Browse Tag


Kermit the Scotch

Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch Whisky (Islay) – What the ten-year lacks in complexity vs. its older brethren, it makes up for in lashes. Not eyelashes, the kind involving whips and Russian women wearing leather caps. There’s a fulsome, smoky/peaty/gravelly whisky present, but there’s a persistent flagellation one must accept to reach it. I like having this around, but it’s not a whisky I want to spend too much time contemplating…no matter how many tails the cat has. (7/12)

Lasanta claws

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky “The Lasanta” 12 Year (Scotland) – Barrel tomfoolery is something I dislike in most wines, but in Scotch whisky it’s more or less part of the deal. Still, I prefer my differences to be less wood-derived. Those caveats aside, it’s hard to deny the exotica of this bottling, which is practically lurid with both sweet and dried spices – both from the baking and Indian sections of the rack – and really almost laughably appealing. The counterpoint, of course, is that it’s hard to take all that seriously, either. (6/12)

The conditional tense of thusly

Thistly Cross Scottish Cider (Scotland) – Zesty. There might be more frothy pepper than apple here, though the latter is sweet enough that the zing is offset. Still, the level or precision of either is of the soft, commercial variety and nowhere near the aggressive fascination of the better Basque, Norman, or even domestic ciders (I’d probably include ciders from the British Isles if I had more than notional experience with them). (3/12)

Miner liner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 53.130 “Explosion of Coal Dust and Flying Saucers” (Scotland) – One of the best Scotches I’ve ever tasted, including extravagantly-aged micro-botttlings from the négociant firms. Not that this is exactly mass-market. An explosion of spices, powdery minerals, dried leaves, and precious metals are just the beginning of the story, which comes to a climax in a churn of bronzed apples and then fades – slowly – away into a vibrant autumnal sunset full of fire and spectacle. (1/12)

Au, chroisk!

Auchroisk “Battlehill” 10 Year Scotch (Scotland) – Single-malt just doesn’t get any more innocuous than this. (12/11)

You’re not vulin anyone

Laguvulin 16 Year Scotch (Islay) – If there’s someone in your life who cannot abide the characteristic aromas of Islay whisky, and you wish to remove them from your immediate vicinity, this is an excellent way to begin the expulsion process. Those of us who love those aromas will find an awful lot to love here. Perhaps enough that they come as the expense of non-Islay whisky characteristics. It’s an extreme Scotch, though far from the most extreme I’ve tasted, and that’s both a credit and a deficit. All that said, it’s not my recollection that this particular bottling has been so extreme in the past. Maybe my palate is growing timid in the Westering of my years? (6/11)

Livet, don’t love it

The Glenlivet 15 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky “French Oak Reserve” (Scotland) – Nothing great, nothing bad, just kinda “eh.” Very short for a scotch, which is an oddity. (5/11)


Benromach Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Madeira Casks) (Speyside) – Sticky and ponderous. There’s good, peaty material here, but far too much sheen and sugary glitter trying to bury it. I like a lot of Benromach’s whiskys, but this isn’t all that much fun. (5/11)


Ledaig 20 Year Scotch Whisky (Isle of Mull) – As broad a peat aroma as I’ve smelled in a Scotch. Not strong, just broad. Drinking this is to experience the sensation of consuming a Scottish woolen blanket. That, since it’s probably not clear, is a compliment. I really love this. (3/11)