Earlier in the week, we introduced The Dram Team – a new whisky-delivery service. But it’s what’s in the box that is most important, right? So here’s my look at the whiskies from the launch box:
Inchmurin 18 Year Old – 46% ABV
Hailing from the shores of Loch Lomond, the distillery is named after the largest fresh water island in the UK, which is located in the loch itself. The nose on this is very woody and warming, with loads of Christmas-y spices, dried fruits and a hint of old leather book in there too. The festive flavours burst onto the palate, bringing all the flavours from the nose onto the tongue, as well as adding in some citrus too. Curiously, the finish is also fresher than expected.
Auchentoshan Threewood – 43% ABV
Another lowland whisky, with this one coming from just outside Glasgow. It’s been a solid performer for the distiller over a number of years and this is no change. It’s got a very rich and thick nose, thanks to the three different sherry casks used during maturation. It’s very treacly and toffee-like, with lots of rich fruit too. The palate is extremely rich too, with more sherried fruit and dark treacle. The finish has some woody notes to it, although there’s a fresh fruity taste round the edges too.
Glen Scotia Double Cask – 46% ABV
Another wee treat here from Campbeltown’s only operating distillery. The double cask in the name comes the combination of first-filled bourbon barrels and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks. There’s bags of fruit on the nose, including peach mango and passion fruit. There’s a fair hit of spice hitting the nostrils too, with lots of ginger and cinnamon. Slightly calmer on the palate, it’s very earthy and floral, with a slight bite of menthol. The char from the oak floats through on the finish.
Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest – 43% ABV
Over to Bowmore on Islay for the next dram, which offer a slightly rare sight – a smoky Islay malt which has been finished in sherry casks. It lives up to its darkest name, with a deep, nose drawing you in. The sweet sherry notes effectively mask the smoke, with juicy dried fruits and spices to the fore. On the palate, the smoke returns, although the body isn’t as rich as the nose suggested. It’s very creamy and malty, with sweet syrup too.
Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength – 60% ABV
We’re moving towards the top of the box now, with a cask strength Glenfarclas making its presence felt. The nose is big, punchy and meaty, with lots of depth offered by the sherry. There’s a tempting rich toffee sweetness which is just begging to be consumed. The palate is drier than I was expecting, although the 60% hit soon seeps through at the back of the palate. There’s a rich spiciness and sherried fruit, with a wisp of oak on the finish. Although the finish is quite smooth, there’s also an unexpected lingering smokiness.
Highland Park 21 Year Old – 47.5% ABV
We finish up on the surprise sixth dram which, despite being smaller than the others (10ml vs. 25 ml), is supposed to be a rare treat. And that’s certainly the case with this Highland Park. The sherry is front and centre on the nose, with a mixture of sweetness and warmth coming through. More sweetness on the palate, with lots of brown sugar and a hint of smoke, although not as much as Highland Park normally delivers.
Phew! What a cracking line-up for the first box from The Dram Team. I’m sure the guys will maintain this level of quality and subscribers can look forward to a great range of whiskies arriving through their door each month.