Tasting Notes


GlenAllachie 12 years

GlenAllachie 12 years
The first thing that came to mind on seeing the new GlenAllachie logo was Pocahontas.Or maybe that should be PocaHontas.  As, since Billy Walker bought the distillery just over a year ago, the distillery name has undergone the same capitalisation treatment à la GlenDronach and BenRiach. The rebranding and hence redesign of the logo is, according to the website, in keeping with the Celtic runes and Pictish stones which surround the distillery. So nothing to do with Disney then. Thankfully, I’m not overly influenced by packaging these days. As Billy Walker only ...

Ardgowan Expedition

Ardgowan Expedition
Expedition is the recently released expression from Ardgowan distillery. As the distillery is yet to be built, this is obviously sourced whisky from elsewhere.As soon as I poured this into the glass, the aromas were suggesting something quite promising. The first few sniffs delivered a really pleasant nose; clearly some sherry cask influence but by no means a sherry bomb. On the palate, this was really well balanced and very drinkable. For me, this is perhaps where the problem lies; a bottle of Expedition will set you back £500 so I imagine that the chances of many of ...

Steel Bonnets

Steel Bonnets
Let’s just get straight to the point here; Steel Bonnets is way overpriced. With a RRP of around £65, my personal opinion is that it’s about forty quid over what I’d expect to pay even if I liked it. Which, I’m afraid, I don’t. In an effort to be diplomatic, I’ll just say that this whisky really doesn’t suit my palate at all. I’ve had conversations with others who’ve said that they thought it was an OK dram, despite the price, but this isn’t the whisky for me. And whisky is subjective, right? We all know that.Steel Bonnets – NAS – 46.6% ...

James Eadie Blair Athol 14

james eadie blair athol whisky
It’s no secret that I have a lot of time for the independent bottler, James Eadie. The first time I tried their whiskies was at the Whisky Fringe last year. A bottling of Auchroisk 9 years as the Half Time Orange proved to be the dram of the day for me. This year, their HTO was a 10 year old Caol Ila finished in a Palo Cortado cask. It was simply stunning and I can’t wait for this to be released. A few months ago, one guest in a group of American tourists who had booked on my Leith Whisky Trail tour, asked me to recommend a bottle of whisky to her. She was looking for ...

Sonora Gold

Prickly Pear Spirit
The last blog post I wrote (for this site, at least) was about five months ago. So the irony isn’t lost on me that this first review in ages isn’t even about a whisky.  Or even a whiskey. Despite the fact that Sonora Gold from the Three Wells Distillery is sometimes referred to as Prickly Pear Whiskey, the distillers themselves make the point on their website that, as the spirit hasn’t been made from grain, it can’t officially be called a whiskey. And yes, you’ve guessed it; the clue’s in the name. It’s a spirit made from the prickly pear cactus fruit. ...