Although they are fairly new to me, Murray McDavid have always been steeped in great whisky tradition. I didn’t know much about the company until I did some research and found their roots were well and truly planted by some of Whiskies great names. you can read a wee bit more about them in Part One.
They recently released some whiskies that blew my mind so I’ve decided to give them a bit more publicity by introducing you to them, if you’ve met them before you’ll know how good they are, if not, please don’t just take my word for it, track them down and try for yourself!
10 Year Old Righ Seumas I – The Vatting
Righ Seumas (Gaelic translation King James) I is a blended malt bottled scotch whisky, bottled as part of MMD’s The Vatting range of Whisky. A canny and eloquent blend of mostly Island malts including Bruichladdich, Arran and Tobermory, with Auchentoshan and Rhosdhu in there as well. Much of the 10 year old is from Bruichladdich, but the flavour and mouthfeel suggests the other whiskies are much older, giving an indication of the quality we are about to taste.
Nose: Sweet vanilla, subtle maltiness, a little spice, oak and creamy fudge notes
Palate: Initially very sweet, banoffee flavours. Liquorice notes with stewed fruits. A very smooth, creamy mouthfeel, the alcohol is a noticeable 46% which gives the whisky a warming tanginess but it is a welcome one and doesn’t detract from the flavour of this very well put together whisky.
Finish: A medium length, just enough to get every bit of flavour. Floral notes, the licorice and vanilla linger and disappear leaving just a trace of oak.
A fantastic introduction to The Vatting Range, at just under £60 for a 10 year old Blended Malt it may seem a bit steep but the quality here is very much that of an exeptional whisky.
Highland Park 26 Year Old – Benchmark Series
Matured for over a quarter of a century in American Oak casks before being transferred to a Banyuls Red Wine French Oak Cask, this whisky has quickly become one of the top whiskies I have made notes for. An absolute stunning whisky with lots of complex flavours, every one of them enjoyable.
Nose: Introduces itself with a gentle smokiness before welcoming butterscotch, vanilla fudge and cinnamon apple pie.
Palate: Initially a nutty, almost marzipan flavour, matched with an oh-so smooth mouthfeel. Coastal saltiness plays between sweet mandarins and hints of Oak to give this a full bodied and deep flavour – fantastic!
Finish: Warm and long, giving off burnt wood, apples and orange notes linger longer than other flavours. Melt in the mouth.
Coming in at near £170 this is certainly a premium priced whisky. But it’s 26 years old. It’s Highland Park. It’s bloody fantastic!
Tomintoul 48 Year Old – The Mission
MMD’s Mission range select only the absolute best whiskies for their Premium Range. After trying their 21 Year old Bourbon Mortlach last year I go into this tasting with total excitement. I am certainly not disappointed. Tomintoul is one of my favourite go to drams, and while at 48 years old I doubt I can put this into that category, this one absolutely blew me away. Only two 1st Fill Bourbon Barrels housed this whisky for 48 years, lending every last ounce of flavour to the spirit in a wonderful medley of top-notch whisky making.
Nose: Vanilla, citrus notes, fruit salad sweets, a wonderful aroma of the most beautiful, soft and delicate flavours.
Palate: Super smooth with a sweet punch. Subtle oak finds its way through sweet bourbon flavours of vanilla and coconut. Chocolate Orange flavours give a bitter-sweet taste in this very complex dram. Every sip reveals something different. More toffee notes come through with water.
Finish: Temptingly moresih, long and full on flavour. Lingering caramel, dark chocolate with subtle hints of smoke playing their way in. Mouth-sappingly good!
A superb addition to this great independent bottling range, you expect to pay for quality and this one does come in around £370 but for a bottle from only two casks from 1967, you certainly are receiving value for money.
I cannot wait to see what new releases are coming in June from Murray McDavid, from their latest whiskies I’m hedging my bets on more cracking drams!