Marcus Parmenter, usually found behind the bar at The Vaults, takes his pick of the August Outturn

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The August Outturn brings our first release of Single Cask Spirits, with new rums, cognacs and the Society’s first gin all in the mix. There’s something for everyone – but here’s my pick of the whiskies…

96.11: Frisky fun

The dram jumps up quickly, with old cellophane-wrapped sweeties and aromas of chocolate fudge springing off the nose, caramel popcorn and Redskins raspberry lollies (one for the Aussies and Kiwis…) rolling past in an exuberant youthful expression of excitement. Given time, we settle down with honeysuckle and unsalted popcorn around an old gumtree. On the palate, we have refreshing lemon and ginger tea, cool on the tongue, with a backing of eucalyptus and orange peel oils. Water brings out the old sweet shop again, candied flowers and crystallised lemon. Gradually, that citrus falls away into cool tea and fresh mown grass, a small touch of chocolate milk on the finish. Sit with this dram in the sun and let it take you away, easy drinking with playful childhood memories.

Flavour Profile: Young & Spritely
Age: 10 years
Cask: Refill ex-bourbon
Region: Speyside
Alcohol: 57.6%
Bottle Price: £53.50

48.91: Sweet, juicy and perfumed

Straight off the bat, hot Turkish delight leaps out with an accompanying cherry ripe chocolate bar, before moving swiftly along with young pineapple, peaches and a papaya left out in the sun. The palate picks up the heat the sun gives off and starts throwing juicy fruits our way; peach, mango, orange and grapefruit with a backing of passionfruit. Jelly and jam roll through after, and leave tart berries to pucker the mouth. A drop of water goes a long way with this whisky, too much can sour it; the raspberries and strawberries rise to the top with some added gooseberries joined by some lemon zest. The entire dram is eating canned fruits, tender with sweet juice.

Flavour Profile: Sweet, Fruity & Mellow
Age: 10 years
Cask: Refill ex-bourbon
Region: Speyside
Alcohol: 60%
Bottle Price: £49.00

44.84: Smooth edges

Now this dram is living easy; the oloroso influence is automatically present, and gives off old crushed plums and musty cherries mingling atop a bed of tobacco ash (remember smoking inside?), rich leather and the seats of an old, worn Rolls-Royce; still proud despite showing the wear and tear of the years. Rich mahogany and burning tyres end the nose, and jump start a palate of all that and more; plums and cherries now hang heavy with juice, a well-spiced Christmas cake doused with brandy and then burning a raging fire in the middle of the table, wet pipe tobacco and some damp tweed. Need some advice? Drink this whisky slowly in front of the fire and reminisce.

Flavour Profile: Spicy & Dry
Age: 13 years
Cask: Virgin oak hogshead
Region: Speyside Spey
Alcohol: 56.6%
Bottle Price: £56.10

93.77: A classic rally

We’re off to the runway with this dram, heavy fumes of heated metal, jet turbines, musty air, airport lounges and a wet, steamy runway. We’re right next to the ocean as well, with salty sweet air and some salted taffy, seagulls squawking overhead and pecking at the in-flight biscuits. Speaking of which, our flight must be headed to Denmark or Belgium, because the mid-flight lunch served is all rich caramels and apricot pastries, chocolate croissants, caramel tarts and an amazingly nutty pecan pie. The palate brings back that salt, with lemon and ginger playing around and helping to balance the nose. All this makes me think this would go great with dessert, but adding water reveals another layer, that of seaside grass and spinifex (another one for the Aussies….) poking through salt crusted sand dunes and dark salt flats, perfect for some grilled fish with a helping of drizzled lemon.

Flavour Profile: Oily & Coastal
Age: 9 years
Cask: First fill ex-bourbon
Region: Campbeltown
Alcohol: 58.8%
Bottle Price: £59.00

10.118: Enthralling pink and peat intensity

When pouring this dram, the first things that struck me was the colour; a rusty brown, sun-bleached red, an orchard at the end of a long arduous drought. The nose confirmed this; the fruits, peach, cherry, plum, give what they can, but are thirsty and shrivelled, the baking earth around them cracked and damaged, throwing old peat, mixed metals, and iron ore on the nose. Over the hills, the breeze brings a touch of smoke, the first signs of a bushfire that only gets bigger and badder as it approaches. When that fire comes through on the palate, the fruits toast, caramelise and then burn, apples and pears join and then sour as the flame is too intense, and somewhere a spice rack of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice erupts and crisps, leaving a smoky, spiced trace of what was there. Adding water douses the fire, yes, but also reveals the devastation; old wood, charred and wet, salty earth where nothing will grow, fruits burnt beyond flavour, and a bed of ash that coats the palate. Need some advice for a good dram? Let the orchard burn.

Flavour Profile: Peated
Age: 10 years
Cask: First fill port barrique
Region: Islay
Alcohol: 60.6%
Bottle Price: £62.80

Read the August Outturn in full by clicking here….enjoy!