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A Highland Affair

Up we go to a place where a diverse group of flavours congregate: the Highlands. There’s something for every palate. On this flight, we’ve got the light fruity and floral notes, the flirtatious oak, the bulky peat, some orientals, and some that came from the sea. It’s going to be one bustling affair.

anCnoc 12 Year Old

Type Scotch
Style Single Malt
Region Highland
Country Scotland
Distillery Knockdhu Distillery
ABV % 40
Aged 12
NOTES:
RM368.00

Lessons in the Dram

A moderate amount of whisky can be a good thing, or so they say. According to research, drinking whisky can prevent cancer and reduce the likelihood of getting a stroke and heart diseases. Drinking one to six glasses a week can even lower the risk of dementia. Now, that’s neat!


We can’t be 100% sure but we do know that anything in moderation is often good. Besides, who are we to deny these research-backed medical benefits? 

Description

Clean, polished, and authentic, this charming whisky is high up our chart of Highland spirits. All thanks to being matured in refill ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, which shaped its gentle and elegant woody persona.

The 12-year-old is the primary whisky of the anCnoc Single Malt range and carries a familiar light fruity character—a Speyside influence, which comes as no surprise. The distillery is officially located at the top-end of Aberdeenshire. Just five miles west, and it may as well be a Speyside whisky. But as geography has it, the anCnoc remains a Highlander. One that’s different from the rest.

Awards

Gold
Scotch Single Malt – Highland – 2017 International Wine & Spirit Competition
Silver Outstanding
Scotch Single Malt – Highland – 2014 International Wine & Spirit Competition
Silver
Distillers' Single Malts 12 Years and Under – 2014 International Spirits Challenge

Tasting Notes

Sight
Soft amber
Nose
Invites a potent, almost intoxicating, aroma of fresh flowers and honeysuckle, subdued by the equally strong cereals and barley.
Palate
Sweet and spicy, medium-bodied mouthfeel. Delivers the goodness of mocha, crème de cacao, nutty and caramel-like Madeira, winter spices, a good bite of toasted granary bread, and slight herbal properties.
Finish
Medium length, with oak notes and barley blending harmoniously, giving it a pleasurable finish.

Deanston Virgin Oak

Type Scotch
Style Single Malt
Region Highland
Country Scotland
Distillery Deanston
ABV % 46.3
Aged NAS
NOTES:
RM278.00

Lessons in the Dram

Once bottled, the whisky never changes in taste, not even in 100 years. It’s nothing like its crushed-grapes sister: the wine. It means the valuation of whisky can appreciate over time. Yes, we’re talking about investments. You might want to add a few bottles of expensive whiskies to your portfolio. Just make sure you don’t drink them instead.

Description

The label reads, “Exactly as it should be.” It’s a proud declaration of how the Deanston Virgin Oak is made: the first few years aged in ex-bourbon barrels, then finished in virgin oak. No chill filtering and no caramel colouring. What you see is what you get.

The Deanston Distillery has a history of its own. It was once a cotton mill, way back in 1785. As the cotton industry boomed, villages nearby started to build a town surrounding the mill. Sadly, the mill was shut down in 1965, leaving behind old buildings and a group of townspeople who needed a better way to sustain the town.

The Deanston company took a look at what they got: a private stream and four water wheels that generated electricity, plus they were strategically located in the Highland. Aha! The answer became clear. Quickly, they pivoted from making cotton to producing whisky, and the old mill has found life again.

Awards

Gold Single Malt No Age Statement – 2020 International Spirits Challenge
Gold Highlands & Islands NAS – 2019 The Scotch Whisky Masters (The Spirits Business)
Gold Highlands & Islands NAS – 2018 The Scotch Whisky Masters (The Spirits Business)
Gold Highlands & Islands NAS – 2014 The Scotch Whisky Masters (The Spirits Business)
Silver Highlands & Islands Premium – 2015 The Scotch Whisky Masters (The Spirits Business)
Silver Single Malt Scotch – to 12 Years – 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Silver Scotch Single Malt – Highland – 2017 International Wine & Spirit Competition
Silver Scotch Single Malt – Highland – 2014 International Wine & Spirit Competition
Silver Scotch Single Malt – Highland – 2013 International Wine & Spirit Competition

Tasting Notes

Sight
Pale gold
Nose
Offers a nice balance of sweet and sour. There are honeyed barley and fresh citrus, occasionally greeted by thin curls of smoke.
Palate
First, it’s yummy toffee sweets, then a glob of rich cream infused with some oaky flavours.
Finish
Ends with a burst of flavours as the oak spices bring forth an aromatic finish.

Clynelish 14 Year Old

Type Scotch
Style Single Malt
Region Highland
Country Scotland
Distillery Clynelish
ABV % 46
Aged 14
NOTES:
RM338.00

Lessons in the Dram

What can the shape of the pot stills tell us? For starters, taller and slimmer pot stills make smoother and milder whiskies. Shorter ones produce fuller and more intense flavours.

Then, there is the boil ball. It comes in all sorts of shapes: ball, straight, lantern, plain, and onion. The boil ball is at the bottom of the still. It causes some of the spirit to condense prematurely before going up into the neck. This reflux produces a lighter whisky with more prominent floral and fruity flavours.

Description

The 14-year-old is the epitome of the Clynelish talent. A young Highlander that’s lively and bursting with flavours. A little coastal too. The mouthfeel is well-balanced and perfectly coated with its signature waxy notes. Imagine an edible scented candle with a smoky flame. The peat, however, is slightly weaker than its predecessor. Before the Clynelish was the Brora Distillery that lay abandoned across the field. While it’s sad to see Brora close in 1983, we’re glad for the Clynelish and the whiskies they make.

Tasting Notes

Sight Caramel
Nose Oriental—sweet, sour, and smoky. Baskets of tangy mandarin oranges and tangerines.
Palate Superbly clean. A light refreshing palate of orange, mixed fruits, and vanilla. It’s mildly acidic, toned down by dry oak and leather.
Finish Rather long. The Clynelish slowly flourishes into an elegant bittersweet note, along with some spicy oak.
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