Wine4You: Glenallachie, Linkwood, Ben Nevis, Dailuaine, Ardmore

Wine4You: Glenallachie, Linkwood, Ben Nevis, Dailuaine, Ardmore

Today we’re looking at a series of single malts exclusive to Wine4You. They selected a wide range of distilleries, bottled by Duncan Taylor (which means small octave casks) and Berry Bros & Rudd.

It is clear that these shop exclusives are aimed at offering value for money, choosing ages between 10-15 years and some “lesser” distilleries. All of them are available from Wine4You.


Dailuaine 2010 (50,3%, Berry Bros & Rudd for Wine4You, Oloroso hogshead #307763, 60 btl.)

Nose: fairly robust, with plenty of soaked grains, a moderate meatiness, hints of moist tobacco and a subtle earthy note. Then pine needles and a light hint of floral honey, as well as vanilla, red apples and spicy notes like cloves and gingerbread.

Mouth: more of these warming spicy notes. Black pepper, clove and nutmeg. Then hints of brown sugar, chestnuts, roasted malt and subtle coffee. Earthy fudge and marmalade. Some leafy and herbal notes as well, adding drops of bitterness.

Finish: quite long, with herbaceous notes, pepper and roasted nuts.

This slightly chunky and Mortlach-y Dailuaine is a proper wintery dram. The sherry cask added plenty of spicy notes which work well along the meaty and slightly waxy character of the spirit. Around € 110.



Glenallachie 15 yo 2008 (52,5%, Duncan Taylor for Wine4You 2023, octave cask finish #3040059, 83 btl.)

Glenallachie 2008 - Duncan Taylor - Wine4You Nose: a rather milky start, like a strawberry milkshake. Then toffee apples, red fruit Haribo, hints of caramel, wild honey and hints of broken branches. Also raisin rolls and orange cake.

Mouth: really wood-forward now. Plenty of caramel, fudge, with a little menthol, scones and brioche. Later nougat and mocha come out, alongside slightly burnt cake edges, roasted hazelnuts and hints of Seville orange. Clove and ginger give it a slightly mulled character.

Finish: rather long, on chocolate ganache, tea and wood spice.

Overall rather pressure-cooked, which is often our main gripe with octave casks. Rich but lacking some elegance, in my opinion. Around € 120. Score: 82/100



Ben Nevis 10 yo 2012 (54%, Duncan Taylor for Wine4You 2023, octave cask finish #3635004, 78 btl.)

Ben Nevis 2012 - Duncan Taylor - Wine4You Nose: ah, something more exciting. A powerful creamy maltiness, with just a hint of chalk but also ripe apples and hints of peaches. Woody notes, in a bourbonny, polished (almost solventy) way with plenty of vanilla and hints of aniseed. Then nice greasy touches, hints of nougat and coffee beans, as well as lightly rubbed citrus.

Mouth: oily texture, on peaches and apples again, with plenty of pepper. Burns your throat a little. Dark mocha(ccino) and gingerbread mix nicely with sour berries, hints of overripe banana and some citrus fruit gums. Light cocoa towards the end.

Finish: medium long and rather spicy, with nice flashes of citrus fruits.

A nice Highlands character with some entertaining elements. Ben Nevis withstands the octave treatment with aplomb. So far this is a clear favourite. It is also the cheapest option of them all: around € 80. Score: 87/100



Linkwood 2012 (57,6%, Berry Bros & Rudd for Wine4You 2023, hogshead #119, 60 btl.)

Linkwood 2012 - Berry Bros - Wine4YOu Nose: lemons, meadow flowers and gorse, apples and sweet vanilla custard. Light chalky notes or even paraffin. Grassy notes. A bit of tiger balm. Then amaretti and hints of mint. Straightforward and nice.

Mouth: the fruitiest so far. Bags of green apples, lemons, gooseberries and hints of lime and grapefruit. A juicy fruit bowl. Some limoncello and breakfast cereals. Zesty notes. The barrel left its mark as well, with white pepper and grassy hints.

Finish: not too long, with more zesty citrus, pepper and a bit of sharpness.

A smart whisky, with active wood that leaves enough room for the bright fruitiness of the spirit. Good choice, I like the fact that fruits are taking the upper hand here. Around € 90. Score: 87/100



Ardmore 13 yo 2010 (54,1%, Duncan Taylor for Wine4You 2023, octave cask finish #1934144, 67 btl.)

Ardmore 2010 - Duncan Taylor - Wine4You Nose: nice hints of soot and dry wood smoke as well as nice cigar boxes, red apples, glazed meat and dried fruit sweetness. Then hints of beach bonfire, with juniper and a few drops of herbal extract. Also chestnut purée and tobacco. Something of Demerara rum even.

Mouth: more tobacco galore, nicely mixed with meaty barbecue notes, dark chocolate and warming campfire smoke. Muscovado sugar, raisins and cinnamon pastry, but also leafy drying notes. Then hints of walnuts, mint and leather.

Finish: quite long, a little leathery, with walnuts, black pepper and lingering dried fruits.

I’m always surprised that Duncan Taylor doesn’t mention the cask type on the front label. I mean octave, sure, but I’d prefer to know whether it was sherry seasoned. Anyway, this Ardmore is certainly punching above its weight. This session finished in crescendo: some nice whiskies at fair prices, around € 90 in this case. Score: 88/100