Ardmore 9 Years – 2009/2019 – #707915 – 59.1%
NOSE Fresh tarragon, salty seaweed and smoked ham are followed by vanilla cake – burnt at the edges – and the rich, earthy notes of caramelised beetroot.
PALATE Cleaner than the nose: flinty with notes of mineral water, white pepper and the sharpness of lemon juice. The smoke is sooty but fresh, like pine branches thrown on a bonfire.
FINISH Dense Highland smoke and salted caramel blend into a rich, long-lasting finish.
Glen Moray 11 Years – 2007/2019 – #5154 – 59.1%
NOSE Tangerine juice, maraschino cherries, almonds and hazelnuts: a fruitcake cornucopia. Later, cinnamon and cumin warmed in a pan with melted butter.
PALATE Thick and chewy with a rich, bourbon-like sweetness and intensity. Lighter citrus notes follow with some nectarine and peach, creating a playful balance.
FINISH Flavours of milk chocolate and aromatic lime oil linger on the tongue. Spices gather at the end – cinnamon, clove – leaving a pleasing dryness.
Imperial 22 Years – 1997/2019 – #2471 – 49.6%
NOSE At first, vanilla pods toasting in a pan with brown sugar. Given a little time, there are liquorice allsorts, melting candle wax, nectarine skins and orange barley water.
PALATE Light and elegant – the flavours almost skip across your tongue. Astringent citrus fruit to the fore, followed by a parade of green florals, aniseed balls, and pink wafers
trailing towards the end.
FINISH The waxy character remains, carrying with it a hint of chewy sweets and Chinese five spice.
Cameronbridge 26 Years – 1992/2019 – #115128 – 46.4%
NOSE Mahogany and candy floss – a festival in a stately home! Notes of well-aged Armagnac blend with ripe morello cherries and wood shavings from a workshop floor.
PALATE Dense milk chocolate and hazelnut notes dominate at first. With time in the mouth, it becomes lighter and more expansive: steamed blood orange pudding and cardamom soften the underlying old-wood notes.
FINISH A long-lasting finish of furniture varnish is lifted by a zing of citrus and candied ginger.