Bottler: Original bottling
Age: 0 years
Casks: no aging
Well, that’s a first for the blog! New-make spirit from the Kingsbarns distillery, owned by the Wemyss Malts company and opened in 2014. I’ve tasted many a new make before, so I feel very confident about doing this with proper notes for the first time. Since we’re already a week into the “24 drams until Christmas” series it’s probably a good idea to spice things up a little and take a look at what will be whisky in a few more years.
Colour: crystal clear (anything else would be quite questionable, would it not?)
The nose is quite alcoholic, so you have to be careful not to burn your nostrils – no wonder, unaged and at filling strength of 63,5% ABV. Quite clean and fruity. The most prominent scent is the typical cereal note of distilled malt (well, what else) with notes of tangerines (with peel), brambles, apricots and sweet pears underneath. The palate packs a punch but is quite manageable even undiluted. Sweet cereal notes paired with fruits (about the same as mentioned on the nose) but the alcoholic strength is too much for a detailed analysis. So let’s dilute it 2:1 with water: Still no off notes (which would reveal themselves with water being added), a more expressive, well, typical new-make barley malt note, apricots, grapes and red fruits – along the lines of brambles, cherries with slightly bitter fruit kernel notes. The short finish is quite sweet upon swallowing, yet surprisingly oily and not harsh or sharp at all – it just glides down very gently and warms the throat along the way. The finish is actually best completely undiluted.
Very impressive, really. For a new distillery it is key to produce a very clean distillate with as little off notes as possible so it matures quickly without needing too much subtractive maturation (the oak getting rid of off notes) to get the cash-flow going. If it matures nicely in good wood (cask is king, to borrow a phrase by Cadenhead’s Mark Watt) this will be a nice malt at an early age with a fruity distillery character from the new make. But the proof is in the casks, so to speak.
If you want to try the new make – and I highly recommend you do that, when ever you’ve got the chance to – the 20cl bottles are now for sale at select retailers between 14 and 19€.
Score: 86 (on a new-make scale, don’t compare this to the usual malt marks!)
(no detailed scores)