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18 Feb 2014
Notes from the February Tasting

Bottles from the tasting

Our first tasting was a giant success thank you everyone who came out! Check out the photos from the night.

Glenmorangie Original


  • Location: Highland (Rose-shire)
  • Founded: 1843
  • Boasts boasts the tallest stills in Scotland
  • Owned by Louis Vuitton M.H. also owns Ardbeg Distillery
  • It is said that the production of alcohol started at Morangie Farm in 1738.
  • Closed between 1931 and 1936


  • Age: 10yr
  • Cask: first and second fill American white oak casks
  • Alcohol: 40%
  • Tasting Notes Aroma The scent of citrus and ripening peaches is softened by the aroma of vanilla.

    Taste First, vanilla is detected on the tongue before it ripples along the palate bringing a burst of floral fruitiness.

    Finish About a minute after tasting, you are left with a clean and salving aftertaste with hints of orange and peach.

    Colour Pale lemony gold

Enjoying the samples

Spice Tree


  • Founded in 2000
  • Started by former marketer of Johnnie Walker
  • Does not distill any of its whiskeys instead buys from: Ardmore, Caol Ila,Clynelish, Dailuaine, Glen Elgin, Laphroaig and Teaninich and grain whiskies from Cameronbridge and Cambus.


  • First released in 2005
  • Source from various distilleries
  • not chill filtered
  • Alcohol: 46%
  • Cask: First and refill American oak, secondary maturation Virgin french oak
  • Tasting Notes: A natural, deep, gold-brown colour and a rich nose with spices such as clove and nutmeg, and sweet stewed fruits.

    Palate Soft, sweet, deep and rich with a malt whisky fruitiness embellished by rich spice. Very long.



  • Location: Speyside (advertised as Highland)
  • Founded 1824
  • Third largest in Scotland
  • Macallan Distillery builds casks and leases them to the sherry cellars in Spain for a time, then has them shipped back to Scotland.


  • Cask: Sherry oak
  • Age: 12yr
  • Alcohol: 40% by volume
  • Availability: $99.95 BCL
  • Tasting notes Nose Vanilla with a hint of ginger, dried fruits, sherry sweetness and wood smoke

    Palate Deliciously smooth, rich dried fruits and sherry balanced with wood smoke and spice

    Finish Sweet toffee and dried fruits, with wood smoke and spice

Networking before everything gets started

Macallan Cask Strength


  • Same as Macallan 12yr


  • Cask: Sherry oak
  • Age: Unspecified
  • Alcohol: 60.1% (Cask strength)
  • Tasting notes Nose Dried fruit, with chocolate, orange, vanilla, and wood spice.

    Palate Rich and smooth, with fruit cake, vanilla and a hint of wood smoke.

    Finish Full and lingering, with dried fruit and spice.

Arran Malt


  • Location: Isle of Arran (only distillery on the island) ** There used to be over 50 distilleries on the island, most of them illegal
  • Founded in 1995
  • Started by former director of Chivas (A pair of golden eagles nesting delayed the opening of the distillery from 1994 to 1995)


  • Age: ~8yr
  • Cask: finished in port casks
  • not chill filtered
  • Alcohol: 50%
  • Tasting Notes: Colour Gold Bullion

    Nose Honeysuckle, melon and marzipan with a spicy edge to add balance. Add water and a lush fruit attack appears with banana, forest flowers and a rich nutty character

    Palate Richly honeyed and backed with a lifting zestiness which slides into spice and zingy salt. Once the dram opens out, vanilla and sultana stand out followed by notes of toasted oak

    Finish A glorious combination of voluptuous Sauternes and snake-hipped Arran Malt - a richly rewarding partnership

Caol Ila


  • Location: Islay
  • Founded in 1846
  • Closed during World War II, from 1942 to 1945, due to wartime restrictions on barley.
  • The entire structure of the distillery was demolished in 1972. A larger distillery was built in the same original architectural style and production resumed in 1974.
  • Although the profile of Caol Ila as a single malt has been enhanced in recent years, the main function of the distillery is still the production of malt whiskies for the Johnnie Walker blends.


  • Age: 12yr
  • Alcohol: 43%
  • Cask: Oak casks, double-matured in dark Moscatel caskwood
  • Tasting Notes: Nose Subdued, citric fruitiness; a whiff of bath oil and dentist’s mouthwash. A fresh and appetising nose, with little or no trace of smoke. A little water raises almond oil and old-fashioned oilskins; still a fresh fruitiness (lychees?), a trace of olive oil, and after a while pot pourri or scented hand-soap.

    Body Firm, smooth, light to medium.

    Palate Drinks well at natural strength; sweet start; pleasant, light fragrant smokiness and a lengthy finish. Smooth, pleasant mouth-feel; with water light acidity, some salt and still the sweeter notes. A complex balance of primary tastes.

    Finish Sweet smokiness in the lingering, slightly sour finish.

Laphroaig Quarter Cask


  • Location: Islay
  • Founded 1815


  • Inspired by whiskies produced 200 years ago
  • Double maturation in two barrels made of American oak ** Aged in smaller casks ** 30% greater oak surface contact
  • Not chill filtered
  • Availability: $74.95 BCL
  • Alcohol: 48%
  • Tasting Notes: Nose Burning embers of peat in a crofters fireplace, hints of coconut and banana aromas

    Body Full bodied

    Palate Deep, complex and smoky yet offers and surprises the palate with a gentle sweetness

    Finish Really long, and dries appropriately with smoke and spice

Benromach Peat Smoke


  • Location: Speyside
  • Founded 1898 (Founder previously worked at Glen Nevis Distillery)
  • Closed 1983 reopened in 1993


  • Age: 8yr
  • Cask: Refill Remade American Hogsheads (1st fill Bourbon Barrel)
  • Availability: $75.15 BCL
  • Alcohol: 46%
  • Tasting Notes: Nose woW Sweet, malty notes with an elegant smokiness. A fruitiness develops, pear and green apples. Cured bacon flavours linger.

    Taste woW Smoky bonfire ash initially with a white pepper spiciness. Fruity elements develop, again pear and crisp green apples.

    Nose wW Less smoke now, but some sweet vanilla notes are now present. A sweet fruitiness and hint of cured meats linger.

    Taste wW Again less smoke with water, a slight cigar ash. Still very fruity, pineapple and pear notes.

Til next time,
The Whisky Oriented Development team

Whisky Oriented Development

Post tagged with: Tasting Notes

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