Dram Review: Overeem Sherry Cask Matured OHD-090

[43.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Cask No. OHD-090・Single Cask Release of 181 Bottles]

Nose:

Stewed fruits and anise with an earthy gun powder undertone.  The intensity of the “Sherry” influence is otherwise subdued.  In time it turns quite herbal, with some clay and oak notes sipping out in a tame manner.

Palate & Finish:

The palate is much more expressive than the nose but still it’s on the moderate side.  Strawberry jam, cinnamon dust, raisins laced with a balsamic vinegar reduction combining seamlessly.   There is a slight yeasty presence but overall a steady delivery with just a fine weave of spices.

Following the dispersing of spices, the finishing is left with a thin layer of buttery caramel sauce and blackcurrant jam and is mildly drying.

Thoughts:

I would easily have picked this as a simplistic vatted Aussie rather than a Tasmanian single cask if I were offer this blind.  There’s something approachable about the new batches of Overeem (this one included) despite being single cask offerings..

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Overeem Red Wine Cask Matured OHD-100

[43.0%・5 Years Old・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Cask No. OHD-0100・Single Cask Release of 147 Bottles]

Nose:

Dark berries and stewed fruits drenched in chocolate sauce, the oak draws out the typical creaminess one would expect to find in a red wine cask.  The wee malt influence includes a hint of burnt toast, with some cured lemons and sugary strawberry jam in the background, young and on the unpolished side but quite pleasing.

Palate & Finish:

The palate is led by strawberry chewing gum and syrup from the maraschino cherry jar, with a slight burst of acidity.  The red wine influence is present but fizzles out somewhat prematurely as the creaminess swiftly gives way to the oak bitterness that has been sprinkled with light cinnamon spices giving it a bit of a bite.

Hints of liquorice, menthol, strawberry cream and cola in the finish.

Thoughts:

This feels somewhat like a prototype rather than a special cask release.  It’s experimental in nature, Mr. Overeem and Co. probably did not envision that this release would generate as much social media hype as it did.

There are some details that could certainly use some fine-tuning, but what this shows is that there is absolutely no reason why Overeem shouldn’t do more red wine casks in the future and indeed in that sense this is a milestone release I suppose.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Overeem Port Cask Matured OHD-115

[43.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Cask No. OHD-115・Single Cask Release of 169 Bottles]

Nose:

Hazy strawberry and raspberry fragrances laying path for a lemony and floral affair.  The spirit is slightly yeasty but in time it unfolds into something quite buttery with a likeable cereal base.

Palate & Finish:

An agreeable front palate of light strawberries being paired with vanilla cream, cloudy apple juice with a hint of lemon marmalade before fizzling out, leaving behind traces of burnt toast and bitter wood chips.

Thoughts:

This is a mild and pleasant drop, nothing too complex but certainly not a bad dram to introduce friends to the easy going Tasmanian brand.  The tail perhaps needs some work but I thought the guys nailed the vibe.

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: Silver Seal “Whisky is Nature” Series Mortlach 1989 25 Years Old

Style: Fruity and Musky

Nose:
Lively fragrant duet playing on the nose – Immensely sweet, creamy and musky on one side and the drier, dusty and grassy tone on the other side performing simultaneously. You hear solo movements from each side at times, but they combine together from time to time as well. Summer berries with slight tartness, cream tart and dry chilli spice with herbal overtone.

Palate:
Bountiful fruits lunging onto the palate. More summer berries, orchard fruits, peachy stone fruits decorating on a citrus lemon custard cake. Subtle, but heavy meatiness of Mortlach softens overtime, sink downwards to form a subtle liquorice roots undertone. Sweet herbal touches lit up by chilli spices. Creamy texture, bitter oak, walnuts cut in and dominate. Ends with a mineral flick.

Finish:
Red liquorice, dry spices tattering. Serving a light breakfast of cornflakes, apple and peach yoghurt.

Thoughts: [06/09/2017]
This whisky did not leave the best impression on me at first as I (maybe some of you will) thought it was too bitter to my liking. But it performs much better on a nuanced level. Complex fruitiness nicely supported by a refined, meaty core. A beautiful, tamed kitty this is.

