This is the fourth release in the Explorer series. It’s limited to 9000 bottles worldwide. It has been aged in ex-sherry puncheons directly from Jerez, Spain which probably means first fill. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
This whisky was released in 2016. It was aged in a mix of first fill ex-bourbon barrels and ex-rum casks (with peated whisky) for an undisclosed amount of time. 8700 bottles were released. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 44 %
Type: Single Malt
Bottles in collection: 0
Emptied bottles: 0
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.
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.
ABV: 46.3 % Origin: Islands Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is ripe fruits and peat. At first there’s a vegetal peat, with notes of heather and minerals, sitting on top of a dark ripe fruitiness and a gritty sulfury note. There’s also a minty overtone contrasting the dark and peaty character. With time the whole becomes a bit fresher and fruitier while the peatiness remains intact. When it settles there are notes of sugered rapsberries comin through. It also becomes somewhat sweeter over time. This is a fantastic nose with a nice balance between different sensations.
Mouth: It starts out with a quite sour lemon note in the back and a slightly dusty sweetness up front. It takes a couple of seconds before the peatiness shows up towards the edges and slowly moving inwards. It feels young and fresh at heart, but the ripe berries and the dusty sweetness creates what feels like a fake sense of age. It’s still feels mineral rich but it’s not as vegetal as on the nose. There’s a nice spicyness on top giving it a nice power-up. A slight coffee bitterness shows up in the back for those who wait.
Finish: The impact is immidiate and a sweet and somewhat fresher berry note, mixed with vanilla and sulfur, pushes through in the center. The peat and the ABV spicyness is detached and sits out on the edges. It still feels a bit dusty and there’s a bit of complexity within, but everything feels a bit detached in the finish. The oakiness comes through very late and it’s a very laid back and gentle oakiness which does its job but comes through as a bit lackluster. This is a very good whisky with a fantastic nose. It seems to deteriorate the further down the journey it comes.
This no age statement whisky is the first release in the Sinclair Series. It’s aged in ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in spanish ex-Rioja red wine casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 55,8 % Origin: Islands Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
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.
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.
ABV: 45,8 % Origin: Islands Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 3/5
Nose: This is sweet and peaty. At first there’s a deep sweetness with a fresh tropical fruitiness attached to it. There’s a nice dollop of peat which feels very integrated with the other flavours. It’s a mix of coastal notes, tobacco and leather. The charred oak comes through after a few seconds and adds vanilla and a hint of cocnut to the mix. With time in the glass the fruitiness becomes more and more noticable. This is a great nose with a lot of dimensions to it even though they all seem to fit nicely together.
Mouth: It starts out a lot less sweet. The peat is now much more dominant and rowdy with salty coastal notes as the main feature. The fruitiness is pushed back and becomes lemon and orange peel in the background. It still feels vibrant and fresh without feeling too young. In the middle there seem to be a textured and dusty vanilla with some cask char and a hint of honey floating around. There’s a spicyness slowly increasing in intensity over time as well.
Finish: The finish starts out with vanilla and oak in the back together with the orange peel bitterness. The spicyness and the peat sit on top. For the first time it doesn’t feel quite as balanced and most of the notes stay far back on the palate. The only thing happening in the later parts of the finish is that the oakiness increases in intensity and it almost feels too oaky after a while. It’s a fresh sawdust oakiness and the char notes are certainly present. The coconut flashes by briefly but it just feels like chewing on a piece of wood in the end. This is a very good whisky but it’s not without flaws. The nose is by far the best part of the journey.
This is a travel retail exclusive release first launched in 2013. It’s aged for an undisclosed time in heavily charred oak casks.
ABV: 46 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
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.
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.
ABV: 50 % Origin: Islands Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 1 Impression: 5/5
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.
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.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Islands Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 3/5
Nose: This is sweet and floral. At first there’s a sweet mix of honey, vanilla and heather coming through from the center and a very mild whiff of peat and tobacco slowly rising up towards the edges. It takes a few seconds for them to meet up to create a whole. When they do the floral notes are pushed forwards together with a fresh fruitiness. The sweet layer moves slightly backwards and gets a butterscotch note added within. There’s also a menthol layer hovering above everything else. This is a very nice nose and it’s shaped like a cone; With a wide sweet bottom and a fresh pointy top.
