Cairnleigh 12 year old Single Malt Scotch
The Cairnleigh is dark and rich in color, with a heavy aroma of oak and wheat, as well as a hint of red berry. The nose is strong without being offensive, and with a bit of a bit to it. This spice seems to supplant any hints of peat that would be associated with a Single Malt of this caliber, but there was very little smokiness of any kind.
The Cairnleigh flavor on first sip was deep, rich, and smooth – it struck me as much more refined than I would have expected from a 12 year aged scotch. This richness is more often found in a 15 year or even an 18 year bottle.
The taste is sweet at first, with hints of oak and fruitiness that play between delicate and substantial. It was a complex flavor that I enjoyed. There is a spice to the finish that I do not often encounter with a single malt, a sweet edginess that I found more like tamarind than black pepper.
Noticeably absent was the peat flavor and smokiness that often comes stock in a single malt scotch. This is a good transition drink for those more accustomed to bourbon, or not in the mood for a Lagavulin. Because of the absence of peat, I think this would be an excellent accompanying whisky for an evening cigar. Definitely a scotch I will enjoy more of in the future.