High West Campfire

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Grade: B

Type: American, Blend

Age: N/A

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $57

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

Here we have a blend of bourbon/rye/scotch. The nose is BBQ smoke, roasted beef, LDI rye spice. On the palate there is a really nice balance of sweet corn bourbon VS rye spice. there is some nice pepper here and it starts to get hot, nice earth and wood. The finish is smokey, the type of smoke that really sticks to the roof of your mouth/ long finish.  This is a unique expression but nicely balanced in all that you get. This may be one of the best expressions that High West has to offer.

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Laphroaig Cairdeas Port Wood

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Islay

Age: N/A

ABV: 51.30%

Price: $70

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores/Limited Run

The nose has a much lighter peatiness to it than that of a standard Laphroaig expression. There is a lot of dark fruit on the nose. The palate has some orange, sweet tawny port, smokey malt, The finish is dry and fruity like a white wine, medium peat. This is a unique Laphroaig expression that is certainly worthy of owning/trying. I tasted it with two other standard Laphroaig expressions and while I didn’t prefer this to the QC or 10 cask, I did think it was unique and quite good.

Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength Batch 04

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Grade: A-

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Islay

Age: 10 Yrs

ABV: 58.30%

Price: $80

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose is peat and medicine. The medicine quality on the nose and palate is much lighter than that of the QC ( not better, just lighter) The palate has a nice sweet maltyness to it, very rich, salty, iodine, lots of sea qualities. The finish is long and has all the signature aspects of most Laphroaigs. Massive peat, I don’t really get that bit of orange that you get in the standard 10, but I’m ok without it. Fantastic stuff!

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.

Laphroaig 18

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Grade: B-

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Islay

Age: 18 Yrs

ABV: 48.00%

Price: $145

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose has some peatiness, oranges, cereal and a bit of honey. The palate is salty, wood, leather, malted vanilla. The finish is much lighter than most Laphroaig expressions, it’s long but not overly complex, peat and some orange, toffee. Overall I prefer the younger Laphroaig expressions to this one. If you decide to give this a try, I encourage you to try it next to either the 10 yr expression or the QC.

Kilchoman 2007 Vintage

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Grade: B-

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Islay

Age: Vintage 2007

Price $85

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose of this is peat and white wine with some dried fruits. The palate is a nice smoky campfire that tastes like smoked meat and fruit. The finish is medium and adds a decent ballance to the expression. I like this bottle but it’s far inferior to some other expressions by Kilchoman. To much white wine and not enough complexity for me.