Category Archives: Dailuaine

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar dram # 24 – Weymss Malt’s “Old Spiced Balm.” 29yo Dailuaine, Cask # 4339


Region – Speyside – ABV – 46%

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015

Excited that I’ve got a Dailuaine in my glass.

Primarily used in blends, Dailuaine is another distillery you never see bottlings from unless they’re independently bottled or in a “Flora and Fauna” bottling.

Having said that, Diageo have just released a bottling of a 34yo Dailuaine for around £380/$550.

Not a bad price for a 34yo whisky, I suppose. Could be worse! Could be an over hyped, over-priced bourbon. (I’m looking at you Pappy van Stagg-Weller.)

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015

Dailuaine is a favorite of mine and often times reminds me of one of my favorite people: Bill Morgan.  Bill Morgan is a gent who’s had quite a life in the whisky biz and was actually born at the Dailuaine Distillery.

To find more out about Bill, and read a few of his stories, click here.

On the nose — Tamer than the majority of Dailuaines I’ve reviewed.

Softly spiced. Hearts of palm, cigarette ash, mahogany tables, and etrog (slight citrus note).

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015Kicks in a little more here: Havdalah spices (cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, and others), mountain high fall air, new rain on new tar, tarred telephone poles.

In the mouth — Heaven, really.  All of the above in liquid form and with a righteous spicy kick.

Finish — Lasting with Havdalah spices.

In sum — Yet another shining Dailuaine. It started off a bit soft but the whole experience ramped up after a few minutes in the glass and I ended the experience wanting another pour. That’s a sign of a good whisky.

Scotch Whisky Reviews: Exclusive Malts Dailuaine & Auchroisk


Bottle shown is the Exclusive Malts Auchroisk

We’ve got two Scotch Whisky Reviews for you, both as part of the Exclusive Malts range.

The whiskies are Dailuaine and Auchroisk.  Two not-so-commonly bottled distillery single casks (both distilleries are Diageo-owned distilleries, btw)…

Today we’re going to go right into the tasting notes.

Let’ see what we have in store, people!

Dailuaine 21yo – Speyside region – 51% ABV – $138

Whisky Exclusive-Malts-Dailuaine-AuchroiskOn the nose — A bit prickly on the nose and smells about 13 years younger than the age statement states.

It is, however, quite bourbon-y smelling and most assuredly spicy with two scents that hit me from nowhere: water chestnuts and unsweetened, uncinnimoned apple sauce.  In other words, aside from the spice, it’s a bit light in scent to start.

Leather shoes (new), pineapple and mango (unripe).  The tropical fruits are nice here and play well with the spice element.

On the mouth — Massive spice and this one is screaming “Hey!!  I’m a Dailuaine just without the sherry maturation you’re used to, Yossi!”  I’m sure there are plenty of other ex-bourbon Dailuaine bottlings out there but this is my first.  Nice to see that the spirit character remains.

Oily yet effervescent mouthfeel.  Silly putty and vinyl capes from my Jawa action figures from my old Star Wars action figure collection.  No lie.  It’s that specific a note.  If only I kept that figure in the original packaging…

Whisky Exclusive-Malts-Dailuaine-AuchroiskPeppery with orange and pineapple syrup from fruit cups.  Leather (again) and fresh, unburnt pipe tobacco.

Finish — Lasting and lovely.  Peppery and polished.

In sum — A decent offering for a Dailuaine.  Not my favorite as I prefer the sherried Dailuaines but this one tells a story from beginning to end and could surely hold it’s own from a flavor and balance standpoint.

This is an early spring dram.  It has a hopeful feel to me.

Auchroisk 17yo – Speyside region – 55.6% ABV – $???

On the nose — Boy-oh-boy, why the sour puss, Sourpuss?

Quite sour in scent but with hints of chocolate covered orange rinds sitting ‘neath said sourness.

Winter ski gloves after a full day of skiing.  Hey, my notes are getting quite specific today!

Whisky Exclusive-Malts-Dailuaine-AuchroiskRubber dish gloves and a touch of soap (in a good way. Remember, I dig mild soap notes and this is *mild*).  These notes are offset by fresh and dried papaya and some persimmon. Wow, yum!

An unusual nose but inviting, methinks.

On the mouth — ¡Holy frijoles!  It gets all sorts of wacky here.  Very rye-whiskey-like with dill and seeded rye toast (dry, as it were).  Very woody but woody good, like rye or bourbon, not woody bad like whisky gone old and dried out/astringent.  This is far from astringent.

I have to put it out there that the nose is off balance from the mouth but the flavor profile is insanely unique and delicious so it sort of makes up for being off balance.

Whisky Exclusive-Malts-Dailuaine-AuchroiskNew charred oak (the smell of the inside of a freshly drained ex-bourbon cask), vanilla and banana chips.  Orange Tang drink (having nothing to do with Taang!, mind you).

