Type of whisk(e)y – Whisky (scotch.
How long has the whisk[e]y bottle been open? – Newly opened.
Introduction to the whisk[e]y (casks used, distillery, is it a special release etc) – Well, after an absence of arguably 525 years we have a Lindores Abbey Single Malt!
Claiming its place as the historical home of scotch whisky for once we aren’t debating Little Mill, Glen Garioch, Bowmore and Glenturret, we are in fact moving south to the Kingdom of Fife for a lowland malt. Produced on the south side of the Tay at the place where the first records of Aqua Vitae production exist in the town of Newburgh. Whilst this is a lowland malt they are only about half a mile south of the Lowland/Highland border. They use a unique fermentation and 0.5ppm plated malt in some of their production (I will get on to this shortly). They have four wash backs, two ferment for 72 hours, the other two for 96 hours, unique for sure but not quite as complex as somewhere like Mortlach.
After some twitter back and forth, despite no statement on the bottle this does appear to be non-chill filtered and natural colour. It uses a mix of bourbon, sherry and wine barriques. No STR reference so a little different to what you might find in other young spirits from newer distilleries!
Appearance – A lovely warm golden amber, neat it is perfectly clear and and after a swirl around it is all soon back in the bottom of the glass ready to be sipped away on.The main thing I noticed about this the first couple of times I tried it was the ‘wateriness’. It felt more like a light whisky that had been bottled at a low strength. Initially I wasn’t impressed but that is why you need to leave is a couple of days before trying to put something like this together.
Nose – The left nostril definitely picks up more ethanol here, Right gets very little (perhaps I have some sort of semi covid?). Nothing too particular or stand out here, a hint of banana bread, maybe some pears, overall inoffensive and unsurprising, though not necessarily a let down by any means. The combination of young spirit and three cask types means they could just be drowning each other out.
With water? That pepperiness from the palate comes through to tickle the nose. Quite pleasant and marrying up nicely with the palate. Fresh from the oven victoria sponge too, reminding me of my mum having got home early and done some baking before my brother and I returned from school.
Palate – Peppery spice, an intensity that is no where near what the palate would suggest. Whilst intense in its feeling around the mouth there still aren’t any real standout flavours. Certainly not the fruit you might expect from a fermentation that borders on that of Kingsbarns in the same (albeit huge) county.
Water: This is where you feel the peat come in, like a peppery heat, similar to a peppered steak or a really good peppercorn sauce but no where near as creamy – confused yet? Second taste after water gives rise to some slightly under ripe orchard fruits, mainly apples (red I’d say). The palate is definitely where you can find the peat here, despite it being the smallest amount it is there for the slightly more aware or experienced nose and palate.
Finish – A long, warming finish that will definitely go down well with those who like to know they have had a good dram on a nice evening. Hot custard, burnt caramelised banana on the second effort.
After the addition of water the finish is shorter, smoother but with a good amount of spice. The finish isn’t dissimilar to the standard Glenkinchie 12 you find for a similar price point.
Overall thoughts – A good, solid opening gambit. Not overly inspiring, but then again when it comes to ‘new distilleries’ and especially those in Fife we are always thinking of Daftmill which is completely unfair and unreasonable even if we do wish more places could get on that level.
Is it value for money? I purchased for £44.99 at Royal Mile Whiskies and whilst this would be steep for most NAS whiskies, given this is the first general release I certainly can’t grumble. This bottle will definitely be a regular drinker for a while.
Would I buy it again? Probably not, but then Bowmore 15 is one of the only double purchases I have made so far so who knows at this point (though when it comes to peat I don’t have many I enjoy) so perhaps that is part of it.
I really look forward to seeing what comes next from Lindores and perhaps they will be like the good people at Kingsbarns where after 3/4 releases or batches they really come into their own. I definitely look forward to something with fewer cask types and more years on the clock!
Many thanks to Jack, @scotchjak (Twitter) for submitting his tasting notes, both comprehensive and informative.Follow @scotchjak