Just thought I'd add some of my tasting notes that I'd already posted on another forum. I've scored them based on the criteria in Jim Murray's 2008 whisky bible. This rates each of the following up to a maximum of 25 each and then adds the final score togeter to give one out of 100. n=nose, t=taste, f=finish, b=balance
Overall score worked out at something like this:
|0-50: Nothing short of absolutely diabolical
51-64: Nasty and well worth avoiding
65-69: Very unimpressive indeed
70-74: Usually drinkable but don't expect the earth to move
75-79: Average and usually pleasant though sometimes flawed
80-84: Good whisky worth trying
85-89: Very good to excellent whiskies, definitely worth buying
94-97: Superstar whiskies that give us all a reason to live
98-100: Better than anything I've ever tasted
Oban, 14yo, Western Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 43%.
n: bouquet of flowers. toffee. Pollen tickles the nose like the mildest possible hay fever. 20
t: irn bru. Oak. Peppery Heat. Slight soapiness. 20
f: root beer. White pepper. Hint of iodine. Fairly long and lingering ending in tree bark. 22
b: Slightly unusual and disjointed. Good separation of flavours. 20
Lagavulin Aged 16 Years, Islay Single Malt Scotch, 43%
n. Something difrerent each time I smell it. Sausages barbecued to black over a peat and oak fire. Then furniture polish. A hint of vanilla after you've tasted it. 22
t, Smoky before the liquid hits the palette, like smelling with your mouth. "Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hands... And he laid it upon my mouth" Isaiah 6:6a. 25
f. Lapsang souchong, then black pepper. Peat, staying there for a good while. Eventually a faint hint of peppermint. 25
b. Hold it in your mouth and inhale. It's like a good Havanna cigar. Add a drop of water and the nose gets smokier. Never seems quite as good as the first time I tasted it though. 23
Talisker 10 yo, Isle of Skye Single Malt Scotch Whisky. 45.8%
n. Ice cream soda at first then alcoholic fire at the back of your nose. 21.
t. Peppery heat - maybe a hint of capsicum. Spicy. Burned oak. There's something I can't quite place about this one. Maybe oily fish like smoked mackarel with chillies. 23.
f. Hot. Long and lingering. The burned oak stays with you. Maybe slightly oily. 23
b. Long and complex from start to finish. 23.
Glenfiddich Special Reserve Aged 12 Years Speyside Single Malt Scotch 43%
n: Sherry. Maybe a little vanilla. 20
t: Smooth, toffeish. Slighly medicinal and oily. 18
f: Hint of peat and peppery heat. Remains slightly medicinal - more so at the end. Quite long but not that pleasant. 18
b: Pleasant nose and long finish are its redeeming features. It's too oily and medicinal for my tastes. 19
Monkey Shoulder. Scotch vatted malt (triple). 40%
n. Sweet malted barley. Toffee. A hint of wood varnish. Maybe bourbon. 20
t. Buttery and a little salty. Toasted teacakes. Shortbread. Dry. Building to hot and peppery. 23
f. Peppery - or maybe peppermint. Moist and juicy. Quite long. A bit of bourbon about it again. 23
b. If I was just commenting on undiluted it would be a score in the 80s, but add a splash of water and all sorts of stuff comes out. Something about it sort of reminds me of an unsweetened Aftershock but I'm not sure why. Something of cereal about it too. 24.
Overall: 90. Not bad for £20 from Sainsburys.
Edit: forgot to mention it's kind of oily. Takes longer than most whiskies for visual uniformity to be restored when diluting.