Whisky Review: John Walker & Sons Private Collection 2017 Edition “Mastery of Oak”

Style: Honey oak and Spicy

Nose:
Sweet toffee entrance while spices trailing closely. A bit of grain influence slips through which can be felt pretty forefront. Vanilla, clean pear drops at the core while cereal notes and dry spices plunge in from the back – Nutmeg, cloves and vanilla beans. Subtle fruity honey radiating fragrance with a bit of oiliness in the aroma.

Palate:
Focus fire of sweet honey oak on the first touch. Generous marzipan, vanilla and malt biscuits follows as a layer of wood dryness hits an early timing. Subdued grains at work, spices slightly flaring up. Pear candy coat melting and dripping slowly. Tropical fruit blots disperses as dry spices giving a steady push to levitate the flavours. Massive oak influences dominating on multiple levels, timber shavings forming a powerful wood-driven tone. Finishes with another touch of cereal notes.

Finish:
Subtle honey stew fruits rises from the dry woodland. More pears, probably an ethereal touch of green peach. Rounded off with smooth vanilla cream.

Thoughts:
Quite an intriguing whisky we have here. There is a lot of (American) oak alright, while spices has punched above the weight and at times it is almost a good bourbon in a terrible disguise. Plenty of youthfulness, a bit feisty and loud. Yet for more than a few instances I am certain there is much more to that. The extra depth of sweetness, such smooth texture, solid oak, all pointing towards a lot of maturity. From my experience a wood-driven dram usually takes more time to unwind and maybe it is a dram you have to spend hours with it. To me somehow this whisky feels like an adult trapped inside a child’s body, or maybe it is totally something else… But it is definitely a good fun that you can only get from an interesting blend.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/distillery]

[46.8% • 2017 • Blended Scotch Whisky • No Age Statement • Non Chill Filtered • Limited Edition • 5588 Bottles]

-Esmond