Mouth: It starts out with a thick layer with everything mixed in. There are notes of heather, assorted tropical fruits, tobacco, peat, honey and vanilla. There’s even a fresh saw dust oakiness and they’re all coming through at once. After a few seconds it starts to once again create the same cone as on the nose with the fruitiness and heather up front and the sweetness in the back. The tobacco and peat smoke is a bit heavier in taste than on the nose. The oakiness is floating around outside of the cone.
Finish: The menthol returns for a quick visit but it’s soon pierced by the fresh tropical fruitiness and the floral notes. The oakiness is still very fresh with plenty of wood spices and it’s creating a woody scenery in the background. There’s also a hint of ripe fruits somewhere in the middle but maybe it’s the tobacco notes and the peat creating an illusion. This is a very good whisky despite its low ABV. It’s a bit mild and a bit too oaky, but it never feels flat and/or over-oaked.
The Highland Park 1998 was bottled in 2016 so it’s a 12 YO expression. It’s a travel retail exclusive which focuses on maturation in first fill ex-american bourbon barrels.
ABV: 46.3 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is vegetal and peaty. At first there’s a big vegetal and hebaceous peatiness with a medicinal and ashy background. There’s heather and iodine and also a thin menthol layer on top of everything else. The background is quite gritty and complex with a rubber note somewhere within. With time in the glass vanilla and honey start to emerge and makes the whole very approachable. There’s also a hint of green apples peeking through. This is a fantastic nose with a great array of flavours.
Mouth: It starts out with a slightly bitter background surrounding a very medicinal peat note. It’s not as vegetal as on the nose and it packs a nice punch from the get-go. The vanilla and honey are now out on the edges as well as the green apples but they play second fiddle to the rowdy and gritty flavours. The rubber note is still in the as well as the ashy notes. It mirrors the nose very well and it’s constantly evolving without changing the theme.
Finish: The finish starts out with a big push of heather, vanilla and honey. After a few seconds they once again get pushed back by the medicinal peat and the gritty background, which now has moved forward a bit. When everything settles the heather stays together with the medicinal peat and dry oakiness. It sort of feels like saw dust; Fresh yet dusty. This is a fantastic whisky which isn’t for the feint hearted. It’s very rowdy, yet it presents itself as sweet and flowery.
This is made by the Tobermory Distillery. It’s not stated, but suggested that it’s aged in ex-bourbon barrels. The peat level i 37 ppm. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 47,2 % Origin: Islands Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is sweet and fruity. At first there’s a thick layer of honey and dark fruits. There are raisins and overripe plums, but also a layer of dried apricots. There’s a nice balance between the sweetness and the fruitiness. After a few seconds in the glass there are notes of vanilla starting to come through as well as a maltiness. There’s a complexity to it and fleeting notes of leather and tobacco are found in the background. It feels very three-dimensional. This is a very nice nose with a lot to offer.
Mouth: It starts out with a subdued lemon sourness and a sweet honey top layer. The fruitiness is a lot brighter and the darker fruit notes move into the background. There’s a black coffee note somewhere in between and there’s a dusty leather note in there as well. With time it turns darker and at one point it feels like there’s a creamy coffee liqueuer within. There’s also vanilla, sweet liquorice and just a tiny whiff of smoke.
Finish: It starts out with a layer of the dark sherry notes in the back. It takes a second or two for the front layer to appear but when it does, it reveals the same notes once again with coffee, fruits, leather and, once it settles, a nice oakiness. The oak seems to be in balance, it’s present, but it doesn’t overpower the rest of the finish which makes it a long and very rewarding experience. The oakiness is dusty with a hint of hazelnuts and there’s still a whiff of smoke. This is a fantastic whisky. It’s well balanced and full of flavour.
This is the second release in the Explorer series. It’s limited to 9000 bottles worldwide. It has been aged in ex-sherry hogsheads and finished in ex-Amontadillo sherry casks from Bodegas Tradicion. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 46 % Origin: Islands Type: Single malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is sweet and lemon fresh. There’s a very nice and thick layer of vanilla, caramel, honey and sweet liquorice and it’s intertwined with lemons and oranges. A hint of fresh oak comes through from the back together with a sprinkle of sea salt. There’s a white chocolate note appearing after some time in the glass. This is very rich and full bodied.
