From Scotland to Ireland, some drams to spice up your summer garden parties. Enjoy the sunshine (if you are lucky enough to find it where you are)!
Glen Grant 12 Year Old – 43%
This is a pleasant addition to the 10 Year Old, selling for less than £40. Ex-bourbon casks prevail in the 12 Year Old. The sherry addition comes from American Oak casks. Note that the packaging of the whole range has been revised.
Nose: Fruity, quite intense. Apples and pear stewed in a honey syrup with a touch of cinnamon. Raisins and toffee apple.
Palate: Smooth and mellow at first with a satin-like texture, then drying on a gingery note. Good balance with the nose. The same orchard style kind of fruity flavours. A touch of juicy apricot.
Finish : Dry and spicy (ginger) with an almondy aftertaste.
Pairing: A pear and almond tart or an apricot crumble and fresh cream
This version has been selected for the travel retail and is sold in a 1 litre bottle for the same price as the 12 Year Old standard.
Nose: Close to the previous single malt but with more intensity. Again stewed apples and pears, with a distinctive floral note (freesia) and a citrussy touch (lemon marmalade).
Palate: Raw silk texture with a sherbety feel on the tongue. Sweet vanilla custard, fruit and spices. Water enhances a sherry note (raisins and oak).
Finish: Dry and medium long.
Pairing: Lemon and tarragon chicken with a creamy sauce
That new addition is due to replace the 16 Year Old which was a lovely classic Speysider. The price of the 18 Year Old should be around £100. Like the 16 Year old, the new GG has been matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks.
Nose: Sweet, elegant, drying hay in the field on a warm summer day. Honey, lemon posset, wild flowers, honey with an earthy touch. Angelica. Enticing
Palate: Smooth and satin-like at first then getting fizzy on the tongue with a dry spicy character. In the back praline and nougat. A touch of marshmallow.
Finish: Dry and spicy with a lemony aftertaste. Excellent (in the 16 Year Old style).
Pairing: A creamy cheese such as brie or camembert
This new version released in March 2016 seems difficult to find online and even on the official website. Whether it is sold out or has been abandoned, it is hard to tell. I hope this is not the case as it is an excellent whiskey. I could not find any information about the price either. This is going to be a “rare bird” I am afraid. Finished in four types of cask (bourbon, sherry, port and madeira), this whiskey has a large aromatic spectrum.
Nose: Classic Irish pot still whiskey nose. Exotic fruit (guava, passion fruit), flowering currant, then raisins, toffee, a touch of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate.
Palate: Velvety, nicely cloying. Perfect balance with nose. A full basket of exotic fruit, some candied ginger.
Finish: Long and elegant, drying on spices.
Pairing: Tempura of langoustines with a mango chutney.
This is the last single cask released by Benromach from a sherry butt. Distilled in 1974, it is 41 Year Old and was bottled at cask strength. Cask number 1583 – 452 bottles. Only default, its price: £1200.
Nose: Intense with the most elegant sherry influence. Damp warehouse, vetiver root, exotic fruit. Burnt incense. Rich, oak is perfectly integrated. Cedar, beewax, dark chocolate. Nutmeg and a hint of cardamom.
Palate: Smooth at first then bursting out in a spicy explosion. Ginger, pepper. Prunes, crème brûlée, candied orange. Passion fruit. Opulent, warm.
Finish: Everlasting. Dry with an oaky frame (cedar) and a touch of astringent dark chocolate. Peppery. A walnut touch on the aftertaste.
Pairing: On itself, till late at night.