Today we’re tasting the second Glenrothes single cask in the 2015 Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar bottled by Weymss Malts. This one is a 25yo that was matured in a sherry butt. The previous one, “Kumquat Cluster,” was a 22yo also matured in a sherry butt.
These guys seem to like big butts.
No, not that kind of butt! This kind (the one on the left, that is. The one on the right is a bourbon barrel):
Being that the “Kumquat Cluster” was perhaps the first Glenrothes I’ve truly enjoyed, I wonder if this big butt whisky will procure a similar result. Let us see…
On the nose — Very fragrant, almost incense like.
Damp sandalwood, indiscernible cooking spices, walk-in humidor, loads and loads of CT Shade Grown cigar wrappers, whisky spilt on a leather bound book, used books, cedar oil. I could live in this glass right now.
In the mouth — Orange oil, new suede, tinned fruits, orange juice/soy sauce mix for basting, warm honey, hints of clove.
Lightly oily mouthfeel.
Finish — Slightly spicy and fairly long with lasting citrus and used books.
In sum — These guys are going to turn me into an old-Glenrothes junkie! Drop dead gorgeous whisky.
Region – Speyside – 51.6% ABV – $200-285 (if you’re lucky enough to find a bottle)
Ok. Full disclosure. By day I work for the US importer of The Exclusive Malts line of independently bottled whisky, ImpEx Beverages.
Full disclosure pt.2. This whisky is no longer available, and was actually imported well before I started my position with ImpEx.
Being that I don’t actually score whisky but instead just present tasting notes and general impressions (and occasional dick jokes), I figured it’s kosher for me give you said tasting notes and general impressions on this release.
What is “Exclusive Malts?” It’s a line of single cask whiskies bottled by David Stirk of Creative Whisky Company. The line is fairly new to the US market.
So, there you go. Truthfulness. Information. And below? Tasting notes:
On the nose — Honey, honey honey smoked honey! Caramels covered by orange oil rubbed cigar wrappers.
There’s a flinty minerality to this whisky that seems to enter my nose in the form of light peat (perhaps wood effect?). Crushed chardonnay grapes sans the sweetness.
Aged (read: an oaky presence) with a good bit of life to it (read: not a tired old 28yo but a whisky that has life, and vibrance). There’s a waxy texture to the nose, and a hint of the powder you’d find on a bubblegum cigar.
On the mouth — Given the waxy mouth feel, some would confuse this with an old Clynelish or Brora. Given the fizzy quality that floats on the waxiness, some would doubt this was a 28yo whisky. It’s a bit of a contradiction in the mouth, but a welcome one, to be sure!
There’s all sorts of soft spice and light tobacco notes mixed in with chili infused milk chocolate, cocoa nibs, and macca root.
The pears, they are baked with whole anise star, and cinnamon’d walnut oil.
There’s an elegance to this whisky that is very much a Longmorn quality.
Rum has always been a go-to for me during Passover. That or Tequila. As much as I like those spirits I end up missed malt whisky for a solid 8 days of Passover. During Passover observant Jews are not permitted to eat or drink anything that has been made with barley/wheat/rye, etc… Nothing grain based.
While enjoyable, the above mentioned spirits are simply not whisky and there is no spot-on alternative. I think, however, I may have just found a spirit that is the next best thing for drinking during Passover.
Note: this is not a kosher for Passover certified spirit but it’s made from Baking Grade Molasses, Evaporated Sugar Cane Juice and Water. Zero grain so, it’s good for me!
On the nose — It all starts off with a sweet and damp pack of Winston cigarettes and burning medjool dates which has been tightly wrapped with a a few hundred horse mane hairs. Does that make sense to you? After a few sips of 68% ABV rum, it just may!
A New England brush fire on a late October day. Heavy brown sugar with the scent of some of the nicest brown bread with rum raisins. Molasses (of course) and a touch anise. At 68%, it’s so easy to nose though it’s a tad dense yet, in a good way.
A couple more notes before I move to the palate portion of the tasting – toasted oak covered in apple sauce with heavy brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon.
On the mouth — Pow! Blam! Bash! and a host of other 60’s Batman TV show fight scene words… This punches your tongue and wakes you up.
You’d think this were a sherried malt. While not very oily there are loads of notes that include (though not limited to) figgy pudding, cola cubes, date pits, cherry skins and cigar wrapper (dark).
Bruised strawberries and a slight hint of wintergreen (really?!). Prune and prune filled butter cookies. Wow. Yummy.
Finish — Medium in length with some light brown sugar and more of that wintergreen.
In sum – I’ve had my fair share of rums, most of which were 40-46% ABV. I’ve had a decent amount of over-poof ones, too. I’m fairly confident in saying that this is the best over-proof/cask strength rum I’ve had to date. I could add water to this and I’m sure it’d be a bit of a water rat. However, it’s so damn good at full cask strength so I’m going to remain a purist.
Well worth your time and attention, people! Find a bottle. Find it and love it.
Special thanks to BD for the ample review sample!!
On the nose — A bit prickly on the nose and smells about 13 years younger than the age statement states.
It is, however, quite bourbon-y smelling and most assuredly spicy with two scents that hit me from nowhere: water chestnuts and unsweetened, uncinnimoned apple sauce. In other words, aside from the spice, it’s a bit light in scent to start.
Leather shoes (new), pineapple and mango (unripe). The tropical fruits are nice here and play well with the spice element.
