This is a 26 year Bladnoch matured in an ex-bourbon hogshead and bottled at 48.5% ABV.
Nose: Flowery malt with cinnamon dusted graham crackers, beeswax and honey with some oats and underlying anise. Fairly strong pear and peach notes show up after a few minutes.
Palate: Pears and peaches leading off with spiced oak, grassy and almost farmy malt with some wax and pepper notes supporting.
Finish: Mostly oak lingering with hints of mascarpone and mango.
Rating: 90/100 – One of the better Bladnochs I’ve tried – very complex nose really helps this one shine.
Value for the money: I got this for around $160 delivered from an EU site, and I think that’s a very fair price.
This is a 27 year Cragganmore matured in an ex sherry hogshead and bottled at 48.7% ABV.
Nose: Quite grapey with banana candies and black cherry. Oak taking on a musty profile with pine needles and bright lime juice showing up after a bit.
Palate: Very spicy/peppery up front with the oak coming through strongly – heavy lime here again which masks some of the sweeter fruits and a hint of ethyl acetate showing up.
Finish: Lemony with cherries and heavy oak lingering.
Rating: 84/100 – Some interesting notes with lots of bright citrus – the palate didn’t fully come together for me though.
Value for the money: I ordered this from overseas for probably around $170 shipped or so, and I wouldn’t buy another at that price.
This is a 19 year Springbank expression from the Archives series. It was matured in a refill bourbon hogshead and bottled at 56.4% ABV.
Nose: Briny malt with bright tangerine notes alongside stale cigarette smoke, wet slate, putty, and licorice.
Palate: Twizzler candies with lemon and orange juice, musty oak, a bit of pepper, and dried seaweed.
Finish: A bit of vanilla with some tobacco.
Rating: 87/100 – A little different from the typical Springbank profile which is quite interesting – a solid dram all around.
Value for the money: These retailed around €160 which I think is an ok price if slightly high (like most Springbanks).