Aug 22, 2014

Muirhead’s Silver Seal 16 Review

The Silver Seal 8 was a colossal disappointment in my...

Muirheads Silver Seal 16 yr Review

The Silver Seal 8 was a colossal disappointment in my opinion, so how does it fare when it’s been aged twice as long? Better, I’d even say it’s good, but it’s still not great. I guess that’s why it’s a 16 year that is only $45. All of the big names that have whisky around this age are clocking in at the $75 – $150 range these days. Which on a value scale makes this a good buy, but on a taste scale…

In the last 6 months alone I’ve have over 100 new whiskies and all of the truly mesmerizing ones had layers of bold and subtle flavors that complimented each other; it’s what creates a complex whisky. Which is the reason I keep disliking this poor Silver Seal line. Not because it’s terrible tasting, but because it’s all subtle and no bold. It has a nice flavor, but it’s too one noted for me to want on a regular basis.

Muirhead’s Silver Seal 16 Review

ABV: 40%
Age: 16 years
Price: $45
Distiller: Tullibardine

Golden straw

We start out with a nice and simple dose of honey surrounded by some light floral notes. A sweet malt plays harmoniously with some pear heavy orchard fruit and banana heavy tropical fruit notes. There is a dash of cinnamon lounging in the back adding an interesting twist to this light and airy aroma.

The fruit blends together on the palate and is a muddled orchard and tropical jam with nothing identifiable really sticking out. Vanilla has popped into existence with honey, malt and a strange mild astringency. There is a touch of brine, earth and wood lightly drifting through at the end that seems at odds to the rest of the flavor profile. Again, it’s quite light and comes together very subtly.

It’s quite sweet with nothing really balancing it out which leaves it feeling, you guessed it, unbalanced. Like the 8, the 16’s body is light and watery which makes for a simple and flaccid texture.

It has a very muddy finish with graham, fruit, malt and a pinch of earth all squished together on a short ride.

It’s a little more lively than it’s 8 year counterpart and there is a deeper range of aromas and flavors. I’m not straining to pick up flavors and scents like with the 8, but there is still an essence of one-noted “muddled mess” about it. I’m happy that this is an improvement over it’s younger sibling, but it’s still incredibly light, airy and, while good, not exactly what I would call great. It’s still not something I want as a daily drinker because it’s a little boring for my tastes. However, it’s light and sweet character would work very well in simple and refined cocktails and that’s definitely nothing to frown at.

SCORE: 81/100

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tagged scotch, muirheads, review, silver seal, single malt, speyside...