On the mouth — Massive spice and this one is screaming “Hey!! I’m a Dailuaine just without the sherry maturation you’re used to, Yossi!” I’m sure there are plenty of other ex-bourbon Dailuaine bottlings out there but this is my first. Nice to see that the spirit character remains.
Oily yet effervescent mouthfeel. Silly putty and vinyl capes from my Jawa action figures from my old Star Wars action figure collection. No lie. It’s that specific a note. If only I kept that figure in the original packaging…
Peppery with orange and pineapple syrup from fruit cups. Leather (again) and fresh, unburnt pipe tobacco.
Finish — Lasting and lovely. Peppery and polished.
In sum — A decent offering for a Dailuaine. Not my favorite as I prefer the sherried Dailuaines but this one tells a story from beginning to end and could surely hold it’s own from a flavor and balance standpoint.
This is an early spring dram. It has a hopeful feel to me.
Auchroisk 17yo – Speyside region – 55.6% ABV – $???
On the nose — Boy-oh-boy, why the sour puss, Sourpuss?
Quite sour in scent but with hints of chocolate covered orange rinds sitting ‘neath said sourness.
Winter ski gloves after a full day of skiing. Hey, my notes are getting quite specific today!
Rubber dish gloves and a touch of soap (in a good way. Remember, I dig mild soap notes and this is *mild*). These notes are offset by fresh and dried papaya and some persimmon. Wow, yum!
An unusual nose but inviting, methinks.
On the mouth — ¡Holy frijoles! It gets all sorts of wacky here. Very rye-whiskey-like with dill and seeded rye toast (dry, as it were). Very woody but woody good, like rye or bourbon, not woody bad like whisky gone old and dried out/astringent. This is far from astringent.
I have to put it out there that the nose is off balance from the mouth but the flavor profile is insanely unique and delicious so it sort of makes up for being off balance.
New charred oak (the smell of the inside of a freshly drained ex-bourbon cask), vanilla and banana chips. Orange Tang drink (having nothing to do with Taang!, mind you).
Finish — Finishes with banana chips and a distinct note of what some college students described to me as a “hash pipe.”
Oh, those students!!
In sum — Well, I’m pretty much in love with the flavor profile on this whisky. It noses OK, too. This is a conversation piece. You and some friends can have a lot of fun with this one!
Probably best when part of a tasting. Be warned, it will likely dominate the conversation…
Special thanks to the especially nice people from ImpEx for the samples!
It is a very true statement that Springbank is a Scotch Whisky that is in a league of it’s own.
The quality of their products tend to be a few notches above the rest and the whisky’s character is, well, unique. Very unique.
Could the essence of their individuality be connected to terroir (Campbeltown and they, Springbank, being one of only three distilleries in Campbeltown)?
Perhaps it’s their distilling process (2.5 times distilled which is explained here)? I think not as their other products, Hazelburn (3 times distilled and unpeated) and Longrow (2 times distilled and heavily peated) still have that Springbankiness to them…
Maybe it’s the fact that they handle every step of the process whisky-making process from malting on up?
Perhaps it’s the fact that their wash (beer to be distilled in to spirit) spends 70 hours or more fermenting in Boatskin Larch wash backs? (Most Scottish distilleries ferment their wash between 48 & 54 hours in either Oregon Pine or Stainless Steel).
I am not sure any one of the above points really offers up answers. Regardless, Springbank Scotch Whisky is pretty amazing stuff. While I am a known Glenmorangie freak, I have to say that Springbank produces my favorite whisky. Ever. And when they do it right. Boy howdy, they do it right-right!
Today’s Springer is a 15yo single cask matured in a re-charred sherry butt. This is a highly unusual style of Scotch whisky and it sounded simply super fun and interesting to me so I had to get a bottle. Had to.
On the nose — As I might have guessed (and surely hoped), the nose is very Bourbon-like due to the re-charred oak. There’s a high sweetness here and a sharpness in scent.
Brown sugar and peat! What a combo! Paraffin wax and molding clay. Pencil shavings, albeit burnt pencil shavings. A wide combination of dried fruits (dates, prunes, dried banana, etc…), pickled walnuts and cherries pits.
There’s a salty/briny quality to this as well. Heavy leather gloves (well used) and a brush fire.
This is like nosing a 50-50 mix of George T Stagg and a sherried Springbank.
On the mouth — Big, salty and massively sherried (but without being like a run-of-the-mill sherry bomb). There is no unidimensionality going on here. In fact, there’s a lot going on here and it’s part of a nice flavor story:
Salted dates floating in a bowl of Mexican vanilla extract and grated chicory. Soft yet driving peat and dank malt (a la Malta Goya).
A lovely mouth feel. Very bourbon like in experience (mouthfeel, very sweet and prickly on the sides of the tongue, charred-oaky-goodness) with the addition of cherry-twizzler sweetness!
The nuttiness returns but it’s like a nutty-syrup mixed with unlit cigars.
Finish — Medium finish loaded with dates and a touch of salt.
In sum — As if Springbank was unique enough! This is a wildly fun ride of a whisky that would impress the Bourbon lovers out there. Heck, this should impress whisk(e)y drinkers anywhere. Very tasty and quite balanced.
One could sit and dissect this whisky or just relax and simply enjoy it. This is a desert (and dessert) island dram for me. I better get another bottle before you all buy it out on me!!