We Drammin’ Whisky Society 2020 Tastings

Special thanks to The Dram Society for organizing the club. Check out their virtual tastings and events at The Dram Society

Descriptions and photos courtesy of The Whisky Exchange, supplier of whiskies for the We Drammin’ Whisky Society.

June 2020 – Japanese Whisky

Suntory Toki – 43% ABV – £29 (70cl)

Toki is a blended whisky from Suntory’s three distilleries: Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita. This is a round and sweet blend with a refreshing citrus character and a spicy finish.

‘Toki’ means ‘time’ in Japanese. Toki has a different composition to its sister blend, Suntory Hibiki, and its main components are Hakushu single malt and Chita grain whisky.

Producer’s Tasting Notes

NOSE: Basil, green apple, honey.

PALATE: Grapefruit, green grapes, peppermint, thyme.

FINISH: Subtly sweet and spicy finish with a hint of vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger.

My Score: 3/5

My Notes: Honey and apple.

Tokinoka White Blended Whisky – 40% ABV – £33 (50cl)

A Japanese blended whisky from White Oak distillery, Tokinoka White has delicate white chocolate and floral notes, alongside maple syrup, green apples and fiery pink peppercorn.

My Score: 3.5/5

My Notes: Grassy cereal notes.

Nikka from the Barrel – 51.4% ABV – £41 (50cl)

Nikka from the Barrel is big-boned and bursting with character. Not averse to a drop of water, either. A real star, winning top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards in 2007 and 2010.

Japanese whisky producer Nikka was founded in 1934 and has become Japan’s second largest distiller, producing a large range of single malts and blended whiskies between its two distilleries – Yoichi and Miyagikyo.

Colour Added.

My Score: 4/5

My Notes: Strong Caramel

July 2020 – Intro to Scottish Whisky Regions #1

Auchentoshan 12 – 40% ABV – £36.95

Lowlands – Colour Added.

This Auchentoshan 12-year-old expression replaced the old 10 year-old when the range was totally revamped. Elegant and refined, with those classic Auchentoshan notes of vanilla and almonds.

Producer’s Tasting Notes

NOSE: Crème brûlée with a burst of citrus and nuttiness, and a touch of green leaf.

PALATE: Smooth and sweet with hints of tangerine and lime.

FINISH: Gingery and slightly drying with a pleasant lingering nuttiness.

My Score: 3.5/5

My Notes: Sweet honey and hint of ginger on finish.

Glendronach 15 Revival – 46% ABV – £63.95

Highlands – No Colour Added, Non-Chill Filtered. Sherry Cask

The revived Glendronach Revival: a whisky whose original incarnation was so popular that we drank all of it. It’s back with a new recipe thanks to master blender Rachel Barrie, combining both oloroso and PX casks into a rich sherry-monster that’s packed with spice and fruit. We don’t think it’s going to disappear of the shelves again, but when it comes to Glendronach 15 Year Old, we always recommend stocking up.

My Score: 4.5/5

My Notes: Brown sugar, plums, sherry.

Knockando 12 – 43% ABV – £37.95


Formerly carrying a vintage, Knockando’s ongoing bourbon-cask bottling has now been released as a 12 year old. Light and fruity with spicy hints.

My Score: 4/5

My Notes: Light, balanced, and floral.

August 2020 – Intro to Scottish Whisky Regions #2

Kilkerran 8 Cask Strength – 55% ABV – £55 (70cl)

My Score: 4/5

My Notes: Citrus, pineapple, light peat, vanilla

Bunnahabhain 12 – 46.3% ABV – £40 (70cl)

Islay – No Colour Added, Non-Chill Filtered.

A giant leap forward for Bunnahabhain 12yo, this edition was launched in summer 2010 with a jump in strength to 46.3% and a declaration of no chill-filtration and no added colouring. The producers deserve enormous credit for giving punters what they want without jacking up the price too much and we earnestly hope that this will be a massive success. Bravo!

My Score: 4/5

Arran 21 – 46% ABV – £120 (70cl)

Islands – No Colour Added, Non-Chill Filtered.

Resplendent in its new packaging, this 21-year-old is a rich and complex expression of Arran whisky, with delicious sherry notes immediately on the nose. The palate is elegant and sweet, with notes of bitter orange, spice and dark chocolate.