Thoughts II: [Updated on 26/12/2017]
I have posted this review before and I have revisited it today before putting this up. After a couple of drams, I am starting to see what a beautiful and refined Mortlach this is, alas, still a bit bitter for me. Bright, fruity notes enhanced by the polished meaty core, while subtle elements finding ample spaces to shine. Very nice. Close to 2 stars…

☆ [Recommended]

[52.4% • 2015 Bottled • 1989 Distilled • Independent Bottling • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • 225 of 480 Bottles • Cask Number 3911 • *+]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Silver Seal “Whisky is Nature” Series Highland Park 1985 30 Years Old

Style: Sweet and Dignified

Nose:
Chilli seeds stepping in, followed by elegant pear drops and lemon orange citrus laminated with a sheet of cool spearmint. Parma violet, hints of French Lavender overriding dry minerals and soft coastal signatures. A thin slice of caramel fudge, delicate barley tail to finish. Nice.

Palate:
Pear and citrus candies with floral honey beautifully drizzled on top. Tropical fruits, red chilies and a pinch of dry spice – cinnamon and black pepper all simmering together. Purple flower swaying softly, progress to creamy vanilla milk. Barley, soft maritime notes, peat smoke and more vanilla cream composing a wonderful underlayer. Delicious.

Finish:
Gentle walnut brushing on shining stewed tropical fruits. Peat smoke whispering, finish with one final kiss of peppermint.

Thoughts:
One of the most complete Highland Park I get to enjoy. It encompasses all the elements you would expect from a great Highland Park. Delicious, achieving a perfect balance between fruity and floral sweetness, good oily texture, well-matured waxy notes giving an exquisite touch on the complex layering and undertones, all magically unfolded. Majestic. Close to 3 stars…

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[51% • Independent Bottling • 1985 Distilled • 2015 Bottled • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Chill Filtered • Non Coloured • Cask Number: 372 • 35 of 216 Bottles • **+]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Silver Seal “Whisky is Nature” Series Longmorn 1984 30 Years Old

Style: Light and Fruity

Nose:

Incredibly soft, winey aroma on the nose. Lovely, subtle peaches with a light mineral flick, sweetness radiating so softly. Simmering peppermint spice gives a fizz just like an apple cider. Digging deeper there are more acidic tone awaits. Is this really a sherry cask? Peculiar, but a nice nose.

Palate:

Peach tart dusted with icing sugar on the rim of spearmint. Delicate, exceptionally clean and resounding stone fruits and garden berries tailing with wood shavings sprinkled with white pepper. Creamy vanilla, the malt is utterly cleansed, polished and reverted back to barley form for an instance. Milk chocolate seeps out from the oak, while a deep, rather dry mineral touch lies beneath.

Finish:

More purified malt remains, whispers from peaches and oak, a tantalizing finish.

Thoughts:

This is an eye-opener dram for me. Whiskies these days doesn’t taste like… this. It is not very complex and a bit passive at times, but it unfolds so slowly that you are lured towards it. Before you realise you have already fallen for its spell-binding charm; the delivery is exceptionally clean and aromatic. It takes a lot of time, but totally worth it when you see through to the end – Longmorn in one of its finest form.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[56.3% • 2015 • Independent Bottling • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • 75 of 420 Bottles • Limited Edition • Cask Number: 3212 • Matured in ex-Sherry Cask • **-]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Silver Seal “Whisky Is Nature” Series Glenburgie 25 Years Old

[57.1%・25 Years Old・Distilled in 1989・Bottled in 2015・Silver Seal Bottling・Cask No. 16310・Single Cask Release of 204 Bottles]

Nose:

Chocolate mud cake with something herbal lurking underneath, a gentle grassy note followed by vanilla essence. There are some figs and cherries in the background that are coated with tobacco and leather, showing some age as a slight spirit-y sharpness showing its strength. Overtime it turns malty and yeasty, like walking from the mill to the next room that holds the washbacks.

Palate & Finish:

Bright prunes with a head-turning acidity that stretches and draws out the brightness of the cask-led fruits; apple vinegar, fig jam and maraschino cherries. A generous splash of cinnamon spices is followed by polite doses and oak and milk chocolate taking on a subservient role through a waxy undertone.

A bit drying in the finish with hints of earthiness and spearmint coming through, gentle brush of the dram’s inherent juiciness complimenting the substantial maltiness.

Thoughts:

This Glenburgie is quite a dramatic whisky, painting scenes that demand for attention.

The plot however may not feel entirely coherent, there are a few aspects that feel a bit too excessive.

But even then it’s undoubtedly a very solid dram and quite delicious indeed.

[Recommended]

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: Silver Seal “Whisky is Nature” Series Benrinnes 1984 30 Years Old

Style: Sweet and Dry

Nose:

Soothing barley fragrance with a dry husky twist, a bit shy, dry vanilla cereal painting on beautiful green pears, some white peaches and dried apricots. As the aroma slowly opens up, we have French toast and honey mead brimming tenderly.

