The 20 - Somethings

Three whiskies, aged for over 20 years, for that special evening


The smoke sneaks up on you. It’s a bit shy at first but give it time, and it will show. Caol Ila comes from Islay; it is the largest distillery on the island. Aged in ex-Bourbon and European barrels, the whisky is aged for 25 years. On the nose, raisins, herbs and caramelised notes of orange rind come through first, which evolve to toffee and dark chocolate. It reminds you of Laphroaig 18, but restrained. The golden viscous liquid has a complex palate, with wood notes, marzipan and candied orange peel. Add a few drops of water to let the peatiness come forth. The finish is smooth and complex. Bottled at 43% abv $340, 


Talisker is firmly established in the smoky and peaty camp. The medium-bodied whisky is aged in American oak hogshead and European oak casks and displays all the characters of a well-aged pour with smoke, dried oranges, iodine and seaweed on the nose. On the palate, it’s an unctuous start that builds to sweet caramel and spice notes and leads to a peppery drying finish. Located in the desolate and rugged Isle of Skye, Talisker distillery sits next to the shore and is fed by 21 pure water springs. It is also the only working distillery in Skye. $470,


The Balvenie 21 Year Old PortWood is a unique expression. After two decades in American ex-bourbon barrels, the whisky is finished in old pork casks, known as pipes, that previously held fine port wines. Port cask holds 500 litres, lowering the contact with wood and lends the whisky a pinkish hue. Master of Malt, David Stewart MBE, keep a close eye on flavor development and bottles when he deems it right. The whisky has picked many awards along the way. The nose is refined: fruity, floral with dried rose petals notes, nutty with smooth wood notes. The palate shows dried red fruit, ripe raisins and more spice. The finish: warm, nutty and lingering and smooth. Price upon request, 1855 The Bottle Shop