Two nice whiskies enjoyed last night, emptied about 11 and 10 hours ago, left there to be sniffed now. They say tasting pre-lunch time is best as our senses are widest awake, clear and ready. First up we have Highland Park 1998 40% from a one liter bottle, “distilled in 1998, bottled in 2010, created exclusively for global travel retail.” First nosing a definite hint of light, faint smoke. And there’s the fruit too, along with some classic and typical malt. Oh wow wait a second was that a little hint of, dare I say peanut butter, au naturel? No not just plain roasted un-salted peanuts but actually peanut butter from those same pure ingredients. Nice! And a little hint of dry hay. This is a very pure, unobstructed empty whisky glass, allowing those distinct characteristics to come through. After mixing these two glasses up just now, from leaving them in the correct order of tasting last night, this first whiff told me immediately this was the Highland Park, though it could have easily been confused with the second whisky tasted as the next also has a hint of smoke. I almost turned this into a blind tasting! On to the second whisky, a Springbank 10y from The Alchemist bottler at 46%. Maple, but not too sweet. It contrasts quite nicely to the previous, but I can’t find the smoke in there now I was expecting and that I usually find when this whisky is in the glass.