Well, here we are. There are 4 days to go until Christmas and, if you're anything like me, you have barely started your shopping. With that in mind, here is this year's short list of whiskies that fit the bill to be given as gifts based on any combination of price, uniqueness, rarity, and above all great flavour. Three price categories with two whiskies per category. So let's get to it.
December 2010 Archives
Recently, a few of us had the opportunity to taste Lark Single Malt Small Cask, our first Tasmanian single malt whisky. It's not currently available at the LCBO, but AMV-Whiz Trading is doing its best to change that.
The Bruichladdich Laddie Classic Edition_01 is a multi-vintage blend of the distillery's casks and is bottled at 46% ABV. Although it is an Islay malt, this expression differs from the typical flavour profile of the area.
This was my first encounter with the bottlers of the self-explaining name, The Dormant Distillery Company. As far as I can tell, they operate without a website or even so much as a logo available to google. Thus, no image for you on this one, so use your imagination.
Middle-ranked Johnnie Walker Red and Dewar's skirmish while Grant's Family Reserve looks to have a cakewalk match versus Teacher's Highland Cream.
Nose: At first, musty wood, dried apple, and sherry notes. After allowing the whisky to settle into the glass with a drop of water, ginger, spice and a faint whisp of smoke.
Palate: Smooth with prominent flavours of dried figs and red apple, touches of citrus and baking spice all bathed in thick sherry sweetness.
Finish: Heavy spice lingers throughout the long sweet finish. Notes of toffee, dried fruit, and cocoa shine through the pleasingly musty wood.
Overall: A wonderful dessert dram! There's enough complexity here to appeal to both novice and seasoned enthusiast. The Macallan has set the benchmark for sherried expressions and for good reason. They own a stand of Spanish oak in Jerez, Spain and they pay to produce the fino and oleroso sherries that season the casks (made from their own trees) for 3 years before shipping the empties back to Scotland.
Certainly there are cheaper 12yr old Sherried Speyside Single Malts on the market but, in my opinion, you'd be hard pressed to find an expression as well crafted as the Macallan 12 yr. Recommended.