Dram Review: Tasmanian Independent Bottlers Redlands Distillery Redlands Release 2 (Cask No. TIB RD 009)

[49.6%・NAS・Bottled in 2018・Tasmanian Independent Bottlers Bottling・Cask No. TIB RD 009・Single Cask Release]

Nose:

Toffee brittle and dried raisins swirled in a creamy affair, dried walnuts with a familiar musk much like a junior version of early Heartwood Port casks.

Palate & Finish:

Smooth flow of succulent late harvest grapes and caramel tablets, dried raisins and nuts with a late hit of cinnamon spices along with a walnut bitterness.

Cinnamon dust and menthol, a subtle tail of burnt toasts.

Thoughts:

A fair dram that exhibits some traits of early Heartwood Port casks that were so beloved by many.

As it stands it is my view that Mr Tim Duckett & team, through releasing a handful of casks a year, have done a better job of promoting the distillery than the corporate equity interest holder and that’s saying something.

Also, I’m a fan of all the necessary information being displayed on the front of the label.

Many Australian distilleries are trying to save a few bucks having cask information hand-written or printed on side labels or cards, it’s a disservice to the individual expressions that many makers assign premiums on..

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Tasmanian Independent Bottlers Old Kempton Distillery Redlands Release 5 (Cask No. TIB RD 0014)

[48.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2018・Tasmanian Independent Bottlers Bottling・Cask No. TIB RD 0014・Single Cask Release]

Nose:

Quite an intriguing sense of milk chocolate, thick caramel and vanilla swirl, a nice richness of crème brûlée and milk tea covering the easy grassy spirit semi-hidden.

Palate & Finish:

Instant richness of deep toffee and walnut pralines conveyed, the dried Muscat grapes bring about a slight hint of metallic zing as a brush of exotic spices and muscovado sugar leads to more caramelised sweetness.

The finish eases off with maple seasoned granola.

Thoughts:

Quite a lovely Muscat cask from Mr. Duckett, his 5th Redlands/Old Kempton release is his best one yet, the rich Muscat influence works well here giving a layer of depth to the otherwise simplistic and easy-going spirit, making the whisky seem more matured.

Such is a whisky maker’s trick that cannot be overlooked, understanding the spirit, hypothesising a cask that will go well with the spirit and shaping your signature style along the way.. this one is close to scoring a star.

✓ [Recommended if you like the distillery/style]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Spirit Thief First Release American Oak Shiraz Cask “Arthur Jennings”

[48.3%・NAS・Bottled in 2018・Spirit Thief Bottling・Limited Release of 110 Bottles]

Nose:

Prunes and caramel, the initial gooey sweetness is followed by a diluted jammy presence with some sandalwood and roasted barley.

Palate & Finish:

Sweet, inoffensive delivery of diluted prune preserve, green seedless grapes brushed with light toffee.

Hint of menthol in the finish as the toffee softens out.

Thoughts:

Like its sister release, this was bottled at 48.3%. It seems like a reasonable bottling strength for a young Aussie whisky but the Redlands spirit is so timid that at this arbitrary ABV things feel a bit thin.

I think I would actually like to see this cask at a higher strength so that it packs some Australian flair, right now it’s unfortunately too inoffensive to leave a proper impression.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Spirit Thief First Release French Oak Tempranillo Cask “Hector Musselwhite”

[48.3%・NAS・Bottled in 2018・Spirit Thief Bottling・Limited Release of 110 Bottles]

Nose:

Caramelised popcorn, slightly lemony with some lime zest. Pinch of chilli with the malty spirit moving past..

Palate & Finish:

Quite syrupy sweet, flowing with some raisin sweetness followed by a plateau of honey.

Soft finish..

Thoughts:

A first release (NAS) from one of the latest independent bottlers in Australia that focuses on story building, the narrative here seems to be that the brand is paying tribute to some Tasmanian convicts from the early 20th century in a bid to make the whisky more appealing.

Anyway, unlike what the label art might suggest, the dram is actually rather timid and inoffensive..

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Tasmanian Independent Bottlers Old Kempton Distillery Redlands Release 4 (Cask No. TIB RD 0013)

[47.7%・NAS・Bottled in 2018・Tasmanian Independent Bottlers Bottling・Cask No. TIB RD 0013・Single Cask Release]

Nose:

Remarkably malty as some rather young spirit at play. Creamed honey sprinkled with nibs of pepper, ginger and wild flowers.

Palate & Finish:

Mild sweetness as the spirit begins to reveal itself, pear sweets and citrus easing in.

A light finish that is mildly grassy.

Thoughts:

The dram feels like a good introduction to the distillery, which has been around long enough so much so that it has already gone through a name change but perhaps still remain somewhat anonymous to the casual Australian whisky fans because so few of the bottles have ever made it outside of Tasmania.

Redlands or Old Kempton is one of the main featured distilleries for Tasmanian Independent Bottlers and TIB certainly has done well making the distillery more accessible, the fourth TIB cask is not at all challenging but when you are still trying to draw some attention on the distillery this is not a bad cask to bottle.

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Tasmanian Independent Bottlers Redlands Distillery Redlands Release 1 (Cask No. TIB RD 001)

[48.4%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Tasmanian Independent Bottlers Bottling・Cask No. TIB RD 001・Single Cask Release]

Nose:

Quite young and vibrant; green grapes, wet grass, fresh lime intermix with roasted barley and almond butter.

Palate & Finish:

Condensed dry muscat grape sweetness, nothing too outrageous and actually quite gentle. Thin brushes of red wine tannins and red grape skin bitterness combining well with a rounded dose of barley influenced honey sweetness. Light, swift burn of spices with some caramelised banana coming through.

The finishing is a bit malty and nutty, with generous doses of minerals and burnt toast.

Thoughts:

Easy to drink and technically sound, it’s certainly more approachable for people who aren’t used to Australian whiskies.

The muscat cask influence is present but didn’t alter the spirit too much. Will this be a new trend as traditional Australian Port and Sherry barrels run short? Quite possibly the case.

In any case if this is the direction Mr. Tim Duckett is going for then I for one am on board.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

Nicholas

Dram Review: Redlands Small Cask Matured RD018

[46.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2016・Official Bottling・Single Cask Release]

Nose:

The nose is tight initially, vaguely floral with traces of ink used in Chinese calligraphy.  It’s a touch yeasty and earthy.  The Port influence only arrives much later on.

Palate & Finish:

The palate is typically Port influenced.  Dark fruits with a pleasant grassy spirit note coming through before becoming a jammy affair.

A light mellow finish but in a somewhat surprising twist it stretches on, wee citrus and faint notes of toffee treacle and dark hot chocolate.

Thoughts:

It’s a single cask but it’s in fact an easy-to-drink Aussie with a fair palate.  The subtle finish exceeds the standard swiftness young Aussie whiskies tend to exhibit and in fact it fares longer than the palate.

The decision to bottle at 46% perhaps was driven by supply but I am quite glad that the end product achieves a decent balance as a result.

I like this as some sort of a general release and I hope they can keep up with the consistency but who knows how all the small casks will turn out..

-Nicholas