Whisky Review – Macallan 12 Sherry Cask

Macallan 12 Sherry Cask

Region: Speyside
ABV: 43%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: Yes
Cask Type: Sherry Casks


Colour: Amber

Nose: Raisin, honey, grape, malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, grass

Palate: Sherry, malt, dried red fruits, ginger, chocolate

Finish: Medium, ginger, sherry, mineral, malt

Score: 78/100

Always a great introduction to Scotch Single Malt, the Macallan 12 is great for beginner, no off notes, nice sherry fruit, malt, and spice profile. Decent complexity, easy for beginners to pick out and learn. Part of the Scotch starter pack that I would recommend trying out.

Whisky Review – Macallan Rare Cask Black

Macallan Rare Cask Black

Region: Speyside
ABV: 48%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ~100 predominently sherry-seasoned casks, peated malt.


Colour: Amber

Nose: Leather, dark fruits, toffee, plum, raisins, spice, oak, very faint smoke

Palate: Plum, oak, cola, pepper, ginger, orange peel, smoke

Finish: Medium+ finish, pepper, mineral, dark chocolate, oak, sherry, leather

Score: 87/100

Peated Macallan, very rare indeed. Part from the 1946 vintage of Macallan, this is probably the only time you will be able to try their peated expression. The nose is surprising, very typical of Macallan, rounded sherry fruits, spice, and oak is rather dominant, with a faint suggestion of smoke. Oak also plays a big part on the palate, plum, cola, spice, orange peel, and smoke; followed by a medium length finish, spicy, oaky, with a touch of dark chocolate and leather to round things off. This is a very mildly peated whisky, just sits in the back subtlety. You get an impression of more older-casks in this NAS release, very nice balance of complexity and flavour.

Whisky Review – Arran 21st Anniversary Limited Edition

Arran 21st Anniversary

Region: Island
ABV: 52.6%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Sherry Hogshead


Colour: Amber

Nose: Menthol, mango, peach skin, honey, orange peel, nuts, faint anise

Palate: Mango, chocolate, pepper, ginger, raspberry, apple, walnut

Finish: Medium+, oak, ginger, cinnamon, malt, mineral

Score: 87/100

One of the nicest Arran I’ve tried, alongside the Tokaji Aszu Wine Cask (55%). The nose already shows a great deal of promise right off the bat. Abundant fruit presence, signature of Arran, honey, orange peel, nuttiness, and a faint sense of anise. The palate is a great balance of fruit, chocolate, and spice, with a touch of the nuttiness from the nose, followed by a medium to long finish, where the oak kicks in, along with ample spiciness, malt, and mineral notes. Great special release.

Whisky Review – Highland Park 21

Highland Park 21

Region: Island
ABV: 47.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: N/A


Colour: Amber

Nose: Apple, peanut, malt, raisin, peach, lemon peel, cocoa, faint smoke

Palate: Pepper, ginger, light smoke, raisin, stewed fruits

Finish: Medium+, ginger, cocoa, light smoke, orange peel, syrupy

Score: 85/100

Quite a step up from the standard 18, perhaps the higher ABV really helped out here. The nose is very rounded, and rather complex, nice mixture of fruit, faint smoke, and malt. Once I drank it, I was surprised by how spicy this was, followed by stewed fruits and raisin notes. The finish was somewhat long, with some cocoa notes and orange peel showing up, really rounded and syrupy. Well made, spicy single malt.

Whisky Review – Jack Wiebers Islay Malt Locomotive Breath Anniversary Bottling

Jack Wiebers Islay Malt Locomotive Breath

Region: Islay
ABV: 53.7%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Sherry Cask Finish, 1 of 120 Bottles


Colour: Mahogany

Nose: Leather, coffee, dark chocolate, raspberry, spicy smoked meat

Palate: Burnt wood, coffee, nuts, dark chocolate, raspberry

Finish: Long finish, smoke, coffee, leather, oak tannins, pepper

Score: 86/100

Upon nosing the dram, I was greeted with a wonderful nose full of leather, coffee, dark chocolate, raspberry, spicy smoked meat; great deal of complexity shown here. The palate shows similar notes, but less complex when compared to the nose, a distinctive burnt wood character shown here, followed by a long finish, a nice array of smoke, coffee, oak tannins, and peppery spice. Despite it being NAS, Jack Wiebers is doing great work here. Highly recommended.

Whisky Review – Bruichladdich The Laddie 22

Bruichladdich The Laddie 22


Region: Islay
ABV: 46%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: American Oak Casks


Colour: Gold

Nose: Lemon, honey, soft floral, malt, pepper, honeydew, muscat grape, pineapple, sea breeze, banana bread

Palate: Honey, melon, mineral, vanilla, melon, oak, cereal, salt

Finish: Medium finish, ethanol, pepper, lemon, seaweed

Score: 86/100

The nose was the highlight for me, very elegant and soft, while carrying ample complexity. A very pleasant coastal influence throughout, from the nose to the finish, giving this dram a nice character. The Laddie 22 is more matured than its younger siblings, and it should, although slightly I do detect a touch of ethanol on the finish, but it’s not a deal breaker by any chance. The complexity on the palate is tightly integrated, all the nice ex-bourbon cask notes. Would highly recommend trying this.

