Dram Review: Isle of Jura 1977

Jura Fortnight continues with this dram I was sent by Tom Thomson of Tom’s whisky reviews. 35 year old Jura and a bit of a cracker!

Here are the dramstats:



  • ABV 46%
  • Distilled 1977
  • Price £693

Nose: Carrot cake, vanilla Mr Whippy ice cream, rich tea biscuit, mint, pineapple cubes and liquorice. Excellent!

Palate: Huge pineapple, grapefruit, oak, spices, liquorice all sorts, coconut mushrooms.

Finish: Wow, pineapple and grapefuit lilt goes on and on with layers of oak wood. Definitely not too woody. Just awesome.

Verdict: I love it! Of course it goes without saying that at nearly £700 I will never even consider buying it. But it does taste wonderful.


Dram Review: Isle of Jura Turas Mara

Yesterday was Jura day at the Islay festival of malt and music and it was also the date of their 50th anniversary tweet tasting. I was part of that tasting of 5 different Isle of Jura expressions. I also have 9 other samples/bottles of Jura in the house that I’ve been saving up for an event here on dramstats.

So, without further ado I’m kicking off Isle of Jura FORTNIGHT!!!!

2 weeks on dramstats of Isle of Jura dram reviews and, who knows, maybe a distillery profile and an interview?

This first dram of Jura fortnight is Turas Mara. This is travel retail at the moment, but I have word from Jura that the plan is to make this a permanent expression. It is a mixture of 4 different types of casks including bourbon barrels, spanish sherry butts, french oak barriques and portuguese port pipes. Here are the dramstats:



  • ABV 42%
  • Price £40 (travel retail at the moment)
  • No Age Statement

Nose: Bakewell tart, almond marzipan, raspberry jam, vanilla icing and maybe a hint of black forrest gateau. A bag of penny mix, cherry menthol and cherry pie filling. There is a touch of dark chocolate ginger after a first taste. Lovely stuff

Palate: Cherry pie filling, chopped almonds and raspberry jam

Finish: Almond marzipan and a touch of oak with cherry juice and jam notes all firing in the background with a ‘salty tang’ a bitterness you might find in under ripe cherry.

Verdict: This is easily the nicest travel retail exclusive whisky I have tasted. I want some. The question is do I wait until it goes on general release and hope the price holds, or do I book a flight somewhere? “Check in” with dramstats tomorrow as Jura fortnight will pick up some steam!


Dram Review: The Glenlivet 18 year old

This sample was part of a Glenlivet tweet tasting at which I was lucky enough to try The Glenlivet Alpha (read my review of that little beauty right here.

The 18 year old is Glenlivet brand ambassador Ian Logan’s all time favourite drink. The second everyone at the tasting put their noses in the glass, there were exclamations on how excellent it was. It is certainly more complex on the nose than the younger standard Glenlivet expressions.

Here are the dramstats:



  • Price around £50
  • ABV 43%
  • Age 18 years

Nose: Toffee and blackcurrant, black ripe cherry, pear simmered in wine, with vanilla. Water releases a peach cordial note.

Palate: Blackcurrant liquorice, cherry pie filling and custard with peach cordial.

Finish: Tingly pepper and oak and blackcurrant boiled sweets, orange peel, baked peach, fading fruit and vanilla with spices continuing in waves that alternate with the fruit. An excellent finish!

Verdict: The Glenlivet eh? What a range. I prefer the 12 year old nose and, for drinking purposes, the 15 year old palate and finish. However, for dissecting a dram, the finish on the 18 just won’t stop giving. Excellent! Only good things to say about Glenlivet on price and otherwise here.


Dram Review: The Glenlivet 15 Year old

This sample was part of a Glenlivet tweet tasting at which I was lucky enough to try The Glenlivet Alpha (read my review of that little beauty right here.

The 15 year old spends a final maturation in French oak which is supposed to add spicy notes. Does it? Here are the dramstats:



  • Price around £39
  • ABV 40%
  • Age 15

Nose: Ripe banana, citrus honey, baked apple with cinnamon and sultana. Fudge and apricots. Adding water takes away some of the fruity notes.

Palate: Vanilla, fudge and apricot danish with fondant icing and a dusting of cinnamon. Excellent!

Finish: Dark chocolate, nutmeg and cinnamon oak. Both the palate and finish are more accentuated with the addition of water.

