For our Nov 2016 meeting we decided to try 5 highly reviewed single malt scotches under $50. The five bottles we chose represented a range of styles, the Aberlour was subtle and complex, the Tomatin was slightly briny and harsh, the Highland Park was mildly peated and really well rounded, the Tomatin was very woody and smokey, and finally the Laphroaig was a typical Islay style, heavily peated, smokey and briny.
Overall the Aberlour 12 and Highland Park 12 were the two crowd favorites.
In addition this was our first meeting at Tubby’s Diner and Liquors in Laurel, MD. The meeting at Tubby’s went great; they had a diverse selection of food at very reasonable prices and a good selection of craft beer. Were looking forward to many more future meetings at Tubby’s.
1. Aberlour 12 Year, Double Cask Matured $35
Casks: ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks
Nose: Buttery cinnamon toast, concentrated raisin, astringent woody, cherry, barrel char
Palate: Sweet, maple syrup, brown sugar, plump raisins, nutmeg, milk chocolate, char
Finish: Medium length, with chocolate, raisins and more char
2. Tomatin 12 Year $38
Casks: ex-sherry and ex-bourbon casks Nose: fruit and spice, green apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of milk chocolate.
Palate: Clean and fruity, grass, lemon, orange peel, followed by rich woody spice.
Finish: The refreshing citrus notes are balanced by the toasty oak.
3. Highland Park 12 Year $45
Casks: ex-Oloroso sherry casks and ex-Bourbon casks
Nose: Toffee, char, dried dark fruit, nutella, malt
Palate: Malt, cocoa and dried dark fruit lead the way followed by notes of peat, orchard fruit, char, apricots, some inky sherry-like sweetness and grilled fruit.
Finish: Long and fruity punctuated by notes of char, malt, smoke and wood
4. Talisker 10 Year $49
Region: Islay, Isle of Sky
Casks: ex-bourbon casks Nose: Honey, malt, toffee, some, vanilla, salt
Palate: Sweet and smoky with hints of malt, honey, dark dried fruit, char, wood and iodine.
Finish: Malt, sweetness, smoke, dark fruit, brine and honey with a touch of wood.
5. Laphroaig Quarter Cask $39
Casks: American oak bourbon barrels. Specially made quarter cask
s for the final 7-8 month
Nose: Soft peat, vanilla, wood, salt, smoked meat, grain
Palate: Pronounced smoke, accompanied by a surge of iodine, salt and wood followed by raw sugar, malt, dark fruit and a hint of citrus
Finish: Long finish filled with malt, smoke, silky sweetness, dark earthiness that fades to smoky wood.
ABV: 48 %