My Score: 3.5/5

My Notes: Honey, oak, green apple. Too much sweetness for me.

September 2020 – Intro to Irish Whiskey

Echlinville Ban Poitin (Potcheen) – 48% ABV – £38 (70cl)

Northern Ireland, No Colour Added.

Label: Double-distilled pot still spirit.

Bán Poitín (actually pronounced ‘bawn potcheen’) was revamped in 2015 with a new bottle design and an abv of 48%. Produced at the Echlinville distillery in County Down from potatoes, malted barley and sugar beet, this is the country’s traditional spirit. Enjoy it neat or in your favourite cocktail.

My Score: 3/5

Glendalough Pot Still – 43% ABV – £49 (70cl)

Bottle #473, Barrel #1, Tree #13

A single malt Irish whiskey from Glendalough, made using a traditional pot still and finished in virgin Irish oak casks. The result is a malty, sweet whiskey with notes of honey, oak and ginger on the palate.

My Score: 4/5

My Notes: Honey, creamsicle, cheerios. Lingering finish.

Teeling Brabazon Series 3 14 Year Old – 49.5% ABV – £83 (70cl)

Irish Single Malt Whiskey. 11y bourbon cask followed by 3y Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask Finish

Series 3 of Teeling’s limited edition Brabazon range is the result of a collaboration with a family-owned winery in Jerez. It was matured for 14 years in Pedro Ximenez sherry cask creating notes of rich dates, figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried fruit and Christmas cake that linger in the finish.

My Score: 4/5

My Notes: Sherry, chewy, bubble gum.

WDWS Scores:

October 2020 – Intro to Peated Whisky

Bowmore 10 Tempest Batch 6 – 54.9% ABV – £120 (70cl)

Islay – 25ppm – Non-Chill Filtered. Cask Strength.

The sixth release of Tempest – Bowmore’s cask-strength 10-year-old. Aged in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, the emphasis is on tropical-fruit character. A peaty, smoky and fruity dram with great balance.

Label: First Fill Bourbon. Tropical fruits and layers of sweet almonds on an ocean breeze.

My Score: 4.5/5

My Notes: Cinnamon, green apple, light peat, citrus

GlenScotia 18 – 46% ABV – £86 (70cl)

Cambletown – 55ppm – No Colour Added, Non-Chill Filtered

First-fill Oloroso Sherry Finish

A flavourful 18-year-old whisky from Glen Scotia, one of only three remaining distilleries in Campbeltown. This single malt, introduced in September 2017 and finished in oloroso sherry casks, offers abundant notes of sea spray, vanilla toffee and spiced fruits. The finish lingers, with spiced raisin and a touch of honeyed nuttiness.

Producer’s Tasting Notes

NOSE: Crisp saltiness, perfumed floral notes and thick sweet toffee.

PALATE: Rich deep vanilla fruit flavours, apricot and pineapple, plump sultana.

FINISH: Long and dry with gentle warm spice.

My Score: 3.5/5

My Notes: Brown sugar, apple, sour cherry, peat. Great nose but strange astringent finish.

Ardbeg Corryvreckan – 57.1% ABV – £68 (70cl)

Islay – 93 PPM, Colour Added.

As a replacement for the much-loved 1990 Airigh nam Beist, Ardbeg Corryvreckan had some pretty big shoes to fill, but the good news is that this is a belter, winning World’s Best Single Malt Whisky at the World Whisky Awards 2010 and Best No Age Statement Scotch from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

Producer’s Tasting Notes

AROMA: Heady, intense and powerful. A collision of waxy dark chocolate, warm blackcurrants and muscovado sugar pulls you under its spell with a burst of plump cherries and earthy pine needles leaping from its depths. Salty seasoning brings a briny character with tangy crisp seaweed and smoky bacon swirling on the surface with hints of sweet vanilla, spicy cloves and blueberries.

TASTE: Torrents of taste well up on the palate; deep, peppery and chewy, bombarding the tongue with its intense tastes and textures. The first plunge brings forth chewy peppered steak soaked in pepper sauce with the tang of crispy seaweed. As you descend deeper, encounter a mouthful of black tarry espresso coffee that coats the palate with rich melted dark fruits (blackcurrants, blueberries and cherries) and bitter almonds. As the taste soaks in deeper, star anise and hickory dry out the palate before a surprise of chalky effervescent violets fizz to the surface.

