Starting out at home and then moving to a local pub with an unusually long Scotch list, I sampled six single malts last night. For those interested, here are some brief impressions.
Springbank 12 year old cask strength
Very rich, oily. Sweet and heavily sherried, with some peat notes buried in there. Slight sulpher/rubber near the end, but no more than other heavily sherried drams like Aberlour a'bunadh and Glenfarclas 105. A nice whisky that will take some time to get to know.
Aberlour 16 year old
After the 54.6% Springbank, this 43% Aberlour seemed almost watery. Tasting notes include apple and beeswax. Oaky mid-palate. Long, consistent finish. Pleasant, full-bodied.
The Dalmore 12 year old
Crisp, toasty malt with some nice sherry undertones. Quite nice, if unchallenging.
Ah, this is the stuff! Rich, creamy, a very full aroma. The biggest flavour out of the three Glenmorangies I've tried. Succulent, luxurious whisky. I would definitely consider buying this, even at the $80 price tag from the LCBO.
Blackadder Peat Reek
I see this 10 year old mystery malt around occasionally and have long wondered about it. Now I finally got to try it, and boy, I'm glad I did. Just about the perfect delivery from an Islay malt. Rather than a one-dimensional blast, the peat is clean and crisp and sweetened with some vanilla. Beautiful balance. The flavour is peaty but also includes lemon drops.
Ardbeg 10 year old
My second-ever glass of Ardbeg. Nice stuff but sort of underwhelming after Peat Reek. Slightly smokier, less sweet, with a bit of pine resin in the flavour.
Hard to pick a winner here but I think Lasanta impressed me the most, followed closely by Peat Reek. Springbank was the most complex by far. The Dalmore was good but the least impressive in the lineup.