Back in May Maverick Drinks announced the launch of Darkness! – ‘a range of exceedingly dark single malt and single grain whiskies with an enormously punchy, unashamedly brazen character’.
I take a look at five of them below, but before I do, here’s a little more info…
These so-called “sherry monsters” are sourced from Scotland’s top distilleries and are gloriously dark in colour thanks to the use of small, specially crafted sherry casks for finishing. The range is the first of its kind.
Talisker 5yo – Douglas of Drumlanrig – Best of the West Festival bottling – 59.9% ABV
Info: Distilled in December 2008 and bottled in April 2014. Single cask, 298 bottles, refill hogshead cask 10592 from the folks at Hunter Laing.
Colour: Very light to clear, hints of yellow.
Nose: Peppery strong nose with peaty smoke wafting around like a gale on a beach on Skye (or Islay). It’s maybe held back a little by the high ABV. Sweet lush young barley.
Posted in Review, Whisky
Old St. Andrews Tweet Tasting: A review of the range
Recently I took part in an online Twitter Tasting to have a look at four of the Old St. Andrews range of whiskies. You may have seen these in tourist shops, they’re in the shape of golf balls and mini barrels… so if you like golf and whisky then they might be the xmas stocking filler pressie for you?!
Let’s take a look at the range…
Bath Ales has the spirit for success
West Country brewer Bath Ales has just unveiled an exciting new addition to its Sulis Collection – Gem Aqua Vitae.
A limited edition English Single Malt Spirit, the new product offers something truly unique as the producer continues to push boundaries and challenge customers’ expectations.
Gem Aqua Vitae is made using the finest floor malted barley using expert brewing techniques. At 42% VOL it is the strongest product that Bath Ales has ever sold.
Distilled in collaboration with The English Spirit Distillery, the spirit is made using wort – the product of the ‘mashing’ process that starts every brew.
Posted in News, PR, Whisky
Aberfeldy 18 Year Old – 40% ABV
Info: Sadly it’s Travel Retail (i.e. airports only). This is the updated packaging for the brand; I like it!
Colour: Golden Caramelly Amber.
Nose: Sweet, aged, medium oaks and puffs of smoke with autumnal fruits and nuts. Very relaxed.
Palate: Instantly rewarding with honeyed sweetness, gentle malt and smooth oak. A touch thin in terms of oils and mouthfeel.
Finish: Fresh going to creamy sweet. Quite long.
Thoughts: It may not blow your socks off with complexity (that’s fine by me!), but I could drink a bottle of this very happily, and may well look one out if I visit an airport! However it would be better with a thicker mouthfeel, i.e. non-chill filtered with a higher ABV. Compared with the 21 year old, I would pick this one as it’s got an easier finish without the tannin tartness, it’s easier to drink and enjoy.
Thanks to my friend Dave over at WhiskyDiscovery for the sample.
Aberfeldy 21 Year Old – 40% ABV
Info: This is the slightly older bottling; since I got this there has been a packaging update, but the liquid reviewed is the same stuff. This bottling was heralded as the Best Mainland Single Malt at the World Whisky Awards 2007.
Colour: A medium dark amber, kind of caramelly.
Nose: A slightly heathery floral note, honied (honeycombe), wisps of smoke, slight orange marmalade tones.
Palate: Smooth, a little thin, easy going. The puffs of smoke are still there among the honey, vanilla and slightly spiced caramelised oranges.
The World’s First Educational Range of Whisky Just Got Bigger
So, last month saw Maverick Drinks update their Reference Series with 9 of the latest additions. There’s a quick review of four of those releases below, but first let’s look at the official PR blurb…
Maverick Drinks is proud to announce the release of 9 additions to the world’s first educational whisky range, Reference Series. The range of blended malt whiskies was first launched earlier this year, and showcases the effects of various production techniques and ingredients used to make Scotch.