Dram Review: Black Gate 520s

[67.0%・2 Years Old・Distilled in 2013・Bottled in 2015・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 159 Bottles]


Big musky aromas from the “Australian Sherry casks”, a dusty note that is a key signature note of early Black Gate releases.  Dried flowers and poached fruits with toffee treacle and the quintessentially Australian diesel note.

Palate & Finish:

A full on treat, dark and syrupy with the brightness of sticky Christmas fruits shining through.  Seasoned ginger and cranberries delivered in an astonishingly smooth manner for a whisky bottled at 67%.  Hint of peanut butter to go with a wee amount of earthiness.

Butterscotch fudge and dark chocolate blocks in a satisfying finish.


I wrote the following passage a couple of years ago about the 520s:

“.. I do honestly believe I can pinpoint the Oak Barrel launch of 520 as the point in time when Black Gate became more than just an amateur distillery in the general public’s eyes.  Unlike a lot of their Aussie counterparts, the 520 is a drop that yields a complete delivery, a whisky that actually finishes rather than just falling off a cliff after the mid-palate.  The 520 is a true winner in my eyes and I often refer it as the expression that propelled Black Gate to where they are now.”

Still sounds about right to me.