ruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 Years is a stunner. I’m completely in love with this whisky. Despite carrying a bold dose of peat it’s balanced and nuanced with a deeply complex fruity aroma and flavor that balances out the gripping smokiness. I can see why people go crazy over these expressions.
I really wanted to love the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 21 more than the 20, but as it turns out they’re equally as good. The Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 21 is a bit woodier where as the 20 is a bit sweeter, but both have a nice rich character to them that moves through the senses with ease. From start to finish it’s an enjoyable whiskey, but it needs a bit more sweetness to fully balance it out, which is why I ended up mixing the 20 and 21 together 50/50 after doing the side-by-side.
Glenfiddich Vintage Cask is really good. The peat has more of a mesquite-like character to it, but it pairs well with the fruit heavy character of the typical Glenfiddich and brings a multi-dimensional balance to the whisky that isn’t easily found in the regular expressions. The aroma, palate and finish give off a united character of smoked fruit that has me itching to do some camping.
Ardbeg 10 Year L03 281 is awesome. I’m really truly enjoying every moment with this dram. The unique darkness that runs through it is awesome and I love the complex spice notes and how they help balance out the peaty and fruity notes across the nose and palate. As a whole it comes across a bit richer than some of the recent releases I’ve had. This could be because the casks used were newer back in ’93 when they were filled or maybe Allied did something a bit different. Whatever the reason…
Whisky Broker 1992 Ardbeg 21 Year Old is confusing at best. The nose is explosive, deep and rich. The palate on the other hand is sparse and shallow. The cavernous disconnect doesn’t get better with water or time. I don’t know what happened, but the palate being comparatively dead was really disconcerting. However, I feel like I need to insert a caveat and say that while the palate wasn’t as rich as the nose, what was there was still nice.