What a solid tasting on Saturday night! There were 10 of us who sat down and explored:
- Aberfeldy 16
- Bunnahabhain 12
- Wemyss Treacle Chest
- Springbank 15
- Distiller’s Art Fettercairn 14
- The Sovereign Invergordon 27
The Springbank 15 was the group favourite as a first or second choice. The nose started with peat and maple or brown sugar. Dark fruits on the palate with walnuts. Oaky in the finish surrounded by peat and a hint of floral.
The middle of the pack was the Bunnahabhain, Treacle Chest, and Fettercairn. The Bunnahabhain 12 smelled of a sweet and salty caramel, its palate had a seaside sweetness with dried fruit, and it finished slow by coating your tongue. The Treacle Chest smelled of plums and sweetness. Cinnamon, raisins, and nuttiness on the palate into a long, sweet sherry finish. The Fettercairn 14 surprised many with the depth of flavours given its colour: honey and green apple in the nose, florals with a grassy/barley note in the taste, and a bit oily with spice in the finish.
And Aberfeldy was ranked fifth or sixth by most; not that it wasn’t good, just that it wasn’t as good by comparison. Raisins or cinnamon on the nose with a palate described as “green” and “fresh.” A dry and quick finish, this one felt younger than its age but was still enjoyable.
We also agreed it was almost unfair to have The Sovereign in the mix for best scotch of the night. It was ridiculously good (and my #1): cereals and vanilla in the nose; smooth and warm with that signature single grain note on the palate; finishing with some spices over honeycomb with a hint of coconut.
And then this guy snuck in from my scotch closet after: Laphraoig Cairdeas Fino Cask
At 51.8%, everyone was stunned by how smooth it was. Folks who’ve had other expressions of Laphraoig were waiting for the big peat punch and were surprised by the balance and nuance found in the whisky.