Marcin Miller, editor of the UK’s Whisky Magazine, was the host of a scotch tasting on September 17, 2002 in Manhattan. Twenty-plus journalists and brand representatives gathered in the second floor dining room of The Leash an exclusive club, where thirteen malts were presented. Among the standouts were:
Glen Garioch (pronounced Glen Geary): A $20 malt which is a terrific bargan. Soft, with a thick honey note, light peat, and a long close (Rating ***3/4).
Bruichladdich 15 Year (pronounced Brook Laddie): An astonighingly complex malt. So soft, so intriguing… Not to be missed. (Rating ****1/2) See our full review of Bruichladdich 15 and other Bruichladdich whiskies here
The Macallan Cask Strength: A whale of a malt. Orange colored, big, spicy, and a real belly warmer at 50.6%. (Rating ****)
Glen Morangie 1981 Sauternes Finish: Glen Morangie is always fruity and these wine casks add butter, wood, and a dollop of chocolate. Fascinating malt. (Rating ****)
Talisker 20 Year Old: 62% alcohol, it is, like other Taliskers, immense, with iodine, must, smoke, seaweed, and black pepper. There are only 1800 bottles allotted to the U.S. Alas. (Rating****)
Ardbeg Provenance: Taken from 1974 casks this whisky amazed a numbered of the tasters. 26 years (it was bottled in 2000) has made for a unique and glorious malt: peat that smells like burning embers, oaky-bourbon, and a bit sweet. It isn’t super complex, but it is perfectly integrated and balanced. A miracle, as it should be at $600 a bottle. (Rating *****)
Laphraoig 30 year: Big, gooey legs on this malt. Unlike the 10 year it is a touch sweet, and the peat has mellowed. It’s salty, soft, and delicious. (Rating****1/2)
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