Caol Ila 25
Color: light gold
Nose: Smoky, cerealy, salt, pine
Palate: smoky, sweet, honey, woody, herbal, sea salt, touch bitter
Nose: as above, but sweeter, bit of honey, softer smoke, floral (heather?)
Palate: nice! full, campfire smoky, cerealy, honey sweet, a little salt (which builds), like Talisker meets Lagavulin
Finish: salty, smoky, nice and long
Jon, Mark & Robbo's The Smokey Peaty One
Didn't write much in the way of notes apart from:
new spirity, light, sweet, smooth, light smoke, can knock it back
Connemara Peated (Irish whiskey)
light, melony, a bit smoky, sweet, banana, dangerously smooth, touch of salt, short finish
Argh...I don't remember if this was the standard one, the cask strength, or the 12-year. If it's the standard one, then it's worth the $45 or so. If it's the 12-year, it's definitely not worth the $85-90. I'll go back to the shop where I tasted it and will find out.
Glenmorangie Signet (46%)
No age statement. About 20% of the spirit is made from chocolate malt barley. The rest is a blend of 10-year to 35-year Glenmorangie whiskies, from bourbon and new oak casks.
Nose: sweet, honey, citrus, cereal
Palate: sweet but bitter, wood, caramel, tastes old
Nose: sweet, honey, vanilla
Palate: lightly sweet, honey, a little wood, a little salt, a little citrus, a little caramel, a little vanilla
Finish: as the palate, medium length
It's rather nice, but I can't say it's worth the $180 price tag. If it ever happens to be on sale for, say, $100-120, give it a go.
Highland Park 18
Nose: fruity, sweet
Mouth: light, thin, sweet, touch of salt, honey, cereal, smooth, toffee, a little spicy
Finish: faint wood and vanilla, touch of smoke
Huh, so _that's_ why people like Highland Park! I wasn't really into the 12, 15, and 25, but the 18 is very, very nice. Definitely worth it if you can find it for $70-80.
Cragganmore Distiller's Edition (port finished, distilled 1992, bottled 2005)
Color: reddish gold
Nose: faintly sweet, a little wood, grapey/raisiny, touch floral
Palate: faintly sweet, a little wood, touch floral, dried sweet fruit, can taste the port
Finish: as the palate, but with a touch of salt, a little woody
Nose: less woody, fruitier, creamier
Palate: definitely creamier
I like this one a lot, and I think it's well worth the $65. It's a good dessert whisky, and a very nice one if you're looking for a sweet change of pace. If you find the 2008 bottling (I got a bottle at an SAQ in Montreal), the flavor profile is basically same, only sweeter, more floral, and more candy-like.
Oban Distiller's Edition (port finished)
Nose: can definitely smell the port, fruit, marshmallow, caramel
Palate: salt, fruit, wood, caramel
Finish: long, sweet, fruit + wood
adding water, it's much the same, but more of a dried fruit flavor. It's not candy-like like the Cragganmore, definitely drier. Very nice, though I think the price ($85-90) is a touch high. The standard Oban 14 ($65) or the Cragganmore Distiller's Edition ($65) are better values.
Bruichladdich Valinch (14-year, sherry-finished, 57.7%)
A valinch is a pipette used to take cask samples. The Bruichladdich Valinch bottlings are only available at the distillery, and are drawn from a cask set aside at the distillery shop. A friend of mine was kind enough to get one for me while he was there - and they have a deal where they're cheaper if you get two, so he helped his own cause, as well. ;)
Nose: constrained, light, sweet, brandy, candy, kirschwasser
Palate: sweet, fruity, dried cherries, salt, smoke
Finish: salt, dried cherry
Nose: sweet, cherry, wood, touch salt
Palate: cherries, salt, spice, wood, touch smoke
Finish: salt, wood, smoke
adding more water...
Nose: sweet cherry cream, touch floral
Palate: smoky, cherry, sweet, spicy, touch rubber, wow I feel warm :)
Finish: cherry, smoke
Many, many thanks to my friend Johannes for getting me this bottle! It's an excellent one. I've decided that I'll only have a dram from this bottle when whisky-inclined guests are visiting. :)