We tried the cask strength bottling of this on a tasting back in November last year and loved it’s jam sandwich buttery sweetness. This is the 46% ABV offering.
Initially aged in bourbon casks, this bottling has been finished in the Tawny Port casks from the family-run winery, Quinto de Filoco, for 6 months. A limited release of 18,000 individually numbered bottles. Bottled at 46%, non-chill filtered and with no added colouring.
Appearance: Rose wine/Bulmers cider, a lovely fresh summery hue. When swirled, a thin film forms with a beaded tide mark and medium legs.
Nose: Quite a gentle alcohol hum. Port sweetness, vanilla, sulphur and confectionary sugar hit first, I had to note them hastily as they quickly morphed into more fruit-forward dessert-like aromas.
Blackberry, ginger and cinnamon jam, buttery crumble, a touch of Christmas spice and subtle orange.
Palate: A pleasing semi-viscous mouthfeel. Quite a pine fresh/almost minty note is immediately noticeable.
Blackberry jam on buttered toast, clove stuffed blood orange, tobacco leaf and a faint hint of tannic astringency.
The subtle sulphur is consistent with the nose. I’m not a fan of sulphur usually but here it doesn’t seem to taint the overall experience at all, it’s sweeter than usual and barely noticeable.
As the glass matures the sugar element from the nose increases on the palate, almost to a honey sweetness in the back of the tongue, it’s almost as if it could crystallise at any minute!
One tiny critique I had of the cask strength was the slight drying on the palate, this ABV, however, seems to be devoid of that, which is great.
Finish: Icing sugar, spearmint, fading tannins and that ever-present blackberry and cinnamon jam. There’s also a mineral water freshness that I like, it almost self-cleanses the palate, ready for the next sip.
Overall: I really like this expression. I prefer the cask strength version, but I often do. I would happily recommend this to anyone and be confident they’ll find it a really friendly and satisfying dram. Not a complex dram by any stretch, but a lovely fruity summer whisky none the less.