Bacardí Spiced does a commendable job of keeping some actual rum character intact in its spiced expression. Expect some typical molasses and fruitcake notes with additional forward aromas of vanilla bean, marmalade and baking spices. It is “adult” enough be enjoyed on its own over ice, and I found it worked best mixed with cola (specifically Coke Zero) and a spritz of lime. The vanilla and spice mingle nicely with the trace of rum heat that graces the finish.
Somewhat like the Old Pulteney Huddart, this is a Highland malt with an Islay twist. Rather than finishing in ex-peated whisky casks, the malt for this expression is peated to a 40 ppm phenol level (this is not over-the-top by Islay standards, but pretty significant for a Highland). This non-chill filtered, non-coloured malt marks the 125th anniversary of the Knockdu Distillery. Fragrances of sweet wood smoke and obvious (but not overpowering) peat, mesh seamlessly with coffee, mild iodine and buckwheat honey. The flavours are big, bold, powerful and peppery, with a dash of toasted almond and dried apricot.
Some of the aromatic components that distinguish the 15-Year-Old expression can also be found in the 18-Year-Old, but there is an added layer of pear, vanilla, hard toffee and an interesting floral edge. Nougat, dried apricot, sweet pear and a touch of warming, peppery spice are evident in the whisky’s flavour profile, along with a hint of sweet raisin pie that persists on the palate as the primary flavours gently slip away.
Finished in ex-sherry casks, the Balblair 15-Year-Old shows a complex aromatic profile of refined gingersnap, clover honey, leather and some interesting citrus and berry notes. Some distinctly fruity flavours are interwoven among suggestions of brown spices, cocoa and marzipan, all of which continue to express themselves as the long, memorable finish dissipates.
Aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, this is a complex, refined dram redolent of cinnamon and nutmeg-scented baked apple. A layer of fresh bread dough and new leather add to the slight brininess characteristic of the house style. Some sherried, dark chocolate nuances appear in the mouth, with fruitcake and tobacco nuances persisting as it slowly fades from memory.
This intriguing malt in casks which used to contain peated whisky. The result is a dram that combines highland poise with some island punch. Past the burnt amber colour, you will find intense malted grain aromas, sultana and treacle, with the added kick of smoky iodine peat. Dry and viscous on the palate, it seamlessly integrates citrus and green apple fruit with sea spray and mineral flavours before trailing off into a long, lightly spiced finish.
A lightly briny initial impression gives way to suggestions of lemon oil, slightly toasted grain, mild anise and a touch of mineral. Citrus fruit, toffee and a dash of spice mesh nicely with the smooth and supple mouthfeel. Polished and refined.