Whyte & Mackay, Jura, Mince Pies and much more

What a great night at Leslie’s! After a slow start (everyone looked slightly scared when Lucas and I said “7 whiskies each”) it all got rolling. And then spinning.

Big thanks to Whyte & Mackay for sending Isle of Jura 16 yo and Whyte & Mackay 19 yo. We got the group’s opinions of these whiskies, and we duly publish them below. Also a big thanks to Leslie’s for their hospitality and the mince pies. I am sure there were a fair few people yesterday morning who were glad they got some sustenance during the evening.

And of course the biggest thanks to all who attended: Water of Life Society members, Napier Whisky Society Members, peeps from The Scotch Whisky Experience, top lads from The Royal Mile Whiskies, Leslie’s staff (off duty), and other kind readers of ours!

Tasting list…

  • Isle of Jura 16 yo (Edinburgh Whisky Blog’s runner up of the night)
  • Whyte & Mackay 19 yo
  • Caol Ila 18 yo (Edinburgh Whisky Blog’s winner of the night)
  • Caol Ila 13 yo
  • Mortlach 19 yo
  • Linkwood 12 yo
  • Balvenie 15 yo Single Cask
  • Ardbeg Uigeadail
  • Ardbeg 17 yo (Cadenhead’s)
  • Bruichladdich 12 yo
  • Highland Park 12 yo
  • Springbank 10 yo
  • Longrow 10 yo
  • Dalwhinnie 15 yo
  • Isle of Arran 11 yo
  • Craigellachie 14 yo
  • Dalmore 12 yo
  • Glenburgie

…and some tasting notes (note that the tasting took place in a bar environment):


Isle of Jura 16 yo

Nose: Ok, let’s say it loud… Cheese. Cheddar, Cottage Cheese, Gruyere, Gouda, Caboc, any kind of cheese you want… Dairy is the name of the game here. Some, like Euan, hated it, some, like Lucas, loved it. Of other descriptions let’s mention strawberry sweetness, toffee, tin peaches, mushrooms and wet soil.

Palate: Sweeter than the nose, surprisingly smooth and gentle. “Beefy”

Overall: Unmistakable, unforgettable, assertive. Split our tasting party into two groups, we could call them “I-Am-Buying-A-Bottle-Tomorrow Camp” and “I-Wouldn’t-Take-One-For-Free Camp”.


Whyte & Mackay 19 yo

Nose: Black Forrest! Chocolate and roses. Honey and bananas. Caramel, oak, oranges. Dried grapefruit peel. Tarmac (Who said that?).

Palate: Grainy and slightly metallic. Praline, oak, touch of smoke. Improves significantly with water.

Overall: Classy classic. But not as much fun as Jura. Everyone liked it, which at that time we found slightly boring. But if you are looking for a present for your father-in-law, want to say “thank you” to your doctor or bribe a lecturer, look no further.


The moment of the evening has to be a group of us staggering back from the bar, bottles in hands, singing Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. We mused that this may not have been how Richard Paterson and Andrew Scott imagined the tasting of their babies, but I am sure they would have enjoyed it just as much as we did.

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