In this case 15 Years!
Aberlour Speyside Single Highland Malt 15 Years Old Scotch Whisky
The Aberlour 10 Years Old was my first Single Malt Scotch Whisky back in 1993(?) and its 18 Years Old made me fall in love with whisky. It appears that 15 Years Old is now travel exclusive (i.e., Duty Free). If I recall correctly, I traded 6 bottles of wine for this bottle (I really wanted that 18 YO though!)
After ageing for 14 years in both bourbon and sherry casks, this Single Malt is blended and finished for 1 year in Oloroso Sherry casks to add depth and complexity. 40% abv
COLOUR: Deep dark gold amber with copper from the sherry casks.
AROMA: Macintosh toffee caramel, candied orange peel; hint of smoke on the nose.
TASTE: Up front bourbon sweetness, malty, stewed autumn fruits, cinnamon spice, touch of nutmeg marmalade on the palate with sherry spiciness and touch of nuttiness.
FINISH: The spice lingers on the long warming finish.
Côte d’Or Barriques – 43% abv 1L Duty Free
I remember Glenmorangie being among some of the first Single Malt Whiskies I tried. It was a big brand name and widely available whether it be in bars or friends’ homes. It was a very “accessible” whisky for a newbie like me.
This bottle was purchased at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) on the way home after a visit to Paso Robles wine country. We had some time before our flight home to Vancouver so we hit the Duty Free shop. Usually it’s a window shopping exercise but I remember specifically that my bosses at the time saying, “Get in there [to the whisk(e)y section] and get something!” I can’t remember the exact selection available but likely an offering of Glenmorangie with their various wood finishes – likely Port and Sherry. I had tried other whiskies with these finishes before so that is likely why I chose the Burgundy finish as it was the first non-fortified “wine” cask finish I had seen. Combine that with the Duty Free price and a 1 L format? SOLD!
I don’t have any tasting notes from the time I first opened the bottle, but it is one that has been enjoyed often.
Since this was purchased, the distillery no longer produces this expression and has repackaged their line up. It was actually a tweet from a friend @MaliaYoskia that showcased a taster pack with 4 expressions that spurred me to look for this bottle to post some tasting notes.
C: old burnished gold
N: light floral, almonds, clover honey, vanilla sugar cookie
P: up front bourbon sweetness with a slight tingle (from abv?) ; medium, plush, creamy, fruit from the wine cask comes through and sweetness continues with a touch of subtle spice
The Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition Highland Single Malt Whisky
42.8% abv. Travel Retail Exclusive (1 L)
Opened on the occasion of of World Whisky Day, celebrating drams around the world on May 18th this year.
I purchased this duty free on a cruise ship coming back from Alaska, and also bought it without having a single taste. But with the limited selection available, it was my choice since I have enjoyed the other Macallans I have tried. And if by chance I did not enjoy it, I was sure that I would be able to find people to share it with.
WOW! I was not disappointed at all.
Rich autumn fruit aromas, almost rum raisin, clove, cinnamon and spice.
Soft and sherry spice on the palate, surprising white chocolate on the back palate; long lingering fruity finish.
A few drops of water really opened it up and brought out the creaminess on the palate, fruit and spice, and the toffee really comes through.
A very special dram and one I am going to really enjoy again.