It’s October! Do you know where your kids are?? Anyways, the weather is changing away from the shorts and surf boards and going towards the cardigans and fireplaces. It’s always a good time of year to partake in a delicious dram, but now more than ever. Bundle up, light the fire (or flashlight) and let’s get to tasting!
COLOR: Dark caramel, mahogany with edges of fired wood
NOSE: The nose is extremely full of ripe stewed fruit with bright fresh red berries. I say again very sweet on the nose. For its age it has a lot of bright aroma characteristics such as Florida orange, light floral honey and red delicious apples. Water accentuates the vanilla, toffee and caramel notes. There’s also a really unique and delicious smelling Vanilla cream caramel.
PALATE: It always surprises me how soft and light older single malts can be. The process of aging has such wild effects. The nose was so bright and fruit forward while the palate is light, subtle and easy going. The wood is present but not overwhelming. A light rubbed leather and soft spice with cigar box notes warm the perimeter of my tongue.
FINISH: The finish is definitely woody and full of aged rum flavor, with a slight menthol end.
This was definitely a delicious tipple and I’m not just saying that because I wrote it in my scotch journal. This is definitely one of the times that I would ask for a higher alcohol by volume because it lacks mouth feel and weight. Although this is a great scotch I would rather go for the competing brand of Glenlivet 21 archive, which you can read the review
. The syrupy mouth-feel and the increased spice and toffee flavor knock me off my feet.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Hibiki 17 year old
What?! Another Blend??!! That’s correct ladies and gentlemen. The Hibiki 12 year old’s older brother shows up and definitely brings its “A” game.
COLOR: Orange amber with red edges
NOSE: Deeper oak right off the bat, then gobs of caramelized sugar and stewed red fruit like plums, raspberries and fuji apples. Even with all those heavier aromas you can still dive through and find the light floral and vanilla accents. The addition of water brings a slight rubbing alcohol nose but the sweet freshly baked sticky buns brings you back for more.
PALATE: Much more woody than the 12 year old, astringent around the extremities of the tongue. Hold onto the glorious liquid for 17 seconds before swallowing and you’ll be rewarded with plums, vanilla, spice and candied orange peel.
FINISH: Beautiful length to this spirit. It’s a wonderful blend, tasting like you just bit into a red delicious apple
There aren’t many distributors of the Hibiki 17, but going through Master of Malt will bypass any issues of not being able to find it in your area…unless you can’t have spirits delivered to your state…sorry. This is a great blend and if you like the Hibiki line then you should definitely add it to your cabinet.
The 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.
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.
#Scotchns #Whisky #scotchNsniff #CNPF
Hibiki 12 year
COLOR: Pale golden with bright edges of orange
NOSE: a delicious bowl of rum soaked raisins, floral honeysuckle, vanilla, sweet citrus candy like what your grandma would have in a bowl on the coffee table. Water opens up flavors of red kool-aid, ripe red plums and sweeter vanilla extract.
PALATE: Smooth, oh so smooth. A slight oak fills the mouth and then a room full of leather. Spices and light smoke with a finish of sherry. Round and very enjoyable. As it rolls down it coats the tongue. Delicious.
FINISH: The finish is medium long with a lingering light smoke at the end. The spice runs off quickly and your mouth is left with melon fruits and honey Oh THE HONEy.
I know what you’re thinking…A BLEND?!?!?! Yes, a delicious and amazingly round and full blend. If you’ve ever had some preconceived notion of blends not standing up to single malts, please, check your notions at the door and give this one a go. The Japanese pride themselves in striving to be the best at whatever it is they do. And when it comes to this scotch, they do not fail. If you have Hibiki in your area, I urge you to pick a bottle up. If your liquor store doesn’t carry it, ask them to. Plus it comes in a gorgeous 24 sided bottle with a glass topper, which gussies up any liquor stash. You’ll need to be able to restock your liquor cabinet once it’s all gone. I have heard that they’ll be bringing the 17 to the US market later on this year.
#Scotchns #Whisky #scotchNsniff #CNPF