Palate:

More green pears sweetness nicely covered by a coating of dry cereal grains. A floral touch, timber shed intertwined with malt syrup and beeswax. Off to dry land, plenty of dry spices, white pepper, white chalks, saw dust, a hint of green malt/pine, or rather, dark chocolate oak in clever disguise. Coconut shreds sprinkling down, and finally stewed fruits wake up from slumber. Golden malt cake, barley tail. Convoluted progression but enjoyable palate.

Finish:

A curious beam of spearmint shooting in, another quick floral touch, fragrant white fruits gleaming positively. Gorgeous finish.

Thoughts:

A simultaneous display of both sweetness and dryness in this whisky. Brilliant orchard fruits radiating at the front row, and then in a blink of an eye, it goes bone-dry. This is something I am not very used to as I do have a bit of sweet tooth… Many elements at play, there are so much going on in this dignified yet vibrant, tricky dance which I find it difficult to capture all of them even after a few drams for more than an hour. Another lovely, advanced dram which surely needs plenty of time to discover and be inspired. Close to 2 stars.

☆ [Recommended]

[56.5% • 2015 Bottled • 1984 Distilled • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Chill Filtered • Non Coloured • Cask Number: 2268 • 288 of 480 Bottles • *+]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Silver Seal “Whisky is Nature” Series Tobermory 1994 20 Years Old

Style: Light and Complex

Nose:
Begins with a brilliant mix of fragrant fruits and refreshing forest pine. Down a level, wow, interesting… A few dimensions of subtleties on display here, a dash of brine, white pepper, gunpowder, timber and faint meaty all framed within the spices. Unique, complex undertones weaving together. Maybe not everyone will dig this, but intriguing nose to say the least.

Palate:
Refined and elegant delivery of simmering fruits. Liquorice, vanilla cream and pineapple cake dusted with sea salt flakes and a touch of floral butter. Dryness exposed as the sweetness wanes, the salt lingers, minimal peat (?), while faint meaty, brassy malt rises and meets a fair share of woodiness. Then you realized the green peppermint leaves overtone has been there all along, wrapping around the whole expression. Pretty nice.

Finish:
Buzzing oak, gristly barley sugar and fruits. Red liquorice shining through till the end.

Thoughts:
A rather unique expression for me. Not sure if it is a crowd pleaser but I quite like it. There are plenty to chew on after the core sweetness – refreshing fruits is playing on a light, high-flying tune, leaving spaces for the deeper elements – malt, meat, maritime and oak to rise onto a more visible level. Complex and showing plenty of Tobermory character. Challenging but charming.

☆ [Recommended]

[53.8% • 2015 Bottled • 1994 Distilled • Independent Bottling • Single Cask • Cask Strength • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • 14 of 228 Bottles • Cask Number: 145 • *]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Silver Seal “Whisky Is Nature” Series Dalmore 1990 25 Years Old

[55.5%・25 Years Old・Distilled in 1990・Bottled in 2015・Silver Seal Bottling・Cask No. 66・Single Cask Release of 228 Bottles]

Nose:

It’s hard to pin down the dram’s main theme from the nose.  It shows glimpses of white fruits and wee citrus, but at the same time the oiliness of the spirit is on full display as well. Also in the mix are popcorn flavoured jelly belly and a malted vanilla creaminess that is backed by plenty of char. Meanwhile the oak is quietly assertive as the barley lays the foundation together with a white floral note.

In time, the oiliness becomes more pronounced, bay leaves and meat broth forming some base notes.

Palate & Finish:

Some pretty citrus up front disguising the spirit hotness; limes, stone fruits and green apples lined with sharp spices before the cask allows for the velvety texture of hazelnut cream to slightly even out the assault.

The fruitiness led by the sweet white grapes and a slight hint of coconuts eventually blossoms beyond the grasp of the oily spirit into something more expressive before gradually being dried off by the oak and the maltiness together with a savoury curry flavour composed of bay leaves and toasted flannel seeds.

The savoury notes transition into chocolate cereal with a wee menthol top note and a floral base note. The dram finishes gracefully with some waxiness and some white fruits.

Thoughts:

This one is rather hard to piece together, complicated rather than complex. Still, it’s very much a dram for fans of big malty spirit, every sip reveals something different and flavours come and go upon every sip.

That being said, the intensity of the spices is ultimately a bit distorting for me.

Nicholas