Drambuie 15 Yr Old – Whispers of Whisk(e)y 22

For 2012’s first Whispers of Whisk(e)y, we return to Drambuie, which I reviewed just over a year ago, back in 2010. Drambuie 15 Year Old is made from a combination of 15 Year Old Speyside malt whiskies and the distinctive herb-and-spice flavours from “Bonnie Prince Charlie’s secret elixir”. It’s slightly stronger than the regular Drambuie (43%ABV compared to 40%ABV) and comes in a more elegant and distinguished looking bottle.

Its nose was soft and sweet, but substantial. I picked up allspice and the kind of sweet ginger that I recognise from baking homemade gingerbread, and butterscotch, alongside lighter herbal notes.As a liqueur, this was smooth and velvety. The initial flavour was a delicate sweetness, which was followed by a rush of warmth and rich, genuine and unmasked wood. As the wood notes start to develop further, they’re supported by comforting spiced honey notes. Fresh, herbal notes then came into play, all the while softened by the remaining sweetness from the honey.The warmth continued to intensify, even as the other flavours started to fade, making me think that this must surely be at home in a hipflask to take on chilly walks – something that DBS & I were able to test on a seaside stroll yesterday. I can hereby confirm that it was, indeed, the most tasty hipflask tipple I’ve ever tasted, having a perfectly comforting mixture of sweetness, warmth and atmospherically mysterious herbal notes that I never can quite pin-down.I’d highly recommend that you try this; ideally, in the midst of a swift seaside or woodland walk from a hipflask that’s warm from your pocket. Delicious!

– Mrs. B.

For more Whisk(e)y Liqueur Reviews please click here

WOW12 – Master of Malt 10yr Old Speyside Whisky Liqueur

COMING WEDNESDAY 23rd Nov 2011 – A Tasting of the Full Master of Malt liqueur Range

DBS introduced me to Master of Malt’s website after he started investigating their bottled vintage cocktails (more details coming soon!) and thereafter presented me with one of their wonderful 3cl whisky sample bottles of their 10 year old Speyside Whisky Liqueur, kindly sent by one of the ladies at Master of Malt. Coincidentally, if you are a fan of whisky, visit their website: they sell a marvellous selection of whiskies in these sample bottles, allowing you to explore the world of whisky a little bit at a time.

Amongst their broader selection, they offer a range of Master of Malt branded whiskies and five of these form the basis for whisky liqueurs, each Speyside malt whiskies aged for 10, 15, 21, 30 and 40 years. The liqueur that I’m writing notes on today is based upon a 10 year old whisky that has been matured in sherry casks, and the liqueur was created using cinnamon, cloves and two different kinds of orange peel.

The first line of my notes on the nose read, “Refreshingly of whisky”. Rich notes of wood and dried fruit neatly blended into a light, toffee-like sweetness at the end. I want to emphasise again, however, that this smelt more like a Scotch than most of the liqueurs that I have tried, where the sweetness is a lot more prominent; here, it just seems to take the edge off of the alcohol.

The flavours leave you in no doubt that this is definitely a “grown up” whisky liqueur: there’s a lovely warmth from the start, followed with a very light peatiness. There’s a light sweetness there, but – as with the nose – it seemed to just take away any harshness; there’s no question about it being used to mask any other flavours, as it’s quite subtle.

Nonetheless, there was still a lot of flavours there; I caught hints of warm spices, like cinnamon, and vanilla, which work well with the sweetness, whilst the more woody notes keep it balanced. The aftertaste is actually surprisingly savoury, which made it very easy to drink. This, combined with the complexity and subtleties of the flavours, meant that I found myself at the bottom of my sample bottle before I’d realised it.

This really was a refreshingly different whisky liqueur, prioritising the whisky flavours and using the sweetness to its advantage without letting it dominate. I didn’t get the sense that this was for replacing a dessert or dribbling over ice-cream, as with some of the other liqueurs, but instead for drinking on its own and slowly unwinding at the end of a long day, and would highly recommend it to Scotch fans who want to try something a little different.

– Mrs. B.