Glenlivet 15 Years French Oak Reserve

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Distillery/Brand: Glenlivet
Region: Speyside
ABV: 40%
Colour: Sunlight

Nose: 22
Taste: 23
Finish: 23
Balance: 23

Review
This has been one of my favorite malts for a long time. Not because it’s the best malt out there but because it was one of the first I tried early on in my career as a malt enthusiast. And I’m glad it was this one for who knows what would have become of me had I tried something vile.

The uncomplicated Speyside nose is bursting at the seams with an orangey citrus burst on a bed of smooth melon rind. The honey and delicate flowers accompany this fruitiness and make for quite a nice bouquet of aromas.

The beautifully textured spirit is a touch spicy but that quickly gives way to a lovely warm fruit basket mixed with marshmallows. Something oddly comforting about this delivery.

The long and oily finish with a touch of oak keeps taking me back to why I began this glorious journey in the first place.

Rating: 91

Nikka Yoichi 15

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Distillery/Brand: Nikka Yoichi
Region: Japan
ABV: 45%
Colour: Old Gold

Nose: 24
Taste: 24
Finish: 23
Balance: 23

Review
What is it with the Japanese? They insist on doing everything so perfectly. Just like this 15 year old beauty from the Asian powerhouse that is Nikka.

Such a heady, almost dizzying, array of aromas greet you as you say hello to this beauty from the East. There’s maple syrup covered dark fruits ladled on a stack of hot pancakes, sprinkled with woody cinnamon and then rounded off with a drizzle of sherry infused with subtle peat. Quite arresting actually.

The maple syrup and black pepper on the palate play a woody chocolatey tune that works in perfect harmony with an edgy pinch of cumin. You’ll want to mull this one over for a while.

The long, oily finish sits on your lips for ages forcing you to make smacking sounds every two seconds. This makes you look quite silly in the process.

But that’s OK…

Rating: 94

Dalwhinnie 15

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Distiller:
Dalwhinnie

Region:
Highland

ABV:
43%

Colour:
Full Gold

Review:
My first review of a Dalwhinnie and the 15 year old expression I was after for a while. Finally managed a taste and it seems like I’ll be sourcing a few more.

The nose is typical Highland complexities with a strange floral inclination. My first impression is lavender bath oils and touch of rose water. A subsequent nose confirms the presence of barley and then, just like a nostalgic surprise, comes the comforting smell of wet wood.

The palate is a tad dry as the oak makes it’s presence felt. Then peeking from around the corner are the most delicious coffee beans I’ve ever had. This is all wrapped in swirls of honey. Honey that’s been exposed to gentle smoke and infused with star anise.

Go out and get one now!

Rating : 92