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06/05/2013 Toms Top 5 Bargain Drams

I realised i don't really do enough "opinion" pieces on this blog so thought it was time i did one, so i've decided to chat about my top 5 bargain drams. By bargain drams i'm talking about whiskies costing under £30 that i think outweigh the price and are great value for money and realistically i think they're better than a number of more expensive drams.

This is all totally my opinion but i'm also interested to hear what you think, whether you agree or not drop me a Facebook message, tweet or email to tell me what you think.

Auchentoshan Classic 5th Place - Auchentoshan Classic

In 5th place and one of my favourite drams is the Auchentoshan Classic, available in Supermarkets as well as from whisky Specialists this fresh, vanilla apple dram is a lovely summer sipper and one of my favourites for just relaxing.

Pick one up for £26.15 from The Whisky Exchange

Bottle Name Auchentoshan Classic
Bottler Auchentoshan
Distiller Auchentoshan
Age* NAS
ABV 40%
Nose the nose on this really is lovely there's a lot of vanilla here, fresh vanilla like that scraped from a fresh vanilla pod, there;s light pine and oak in here too, the background notes are of crunchy apples and touches of cardboard.
Taste More of the oak and sweet vanilla, crunchy apples and touches of cardboard again, quite drying.
Finish drying with sweet vanilla and bitter crunchy apples.

Compass Box Great King Street Artists Blend 4th Place - Compass Box Great King Street Artists Blend

I've yet to try a Compass Box dram that i didn't like but for value for money it's pretty hard to beat this Compass Box Great King Street Artists Blend, ok it's only a 50cl bottle but the quality of this dram is way beyond the price point, i always have a bottle of this at home.

Priced at £24.95 and available from The Whisky Exchange

Bottle Name Compass Box Great King Street Artists Blend
Bottler Compass Box
Distiller Compass Box
Age* NAS
ABV 43%
Nose the nose on this is amazing, there's gentle tropical fruits of pineapple, papaya and kiwi fruit and doses of milk chocolate and edges of good quality white chocolate like Green and Blacks White Chocolate with Vanilla.
Taste fruity, more of the tropical fruits with pineapple and kiwi and with edges of cereal and gentle pine needles
Finish gentle cereal and pine needles.

Bowmore Legend 3rd Place - Bowmore Legend

There are a couple of bargain Bowmores including this Bowmore Legend and the Bowmore Small Batch Reserve, the latter only really available in Supermarkets and can be picked up for around £25 on offer, the former being my preference of the two with a touch more smoke for me.

getting more difficult to find but available now for £25.95 from The Whisky Exchange

Bottle Name Bowmore Legend
Bottler Bowmore
Distiller Bowmore
Age* NAS
ABV 40%
Nose Some very light smoke, like the remnants of an open fire the following morning, theres some sweetness too, like a bunch of carnation flowers, there's some oakyness underlying and a touch of oats / porridge.
Taste wood oakyness, with touches of gentle charcoal smoke and a little carnation floral
Finish fairly woody and gentle smoke.

bailie Nicol Jarvie2nd Place - Bailie Nicol Jarvie

A blend, really? well yes as Bailie Nicol Jarvie (BNJ to his friends) is a cracker of a dram, reported to have the highest malt content of any Scotch Whisky Blend at over 60% Malt this uses grain from Girvan and some high quality malts to poduce an easy drinking, high quality dram that really shines. tasted blind most people would rate this at a much higher price point.

Available from The Whisky Exchange for the bargain price of £19.95

Bottle Name Bailie Nicol Jarvie
Bottler Glenmorangie
Distiller Glenmorangie
Age* NAS
ABV 40%
Nose Initial malty, malted biscuits/digestives with a sweet honey note underlying, there's a gentle hint of smoke there, i expected a little dewy grass notes from the grain but it comes across more malt based.
Taste malty and sweet with a touch of dewy grass and vanilla
Finish malt biscuits and honey

Tomatin Legacy 1st Place - Tomatin Legacy

This new release from Tomatin, only been on the market for around a month, is a fantastic dram, it tastes young but only in the way that it has a touch of that "new make" nose but the quality imparted by the bourbon and virgin oak casks really has given this dram something special it's my number one bargain dram and will be a regular on my whisky shelf from now on.

Available from most whisky specialists this dram can be picked up from Royal Mile Whiskies for the amazing price of £24.50.

Bottle Name Tomatin Legacy
Bottler Tomatin
Distiller Tomatin
Age* NAS
ABV 43%
Nose Initial notes of sweet chocolate covered toffee and sweet fruits, plum and nectarine with a touch of weetabix and lemon curd. After a while in the glass it becomes quite "new makey" which i really like.
Taste sweet initially with fresh lemongrass and some ereal notes with more weetabix
Finish lovely soft clean dram, i like this