Wine Review – John Duval Eligo 2008

John Duval Eligo 2008

Country: Australia
Region: Barossa Valley, Eden Valley
Grape: 100% Shiraz
ABV: 14.5%

Colour: Deep purple, slight clear garnet on the edge

Clean, medium+ intensity, fully developed. Plum, blackberry, blueberry, pepper, savoury smoke, oak, graphite, touch of leather

Dry, medium+ acidity, medium+ tannins, medium+ alcohol, full body, medium+ flavour intensity.
Plum, saline, black cherry, blackberry, liquorice

Finish: Long finish, pepper, integrated oak, waves of dark fruits for a good 15-20 seconds.

Score: 88/100

A great wine from the legendary Australian wine maker – John Duval, and Eligo being their flagship wine. Decanted for 1.5 hours. Fully developed, with some structure to hold onto its prime for at least 2-4 more years, would highly recommend drinking in the near future if you still have a bottle.

The nose is rather intense, showing a great balance of fruit, matured notes, and the classic peppery spice. On the palate, abundant of mellow black fruits, liquorice, and pepper, with a touch of saltiness, followed by a long finish that lingers for 15-20 seconds.

This is a very good wine, riding right on its prime. Although not as complex as a I thought it would been, the wine as a whole is well composed, from the nose, flavour, mouthfeel, and finish. Not the typical fruit bomb of Barossa, but shows a nice balance of power and elegance.

Whisky Review – Longrow Red 11 Fresh Port Cask

Longrow Red 11 Fresh Port Cask

Region: Campbeltown
ABV: 51.8%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: First-fill Port Cask


Colour: Amber

Nose: Plum, peat, oily, strawberry, baking spice, honey, brine, cranberry

Palate: Dried leaf, brine, honey, peat, red berry gummy, strawberry jam, cereal, wood

Finish: Long finish, pepper, ash, salt, red fruit gummy

Score: 89/100

This dram encompass everything I love about the peat and wine cask combination. Really rich dram with a great balance of fruitiness and peat. Full of red fruits like strawberry, cranberry, berry jam and gummy, coastal character present throughout, followed by a long, ashy, spicy finish. The balance of this dram is great, along with great deal of complexity, can drink this all night long.

Whisky Review – Aberfeldy 16 (A.D. Rattray 1994/2010 Cask 4017)

Aberfeldy 16 (A.D. Rattray 1994/2010 Cask 4017)

Region: Highland
ABV: 55.5%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: ex-Bourbon Hogshead Cask 4017


Colour: Straw

Nose: Vanilla, honey, pineapple, apple, cinnamon, citrus, malt, Bounce outdoor fabric softener dryer sheet

Palate: Honey, malt, citrus, ginger, vanilla, pineapple, nutmeg

Finish: Medium, mineral, black tea, pepper, oak

Score: 85/100

First time having a cask strength Aberfeldy, this one is aged in an ex-Bourbon hogshead.

It’s more memorable than their OB lineup, but circles around the classic ex-Bourbon cask notes, full of tropical fruits and citrus, vanilla, honey, spices, and malt, the usual lot.

The palate is not particularly interesting, similar to the nose, but with a lot of spices like ginger, vanilla, and pepper kicking in, transitioning into a warming, and spicy finish.

Solid dram overall, but that’s about it.

Whisky Review – Bruichladdich Octomore 10 2nd Edition

Bruichladdich Octomore 10 2nd Edition

Region: Islay
ABV: 57.3%
E150: No
Chill-filtered: No
Cask Type: Fresh Bourbon and Grenache Blanc casks


Colour: Light Copper

Nose: Raspberry, acetone, caramel, vanilla, apricot, cherry syrup, ash

Palate: Caramel, salt, peanut, chocolate, vanilla, clove, pepper, oily

Finish: Medium+ finish, cherry syrup, mineral, earthy, pepper, smoke

Score: 86/100

Oldest Octomore? Here it is, aged in first-fill ex-bourbon, and Grenache Blanc cask (probably from Rhone?). I find with Octomore, the ppm count doesn’t really mean much, as the ppm is measured before distillation, and the final product always seem to be a lot less peaty than the number suggests, and it really shows here.

The nose is really rich and oily, full of vanilla, stone fruits, red fruits, and of course, ashy peat. It’s a lot mellower than normal Octomore, but it’s less brash than some of the similarly aged cask strength offerings from Ardbeg, or Caol Ila.
The palate is rather smooth, but not without a kick of alcohol, full of sweet vanilla, caramel, peanuts, chocolate, saltiness and spiciness. The finish lingers with earthy peat smoke, cherry syrup, and peppery spiciness.

I rather enjoyed this, I will judge it like it’s a blind tasting, which the name Octomore doesn’t matter here, a nice bit of complexity despite some rough edges, worth trying a dram. As an Octomore however, I much prefer the more youthful releases.