This is a 19 year Glenlivet matured in a 1st fill sherry butt and bottled at 46% ABV.
Nose: As odd as it sounds, I was struck with an immediate note of opening up a pack of plastic fishing worms (those of you who fish know the smell I’m talking about) – odd how fast you can lock on a scent that you’ve never encountered in a whisky before. After the plastic, heavy grape notes develop with a bit of pineapple in the background. Sherry seems a bit closed off despite the obvious heavy influence.
Palate: Same plastic worm type note with grape kool aid – much richer than the nose let on with a nice blend of spice with a nutty malt.
Finish: Nice balance of oak, cocoa, and thick sherry linger a long time.
Rating: 84/100 – Good, but didn’t open up as much as I expected. Next time will need to try a few drops of water. The plastic worm note was a bit distracting as well.
Value for the money: This retailed at $90 when K&L had it in stock, and I think that’s a pretty decent price.
This is a 15 year Laphroaig matured in a refill sherry butt in and bottled at 59.1% ABV.
Nose: Very pungent peat tinged with just a tiny hint of sherry – peat is quite ashy in character. Really not much else to the nose for me as the peat is so strong.
Palate: Huge peat bomb here again – strikes me as Octomore levels of peat and is definitely the peatiest Laphroaig I’ve had. Very ashy with only minor grape notes from the sherry with burnt hamburger notes in the background.
Finish: Peat lingers fully with the burnt meat/carbon notes.
Rating: 86/100 – If you’re a big peat head, then this will be right up your alley. It’s a bit of a one trick, but nice to have a big peat bomb like this here and there.
Value for the money: This was originally around $160 on K&L which is an ok price (I think they later lowered it after I bought it, but can’t remember for sure).
This is a 25 year Bunnahabhain that was matured in an ex-bourbon cask and bottled at 50.7% ABV.
Nose: Malty with slightly smoke tinged oak, muddled pineapple, some almond extract, and minor farm notes.
Palate: Almond biscotti, orange rind, peppery, some harsh/biting oak, and an earthy element to the malt.
Finish: Mostly oak lingering with some hints of vanilla and fresh grains.
Rating: 85/100 – Not overly exciting, but a solid older Bunnahabhain.
Value for the money: K&L had these for $150 before they sold out, and I think that’s a pretty fair price. I wouldn’t pay anything over that though if these are sold on secondary/auction.
This is a 29 year ex-bourbon cask matured Linkwood that was selected by K&L and bottled in 2015 at 46% ABV.
Nose: Big citrusy malt with an abundance of lilac and heather – very flowery and sweet turning into a bit of honeysuckle after a bit. Some vanilla/honey notes linger in the background.
Palate: Oak dials up in intensity but the powerful lilac/wildflower notes cut through the bitterness introducing some floral/sweet notes. Vanilla and brown sugar help temper some of the oak tannins.
Finish: Peppery with some lemon juice contrasting nicely with the lingering tannins. Flowery malt notes last awhile.
Rating: 88/100 – Quite good with some unique floral notes throughout.
Value for the money: This retailed for $200 at K&L when it was released and I have no qualms at that price.
This is a 19 year Craigellachie matured in an ex-sherry cask and bottled at 50% ABV.
Nose: Bright sherry with malt peaking through – overripe bananas, slightly foral, strawberry rhubarb pie, and lemon oils.
Palate: Oak stands out quite clearly through the sherry coming off slightly young in profile – tart and citrusy with some pepper.
Finish: Turns a bit bitter and oaky as the sherry notes quickly fade.
Rating: 84/100 – Not bad overall, but seems like a tired sherry cask was used.
Value for the money: This retailed for $90 at K&L when it was available, and I don’t think that’s a bad price, but I wouldn’t buy a second at that cost.