Kategoriarkiv: Islands

Arran Port Cask Finish

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 2
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there are assorted dark red berries and vanilla along with a thin cooling mint layer on top. Underneath lies a subtle but nice earthy layer of dry soil and herbs. There are also a honey and liquorice sweetness somewhere in between. Both increase in intensity over time and it ends up quite sweet. This is a fantastic nose which feels like it’s gentle but extremely volyminous when it’s allowed to open up in the glass.

Mouth: It starts out with a heavy impact of dark fruits and berries together with honey sweetness. A peppery spicyness accompanies it as well as a quite gritty and roudy background with a mix of very dark and ripe fruits, anise and a hint of sulfur, oil and soil. There’s also a hint of dust and dried fruits floating around. A light and floral note is in the as well. It feels very rich and has a nice texture. The flavour impact is impressive.

Finish: It starts out peppery with an even mix of sweetness, dark fruits and the earthy and dirty notes. The impact is immediate. It’s not as sweet as before but there’s now room for additional dried fruits like raisins and nectarines. A hint of lemon peeks through as well. Everything seem intertwined with the dark ripe berries to create a very nice whole. The oak makes a nice entrance from back to front and it’s a very potent oakiness with walnuts, mild coffee and even a sort of savory note on the tail end. This is just a fantastic whisky.

Additional information
This is part of the Arran’s range of wine finishes. It’s aged in refill casks for 8 years then finished in ex-port pipes. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Arran Sauternes Cask Finish

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 2
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and sour. At first there’s a thick layer of sweetness with honey, vanilla and sweet, green grapes sitting on top of a mix of fresh lemon and tropical fruits. There are pineapple, mango and passion fruit notes within the fruitiness. It feels rich and there’s a spicyness somewhere out towards the edges and it comes from a fairly fresh oakiness. There’s also a salty caramel floating around somewhere on top. This is a very nice nose. It’s not complex and it’s a bit too sweet, but it still feels decently balanced.

Mouth: It Starts out with sweet green grapes and gooseberries and a sweet honey and vanilla richness. Behind the sweetness there’s lemon in the back, now with a bit of zesty bitterness. The tropical fruits can still be found as well. There’s a slight dustiness, some malt and a pinch of salt in the center. It very much has a white wine aura from the finishing casks. After a while a quite complex mix of savory and sour starts to arise in the background and it has a gritty note attached to it. A mild spicyness builds up around the edges for those who wait.

Finish: The spicyness slowly intensifies and it doesn’t take long before the whole array of flavours follow. The tropical fruits gets to shine but they do have the lemon zest in the background as back-up. The front of the palate consists of the honey and vanilla sweetness, but it feels slightly more generic at this point. It’s a long finish and when the flavours start to fade the oak, lemon and spicyness stays behind and gives it a very nice send of. The oak is competent and brings a nice coconut flavour to the late finish. This is a great whisky. It’s a little bit too sweet but overall gives a nice journey throughout.

Additional information
This whisky was aged for around 6 years in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished for 8-12 months in Sauternes wine barriques. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Highland Park Cask Strength – Release No.3

ABV: 64.1 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This whisky was aged in first-fill seasoned american and european oak casks as well as refill casks. This release has a higher peat content than the previous releases. It has natural colour.

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Arran Sherry Cask – The Bodega

ABV: 55,8 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark and sweet. At first there’s a thick layer of dark, ripe fruits. There are raisins, overripe plums and dried apricots. It’s very aromatic and there are bakning spices as well as a mild menthol sitting on top of the main flavours. There’s a sweet side to it with brown sugar and vanilla, but the sweetness is mostly coming from the fruits. The background brings a brighter, tropical fruitiness and some apple juice. There’s also a hint of sulfur in the back. This is a sherry bomb and it’s quite fantastic on the nose.

Mouth: It starts out very sweet and dark. Immediatly there’s a black coffee bitterness with the dark fruits close behind. It’s high ABV spicy and it’s quite rich and oily. After a few seconds a dark chocolate note builds up. The tropical fruitiness is not present at this point, but the powerful sherry notes are surpressing most of the other flavours. It’s somewhat astringent and the oakiness is peeking through every once in a while.

