Islay

Ardbeg Uigeadail

Single malt (54.2%)

Nose: Smoke and peat for sure but so much more besides, some fruit, sherry, cocoa, a little leather and perhaps toasted marshmallows also.

Palate: Silky and complex, the fruit remains along with the peat and is joined now by oaky and barbeque notes.

Finish: More peat gives way to sweetness and a hint of coffee before the long finish comes to an end.

Overall: Superb and rightly celebrated with complexity and balance in abundance.

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Bowmore Legend

Single malt (40%)

Nose: Sea breeze nearly hides a little honey and a faint wisp of smoke.

Palate: Salty with a brown sugar cube and barley sweetness that becomes more apparent the more you drink. It is far from complex however.

Finish: Sweet and salty with a little peat smoke briefly taking hold before slightly abruptly disappearing again.

Overall: Perfectly agreeable young, sweet, maritime dram.

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Bunnahabhain 20 Year Old 1990 – Single Cask (Master of Malt)

Single cask malt (54.1%)

Nose: Big, rich sherry notes, old wooden board game pieces, raisins, soy and a little smoke.

Palate: Sweet, oily, nutty, hints of marzipan, brine and spice along with smoked bacon.

Finish: Fairly long with smoke and plenty of spice.

Overall: Fascinating and excellent single cask bottling (more than reminiscent of an old Japanese single cask) – as Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder never said ‘peat and sherry live together in perfect harmony’.

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Lagavulin 12 Year Old Cask Strength (2011 Release)

Single malt cask strength (57.5%)

Nose: Intense with earthy peat, Lapsang Souchon and linseed oil.

Palate: Some initial sweetness gives way to savoury smoke and seaweed with hazelnut, black pepper and a subtle herbal note also.

Finish: The intense, earthy peat and smoke fades slowly and brilliantly.

Overall: Another fantastic release in the on-going series; a smoky, peaty, cask strength treat.

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Laphroaig Quarter Cask

Single malt (48%)

Nose: Plasters in a fireplace (that’s a good thing!) but there’s plenty of sweetness there too and even a slightly floral note.

Palate: Sweetness and oak lead into the medicinal peat punch and nutty toffee. Smoke throughout.

Finish: Long. Spicy, sweet and peaty.

Overall: The months spent in a quarter cask have been an unquestionable triumph, producing a truly superb sweet peaty malt that successfully belies its actual age.

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