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JURA is Norse for “deer island”…..6000 deer, 200 people, one road, one hotel and one astonishing distillery….

Jura Single Malt 10 yo 43%
Orange dark chocolate, musty oak, rich honeyed sherry, a hint of smoke (horse sweat) and complex dark fruits. Exraordinary aromas on so many levels.
As this dram develops, the smoke becomes more prevalent, rising on a spicy wave of the sweetest barley.
One of the most complex noses I have experienced.
The palate has an oily, full-bodied mouthfeel of oloroso sherry, drying to a charred smoky sherried finish.
Water introduces toffee and a stunning orange caramel sauce, musty wood and the smoke pulsing underneath.
The palate becomes oilier with the oloroso lingering. 90

Jura Superstition Single Malt 43%
Rum and raisin, orange zest, spiced barley, cardamom and a touch of peat.
There is vanilla and cinammon sticks on the palate with a bitter dryness on the finish.
Water brings out more of the smoke and a nutty toffee but the palate retains the charred cinammon stick finish. 82

Jura 16 yo Single Malt 43%
Rich oloroso sherry, walnuts, Terry’s chocolate orange, a smudge of peat smoke in the depths, then honey drenched barley, toffee, fudge, rich dark fruit stew in a sherry marinade with a vanilla pod thrown in for good measure…gorgeous!
The palate experiences a smooth rich rumtopf mouthfeel, spiked with honey and vanilla with a sublime oloroso finish.
Water shifts this dram up a gear and reveals more smoke, sherried barley and Spanish oak.
Exquisite! 92

Jura 21 yo Single Malt 43%
Rich sherry, dark toffee, spicy inkwell, Liquorice Allsorts, Matabele Ant(furniture polish?), Seville marmalade and in time a hint of smoke develops.
A thick, oily coating on the palate as the oloroso dominates with the bitter dark marmalade close behind. The finish is dry and woody,
Despite the stunning nose the palate disappoints. 86

Jura Elements “Earth” Single Malt 1999 Bottled 2008 46%
Islay style – sherry and smoke but rich and voluptuous, medicinal and inky, the sherry just managing to mask some of the younger elements in this dram.
The palate however is exotic and hypnotic, the mouthfeel so oily and silky soft.
The balance between the sweet sherry and peat smoke truly works with this one, sublimely smooth through the finish of oloroso, medicinal tarry ropes and wow!.. the sherried medicinal smoke lingers on and on and on and on….
A magnificent classic Mr. Paterson. Thank you! 94

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Once a lost distillery, then found and resurrected 10 years later in 1993, Benromach has become a force to be reckoned with…

Benromach Traditional 6 yo Single Malt 43%
Intensely sweet vanilla and woodsmoke, the barley drenched in honey.
Cloyingly sweet on the tongue with a mid palate of burning leaves that finishes abruptly.
The palate is a reflection of the nose but there is a lack of balance as the vanilla icing and smoke seem wholly at odds with one another both competing for dominance.
Water enhances the stunning nose with sweet pine emerging but despite the honeyed silkiness on the tongue, the burnt smoke is still too disparate and too thin, making this dram difficult to swallow. 79

Benromach 10 yo Single Malt 43%
Vanilla and malt with the gentle hum of peat in the background.
The sweetness of the vanilla is intense on the tongue, eventually making way for the peat smoke that follows with just a hint of rubber on the finish.
This is definitely the “Traditional” mellowed out with age. A better balanced, uncomplicated, no-frills dram. 84

Benromach Organic Single Malt 43%
Warmed honey, ripe orange segments, malt ‘n oak in barrel loads, freshly cut grass and sweet rich barley sugar.
This astounding combination of honeyed barley and new wood creates a massive hit of flavour on the palate. Deliciously rich and sensuous on the tongue with toffee, a touch of orange and a hint of bourbon on the finish.
A drop of water sweetens and richens the pot…exquisite! 90

Benromach Organic Special Edition Single Malt 43%
Young Islay comes to mind immediately. Gentle peat smoke, briny barley with ribbons of vanilla interlaced with seaweed, salty sweet with a sniff of rubber in the air.
Orangey sweetness initially, the mouthfeel rich and packed with Islay flavours, then gorgeous peat smoke with a hint of tyre rubber on the finish.
A dash of water boosts the honey sweetness, tempering the peat a little, the barley chugging along beautifully…perfectly balanced. 90

Benromach Peat Smoke 6 yo Single Malt 46%
Light, airy, the smoke is there but more earthy in essence, sweet rubber as the vanilla kicks in.
This dram claims peat but begs finesse…
Ahhhhh…the palate suddenely boots the door open with a tubful of smoky vanilla ice cream, a la Ardbeg, belying the delicate nature of the nose.
Gorgeous and so Islay-like, the palate is dramatically balanced.
Benromach have got this one spot-on…92

Benromach 25 yo Single Malt 43%
Warm aromatic spice, golden buttery icing, the barley is there but subdued under the weight of oak and vanilla, then lemon custard creams.
Spicey, silky smooth with lemon icing on the palate and creme brulee.
This is a touch of class, dessert wine style in its purest, yummiest form. WOW! 93

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The Hindu Trinity known as Amrut…..