Finish: The dark fruits, dark chocolate and black coffee notes start to move towards the edges as soon as the finish starts. This leaves room for vanilla, oak and dried assorted tropical fruits to appear in the center. The sweetness is still sugary with a hint of vanilla. The menthol cloud returns and stays all the way through the finish. The oakiness gains momentum after a few seconds and it’s a dry, slightly nutty oak. This is a fantastic whisky within the sherry bomb category and it’s really well made. Even though it lacks an age statement it doesn’t present itself as young and undermatured.

Additional information
This is part of The Arran Malt’s core range. It’s aged in ex-sherry hogsheads and is presented in natural cask strength. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Torabhaig Allt Gleann – The Legacy Series

ABV: 46 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and peaty. At first there’s a heavy honey and vanilla sweetness and a dry smoke peatiness. Soon there are notes of mixed fruits arriving in the center. It’s mainly apples and grapes but also a thin ripe note from red berries. It’s young and slightly spirity but it feels really well made which creates an added volume and it does not come through as harsh. There are notes of pipe tobacco and dry soil within the peatiness. The whole feels balanced and well thought out. This is a great nose with a very nice character.

Mouth: It starts out with a lemon note in the back and black pepper up front. In between lies a mix of wet peat and the same fruit mix as on the nose. It’s a slightly more pronounced fruitiness and the fresher fruits are more defined. It’s less peaty in taste than on the nose but there are still tangible peat notes, especially around the edges. There are notes of a very young distillate shining through at this point, but it still doesn’t come through as harsh.

Finish: The transition features a nice increase in intensity without being intrusive. When it settles the peatiness flares up and the ripe grape notes return. It feels quite savory at this point. It doesn’t take long before the oakiness returns and it’s a very nice oakiness with a weird but lovely side note of beer. As time passes the oakiness really get defined and it delivers a great late finish.

Additional information
This whisky was mostly aged in first fill ex-bourbon barrels, but ex-sherry and ex-Madeira casks were also used. 2500 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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The Arran Malt St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe Wine Cask Finish (2008 Vintage)

ABV: 50 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is fruity and sweet. At first there’s a mix of red ripe grapes and ripe plums with a fresher blueberry note attached. There’s also vanilla mixed with a sweet and sour maltiness. The fruitiness sort of releases the fresher parts which after a while start to float on top. Underneath everything else there’s a black coffee bitterness and a smidge of milk chocolate. The vanilla moves out on the edges and leaves room for even more fresher fruits with a fleeting glimpse of peaches and mangoes somewhere on top. This is a nice nose. It’s not as well balanced and appealing as other Arrans tends to be though.

Mouth: It starts out with a lemon sourness in the back and a big peppery impact coming from the high ABV. It’s dusty and there’s a dark fruitiness and black coffee spreading out over the palate. There’s no sweetness and it’s a very hard to access arrange of flavours. There’s a nutty oakiness peeking through and the milk chocolate has turned into a bitter dark chocolate. After a while the sweet and sour Arran house style shines through which really makes the experience a lot better.

Finish: The transition is slightly weird, where the spicyness somewhat increases in intensity but the rest is just a mess of flavours which sort of brings out a strange funky taste. It’s quite spirity at this point as well. When all the weirdness subsides there are notes of toffee, ripe fruits and a slightly nutty oakiness with coffee and walnuts. It just feels a bit too bitter and unbalanced. This is a good whisky, but it really doesn’t measure up to the normal quality of Arran Single malts.

Additional information
This whisky was aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 8 years and then finished in grand cru wine casks for 12 months. 6636 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Highland Park 15 YO Viking Heart

ABV: 44 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This whisky was aged in sherry seasoned european and american oak casks as well as refill casks. It has natural colour.

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Highland Park 30 YO (2007 Vintage)

ABV: 48.1 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark and fruity. At first there’s a fruitiness which mostly consists of dark dried fruit notes. They are covered in a thin vanilla layer and a lot of Christmas spices. There’s a thin nail polish remover note on top as well. This whisky really shows some age on the nose and everything within seems connected and integrated. There are notes of heather, old varnished oak furniture, a hint of lemon and just a tiny hint of tropical fruits. It gets fruitier with time in the glass. This is an amazing nose which really reflects the suggested content.

Mouth: It starts out with a dark and bitter background espresso note and a gooseberry and lemon top note with the old varnished oak furniture in between. There’s a nice amount of power and the christmas spices are still in there helping everything along. There’s a complexity to it, and an especially unplacable nutty note really denotes this. The vanilla is gone and so are the tropical fruits. It’s now a sweet dark fruit marmelade which seems to wrap itself around all other flavours. The age is very much present and it’s dusty and slightly damp. It’s very much takes its place and it’s not especially mellow. Good casks are present.

