This past Monday night was a hectic one, we at WhiskNick somehow managed to hop through two masterclasses with two exceptional gentlemen, Mr. Cameron Syme of Great Southern Distillery and Mr. David Stewart MBE, master blender of Balvenie.
Whilst Esmond was conducting his interview with Mr. Syme (it will be up on WhiskNick in due course), I was nerding out at the back, skimming through the line up, here’s my very preliminary impressions of some of the drams on offer that night..
Vanilla custard with an injection of sandalwood and pine oak providing an energetic welcoming. Black pepper is present as well and it’s well integrated.
Mellow on the palate though, the gooey fruitiness comes on with tropical jam. The delivery is steady with plenty of spices going on on the side as well. Light ripe strawberry fructose with biscuity maltiness coming through hand in hand with that syrup drenched strawberry note.
Tangerine citrusness in the finish and later on lemon marmalade, syrupy toffee and peanut butter.
My pick of the night.
A familiar whiff of muskiness, bringing in brown sugar cured strawberry cubes. Maple syrup, mandarin preserve with a hint of Jamón ham.
Sticky raisins and strawberry preserve with a fair amount of chilli spices coming through. A dexterous layering of mandarins and woodiness along with a hint of liquorice.
The citrus jammy note goes on and on.
It’s surprisingly mellow on the nose, milky sweet peat well blended into notes of vanilla and stone fruits.
That west coast Australian peat comes out as rather soft, unexpectedly delicate, and it’s most certainly something I enjoy.
Rather milky and ‘vanilla-y’ on the palate, it holds for a moment before bouquet fruits blossom on the tastebuds with a vague lace of peat settling in in the background, slowly developing as the maltiness sets in.
A dram I wish I can spend more time with.
Limeburners Peated Dark(est) Winter Barrel M348
An interesting interaction of burnt plastic and cherry blossoms. The softness of the peat is still intact but perhaps not as refined as the black label release. Salted white oak.
Noticeably sweet, simply quite sugary on the palate at first, but the the spices come roaring in, it’s somewhat exhilarating really. Salty with a sense of waxiness coming through. The creamy vanilla note settles in with traces of Ovaltine and a lager like maltiness.
I did not have the chance to taste this year’s award winning heavily peated this time around, though with the two peated expressions on offer, I find the Western Australian peat quite fascinating, soothing to some extent, a style of peat I enjoy immensely.
Cheers Cameron for bringing this along to the Oak Barrel. Now it’s still on the back of my mind but since we had to rush off to attend the other tasting, we didn’t have the chance to sample the award winning heavily peated barrel M226; may be I will be able to hunt a nip down one of these days, but until then!