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Cameronbridge 26-year-old

Cameronbridge is a grain whisky distillery founded in 1824 by the Haig family. It is located on the banks of the River Leven, just north of Edinburgh. Although it was founded in 1824, illicit distilling was said to have taken place at Cameronbridge as far back as 1655. Which would make it one of the oldest continuously running distilleries in Scotland and possibly the oldest grain distillery in the world.

Old Particular Cameronbridge 26-year-old is bottled at 51.5% ABV.

Nose: Maple fudge, citrus, dry driftwood and spices

Palate: Maple syrup, honey, wood spices, hints of chocolate in the background.

Finish: Long and lingering, dry and chalky, honey and spice.

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Clynelish Distiller’s Edition

Clynelish Distiller’s Edition is a special release by Diageo.  The Master Distiller hand selected these Olosroso  finished casks and the casks identities are recorded on the bottle.  Here’s my take!

Bottled at 46% ABV.  I don’t remember seeing it on the label but suspect it is non-chill filtered and, judging by the colour, I’d say not much or no colour added.

Nose: Candied orange peel, dried ginger root, a whiff of black licorice.

Palate: Creamy mouth coating yet spicy with more orange and ginger, honey kissed salty sea spray.

Finish: Longish, dried apricots and figs and hazelnuts.

Summary: I would Highly Recommend buying this expression.  It is not the easiest whisky to come by, so if you see it, don’t pass it up!

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Compass Box Great King St. Artist’s Blend

Compass Box Great King St. is named for Compass Box’s Edinburgh offices, Great King St. is a range of blended whiskies with a large amount of single malt in the recipe. These highly approachable whiskies were aimed at appealing to whisky connoisseurs, non-whisky drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts alike.

Grain Whisky matured in first fill American oak from Cameronbridge Distillery makes up 46.2% of this recipe and gives it vanilla and caramel flavours. Malt Whisky matured in first fill Bourbon hogsheads from Clynelish Distillery makes up 29.7% of the blend giving it fruitiness and apple character. The next 16.1% is made up of a Highland blend of malt whiskies from Clynelish, Teaninich and Dailuaine distilleries which is given a second maturation in highly active French oak hybrid barrels. This addition gives richness and bold spiciness to the blend. The final 8% in this complex blend is matured in Sherry butts from Linkwood Distillery adding fragrant floral notes. Here is my take!

Bottled at 43% ABV

Nose: Honey, vanilla, dried apricots, citrus and cereal notes.

Palate: Vanilla custard, rich Christmas spices, lemons, buttery, apple pie, floral, dried fruit.

Finish: Freshly baked shortbread, spices, long and lingering.

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Compass Box Spicetree

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Compass Box Spicetree is a blended malt from Highland malt whiskies.  What is special about this expression is that Compass Box worked with Coopers to create a “Hybrid” cask.  These casks have American oak staves and new French oak heads.  This allows for a double wood effect without ever leaving the cask.

Spicetree holds a special place in my heart because I first sampled it in a blind tasting and found it to be my favourite dram of the night, even though there were several great single malts.  This changed my perception of blended malts and opened my eyes to another range of whiskies to try and collect.

Bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Rich baking spices and herbs, oak, currants and pepper.

Palate: Butter, pepper, allspice, mincemeat tarts, brown sugar.

Finish: Long procession of burnt sugar, allspice and more pepper and oak.

Rating: 9.2/10

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