The Amrut Legend

“According to legend, the Gods and Rakshasas fought each other in a tug of war using the mythical snake “Adishesha” as a rope. The snake was tied round a golden mountain in the ocean.
During the battle, a pot containing a divine liquid arose from the churning waves. This liquid was named ‘Amrut’ and was believed to give eternal life to whoever drank it.
The Gods were victorious and took possession of the ‘Amrut’, thus vanquishing the evil Rakshasas.
Centuries later the name ‘Amrut’ meaning the ‘Nectar of Life’ in Sanskrit was given to our company, by our founder as a mark of all good things in life” – Amruit Distillery.
The casks used are mainly ex-bourbon and interestingly due to the severe climate in Bangalore, the Angel’s share during maturation, is between 12% and 15% as opposed to around 2% in Scotland. Bearing in mind that maturation is much faster and intense in India. this would mean that a storage period of longer than four years is virtually impossible………
Amrut Indian Single Malt 46%
Ripe bananas, vanilla, malted barley, citrus, sweet lemon and cardamom.
Initially vanilla, rich seville marmalade then chillied barley and oak on the palate, drying on the finish.
A dash of water brings out more of the spice, ginger, boiled sweets and then strawberry ice lolly emerges.
The palate has sweetened up and oils the tongue, the chilli note now more peppery, the oak lingering.
A dram that develops exquisitely and is beautifully balanced. 90
Amrut Peated Indian Single Malt 46% Batch No: 07 Bottled: June 2010
Surprisingly, seaweed steeped in brine with a coating of vanilla, smoky oak, shellfish, candied fruits and blackcurrant pastilles.
Initially, oily vanilla on the tongue then tar, a slight rubbery note, then big peat with a chilli pepper finish, developing to a lingering TCP congener.
Water opens up the surgical sweetness beautifully, honeyed antiseptic, caramel and toffee deeper down.
On the palate the sweet and peat ratches up a notch or two but softens the peppers with a toasted, tarry dryness lingering. 93
Amrut Fusion Single Malt 50% Batch No: 05 Bottled: January 2010
Jasmine, then the sweetest, richest mix of soft brown sugar, vanilla, barley, oak, allspice, citrus and caramel.
A nose that is truly so sublime it took 20 minutes before I got near the taste of this unique liquid.
The palate packs a massive punch of sweet orange barley initially then a powerful ‘Oh My God’ mix of stewed spiced fruit, rumtopf, charred oak and peat smoke drying delectably at the finish.
A spot of water sweetens even further bringing forth more peat and a lingering (forever) smoky finish.
This is one of the finest, most complex whiskies I have ever tasted. 96
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Dear SWA, spice up your lives!!!! Barrel inserts are definitely the way to go……

Compass Box The Spice Tree First Release Vatted Malt 46%
Stollen cake, allspice, barley dipped in a honeypot, citrus, cardamom, nutmeg and peppery on the nose.
Instant flavour ambush of orange vanilla, ginger, and cardamom with a velvety mouthfeel and then a long finish of sweet chilli and pepper.
Powerful vanilla and toffee are released with water, the barley ever present.
The complexity of flavours on the nose and tongue and the length of the finish is astonishing, making this dram one of the best. 94
Compass Box The Spice Tree Second Generation Vatted Malt 46%
Surprising oloroso note, honeycomb and French wood in the depths, seville marmalade. More complex than the previous bottling. Once again a backbone of barley along with cinammon, cardamom and pepper.
Wow! Fireworks of flavour on a silky smooth palate, sweet berried fruit, sherry and ginger with charred oak and pepper on the finish.
Water has an explosive affect with a hint of horse sweat on the top notes, so rich, so complex and no doubt that this unusual style of whisky is John Glaser’s greatest contribution to the whisky industry. 95

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Hedonism – pleasure and nourishment for the mind, body, spirit and soul….

Compass Box Hedonism Vatted Grain 43%
Honeyed grain with a hint of bourbon. perfume anf floral notes abound-lavender dusted with icing sugar.
The palate is silky smooth, the bourbon now more evident with generous vanilla drying on the finish. 85

Compass Box Hedonism Vatted Grain Limited Release Bottling No: H29MMIX 43%
Vanilla, grain and bourbon, soft, subtle, subdued, with a slight perfume note.
A delicious dram, velvety and honey sweet on the tongue.
Not as much character or as complex as the previous bottling but this is gentle, gorgeous, moreish and full of finesse. 86

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Peat Monster?…more like a peat maze…….

Compass Box The Peat Monster Blended Malt 46%
This is so Islay in so many ways: salty seaweed, vanilla, soft burning rubber, fresh salty breeze then wintergreen develops.
The palate is reminiscent of an Islay malt, maybe Caol Ila but this has more tar, more charcoal, more salt.
Water only serves to bring out more of the youth and sharpens the salty delivery, leaving antiseptic on the finish.
This dram is disappointing, unbalanced, and directionless as some blended malts can be. 80