The Dram Team, Spectrum of Smoke – September 2021
It’s the world worst kept secret that this household is a BIG fan of peaty whiskies. So ‘Spectrum of Smoke’ is a tasting box right up our street!
“One of the most divisive style factors in whisky, smoke is loved passionately by many and reviled by plenty. But, between sweet, smoke-free Speysides and peat monster Islays lies a diverse spectrum of smoke that we believe offers something surprising for everyone to enjoy. in this box, we traverse a peaty pathway that aims to delight both trepidatious peat toe-dippers and full-blown smokeheads alike” – The Dram Team
Once again this tasting was done a little differently for us. One half of The Dram Duo hasn’t been very well recently (nothing serious, just common flu!) so sat and listened to the other-half’s thoughts before trying themselves a bit later.
Benromach Chateau Cissac, Wood Finish – 45% ABV
Nose: red apple skins, hints of honey, orange citrus peel, dark chocolate, little bit bitter, saline, green hay
Palate: red wine tannins, vanilla ice cream with milk chocolate sauce, soft, well-rounded, thick mouth coating
Finish: white pepper, dark chocolate, dying embers of a camp fire
Just from nosing this dram we feel that it would work incredibly well in an Old Fashioned cocktail. No-doubt that the Bordeaux cask finish makes an appearance on the palate. A great dram to finish off a meal, and toast to an evening spent with fantastic company.
Loch Lomond, Open Special Edition 2021 – 46% ABV
Nose: vanilla toffee, poached pear in a caramel sauce, LOTS of orchard fruits, hint of melon
Palate: very creamy, clotted cream, apple, ginger spice, clove, cinnamon, toffee
Finish: cinnamon, with gentle smokey oak – old oak wooden floor
An interesting sweeter take on a smokey whisky. Lots of caramel, toffee, and sweet fruit notes are well balanced with baking spices and ginger. Would highly recommend this sweeter smoke as a starting point for the ‘peat curious’.
Amrut Fusion – 50% ABV
Nose: parma violets (those sweets you used to get in kids party bags), cardamom, pepper, sweet and baking apples, slight smoke
Palate: punchy, lots of harsh spice, mandarin, mango, pineapple sweetness, banana, hint of smoke
Finish: long lasting, liquorice, orange oil, final note is lime and chilli chutney
We tried this dram back in February with Pour & Sip – so it was lovely to revisit and see how our palates have changed over the last 8+ months. Not for the faint hearted, there is lots of big bold flavours here.
Ledaig Sinclair Series, Rioja Cask – 46.3% ABV
Nose: grapefruit, Turkish delight, rose water, stewed red fruits, plums, berry crumble, rhubarb, old leather chair in a cigar lounge
Palate: creamy, smoke right at the beginning which carries all the way through, berry pie filling, blackberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, baking spices
Finish: lots of red fruits, red wine tannins, and smoke
We have waxed lyrical about the Ledaig Sinclair Series all over this blog. I believe we are on our third bottle on our shelf? So, big thumbs up from us!
The English Smokey – 43% ABV
Nose: very floral, honeysuckle blossom, sweet, vanilla, lemon zest, grapefruit oil, ginger
Palate: exceptionally creamy, starts sweet like vanilla custard, quickly develops heavy salty smoke
Finish: mild spice, creaminess continues, smoke also builds
An interesting balance of cream and smoke. It has similarities to a Kilchoman, but also a Drumshanbo Single Pot Still. Would be keen to see how this tastes at 46% or even cask strength!
That Boutique-y Whisky Co. Bruichladdich – Batch 15, 11 y/o – 48.4%
Nose: honeysuckle, orange blossom, honey, leather, hints of orchard fruits, lots of liquorice and aniseed
Palate: stem ginger dipped in toffee, citrus peel, buttery crumpet, small whisper of smoke
Finish: aniseed, thyme, sea salt, caramel sauce
One of my favourite things about The Dram Team subscription are these little 10ml extra-special drams that we get at the end of the box! Although not my favourite dram – we’re not the biggest fans on aniseed in this house – it always feels like such a treat to try these ‘rarer’ samples.
What can we say, an absolutely epic tasting box from The Dram Team. A brilliant exploration of the different flavours and textures that peated whisky has to offer. We’re really enjoying this subscription, and look forward to the next few months themes!
Let us know below if you have any favourite peated whiskies!