Simply Good Whisky: Aultmore, Miltonduff, Peatside, Caol Ila

Simply Good Whisky: Aultmore, Miltonduff, Peatside, Caol Ila

Good whisky shouldn’t be very old, nor very expensive. That’s more or less the premise of the Simply Good Whisky series by Kirsch Import. We try two unpeated single malts (Aultmore and Miltonduff), two peated undisclosed blended / teaspooned malts and one Caol Ila. Mostly from red wine casks, mind you. In the past we already had a Miltonduff 2006 from the same series.

All of them are available from different German shops. Check with Kirsch Import to find a retailer.


Miltonduff 15 yo 2008 (55,2%, Simply Good Whisky 2023, first fill Château Lafite red wine cask #180209)

Nose: really winey, with hints of unlit matchsticks. Other than that, some hints of wine gums and strawberries, along with a rubbery touch and a gentle bitterness. Then a touch of hazelnut, grassy notes and earth. Hints of honey and caramel too.

Mouth: same winey character, including the tannins and the (mild) bitterness. Bitter oranges along with hints of red berries and blackberries. More rubbery notes. Chocolate coated nuts later on.

Finish: medium, on nutty notes, milk chocolate and the winey elements.

Too much wine influence for my taste. The rubbery notes and matchsticks are not exactly helping in that respect.



Aultmore 14 yo 2008 (58,7%, Simply Good Whisky 2023, first fill Amarone barrique #2010302)

Aultmore 2008 Amarone Nose: still clearly wine, but less than the Miltonduff. Also an interesting earthiness behind it. Candy apples, raisins and red berry jam. Nutty notes, chocolate moelleux and brown sugar, along with moss and leafy notes. Then some tobacco and mild pepper, as well as a light dusty / papery hint.

Mouth: the wine is louder now. Hints of cherries and cranberries, but also the tannic grape-y side. Milk chocolate with praline, pepper and clove. Jaffa cake and touches of creamy fudge. Hints of tea towards the end.

Finish: quite long and spicy, with black pepper and cloves, chocolate and wine tannins.

Better, cleaner. Score: 82/100


Next up: two Peatside whiskies. These are officially blended malts, but probably teaspooned single malts. Similar releases (same vintage, same cask type) have been rumoured to be peated Glenglassaugh, but to be honest I have no clue.


Peatside 13 yo 2010 (57,5%, Simply Good Whisky 2023, first fill PX sherry hogshead #3307, blended malt)

Peatside 2010 PX sherry Nose: peat and sherry works so much better. A lot of charred aromas, charcoal and plenty of smoked bacon. Then some dark chocolate, roasted hazelnuts and almonds. Blackberry jam in the background, as well as a whiff of gunpowder – which works pretty well in this case.

Mouth: really punchy, with deep peat smoke, lots of barbecued meats like lacquered duck and leathery notes. Very ashy. Then more chocolate (cake), heavily infused tea and a welcome sour berry note.

Finish: very long, very peaty. Roasted nuts and chocolate, as well as some black peppercorns.

Now we’re talking – this is indeed simply good whisky. Just my personal preferences of course, but PX works better than red wine. A nicely warming, wintery dram with plenty of richness. Score: 87/100



Peatside 13 yo 2010 (57,6%, Simply Good Whisky 2023, first fill Port barrique #3322, blended malt)

Peatside 2010 Port - Simply Good Whisky Nose: quite strong and quite peaty again, albeit slightly thinner. It seems less dark and sooty, with a tart blackberry note lifting it. Hints of cranberries, red plums and roasted peaches. Still a meaty edge and whiffs of scorched herbs, but less of that gunpowder.

Mouth: similar thoughts. The alcohol is more present here and there is a more pronounced tannic, herbal side (vermouth style). Meaty smoke (or smoked meat), herbal tea and caramelized walnuts, but the fruity side is lacking a bit.

Finish: quite long but slightly hot, mostly on acrid smoke and oak, with increasingly drier elements.

The astringency of the wood and the alcohol is a bit too strong in this Port version, losing the balance. The PX sherry is definitely my favourite. Score: 83/100



Caol Ila 9 yo 2014 (57,6%, Simply Good Whisky 2023, first fill Château Latour cask #2005796)

Caol Ila 2014 Chateau Latour - Simply Good Whisky Nose: a nice mix of coastal elements like smoked fish, brine, tarry ropes and charcoal smoke. Then brown sugar and strawberries, along with blue grapes and hints of cassis. The wine is easy to notice, but somehow Caol Ila gets away with it.

Mouth: starts on campfire smoke, with more tar, smoked paprika and black peppercorns. Mid-palate it takes a U-turn and moves towards red wine and sweet berries, but also garden leaves and grassy notes. Even a hint of artichoke and sweet mustard. Then back to seawater and smoked nuts.

Finish: long, sooty and peppered with a hint of strawberry

Still a bit of a funky mixed bag, but nonetheless the best of the wine casks in this session. Score: 85/100