Finish — Finishes with banana chips and a distinct note of what some college students described to me as a “hash pipe.”

Oh, those students!!

In sum — Well, I’m pretty much in love with the flavor profile on this whisky.  It noses OK, too.  This is a conversation piece.  You and some friends can have a lot of fun with this one!

Probably best when part of a tasting.  Be warned, it will likely dominate the conversation…

Special thanks to the especially nice people from ImpEx for the samples!

Two new ‘Old Malt Cask’ whiskies for the US Market: 36yo Glen Grant and a 28yo Dailuaine


I am fortunate in that I’ve had a few new samples of Old Malt Cask sent my way. (Hip Hop Hooray for me!!)

One of the single cask ranges as part of the Douglas Laing family of Independent Bottled whiskies, Old Malt Cask is somewhat unusual as they normally bottle their whisky at 50% ABV rather than cask strength.  Though not *that* unusual I suppose as Lombard’s does this as well.

The Old Malt Cask range of whiskies is one that has releases under the brand nearly every month (though the releases get spread out all over so the US might not see new OMC whiskies every month…).

Today we’re reviewing 2 of the four samples I’ve received.  Special thanks to the good folks at International Wine and Spirits for the samples!

OMC_dailuaine 28yr_bottleshotOld Malt Cask 28yo Dailuaine, refill hogshead, bottled at 50% ABV, 133 bottles $230 from Binnys.

On the nose –  Spicy, industrial, new newspapers, fresh ink.

Old-Malt-Cask-1Wow, I am smelling New York City on a dry, spring day.

Waft of perfume, new leaves, young flowers black pepper and a bit of pastrami sangwich to boot!

On the mouth –  One can only dream of a mouthfeel like this.  Much like the 27yo Dailuaine from Master of Malt, just a touch more oily.

Flavor wise, it’s very similar to that same MoM Dailuaine in that the Dailuaine qualities shine like a crazy diamond.  Spice, lots of it.

Old-Malt-Cask-2Raisins in light brown sugar with a touch of brown spice.

Spiced gum drops (minus the sugar coating).

Finish – A lightly spiced, medium length finish.

In sum – Dailuaine continues to impress the living bejebus out of me.  I’ve not met a Dailuaine I haven’t liked and this one is no exception.

This is another late summer dram for me…

OMC_glengrant36_bottleshotOld Malt Cask 36yo Glen Grant, Brandy Finished Butt, bottled at 50% ABV, 150 bottles

On the nose –  A touch floral but quite nutty (hazelnuts primarily).

Old-Malt-Cask-3Kefir leaves in coconut soup.  Very sweet and light malt, yellow berries, wood spice, seasoned oak.

While not the most complex, it’s still a very, very really loverly nose.

On the mouth –  I’ve seen the light!  Great mouthfeel!

Light, floral and nutty.  The style is somewhat reminiscent of an ex-bourbon Rosebank whisky.

You know you’re drinking an older whisky but this has a vibrancy that let’s itself be known by way of a fizzy-mouthfeel and ripe fruits.

Old-Malt-Cask-4Also in here we have some chamomile tea, baker’s chocolate and highly salted black licorice.

Finish – Lemoney pie crusts, medium long.

In sum – The cask seems to be less invasive on the spirit than I would have expected.  This is a great whisky here.  Glen Grant really has true character and they’ve captured it in this here cask.

This is a late summer dram.  One to enjoy sometime before lunchtime.

Four, count them, four single cask whiskies bottled by Master of Malt

There is no shortage of Independent bottlers of whisky and to me, that’s a good thing.  The more the merrier.

The independent bottler offers to the whisky consumer (both newbies and veterans) a bit more of an adventure into the wide world of whisk(e)y.  Please understand, I’m not down on distillers’ own bottlings (E.G. Highland Park 18yo, Arran 14yo, Ardbeg Corryvreckan, etc…).   What I am trying to point out is that Independent bottlers allow the consumer more variety and flavors and other ways to love the distilleries they’re already familiar with.  Their bottlings also allow for newbies to whisky a different way to “get into” whisky.


Master of Malt is not only a whisky/spirits shop but they also independently bottle single casks of whisky from time to time (and seemingly more and more often).

Here is a link for a comprehensive guide to Independent Bottlers (as found on Serge’s

Today I am reviewing four single cask bottlings from Master of Malt:

  • A 20yo Single Cask of Cragganmore,
  • A 13yo Single Cask of Highland Park,
  • A 14yo Single Cask of Dalmore,
  • and, finally, a 27yo Single Cask Dailuaine whisky

Cragganmore 1991 20yo

Speyside Region – Refill Hogshead (sample did not specify bourbon or sherry but from the color and flavors, I’m supposing it’s an ex-bourbon hogshead) – 54.2%ABV – £49.95

On the nose Light, perfumed and a bit salty smelling.  Very floral (if you have a significant other who digs whisky, get some of this for her or him.  You can’t drink a bouquet of flowers but you can drink this!).  Some latex glove notes which seem to be oddly mixed up with pine nuts.  Ashes from burnt notebook paper with a side of white pepper.  A bit of a biting nose – smells of 54.2% ABV…

Coming back to this and the peppery quality really stands out.

