Catching up on some tasting I have had recently. On the way back from Antarctica in early January I spent a couple of nights in Christchurch at the Sudima Airport Hotel. They have a great bar with some good local brews but also have Laphroaig 10, Aberlour 10, and Glenmorangie 10. Of course I availed myself of the Laph one night, but also had the other two the next night. I was not impressed by either. Both the Aberlour 10 and the Glenmorangie 10 seemed flat, and dull. I made sure I did not have the Laph on the same night since most would seem dull compared to it. Frankly I would have preferred Glenlivet 12 to either one (heresy I am sure to many..but that's the way it seemed to me).
Last night I had a few more bucks to spend and was running out of McClelland's Islay so I splurged and bought Balvenie 10 yr Founder's Reserve. Wow! Great whisky. I realize it is a Speyside but it has a Highland character to me. I found it rich and a little sweet, but with wonderful orangey, gingery notes and just a hint of smoke. It's too bad that the Founders Reserve has been retired (per Balvenie's website). It's easy for me to only concentrate on the Islay and Island whiskies, but Balvenie will certainly be in the mix from now on.