For the second review of five in this mini series we have a secret distillery single malt bottled after 15 years in cask. The actual distillery involved can be deduced from the lovely artwork in the label but there is no written mention of it. Why do independent bottlers withhold this information from their customers?
The answer is that they have to. To get the cask’s from the producer a condition is to not name the originating source. Another tactic used could be to “teaspoon” the whisky with another producer’s whisky so that it is no longer a single malt and cannot carry their name.
This is done to “protect” brand reputation but it also means that the whisky can be sold at different price to an equivalent official release. In the case of this whisky it is being presented at a higher standard than official bottles. That is to say it is cask strength, unfiltered and uncoloured.
The artwork on the label which holds the key to the distillery used here is done by Emily Chappell. Emily is the artist behind all the labels in the Boutique-y brand which are real pieces of art in their own right. So much so that they are now available on card when you visit the guys at their stand at the numerous festivals they attend each year.
Emily has a website at http://www.emilychappell.com which includes her large portfolio of work. It also includes a link to her ETSY shop which contains a lot of (none whisky) items. Definitely something to check out if you like her style of art.
This is another release I am teasing you with because it is sold out. All the available scotch whisky releases can be found at Master of Malt.
This was for sale at £107.95 for a 50cl bottle and for that you get a 15 year old whisky bottled at natural cask strength of 51% with nothing added or removed from it. The pink hue in the label makes me think there is a red wine cask of some description being used here. The only way to know is to taste and see if those red fruit notes you expect from a red wine cask translate into what is in the glass.
Colour – copper
Nose – The nose is immediately thick and fruity. Orange marmalade is there but also raspberries and dried fruits.
Palate – thick and coating mouthfeel which is a trait of this distillery (hint). cinnamon and lime zest at the biggest flavours you notice but there is a brewed tea aspect from good time spent in the cask
Finish – The finish is quite bitter with tarragon and astringent lemons. More winter spices linger on the finish as well. Would be a good winter dram this
This is my second, slower, sitting with this 15 year old whisky. I kept half the sample back to enjoy and review at my leisure after the tweet tasting. What I find interesting here is the difference in my perceptions on this second visit to the dram.
On the first encounter the red fruits of strawberry and raspberries were more obvious than they are this time around. This time around there is more luscious flavours from a long term sherry maturation. The theory I am going with, which could be wrong, is this cask has been finished in something red wine-y from its originally sherry cask to give a soft fruit overcoat to the experience.
Either way this has a lot of cask flavours in it regardless of the cask(s) used and was a very nice whisky. It was my fourth favourite of the night though.