Toms Top Summer Tipples

Summer Drams Last night there was a bit of a twitter discussion about Summer Drams and so it's time for me to select some of the drams that i think make good summer drams.

What is a summer dram? well for me it's one that is light, fruity, and easy drinking and is not heavily peated, seriously warming or too powerful. We're looking for drams here that would work well with some BBQ food whilst standing in the garden or would be nice sitting on a balcony on holiday in the Italian sunshine.

This is my selection of around 10 drams that i think are good summer drams, and i know others are likely to disagree with me, if you do, come and say so on Twitter (i'm @tomswhisky or @ifotou ) or over on our facebook page. We're still considering adding commenting ability to the blog, do you think we should? let us know by twitter or facebook and we'll get it added in.

the drams below are in no particular order, they're just ones i think work well.

All of the drams featured below should be available to buy from all good whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange

Balblair 1997 2nd Release

Balblair 1997 Tasted as part of the Balblair Twitter Tasting this is a cracker of a dram

First up was the Balblair 1997, this is the 2nd release of this vintage, and i was really impressed, price wise it's available from Master of Malt for just over £50 and it's well worth it, a cracker of a dram.


lovely clean and fresh nose here, sweet fresh golden delicious apples and candy floss with fresh garden herbs and vanilla pods, a slight hint of milky coffee also.

Creamy mouthfeel with vanilla cream coated summer berries and a touch of oak sweetness.

creamy and sweet raspberry

Bottle Name: Balblair 1997 2nd Release
Age: NAS
ABV: 43.00
Distiller: Balblair
Bottler: Balblair
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Highland

Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask

Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask I always like sending off wee messages of "yeah i'm interested in that" so it was a surprise when i got a package from the Whisky Shop saying i'd been asked to write some notes as part of the W Club Tasting Panel.

And what whisky was this, well it was the lovely Balvenie 14 Year old Caribbean Cask.

My Notes are below and available on the W Club site also.

Why not pick up your bottle from The Whisky Ship and remember with W Club membership it's even 10% cheaper.


Super sweet, demerera sugar, ripe banana skin, summer meadows (dewy grass), touch of vanilla pods and prunes. Almost Christmas/Fruit cake like but with a rum influence.

Again very sweet, more sultanas this time, with vanilla and a little very good quality dark chocolate

Very sweet, medium finish, a little drying but very moreish

Bottle Name: Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask
Age: 14
ABV: 43.00
Distiller: Balvenie
Bottler: Balvenie
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Speyside

Benromach 10 Year Old

benromach 10 A really interesting dram that I tried recently at Livingston Whisky Club and that really shocked me with the American Cream Soda notes.

A really interesting 10 Year old dram from the Benromach distillery which is owned by Gordon & MacPhail, this is a mix of mainly bourbon casks and sherry casks which at 9 years old have all been moved to sherry casks for a final years finishing.

There's still a hint of smoke here, especially on the palate, which harks back to the way Speyside malts used to be.
Pick up a bottle of this lovely bargain dram from Master of Malt and try it for yourself.


A realy distinctive note of bicarbonate of soda with american cream soda and a splash of mixed fruit salad, grapes, cherries, apples and pears with a gentle lick of wood burning smoke

Smoky, more of a wood burner type smoke, with american cream soda

smoky malt loaf and a touch of dry white wine

Bottle Name: Benromach 10 Year Old
Age: 10
ABV: 43.00
Distiller: Benromach
Bottler: Benromach
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Speyside

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old

Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old The first of a couple of reviews of Bunnahabhain whiskies this evening starts with the Brilliant 18 Year Old.

I've tried this whisky a number of times and even drank my way through a bottle a year or so back but it's time i added the review on here.

You can pick up the 18 year old via Master of Malt and give it a try yourself.


Very Malty on the nose, malt biscuit overload with sherried dried fruit and ripe peaches and bananas

distinctive Bunnhabhain cocoa flavour, apricots, and dates and more of the malty biscuits

malted biscuits and ripe bananas with cocoa powder

Bottle Name: Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old
Age: 18
ABV: 43.00
Distiller: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Bunnahabhain
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islay

Cù Bòcan

Cù Bòcan It's been obvious that i've had a real love of Tomatin whisky recently and when i got wind of this Cù Bòcan release i really did get a bit excited.

A peated Tomatin, the Cù Bòcan is a brand, still labeled as from Tomatin though, which will begin a set of different matured Tomatins and i can't wait to see what else they have up their sleeve.

The story goes -

Cù Bòcan has stalked residents of the remote Highland village of Tomatin for centuries, his legend embellished by the hellhound’s increasingly fractious behaviour.

Sightings are rare, once in a generation, always terrifying. A distillery worker, out walking late, was once relentlessly pursued by an imposing black beast, steam spiralling from flared nostrils, teeth bared.

Compelled beyond all natural reason to feel the hound’s dense fur he stopped and reached out, hand trembling, only to see the ghostly spectre - Cù Bòcan - dissolve before his eyes leaving nothing but a vacuum of deathly silence and an inky blue cloud of smoke, soon spirited away across the peat moorland…

I tasted this as part of the official Tweet Tasting launch, once again many thanks to Tomatin for the sample.


A very light touch of smoke that could almost be More malt than peat. It starts off really sweet with fruit and and light Demerara Sugar/creme Brule topping

Sweetness and a touch of smoke and lots of sweet manuka honey, vanilla and a hint of almond paste.

