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Terms

abv: Alcohol By Volume

ncf: Non-Chill Filtered

ncs: Natural Cask Strength

nas: No age statement

Benriach Dark Rum Cask 22yr 46% Speyside


Nose: Porridge oats and barley, with nutmeg, dried oranges, cranberries and brown sugar.

Palate: Slightly oily. Through a nutty character and rummy thickness comes gooey caramel, helpings of apricots, dark chocolate, bittersweet vanilla and soft baking spices.

Finish: Creme brulée sweetness and some wood polish linger.






Dalwhinnie Distillery Exclusive nas 48%
Northern Highlands

Nose: Initially its red apples wrapped in caramel with some Ovaltine and peach juice. Then a rich tea biscuit followed by cornflakes. Slight notes of red grapes and rubbed brass.

Palate: More of those red apple with a hint of mint. Water brings out the marzipan and butterscotch.

Finish: Typically sweet and warming with good afterburners.



Glenrothes 2006 Sherry Cask #5469 10yr 67.1% Speyside

Nose: Big and robust with a lot of toffee and caramel candy, along with a bounty of red fruit, and Christmas cake & ginger biscuits. Quite a lot of sherry is going on here, with a lot of wood, and wood spice (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg), musty dunnage warehouses and hints of sour wine vinegar.

Palate: Lovely mouth feel on this one: sweeter than the nose, with a big dollop of sherry , thick sultana juices, big caramel candy, toffeed  apples, Xmas cakes – it has got it all. Sweet, hedonistic and chew able, with an additional note of pepper, wood spices, and mint. Juicy. Oily.

Finish: Bitter sweet, with BBQ-ed banana (a little burnt maybe), dry oak, wood tannins, earth.



Glendronach 1993 Cask #656 24yr 57.9% Speyside

Nose: Absolutely ridiculous sherry. Masses of tinned plums, soggy booze-drenched raisins, rich fruit cake and black cherries. Lovely old waxy antique furniture polish comes through with a handful of wet pear drops that have been left in the warehouse to soak in the damp dunnage-air. Then there’s a welcomed velvety milk chocolate, warm caramel, and a whiff of Turkish coffee. Everything is sweet, sherried, and is a diabetics worst nightmare. Glorious.

Palate: Rich and sherry-sweet, thick and oily. It’s big, bold, and brazen. Light bitterness appears paired with a crackling of pepper on the tongue. Concentrated tinned prune juice, runny caramel sauce, thick and dark heavy sherry, and rich vanilla custard just ooze all over the tongue and cover the mouth in a rich tingly oiliness. A medium-bitter espresso dryness then spreads to the sides of the tongue and the back of the throat.

Finish: Very long and sweet. A liquorice bitterness hangs around on the tongue with a lingering dryness. The switch from sweet to dry to sweet to dry goes on. It’s rich, oily and thick.


Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy #2
French Wine Bariques 26yr 48.7% Islay

Nose: Redcurrant jam, camphor oil and cherry pie intermingle with earthy smoke.

Palate: Tropical fruits such as papaya and mango and a honeyed sweetness with the addition of water.

Finish: Oak spiced smoke and rich dark chocolate with a hint of salt.





Ardbeg Grooves Committee Release nas 51.6% Islay

Nose: Intense aromas of smoked cinnamon and paprika, antique leather and saddle soap, with classic Ardbeg scents of pine resin, tar and briny sea spray in the background. A distant hint of a fragrant bonfire, unusual savoury note like chili-seasoned meats.

Palate: A powerfully salty mouthfeel, sweet treacle toffee, vanilla popcorn, salted fruits with soot and tar. Again, savoury notes of smoky BBQ, paprika and mustard spice, fading into a haze of smoked pears and apples, almost like pear cider.

Finish: Smoked paprika and bonfires with a mellow sweetness throughout.

Brew List

For the “stout” hearted...

Appalachian Brewing Co. “Ragged Edge”

Espresso Stout 4.6% PA

Nose: Definitive espresso notes with a hint of vanilla.


Palate: Dominated by roasted coffee, spent grains, espresso shots.


Finish: SHort, with a nice espresso hit and roasted black coffee bean notes.








Crux Fermentation Project “Cocoa”

Imperial Chocolate Stout 8.0% OR


Nose: Big notes of toasted coconut as well as cocoa mass and vanilla bean.


Palate: Smooth, creamy and deftly balanced between all the flavours of cocoa, coconut, and vanilla. There’s some bitterness on the mid palate and a slight prickly feel as well.


Finish: Long and tangy with lingering vanilla notes.







Mother Earth Brew Co. “Four Seasons”

BBA Peanut Butter Stout 8.8% CA


Nose: A blend of chocolate, marshmallow, spicy bourbon and molasses nuanced nutmeg.


Palate: Chocolate, soft bourbon, marshmallow, and thin spicy oak. Late spice notes, nutmeg.


Finish: Reeses PB Cups in the truest form









Widmer Brothers “Raspberry Russian”

Imperial Stout 9.3% OR


Nose: Rich raspberry smell along with the usually stout aromas like roasted coffee, dark chocolate and maybe molasses.


Palate: Burnt coffee, bakers chocolate and molasses taste almost hiding any raspberry flavor. Warm chocolate and roasty notes compliment the hop bitterness. Raspberry notes come out as the beer warms.


Finish: Short but sweet

Copyright © 2009-2019 Top Shelf Tasters - Drink Responsibly

Our 50th Tasting 4/5/19

Sherry bombs & Islay greats with a little rum and bourbon thrown in!

Our Tasting "Gatherings": A malt, a beer, a malt, a beer. Who's counting!

Super evening with our family and friends. We’re glad all of you could make it. And thanks for all the great food. We missed those that could not attend and looking forward to seeing you at future tastings.

Our beer & single malt selections