Single Malt Scotch 15+ - 2013
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Best Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Aged 15+ Years - 2013

 

The Single Malt Scotch Aged 15+ Tasting

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 6 premium single malt scotch whiskies with a dedicated group of 20 pre-qualified judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the single malts were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at room temperature. Only ice water and unflavored rice crackers and bar snacks were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Medals are awarded according to a pre-established range of final point scores received from the judges.

Never in our history of spirits evaluations were the comprehensive scores as high as in this particular tasting. It is directly indicative of the overall high quality of the single malt whiskies that were sampled. Only Double-Gold and Gold medals were awarded, no silver or bronze. It was unanimous by the judges that all of these single malt scotch whiskies deserved high praise.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The regions of origin are identified for each brand.

 

Here are the final results:



Highland Park 15



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Highland Park 15
(Orkney)

Nose:Apricot, mandarin orange, banana, hint of caramel, butterscotch, crème brûlée, toffee, coffee bean, maple, bacon, walnut, toast, spicy, pepper, sweet hay, light smoke.
Palate: Apple, pear, citrus fruit, dried fruits, raisins, toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, almond, toast, malt, peaty, earthy, wood, smoky, sweet spice, bold, smooth, well-balanced.
Finish: Treacle, brown butter, brown sugar, apricot, pear, roasted fruits, almond, spicy, hint of smoke, smooth, solid, lingering.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Suntory Hakushu 18
(Japan)

Nose: Smoked cherries, dried fruit, dried citrus, toffee, caramel, chocolate, butternut, walnut, roasted cashew, cola, oak, hint of smoke.
Palate: Currants, cherry, orange peel, dried fruit, dates, honey, marshmallow, caramel, toffee, bitter chocolate, walnuts, almond, spice, spearmint, pepper, wood, oak, smoky, peat.
Finish: Ripe fruits, almond, toffee, caramel, chocolate, coffee, creamy, spicy, very smooth, lingering.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Suntory Hakushu 18



The Balvenie DoubleWood 17



The Balvenie DoubleWood 17
(Speyside)

Nose: Apple, pear, stone fruits, blackberry, banana, citrus, dried orange peel, maple, walnut, nutty, faint heather, floral, pepper, new oak, cedar box.
Palate: Candied apple, orange marmalade, candied fruit, treacle, honey, caramel, nougat, creamy, butter, honey, maple. ginger, cinnamon, sherry notes, nutty, pecan, peaty, spicy, zesty, savory.
Finish: Smooth, gentle, treacle, Honey Graham, honey, creamy, citrus rind, cloves, cedar, medium.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Aberfeldy 21
(Highlands)

Nose: Toasted almond, apples, pear, banana, citrus, tropical fruits, ginger, vanilla, malt, nutmeg, light rosemary, sage, peat.
Palate: Apricot, pineapple, watermelon, roasted orange peel, dried apricot, dried fruit, hints of cherry, fruity, vanilla, butterscotch, burnt toffee, nougat, chocolate, spicy, dry, cedar, intense, well-rounded, very balanced.
Finish: Creamy, butter, toffee, almond, oak, clean, smoky, short.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Aberfeldy 21



Arran 16





Arran 16
(Isle of Arran)

Nose: Peach, pear, apple, grapes, orange peel, ripe banana, molasses, caramel, toffee, sherry notes, forest green, nutty, walnut, cedar.
Palate: Raisins, cherry, fruity, vanilla, creamy, dark caramel, toffee, honey, malt, wheat, sweet hay, cashew, walnuts, clove, nutmeg, ginger, spicy.
Finish: Butterscotch, caramel, raisins, woody, soft, silky, smooth, balanced, lingering.


