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Herbs and Spices
The Very Best Reads
Some of the whisky books recently published
October 2015, Issue 131, page 77
The Water of Life
The spirit of friendship and the quality of Scotch
October 2015, Issue 131, page 20
Because blended grains make finer whisky
July 2015, Issue 129, page 42
Let the grain take the strain
The Battle of the Blends Round Three
April 2015, Issue 127, page 26
An Agreeable Interlude
Canapés and whisky
March 2015, Issue 126, page 60
The Hunt for La Bagosse
The elusive Acadian moonshine
March 2015, Issue 126, page 45
It's Not All About the Takeaway
A flavour course in Indian cookery
January 2015, Issue 125, page 58
Monster or Hero
The growth of flavoured whiskies from Canada
September 2014, Issue 122, page 29
The very roots of whisky are discovered in Holland
July 2014, Issue 121, page 11
One Man's Yeast Quest
The story of Four Roses' master distiller and his beloved yeast strains
July 2014, Issue 121, page 70
The Glenlivet & the bootmaker
The launch of Nàdurra Oloroso
June 2014, Issue 120, page 78
Adventures in Tasmania
April 2014, Issue 119, page 18
For the love of it
The influence on aging of key warehousing conditions
April 2014, Issue 119, page 38
On the pig's back
L. Mulligan Grocer's culinary director pairs heritage rare breed pork and whiskey
April 2014, Issue 119, page 60
Beyond the Pickleback
Our chap behind the stick looks at the Irish category
February 2014, Issue 117, page 58
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00% 8 A little more roundness would have been appreciated.
Cadenhead's 10 Years Old, Bourbon
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 45.00% 9 I especially like bourbons when they are big and robust. This is both hearty and complex. A wonderful winter warmer.
Aberlour 15 Years Old, Sherry Wood
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 Complex and sophisticated.
Cadenhead's 13 Years Old, Bourbon
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 65.90% 7 Despite this being older, it is less astringently woody than the similar five-year-old.
Van Winkle Family Reserve, 13 Years Old
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 47.80% 8 Certainly showing its age, but full of character.
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00% 8 Had I not known that it was matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. I would have guessed that there was some sherry.
Royal Salute 21 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00% 8 In the rich, luxurious, style, this is a long established favourite of mine.
Clan Campbell Highlander 12 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00% 7 Rounded. On the sweet side.
Grand Old Parr 12 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 43.00% 8 If you want to taste barley in a blend, look no further than this muscular heavyweight.
Johnnie Walker Black Label
Blended - Scotland - 40.00% 9 Deceptively gentle at first. I have on occasion been completely led astray by what seems to be mildness of this whisky, then taken on a journey of rediscovery. I find new flavours every time.
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 On this occasion the vintage bottling had the most typical Aberlour character, especially in its spiciness. I also enjoyed its liveliness and complexity. The best Aberlour on the day.
The Macallan Fifties
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 Closest to The Macallan of today, appropriately enough.
Virginia Gentleman 90 Proof Small Batch Bourbon
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 45.00% 7 Less characterful than the Virginia Gentleman I remember, but still quite distinctive.
Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 45.00% 8 This famously smooth whisky seems slightly less sweet than I remember, especially in the nose and finish. Better balanced, but perhaps fractionally less distinctive.
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 50.50% 8 My descriptors make it sound like a dessert whisky, but it is also very appetising. Just a tad too sophisticated for me.
Gibson's Finest 18 Years Old
Blended - Canada - 40.00% 8 Appetising, Very enjoyable.
Old Overholt Canadian rye
Rye - U.S.A. - 40.00% 7 Originally from Pennsylvania. For years, the only reasonably accessible rye. I would have liked it to be more extrovert, to say: “I'm a rye, whether you like me or not, and I'm coming out of the clo...
Adelphi Knockdhu 1989, 12 Years Old, Cask 286
Single Malt - Scotland - 56.60% 7 Delicious. Perilously drinkable. Drink it with dessert. No, pour it all over the ice-cream.
Classic Malts Glenkinchie Special Edition, Friends of the Classic Malts
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.70% 7 Only two Years Older than the regular Glenkinchie, but much richer. A very good cask.
Private Collection Imperial 1990 Sherry Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 7 The flavours hang together better in this version, and I favour it over the port finish, but by too narrow a margin to score.
Lombard Glen Grant 1964
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 7 I usually find delicate old Glen Grants to be overwhelmed by oak. This example makes for a mature dram with considerable complexity.
Lombard Springbank 1965
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 8 Robust, but lacks the delicacy and structure of the best Springbanks.
Van Winkle 12 Years Old, Lot B
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 45.20% 8 This should obviously be an ingredient of all self-respecting desserts. An accompaniment to them, too. And an after dinner drink. You are in a dry county? So what?
Gordon & MacPhail Inverleven 1986
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 6 Light, straightforward. Delicacy without mannerism. Keep it for a romantic candlelit dinner.
Milford 10 Years Old
Single Malt - New Zealand - 43.00% 7 Good flavour development.