Malt Scotch Whisky
Top 5 Speyside Malts
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old
The Glenfiddich Solera system is unique amongst Scotch
whisky distillers. Fifteen-year-old Glenfiddich from
three types of casks – traditional American
bourbon, Spanish sherry and new oak – is married
in a large Solera vat, made of Oregon pine. The vat
is always kept at least half full, ensuring a consistent
quality of whisky is maintained whenever it is topped
up. Then this beautifully balanced single malt is
left to settle in a small Solera tun before bottling.
The Taste: A full
and fruity nose, with delicate honey and vanilla
notes. The taste is elegantly smooth, with a deep
flavour that reveals fruit, gentle spice and a touch
Tasting Notes by Glenfiddich
THE BALVENIE 21 YEAR PORTWOOD
To create The Balvenie PortWood 21 Year Old,
rare 21 Year Old Balvenie - which has been matured
in traditional oak casks - is transferred to a port
cask, or pipe, which has held fine port wines. Here
it is sampled every month by The Balvenie Malt Master
to ensure that just the right amount of character
is imparted by the port casks, enhancing and developing
the single malt, whilst preserving its original characteristics.
At the 2005 International Spirits Challenge,
The Balvenie PortWood 21 Year Old was awarded a prestigious
Taste: A single malt of refinement and remarkable
character, it is creamy and silky with fruit, honey
and spice notes, and has a long and gentle nutty finish.
Tasting Notes Courtesy of The Balvenie
THE MACALLAN 18 YEAR OLD
SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Macallan Sherry
Oak is exclusively matured in selected Sherry oak
casks from Jerez, Spain. This satisfyingly complex
Single Malt, matured at The Macallan distillery for
a minimum of 18 years is characterised by its rich
colour, aroma and flavour with hints of dried fruits,
spice and chocolate orange.
Colour: Light Mahogany
fruits and ginger, with a hint of citrus, vanilla
Rich dried fruits, with spice, clove, orange and wood
Full and lingering, with dried fruits and sweet toffee,
ginger and a hint of wood smoke.
Tasting Notes by The Macallan
THE GLENLIVET 18 YEAR OLD
SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Full. Some peat, floral notes, sherry, honey and fruit.
Firm. Quite smooth.
Full, round, floral. Some sweetness and quite rich.
Rich. Drying, with spice and smoke.
complex, oaky and fruity. An enticing bittersweet
Tasting Notes by The Glenlivet Distillery
CRAGGANMORE 12 YEAR OLD SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Silky, elegant and rich: currant bushes, sweet fruits,
honey, cream, leather, rich malt, chestnut. Water
makes it smokier. Fruity with a savoury edge.
Lovely weight: honey, blackberry, cooked fruits, walnut,
dried apricot. A mid- to back-palate whisky which
is robust, yet silky; meaty but elegant. The word
Tingle of heathery smoke binding it together.
The most complex of the flight by some margin.
Tasting Note by Michael Jackson
Whisky.com's Top 5 Mainland Single Malts
OBAN 14 YEAR OLD SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Nose: Rich sweetness
and fruits - oranges, lemons and pears, with sea-salt
and peaty smokiness.
Body: Full, rich.
late autumn fruits - dried figs and honey-sweet spices;
followed by a smoky malty dryness.
Finish: Long, smooth-sweet
finish with oak-wood, dryness and a grain of salt.
More Oban Info...
GLENMORANGIE 18 YEAR OLD SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
An attractive deep gold colour, warm and enticing.
Distinctive from the Ten Year Old, but without the
heavy darkness of some extra aged malts.
Aroma: The bouquet
is very full, round and perfumed with nutty, caramel
and vanilla overtones.
smooth, 'silky' and round. Fine, fully flavoured and
a long, consistent aftertaste, it is delivered with
great intensity and depth.
Comments: The changes
that take place during the extra eight years of maturation
are profound. A superb after dinner dram.
GLENGOYNE 17 YEAR OLD SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Medium gold with a rich glow.
Nose: Some sherry,
Christmas pudding. Plenty of fruit - raisins, ripe
apples and tinned oranges in syrup.
Initial taste: Malty,
treacle, slightly nutty. Orange peel, apple compot.
After Water: Pear
Drops and vanilla.
Finish: Long and
rich, with spicy oak.
Comments: Multi award
winning dram. One of the greats. Possibly the best
pound for pound dram on the market.
THE DALMORE 15 YEAR SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Time, cask type and warehouse
conditions can all influence the maturity of a single
malt. For this Dalmore, 15 years in bespoke Matusalem,
Apostoles and Amoroso sherry butts from Jerez de la
Frontera have all been elemental. The redolence of
these vessels delivers the perfect balance between
spirit, wood and maturity.
Potent and robust, this expression delivers a rich
and aromatic taste experience.