Gold Medal
Gold medal





The Balvenie PortWood 21
(Speyside)

Nose: Honey, vanilla, caramel, apple, pear, coconut, fruity, light sherry notes, floral, almond, nutty, peat, light oak.
Palate: Pear, apple, roasted ripe fruit, dried fruit, raisins, creamy, vanilla, toffee, sweet, hazelnut, wheat, floral, minty, spicy, subtle earthiness, peat, slightly salty, briny.
Finish: Toffee, fruity, cinnamon, ginger, peppery, soft, very smooth, light, elegant, notes of bark, oak, lingering.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



The Balvenie PortWood 21



Tomatin 18



Tomatin 18
(Highlands)

Nose: Candied apple, sweet fruit, caramel, toffee, raisins, vanilla, honeysuckle, honey, demerara, bitter chocolate, sherry notes, cola, toast, walnuts, hay, lively.
Palate: Raisins, dried apricot, apricot jam, orange peel, dried fruit, treacle, walnuts, coffee, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, spicy, floral, crisp oak, woody notes, rich, exceptionally smooth.
Finish: Fruity, citrusy, spicy, caramel, vanilla, dried apricot, wheat, wood, light peat, silky, robust, complex, balanced, medium.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Talisker 18
(Isle of Skye)

Nose: Pineapple, pear, plums, figs, rum raisin, wood barrel, forest wood, oak, pine fire, zesty, smoky note.
Palate: Walnuts, cashew, dark chocolate, maple cinnamon sugar, burnt sugar, spice, subtle pepper, clove, straw, sea salt, briny, sweet peat, slight smoke.
Finish: Toffee, burnt caramel, clean, fresh, brine, campfire, charred oak, smooth, balanced, intense, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Talisker 18



Laphroaig 18



Laphroaig 18
(Islay)

Nose: Slight honey, pear, apple, banana, melon, tropical fruit, dried fruits, violets, cocoa, cedar, smoky, briny, sea spray.
Palate: Walnuts, peanuts, cashews, toffee, honey, salty caramel, burnt orange, orange peel, cinnamon, smoked bits, bacon bits, heavy wood, cedar, peat, chewy, oily, bbq, maritime, silky, well-rounded.
Finish: Peppery, clove, dried fruit, wood, smoke, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Glen Moray 16
(Speyside)

Nose: Honey, brown sugar, candied dried fruit, sweet banana, subtle fruit, straw.
Palate: Butter cream, creamy, toffee, caramel, apple, pear, orange, tangerine, fruity, raisin, nougat, toasted almond, ginger, slight sea salt, wood notes, soft, very smooth, well-balanced.
Finish: Orange peel, creamy, toffee, cedar, gentle, elegant, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Glen Moray 16



Lagavulin 16



Lagavulin 16
(Islay)

Nose: Orange peel, orange marmalade, apricot, tropical notes, plummy, cherry, cola, raisin, vanilla, almond, white bread, peat, sea salt, smoky.
Palate: Caramel, coconut custard, creamy, ripe citrus fruit, dried fruit, fruitcake, peanuts, bacon chips, sea salt, peppery, mint, nutty, hay, peat, wood, oak, smoke.
Finish: Coffee, oak, wheat, spearmint, peat, balanced, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ardbeg Corryvreckan
(Islay)

Nose: Vanilla, butter cream, cashew, walnut, wood chips, cedar, peat, bbq, smoke, briny, maritime.
Palate: Peat, sea salt, briny, seaweed, savory, buttery, burnt sugar, almonds, dried fruits, bacon, hickory, smoky, wood, silky.
Finish: Spicy, cinnamon, ginger, clove, cedar, oak, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ardbeg Corryvreckan



Ardbeg Uigeadail



Ardbeg Uigeadail
(Islay)

Nose: Apple, pear, figs, orange peel, fruit jam, toffee, honey, corn, slight licorice, toast, wood chips, smoky, briny, peaty.
Palate: Roasted coffee beans, brown sugar, demerara, molasses, caramelized bacon, salty, pepper, spicy, seaweed, briny, salt, peat, deep wood, smoke.
Finish: Dark chocolate, burnt sugar, vanilla, orange, dried fruit, tobacco smoke, campfire, peppery, peaty, brine, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

 

 

 

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Fifty Best > Spirits Archive > Single Malt Scotch 15+ - 2013
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