Mouth: A squeeze of lemon passes by before a black pepper spicyness takes over. It’s not as sweet as on the nose but it’s still very rich. The lemon note comes back together with malt, sweet liquorice and some caramel. It comes off as a bit dry and dusty. The lemon note is now leaning more towards the zest with a bitter tang to it. The oranges are gone. In the background a hint of the oak is coming through together with white chocolate.
Finish: At first, black pepper and lemon is creating a cloud that takes up the entire space. It takes a second or two before the other flavours make themselves known. There are vanilla, honey and caramel notes as well as an oakiness building up. It’s a very nice fresh oakiness with a hint of hazelnuts and a hint of chalk. In the late finish it finally shows some age with a row of dusty old books. This is an extremely well made and very tasty whisky.
This is part of The Arran Malt’s core range and it’s aged in both american ex-bourbon barrels and european ex-sherry casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 46 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 0 Emptied bottles: 2 Impression: 4/5
Nose: This is sweet and peaty. At first there’s a leathery and slightly ashy peat dominating the palate. It’s quite rowdy but it doesn’t feel protruding or sharp. There’s a vanilla and honey sweetness which slowly becomes noticable. The same goes for a soft and mild, slightly ripe, red berry fruitiness. When it settles there’s a dry soil earthiness floating around somewhere within. There’s also a sweet liquorice note coming through towards the edges. This is a rich and full flavoured nose which has a lot to offer.
Mouth: It starts out with a hit of the dry soil peatiness with a peppery spicyness on top. The sweetness is still in there but it’s not as sweet as on the nose. The sweetness eventually creates a butterscotch layer on the edges. After a few seconds the leather note appears as well as a sulfuric background note. There are ripe red berries up front and a thin sour lemon note in the back. The whole is slightly astringent and sort of hard to reach with a rock-like minerality to it.
Finish: The minerality and the dry soil never budges through the transition. The other flavours take a slight dip before returning. The peatiness has become a bit more herbaceous at this point and the fruitiness is residing a long way back on the palate. This gives the oakiness room to be noticed and it brings a fantastic hazelnuts and old oak combination. The oakiness is joined by the peat a long way down the line and the late finish is the best part of the journey. This is a really good whisky with a not so commersial composition. This makes it stand out in a very good way.
The Prophecy is aged ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and limousin oak. The whisky is unchillfiltered and more peated than other Juras.
ABV: 40 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 4/5
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.
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.
ABV: 50 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 5/5
Nose: This is dark and sweet. At first there’s a honey and vanilla sweetness with a dark fruitiness sitting just behind. There’s a mix of sugared blackberries, black grapes and a twist of lemon. On top there’s a cloud of mild menthol. With time in the glass it becomes a bit sweeter with toffee and a hard to pinpoint floral note floating around in the back. It continuously changes but never strays from the main path. This is a great nose with a lot of things to Discover.
Mouth: It starts out with a big hit of honey sweetness and dark berries. It’s very rich and textured from the get-go. There’s also a bitter lemon note as well as a gritty layer in the back with notes of wood, sulfur and rubber. After a while there’s a tropical fruitiness emerging from the back which slowly moves towards the center. There’s a complexity to the whole thing and it feels very three-dimensional. All of the sensations are coming through to a various degree.
Finish: The finish starts out with the red wine dark fruitiness in the back and it sort of grows bigger and bigger in a forward motion. The sweetness ,the menthol and a sprinkle of dusty earth notes come through as well. It takes a few seconds before the gritty notes and the tropical fruitiness once again join in. The bitter lemon is still residing in the back. The oakiness arrives late and never takes over. It just seem to create another layer of complexity. This is a fantastic whisky with an array of complex flavours floating around.
This is part of the Arran Wine Cask Finish series. It’s aged for around 8 years in traditional ex-bourbon barrels and then finished in Amarone red wine casks. It’s unchillfiltered and has natural colour.
ABV: 47 % Origin: Islands Type: Single Malt Bottles in collection: 1 Emptied bottles: 0 Impression: 3/5
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.
The Highland Park Valfather is made from 100 % peated barley. It’s aged in refill casks for an undisclosed amount of time.
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.
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.