There are certain moments in life that will make a person weep with pure happiness. Maybe it was the birth of your first child, the day you got married. For some, it may have been the day you got divorced.
Whatever the reason, it happens only a few times, at truly intimate and remarkable moments. Trying great whiskies can have the same effect.
It should go without saying therefore, that drinking any one of these high quality and great whiskies will probably result in the same reaction.
1. The Dalmore 50 Year Old
Released to celebrate the 50-year tenure of Richard Paterson as Master Distiller at The Dalmore, this malt has an impressive age statement and price tag to match. There are only 50 exclusive decanters. Each is made by Baccarat and housed in a Linley case, available, with each costing £50,000 and being hand filled to order.
It has been matured in Mathusalem, oloroso sherry casks before being finished in Champagne casks. The nose is rich with oak and orchard tones, with lots of fruit and caramel notes. On the palate these become more refined and luxurious and the oak really starts to show itself. The finish is strong, with more sweetness and a lovely depth to it.
2. Scapa 23 Year Old (1992) Chivas Distillery Reserve Collection
This is a rare bottle indeed, with only 780 in existence. It was released as part of Chivas’s Distillery Reserve Collection that celebrated their single malt distilleries with bottlings of some of the oldest and rarest Whiskies from each. This Scapa 23 Year Old is truly remarkable and will definitely have you weeping once you try it.
The nose is warming and filled with oak from the barrel, with a lovely vanilla and cinnamon quality to it. The body is light and refreshing, with smooth honeyed tones coming out. There is a lovely warming spice to this dram that goes perfectly with the vanilla sweetness of the nose. There is something of Christmas cake feel to it all. The finish is long and gentle, with a delicate lightness and more spicy sweetness.
3. Springbank Society 1997 18 Year Old
Springbank is one of the few remaining Campbeltown distilleries and one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland having been established in 1828. Today, it is still owned by the same family who stared it all those years ago and they still create high quality malt. Like many distilleries they have an exclusive club for fans, called the Springbank Society, and every now and then they will release a dram to their members.
Their 1997 18 Year Old is one such dram, and is truly exceptional. It has been matured in re-charred sherry butts and opens with a nose full of oak and tangy citrus fruit. There is a sweet vanilla and caramel hint, with a little bit of honey coming in. the palate is smooth and thick, with lots of character and sweetness. There is a good bit of peat on the body as well, with a nice charred oak quality to it. The finish is long and soft, with more caramel and oak sweetness. There are only 502 bottles in existence so if you get your hands on one, never let it go.
Laphroaig 25 Year Old
Bottle cost: £415
Hailing from the legendary isle of Islay, Laphroaig are well known for their heavily peated expressions. Their 25 Year Old is no exception. This dram has been matured in both second fill oloroso sherry casks and ex-Bourbon casks, giving it a healthy blend of sweet and spicy.
The nose opens with a tang of pungent smoke and a warming cinnamon and vanilla spice. There is a burnt caramel quality coming through. The palate brings in lots of fruit flvaours, with apples, bananas, grapes and apricots appearing. These are smothered in more caramel and cinnamon, with some nutmeg and all spice as well. The peat is strong and wafts gently over the taste buds. It is all wrapped up in a delightfully long and smoky finish.
Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old from Robert Graham
Bottle cost: £345
Bottled by Robert Graham, this is a wonderful example of malt from Bunnahabhain on the isle of Islay. It has been released as part of their Treasurer’s Selection, which is a range of single cask Whiskies bottled at cask strength. Like most of the drams on this list, there are very few of this expression in existence, with only 228 bottles being released.
The nose opens with lots of oak and has a waxy quality to it. It is only slightly peated, but this does not fully reveal itself until the palate, where it is soft and smoky. There are lots of tangy citrus fruits, with candied orange peel and some cinnamon on the palate as well. There is also a light dash of sea air and a little bit of salt. The finish is dominated by oak tones and a little hint of fruit.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat!