Miltonduff 9 years old, 58.3% B+
First fill barrel
Nose - Shiny glazed mineral, with iced rings and a some rolling tobacco. Lemon ice cream (soft) and some leather. It has a quite compelling wood to the nose, no nonsense and high quality. Brighter and riper with water.
Body - Definitely lemon ice cream, Christmas cake, an extremely sweet backing to the citrus. Some plastic book covering with water, mukhwas.
Finish - Short, hard and astringent, lemon sherbets and caramel. Much fruiter with water but this is where the summer fun ends to an extent.
A lovely nose and delivery to this summer drammer, a bit harsh at the end.
Linkwood 11 years old, 60.9% A
Nose - Light and professional, with fabric freshener, birthday candles and hand soap or moisturising cream - quite cold. French apple tart with water, boiled orange peel, a lot more wax; the beginnings of a lovely cask which develops and sweetens over time.
Body - Richer than the nose suggested, fizzing, some vanilla pastry, quite a lot of oil, with liquorice on repeated sips. Water opens it up, bringing baked apples and more orange zest, perhaps a little coriander.
Finish - Long, fizzing but not bitter, a little bit more liquorice and some hard oak. Softer with water, Sazerac.
Quite a hard, young whisky (in a bracingly Spring-like way) which opens up nicely with water. It grew on me.
Glentauchers 20 years old, 50.9% A⊕+
Nose - Deep and beautifully fruited, with that sublime but understated complexity that old Glentauchers pulls off all the time. Green apple chews, warm sweet white wine from yesterday, lipstick. Perfect.
Body - Right on the knife edge of fruit and waxy, oily, nearly mineral cask. Oranges and unripe pears, fruit tea. Liquorice rizlas and chewed pencils, dry rolling tobacco and a little light engine oil.
Finish - Almost salty it's so dry. Quite spicy with pronounced wood at the end, bourbon fans would like this but that fruity Scotch side of the coin means it doesn't offend me as it otherwise would.
Utterly wonderful, the epitome of balance (and hence drinkability) and fruit in a whisky with big bags of tobacco too. Big props for being a whisky I didn't want to risk spoiling by adding water. Note that this isn't in your face, it isn't crushingly intense, it's just right.
Bealach Ruadh, 10 years old, 57.1% A-
Body - A gentle, white wine character in front of the nutty, coastal Caol Ila, slightly charred on the panko crumbs, charcoal even.
Finish - Dirty and coastal, a big bite out of the lip salve. Bitter peat at the end, burnt again. A little gentler with water, apple and swimming pool.
Robust and challenging although lures you in at first. Quite dirty, quite coastal, like crab in a Chinese restaurant.