Finish: A surge in dried fruits leads the transition and it feels very logial and continues on the same path as before. It’s coffee in the back and christmas spices up front with old varnished oak in between. When everything start to die down the old oak takes the spotlight. The complex nuttiness re-emerges and the late finish is an amazing old, nutty and fragrant oakiness which lasts for a very long time. The gooseberry note is still in there (it’s not as sour as the berries, just the overall character of the taste). This is a great whisky with a lot to offer. It’s not an easy sipper by all means and it really presents itself as an aquired taste overall.

Additional information
This whisky was aged in Spanish ex-sherry casks for the entire aging period. It has natural colour.

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Jura 18 YO

ABV: 44 %
Origin:
Islands
Type:
Single Malt
Bottles in collection:
0
Emptied bottles:
0
Impression:
4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is dark fruits and mild peat. At first, a mix of overripe dark berries and raisins create a top layer above a sweet core of vanilla and honey. There are baking spices and a slight dustiness within. A funky complex note is sitting in the middle of it all which makes this quite interesting even though it seems to lack some flavours from the long maturation. The peat is creating a nice backdrop. It feels like the red wine finish sort of creates a lid on top instead of being integrated with the rest of the content.

Mouth: It starts out with a nice and mild spicyness. The peat comes through as a mild bottom layer with a touch of sulfur, leather and tobacco. The main part is still a sweet honey and vanilla core with the ripe berries and raisins on top. The cinnamon is not detectable anymore. It does a better job in taste than on the nose to create a whole. After a second or to there’s a bitter coffee note coming up from the back. It still feels a bit younger than its age.

Finish: It picks up where it left off and the flavour profile is intact all the way through. There’s still a mix of vanilla and honey together with ripe grapes and raisins. The peat is still very mild and creates a nice surrounding layer of leather and tobacco as the oak starts to show up. It’s a very nice oakiness with a walnut nuttiness and a coffee bitterness to it and the late finish is the first time it feels like its age. This is a great whisky, yet it feels a bit manufactured to cover up less active casks used for the long maturation period.

Additional information
This whisky was released in 2018. It’s matured for 18 years in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in ex-Premier Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux red wine casks.

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Talisker 10 YO

ABV: 45.8 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and peaty. A mild peatiness and some seasalt are the first things to come through. There are leather and black liquorice together with a fruity backdrop of apples and a squeeze of lime. Honey and vanilla act as fillers and sits in the gap between the peat and the fruits. A medicinal note comes forward after a while as well as a savory one. It’s nicely balanced and quite pleasant on the nose.

Mouth: A slightly bitter start, with a bit of spicyness to it, is followed by a very pronounced medicinal iodine note. The peat is not as present on the palate as on the nose but it’s still easily detectable. Now it leans even more towards the leather note. Both the spicyness and the bitterness continously move forward over time. There’s also a sweeter side to it with honey, vanilla and a complement in some salted caramel. There’s dry oak and it’s slightly astringent. The fruitiness is basically hidden by everything else but there’s still a lime note in the back.

Finish: There’s an initial dip in flavour before it picks up speed again. The bitterness comes first and then the medicial note follows. It soon moves over to a dusty oakiness that kind of lacks character. The savory note returns and sits in the center of the palate together with honey and baked apples. It’s still a bit spicy and astringent. The peat notes return in the tail together with the oak. A nice surprise pops up and black liquorice suddenly appears a long way down the line.

Additional information
This is a part of Diageo’s ”The classic malts of Scotland” series. It has around 20 ppm. It’s aged in reconstructed american ex-bourbon oak barrels. The reconstructed casks are made into a larger size than the original barrels.

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Highland Park Cask Strength – Release No.2

ABV: 63.9 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 2
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a big hit from the high ABV spicyness. After a few seconds it mellows out and reveals a mix of dark fruits surrounding a sweet honey and vanilla core. There are raisins and overripe plums with some dark chocolate and earthy notes within. The sweet core has some toffee coming through. There’s also a heathery floral side to it. The high ABV creates a medicinal character which gives the whole another dimension. With time the sherry cask influence increases. This is a great and powerful nose which gives the explorer nice layers to peel off one by one.

