Whisky Review: Lark Small Cask Aged Cask Strength

Tasting Notes:

Lark Small Cask Aged Cask Strength

Style: Malty and Spicy

Nose:

Beneath the cask strength spice lies lemon, honeycomb and egg custard notes. Then it opens up to an ocean deep of malt aroma, so abundant and dense… More creamy honey sweetness, hints of (peat?) smoke and vanilla candle scent burning slowly at the back.

Palate:

Big lemon and apple honey drop melt on the palate, with raw ginger notes fire up the body. Light creamy buttery texture, then we have a bright, resounding malt dominates and conquers the field. Very dense, very soothing… Slowly all the sweetness is reduced to a delightful balance of light floral and fresh fruity notes. Timber wood teasing a bit towards the end.

Finish:

Malty finish with a vague stamp of honey, fruits and chocolate. A trail of youthfulness.

Thoughts:

A frugal and powerful whisky. While it is not giving any kind of insane complexity by playing with fancy finishes, but what it offers in return is the abundance of maltiness which I enjoy immensely. The malty core of this dram is absolutely solid. A great, humble reminder of what the basics are and I will be looking forward to try the other expressions from this classic Aussie distillery!

(58%/2015/OB/NC/NCF/CS/GR)

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Glenfiddich Aged 30 Years

Style: Orchard Fruits, Dignified and Complex

Nose: 

Elegant aroma diffuses in softly, a beautifully knitted medley of red apples, resins, black tea leaves and caramel notes generate a light, bright but dignified vibe. Dry smoke and white pepper wraps around sweet creamy malt. A nice and complex nose.

Palate:

A drier than usual introduction on the palate, distant smoke can be quickly detected. Orchard fruits bring in nice cereal malt lightly coated with honey. Then we have even more delightful sweetness from dried apricots and dragées in the middle. A persistent, gentle undertone of aged, dark fruits sherry humming all through the palate nicely. Going tannic with a touch of caramel, but quickly diluted and lifted at the end.

Finish:

Pink lady red apples whispering happily with honey and dates, throw in a few acorns in the way. A lasting taste of forest fruits.

Thoughts:

Signatures of long maturation is pretty evident since the start of this dram, this archaic bass balance nicely against the brighter fruity malts to create great complexity. Beautifully constructed. The flavours have been tremendous at this strength but boy I really wish this can be bottled at 46%…

☆ [Recommended]

[40% • 2005 Bottled • Original Bottling • General Release • Replaced]

Whisky Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label Aged 15 Years

 

Style: Delicate and Complex

Nose:

Vanilla cream with brushes of Jasmine flower on the nose. A quick punch of spice lights up the tempo, followed by light-hearted cedar wood and grassy notes unveiling a solid malt at the heart. Drying smoke and white pepper lurking at the bottom of the aroma. A very busy nose.

Palate:

Suggestive malt then we are brought upon magnificent nectarine notes which triumph on the palate… A savoury moment as the beautiful, clean sweetness come through! Malt beaming brilliantly, and slowly the tone swoops down to a more tannic and bitter peach pit note. Oranges and lemons releasing subtle hints of citrus spice. Finishes up with a bit of honey drizzle and fragrant wood at the end.

Finish:

Honey vanilla yoghurt spreading over fresh apricots and dried fruits. Soft and delicate.

Thoughts:

On the surface it is a light and delicate dram, but when you pay attention you will realise there is a lot going on in it – Not sure if it is because of the nature of blended malts. It has a clean structure with multiple layers, and I love the transition from the signature Linkwood garden fruits notes to the classy Cragganmore maltiness at the core, very delightful and complex! I think there is a good reason why Green Label is adored by many connoisseurs.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/distillery]

[43% • 2016 • Blended Scotch Malt Whisky  • General Release]

-Esmond

Dram Review: The Macallan 18 Years Old (Youngest Whisky Distilled In 1986)

[43.0%・18 Years Old・Bottled in 2003・Official Bottling・General Release]

You could say I was born to a different era.  Gone were the days where Macallan exclusively aged their stocks in Jerez sherry casks, casks that were filled with new make made from golden promise barley.

In a country where a Macallan with an age statement is seen as a product of rarity, for a very long time I was unable to understand the mystique behind Macallan’s proud status as the sherry house. And so I began my look out for old releases and as luck would have it, I was able to source the above whisky earlier this year; the last vintage before Macallan changed the packaging amongst other things, arguably spelling the end of an era for many old Macallan fans as I later gathered.

