After my first whiskey review had a bit of focus of the good old island of Islay, this one is more focused on whatever Pie drank recently. Recently, depending on when I decide to submit this, so we are talking at least some months. And too late did I realize the pictures are blurry. But you can still sort of see the color of the malt. Incidentally, they be highland malts, it would appear. This is part 1 of Pie’s random whiskey reviews. This, it should go without saying, does not mean there will be a part 2. None is in the works as we speak. The numbering is just in case. There are malts involved, some with some peat and some of no peat, and they are presented as sort of head-to-head, one vs one.
The distilleries featured are highland: Deanston, Glenallachie (Speyside), Knockdhu (Speyside) and Tobermory (Isle of Mull).
Deanston 12 YO – 180 Lei
Smell: fresh, light but sufficiently complex, grain, something citrusy, alcohol is there but not unpleasant.
Taste: soft, nutty, some oak, slightly bitter notes, slightly sweet notes. Vanilla. Multilayered.
Aftertaste: warm, fresh, strong at first, drops of in intensity quite quickly but lingers longish. Remains warm on the tongue but not harsh.
Overall very good for the price and the quality and also quite friendly with unexperienced drinkers. Water is not needed.
GlenAllachie 12 YO – Pedro Ximénez wood finish (48%, OB 2019) – 260 Lei
Nose: complex and layered, sweet and candied, oak present, vanilla and some spice something fruity – maybe berry, raisin, sherry.
Taste: oak and spice, raisin, dark chocolate, some sherry.
Finish: quite warm and not too intense, shorter than expected.
Water does not bring a lot extra and makes it more subdues. This is a non-water whiskey.
Deanston vs Glenallachie is about what one is looking for. The Deanston is fresher, lighter in taste. The Glenallachie has a more intense, heavier character. Most drinkers, I would think, would prefer the Deanston. For the 50% price difference, I do as well. The Glenalachie standard 12 is cheaper and may be just as good which would change things. The extra price is worth it if you really like intense sherry finished malts.
Ancnoc Rudhan NAS – 190 Lei (1 Liter bottle)
Nose: light, crisp, smoke/peat, sweet, light fruit maybe apple, grain. Young.
Taste: Slight smoke and peat, some spice, honey, the alcohol; is somewhat present but not that aggressive.
Finish – medium with smoke and some peat some spice, warmth lingers.
A few drops of water don’t do much for the smell, but it mellows an rounds the taste some. Not much though, little to none.
Ledaig 10 YO – 193 Lei
Nose: light smoke or peat, fairly complex, dried fruit slightly nutty maybe, sea salt.
Taste: Spice and smoke, oak, something vaguely citrusy, mineral.
Finish: long, slightly warming, smoke.
Ancnoc vs Ledaig: Rudhan is rougher and the age shows. Ledaig is more complex, more layered, less rough and it wins this one, as the price is practically the same, although you get an extra 300 ml with the Rudhan.
Bonus malt 1: Benromach 10YO – 200 Lei
Nose: Sweet fruit, maybe apple or pear, herbal, pepper. Needs time in the glass. A bit of smoke.
Taste: sweet and sour, mineral, some spice and a bit rough for only 43% alcohol.
Finish: Very warming, long lasting, pleasant bitterness, spice and smoke.
For the price, would recommend.
Bonus Wemyss Malts Chimney Peat, NAS, blended – 150 Lei
This is a blended malt that, despite what a chimney would suggest, is not a peat or smoke bomb, but a surprisingly balanced malt.
Smell: smoke, honey sweet, something bisquity
Taste: Slight smoke, slight peat, sweet sour, some citrus
Aftertaste: pleasantly bitter aftertaste, with some lingering peat, fairly warming in the upper throat, alcohol is present.
The peat is mild and pleasant, for something called peat chimney. For the price, it is fairly complex and balanced, it is a good deal at 150 Lei.
Overall I would say the Ancnoc comes in last, given the balance of price and quality. The GlenAllachie is tougher to judge, but I would not shell out the extra 70 lei for the PX finish in the future. The Deanston was a very nice surprise. The other two were good as well.