Bottler: original bottling
Casks: ex-bourbon / quarter casks / ex-bourbon puncheons
Colour: gold with an orange hue
The nose starts off with a fresh alcoholic note (menthol) paired with light peat smoke poking out underneath. Not getting too much at first here. Mint leaves, very low-alpha wet hops (wait, what?), green mango, grapefruit with kernels, tangerines, green grain and fresh malt. Almost no sweetness, even after quite some time in the open glass. With water: Closes down, but loses the alcoholic and herbal edge and gains a slight apple and pear sweetness. Noses rather young and I can’t tell which casks it has been into, not having looked up the description or other info prior. Let’s check the palate. Not too different. Rather light with the alcohol dominating initially on the arrival, a light touch of peat smoke, tangerines, riper mangos, grassy / herbal notes, peppermint leaves, vanilla and a smidgen of custard sweetness. With water: I think I overdid it – what has worked for the nose flattened the palate without changing the flavours too much – just a tad more sweetness now. The medium long finish has alcohol paired with herbal, citrus and malt notes upon swallowing, fading to reveal a light sweet/dry combination and light peat smoke.
Well, time to check the facts, I’m curious now as to what exactly the three types of casks were. Ah! Ex- bourbon, quarter casks (probably ex-bourbon) and ex-bourbon Puncheons*. Not too sure why one would mature whisky in basically the same type of wood (except for size) three times… Maybe it’s the travel retail market, for which this dram was created, which constantly screams for exclusive new stuff and “innovations”? Not sure. The result is a non-offending, lightly peated, light and herbal-citrussy malt which will appeal to the masses, just as any travel retail release should. Personally, I prefer the new 12 yo Port Wood Finish or the old traditional cask release – which is supposed to be available again in the form of the new travel retail “Tradition” release which I’ll review shortly. Stay tuned for that one!
*edit: I was only able to find one source for this claim, so take it with a grain of salt – but there are no apparent ex-sherry cask influences to be detected here, so it’s plausible (or old tired marrying puncheons?) … let me know in the comments section below if you come across further information, thanks!
(Nose: 78 Palate: 76 Finish: 77)
Thanks to The Ardmore and Steve @ The Whisky Wire for the sample as part of the tweet tasting!