by James Davidson
This year at the Scotch & Malt Whisky Tasting & Festival, I focused on sampling the special additions and the single malts I haven’t run across in the wild. Below are some of my reactions to the Scotches and single malts available.
One of the first single malts on my goal list was the Nikka Yoichi 15 year. Japanese whiskies are known for subtle flavors with slight complexities. Sadly, the peat flavor overpowers the fruit notes to early in the drink to really say it’s balanced. It wasn’t awful, but there are many other 15 year old whiskies that are better.
While we are talking about 15 year old whiskies, let’s mull over the Linkwood 15 year I sampled. The bottle wasn’t impressive to look at but the golden spirit wasn’t to bad. Sweetness gave way to a smokey flavors that were not peaty. As far as finishes goes, this one was long. Smokey notes sat on the back of my tongue well after swallowing. Depending on your inclination, this may be a good thing. Overall, the Linkwood 15 year is a good whisky.
One Scotch that should have been amazing was the Glenfiddich 19 year “Age of Discovery.” Sadly, it was a very plain spirit. This 19 year old whisky was only aged in old bourbon barrels and didn’t have any finishing like many modern Scotches. While it wasn’t bad, the $150 price tag seems unwarranted. The Glenfiddich 15 year had more complexity by far and was tasty.
My favorite Scotch of the night was the Glenmorangie Companta. The Companta is part of the distilleries limited edition set. The nose is fruity like many of the Glenmorangie expressions. During the drink, it felt velvety in my mouth and a cherry flavor was pronounced with hints of blood orange and maybe a touch chocolate. Rarely am I tempted to spend $100 on a bottle of whisky, but this expression is very tempting.
Overall, there wasn’t a drink in the place that I didn’t enjoy at least a little. Scotch and single malts are a diverse in flavor and worth exploring.