Clynelish Single Malt

Maker: Clynelish, Brora, Scotland (Diageo)

Region: Highlands- Northern (coastal)

Age: 14 y/o

ABV: 46%

Appearance: light amber with long clingy legs.

Nose: Malt, toffee, brown butter, honey, brine, papaya, a slight peaty tang, but no noticeable smoke.

On the palate: Soft and full-bodied. Even with a splash of water it has a big bite. Wildflower honey, butterscotch, kiwi, some maritime notes but not fishy or murky.

Finish: Malty but powerful. Caramel, nougat, honey, caramel corn, still a hint of brine.

Parting words: I’m still a Scotch novice so bear with me. My first thought when tasting it was that it tastes like Highland Park’s rambunctious younger (or older) sibling. The Scottish Wildcat on the label seems apt. Even with a goodly amount of water, it is still a powerful malt far beyond its ABV %.  It’s a great combination of soft voluptuous candy and powerful seaside characteristics. Recommended.

Tanqueray London Dry Gin

Maker: Cameronbridge Distillery, Levenmouth, Scotland (Diageo)

Style: London Dry

ABV: 47.3%

Appearance: Crystal clear.

Nose: Lime peel, alcohol. Bitterness, coriander, sweet angelica, bit of juniper.

On the palate: Sweet, full-bodied, but not much else going on.

Finish: Burn, sweetness and Angelica.

Mixed: Gin & Tonic: Makes a cool, crisp, refreshing G & T. Dry Martini: Thick and herbal with a citrus finish. Tom Collins: Like the G & T, crisp and refreshing. Works well in all applications.

Parting words: This is one of the old standards of the gin world. It’s hard to get more “macro-distilled” than a Diageo-made gin, but they know what they are doing and they execute it perfectly. A good amount of gin character but nothing too outlandish that might scare the bourgeoisie. Recommended.

Two Princes Riesling

Maker: Schloss Wallhausen, Wallhausen, Germany

Grape: Riesling

Region: Nahe, Germany

Vintage: 2009 (2008 vintage pictured)

ABV: 10.5%

Appearance: Translucent gold with big thick legs

Nose: Peach, Tangerine, pear, crisp yellow apple

On the palate: Medium-bodied. Semi-dry with a bit of tart apple and ripe peach.

Finish: Fairly quick. Tangy and then lightly sweet

Parting words: This wine was purchased in a continuing effort to give myself a crash course in German Riesling. Frankly, I was a bit disappointed. It wasn’t bad, not at all, it was just a little dull. It didn’t start to take on much of a nose until the bottle had been open for 36 hours and the wine had warmed to close to room temperature. Nahe is known for having young, creative growers who are pushing to escape the region’s Liebfraumilch heritage and make wines on par with Rheinhessen and other finer German wine regions. Two Princes is a solid effort in this direction, if unexciting. Mildly recommended.