This particular vintage was crafted in the last century, with the youngest whisky being distilled in 1986. To put that in perspective, the new make came off the stills at least five years before I was even born.

The populist narrative appears to be that people who seek out these whiskies are nothing but self-serving. To that, and I believe I speak for the 15 other people that attended a wee gathering some months back, I say absolutely.

I suppose it’s easier to perceive the pursuing of whiskies from by-gone era as an act of wankery, but I am afraid that’s rather far from the actual motivation.

To appreciate whisky or even to become a whisky nerd is to be driven by that curiosity to explore and in turn hopefully be rewarded with an experience of tasting a marvellous whisky. And for me personally, the whisky I am writing about is exactly that, and I am glad I was able to share this experience with my friends on that particular evening. For those who were not in attendance, I hope to share this joy with you through the limited words I jolted down on my little Smythson’s notebook.

Nose:

There is an immediate realisation of elegance from the nose, quality European oak driven aromas providing a sensation akin to falling on a bed of velvet. Traces of liquorice and prunes in the background to lift the acidity amidst the richness from a pot of freshly brewed afternoon tea. The smoke is ever so slightly, present alongside that burnt crust of a crème brûlée. Crushed dark cherries with deep mahogany intertwined with one another as a clean, fine dose of oloroso chicly conveys a much lighter tone. The mood is festive with ginger immersed in cinnamon cured syrup and a brush of liquor infused dark chocolate. The nose is simply, very inviting, with flavours working harmoniously together.

Palate & Finish:

An instant gratification forms as the first drop produces this lovely milk chocolate flavoured fudge note with the creaminess silkily unfolding. The gorgeous raisin note is initially kept at its modesty and only channels through the chocolate note. The mouthfeel is sublime as the liquid simply glides through with the optimal viscosity, leaving every tastebud impressed with the jammy note of bouquet fruits. The tannins provide a noticeable bitterness that draws the first act to a close before the oak influence opens the second act; the twists and turns amaze as the spices start to lightly sprinkle and the rather divine poached fruits re-entering the stage.

It’s incredibly moreish and comforting, with cocoa dust finely applied onto the teeth and pear sweetness surfacing from the back of the tongue. It gives a rather lengthy finish even though it’s perhaps a tad on the dry side.


Thoughts:

I was surprised at how well the sherry came out, considering the casks were only seasoned with Oloroso for two years on average, it really speaks for the quality of sherry back in the days.

43% seems to be the ideal strength this whisky ought to sit at, and it’s again proof that a whisky doesn’t need to be at cask strength to deliver a sublime performance; in fact it may well be the case that at a higher strength, the balance this dram keeps so well will simply just get distorted. Everything is finely tuned, it almost feels like some things were taken off the table to make for a better picture.

Now I don’t expect everyone to understand the significance of this, some people would prefer a glass of cocktail they fix up at the home bar and others would rather grab whatever is available at the shops these days. That’s perfectly fine, there are plenty of good offerings, we currently live in an age of plenty and there are certainly a lot of more affordable options out there if the goal is to have a good time.

Of course, by forgoing this perhaps financially ill-advised obsession it does mean you are going to miss out on attaining certain experiences, and sometimes there are marvellous ones that makes you wonder “what if?”, provided that you actually wonder about this sort of things. If you are someone that don’t particularly care for whiskies, that’s okay too; it just means you have just read a meaningless article and you are probably thinking the author is quite wanky. I apologise for that. I will not apologise however for wearing tweeds.

Has whisky become too serious? I’d argue that it has always been serious – at least for those who take it seriously, and they are rewarded accordingly.

The search of excellence continues..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

Nicholas

Whisky Review: Glenfarclas Special Relase 2007 Selected by and Bottled for “Whisky & Wisdom”

Style: Young and Complex

Nose:

Distinct ginger shreds tapping at the front with a big bite of chocolate mud cake. A few minutes the dram blossoms with tasty raisins and dried apricots aroma. Tea fruit cake undertone buoyed up by a pinch of clover and cinnamon spice.

Palate:

Rich dark plums and raisins load the palate with incredible juiciness! Chocolate fruit cake with healthy wood shavings dusted on top. Youthful character gives the malt a dazzling display. Spice charges full on, ginger and hints of clover and nutmeg to give a balancing touch. Figs and chocolate sauce jumps in and extend the length of the whisky all the way to finish.

