The Abbey Whisky Bar Edinburgh, January Whisky Tasting

Featuring the whiskies of Ian Macleod Distillers.

The whisky tasting this month featured whiskies from two distilleries owned by the Ian Macleod organisation. There was an initial introduction by Bruce Borthwick representing the distillery owners. Bruce showed us the bottles which would be used in the tasting and gave us some basic background regarding the whiskies on the show.

We started with a blended malt whisky, “The Feathery.” This is blended using sherry casks and has the distinctive sweetness associated with this. The name refers to an early form of golf ball comprised of leather stuffed with feathers. A nice starter dram to get the evening underway!

Bruce Borthwick

Bruce Borthwick

Bruce then produced, in quick succession, bottles of Glengoyne 10, 12 and 18 years old. The whiskies are made from the soft water from the Blairgar Burn in the Campsie Hills. Maturation takes place in sherry casks. The resulting whisky is pleasing to drink. Gaining sweetness and body with increasing age. Quite a light whisky with fruity notes and a slight acidity. The ten-year-old [40% ABV] has a sharp clean taste with a hint of Summer meadows.

The twelve-year-old has a more complex taste. Fruit with sweetness and an overlay of crushed heather from a Scottish glen. There is also a hint of pepper. The eighteen-year-old has a further more complex array of flavours. Vanilla is obvious both to the nose and to the palate. More fruit flavours such as sweet honey melon and some citric overtones of oranges and lemon. Glengoyne whisky is recommended for those who are interested in sampling more than your basic whisky blend.

The tasting concluded with a tasking of Smokehead. This turned out to be a well-mannered whisky with a taste of smoke and some peatiness. However, the flavour is pleasing and not at all as powerful as might be expected. I enjoyed Smokehead and have no hesitation in recommending it to those who wish to try a whisky with some of the elements of a typical Islay whisky.

An excellent tasting which left us looking forward to the next meeting!

Written by Greg Dunn (Instagram)

The Abbey Whisky Bar




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