On the mouth Slightly vicious mouth feel, good attack.  Fruit salad, half dried-out orange wedges and, if I’m not mistaken, an owl barn.  Water cress, sugared lemon slices and a touch of butterscotch.

Cedar wood shavings which is now leading up to the finish…

Finish Drying, long and filled with those sugared lemon slices I got on the palate.

In sum  This is a solid, solid, Craggy.  One that’s geared more toward the late spring or early summer; a mid-day dram to pick you up a bit.

Highland Park 1997 13yo

Islands Region – refill ex-bourbon hogshead – 57%ABV – £44.95

On the nose Vitamin E gel caps (those gelatin, vitamin E fluid filled pills) and medicated Band-Aids™.  Some notes of unripened stone fruits (apricot, peach, etc..).  Orangey baby aspirins with a side of cherry tarts; or vice versa…

A smokey undertone, with medicinal overtones, hospital beds & sharps disposal cans.

On the mouth Sweet & smokey attack right upfront with a creaminess that hits the spot.  Back to the citrus but more toward tart lemons or perhaps kumquat (teehee).  Polypropylene pellets quickly becoming plastic containers via plastic injection molding machines.

Magnifying glass + sun + brush and branches = a flavor I’m tasting here.

Finish Drying, smoky and medicinal.  A touch of oak and vanilla and after about 30 seconds, marzipan

In sum As a Highland Park, I’m not a fan.  This is nothing like any HP you’ll ever taste.  Take away the name and it’s a pretty good whisky!  It’s not mind-blowing but it’s fun and interesting.  I’d suggest using this as one to fool your friends with.  They’ll never guess this was a Highland Park.

Dalmore 1996 14yo

Highlands Region – Refill Hogshead (sample did not specify bourbon or sherry but from the color and flavors, I’m supposing it’s an ex-bourbon hogshead) – 57%ABV – £44.95

On the nose  An oaky influence and all things Bourbon: pencil shavings, toasted almonds and model glue.  Fresh and bright as well as a touch of toastiness and even a touch of brine.  This is a Dalmore??  Dried apricots and vanilla cream.  Walnuts, almonds and get this, egg whites.

An enjoyable nose; a vibrant nose.

On the mouth What, what, what?  Where did the 14 years of aging go?  On the outset, this whisky tastes A) YOUNG & spirity and B) and a bit like a grain whisky or a young blend.  After getting used to how different the flavor is as compared to the smells, I’m presented with hints of maple syrup, orange rind and orange juice and very puckering fresh white wine grapes (stolen off the vine during a vineyard tour).

Hi-octane ice wine.

Finish Peppery finish, long and offering up some apricot

In sum The nose, wonderful.  To taste, however… from the get-go I was very disappointed.  I warmed up to it a bit once I began to understand it but in the end, it’s not one that I would reach for.  For the price, it might be fun to explore however there are some better single cask whiskies offered up by Master of Malt (and other indy bottlers) that you can spend your money on.

Dailuaine 1983 27yo

Speyside Region – Refill Sherry Hogshead – 53.6%ABV – £64.95

On the nose  This is an interesting mix of scents and jammed into a tight little package.  We’re talking soy sauce (with a side of ginger slices) meets wood char meets dandelion jam.  On top of this, there’s a nice ooey honey center and something a bit like spiced gum drops yet not like spiced gum drops… spicy nutmeg cakes maybe.  I can’t pinpoint it but the scent is near intoxicating.  Reminds me of cold nights with lots of family and LOTS of holiday heavy cakes.

Rum raisins (and the sugared raisins you find in a bowl of Raisin Bran™).

On the mouth Loads of raisiny spice notes.  Cinnamon swirl bread, Cinnamon Toast Crunch™.  Flavors aside, let’s look at the mouthfeel – Slightly viscous with a tinge of effervescence.  Hints of orange spice.

Do you see a theme here?  SPICE! (desert planet, Arakis.  Mother!!  The sleeper has awoken!)

Finish A sweet finish with some warm butteriness to it.

In sum In all honesty, I bought a bottle of this stuff halfway into reviewing it.  No shit.

This is a kick-ass bottle of single cask Dailuaine and oh-so-perfect for colder/cool weather.  It’s warming, comforting, soothing, delicious.

Special thanks goes out to the fine chaps and chappesses from Master of Malt for the samples!