This is the fourth batch of Cask Strength whisky from the Tenné (Tawny in Gaelic) range. Spey Tenne Back 4 was initially matured in ex-bourbon casks, before being finished in Tawny Port casks from the family-run winery, Quinto de Filoco for 6 months. Limited to 1500 bottles, non-chill-filtered and natural colour.
Appearance: Light honey gold/diluted amber. A hairline swirl mark and thin film form when agitated. After a short while the tide mark beads up and a few teardrops and thin trails form and seep to the surface.
Nose: A decent reassuring waft of ethanol from that higher ABV. Deep and chocolatey, plum, a little coffee, blackcurrant jam and baking spices. Golden syrup, dark brown sugar and caramel greet the senses next.
Palate: Slightly oily mouthfeel. The first flavour I get is sulphur which means a dram is gonna go one of two ways. Then there’s, thankfully, more pepper-dusted jammy notes and some gentle warming on the chest. Quite a build-up of the spice, overtaking the fruitier notes, a little drying also. There’s an element of forest fruit brown sugar-dusted pie and custard, white chocolate and an increasing flavour of oak.
Finish: The oak, caramel and fruit jam notes last for a decent length of time. The dryness lingers too, unfortunately.
Overall: I really like all the flavours in this but not the oak layer that envelops them. I reckon a bottle would be a different matter though and want to believe that it would mellow slightly and become more jammy than oaky and drying. I think I had a bottle of a previous batch and LOVED it.