The Macallan 10 year from their Fine Oak collection is my favorite Single Malt Scotch to date. Now with that strong of an opening statement I suppose I should elaborate on why I feel that way.
Nose: A very wooden nose with a thick maple syrup and brown sugar feeling, the weight of this one seems to almost pull your nose down to the drink itself, drawing you in as a warm hearth would in the cold of winter.
Palate: Very calm on the tongue with a mild heat and a thick body this Scotch goes down more smoothly than any I’ve tried yet. It has a pallor oak flavor reaching forward, a hint of berries, and a burning hum of a wasps wings.
Finish: A lengthly finish leaving most of it’s flavor then as it dies out you get a hint of dark chocolate.
Overall: 8 out of 10
Being a triple cask matured single malt from the Speyside region this scotch has seen the insides of European oak casks seasoned with sherry, American oak casks seasoned with Bourbon, and American oak casks seasoned also seasoned with Sherry. It’s a minimum 10 year and this scotch really feels like it has come of age. The taste it leaves you with is very mellow, very smooth, and of the ones I have tried so far (about eight) this one is the best.
Entering into this journey of flavors it really helps out when companies have some sort of sampler set as buying a couple bottles of scotch a month can get very, very expensive whereas if you have the chance to get three for the price of one while sacrificing a little volume it allows you to try their base range without waiting a year to be able to afford them. Currently I am looking in to the offers from Masterofmalt.com where you can get a good dram to try out before investing in a full 750ml bottle.
Working through the wonderful Glenfiddich triple pack one style at a time, this time pausing at the fifteen for a nice long evening. Out of the three offered so far the fifteen is my least favorite, being a little sharp and spicy, however with that said it is still a great scotch and well worth your nose. Here’s to being able to taste so many things on such a small budget!
Nose: Caramels with a strong hit of apple leaning towards the “Granny Smith” variety, heavy sugars that give it a real weighty smell with lasting wafts of brown sugar.
Palate: Light but with a general feeling that coats the tongue with a visit of apple and oak, a pleasant sort of hot sour that I can’t quite place, very explicit in its Speyside flavor with that unique complexity.
Finish: A medium to quick finish leaving a somewhat hot feeling with brown sugar and a tiny slice of apple still lingering.
Overall: 5 out of 10
Today I tried the Glenfiddich 12 year old which I picked up as part of a Glenfiddich sampler set at my local liquor emporium here in town.
Aged in American and Spanish oak casks for a minimum of 12 years this single malt has won a multitude of awards which can be seen here at the Glenfiddich site where they describe this particular scotch as having hints of oak, pear, butterscotch, cream, and malt all coming from one of the few remaining family owned distilleries in the Speyside region. So lets see what my newly born nose and taste buds think of this well renowned scotch.
Nose: Caramel, maple syrup, and a powerful but sneaky sense of apples yet I can’t seem to nail down the apple variety it reminds me of, sliding back and forth between Granny Smith and Red Delicious with little hints of a fresh ripe crab apple. The maple really hangs in there and revisits a lot throughout the experience.
Palate: Cereals, tabasco, and a little dry but with a lot of oak, I found the taste to be complex enough that it was hard to pinpoint exactly what it was that was hitting, oak seemed to overpower a lot of the other flavors at different points yet I think I will have to revisit this one once my senses have been matured through other tastings.
Finish: Medium to long and lingering but not with too much power, it’s finish is one of my favorite yet and I can see it going very well with a dark chocolate (which I enjoyed with some Glen Rothes Select Reserve just the other day).
Overall: 5 out of 10
Attempting to start from the base of what makes a single malt scotch I have purchased a bottle of Balvenie Single Barrel Single Malt 15 Year Old which as the name implies is a bottle produced from a single cask instead of a blend of multiple casks. It is aged fifteen years in American white oak second fill bourbon barrels with no introduction of any other flavors or influences with each cask producing roughly 350 bottles and it is bottled at a slightly higher ABV than most at 47.8%.
With these taken into account I figured the Balvenie 15 would give me a good idea of what the base of Scotch tastes like so that I have a sort of jumping off point for the rest, analyzing the flavors and variations in them.
Nose: Reminding me a bit of a field of daisies the scent of the this 15 is extremely pleasant. It’s very inviting and warm with a mixture of flowers and wood to it.
Palate: Extremely sweet and sublime I feel like I’m enjoying a wonderful dessert drink that would go well with a large bowl of vanilla ice cream. It has a very creamy thick feeling on the tongue with sugary sweet flowers and vanilla.
Finish: Staying with me for well over 4 minutes the finish is very pleasant, it leaves this hint of pungent candy with you.
Overall: Being so incredibly pure and sweet it makes me anxious to try the other offerings from The Balvenie as this is a Scotch I can see myself enjoying for years to come, I cannot exclaim enough how sweet this Scotch is and I am looking forward to trying it with several different desserts.
The first single malt scotch that I am to try is the Glenrothes Select Reserve, pictured below from a shoot in my very own kitchen is a beautiful little bottle I picked up at my local liquor agency.
Taken from multiple casks of different kinds of wood and aged to various years the select reserve is a first for Glenrothes, a lovely distillery in the Speyside region of Scotland.
Nose: It gives a hint of polyurethane with a tinge of floral followed by a hint of allspice, overall a fairly mild scotch smell with it’s own signature, it reminds me a bit of the smell of an old blanket that you really love. A lot of my growing struggle will be to find a way to describe all of these wonderful smells and tastes.
Palate: It is very smooth, almost creamy with a mild burn to start which grows over the next 5 seconds or so beginning with an almost bile like tang and a strong spice reminiscent of fall in the mid-west United States. The overall flavor is like a collection of power rangers scrapping your tongue with with a rough blade and while that may not describe it to most people I can think of no other way.
Finish: With a hint of motor oil followed by a fire like a cut the final lingerings of the select reserve stay with you and reminded me a bit of a rock concert on a hot summer day.
Overall: At roughly $40 a bottle it is quite delicious, something I would keep around but not move through quickly. This is a lasting Scotch from a wonderful distillery. I highly recommend taking a look at their site where they have detailed descriptions and a video tour of the whole place.
Rating: 7 out of 10