This was a special release from Wild Turkey in 2016 that consists of a blend of 10 and 20 year old whiskies bottled at 52% ABV.
Nose: Vanilla, toffee, butterscotch pudding, french toast with fairly heavy oak and a slightly odd mustard note.
Palate: Sweet up front, but quickly becomes very oak heavy with some caramel syrup and licorice.
Finish: Brown sugar and lots of oak – fairly long but bitter finish.
Rating: 84/100 – Not bad, but not as good as I was hoping as I’d heard good things about this particular expression. It’s fairly overoaked in my opinion and is reminiscent of other more modern WT expressions.
Value for the money: This retailed for $150 which would be an easy pass for me. I’d recommend trying some store pick Russell’s Reserve single barrels for much, much cheaper – many of which I’ve tried are better than this. I don’t know if these go for anything over retail on secondary, but definitely not worth paying over retail in my opinion.
This is a 41 year expression bottled by Whisky-Fassle from an undisclosed distillery aged in a Fino sherry butt and bottled at 47.4% ABV.
Nose: Wow – cinnamon and pink starburst, honey, cardamom, watermelon, buttered toast, vanilla, strawberry smoothie. A big fruit bomb with some really good spice notes balancing it out.
Palate: Golden raisins soaked in vanilla, buttered bread, cinnamon dusted granny smith apples, poached pears, strawberry shortcake – again loads of fruits with some nice spices to balance.
Finish: Brown sugar & cinnamon with poached pears, lavender, and peach sorbet.
Rating: 94/100 – Phenomenal – I didn’t know much about this one going into it, but I was blown away. Reminds me of my favorite elements of Clynelish, Lochside, and old Caperdonich all rolled into one.
Value for the money: When these were released they retailed around €330 from what I could find online, and I would gladly buy at that price. Guessing you’d have to go to auction to find one at this point, but I’d still go a little above retail for this bottling.
This is batch OL0614 of the standard Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso expression which was matured in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks. It’s bottled at 60.7% ABV.
Nose: Super fruity/grape heavy up front – a real grape bomb if there is such a thing. Grape bubblegum with a fair bit of rubbing alcohol, a bit of cherry peaking through with a hint of leather.
Palate: Still very heavy with grape notes – like grape cough syrup almost. Drinks very hot with the rubbing alcohol notes still present amidst some sawdust.
Finish: Heat lasts for some time with a very dry/short finish with a hint of grape.
Rating: 78/100 – The rubbing alcohol notes really set this one back for me – but interesting tasting something so grape heavy.
Value for the money: These retail around $70 (non-batch specific), and while it seems like a decent price, I didn’t enjoy this one enough to pick up at any price. Other batches may be better though and could be worth a gamble at $70.
This is a 31 year Glen Grant matured in a sherry butt and bottled at 46.1% ABV.
Nose: Dry, brittle oak with a bit of pine sap – menthol and maraschino cherries as it turns just a bit rubbery. Strawberry hard candies emerge as it sits for a bit.
Palate: Quite oaky with the strawberry hard candies carrying straight through. Tobacco, red grapes, and white pepper with a nice thick mouthfeel.
Finish: Tobacco, cherry cordial, and dry oak – medium length.
Value for the money: The cheapest I could find this for online still is €219 which is too high for me. I’d be a buyer at €150 or under or so.
This is batch #9 in the ECBP series. It’s aged for 12 years and bottled at 67.8% ABV.
Nose: Almonds and rich yeast – almost Beam levels of yeastiness. Cherry compote, french vanilla, and notes of corn chowder.
Palate: Very sweet with loads of caramel and brown sugar with some almond tart and roasted peanuts.
Finish: Very dry and very short with oak and dry roasting herbs.
Rating: 88/100 – Drinks way easier than expected given the high proof – great nose, but lackluster finish holds it back a bit.
Value for the money: ECBP typically retails around $45-60 depending on market, and they usually make a great buy for that money. I wouldn’t pay any kind of secondary prices on this older batch though, as they’re consistent enough, I’d be happy to just buy whatever latest batch you can find available.
This is essentially a blend of blends from Cadenheads consisting of a vatting of two blended whiskies matured in sherry butts – each of which consists of various blends, blended malts, and blended grains all distilled in 1980. It’s bottled at 44.5% ABV.
Nose: Cinnamon and cloves with stewed fruits – vanilla peaking through a thick fog of rich oak, a hint of licorice, some cherry cobbler. Very bourbon like nose to me.
Palate: Biscuits topped with strawberry jam, fairly oak heavy, but plenty of sweet notes offsetting the tannins – caramel, black cherry, and toffee.
Finish: Nice long finish with fruit candies, cinnamon, cloves, and slightly tamed oak.
Value for the money: I bought into a bottle split of this at right around a $200 valuation, and based on how much I enjoyed it, I have no qualms with that price point.
This is a 21 year vatted malt from Nikka that is bottled at 43% ABV.
Nose: Apricot jam with honeydew melon, toffee, and nutmeg – hints of sawdust and butterscotch.
Palate: Strawberries and honey with nutmeg dusted oak. White pepper and cantaloupe develop as it turns a bit fruitier/spicier.
Finish: Quite a long finish turning a bit herbal on top of the lasting honey and malt notes.
Value for the money: This originally retailed around $165 which would’ve been a fair price, but not it looks like you can’t get it under $225 or so in most places I’m seeing online, and that’s pushing it for me. If it was proofed a bit higher, I could see me paying north of original retail a bit, but not as it stands.
This is a 24 year Linkwood matured in an ex-bourbon hogshead and bottled at 50% ABV.
Nose: A real malt bomb full of loads of yeast and bread dough, a bit of charcoal and camphor oil appear with spiced pears.
Palate: Yeasty still here with the oak becoming bolder – overtones of tart apples and honeysuckle with a hint of lavender.
Finish: Quite dry and bitter as the oak takes over alongside traces of bread dough.
Value for the money: I can’t find any pricing data on this, but I’d be happy to buy a bottle anywhere up to $150 or so (guessing this is closer to $250).
This is a 16 year Edradour that was finished in a Bordeaux cask. It was a single cask selected by Spec’s liquor store and bottled at 56.1%.
Nose: Overarching mineral notes in a mixture of rum soaked raisins, molasses, apple crisp, and just a hint of rubber. Nice blend of tart and sweet fruit notes throughout.
Palate: Even fruitier here with cranberry muffins, plums, cherries, and almond extract.
Finish: Cranberries and apples with bitter cocoa – dries out fairly quickly.
Rating: 87/100 – I really enjoy these interesting Edradour finishes as their malt takes well to them.
Value for the money: Looks like this retails around $160 which I think is fairly reasonable.
This is a 23 year single grain scotch from Strathclyde bottled by Battlehill at 46% ABV.
Nose: Strange combination of pine-sol and overripe bananas off the bat. Grain notes are quite pungent with a slight rubber cement like profile.
Palate: Much sweeter and better put together here with banana cream pie, vanilla custard, and nilla wafers. Grain funk is still present along with a bit of rubbing alcohol, but more muted here than on the nose.
Finish: Funky grain lingers with a bit of vanilla and banana – short finish overall.
Rating: 75/100 – These single grains can be hit or miss for me, and this one is more in the miss category.
Value for the money: It looks like this might retail around $95, and I’d pass at that (or most) prices.