDED WATER
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Kirkland Glenlivet 40 Year Single Malt Scotch bottled by Alexander Murray and Co
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NOSE: The cream rises to the top of the nose, the spices have found their way to the nose also,
PALATE: too mellow with a few drops of water, now the flavor has the kick of a cantaloupe, super mild,
FINISH: the smallest touch of smoke to remind you that you’re enjoying a fantastic scotch, I can see what all the fuss is about over this bottling.
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So… is it worth $700?
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If you’re an experienced scotch taster (we’ll say you’ve had at least two dozen scotches for comparison), the answer is a SOLID YES. For us, this was a one time purchase that might turn into a two times purchase!
If you’re NOT an experienced scotch taster (as tested by our PR advisor), it might be worth passing up. Not that your palate has to be super refined but it helps to have a few different points of reference.
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Slaite Mhath!!

The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14

photo 4The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 year

COLOR: Golden brown untanned leather
NOSE: Rum flavors, honey, vanilla and milk chocolate. A splash of water opens up citrus notes of lime and island fruits
PALATE: Of course I get the initial sweetness, not overly sweet but rum and brown sugar sweet. Then a nice round spicy vanilla with the nice qualities associated with oak. There’s also a flavor of classic bubblegum, the pink kind whose flavor doesn’t last.
FINISH: The finish is medium where the spice lingers nicely and you’re left with the rum and vanilla that you paid for.
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I’m more of a sweeter scotch drinker and this bottle hits a nice spot of spice, vanilla and rummy good sweetness. I didn’t detect much smoke if any. A great beginning of the nice scotch with round enveloping flavors, with just enough spice from the wood to make you remember that you’re not drinking an aged rum.
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#Scotchns #Whisky #scotchNsniff #CNPF
#TheBalvenie #CaribbeanCask14

Glenburgie Batch 1

That BoutiqueY Whisky Company Glenburgie Batch 1Glenburgie Batch 1

I have to preface today’s CNPF review by saying
you can’t buy this scotch on store shelves in the states.
It’s a “For distribution in the UK” product and both Scotch and Sniff placed an order
at Master of Malt to bring some fine scotch over for reviews.
Master of Malt actually bottles this scotch under the name
“The Boutique-y Whisky Company” hence the “Batch 1” moniker.
It’s a shame this particular beauty isn’t sold here because IT IS DELICIOUS!

On to the review…

COLOR : light golden yellow
NOSE : banana, cooked apple, light cooking spices, heavy creme,
PALATE : astringent spices, apples, oranges,
FINISH : coating finish, hints of smoke, wowzers, heckamazing finish
ADD WATER
NOSE : more banana creme, now the spices show up,
PALATE : only numbs the outside of the tongue,
FINISH : smoke blasted into the finish, wow, same texture
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So basically, this scotch is a banana milkshake with extra fruit and a touch of smoke.
It was definitely worth the shipping fees to bring this tasty morsel over.
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#ThatBoutiqueyWhiskyCompany #Glenburgie
#scotchNsniff #CNPF #SlainteMhath #snSNIFF

GlenGrant Major’s Reserve

GlenGrant Major's ReserveGlenGrant Major’s Reserve

COLOR : clear crystal gold
NOSE : figs, mildly sweet fruit,
PALATE: spices are light, slightly astringent,
FINISH: hazelnuts are legit

ADD WATER

NOSE : brought out the vanilla as the box claims but the spices hidden in the palate are revealed also
PALATE : pleasant, still soft and slightly astringent
FINISH : almost peppery
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This is a solid scotch but not as memorable as a lot of the other scotches we’ve reviewed. And that’s all I have to say about that.
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#GlenGrant #GlenGrantMajorsReserve
#scotchNsniff #CNPF #SlainteMhath #snSNIFF