Style: Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey Color: Deep amber Aroma: Deep, very mature, dry and spicy (especially spearmint), with underlying notes of ripe fruit, polished oak, and leather. The aroma is so thick, you almost need a knife to cut through it. Palate: Rich, thick, and chewy in texture-sweeter up front, then drying out towards its finish. Rather bold in flavors that are identical to its aroma, but never overpowering. Soothing, satisfying finish that seems to linger on forever.
Style: Speyside single malt scotch Color: Amber Aroma: Rich and rather full for Glenlivet, with nuts and fruit, drenched with layers of toffee and caramel. Palate: Rich and enveloping-almost chewy-with notes of toffee and caramel up front. Delicate fruit, nuts and spice emerge mid-palate, adding complexity, becoming dry with a long spicy finish
Style: Single malt scotch (distillery not identified) Color: Amber mahogany Aroma: Ripe and lush; notes of fallen fruit, toffee, damp earth, and spicy oak, with a hint of mint and anise. Palate: Similar to its aroma. Rich, full, thick, and somewhat viscous. A beautiful marriage of lush, ripe fruit and spicy, resinous oak notes. Evolves on the palate, with a very long finish.
Style: Highland single malt scotch Color: Gold Aroma: Subtly complex and somewhat dry, with notes of vanilla, almonds, hay, freshly cut grass, and a hint of smoke. Palate: Clean and malty up front, becoming dry as it begins to reveal its age, as the maltiness turns into a potpourri of spice and dried fruit. Dry on the finish and spicy-almost peppery. Its finish is big and long for a Glenmorangie whisky.
Mackillop's Choice (distilled at Longmorn) 1966, 43%
Single Malt Scotch | $150.00
Style: Speyside single malt scotch Color: Walnut Aroma: Richly sherried and thick, with notes of nuts and toffee. Wood resins contribute spice and variety. Fruitcake at Christmas. Palate: Thick, chewy in texture, and quite ripe. Again the fruitcake. Very deep and mature with some underlying maltiness. Dry, spicy, oak notes fight off all that sherry and add balance and complexity. Long, soothing finish.
Color is antique gold while the aroma is dry but creamy, with notes of vanilla, marshmallow, honey, and tropical fruit (pineapple, coconut). Palate is malty and creamy up front, with vanilla, marshmallow, and a hint of honey; briefly becoming fruity (again, the tropical fruits) before turning dry and oaky, with a big, long, dry finish (especially for a triple-distilled Lowlander). Lowland whiskies are known for maturing nicely at a younger age. But most people don't know that some (especially Auchentoshan) are delicious at older ages too. As mentioned in my 'From the Stills' column, older vintages of Auchentoshan are now only being offered to individual retailers, one cask at a time, and this is one of those casks. It is one of many 1966 vintage Auchentoshan whiskies I have enjoyed over the past 15 years. Auchentoshan, from a balance and complexity perspective, seems to be best in the 20-30 year old range. Still, having said this, this one holds up fairly well for its age. Available exclusively at Park Avenue Liquors.
Mackillop's Choice 1974 (distilled at Macallan), 43%
Single Malt Scotch | $125
Style: Speyside single malt scotch Color: Bright gold Aroma: Rose petals, lavender, vanilla, soft fruity esters. Palate: Creamy vanilla and a touch of honey up front, becoming gently fruity with a soft maltiness. Clean, delicately complex finish of polished oak and soft floral notes.
Michel Couvreur 'Pale Single-Single' 10 year old, 45%
Unspecified Single Malt | $58.00
Style: Single malt scotch (distillery not identified) Color: Deep gold Aroma: Floral (lavender, heather), honey, malty, delicately fruity (peaches, apricots, pears, citrus), with background spice (especially mint) Palate: Quite similar to its aroma. It starts slightly sweet, finishing pleasantly dry and subtly spicy.
Style: Single malt scotch (distillery not identified) Color: Golden amber Aroma: Dry, smoky, firm, clean. Palate: Peat smoke with a teasing sweetness (especially up front), becoming firm, dry, and subtly spicy on the finish.
Style: Highland (Isle of Skye) single malt scotch Color: Antique amber Aroma: Toffee, cookies fresh from the oven, waxy ripe fruit, bonfire smoke and damp peat, with background notes of pepper, brine, smoked kippers, and a hint of seaweed. Palate: Similar to its aroma. Full-bodied and quite thick in texture. Dry, smoky, peppery finish.
Michter's US*1 Small Batch Unblended American Whiskey, 41.7%
American Whiskey | $30
Layers of sweetness: concentrated vanilla, marshmallow, taffy, white chocolate and caramel. Subtle, underlying fruit. Palate: Again the layers of sweetness, but not to the point of being cloying or unpleasant-underlying notes of oak and minty, resinous spices emerge mid-palate and cut through the sweetness to keep it from dominating too much. Sweet and spicy finish.
Style: Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey Color: Amber Aroma: Clean, uncomplicated. Notes of caramel, teaberry, delicate candied fruit, and vanilla. Subtle notes of sweet corn and spice (mint). Palate: Well balanced. Similar to its aroma, but with more dry, spicy notes and less of the sweetness than the nose would suggest. Clean, pleasant finish.
Highland (Isle of Arran) single malt scotch Color: Straw Gold Aroma: Youthful. Pears in syrup, honeysuckle, and vanilla with a hint of caramel and citrus. Palate: Vibrant, somewhat youthful flavors that echo its aroma, finishing slightly sweet and a little fiery (because of its age). General Comments: The lack of chill-filtering certainly makes this whisky more flavorful and dynamic than its filtered brethren. It also tastes a little more mature. This shows how a whisky can be affected by chill-filtering. I expect this whisky to continue improving with additional aging. Available nationwide.