A night of tasting – looking at the world thru peat colored glasses

Last night kicked off what is sure to be the beginning of many more scotch tasting parties among old and new friends. Whisky1 also did a review of last night’s tastings, which can be found right here on scotchtalk. Now let’s get down to business. The scotches on the menu last night included;

  • Laphroaig 30
  • The Macallan Estate Oak
  • Dalwhinnie 1990 Distillers Edition
  • Glendronach 12
  • Springbank Hazelburn 8
  • Glenfarclas 17

Laphroaig 30
Location: Islay
Notes: I must admit that I stay away from the Islay scotches cause I am just not a peathead. So I was a little reluctant to try the Laphroaig, but since it was a 30yr I couldn’t pass up at least a small try. I have to say my scotch life changed with the first sip. The over powering peat I expected was replaced with a velvety smokiness that was amazingly mild and full bodied. If you are lucky enough to be in the company of a Laphroaig 30 and you are not a peathead, I highly recommend you open your mind and venture into the world of peat.

The Macallan Estate Oak
Location: Speyside
Notes: Closer to the Fine Oak label of The Macallan than the Sherry Oak in taste and color. Very light in the mouth with out being very prickly (liked that term from the tasting video) or hot. The nose was a little disappointing but when opened up you could get a hint of sweetness and some vanilla (whisky1 called that out first and others agreed). Overall, a very easy drinking scotch that you could introduce to any new scotch drinker without turning them off. I recommend trying if you get the chance, but definitely not worth the flight to Heathrow to purchase.

What’s with the Heathrow comment? As you have read here on scotchtalk and other places this is The Macallan’s attempt to cash in on the green movement. For every bottle purchased The Macallan will plant an oak tree on their estate in Speyside, Scotland. However, the only place you can buy it is at the duty free stores in the UK – so if you want a bottle you are going to have to leave a carbon footprint equivalent to burning a forest full of trees to fly to Heathrow (especially from the west coast). Someone at The Macallan needs to rethink this marketing strategy.

Dalwhinnie 1990 Distiller’s Edition
Location: Highland
Notes: I am a big fan of the Dalwhinnie 15, so I was excited to try the 1990 Distiller’s Edition. Well I was not disappointed. I have always found Dalwhinnie 15 to have a slight smokey (light peaty) taste and the Distiller’s Edition also had that touch of smoke on the back of the tongue. If you are not a fan of “the big peats” from the Islay region but still want a little smoke I suggest the Dalwhinnie 1990 or the Dalwhinnie 15yr if you want to save a few $$$

Glendronach 12 – Sherry Cask
Location: Highland
Notes: This is one scotch that I have never tried, so when picking something for the tasting I took a leap of faith and grabbed this mid/high priced Highland. It is a 12yr sherry cask aged scotch so it has that typical amber almost reddish color. The nose, once opened up with a touch of water, was pleasant with a touch of fruit. However, I was a bit disappointed in the taste. Yes it is only a 12yr old scotch, but it seemed much younger than other similarly aged scotches I have tried, ie The Macallan 12 has more flavor, complexity and is less prickly. Overall if you are going for a “Glen” I would recommend The Glenlivet 15, at less the price, over the Glendronach 12

Springbank Hazelburn 8
Location: Campbeltown
Notes: Whisky1 contributed this bottle for the night. I have had other Springbank scotches but have never had the chance to try the Hazelburn. It had a pale golden color, slightly flat nose and a generally simple taste with no smokiness. Not a bad quaffing scotch, but not something I would search out for if I was trolling my favorite scotch bars, Whiskey Thieves, Alembic, in the city

Glenfarclas 17
Location: Speyside
Notes: First had this scotch at my wife’s b-day party at Absinthe as a recommended by the bar tender. It was late in the night so my recollection was not very crisp so i was eager to give it another try. The rich amber color, fruity, smokey smell and long lasting full bodied taste was what I hoped to experience and it delivered. Definitely a scotch i will seek out again.

~ by dramfun on August 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “A night of tasting – looking at the world thru peat colored glasses”

  1. […] 30 Year Old ($220, Liquor One) Dramfun Tasting Notes: I must admit that I stay away from the Islay scotches cause I am just not a peathead. So I was a […]

  2. […] Macallan Estate Oak Dramfun Tasting Notes: Closer to the Fine Oak label of The Macallan than the Sherry Oak in taste and color. Very light in […]

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