Sibling Rivalry – The Dram Team

Sibling Rivalry it’s all part of family life eh? Well on this particular evening it was a battle of ages between these six drams, we were about to sample Glen Moray, Old Pulteney and Glenfarclas siblings. So who would come out as favourite? The elder or the younger? Well I guess there was really only one way to find out, sample them.

First up are the 12 and 15 year old expressions from Glen Moray from their Elgin Heritage range.

The 12 year old nose, lovey soft floral fragrance yet has a depth to it too. Just drawing you in for another sniff. Lovely toffee, vanilla and a bit of milk chocolate. Definitely a freshness to it. Now the 15 year old, lovely and fresh too but with some delicious spice and a note of frangipane and toffee and a delicious hint of oak. Going back to the 12 again and there is a thick creamy custard note (it’s been sitting a while now.) The palate on this delightfully light and fruity with that vanilla and it’s quite lightly spiced too. The 15 is that bit thicker on the palate with a sweetness and lovely spice again. Both are wonderful but I think the 15 just pips it to the post. Just.

Now to the Old Pulteney twosome. The 12 year old at 40%, and the 17 year old at 46%. I do like the Old Pulteney so it is nice to try them again.

The 12 year old on the nose is lovely and fresh like line dried linen with a sea breeze, a slight hint of fresh orange rind with vanilla and a pinch of salt and a the scent of oak.

And the 17 year old? A more robust nose and briny with it. Warm leather and a slight tanginess accompanies a bar of Mr. Toms – so that’s nuts in sugar and it smells delicious! I think there is a bit of a pine freshness there also. The palate of the 12 year old is slightly dry with a hint of vanilla and a bit of cream, soft whipped with a drop of this in it would be fab. Theres a slight spicy caramel to it but it’s sweet. The 17 year old is smoother on the palate, that nuttiness remains albeit lightly, and again it is sweet and fruity and really delicious with a long finish that just has you savouring the whisky.

Lastly we moved on to the Glenfarclas and the 10 year old and the 25 year old.

Up first is the 10 year old and the nose is quite buttery and a bit malty too. Toffee entices you a little with light spices and a little cream and honey, and the 25 year old? A richer nose on this one, the sherry really coming to the fore, Christmas pudding and bitter rind and really quite full on the nose. The 10 year old palate is light yet sweet with some cinnamon dancing on the tongue with lovely vanilla and the maltiness is there also. Against the lovely sherry on the 25 year old which really draws you in, some bitterness from dark chocolate yet rather yummy. Yes there is a difference in them but they both have their own merit, whether 10 years or 25 years old.

I based my thoughts on the Glenfarclas 15 year old that I really do enjoy.

A lovely selection of drams from some of my favourite distilleries. So thanks guys for another interesting box of delights!

And to all those who took part on the night – hello!





Dram Busters – The Dram Team

Last night saw the “Dram Team” tasters try a slightly different format instead of the normal monthly tasting. This saw those involved trying the “15s”, namely Glenfarclas 15 year old from Speyside and the 15 year old Springbank from Campbeltown. Both of these are single malts and both 46% abv – from November’s box ‘Dram Busters”.

First up was the Glenfarclas. I had recently purchased a bottle of this fine dram, so it was like having an old friend in my hand. I love the colour of it; a beautifully rich golden amber, the nose is creamy butterscotch, with the beautiful sherry notes and a warm fruitiness. I think I got a slight hint of orange last night. The palate is delightful. Malt and sherry and sweetness (I had the faintest waft of pencil sharpenings) and the merest touch of peat. A reassuring finish that is long and sherried… Happy to have this in my hand.

Some notes were going slightly awry on the night (think this was due to the fact I was aware people weren’t necessarily using the hashtag, so not sure when we started the Springbank.)

The second dram was the 15 year old from Springbank, this is a first for me. Yes, I know the distillery and have seen that they have a training school which I admit looks like something I would truly love to do (somewhere – hint hint).

However, I digress… the dram. I was getting a subtle smokiness, or maybe old tins of St. Bruno, some rich dark sugar (demerara) and some treacle toffee. A little banana and the mustiness of an old book. The palate took me by surprise in as much I was expecting something slightly bolder. Creamy vanilla, orange rind, tobacco, oak and leather. A long finish with pepper and a touch of sherry. I was quite intrigued by this, but feel this was that it was not what I expected. I noted it was “rather good” but feel there was something missing. A certain need to drink it again, but I don’t see this happening.

And I’m still not sure about this new format.

I had a think about what we had done previously. I liked doing the five drams with the sixth treat dram in one evening, yes it can get a little hectic, but it was a good pace, good tasting notes between the group involved and generally a fun evening.

So we shall see what comes…

The samples remaining are:

The Macallan (Speyside) – 12 year old, Double Cask

Glenfiddich (Speyside) – IPA Experiment

Laphroaig (Islay) – Quarter Cask

and the sixth, The Balvenie (Speyside) 21 year old Double Wood.

I’ll probably explore them over the weekend.

But thanks to the guys at the Dram Team and those involved on the night. Interesting notes, a few smiles and some interaction (and giggles) from friends tasting the Bruichladdich tenstroika.