Speyside region – 52.2% ABV – $99 (for now) and sold exclusively through Julio’s in Westboro, MA.
Here we are again; reviewing a store exclusive single cask of whisky.
If you live in the Northeast of the US, chances are you’ve heard of or frequent Julio’s in Westboro, MA.
Store owner and Keeper of the Quaich, Ryan Maloney, is known for having perhaps the most whisky-centric stores in our neck of the woods. He also has his own whisky society called the Loch and K(e)y Society and bottles whisk(e)y for them on a very regular basis. Loch and K(e)y are the first and only group to ever have a cask of Balvenie bottled exclusively for them. (I had a taste once and it was a yummy, yummy thing).
I visited Julio’s a couple of weeks ago to pick up a bottle of George T Stagg and Ryan was nice enough to give me a taste of today’s whisky. This is a cask of Cragganmore that he personally chose to bottle.
I fell in love with it almost immediately and when he told me it was only $99, I had to get a bottle. Hey, it was my birthday. How could I not buy myself a bottle?
So today, I’m reviewing one of my birthday whiskies (happy birthday, again, to me):
On the nose – A charming start with whiffs of *faint* smoke and lavender.
Quite clean and bright with lightly spiced Bartlett pears. Applewood and unscented candle wax.
Heavenly, and decidedly malty.
I have to say, this nose is really, really good. Again, clean and fruity and very, very confident.
On the mouth – Loads of malted barley and very chewy.
Lively and oily, honied and spiced.
Still quite fruity with touches of light citrus.
Hints of salt but not brine and now some hints of Limon.
Getting back to what I said before, this is a very confident whisky. Drying and slightly smokey toward the finish.
Finish – A spritz of citrus, a dash of spice and some malt. It goes on for a good bit here.
In sum – The more I think about this one the more I agree with the thought in my head that this is not the most complex whisky in the world. (My apologies for the horrible, run-on-like, structure of the preceding sentence.)
However, it’s not simple at all. It’s easily understood and hides very little from you.
This is in my top ten list as one of the finer whiskies I’ve had this year from a rock-solid-satisfying-whisky standpoint. If there were ever a self-actualized whisky, it would be this one.