Love this, I want one now

Bottle Name: Cù Bòcan
Age: NAS
ABV: 46.00
Distiller: Tomatin
Bottler: Tomatin
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Highland

Glen Moray 10 Year Old Chardonnay Cask

Glen Moray 10 year Old chardonnay Cask After a bit of a chat with Dave Worthington (@whiskydiscovery) from the Whisky Discovery blog about some whiskies he was kind enough to send me a bundle of samples and included was this Glen Moray 10 Year Old Chardonnay Cask.

Glen Moray is available for a very reasonable price in many supermarkets and for the price the quality of these whiskies are really impressive.

This lovely whisky, matured for the entire time in a chardonnay wine cask i would highly recommend you add this to your whisky collection.

Why not pop over to Master of Malt for a bottle now.


Really surprised by the initial nose on this, most of the time even with whisky that is matured or finished in odd casks there's still quite a strong

winey to begin with, which doesnt suit me then it goes to the Mackies Butterscotch Ice Cream and wafer and more fresh grapes.

a fairly winey finish to begin with then it becomes more butterscotch ice cream.

Bottle Name: Glen Moray 10 Year Old Chardonnay Cask
Age: 10
ABV: 40.00
Distiller: Glen Moray
Bottler: Glen Moray
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Speyside

Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak

Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak Another very interesting dram, this time the Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak.

A recent release edition from Glenfiddich, this was aged for 14 years before a finish in new American and Spanish oak casks. They say the American oak adds spice, vanilla and fruit, and the Spanish oak brings elegant fruit, spice and complexity.

Why not pop over to The Green Welly and pick up a bottle for yourself.


Masses of oak in here, it's sweet underlying almost like an oak leaf sauce, under that is a mass of sweet syrup covered tinned fruit salad with soft pears and grape coming through strongest along with the slightest hint of grated nutmeg.

spicy and tangy with grated nutmeg and haribo tangtastic sweets, that tinned fruit in syrup sweetness comes through strong on the end and leaves an oily mouthfeel.

tinned fruit salad in syrup and haribo tangtastics.

Bottle Name: Glenfiddich 14 Year Old Rich Oak
Age: 14
ABV: 40.00
Distiller: Glenfiddich
Bottler: Glenfiddich
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Speyside

Glenmorangie Nectar DOr 12 Year Old

Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or Glenmorangie will always have a special part in my whisky life as Glenmorangie 10 was the first single malt i have memory of trying and it was also the same whisky we used to whet my eldest sons head in 1998 so i'm always happy to try some of their other expressions.

I was sent a wee sample of this and then got a bottle of it from a friend for helping him build a shed so i now have plenty of this Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or 12 Year Old in the house and i'm very glad of it too.

the nectar D'or 12 is basically the 10 year old but it has been finished in Sauternes wine casks for 2 years giving this lovely highland whisky a sweet wine boost.

This whisky is available from many supermarkets as well as specialist retailers such as The Whisky Exchange


Lots of sweetness, mainly pear juice and syrup a bit like the mixture you would get in a tin of pear halves, some instant cereal notes, a little acetone, some freshly baked white bread.

sweetness with pear and apple crumble, some cereal in there too, little bits of demerera sugar

bit of a rollercoaster finish, quite alochol rough but with some nice sweetness too

Bottle Name: Glenmorangie Nectar DOr 12 Year Old
Age: 12
ABV: 46.00
Distiller: Glenmorangie
Bottler: Glenmorangie
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Highland

Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Finish

Tomatin 14 year oldOne of the latest additions to the Tomatin range this is the 14 year old port finish.

I'm a huge fan of port matured whisky and this is no different a cracker of a dram with soft sweetness like the whole Tomatin range and lots of dark fruits too, a very nice dram and one that I will happily be maintaining as a staple in my whisky collection.

you can pick up a bottle of this dram for under £50 by heading over to The Whisky Exchange

Many thanks to Tomatin for the official sample.


Initially starts with some cracking dark fruits, plums and nectarines with prunes, freshly scraped vanilla pods and some fresh tropical fruits, very yummy

Initially some spiciness, almost like a good curry, with some fresh tropical fruit and lots of dark fruits, plum and vanilla essence

spicy tingle and fruit that goes on and on

Bottle Name: Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Finish
Age: 14
ABV: 46.00
Distiller: Tomatin
Bottler: Tomatin
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Highland

Tomintoul 16 Year Old

Tomintoul 10 The Second of 4 Tomintoul whisky reviews is the gorgeous Tomintoul 16 Year Old. This is part of a set of 3 minis that my darling wife bought for me as a present recently. The set features the 10yr, 16yr and 33yr and i'm already salivating at the prospect of the 33 Year Old.

I also have the 12 yr port wood to sample too so that will come soon also.

Why not pop pick up a bottle from The Whisky Exchange


Sweet and malty, some very light furniture polish, a touch of mandarins and grape juice in there with the malty flavours.

sweet mandarins in grape juice, weetabix and malt loaf and a tiny touch of cigar smoke

Malty and cereal notes with lots of sweetness

Bottle Name: Tomintoul 16 Year Old
Age: 16
ABV: 40.00
Distiller: Tomintoul
Bottler: Tomintoul
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Speyside

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