Finish:

Spice sparkles, sweet chocolate tart finish with grapes and refined malt.

Thoughts:

A delicious and intriguing Glenfarclas. While many first-filled sherry casks are very overpowering, instead, this single cask offered a great complexity with different elements breathing neatly in the dram. Other than layers of juicy sherry notes – fresh oak, malt and spices have plenty to offer. Youthful with massive character, very enjoyable.

☆ [Recommended]

[60.5% • 2016 Bottled / 2007 Distilled • Aged 9 Years • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Original Bottling • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • Limited Release • 252 Bottles • Cask Number 1845 • *]

-Esmond

 

Dram Review: Black Gate Cask #016 Exclusively Bottled for The Oak Barrel

[66.0% • Original Bottling • Bottled in 2016 • No Age Statement  • Single Cask Release of 32 Bottles]

As a Black Gate fan, it gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to officially announce that Mr. Brian Hollingworth and Mrs. Genise Hollingworth are releasing the single cask #016, exclusively for The Oak Barrel Sydney Whisky Fair 2016.

Hailed from the pedigree of the iconic 520 release, the #016 is the sixth 20 litre first-filled sherry cask Brian filled. Distilled from Franklin barley Brian brought back from Hobart into the same spirit that went into BG #011 and aged for just over two years and two months, at 66% ABV this is the sauciest Black Gate ever bottled yet; to say this whisky is unlike everything else is quite possibly an understatement.

I couldn’t hide my excitement when Mr. Scott Fitzsimons of the Oak Barrel left me by myself with the sample bottle (I suppose there are 32 bottles left now), I was immediately drawn to the dark, thrilling colour and the viscosity of the liquid.


Nose:

The nose is full of sticky molasses and toffee treacle. There is a gum tree note that develops into premium aged tea leaves. A thick dose of Chinese herbal medicine boiling in the background with just a hint of dirty diesel that has grown synonymous with the distillery. Five spices, peppercorn and cloves, everything with this whisky feels big, like revving your modified V8 engine on a country dirt road. With time, the herbal note settles slightly, just enough to reveal a floral musk.

Palate & Finish:

Oh so syrupy on the palate, everything one might expect from seeing how saucy this whisky is. Incredibly rich in dark toffee syrup, it’s extraordinarily sweet. Eventually there  comes the old fashioned soaked orange peels with a creamy café au lait note that help diluting the thickness, lifting the heaviness gradually to reveal a lighter floral note as the molten brown sugar and golden honey notes slowly evaporate. 

Thoughts:

This bottling showcases just how massive a sherry bomb can be, the polar opposite of the 007 in many manners; it offers an excessive indulgence that challenges one’s understanding of how whiskies should behave. In some ways, this embodies the spirit of the Oak Barrel’s “why the hell not?” approach and that’s bloody awesome. I got to say, this is probably something I will not come across again, and I am glad they’ve decided to release it.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

Nicholas

The Black Gate #016 will be on taste at the Oak Barrel Sydney Whisky Fair 2016, 26 bottles will also be available for sale at the fair.

“Malternative” Review: Gelas Single Cask Double Matured Bas-Armagnac

I don’t exactly know who coined the term “malternative”, I presume it’s Mr. Serge Valentin of WhiskyFun. It appears to be a term that most people associate with rum; quite possibly “the next up and coming spirit” seeing how well the recent Caroni releases were received. However, as whiskies continue to surge in prices, it’s really anything that’s as enjoyable and doesn’t necessarily cost as much as whiskies.. which brings me to this Gelas Single Cask.

Armagnacs has long been known as the value pick by those who are in the know. However it does take a bit of getting used to if you are the typical cask strength whisky only guy. In that sense, this Gelas Bas-Armagnac would serve as a good entry point. It’s not often to see Armagnac bottled at cask strength and I must say, looking at the label, you would almost think this is a whisky – single cask, double matured, oloroso. 

It’s been said that venturing into other types of spirits will give you a boarder sense of what makes a good spirit; which in turns helps further your appreciation in malts.. I think this expression does just that.

Frangrant on the nose, that earthy musk somewhat unfairly associated with Armagnac (not all Armagnacs are made the same) is here. Sweet pitted red cherries coated with a brush of dark chocolate sauce with newly shaved french oak and a light tobacco note. Crushed black pepper and a light cheddar note.