Mouth: It starts out with a very spicy ABV kick which affects all parts of the mouth. The front of the palate is now full of fresh lemon while the back part houses the dark fruits, pipe tobacco and dark chocolate. In between lies the floral notes. It is almost too powerful at first impact which makes it somewhat hard to approach even for a seasoned whisky drinker. If water is added there are mixed dried fruits and cinnamon arriving and for those who persevere it becomes very balanced between the different flavour elements.

Finish: The spicyness spreads and creates a nice warm blanket on top. It immidiately becomes darker and the focus lies on the raisins, overripe plums and the dark chocolate. The sweet side is subdued throughout the finish. After a while a very nice damp and dusty oakiness starts to emerge. It evolves into a big hazelnuts and old cellar combination which fits the flavour profile extremely well. The late finish consists of dark chocolate, tobacco and the nutty oakiness and it delivers an extremely long and rewarding finish. This is a great whisky. It’s young and rowdy, but has been given a very nice suit to grow in.

Additional information
This whisky was aged in a mix of both european and american oak ex-sherry casks and a small portion of ex-bourbon barrels for an undisclosed amount of time. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Jura The Sound

ABV: 42.5 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 2/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and spirity. At first there’s a base of vanilla and butterscotch with some darker dried fruits floating around. On top there’s a mix of ethanol and slightly nutty oak. When it starts to settle the baseline becomes more fruity with a mix of fresh berries and a bitter lemon/orange freshness. It has a slightly tart character with a sweet and sour kind of thing going on. It feels young and spirity all the way through which makes everything feel a bit off. This is a decent nose with a nice flavour combination, which is brought down by a lack of age.

Mouth: It starts out with a bitter note in the back and a toffee sweetness up front. It takes a while but a fruitiness do appear around the edges and it consists mainly of oranges. It still feels young and there’s a bad ethanol note floating around. The bitterness merges with the fruitiness to create orange peel. Everything feels a bit chemical and fake at this point and it’s not a nice experience at all. The bitterness has a coffee note somewhere within and the oakiness peaks through but it doesn’t help.

Finish: The transition produces a slight, much needed, spicyness but it comes with the off notes as well. When they disappear it opens upp and produces a very nice orange peel and hazelnut finish. It becomes pleasantly fruity and a quite nice oakiness starts to take over. It’s slightly dusty and nutty and creates a nice balance to the bitter notes and the fruitiness. Luckily, the finish is the best part of the journey. This is not the best of whiskies. It’s a good enough whisky to have when the dram isn’t the main event, but it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Additional information
This whisky is a travel retail exclusive. It was first aged in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in ex-PX casks.

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Highland Park 16 YO – Twisted Tattoo

ABV: 46,7 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and aromatic. At first there’s a thick honey and liquorice sweetness. There’s a thin outside layer of red berries, fresh fruits and a very mild peat. It feels very warm and welcoming and it feels rich and textured. With time in the glass the red berries takes a bigger role but they still reside on the edges. Cinnamon, vanilla and toffee appear together with the sweet notes in the center. A thin floral top note start to come through and after a while a hint fresh oranges and peaches join in. This is a very nice and welcoming nose with a lot to explore.

Mouth: It starts out with sweet liquorice and vanilla center. Ripe red grapes, blackberries and black coffee form a thick outer layer. There’s also a thin cloud of peat floating around but it’s not dominant at all. A black pepper spicyness arrive in a hastily manner, but it settles quite quickly. The oak becomes noticable and it comes with a hint of dust. There’s a transition from sweet and fresh to a darker bitter character happening which feels quite interesting.

Finish: At first there’s a second or two with a fresh fruitiness. Orange peel, red berries and fruits sits up front before it turns back towards the darker notes and the bitterness. A slightly astringent and dusty oak with coffee and hazelnuts comes through together with cinnamon and black pepper. The finish is rich and aromatic and it feels well balanced. There’s a hint of the peat left when all else settles but it’s easy to forget since it’s so far out of focus. This is a great whisky but it’s a bit hard to access the nice complexity behind the somewhat shallow exterior. Behind the sweet and warm front lies a nice array of flavours.

Additional information
This 16 YO Highland Park was aged in a mix of first fill Spanish Rioja red wine casks and american ex-bourbon barrels. It has natural colour.

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Arran 1998 (Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseur’s Choice)

ABV: 43 %
Origin: Speyside
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Sample added to queue. Tasting notes pending.

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Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2007 which makes it ~ 9 YO. It’s aged in refill ex-sherry hogsheads.

