Our friends at bestwhisky.de were so kind to send us some of the available bottlings by First Editions, an independent bottler which we have reviewed before here and here and in other places (use search function). I was stunned by the overall quality. Good X-Mas presents. Let’s go into detail with these drams by Andrew Laing:
Comment: Very complex and tightly knit. Loads of bright and dark fruits (e.g. sloe, cherry, plum, peach, maracuja), cream and old oak in perfect balance. Another great Miltonduff by them!
Dailuaine 28 y.o. First Editions 1994, 49,2%
Comment: A real fruit basket (tropical and orchard-like in one), led by grapefruit, pineapple and vanilla. Marzipan, pistacchio, Cole Slaw and German Krautsalat and well-integrated spice (pepper, chili). It tastes almondy and creamy with all the elements mentioned. The oak is not too loud, great nutty flavour in the finish. Kudos.
Comment: The freshness of the Eastern Highlands with medium smokiness, aaaahh. Minerality at first, then it becomes alive. Traces of agave (Scottish mezcal), milk and cheese, burning rosemary and mentholated elements, discrete fruits, grapes, pina colada, acidity and so much more. On the palate it is very round with the smoke adding a layer of complexity. Mossy, too. A stunner and my favourite in the batch.
Inchgower 19 y.o. First Editions 1995, Sherry Butt, 54,8%
Comment: This one needs water, then it unfolds beautifully. Sherry meets spice, dark chocolate, dark fruits (prunes, cherries, etc.), earthiness, gingerbread.
Tobermory 18 y.o. First Editions 1995, Sherry Cask, 51,9%
Comment: Aromatic and fruity, discrete smoke, leather, apple, quince, traces of raisins and red grapes, quite spicy altogether, als a whiff of stable. It tastes even better than the nose suggests, the sherry is more pronounced here, a spicebox.
Tormore 26 y.o. First Editions 1988, Sherry Butt, 57,1%
Comment: Creme Brulee, X-Mas-Cake, sweet and sherried.
Glengoyne 18 y.o. First Editions 1996, 50,3%
Comment: Orchard fruit and mash, apple juice, quince.
Blair Athol 19 y.o. First Editions 1995, Shery Butt, 54,4%
Comment: An aperitif, bitter and leafy, sherried, unusual, also slightly cheesy. Some Blair Athol turn this way after about 20 years in sherry casks, as seen with a Signatory version. Something for a change to start your session, but not for everyone.