The palate is where the oloroso really shines through, it’s less cask influenced like whiskies but it appears to be more orientated on the nature of oloroso itself. Oloroso is itself a light liquor that conveys a some what dry, cheesy note. Of course there is the acidic nature from the grapes sourced to craft the Armagnac new make, then it becomes more alluring with sweet muscat grapes well wrapped in a silly chocolate note. A sprinkle of black truffles atop to add to the mystique as well.

The higher alcohol content seems to prolong the delicate nature of Armagnac well onto the finish, that well cured woody note now lingers in the mouth cavity, with orange peel preserve surfacing which brings a sense of brightness to it.

I will unequivocally recommend this for those who seek for something different that still offers a familiarity of the spirit they know and love; this is a nip that really opened my eyes to the uncharted terrortory of Armagnac.

-Nicholas

Interview with Mr. Cameron Syme of Limeburners

It is no secret that I have a lot of love for Limeburners – musky, powerful and unique Australian whisky which makes the best night cap for me. I was delighted to chat with Mr. Cameron Syme briefly at a Limeburners masterclass ahead of the Whisky Fair 2016 which will be held on 27th August and 28th August. The masterclass featured a couple of new and exciting Limeburners releases: Rye of the Tiger and The Darkest Winter. Here’s the excerpt:

Cameron

The Director of Limeburners – Mr. Cameron Syme

Tell me about your passion for whisky, what have prompted you to start Limeburners?

Cameron: When my father told me we have some family connections to Scottish distillers, I thought it was great. I grew up on a farm, I ran around bare feet on a farm in the WA wheat belt, and I thought, we have got wheat and good water here, we make great beers and that goes all around the world. Remembering that at that stage Fosters was the main sponsor of Formula one, you can see it selling everywhere and it was successful. We also have great wine here too, so I thought why can’t we make great whisky in Australia?

And that started my 16 year journey of whisky research. In those days I didn’t have the money, technical skills and know-how to do it. I wanted to learn those skills and I certainly thought there was a niche in the Australian market – I thought nobody was making whisky here. So I spent a lot of time reading about it, and then when I was working for a multi-national company, whenever there was a deal in London, I would take extra day offs to pop up to Scotland and visit the distilleries. I have been to the Arran distillery with the original distiller over there. That is probably the first place I learnt distilling, then with Bill Lark after that.

 

When you first met Bill Lark and he asked you if you are crazy enough to start a distillery, what were you thinking?

Cameron: Back then I didn’t think I have to be crazy, because I love whisky and whisky making is my passion. So I wondered what he was talking about. Now I know it is the stress of running the distillery, they are the worst economic model that you can run, it is hard. The expenditure – not just the capital cost of setting them up, there is also the operating cost of keeping the distillery going. This is now our 11th year of distilling and making whisky, we should be able to break even for the first time this year. It has been a continuous amount of significant investment.

I think the other thing that Bill was referring to is in the early years, there are many people who will simply overlook Australian whisky. Some say “good whiskies can only come from Scotland and Australia can’t make good whisky”. Last week when I was doing something with the media and there was a Scottish woman there who said just that. So I slipped her a bit of my Limeburners Port Cask, and she was like, “Oh my word, this is fantastic!” – For people to realize we can make great whisky in Australia, it is a really nice thing for me.

 

So why did you pick Albany, the Great Southern region in West Australia as the distillery location?

Cameron: That is actually the result from my 16 years of research. I drove about ten thousand kilometers around the southwest of Western Australia, I have been to a lot of places and looked everywhere. Also, I found two reports commissioned by the WA Agriculture Department and written by Dr. Gladstone in 1968 and 1972, in which the department was reviewing the agriculture and produce potential in the state. His conclusion was the Great Southern region produced the very best food produce in the state – that was one big thing in my mind. Then I looked at other key requirements, a cooler climate, Albany can give me that. The average numbers of days above 41 degrees annually in Albany is 0.1, so one day a decade. It has a nice, cool climate ideal for whisky maturation.

The third important element is a hard water source. This is one point of difference between us and a lot of other Australian distilleries. Many use soft water for brewing, whereas all my research pointed me towards using hard water, our water source comes from limestone aquifers deep beneath our distillery. I think it is all those years of research helped us just to make sure every little step of the distillery is geared towards trying to make the very best whisky and spirits.

Distillery High ResInside Albany Distillery where the magic happens

Can you introduce us the Limeburners releases which will be featuring on Whisky Fair this month?

