Situation: over at a very good friend’s house in a nice atmosphere, he invited me over because he had been in Scotland and visited Dewar’s as well as Edenmill and wanted me to try these…well, who am I to say no to free whisky in nice company?
Dewar’s 12 | Blended Scotch | 12 years old | “hand selected oak casks” 🙂 | 40 % | CA / CF
Nose: Nutty, fruity, the artificial sweets note I often get with grain but a bit muted, prominent honey sweetness, not as grainy as I thought it would be so that’s good, only at the end there’s a hint of a spirity note, but, well, that’s it: honey+nuts+grain.
Taste: Watery entry, honey, a coffee note or more like if you mix coffee and chocolate milk, some burned wood, grain but quite well integrated, some salt, a bit hooch-y and unsteady at the end
Finish: Salty, grainy, some chocolate bites remain, quite short, no real wood influence noticeable
Conclusion: All in all, I’m surprised, it’s quite bland overall, but the grain is very well integrated and this is very rounded (far too round and hence boring for my tastes) but better than I expected.
Dewar’s 18 | Blended Scotch | 18 years old | “hand selected oak casks” 🙂 | 40 % | CA / CF
Nose: Fruity, sweet and a bit waxy, some minor grain notes but not much. A bit bland, butter? Yeah a bit. All in all, not much going on here…
Taste: Sweet but watery entry, malty, a bit nutty, grain, salt, only slight hints of oak
Finish: A rather rough finish, quite short, salt, some honey, coffee but dominated by rough wood and grain notes
Conclusion: I think I liked the 12 year old better, especially given the difference in price. Not bad, but I expected more of an 18 year old blend. The finish is really rough and keeps this from being better, not really bad but bland and boring.
Edenmill | Art of the Blend, Batch 2 | NAS | “European Virgin oak 1/4 casks, some 1st fill ex bourbon casks with a small amount of ex Ardbeg casks” | 40 % | CA / CF
Nose: Quite Gin-like at first: botanicals similar to Blue Gin, grain, spirity, perfumy, it opens up with air and then gets more balanced with honey, malt and most of the young negative aspects are gone, some smoke? Or is that just my mind? Red berries, dark fruits, plum are hidden in the back
Taste: Watery entry, surpisingly herbal, oaky/woody, malt, grain, some darks fruits but feels quite weak overall…ouchy
Finish: Sweet and herbal, a burned note at the end, young wood like birch wood tastes if you chew it…
Conclusion: Maybe the Dewar’s or my buddy’s stories heightened my expectations too much or I was naive enough to fall for the fancy bottle, marketing jiddi-jadda and price but I didn’t really like this one or at least not nearly as much as Rob did. Surely not enough to buy a bottle…