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Talisker Distiller’s Edition 2010/2020

ABV: 45.8 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is fruity and peaty. At first, there’s a mix of darker red berries and dried fruits. Behind there’s a layer of vanilla and honey with some salt and dry soil. Even further back there are some brighter fruits like green apples. The peatiness is creating a an outside layer of tobacco and woodfire smoke. A medicinal note comes through after some time in the glass.

Mouth: At first there’s a syrypy sweetness together with a touch of black pepper. The darker fruit notes are up front and after a second or two the peatiness starts to build up once again. The tobacco is present as well as the coastal salty notes. There’s some vanilla coming through as well as salted caramel. There’s a thin note of tropical fruitiness peeking through as well.

Finish: Black pepper together with the coastal notes lead way into the finish. There’s a quite noticable saltiness and it’s still got an earthy feel to it. The sherry is now a bit toned down and the fruitiness is much brighter than before with dried apricots and dried red berries. After some time the oak comes through. It’s a mild oakiness accompanied by the coastal notes all the way to the end. In the late finish the tobacco notes reappear as well as some walnuts. This is a great whisky with a nice fruity twist to an otherwise rowdy experience.

Additional information
This is basically the Talisker 10 YO finished for about a year in ex-Amaroso sherry casks. It has around 20 ppm. It’s aged for 10 years in reconstructed american ex-bourbon oak barrels before the finishing period.

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Tobermory 17 YO – 2004 Oloroso Cask Matured

ABV: 55.9 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a healthy serving of vanilla, toffee and soft red berries. There’s a mild layer of menthol floating around on top. Underneath the sweetness a darker character with dark chocolate, dried fruits and overripe plums creates a nice backplate. The fresher berries are joined by baked apples in the center and a rather translucent coastal note. With time in the glass everything seems to merge together to create a nice thick experience. This is a great, straight forward nose without any surprises. It delivers a solid profile which is nice overall.

Mouth: It starts out with a coastal note in the back and a quite peppery spicyness up front. There’s an immidiate increase in volume which makes the initial impact quite powerful. There are dark fruits and walnuts slowly emerging on the sides with notes of dark chocolate, overripe plums and leather. On top there’s a sprinkle of dust and some fresher fruits. The center is filled with vanilla and toffee. It still delivers a profile which is exactly on point with what to expect. After a few seconds it almost gets too spicy and forces a move on to the next step.

Finish: Surprisingly the transition almost immidiately reduces the intensity and the whole gets back to being powerful and spicy without being too aggressive. The dark fruits, chocolate and leather stay towards the edges while the center, still filled with vanilla and toffee, gets somewhat perfumey and aromatic. This seems to be connected to an oakiness which starts to build up in the back. The bitter note from the dark chocolate is now stronger and it really shows its age in the late finish. It takes a good while to get there but the late finish reveals a very nice and nutty oakiness with telltale signs of the 17 years spent in a cask. This is a great whisky which does everything by the book. It’s a solid creation (which, to be a bit picky, maybe lacks a bit of fun for the explorer).

Additional information
This whisky was distilled in 2004 and bottled 2021. It was aged in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. 11124 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Highland Park Full Volume

ABV: 47.2 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet and floral. At first there’s a floral heathery core with a sweet honey and vanilla shell. Underneath lies a mild and herbaceous peatiness. Buried within there are notes of liquorice and oak. With time in the glass the sweetness retreats and the floral notes move forward. This is a nice nose but there’s not much more to discover outside the initial impression.

Mouth: It starts out sweet with liquorice and heather coming through once again. The peatiness is still extremely mild and it takes some time for it to increase in intensity. The peat never leaves the background but at its peak it creates a very nice three-dimensional experience. The oakiness do come through and brings a small hint of coconut but it takes a while to ger there.

Finish: There’s a spicyness which feels very balanced and gives the finish a nice send of. When it slowly subsides the floral notes and a hint of tropical fruits returns together with the sweetness. There’s a small and subtle bitterness in the back together with the peat. It stays consistant for a long time before the oak takes over. It’s a long and nice oakiness altough it’s generic flavourwise. This is a very good whisky although it feels quite far off from its heritage.

Additional information
Full Volume is a 1999 Vintage bottled in 2017. It’s aged in first fill ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads. 481 casks were selected. It was filtered at +4 C and has natural colour.

