After spending the last 10yrs swirling, staring, sniffing and sipping whisky here are my current top 3 whiskies under £50
The Tobermory Distillery on the Isle of Mull isn’t home to just unpeated whisky. It also makes superbly smoky single malt under the name of Ledaig(the distillerys old name). Distilled using the same pot stills as the classic unpeated Tobermory expression, just with peated barley instead, the whisky boasts plumes of rich, earthy, almost medicinal smoke, with underlying fresh fruit and crushed spice notes.
Nose: Quite light and well-balanced. There is a very soft peat with a gentle smoke. Notes of barley and malt extract, with walnut and pine oil and a hint of iodine, dried fruit and nuts.
Palate: Medium-bodied and quite rich. There are notes of spice and smoke gathering above the charred oak. The peat is quiet and dry with a touch of black pepper and earth.
Finish: Medium-length and slightly smoky with spice
A terrific single malt from The Balvenie. This Speysider was initially aged in traditional oak casks before it was finished in casks which previously held Caribbean rum, imparting some extra sweetness and warmth to the whisky. Master David C. Stewart made his very own blend of West Indian rums, filled it into casks, and then eventually replaced the rum in said casks with Balvenie’s whisky!
Nose: The aroma is rich with notes of tropical fruits, namely passion fruit, and creamy toffee.
Palate: Sweet vanilla forms a creamy palate with notes of apples and mangoes with a hint of orange in the background.
Finish: The finish lingers with a vanilla focussed character.
Overall: Mouth-coating and fruity with superb balance, this is an excellent release from the chaps at Balvenie.
The 10 year old from Gordon and MacPhail’s Benromach distillery was matured for the first nine years in 4/5 bourbon and 1/5 sherry casks before a year in sherry casks.
Nose: Dry, barley, big on malt and oak. Dry pine, fruity. A tad spirity. Sweet spices after a time and a hint of puckering prune from the sherry cask and maple fudge.
Palate: Barley, slightly herbal, a little fruit, grassy. Big on malt, ground ginger.
Finish: Mouthwateringly bittersweet. Ginger, dry sherry, almost hoppy after a while.Overall: A great whisky, its maturity belies its 10 years of age and the sherry finish has done wonders.