Verdict: This hasn’t been a Glenlivet I’ve paid much attention to in the past, but the palate is just wow! It has the nomnomfactor and is a really good price. I shall be buying a bottle! It’s currently £31 in sainsbury’s. bargain!

Dram Review: The Glenlivet 12 Year old

I am very familiar with The Glenlivet 12 year old. It was one of the first whiskies I ever took notes on (though that was well before my blogging days). At my stepsister’s wedding this was one of the very few drams on offer and what started as a full bottle, ended the night as an empty one!

Some have referred to this as one of the first single malts you try on your whisky journey. An accessible springboard into the world of single malt whisky. That it may be, but I don’t particularly like this description. It seems to imply that once you’ve got a bit of experience with single malt scotch whisky, drams like the Glenlivet 12 year old have little to offer. Perhaps that is not how it is meant, perhaps it is. All I know is that if you overlook this, you end up missing out. Here are the dramstats:


  • Price around £25
  • ABV 40%
  • Age 12 years

Nose: Fresh apple and pineapple. Wine gums, vanilla and some floral notes. Fruit cocktail and freshly cut grass.

Palate: Bananas, vanilla and some mild cinnamon spice. Yellow wine gums, trifle, with pineapple flavoured jelly and banana custard.

Finish: Mild finish. Slight drying oak with some faint banana and pineapple juice.

Verdict: This is a really great “summer in a glass” type malt. I love it, it’s a bargain and there is a reason why this is the #2 best seller in the world!




Dram Review: Longmorn 20 Master of Malt Single Cask series

This was my christmas present from Mrs dramstats. Unsolicited (in fact I’d not even heard of this one when I opened it), and unexpected, I was again really pleased.

Before my birthday this year, I just have to make sure that mrs dramstats knows where my SMWS membership card is and how to use it!

I passed Longmorn distillery a few times whilst in Speyside this February. On the road between Rothes and Elgin, the distillery is not open to the public, but makes some excellent single malt whisky (most of which makes its way into Chivas’ Brothers range of blended whisky.

Here are the dramstats:



  • ABV 55.5%
  • Age 20
  • Price (it was a present)

Nose: Vanilla, ovaltine, malty, nesquik chocolate. Cinnamon spice. The reduced nose has even more spice. Wood, pepper, strawberry whips with cocoa powder.

Palate: Sweet icing sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and honey. With water it’s very malty with milk chocolate.

Finish: Peppery with oak and cinnamon before a sweetness of malty vanilla and strawberry haribo.

Verdict: Excellent. I love whisky with this malty ovaltine note and this is great. Even better with water. From the picture, you’ll note that I’ve reviewed this one to death. Great stuff! I wonder what my next birthday present will be…


Dram Review: Old Malt Cask Glenrothes 21

This is a special dram for me. It was my last birthday present and I opened it on a balcony on the shores of Loch Lomond. The beautiful setting, the lochside air, the day and the whisky all came together in a great moment for me. I took a photo of that moment and you can see it above the title of this post.

The other reason that this dram is special is that it was a surprise present from Mrs dramstats. There were no hints. In fact I’d never heard of this whisky. But she’d done some research, found this was a well reviewed indie bottling with notes that she thought I might like, and bought me it. Honestly, I think she bought me a better whisky here than I would have had I chosen myself, at least in terms of how interesting it is.

Old malt cask was part of the now broken up Douglas Laing brothers’ company. I think this brand is now in the hands of the company calling themselves Hunter Laing. The principal is that they find excellent casks of old rare single malt, and bottle them at 50%. This cask is 21 years old and from Glenrothes distillery. Here are the dramstats:



  • Price (it was a present so I refuse to look)
  • ABV 50%
  • No Colouring
  • Non chill filtered

Nose: A spice bomb! Ground ginger, pepper, zesty lemon and lime, then rich orange maramlade. So nice! Spicy ginger bread and zesty marmalade.

Palate: Ginger, toffee topped doughnut, the filling from caramel shortbread.

Finish: Orange barley sugar then marmalade with crackly oak, ground ginger and pepper.

Verdict: A cracker and a great example of the spicy character that makes Glenrothes a popular malt with the blenders. Plenty of orange and ginger spice. This is my first Old Malt Cask, but I will be trying others. I must also try to get some Glenrothes. If they still sell this expression, I don’t have a bad word to say about it!