Glenmorangie Lasanta

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Grade: C+

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Highland

Age: 12 yrs

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $55

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

This expression spends ten years in American oak and then another two years in oloroso sherry casks. The nose is honey, dry sherry, and coffee. Considering that it’s a late maturation sherry soak, the sherry is quite rich and very spicy, extremely sweet. The complexity of the palate is long gone leaving you with a heated and uninspiring finish. This is an over the top sweet whisky with little else going on. C+/B-

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Clynelish 23 Year Old 1988 The Octave Duncan Taylor

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Grade: B+

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Highland

Age: 23 yrs

ABV: 48.80%

Price: $185-200

Availability: Limited Run

The nose is sweet with candied fruits, lemon pound cake. The palate is malty, unbelievably spicy and complex, the spices are sweet, salted caramel. The finish was long and sweet, nice balance. I can hardly get through the finish before I want to pour more. Duncan Taylor hits a homerun on this one. The Octave collection goes through a late maturation in 1/8 size casks. This expression is fantastic. B+/A-

Dalmore 12

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Grade: B-

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Highland

Age: 12 yrs

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $63

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose is chocolate and caramel. The palate is syrup/sweet brown sugar and more caramel, chocolate. As this dram goes into the finish, it starts to fade into a slight bitterness, though not really offensive it does make it less appealing. Overall this is a pretty good expression, nice dessert dram. The price on Dalmore seems to keep rising at a rapid pace. They are very high on their own whisky for sure.

Old Pulteney 12

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Grade: C

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Highland

Age: 12 Yrs

ABV: 40.00

Price: $35

Availability: Wide

The nose on this is caramel and simple syrup. The palate is dry and bitter for me. I really can’t pick up on to many notes here because it’s just so bitter. The finish comes and goes extremely fast. I started out thinking this tasted like a cheap blend and was just uninspiring but not offensive. However, the more I got into the bottle the more I became offended with that bitterness. I will pass on this next time.

Glenmorangie The Original

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Grade: C+

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Highland

Age: 10 Yrs

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $40

Availability: Wide

The nose has some citrus, spice, a bit floral. The palate is sweet, honey, malty…nothing to destinct here, smooth and easy to drink. The finish is slighlty hot which tends to linger. Jim Murray gives this 94 points. I can’t agree, this is soft and is a decent starter into the single malt world, it simply lacks any real stand out character….. unremarkable

Aberlour A’bunadh

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Highland

ABV: 60.20

Age: N/A

Price: $68

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

(Sampled from batch 45) This is a non chill-filtered cask strength expression that was soaked in oloroso sherry butts. The nose is spicy with sweet orange notes. The palate has some dried fruit, creamy with a healthy amount of sherry. The finish is a bit bitter and hot, with some chocolate and spice. I really like this expression. However, I have had some of the other batches which I have liked better. From batch to batch these are a bit different, some are in the B+ range.

Balblair 2000

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Grade: C+

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Highlands

Age: Vintage 2000, bottled in 2011, 1st release

ABV: 43.00

Price: $60

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

I really liked the nose, it’s sweet and well ballanced with a great malt smell to it. The palate is much of the same, chocolate and malt with some light fruit. The finish is soft but a bit unpleasant going down. I couldn’t place what the taste was but it’s a bit sour/tart. This would be a B- if not for the below average finish. The 2001 vintage is now out and so this 2000 version may be a bit hard to find.