A rich and aromatic heart full of dried spices, cloves,
cinnamon and ginger with a concentrated citrus mouth-feel
to tantalise your tongue and an abundant aftertaste
of spice to reward the palate.
Double Gold Medal - San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Tasting Notes by The Dalmore
More of The Dalmore
Top Island Single Malts
Corryvreckan takes its name from the famous whirlpool
that lies to the north of Islay, where only the bravest
souls dare to venture. Swirling aromas and torrents
of deep, peaty, peppery taste lurk beneath the surface
of this beautifully balanced dram. Like the whirlpool
itself, Corryvreckan is not for the faint-hearted!
Colour: Deepest amber
Aroma: Heady, intense
With the first sniff, encounter the deep and turbulent
force of Corryvreckan as it pulls you inwards. Swirl
the glass and dip your nose into the torrents of tarry
ropes, creosote and linseed oil rising from deep within
the vortex. As you succumb to its power, a collision
of waxy dark chocolate, warm blackcurrants and muscovado
sugar pulls you under its spell with a burst of plump
cherries and earthy pine needles leaping from its
Swirl water into the glass, and observe the magical
collision of whisky and water. As the liquid warms
up, the seething cauldron bubbles and bursts, as you
edge closer to sniff a pot full of gutsy cayenne-peppered
steak and oysters smothered in hot pepper sauce. Salty
seasoning brings a briny character with tangy crisp
seaweed and smoky bacon swirling on the surface with
hints of sweet vanilla, spicy cloves and blueberries.
As the whirlpool narrows and quickens moving ever
deeper, surrender to its dangerous depths with the
heady force of menthol, treacle and chilli sauce.
Taste: Plunge into
the whirlpool and taste the mysterious depths of Corryvreckan.
Torrents of taste well up on the palate; deep, peppery
and chewy, bombarding the tongue with its intense
tastes and textures.
The first plunge brings forth chewy peppered steak
soaked in pepper sauce with the tang of crispy seaweed.
As you descend deeper, encounter a mouthful of black
tarry espresso coffee that coats the palate with rich
melted dark fruits (blackcurrants, blueberries and
cherries) and bitter almonds. As the taste soaks in
deeper, star anise and hickory dry out the palate
before a surprise of chalky effervescent violets fizz
to the surface.
Finish: Long, deep
and remaining powerful into the finish with black
tarry coffee, chocolate coated cherries and hot pepper
sauce, the lingering memories of your mysterious and
daring journey into Corryvreckan.
Tasting Notes by Ardbeg
More Ardbeg Info...
LAPHROAIG QUARTER CASK SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Full sparkling gold.
Nose: Burning embers
of peat in a crofters fireplace, hints of coconut
and banana aromas.
Body: Full bodied.
Palate: Deep, complex
and smoky yet offers and surprises the palate with
a gentle sweetness.
Finish: Really long,
and dries appropriately with smoke and spice.
Tasting Notes Courtesy of Laphroaig
More Laphroaig Info...
TALISKER 10 YEAR SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
A wonderful award-winning
Island malt bottled at above average strength with
a comforting smooth afterglow.
Strength: 45.8% ABV
with sea-water saltiness, the liquor of fresh oysters,
a citrus sweetness.
Palate: A rich dried-fruit
sweetness with clouds of smoke and strong barley-malt
flavours, warming and intense. At the back of the
mouth is an explosion of pepper.
Finish: Huge, long,
peppery finish with an appetising sweetness.
Tasting Notes by Talisker
More Talisker Info...
were denied the allure and sensuous pleasures of single malt
whisky for decades. While Scotland had over a hundred distilleries
producing malt, most of that production went into blended
Scotches. The few who marketed their malt whisky "straight"
were considered the exception to the norm. Fortunately, the
past two decades have led to an astonishing growth in the
number of single malts available.
The term "Single Malt"
alludes to the fact that the whisky comes from a single distillery.
Bottlings of single malt can contain whisky from several
casks and most often do, whereas the term single single
could refer to a bottling from a single cask. The practice
of combining exclusively malt whisky from different casks,
at a single distillery, is called vatting. Once combined
they are sometimes kept in wood for a period to marry.
If it is all malt whisky from a single
distillery, it is a single malt. Some distilleries
might use the less precise term pure malt to describe
a single but this term, or malt whisky, is most often
used to describe the product when several malt distilleries
Until the 1980s, single-malt whiskies
remained rare outside Scotland. There were exceptions, like
Glen Grant, but
the large whisky companies, those who had made their fortunes
out of blended whisky, were opposed to spending money and
resources promoting single malts.
By the mid 1970s, stocks of whisky
in bond were the highest they had ever been, and were rising
fast. In 1963, the directors of Willian Grant & Son, owner
of the Glenfiddich
Distillery, resolved to set aside stock with the view
to promoting their whisky as a single malt.