Happy new year, everyone!
Or at least it will be, as soon as we get ourselves some new whisky... And the SMWS is here to help.
The star of my previews was the magnificent Cambus. Toffee, vanilla, lavender, butterscotch - it was superb, and I want more than one bottle.
In the "I'd like a bottle" category, I was impressed by the fruity and grassy Benriach, and the sweet fruits of the Mannochmore.
Then we hit an unusual problem. Lots of great drams, but two stand out as worth investigating because I found them too spicy - yet still gave them a high technical score. The Longmorn has cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and white pepper. It's clearly a superb dram, and clearly not a dram for me. I'd also like to highlight the Glen Grant which had nutmeg, ginger, rye whisky and peppercorns. Another miss, but again more because of the flavours I don't like than anything in the whisky's construction or presentation. If you like spicy flavours, definitely check those two out.
Overall, a curious list - lots of nice sweet drams. It's January, and it felt like the wrong time of the year for many of them. I wonder if their scores would be better in July?
Sadly, I had only one of the peated options, so have to wait to taste everything else before I can be sure. But I hear that Matt at The Dramble seems to think highly of the Caol Ila, so go and check his notes out: https://www.thedramble.com/.