First Impression: Dobson’s Empire 8 Cask Strength Cask #81

[60.0%・NAS・Bottled Circa 2016・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release]

Nose:

After Eight chocolate with the inner filling of crème de menthe overflowing, swirled with a somewhat artificial injection of toffee.  In time there is a slight peppery presence, hint of rosemary along with some sultana.

Palate & Finish:

Highly acidic, the sheer sourness from the sour plums and the apricots is enough to send the brain instantly into shock..  oranges then orange peels as the delivery takes a bitter turn.

Hint of dark mocha as thankfully the acidity subsides.

Thoughts:

This “whiskey”, I am afraid, is a spectacular disaster..

Perhaps the fact that this was bottled in itself reflects the bigger issue:  either the folks there don’t really care about what they put out or they honestly think the cask is worthy of being bottled as a prized release.  I don’t know which is more worrying but either way this is the kind of releases that disreputes a distillery, and to some extent, an industry as a whole..

The bottom line is this, the Australian whisky distilling industry is still at a fragile stage despite recent successes.  Some of the producers have caught the world’s attention but overall Australian whiskies have yet to win the world’s confidence.  The industry really could use the best efforts from all its players.

We here at WhiskNick would like to see local producers do well so here’s to hoping the guys at Dobson’s will figure something out.

-Nicholas