Tormore 12 y/o, special Gordan & Macphail’s bottling for Park Avenue Liquors in Manhattan (paradoxically located on Madison Avenue). I paid around $65 for this cask-strength bottle. Tormore is a Speyside distillery that I was unfamiliar with. I can recommend this bottle for people who like a gently oak-centric flavor profile. 83/100.
Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. A bit pricey at $57 on sale. This is port-finished, which imparts a pinkish hue. I am faily unimpressed. 73/100.
Compass box Peat Monster. One-dimensional, sweetish peat. Good for mixing, though! (Try adding a wee bit to a’bunadh; it brings out impressive wintergreen notes.) 72/100.
Arbeg Corryvreckan. 86/100. Yummy but I am underwhelmed. Prefer the Uigeadail.
Clynelish 11yo, Signatory Vintage ’98/’09. 43%. Absolutely delicious. Color of white wine. 90/100. (Great value if you can find it!)
Tomatin 18yo. 46%. Charming, gentle sherry. Good complexity; I consider it a good value at arond $67 at Mollie Stone’s. (Tomatin suggests GBP50, or about $80, on their website.) Certainly it is hard to find 18yo malt for this price, with the possible exception of Glenlivet 18, which I have yet to try. 84/100.
Evan Williams single barrell 2000. Roughly 43%. Delicious. 85/100.
Glenrothes 1994, OB 2006. 43%. Medium-body sherried Speysider. 82/100.
Bulleit Rye. A new release, clocking in at 45%. Good rye spice, but I find it a tad more 1-dimensional than Wild Turkey’s 101 Rye (which I’ll rate at some point). Excellent nose but lacks character on the palate. 82/100.
Laphroiag 10 y/o cask strength. Batch 002, bottled Dec. 2010 at 56.3%. I’m confused because previous bottlings of Batch 002 (which I’ve tried and enjoyed) were 58.3%. This is still wonderful though, with the same character as the standard 10 y/o bottling but a much richer nose. Briny, and rather sweet. 86/100.
Partida tequila anejo. Yummy. I don’t feel qualified to give a more descriptive review at the moment. But it seems anejo tequila is not a ridiculous thing to get into.
Amrut peated. Not too phenolic but somehow the smokiness is extraordinarily penetrating, like your clothes the day after a campfire. Sweet. Somewhat hot with alcohol. Not bad… 85/100?
Tariquet 15 yo 100% Folle Blanche single varietal bas-armagnac. Excellent. Alcohol on the nose (it’s bottled at a healthy 46 abv), apples on the palate, spice on the finish… 87/100
Glenlivet Nadurra, 54.4% abv. I get a strong tropical whiff on the nose to start, bananas or passionfruit. Warming. Like sunshine. Shortish finish. Must try with water when I am not too lazy to do so.
I wholeheartedly recommend Aberlour A’Bunadh, which is both delicious and a great value; it packs a lot of wood and oloroso flavor. My bottle is batch 32, at around 60 percent ABV. I tried it only without water, but it is quite drinkable suchlike, despite complaints about the alcohol burn I’ve read on the internets. 87/100.
The Amrut Fusion didn’t wow me as the much. It’s certainly a solid, peated-style whisky. But I had to pay $60 for it, which makes it unspectacular as a bargain. It’s also a bit sweet for my taste, with the peat funk and the sugariness sitting – to my mind – uneasily with one another. While plenty of good peaty malts showcase a sweet side, the Fusion lacks balance. 75/100.