Cameron: We have the Tiger Snake, which has won the Champion Australian Blended Whiskey in World Whiskies Awards (WWA) this year. We can’t call it a bourbon, because that is a geographic indicator out of the US. It is a grain whisky made from corn, rye, wheat and barley. It is sour mash so we hold some of the pot ale back to adjust the pH of the next brew. It doesn’t have as much corn in the recipe as some of the American bourbons do, because personally, I don’t like a high corn content bourbon, some of them start to get predominate ethyl acetates, and some of the other flavours out of the corn which I’m really not keen on.

Tiger Snake Batch 9 with malted barleyWWA Champion Australian Blended Whiskey “Tiger Snake”

For the second tasting time ever, we have a new rye whisky, “Rye of the Tiger”, which is about 60% rye and 40% made up of malted barley and wheat. A rather unique rye whisky. This may not be ready for the Whisky Fair, as we don’t rush release, and I’m still not happy with the packaging.

Sidenote: I had a quick tasting of the Rye of the Tiger. Loved it. Beautiful sweet pear notes highlighting a delicious rye core, good oomph at 61% ABV, nice transition to a drier, spicy finish. Looking forward to it.

Then we have two cask strength versions, the sherry cask and the port cask, our bread and butter which many should be familiar with. I have also brought along the lightly peated Limeburners, in terms of style, it is more like a Lagavulin 16 rather than an Ardbeg 10 or a Laphroaig Quarter Cask – with a much less punchy level of phenols. It is designed to be an everyday, go-to whisky, for me it should be lighter with less punch-you-in-the-face peatiness going on in it.

Finally I brought along another whisky which is yet to be released. Limeburners “The Darkest Winter” is a pre-release and is a little bit of love coming back from Limeburners to the Oak Barrel. As an Australian distiller we appreciate the support that this intuition has given us. Darkest Winter is a bottling (also available at our cellar door) which will be released in time to feature on the Oak Barrel Whisky Fair. It is a single cask, cask strength whisky which the phenol level sits between our heavily peated and the lightly peated bottlings.

 

What are your plans with Limeburners? I know you have just opened a second distillery in Margaret River last year November.

Cameron: Margaret River is a magical place and it has a very large tourism industry there. They are planning an upgrade to accommodate international flights, I believe it will attract a lot of international tourist over time, and as a small business you need to drive some of the business via cellar door.

Other than Albany and Margaret River distillery, we are working on a third site to allow us to expand production to be able to compete globally. I can’t say too much about that at the moment, but it’s exciting.

The plan is Limeburners single malt whisky will be made in Albany, and some journalists have said the location of the Albany distillery reminds them of Islay; Tiger Snake will move to a different location; Gin, Vodkas, Rye whiskey and other specialty spirits will be made in our Margaret River Distillery. I feel we are very fortunate to potentially have the three distilleries in different iconic locations for us to base in Australia. With the three distilleries I think in 10 years’ time we are able to be compete on the international level, to actually make enough whiskies, which is the biggest problem for us at the moment – to get out there and keep up with the demand.

P1060335

At the door step of Margaret River Distillery 

Distillers and New StillTeam Limeburners and the Margaret River Still

How do you see the now and the future of Limeburners?

Cameron: Our goal is to try and make the best whisky in the world. It’s a lofty goal, but that’s it. We are always chasing and benchmarking ourselves against other Australian distilleries and international distilleries. For me, the Japanese whisky scene is phenomenal, they make magnificent whiskies and have great whisky production setups, so has Scotland, there is great skill and knowledge in Japan and hopefully we can build towards that caliber of whisky production.

I would love to see Limeburners and Tiger Snake actually take up a place in the world stage. At the moment I think when people talk about Australian whisky, they will still go to Tasmania, they will probably say Lark and Sullivans Cove. I would really like to see us up there internationally – as a recognised whisky powerhouse.

Lime Range 1.jpgThe Limeburners Single Malt Whisky line up

To a greater extent, how do you see development of the Aussie whisky industry?

Cameron: Limeburners was the fifth whisky distillery in the country, now I hear there are 58 distilleries operating and over a hundred including those in planning. I think a lot of those might get set up but I can’t imagine many of them will last 10 years because it is a hard business, and it’s also hard to be uncompromising on quality because of the cost. What I expect will happen: there will be a bunch of new distilleries come online, then there will be a rationalisation, unfortunately some of them will go broke because they cannot afford to hold the stocks of whisky that’s required to build a brand. Probably within two decades, we maybe end up with half a dozen or so distilleries, which are sustainable, enjoying a good reputation and have enough stock maturing. Globally, there are lots of new people coming online and drinking whiskies, the middle class especially – so I think the future is very bright.

