Stronachie 10, Benrinnes 14 Hart Brothers.


Stronachie 10 Year Old

Stronachie (pronunciation: “Stron-a-key”)
Gaelic for “prominent nose/headland in the valley”

Background of Stronachie: A. D. Rattray acquired a bottle of Stronachie single malt which dated back to 1904. Using this, they tried to find a current day whisky that matched the flavour of the expression from the long closed distillery. They decided that whisky from the Benrinnes distillery in Speyside matched it very closely and have bottled some under the Stronachie name. (Source: Master of Malt)

Region: Speyside

ABV: 43%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Glencairn Neat, rested for 20 minutes with a few drops of distilled water

Colour: Pale Gold
Nose: Honey, lots of honey, slight earthiness, hints of stone fruits, slight citrus undertone, all covered by layers of honey, hints of floral notes, hints of pineapples, also covered by honey.
Palate:Interesting mouth feel, kinda massages my tongue a little bit, more honey, makes me wonder if I am drinking honey whisky without the added sweetness. Cereal notes, spicy, honey fruits, slight chocolate feel, lingering notes of pepper, some oak and slight earthy notes on the exhale.
Finish:Long lingering finish accompanied with spice, and hints of oak, and a tiny tiny tiny faint appearance of seaweed. Dry.
Score: 82/100

I am not sure where I got the slight hint of seaweed from, but it’s in my mouth for a brief moment, in the very end of the finish, I swish my mouth a little as it’s drying. Overall an interesting dram, dominating honey notes throughout, not exactly complex, but that seaweed note in the end got me thinking.


Benrinnes 14 Hart Brothers

Never had anything from Hart Brothers, this would be my first! Matured in ex-Bourbon casks, aged for 14 years.

Region: Speyside

ABV: 46%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Glencairn Neat, rested for 20 minutes with a few drops of distilled

Colour: Gold
Nose:Minty on the nose, honey, but not dominating like the Stronachie 10, some spice, pepper? Fruity pineapples and light floral notes.
Palate:Weird, the very initial expression reminds me of sesame oil, or skunk spray, but not unpleasant, I get that distinctive relation with sesame oil, odd. Tropical fruit, some citrus, and oaky. (Is it the oak that I am relating to the sesame oil??)
Finish: Long finish, more tropical fruit on the exhale, spicy, slight seaweed salt, just like the Stronachie (are they supposed to be salty), pepper.
Score: 83/100



Glenlivet Nadurra NAS, Nadurra 16.


Glenlivet Nadurra First Fill NAS 

Region: Speyside

ABV: 59.8%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Batch: FF0115

Container: Spiegelau Whisky Snifter – Rested for 20 minutes – splash of water

Colour: Pale straw

Nose: Full blown vanilla, edges of alcohol, small hints of mints??, pears, with water: wow! Opens up more fresh fruits, tons of apples, floral.

Palate: Nice wave of fresh fruity sweetness, hints of oak, more hints of mints (is it even mint??), custard sweetness, some bananas, nice layers of sweetness.

Finish: Long warming feel in the mouth, hints of oak and nuts, with the sweetness and slight spiciness undertone lingering on. Real delicious treat!

Score: 85.5/100

This is what I have been looking for as a replacement for my first single malt the Glenlivet 12, retains that profile but a lot more punch and complexity.

Moving onto the 16, let’s see why most people love this dram!

Glenlivet Nadurra 16 

Region: Speyside

ABV: 55.3%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Batch: Unknown
Container: Spiegelau Whisky Snifter – Rested for 20 minutes – splash of water

Colour: Darker than the NAS, Gold.

Nose: Really different right off the bat, instead of sweet fruits, the first impression is honeydew melon, less alcohol on the nose, more tamed, cooked apples, honey, bananas, vanilla, small hints of oak, doesn’t have that minty notes I was getting on the NAS. With water: Opens up some floral undertone, more sweetness, strawberry jam and apple juice.

Palate: More apple juice, slight peppery, citrus, slight mineral/smoke, more of a cooked fruits approach vs. the NAS’s fresh cut fruits, oak, unknown herbal notes, pears and hints of smoke?(Am I drunk???)

Finish: Nice lingering finish, slight spice, malt, more apple sweetness, more oak, then slight mineral taste in the very end.

Score: 85/100

I feel like I am about to get stabbed for rating the NAS higher, I enjoyed them both equally. Instead of thinking they are the same product line, I would think them as different whisky, with different approach.

