Pig’s Nose

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Grade: B-

Type: Scotland, Blended

Age: 5 yrs

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $32

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

This expression is from the same creators of “Sheep Dip”. The nose has some intense ripe fruit and malt. The palate is creamy, silky, gentle but with a fantastic ballance of honey, salt and butterscotch. The finish is light and fast but with a nice lingering sweetness. This isn’t an overly complex whisky. It does remind me of some of the much more expensive but quality blends. At $30 this is a steal for anyone that is a fan of the “smooth” blended style.

Sheep Dip

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Grade: B-

Type: Scotland, Blended

Age: N/A

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $43

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

This expression is made from 16 different malt whiskies that are aged in a range of 8-16 years. The nose is malt and honey with ripe fruit. The palate has some nice spice to it, rich and tangy and very young tasting. The finish has a slight bite to it but not offensive. Jim Murray has called this expression “young and sprightly” I would say that’s a good description…. decent blend for the price

Johnnie Walker Green

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Vatted Blend

Age: 15 yrs

ABV: 43.00%

Price: $65

Availability: Discontinued

This expression has been discontinued. However, there are still a lot of retail stores that have it. For my money, this is the best of the Johnnie Walker Range, a vatted blend of Talisker and Caol Ila, Linkwood, Cragganmore to name a few.  The nose has some coffee and wood, smoked fruits. The palate is well balanced and rich, chocolate, nuts, very mild smoke. The finish is spicy and sweet, nice length here. This would be a good bottle to stash away before they are all gone.

Highland Park & Bowmore Double Barrel (Douglas Laing)

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Grade: B-

Type: Scotland, Vatted Blend

Age: 10 yrs

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $70

Availability: Rare/Limited Run

Another rare and interesting expression by Douglas Laing. Orkney meets Islay here. The nose has some soft peat and sweet honey, some floral aspects here. The palate is lightly peated with some spice that leads into what I consider to be a signature finish for Bowmore, medium with honey and heather with a very light but lingering smoke quality. if you are looking for something that is different and interesting, then you might like to give this a try…. if you can find it.

Great King St. Artist’s Blend

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Blended

Age: N/A

ABV: 43.00%

Price: $43

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose of this has a lot of fruit and white wine, splendid nose. The palate has vanilla, oak, and lots of spice. There is even a touch of sherry here. The finish is short but very pleasant. This expression is made by Compass Box. Considering that this is a blend and with the price….this expression is a steal.

Chivas Regal Royal Salute

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Grade: B+

Type: Scotland, Blended

Age: 21 Yrs

ABV: 40.00

Price: $170

Availability: Wide

The nose on this has some fresh berries and chocolate with a dash of spice. The palate is well ballanced and rich, silky, fruit, raisins, malty. The finish is long and has some orange to it. This stuff really does caress the tongue and is by far one of the best blends I have tasted in this price range.

Chivas Regal 18

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Grade: B-

Type: Scotland, Blended

Age: 18 Yrs

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $65

Availability: Wide

The nose of this is nuts, vanilla and butter. The palate has some orange spice, and some nice malt to it, dried fruits. The finish is nicely ballanced and is actually pretty long, nice oak here. This expression is a solid blend that is smooth and easy to drink. However, if you’re looking for complexity….it isn’t here

Black Bottle

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Grade: C+

Type: Scotland, Blended, Islay

Age: N/A

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $23

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

Black Bottle is a blend of Islay region distilleries. The nose has some citrus and does remind me a bit of tequila and plastic with a slight bit of peat. On the palate there is some  malt and peat that is sweet. The finish is slightly hot considering the ABV is only 40.00%. If you are on a budget then I would say this is a quality blend. However, for a few dollars more I would buy Islay Mist over this.

Big Peat

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Blended, Islay

Age: N/A

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $65

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

This expression is still semi limited in America and is a blend of Ardbeg, Port Ellen, Caol Ila, and Bowmore. The nose has some typical Islay peat and is a little sweet with chocolate. The palate is salty and with a nice peatiness. The finish is mild and has little to offer other than peat.  I like this expression but I would like a lot more character besides  the peatiness.

Cutty Sark

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Grade: D-

Type: Scotland, Blend

Age: N/A

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $21

Availability: Wide

Another case of trying any whisk(e)y that is put in front of me. The smell is similar to a bathroom floor. On the palate things don’t improve much. Extremely offensive, there is some kind of burnt wood and floor mats going on. The whole expression makes me think of a urinal!? The finish is nothing more than alcohol. This is positively wretched stuff. Being able to swallow it keeps it from being an F.