As with all the single malts in our Casks of Scoland range, this malt is non-chill-filtered and natural colour.
This dram is quite a light gold in colour, something like damp straw. A decent thick swirl line drops slow syrupy thick legs.
Straight off it’s a dirty dram, with wood treatments, a very faint cap gun cap aroma, and a dusty old room feel. Very slowly apricot pastries come through with cereals and grains.
With more time the damp straw colour seems to bring straw and cut grass to the nose, there’s also sweet honey buried in here with a touch of meatiness. I’ll also say there’s a fruit jam feel to it, I’m thinking redcurrants and blackcurrants.
Nuttiness and smoke greet me first, I didn’t expect that, I’d say it’s pecan nuts enveloped in a gentle smokiness. Generally the palate is quite gentle, that doesn’t mean it’s lacking flavour.
Darker fruits are slowly coming forward now with figs and dates, black liquorice and black currants. The fruitiness is reminding me of new make spirit fruit jammyness, something I love about new make spirit. I have to say that the faint cap gun cap aroma hasn’t come through on the palate at all, happy days.
Length of finish is medium, it does linger nicely, and the spiciness starts to grow. Black pepper flourishes then the remainder of the finish is a continuation of the palate to be honest.
Call me old fashioned (which i am 😊), but in general i lean towards bottles of whisky that show which distillery the contents come from. I do this to try to build a memory library for distilleries iv’e tasted (easier said than done, especially with different finishes etc can change a distilleries spirit so much). This sample came free with a bottle from A.D.Rattray, as well as free delivery, and i thought, i’m gonna give this one a go, and see what happens.
As alluded to above, things have changed so much within the whisky industry in the past 10 years, and for me the old thinking that distilleries in the same Scottish whisky region produce whisky of a similar profile, is very much one of these changes. So i poured this sample, and trying to be as neutral as possible i couldn’t help thinking “Speyside”, floral, grassy, between the lightness of Lowland whisky, and the punchiness of Highland whisky, but try and stay neutral.
And that was my first mistake, it comes across initially on the nose as a lovely dirty dram, “ooooh” i’m thinking, “nice surprise #1”, but it’s not a sherry bomb of a dram. The palate then caught me out too. There are elements of what i used to think a “Speyside” dram was, but this one offers more, which i have to say i rather enjoyed. My only gripe is that the sherry cask flavours do take a little while to come forward, they are there, but if you just slug it back straight away you’re going to miss some, which would be a shame.
All said and done it is a 12ry old Speyside whisky @ 46%ABV, it’s non chill filtered and natural in colour, which i like, and considering the price of many whiskies these days £42 for a bottle of this i’d say is pretty reasonable, i’d certainly has it’s place, and i’d definitely enjoy another pour.
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