Hibiki 17 year old – Japan
This was (nearly) my last dram of 2014 in The Pot Still and a cracker it would’ve been….
The colour is almost like tea but glowing in it’s deep brown. The nose is of coconut, leather, tobacco box and the wonderful citrus smell of burnt orange, hard to mistake around Christmas.
The complex palate offers up a childhood memory of coconut ice and the sweet burnt orange peel from the nose alongside toffee, walnuts and a sweetness that felt like bourbon oak. The finish is superb with that peel again plus leather, green pepper and all wrapped up in the omnipresent oak.
Bottled at 43% abv
Golden coloured with a nose of spicy butterscotch. The palate is light with sweet fresh vanilla oak and a little briny sea air. The finish is long dry and peppery.
From the Yamazaki distillery on Honshu Island. Bottled at 43%
Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon – USA
From the Franklin County distillery that brought the first single barrel bourbon in 1984 comes the bourbon that bears its name.
Rich bronze colour. Nose of toffee and vanilla and a little spicy orange. Palate is vanilla, floral with nutmeg and oak. The finish is long with spice and burnt orange. A beautifully balanced bourbon.
Bottled at 40% abv
From the relatively fledgling English Whisky Company in Norfolk comes this Single Malt Whisky, resplendent in presentation box and beautiful decanter bottle, possibly a coming of age whisky
for a distillery that promises much.
Bright with an almost peach hue to the pale amber. The nose evokes spice of fresh wood along with a sweet spirit with possibly peaches and aniseed. The palate is drying with a sweet toffee apple note along with spicy oak and hazelnut. The finish is light, warm and peppery with a dry vanilla sweetness. Bottled at 46% with no age statement.