Our get-together this month was a fascinating and informative online tasting led by Danny Saltman and Saul Taylor of DS Tayman Independent Bottlers introducing four of their current range of whiskies and a Speyside new make spirit. DS Tayman specialise in single cask, single malt Scotch whiskies. Each cask is specially selected for appearance, smell, and flavour before being finished in Israeli wine casks giving unique characteristics to their limited releases. All of their whiskies are Kosher.
New Make – Undisclosed Speyside Distillery: 63.5% ABV, £49
A bonus, being able to try a new make spirit before any maturing or finishing.
Nose: Green apples, creamy natural yoghurt
Taste: Initially some heat from the high ABV fading into fruit, liquorice, aniseed, and spices
Finish: Fruity, mild white pepper.
Linkwood 12 YO Galil Cask Finish: 46% ABV, £49
A Speyside whisky matured in a refill hogshead cask and then finished in a Galil wine cask. Galil is a wine producer based in the mountainous north of Israel not too far from the Sea of Galilee.
Nose: Very floral, creamy, buttered toast
Taste: Pear drops, green apples, citrus, Victoria sponge
Finish: Lingering spice with ginger notes
Linkwood 12YO Flam Cask Finish: 46% ABV, £49
As above but this time finished in a Flam cask for 18-20 months, letting us taste the results of the differing finish casks. Flam is a wine producer based in the mountains around Jerusalem.
Nose: Creamy baked apples
Taste: Stewed fruit and cinnamon
Finish: A slightly drying finish with some oak spices, but less spicy than the Galil finished version
Blair Athol 12YO Flam Cask Finish: 46% ABV, £49
A Highland whisky finished in a Flam cask.
Nose: Salted caramel, apples, mandarin jelly
Taste: An oily mouthfeel, with milk chocolate and tart fruits
Finish: Drying tannins and black pepper spiciness at end
Caol Ila 12YO Flam Cask Finish: 46% ABV, £49
This time an Islay whisky finished in a Flam cask
Nose: Tooty fruity sweets, meaty, medicinal
Taste: Peat smoke, coastal salt, red fruits, and rich coffee
Finish: More smoke then saltiness and meaty tannins to finish
A very informative tasting with two excellent and amusing hosts from an Indy bottler not that well known in the UK. The whiskies we sampled were very unusual, very palatable and pitched at a very reasonable price point for a single barrel, single malt Scotch whisky. Any of these would be a great addition to your whisky shelf and make a good talking point. Overall, we preferred the Caol Ila Flam finished dram (a word of warning - we are big fans of just about any Caol Ila release). If you like some peat smoke, then this is the one to go for. It isn’t heavily peated, but if you prefer no peat, any of the others would be an equally good choice. Many thanks to Danny and Saul for a great evening.