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Cask Strength Picks of Dramfest - Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th March

Another great semi-blind lineup picked from the finest cask strength whiskies of Dramfest and presented by Daniel McLaren Moon at Regional Wines.

Heads and shoulders above the rest, and comfortably winning over the two nights was Glen Scotia’s Victoriana. A whisky finished in charred oak that shows beautiful depth and hints of cocoa, toffee, burnt caramel, ginger and custard.

Benromach’s Dramfest 2018 bottling came in second with its pipe tobacco and peat smoke inspired bacon and fish cake notes, that balanced handsomely against waves of sweet malt.

The mystery whisky placed third – on this occasion the Glenmorangie Astar, a whisky crafted in the likeness of Bourbon, aged in oak hewn from slow-grown trees of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. A veritable confectionery store on the nose with Eskimos, bubble gum and sherbet interlaced with custard and vanilla – a cracking little whisky showing some restraint on the palate, even at 52.5%.

The Inchgower, Deanston and Linkwood were victims of the blind tasting scenario in many ways – their subtlety, softness and savouriness swept aside by some of the bigger, bolder, richer whiskies on show - as is often the case when tasting blind.

And finally the Oarmaruvian came last, but had the room very much divided picking up some high scores among a majority of mid scores. This whisky created some buzz at Dramfest and for me its vinous qualities were quite something, with a high acid and tannic structure making it comparable to a 56% bottle of Barolo – great fun.

All these whiskies are available from Regional Wines and Spirits – but be quick as supplies are limited.

Here's how they placed.

  1. Glen Scotia 'Victoriana' 51.5% - $119.99
  2. Benromach 'DramFest 2018 Bottling' 2005 / 2017 #241 60% - $149.99
  3. Mystery Whisky – Glenmorangie Astar 52.5% - $154.99
  4. Inchgower 'Old Malt Cask' 1995 / 21 years old 50% - $185.99
  5. Deanston 'Old Malt Cask' 1995 / 21 years old 50% - $182.99
  6. Linkwood Cadenhead 1992 / 24 years old 54.9% - $193.99
  7. NZ Whisky Collective Oamaruvian 18 years old 55.8% - $173.50