specially selected by John Sutherland
DOLPHIN INN WHISKY TASTING NOTES
SCOTLAND – Single Malts
LAPHROAIG 10 YEAR OLD
Founded in 1815, Laphroaig is one of only a few distilleries that still use traditional malting floors and dry and infuse their own malt with thick blue smoke from old peat-fired kilns. One of the smokiest whiskies I have ever tried, Laphroaig 10 Year Old has been distilled the same way for 75 years, drying the malted barley over an Islay peat fire, giving it a distinctively rich flavour. Its taste is first bold and very smoky, followed by a hint of seaweed and a surprising sweetness. This full-bodied whisky comes with a long finish.
Made by the sea on the misty Isle of Skye, Talisker Skye single malt has lively interplay between sweetness, smoke and spice and a peated, smoky flavour. This quality comes from the peat burned during the malting process and carries on it the salted smoke of an island battered by wind and waves. Beneath the smoke you will find soft fruits and cereal notes, with a distinctive peppery finish. Talisker Skye has fresh citrus bursts and underlying sweetness, matured in a combination of refill and toasted American oak casks for depth of flavour.
DEANSTON 12 YEAR OLD
My favourite! I discovered this distillery by chance whilst touring the Trossachs. I revisit it every time I return to Scotland to sample their latest offerings.
Deanston Distillery is just outside Doune, hidden on the road between Stirling and Loch Lomond, and is relatively unknown, producing whisky used in blends and also possibly the finest single malt on this menu. Deanston 12 year old is matured in the vaulted warehouses of the distillery, on the banks of the River Teith in the Trossachs National Park. Bourbon casks are used to mature this whisky, giving it smooth, sweet honey flavours. The tall stills and locally grown organic Scottish barley provide a wonderful cereal background.
The taste? Watch out for fresh summer hay, malty cereal, rich creamy toffee and honeyed heather. This is balanced with sweet oak and barley sugar, hints of fruit, malty honeyed spiciness and soft vanilla. The crisp and satisfying finish has a tingle of cloves which linger, then gently fade.
TAMNAVULIN DOUBLE CASK
Tamnavulin Distillery is in the heart of Speyside, the most celebrated whisky-producing region in Scotland. Matured in American oak barrels for a sweet, mellow taste and then Sherry casks for a rich, smooth finish, it is a rich, smooth and refreshing malt with warm aromas of apple, toffee and honey, sweet marzipan and subtle tangy marmalade notes. On the palate, Tamnavulin promises a hint of fresh, mellow, pear creamy peaches and pineapple with a touch of Demerara sugar.
WALES – Single Malt
Welsh whisky has come a long way and the Penderyn distillery, founded in 2004 near the Brecon Beacons, has won awards for its single malt, which comes in several varieties.
Penderyn Legend is in the style of a Scottish Lowland whisky and is matured in bourbon wood before finishing in Madeira casks. Penderyn has aromas of fresh apples and citrus fruits which intermingle with cream fudge and sultana raisins to create a complex yet fresh, clean and well-balanced whisky. On the palate it is incredibly smooth and both fresh and rich dried fruits abound; delicate and sweet, with just a hint of bitterness to remain refreshing. The finish has a long aftertaste of Madeira cake and sultanas.
Maker's Mark is a hand-crafted small batch American straight bourbon whisky made in Loretto, Kentucky. Never bitter or sharp, this whisky is made with red winter wheat - rather than the traditional rye - in the mash as well as corn and barley. Matured in new toasted American Oak barrels, it is a lighter bourbon than some and has pronounced notes of vanilla, caramel and woody oak. Maker’s Mark bottles are distinctively hand-dipped in signature red wax at the distillery.