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Arran 10 YO

ABV: 46 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 1
Emptied bottles: 0
Impression: 5/5

Tasting notes

Nose: This is sweet and sour. At first there’s a nice and rich honey, malt and vanilla layer up front with sour lemons and oranges underneath. There’s a nice top note of a fresh cooling mint even though the whole thing comes through as dense and slightly dusty. It’s very complex and the background is made up by several notes like charcoal, sour dough bread and a hint of iodine. This is a fantastic nose with a lot of things to discover. It feels very homogenous even though there are a lot of things floating around within.

Mouth: It starts out with a sweet honey and vanilla mix in the center with the citrus fruits residing out on the edges. It’s still malty and textured and the sweet and sour contrast works together and makes it both dense and refreshing at the same time. The complex mix of flavours are still found within. Charcoal, salt and sour dough bread especially. The oakiness starts to make itself known at this point and adds another dimension to the array of flavours.

Finish: The transition seems very logical and everything sort of melts together and after a second or two it creates a lemon and honey cake. It’s got a dessert-like quality to it. It’s still a bit dusty and there’s still a bit of charcoal left behind. The oakiness adds some tropical fruit notes on top as well as a dry, yet fresh, oaky layer in the background. When most of the flavours starts to fade out the oak, the sour lemon and the tropical fruits stay behind. This is a fantastic whisky with an almost perfect balance between contrasting flavours and sensations.

Additional information
This 10 YO is part of the Arran core range. There’s no information to be found about the cask type(s). It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.

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Highland Park Valfather

ABV: 47 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 3/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is floral and peaty. At first there’s a honey sweetness surrounding a core of heathery peat with additional tobacco and coastal notes. There’s also a fruity layer which sits beneath everything else. It’s a fresher fruitiness with a mixed apple and pear juice vibe to it. A thin veil of oakiness can be detected around the edges of the glass as well as vanilla. This is a very nice nose with a variety of flavours coming through.

Mouth: It starts out with a generic sweetness and it takes a second of two before everything else starts to push through. The heathery peat is first, the honey and vanilla notes are second and lastly the fruits, which now lean more towards the apples. There’s a saltiness as well. The tobacco notes are not very prominent at this point. For those who are patient the oakiness builds up in an outer layer and becomes very noticable. The whole thing is very mild and easy on the palate.

Finish: The peat is first to push through with heather and tobacco within but they are subdued by a somewhat hard-to-pinpoint complex savory note. The floral notes swirl around and the heather is joined by a hint of violets and a feint taste of tropical fruits. The honey sweetness and the vanilla increase in intensity before the oakiness once again starts to take over. There’s bitter coffee note in the back and a pretty generic oakiness up front. This is a good whisky with a lot of good things within but it just doesn’t feel very well balanced overall.

Additional information
The Highland Park Valfather is made from 100 % peated barley. It’s aged in refill casks for an undisclosed amount of time.

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Highland Park 12 YO – Viking Honour

ABV: 40 %
Origin: Islands
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 1
Impression: 4/5

Tasting notes
Nose: This is sweet fruits and mild peat. Fresh red berries and vanilla create a thick layer up front. There’s also a lemon note in the middle and some dried fruits a bit further out. The mild peatiness seems to sit in between everything else and it brings notes of leather and a hint of tobacco. After a while all flavours seem to merge and agree on a sweet orange fruitiness. The vanilla stays out of it though and mellows out a bit. This is a mild and very pleasant nose.

Mouth: At first it’s just sweet vanilla for a second or two. The first thing arriving is a thin bitter note and the red berries and dried fruits, now presented as dried apricots with a hint of raisins. It soon changes towards oranges again and now the peel is included. The peat is much more noticable here and it now sits on the outer edges. It’s leather, tobacco and a hint of rubber. There’s no oakiness present yet and there’s no perticular change over time.

Finish: The peat slowly spreads out over the palate and then ends up towards the edges again. The frutiness is the same as before with red berries, dried apricots, raisins and orange peel. It takes a second or two for the oak to come through, but when it arrives it’s a great dry and nutty oak. It’s walnuts and a hint of assorted tropical fruits in there as well. The mild peaty aura with leather and tobacco is consistant through it all. This is mild but never boring. This is a great whisky for a tired brain.

Additional information
The 12 YO was first released in the 1970’s as a core range whisky. The ”Viking Honour” name was added in 2017. It’s mostly matured in european ex-sherry oak casks. It’s bottled with natural color.

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