Nomad Outland Whisky – 41.3% ABV
Info: A collaboration between Gonzalez Byass and renowned whisky distiller Richard Paterson. 26 malts and six grains are expertly blended together in Scotland and then transported to the Gonzalez Byass Bodega in Jerez, where it is finished in Perdro Ximinez sherry barrels.
Colour: Rich amber, golden rust.
Nose: Packed with raisin sherry fruits, really thick and dark fruits, which intertwine interestingly with bucketfulls of vanilla and malty tones once the air has had a moment to get to it, citrus fruits too.
Palate: The palate is really sweet and easy, again lots of vanilla and raisins, like a great rum and raisin fudge. Nice and thick feeling.
Finish: The finish shows some spices at first which makes it interesting before the warm winter stewed fruits come forward to leave a nice warming tone on your chest. There’s a nice sappy oakiness to back everything up.
Kilchoman Original Cask Strength – 59.2% ABV
Info: The Original Cask Strength release is a vatting of 35 ex-bourbon barrels filled in 2009 with 9.200 bottles filled in 2014 at 59.2% ABV.
Colour: Very light straw.
Nose: Surprisingly calm, it’s strong with an alcoholic nip of course, but there’s lashings of butter, citrus notes, fruits barley and gentle puffs of salty smoke. A dash of water would probably open this up to release more flavours.
SIA Blended Scotch Whisky – 43% ABV
Info: Crowdfunded blend/brand SIA was ‘conceptualised’ by Carin Luna-Ostaseski and put together by Douglas Laing & Co., Ltd. especially for the US market. It contains 40% Malt and 60% Grain. The regional breakdown is 50% Speyside, 40% Highlands and 10% Islay.
Colour: Honest pale gold, fully ripened straw.
Nose: Fairly upfront and spicy on the nose, there’s a depth of clotted cream fudge and toffee with puffs of smoke via the smallest hint of peat. After a while a grassy / hay note comes through.
Auchentoshan Single Malt Scotch Whisky Launches the Longest Ever Wine Finish in the Industry
For my review please see below, but first, let’s catch up with some of the PR info that relates to this release…
This 25 year old limited release of 1,800 bottles brings together the best of American oak and French oak. It was initially matured for eight years in North American bourbon casks followed by an exceptionally long finish of 17 years in first fill wine barriques from Bordeaux, making it the longest Auchentoshan has ever been finished, and the longest wine finish in the industry.
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.
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.
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.