Single Malt Scotch Whiskies Standard stuff that enough people like for someone to bother to acquire and put in a store for yet another person to find, drink, and comment on, in an intentionally off-hand, in fact somewhat flippant, and only superficially informed way.
Dalwhinnie 15yr The label characterizes the stuff as mellow, subtle, gentle and delicately smoky. It’s not bad, but not particularly interesting, compared to a number of other, well, more interesting ones. An easy intro into scotch that’s maybe not worth replacing, but not bad to have around either.
Cardhu 12yr Well, it’s drinkable, but seems just like something a dad (or mom) would have bought from the LCBO to put in the ‘liquor cabinet’ in 1975. Might save for the wine skin; or leave at camp.
Highland Park 12yr From the Orkney Islands in the north (of Scotland of course). The label on the bottle says: ‘taste of smokiness’, ‘heather honey’, ‘hint of peat’, and ‘The greatest all-rounder’. The last bit suggests they know it’s kind of middle-of-the-road. Ehh, suppose it’s drinkable.
Talisker 10yr From the Isle of Skye, off the west coast. Words used on the label: soft, smoky, sweet. Not bad. Smokey enough after a sip to make it into the tasty category perhaps.
Glendronach 15yr Aged in sherry casks, smells like it, and looks nice too. Might think it actually might be sherry till it hits the palette. Interesting to try, but doesn’t turn the scotch crank.
Aberlour a’bunadh Notes on their website include the words luxurious and creamy; these seem like good choices. The stuff is 60%, so adding a teaspoon or two of water makes it easier to get at the dessert-like smell and taste. Perhaps too luxurious and not smoky enough to make it into the regular scotch drinkin’ line-up, but nice to have on hand for the occasional late evening drink.
Aberlour 10yr Somehow has shades of the otherwise quite different a’bunadh; but it’s not that stuff. Not terrible, but not that great either.
Balvenie Founder’s Reserve 10yr Words in the marketing: rich and complex, honey and orange notes, hint of peat, light spicy notes...blah, blah, blah...there seems to also be frequent mention of beneficial use of a little bit of water...maybe that would help.
Cragganmore 12yr Words on the label include: elegant, sophisticated, complex. Just seems unpleasant. Would say it must be an acquired taste, but that seems funny to have to say. After some repeated efforts, it’s drinkable, and it’s not Cardhu, so one might bother to bring it back from camp.
Laphroaig 10yr They admit on the label that it has a ‘particularly rich flavour’; more like drinking a smoldering peat cigar. A rather harsh, mean, and scary intro to the Islay malts. But, relatively low on the cost scale, and a special kind of favourite for some ruff, cold, and damp outdoorsy sort of reason.
Lagavulin 16yr Strong and smoky, but smooth, with a sweetness. Simplistically, a refined version of Laphroaig, with maybe a touch of Ardbeg. Worth keeping handy on the shelf.
Ardbeg 10yr A weird freshness sometimes, just before the sip, and then serious smoke bite.
Bowmore Mariner 15yr The label indicates a presence of green apples, and they’re there. It’s like a signature. Atypical flavour, but an interesting and good atypical. Very nice to have around.
Bowmore 12yr This stuff is not like the Mariner 15yr, but more of a middle-of-the road Islay flavour. Doesn’t seem worth picking-up, for character at least, or if other Islay’s are on the shelf.
Bowmore Darkest This is fancy stuff that is matured to some extent in oak sherry casks. A very dreamy drink, but, well, it’s not smoky enough, and maybe even too dreamy. Yes, dreamy.
TBD XXyr In progress...?