The NAS made me look back to my first single malt, the Glenlivet 12, afterwards I have been searching for something more or less the same, but with more complexity. I think I have found what I have been looking for, big bourbon cask flavor profile, fresh fruits and nice lingering sweetness.
The Glenlivet 12 has a special place in my heart even tho I no longer enjoy it as much, it reminds me of the same feeling as discovering a new continent, excitement. “WOW I can’t believe whisky tastes like this!” This has that magic, the innocence. In the same way how Richard Hammond on Top Gear compared Pagani to Ferrari/Lamborghini. Pagani (NAS First Fill) is where they still carries the innocence, the Nadurra 16 feels like the grown up Ferrari/Lamborghini (As I have driven a 458, and been in my friend’s Aventador multiple times), it’s really safe and predictable, more tamed, more grown up.

Wiser Last Barrel

This was a mystery sample, tasted completely blind.



Container: Spiegelau Whisky Snifter – Rested for 20 minutes

Colour: Goldish Amber

Nose: Smells suspiciously like a bourbon, possibly corn base. Bananas, toffee, caramel, hints of ginger, hints of orange zests, cake mix.

Palate: Not particular hot on the palate, guessing 43-46%, not oily on the tongue suggests chill-filtering, dry, slight honey, slight vanilla, spices, what happened to the flavors? It’s already gone! There is nothing that stands out particularly.

Finish: Short, the flavors trying to escape precisely 1 second after come in contact with my tongue, more dryness, slight hints of…water?


My guess: Nikka Coffey Grain

Overall just really dry on the mouth, the opposite of mouthwatering. Nothing stands out in particular on the palate. Waiting for reveal.

Reveal: Wiser Last Barrel

Whisky Review – Caol Ila 17 Unpeated 2015 Release

Review 9 - Caol Ila 17 Unpeated 2015 Release.JPG


Caol Ila 17 Unpeated 2015 [Link]

Region: Islay

ABV: 55.9%

E150: Yes

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Spiegelau Whisky Snifter, neat with a splash of water. Rested for 20 minutes.

Colour: Golden amber

Nose: Hints of smoke, toffee, citrusy fruitiness, vanilla, ripe fruits undertone, I detected hints of absinthe then after resting it was gone. Slight malt and nose from above the glass, dried fruits. Bright fruit notes after a splash of water. Really nice and complex notes.

Palate: Surprisingly smooth on the tongue at this ABV, added a splash of water after. Nice oily sweetness, slight herbal notes, citrus, hints of salt, mouthwatering, slight spice? A taste I can’t describe when I took my last sip and breathe in some air.

Finish: Medium-long, tingling spice, oak, some mineral? OH, after a minute hints of mints!

Score: 86/100

Whisky Review – Arran Private Cask 10 Year Old for LCBO


Arran Private Cask for LCBO 10 Years Old [Link]


Region: Island

ABV: 55.4%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Cask type: First fill bourbon cask

Cask No. 2005/800228

Bottle No. 233/236


Container: Spiegelau Whisky Snifter with a splash of water, rested for 30 minutes.

Colour: Pale Gold

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, honey, sweet nose, apples, hints of peaches, dried apricot.

Palate: Cereal, sweet malt, honey, apples, hot on the palate needed to dash it with more water. Slight hint of salt, slight spice.

Finish: Medium-long length finish, sweet malty in the mouth, slight oak, spice.

Score: 83/100

Whisky Review – Tomatin 14 Portwood



Tomatin 14 Portwood [Link]

Region: Highland

ABV: 46%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Spiegelau Whisky Snifter, splash of water, rested for 20 minutes.
Colour: Coppery Gold
Nose: Strawberry, raisins, spices, cinnamon?, red fruit jam, stewed fruits, hints of citrus, hints of oak, slight nutty aroma. Palate: Stewed fruits, cereal, wood, dark chocolate, nuts, fruit jam, spices.
Finish: Long finish, after the fruit exits leaves the mouth with oak, spices, dark chocolate. I think dark chocolate is what I think of the most despite the fruitiness as I don’t have to think much before describing it.
Score: 83/100


Since currently it’s summer mostly not in the mood for peated whisky, this is a lovely full-bodied fruity whisky. This is packed with stewed fruits which is a nice change of paste from my recent hunt for sherry whisky. Pretty smooth on the palate, delivering nice and rich flavor you would expect from a port cask finish.

Whisky Review – Bunnahabhain 12



Bunnahabhain 12 [Link]

Region: Islay

ABV: 46.8%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Spiegelau Whisky Snifter Neat with some water

Colour: Copper/Honey

Nose: Creamy rounded sweetness, sherry, honey, some unknown notes(maybe is what people call brine? I have no idea what brine smells like), cooked apples, really really faint smoke, chocolate, really interesting, smooth on the nose, no pungent alcohol notes, tiny tiny hint of orange?

Palate: Umami, some nuttiness, malt, slight fruit, sherry, spice, oak, something happening on the side of my mouth I can’t describe. Nice oily mouth feel, swirls in the mouth very smoothly.
Finish: Short finish, the flavor goes away quickly (so you can drink more!), I might have added slight bit too much water?

Score: 83/100


Saw this on the shelf today, always wanted to try Bunnahabhain but not at the stage to shell out $180 on the 18Y, still want to buy more bottles for my money to explorer different distilleries and their offerings, this is really interesting as one of the few unpeated Islay whisky, it’s the first whisky that let me notice the coastal notes that people talks about, I like the sweetness, overall well balanced whisky at a good price, been looking for a nice summer dram, I think this will do it!

Whisky Review – Arran 12 CS, Amarone Cask, Tokaji Aszu Cask.


Arran 12 CS – Batch 5 [Link]

Region: Isle of Arran

ABV: 52.9%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Glencairn Neat with a few drops of distilled water, rested for 30 minutes.
Colour: Gold
Nose:  Caramel, dried fruits, malt, oak, honey, sherry, and perfume/floral notes(if I sniff further away from the glass)
Palate: Very nice in the mouth, bit of salt, very little alcohol burn, chocolate, sweet cake, few more drops of water opens up fruity notes and hints vanilla in the background.
Finish: Long finish, lingers around in the mouth with oak and spiciness.
Score: 82/100

Not too complex, has a nice nose with a lot of malt, good mouth feel, but lacks complexity.

Arran Amarone Cask Finish

Region: Isle of Arran

ABV: 50%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Glencairn Neat with a few drops of distilled water, rested for 30 minutes.

Colour: Redish Copper/Darker Rosé Wine

Nose: Red fruit jam, raisins, hints of oak, honey, chocolate.

Palate: Dark chocolate, cooked fruits, more burn than the 12CS, tiny tiny hint of spice.

Finish: Medium finish, mouth warming, fruit lingers for a bit with a soft oak flavor.

Score: 83/100

Offers a bit more than the 12 CS, there is a surprising amount of alcohol burn compared to even higher proof whiskies. I enjoy the wine influence here in this whisky.


Arran Tokaji Aszu Wine Cask Finish

Region: Isle of Arran

ABV: 55%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Spiegelau Whisky Sniffer Neat with a few drops of Islay water

Colour: Light Copper

Nose: Hints of sourness, orange/citrus, sweet flower notes, a small hint of grass.

Palate: Smother than the Amarone Cask, red grapes, hints of orange and pear, vanilla, more matured fruits, hints of oak.

Finish: Long and complex, kicks in with a small bit of salt, fruity notes, spice, yeast.

Score: 87/100

This is the most interesting one out of all three, and the most complex, a really special finish, opens up really well with few drops of water, I would buy a bottle if I could get my hand on it. Tried it at Via Allegro with over 1000 whiskies in their collection.

Whisky Review – anCnoc Flaughter


anCnoc Flaughter [Link]

Region: Highland

ABV: 46%

E150: No

Chill-filtered: No

Container: Glencairn Neat

Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: Peat, Smoke, Fruits, Pear, Apple, hints of sweetness.

Palate: Peat, Malt, Oaky, Pear, Decent thickness in the mouth, a bit like a candy, no alcohol burn.

Finish: Peat, Smoky on the exhale, lingers on for some time along with the pear.

Score: 83/100

After doing some research on Reddit and asking for people’s opinion, I landed on this slightly peated dram as my gateway to peat. Peated to only 14.8ppm, initially peat and smoke on the nose, then kicks in the pear notes. I love the fruity pear notes in this whisky along with the peat and smoke, it strikes a really good balance along with a nice long finish. Apparently they used the flaughter to remove the top layer of the peat so it’s not earthy and medicinal. This is excellent for people like me who are used to Speyside and Highland whisky, the peat adds a nice depth to this not overly complex whisky. Looking forward to other anCnoc whiskies, and the world of peat ahead of me.

Whisky Review – Glenlivet 12


Glenlivet 12 [Link]

Region: Speyside

ABV: 40%

E150: Yes

Chill-filtered: Yes

Container: Glencairn neat

Colour: Pale Gold

Nose: Pear, hints of pineapple, perfume, malt

Palate: Smooth sweetness, malt, honey, no alcohol burn, fruity, thin in the mouth.

Finish: Goes down really smoothly, leaves slight taste of malt in the mouth, lingers in the mouth slightly then goes away almost instantly.

Score: 75/100 

This is what got me into drinking scotch, I had the JW Black Label few years back and didn’t like it (perhaps too young to like whisky), I remember the day when I bought it, poured it into the Glencairn, the fruitiness got me thinking that whiskies aren’t all the same. I would recommend this to those who want to try out drinking scotch, before this I bought a bottle of Dewar White Label which was…..unappealing to say the least.