The ‘Mystery Malt’ series of limited releases come from indie bottler Murray McDavid. The Safe Haven, has been matured for six years in a bourbon hogshead before being finished in a Ximénez Spínola sherry cask. A small batch release at 50%, natural colour and non-chill filtered.
Appearance: Honey gold. A nice thick and oily film forms on the glass instantly. Plenty of thick legs and many small tear drops.
Nose: Smoke and coastal notes. Well done BBQ meats and lemon infused olive oil. Black pepper and pleasing sweeter berry element too.
Palate: A semi-viscous mouthfeel. The smoke and coastal notes continue into the palate. Grapefruit, honey/vanilla and black pepper follow, both mild and shrouded by the heavier smoke. A pine minty flavour lies beneath too, adding an almost menthol layer. There’s a nice balance and it’s all well married.
Finish: Medium to long. Smoke, grapefruit and black pepper longer for some time.
Overall: Pleasant enough and for under £50 it’s a good deal.