Chapter 7™ is an independent bottler from Switzerland that you may have seen around on the various social medias, good looking bottles in good looking boxes!… But is the whisky also good?! I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent a few samples from Chapter 7™ to find the answer, so without any further ado, let’s take a look at the four samples I’ve been sent…
Info: 1996. Cask #3609 (BR). 48.8% abv
Nose: Cask oaks, acetate, slightly minerally with some ripe fruits (banana). Smells stronger than 48%.
Palate: Thick on the palate, similar to the nose in many ways, fruity, minerally and fairly strong. Spices build slowly.
Finish: The palate carries on into the finish which lasts quite a long time. A tart sweetness which eventually leads into a barley tone.
Thoughts: This comes over as stronger and younger than it is, it’s fairly full on. A drop of water works a treat to let more sweetness out which evens it up and makes it easier / nicer.
Info: 1995. Cask #20159 (Hhd). 56.1% abv
Colour: Beautify light for a 19yo, pale straw.
Nose: A relaxing old speyside nose, full of rich oaks, and barley sweetness.
Palate: Rich and thick, sweet and gentle with and old oak note backing things up.
Finish: Gently sweet and warming all the way down with a lovely long lasting finish.
Water: Releases a few tannin led sour notes on the nose and also on the palate. It’s not bad, but I actually prefer it without the addition of water, unusual for me.
Thoughts: I may not have used too many superlatives on this review, I’m far too busy just simply enjoying it, what a thoroughly fantastic dram this one is, yummy stuff. You really wouldn’t know it was as high an abv as it is, it’s just fine without water, it comes over a few years older than it is (a good thing).
Info: 1995. Cask #166300. 59.2% abv. Bourbon hogshead.
Colour: Clear bright light gold.
Nose: It’s a little dry with an oaky, slightly nutty nose.
Palate: Fairly sweet and oily and as with the nose it’s slightly dry with nuts and oak. Easy at this high strength.
Finish: Slow, quite long and warming.
Water: Really benefits from a drop, it opens up sweetness and makes it a relaxed buttery, easy drinking dram.
Thoughts: Not a distillery I know very well, but this seems a good representation, worth a drop of water to open it up. The more time I spend with it the more I’m enjoying it.
Info: 1997. Cask #72627. 52.3% abv. Bourbon hogshead.
Colour: A fun colour here, after 17 years it’s really quite clear… it could be 4 years old!
Nose: So fruity it reminds me of a 3rd fill sherry! But it’s not, it’s bourbon. You can tell it’s not 4yo however, there’s a good full nose here. There’s candyfloss sweetness, nuts and light autumnal fruits. An alcohol nip from the highish abv.
Palate: Thick buttery and warming with a fair pinch of spices amongst the sweetness.
Finish: Really quite long with puffs of smoke, probably from cask char.
Water: Quite drinkable without, but with water the sweetness reduces a touch and oaks come out more. On the palate it remains fairly thick and nicely sweet with less spice.
Thoughts: Another distillery I don’t know too well, so a great opportunity to learn more. It’s a fun dram with lots of flavour to explore and enjoy.
Overall Thoughts: Closer friends will know I’ve a fondness for Tormore, and therefore it’s not a surprise to say that I enjoyed that the best out of these four… it’s a balanced easy drinking dram. If I was to pick a second it would be the Allt-á-Bhainne, followed closely by the Glen Keith and the Glentauchers. One of the lessons to keep in mind here is that water can really help a dram, don’t think you have to be hard and go without.
Thanks to Chapter 7™ for the samples.