Orkney 14 yr
NOSE: Blooming heather, saltwater taffy, and candied cherries combine for an aromatic experience. A dash of spice appears with ginger cake, followed by some very subtle, floral wisps of smoke.
PALATE: Rose macarons are layered with lemon peel and date syrup.
The smoke is almost fruity – like barbecued peaches and grilled sweet peppers.
FINISH: Wild parsley and wood chips merge into aniseed balls and a smattering of white pepper, all rounded off by ripe mission figs.
Ardbeg 19 yr
NOSE: The earthiness of crunchy, burnt leaves and wood char. This leads on to the comforting sweetness of apple turnovers, dusted with powdered sugar. Next drifts in poached pear and ground nutmeg.
PALATE: A pleasantly smooth salted caramel texture and flavor, accented by Demerara sugar cubes and burnt toffee popcorn. This is followed by plumes of rich barbecue smoke and a touch of tangerine rind.
FINISH: The last citrusy accent from the palate is rounded out by flinty pine smoke and sugared, roasted hazelnuts.
Clynelish 10 yr
NOSE: Pistachio nuts and crunchy peanut-butter-and-jam blondies are evident at first, leading onto an indulgent vanilla cupcake. Blooming marigolds and amber-like labdanum also appear.
PAL ATE: Cinnamon-and-licorice tea is accentuated by waxy Tilleul honey and sweet-chili potato chips. There is the piquant sensation of chorizo followed by a touch of juicy lime cordial.
FINISH: Intense Spanish cedar wood and freshly baked sourdough bread, spread with zesty marmalade. The lasting impression if that of a dry sparkling wine.
Imperial 23 yr
NOSE: Fragrant apple slices emerge, with custard biscuits and ice cream cone wafers. Stewed pear arrives next, followed by sugared doughnuts and fresh birch wood.
PAL ATE: Sweet and treacle-like – sticky toffee pudding and juicy green grapes coat the palate. Rhubarb sorbet and a wedge of nectarine offer a tartness, rounded off by Mexican vanilla.
FINISH: Rosemary lasts on with refreshing watermelon, succulent nectarine, and some kaffir lime leaves.
Glenburgie 21 yr
NOSE: Opens with banana peel, followed with butter on toasted sourdough bread baked with sunflower seeds. Under-ripe pineapple slices, kiwi and citric acid provide a sharper edge at the back.
PALATE: Still acidic, but now with a collection of zesty, juicy fruits. Picnic on a _freshly mowed lawn: peaches and apricots are cut open, served with homemade lemon sorbet and a bottle of sparkling wine.
FINISH: Briefly returning to the baked bread on the nose, we find a rich rye loaf alongside light caramel, matcha green tea and honeysuckle.
Aird Mhor 10 yr
NOSE: We are greeted with apple drop candy and an orchard wood bonfire, immediately followed by juicy pomegranate and homemade pistachio muffins. There is a floral note of gardenia mingling with the smoke of burning sage incense.
PALATE: Freshly-baked apple flapjacks and a showing of clove and allspice. An echo of smoke from the embers of burnt paper, leading on to butter shortbread and smoky roasted Indonesian coffee beans.
FINISH: More vegetal than initially on the palate – rocket sprinkled with smoked paprika. Ground almonds rest on, with a hint of honeysuckle.