FINISH: Long, deep and remaining powerful into the finish with black tarry coffee, chocolate-coated cherries and hot pepper sauce, the lingering memories of your mysterious and daring journey into Corryvreckan.

My Score: 4/5

My Notes: Peat, tar, lollypops, cow pasture. Typical Ardbeg salt and iodine. Lingering smoke finish.

WDWS Scores:

November 2020 – Intro to Production of Whisky

Milk and Honey New Make – 40% ABV – £34.95

No Colour Added.

Tel Aviv’s Milk & Honey is Israel’s first whisky distillery, and this is its new make spirit. Double distilled from malted barley in pot stills, just like in Scotland and elsewhere, this is the starting point of the distillery’s whisky journey.

Producer’s Tasting Notes

AROMA: Malty sweetness, red fruit and marshmallow, with hints of clean air after the rain.

PALATE: Medium body, malty sweetness and grassy green followed by delicate bitterness.

FINISH: Medium length. Delicate bitter mouthfeel on the tongue, followed by malty sweetness that is expressed after swallowing, with hints of chocolate.

GlenAllachie 12 – 46% ABV – £41.25

Speyside – No Colour Added, Non-Chill Filtered

The flagship in GlenAllachie’s new core range, released in July 2018. Matured in a mixture of virgin oak, oloroso sherry and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, this has sweet flavours of honey, marzipan, bananas and butterscotch.

Prior to 2017, when the distillery was acquired by master distiller Billy Walker, GlenAllachie whisky was most commonly found in blends.

Producer’s Tasting Notes

NOSE: Butterscotch and honey playing the lead with raisins and mocha in the background.

TASTE: Honey, marzipan and bananas, with lashings of butterscotch, raisins and a delicate hint of mocha.

GlenAllachie 15 – 46% ABV – £59.95

Speyside – No Colour Added, Non-Chill Filtered

A 15-year-old Glenallachie single malt, matured in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and oloroso sherry casks, creating a smooth, rich character. Aromas of raisins, butterscotch and sweet spices fill the nose, and the palate offers notes of dark chocolate, orange peel, banana, raisins and caramel.

Old Particular Port Dundas 15 – 48.4% ABV – £74.25

Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Douglas Laing. 2004 Vintage, Bottled December 2019. Lowlands, Non-Chill Filtered, No Colour Added, Cask Number DL13748.

Distilled five years before the distillery’s closure, this is a rich and fruity grain whisky from Port Dundas. It spent 15 years in a single Pedro Ximenez butt before being bottled by Douglas Laing in a run of just 325 bottles for its Old Particular range

Producer’s Tasting Notes:

NOSE: Opens with treacle and molasses – warms to ceral, grist, and smoke.

PALATE: Fructiferous: marinated raisins then black campfire coffee and spices.

FINISH: More espresso, chewy toffee, muscovado sugar and vanilla.

WDWS Scores:

December 2020 – Intro to English Whisky

The English Whisky Co. 11 Year Old – 46 % ABV – £58.45

The first single malt from The English Whisky Co to bear an age-statement, this milestone whisky has spent 11 years maturingin The English Whisky Co’s warehouse. The palate is spicy and oaky, with notes of apple, cherries, tropical fruit, black pepper and ginger lingering in the finish.

My Score:

My Tasting Notes:

The Lakes Single Malt Whisky Maker’s Reserve No. 3 – 54% ABV – £63.95

No Colour Added, Non-Chill Filtered

The third release in The Lakes Whiskymaker’s Reserve series has been matured in a combination of Pedro Ximinez, Oloroso sherry, cream sherry and red wine casks. Rich, fragrant notes of spiced chocolate, toffee, incense, honeyed-figs and wood spice fill the palate.

My Score:

My Tasting Notes:

Cotswolds Peated Cask  – 60.2 % ABV – £62.75

No Colour Added, Non-Chill Filtered, Peated Quarter Cask

A rich and fruity English single malt from Cotswolds distillery, matured in an ex-peated whisky quarter cask, creating a delicate smokiness throughout the palate.

My Score:

My Tasting Notes:

WDWS Scores:

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