Blockbusters Single Malts w/ Hunter S. – May 13 2014

I would like to start by saying what an awesome tasting this was! The whiskies were fantastic, the food was delightful (a big thank you you to Peasant for the impeccable cheese & charcuterie), and finally, the amazing crowd. Everyone was engaged and participated in stirring up some really interesting tasting notes. Our goal was to introduce the group to some of the hidden gems of the whisky world, whiskies that those that are in the know are likely to keep to themselves. Here is a summary of our range, and the bottom, you’ll see the highlights!

Hepburns Choice Auchentoshan 11 YearThis summery, bubbly and zesty whisky wasn’t voted as one of the favourites, but it was unanimously agreed that it was the best choice for a summer sipper! Something best consumed on a hot day, sitting on the deck in the sun. Citrus notes of lemon and orange is is prominent on the nose followed by grassy fields leading into a zippy finish. Everybody liked it at the beginning, but it was lost in the wake of the bolder whiskies which followed. – $84.99 / SOLD OUT

AnCnoc 16 Year – Curiously our Scotch Guy visited this distillery for the first time on the day of the tasting. One of the best selling bottles that night, this one showcased a delight of pear drops, peach bits, creamy toffee, hinting at lychee all encompassed by a toasty oak and vanilla sweetness. It is pretty obvious as to why this was one of favourites. - $119.99

Duncan Taylor Deanston 1994 KWM OctaveThe 2nd highest rated whisky of the night and most purchased as well. The general consensus showed that even at 57%, it was still a very well rounded dram managing the alcohol content, reducing it to a subtle subtext. Spicy to smell, rife with cinnamon and allspice, moving into a gingerbread fusion with toffee sauce. This could easily substitute for dessert. - $179.99

Aberlour A’bunadh – This secret of a distillery is well hidden due to the fact that they keep their amazing product under wraps. Few advertisements and even less publicity, they leave most of that stuff to the big guys. The way Aberlour makes their name stand out amongst the rest is by producing outstanding whisky for reasonable prices. This cask strength release is a cigar lovers delight, showing off the nature of a smoking room. Leather armchairs, polished wood floors all circling the essence of a humidor laden with dried, sunbaked fruits. An irresistible concoction. – $81.99

Kavalan VinhoThe shocker of the night. Imagine tasting one of the best whiskies you have ever had, smooth, rich, decadent; and after enjoying all this learning that a)It’s 3 years old, b)It’s 60%, finally c)it’s Taiwanese. Jaw dropper. Oily richness, vibrant tropical fruit reminiscent of mangos sitting in simple syrup, melted brown sugar and lovely berry compote. This was another of the clear shot winners of the night, obviously the clear shot winner would sport the highest price tag. – $179.99

Bowmore Laimrig 15As far as peated whiskies go, this bad boy covers all the bases. Lot’s of big smoke, brine lingers in the background, earthy bog and a general “peatiness” to the dram sums it up. Almost. Then the sherry comes along, big bold, figs, dates, plums, chirstmas cake. Two colossuses of flavour duking it out for top spot, which of these will dominate the palate? Turns out they both do, marrying into a beautiful harmony. A really neat and well priced whisky from Bowmore, and one that usually gets passed over for it’s more advertised brothers. – $89.99

Caol Ila Distillers EditionEvery year Caol Ila does a small batch of their distiller’s edition and usually it sells out right away. This time we were able to get our hands on a few more cases than usual and I felt it would be fun to pour it for everyone. There are not many adequate adjectives to describe the nature of this dram. The soft honey notes open up into Caol Ila’s flagship style, big brine backed up by an ashy nature that adds a glowing savouriness that can not be matched by any other. The ending announces a spectacle, spending time on the beach, sandalwood and lavender all caressing you into a lull. Perfection. - $102.99

The Evening’s Top 3 Whiskies

  1. Kavalan Solist Vinho – $179.99
  2. Duncan Taylor Deanston 1994 KWM Octave – $179.99
  3. Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year – $89.99
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