Dram Review: Nantou Omar Cask Strength (Lychee Liqueur Barrel Finished)

[56.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

A faint grassiness draws out notes of green lychees and heat rub.  Beyond that it’s rather new make-y with quite a bare showing of barley husk.

Palate & Finish:

Neutral spirit sweetened by sparse hints of lychee and ginger flower.  Juniper berries, green mangos and green papaya salad with some milk chocolate coming out.

Dry and spicy finish.

Thoughts:

Hmm, I think with a longer finishing stint, the lychee liqueur barrel may yet show us something entirely different. Right now it appears to be an unfinished product.

At the moment, the distillery’s exercise of putting young whiskies through curious finishing regimes seemingly serves only to copy and paste some flavours from said odd casks (in this case a lychee liqueur barrel) without actually integrating the influence to enhance the existing flavours of the base whiskies.

One to circle back in a few years’ time perhaps..

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Nantou Omar Cask Strength (Plum Liqueur Barrel Finished)

[54.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Definitely quite young with the new make characters still apparent, carrying an oily spirit style.  The plum liqueur influence has a rather low tone, which is unexpected and a bit lacklustre.  A faint ester-y fragrance of over-ripen fruits and rose petals.  Interestingly enough the lower tone does promote the naturally sweet aromas of barley.

Palate & Finish:

The plums give off a quirky vinegary acidity which is followed by a noticeably young malty presence.  Some interesting umeshu notes in the background providing wee sweetness with a cheap-liqueur-esque alcohol burn before turning somewhat bitter with the introduction of nutmeg.

The finishing subduedly carries on the theme.

Thoughts:

An outside-the-box attempt to make something interesting, though it does feel like the execution was a bit muddled..

Growing pains of a young distillery I suppose..

-Nicholas