Brother Lakeview and I had the pleasure of attending a single malt tasting hosted by Jeff Conrady and Brian O’Connell last evening. You may remember Jeff from our off-line Burn Stewart tasting which Jeff generously sponsored. Jeff and Brian, a few of their clients, and Lakeview and myself sat down to the following lineup:

  • Glenfiddich 12 (Distillery bottling at Standard strength)
  • Highland Park 12 (Distillery bottling at Standard strength)
  • Old Pulteney 12 (Distillery bottling at Standard strength)
  • Bruichladdich’s PC7 (Distillery bottling at Cask strength)

It was a very fun evening. We sat out on Jeff’s deck at his house and enjoyed the unseasonably warm night temperatures. Most everyone was there to learn a bit more about single malts and Lakeview and I did our best to facilitate the tasting. The real stars of the show were the single malts, of course, and just like with our last meeting the PC7 evoked the most empassioned response from the group. Here were my takes on the expressions:

Glenfiddich 12 – a nice single malt. I think it is often unfairly maligned by single malt enthusiasts due to its wide distribution. I think it started the night off quite well with a pleasant, welcoming, and quite drinkable experience.

Highland Park 12 – the label promises a “gentle smokiness in the finish” and the HP12 did not disappoint. Coming on the heels of the spicy yet mild Glenfiddich 12 the smokiness of this malt was very apparent and fun. I think when we’ve tasted this one the smokiness hasn’t been anywhere near as apparent for whatever reason.

Old Pulteney 12 – a very underrated single malt. I enjoyed it as usual. This was the only malt that I cut all evening (with about 3 drops of water). After the water it became much saltier which I thought was a very good taste, evocative of its fishing port heritage, and a heck of a lot of fun.

PC7 – this one just melts in your mouth if you just take a tiny bit each time. An amazing experience and I learned the best way to sip this is uncut in those tiny amounts. A remarkable dram.