The Whisky Tasting Club The Whisky Tasting Club

Pat's Premium Pack

These are Pat's selections for a premium tasting pack, and we all fully endorse his choices! Five classy whiskies from Islay, Speyside, Orkney and Japan. It costs £45 including postage.

Sorry, not currenty in stock, it will be back shortly

Glendronach 18 year old

A personal favourite of mine, this is the second expression of Glendronach we have used in our packs and I donít think itíll be the last. Although closed from 1996-2002, the distillery (owned by the same people who own BenRiach, so you know itís going to be good) is back with a vengeance with its high-quality sherry-casked whiskies. This 18 year old is like one of those wonderful old Boal or Malmsey Madeiras, rich, tangy and voluptuous, with an avalanche of fruits.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Rich and Christmas cakey. Chocolate caramels. Salty and buttery. Ripe grape. Camp coffee.
Palate: Rich. Immediate spice. Tangy. Sweet. Salty. All at the same time. Underlying toffee smoothness. Smooth and lightly-spiced licorice at the finish. Almost Madeira-like.

Retails for around £55-65

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Highland Park 18 year old

One of two distilleries on the Orkney Islands (the other is the much underrated Scapa), Highland Park is often referred to as the great all-rounder on account of its ability to tick all the boxes without ever overdoing any of them. Heather honey is the oft-quoted signature taste of its malts and once youíve tasted it, itís not difficult to spot malt from this distillery. Highland Park produces a large and continually expanding range of expressions including a number of special duty free expressions. This 18 year old was voted the worldís best malt soon after its launch so this is your chance to see what all the fuss is about.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Hot butter and honey. Salty, sweet and spicy. Light peat. Malted milk biscuits. Fruit pastilles. Stunning!
Palate: Aromatic and spicy, then vanilla and heather, followed by a dusky soft maltiness, finishing with more honey and light spice.

Retails for around £100+

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Lagavulin 16 year old

One of the holy trinity from the Southern coast of Islay, we are delighted to welcome our first (official) Lagavulin to the WTC party. Like the Highland Park 18, this is one of the all-time greats. Lagavulin take their time, not just in the maturation but also in the fermentation and distillation processes to ensure the spirit retains its robust character. Very different from its near neighbours, Ardbeg and Laphroaig, this is a rich and powerful malt, oily and salty, peaty and iodine, with notes of coffee and gunpowder tea. Once drunk, never forgotten. A bit like Oliver Reed.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Rockpools. Peat. Iodine. Salty, Oily. Bitter orange. Coffee. Gunpowder tea. Soy sauce.
Palate: Dark and brooding. Enormously peaty yet light and minty, smoothed by the sherry influence and a almond cream. Light oaked. Chicory. Iím not sure I have a sufficient vocabulary to articulate this. Iíll let you do it.

Retails for around £45-55

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Bowmore Tempest Batch 5

There is no finer place to drink whisky than when sitting on the sea wall at the waterside Bowmore distillery. The sea wall is part of the townís sea defences, but also forms the outer wall of warehouse one, the legendary warehouse that has stored some of the distilleryís finest malts. Part of the warehouse is below sea level, but while the angry seas vent their frustration against the wall in winter, the casks rest in blissful tranquility on the other side. You can smell the salt in the air and see it encrusted on the walls. Bowmore lies halfway up the island on a sea loch and faces Bruichladdich, which is about three miles away on the other side of the loch. This is the fifth version of the cask-strength Tempest, matured, as always, in first-fill bourbon casks.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Nose-searing salt and tropical fruit and a touch of tar. Sugared smoked almonds.
Palate: Soft at first, then a faceful of tar, salt and blueberries, strawberries and mango. A peaty, sugary and fruity finish.

Retails for around £55

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Compass Box Flaming Heart (2015)

This is Compass Boxís latest release of Flaming Heart and is an absolute stunner! Unusually, the component whiskies and their quantities are explicitly given: 38.5% 14-year-old Caol Ila, 27.1% 30-year-old Caol Ila, 24.1% 20-year old Clynelish and 10.3% seven-year-old blended malt from Clynelish, Teaninich and Dailuaine. Although nothing is certain in life, you can be fairly certain that youíll be seeing more releases of Flaming Heart in future packs.

The Whisky Tasting Club Notes:
Nose: Slightly charred rice pudding. Marmaladey. Raspberry jam. Steam room.
Palate: Creamy, steamy, oaky and sweet and aromatic chocolatey peat. Chocolate and vanilla on the finish.

Retails for around £100

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