Highland Park 15

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Islands

Age: 15 yrs

ABV: 40.00%

Price: $75

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose is sweet with fruit and burnt caramel. The palate is rich and sweet with sherry and a light smokiness. The finish is a bit dry with some light smoke and sherry… Great balance here. This expression is just a tad better than the 12 and a bit short of the 18. I enjoy this a lot but if you can afford the extra cash… buy the 18.

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Amrut Portonova

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Grade: B

Type: Indian, Single Malt

Age: N/A

ABV: 62.10%

Price: $115

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores/Limited

The nose is fuity with chocolate and spice. The palate has a lot of fruit, spice, cinnamon, hot and intense. It has a nice port taste on the finish with some more red berries. This stuff really packs a punch but it’s still a pleasant enough dram. B/B-

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

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Grade: C+

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Highland

Age: 12 yrs

ABV: 46.00%

Price: $55

Availability: Better Whiskey Stores

This is a port finished expression. The nose has some citrus and malt with some light wood. The palate has some spice and there is a nice taste of port here, though not very rich. In the middle of the tasting experience it is quite sweet. This is actually a decent dram until you reach the finish. The finish is bitter, sour, slightly offensive. There are much better port casks out there, Arran comes to mind.

Tamdhu 10

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Grade: B

Type: Scotland, Single Malt, Speyside

Age: 10 yrs

ABV: 43.00%

Price: $55-60

Available: Better Whiskey Stores

The nose of this has a lot of syrup and brown sugar, leather and hints of vanilla. The palate has a lot of spice and vanilla nutmeg, fruit and rich sherry. The finish is long and is a bit of a sherry bomb with a slight bit of peat. This expression is very good and tastes nothing like the old Tamdhu 10 that was being imported before. You might be scared of the price here for a 10 year expression. However, keep in mind that this is a 100% pure sherry soak. The richness here reminds me a bit of the Balvenie 15 single cask but at a fraction of the price. Enjoy!

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!

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-

George Dickel Rye

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Grade: B-

Type: American, Rye, Indiana

Age: N/A

ABV: 45.00%

Price: $23

Availability: Wide

This is the only expression by Dickel that is produced in Indiana. The nose of this is a typical pickle juice and light rye spice. The palate is a bit light for a rye, smooth, pepper, LDI spice. The finish is not very complex, mint and clove. If you are looking for what I call a big bad rye with a dominating complex flavor, then this isn’t it. If you are looking for a smooth and nicely balanced rye, then this may just be the expression for you. C+/B-