Tomintoul 18 Year Old Sauternes Cask Finish

As brands become more comfortable controlling the result of a cask finish, we’re seeing them apply the process to older and older expressions: there is less hesitancy to risk ruining a valuable batch of aged spirit. One of these expressions is Tomintoul’s new 18 Year Old Sauternes Cask Finish.

Blair Athol Horizontal Tasting

Last week, I wrote about the experience of visiting the Blair Athol Distillery. A mainstay of Diageo’s portfolio of blends, only around 1% of the whisky from this distillery ends up in a bottle with a Blair Athol label. Is this a whisky so terrible that it’s only good for a blend, or is it a heavenly nectar too good for blenders to give up? Only a horizontal tasting will answer this question!

Blair Athol Distillery

The Blair Athol distillery is a bit of an oddity. It’s not in Blair Atholl, bottles hardly any of its own spirit, and, while adapted to handle large numbers of visitors, has no appreciable social media presence. To a curious whisky writer, this makes it well worth a visit.

Holyrood Distillery

Although Edinburgh had been at the heart of whisky’s initial rise to prominence, for the past hundred years no single malt whisky has been produced in the city. That Glaswegians have been able to boast their own single malt in the meantime is particularly galling: this was clearly a wrong that needed to be righted.

Daftmill 2010 Summer Batch Release

Since 2018 when the first Daftmill hit the market, stocks have routinely sold out in minutes. It isn’t unusual for a new distillery’s inaugural limited release to be a unicorn. However, not many distilleries can boast the same interest for every subsequent bottling. Having finally managed to get my hands on the 2010 Summer Batch Release, it’s time to see it the dram lives up to its mythical status.

Talisker Port Ruighe

We’ve previously praised Ardbeg for not taking whisky too seriously, and it appears that they are in good company. It seems that Diageo’s Talisker features a whisky based around a pun among its range. It seems that when the team at Talisker decided to make a whisky in tribute to Portree, they couldn’t resist the obvious joke, finishing the dram in port casks.

Glencadam Aged 13 Years and Reserva Andalucia

Glencadam Distillery, part of the Angus Dundee Distillers family, is quickly becoming a favourite at the Water of Life. We first encountered the distillery during a vertical tasting in October. Given that I usually get most excited by innovative distillers, I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed these offerings from Glencadam, which is about as traditional a distillery as you will find. Since then, the Angus Dundee team offered us a chance to try two more of their products, so naturally, we jumped at the opportunity. This time, we would be trying their Aged 13 Years, also dubbed “the re-awakening”, and their Reserva Andalucia, described as “Glencadam with a sherry influence”.

Tomintoul Cigar Malt and 15-Year-Old – not your typical Tomintoul!

Tomintoul bills itself as “the Gentle Dram”, and while we enjoyed the 10-Year-Old, we were a little underwhelmed by some of the older offerings, which were a bit too gentle for our taste. Recently, Iain Forteath and the Angus Dundee team were gracious enough to host us for another virtual tasting, which included two Tomintouls that were far from the distillery’s usual offerings. These were their Cigar Malt, a heavily sherried expression designed as the perfect accompaniment for a cigar, and the 15-Year-Old, which has spent three years in a port barrel. Not being matured solely in ex-bourbon casks, these both seemed like promising deviations from Tomintoul’s usual whiskies.