 

Being the owner of a distillery running for over ten years in Australia, do you have any words to the young and budding Aussie distilleries? 

Cameron: I think I will ask the same question as Bill Lark asked me – are you crazy enough to do it? It is a tough game, but I also think it is the best job in the world if you have the passion. Also, be collaborative – Bill Lark, Patrick McGuire, Spike Dessert and I are the four original founders of the Australian Distillers Association. We all started that on a basis of collaboration, on sharing and helping each other out. Also, don’t cut corners and don’t compromise on quality, because when you get a bad product, everyone will know it. It is something that should be avoided at all cost.

 

Limeburners will be participating the Oak Barrel Whisky Fair 2016 on 27 – 28 August 2016. Photo credit to Great Southern Distilling Co. Also, a special thanks to Mr. Scott Fitzsimons and the Oak Barrel to make this interview possible.

-Esmond

Dram Review: Octomore Edition 07.3

[63.0%・5 Years Old・Distilled in 2010・Bottled in 2015・Official Bottling・Limited Release]

How does one appreciate an Octomore?

It really is a take it or leave it affair with by far the most peated whiskies in the world. I will admit that to me personally the Octomore has often proven to be a challenging series. However it’s obvious that beneath the assault to the senses, there’s something truly complex about most Octomore releases, I am often amazed at just the spectrum of flavours I can jolt down when I really spend some quality time with a nip..

Take this Octomore 7.3 for example, it’s a whisky with a clear direction – what if we make a whisky with barley sourced from the Octomore farm on Islay?

The new make was made from barley sourced from the Octomore farm on Islay peated to a measly 169 ppm. This 5 year old whisky is in many ways still really raw, but that’s exactly the point.

Nose:

Muddy and clay like on the nose, there is the fragrant new make note in the mix. The maritime note with a mist of sea salt coming through adding to the depth of the dram. A faint tinge of cotton candy that gets engulfed by that strong betadine note.

Palate & Finish:

The initial English toffee and burnt caramel notes swiftly evolve into something dirtier and grittier on the palate as the seaweed note grows more prominent. This is followed by a bitter maltiness interimxed with a chunk of peat, something that resembles a fresh distillation run coming off the stills. The new make like element makes up the bulk of the body with hints of vanilla and other sugary content sipping in. The burgeoning character of the spices is evident with a slight touch of lemon marmalade; that wee jammy note plays a minor supporting role as the peat continues to develop, releasing minty, grassy notes.

The finishing feels enormous and yet when broken down it appears to be rather sophisticated, a third act that stole the play. Peat bogs burning away as traces of raspberry lozenge, burnt sugar and toasted seeds surface. There is a brush of cocoa powder that conveys the bitterness as the newly milled, highly peated barley just sticks to the teeth.

Thoughts:

I brushed my teeth, went to bed and that peat is still there, I keep reminding myself that this is exactly what Bruichladdich aims for with this release.

I suppose there are obvious ways to make Octomore more conventional but that whisky would’t quite be an Octomore now would it?

Trust the process.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

Nicholas

 

Whisky Review: The Balvenie Double Wood Aged 12 Years

Tasting Notes:

The Balvenie Double Wood Aged 12 Years

Style: Sweet and Creamy

Nose: 

A creamy introduction with nice vanilla ice cream and peppermint sprinkles. The sweetness opens up with a good ten minutes and we have fat butterscotch tiramisu, an adorable flow of maple syrup dripping over. The tone dropped slightly towards the end which almost borders the coffee spectrum. Delicate, creamy nose.

Palate:

Honey and roasted macadamia notes on first lick. Peppermint butterscotch cake with flashes of dry red fruits in between. Dry, raw spices coming through with a much-evaporated trail of treacle. Buttery texture. Finishes with a chocolate cereal note.

Finish:

Light vanilla malt, scattered salted caramel pecans and a fair few drops of macadamia oil.

Thoughts:

Cannot help wondering what if this is a 43%, or better, a 46% whisky. Very enjoyable cereal, buttery and malty character from the distillery. So silky, rich and creamy. I must confess I have not tried too much of their releases at this stage, but this will end very soon as I am filling in the fan club application right now…

(40%/2014/OB/GR)

-Esmond