So many (mostly) single malt whisky expressions to taste from all over Scotland, thanks to Single Cask Nation and the North Shore Whisky Club

A-tasting I will go

I was lucky enough to attend a tasting event right before Memorial Day sponsored by the North Shore Whisky Club, and hosted by Joshua Hatton of Single Cask Nation and ImpEx Beverage (and general whisky guru). I first spoke of Joshua in relation to his One Nation Under Whisky podcast in my Expectations Upended post, but this was the first time I attended one of his tastings. Not only was Joshua’s talk detailed and entertaining given the number of drams of (mostly) single malt whisky we were sampling, for me the highlight of the evening was when he showed us how whisky is distilled…using volunteers for the demonstration!


mostly single malt whisky, single malt whisky, Single Cask Nation
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself about…uhm, wait, no, this is Joshua (far left) explaining how whisky is made!


There were so many expressions to try, this time I’m going to jump right into my tasting notes. (What, no lengthy dissertation? What’s this world coming to?)


mostly single malt whisky, single malt whisky, Single Cask Nation
Setting up the samples


(Mostly) Single Malt Whisky Tasting

Hosted by the North Shore Whisky Club, presented by Joshua Hatton from Single Cask Nation, May 26, 2017

Single Cask Nation Glenrothes 8 yr

56.3% ABV

  • Nose: pine, butter, little burn in nose, toffee, oak, cream
  • Taste: green apple, white chocolate
  • Finish: sweet on end, white pepper
  • Comments: nice, sippable


Tamdhu 10yr

Single Malt, 43% ABV, Speyside, Oloroso cherry, younger sherry casks

  • Nose: strong vanilla, raisins, dried fruit, deeply sweet
  • Taste: cream, plums, oily, white pepper, very soft
  • Finish: long cream, dried fruity finish, not overly harsh
  • Comments: nice & drinkable, like drinking dessert, 3rd favorite


Tamdhu Batch Strength Batch 001

Single Malt, 58.8% ABV, Oloroso sherry butts (traditional casks for vintage sherry)

  • Nose: pine, oaky, vanilla/caramel, dried fruit (less noticeable)
  • Taste: med body, plum & prunes, pepper rises (not too high), less hot
  • Finish: dried fruit lasts long, little bit of menthol in the middle
  • Comments: Very Good!


Chapter 7 Highland Malt

single malt, Ben Nevis 56.2% ABV

  • Nose: strong dried fruit, burnt creme brulée
  • Taste: light & soft, woody & green, musty, almost a candy cane
  • Finish: cream fades off, mustiness lingers
  • Comments: surprising, not hot but sweet, glides onto the tongue


Single Cask Nation Girvan 10yr

recharged bourbon cask (scraped & reactivate the cask), single grain, 57.7% ABV, column (continuous) still

  • Nose: cinnamon, apricots, oaky vanilla, bourbon-like
  • Taste: citrus, similar to bourbon, nutmeg, light body, peppery, caramel
  • Finish: pepper rises, his out, single flavor (static)
  • Comments: lighter style of bourbon


Single Cask Nation Ben Nevis 20yr

sherry puncheon, single malt

  • Nose: dried fruit leads, vanilla, butterscotch
  • Taste: sherry starts, cinnamon rises, soft at beginning
  • Finish: surprising – ashy at end!
  • Comments: changes as you drink it, lots of character, my favorite of the lot


Single Cask Nation Ardmore 8yr

Highlands, matured in Laphroaig cask, single malt, peat 12-14ppm

  • Nose: Islay peat! Oak underneath, pine comes out
  • Taste: starts w/ spice, peat rises, smoke, white pepper
  • Finish: smoke lingers then fades
  • Comments: best of both worlds (Highland & Islay), has an unusual flavor


Kilchoman Original 5yr

Islay, Cask strength, quarter cask matured, single malt

  • Nose: ocean peat (not heavy), green apple, menthol, burns nose
  • Taste: peat & smoke, softens then spice rises, chocolate in the middle
  • Finish: campfire comes out at end, gentle
  • Comments: doesn’t hit you in the face, flavors of the beach in summer, tastes older than 5 yrs, WOW!


mostly single malt whisky, single malt whisky, Single Cask Nation
Look at all those lovely drams to try!


There were so many interesting flavors in this tasting, all so different from each other. It was hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to choose I’d go for the Single Cask Nation Ben Nevis 20yr followed by the Kilchoman Original 5yr. And the Tamdhu 10yr…like drinking dessert! Oh the hell with it, I liked them all!

I also was asked to pair a dessert for the event (thanks to Darren McInnis & George Chagnon, founders of NSWC), so I made Port Wine Millionaire’s Shortbread…port wine caramel poured over buttery shortbread and topped with dark chocolate. Yum! I’m happy to say that the dessert was well received, so yay!

Attending whisky tastings is a wonderful way to share opinions and stories with others…it’s a fun communal event. I learn so much whenever I go. If you haven’t yet gone to a formal tasting, do it. Even if you’re an expert, you never know what the next exciting pour will be!

Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!


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