Speyside region – 55.8%ABV – Pricing is TBD. Will update this post as soon as I have more information.
One of the upsides to being a whisky reviewer is that now and again whisky shows up to my door. Cool, right?
Sometimes the whisky is in sample form, sometimes it’s my own purchase. Both scenarios do a fantastic job of setting my lovely wife’s eyes a’rollin. Oh boy, *more* whisky.
A common question posed by me to my wife: “Did the whisky fairy arrive today?”
I quite enjoy it when the answer is “yes.”
Occasionally, one of my daughters will tell me as I walk in the door, “Hey daddy. Surprise, surprise, more whisky.”
I love my daughters. They really know how to bust my butt with the snark of a 22 year old. You’d never think they were 3 & 5.
…so one day, not too long ago, I received a completely unsolicited sample of this 1975 Speyburn single cask from Lucas D saying: Enjoy! Let me know what you think.
In addition to the “enjoy the sample” bit, he gave me the following information on this whisky:
“The whisky comes from a single mature Spanish oak sherry butt acquired from Pedro Domecq – the oldest Bodega in Jerez founded in 1730. The cask was most likely used to mature Pedro Ximenez sherry. This helps to explain its exceptionally dark colour, at 20 Lovibond (45.9 EBC) it is one of the darker naturally coloured Scotch whiskies out there. The sample was drawn at the distillery in March 2012 and the ABV is 55.8% (!).”
Well, thank you Lucas for the sample. It’s much appreciated!
Here are my thoughts:
On the nose – The initial offering from the nose on this whisky is that of pen ink (from a ball point) and summer pool water.
Fresh pulled garden greens, a salty smelling nose.
Fired apples (granny smith) and cherry stones here as well. More apples yet in sauce-form with brown spices and burnt sugar.
It’s a wild nose here as it straddles the line between real and artificial (man-made) scents and does so fairly well.
With water some notes of a Cadbury Fruit and Nut bar say hello.
On the mouth – Whoa, this is a hot one!
Chocolate chunks (dark) and fresh black pepper. Cinnamon and walnuts, shells and all. Let’s add water. A bit too hot for me.
Much better with water – and a decent mouthfeel to boot!
Black strap molasses, drunken raisins and chocolates. Sugar cookies and sugary butter cookies.
Nutty – hazelnuts, walnuts, no salt, crushed into a paste and sweetened (with some vanilla added in for good measure).
Finish – Long and peppery (with lasting heat).
In sum – It’s nice to drink history. I was only 2 years old when this was distilled. That in and of itself is a bit mind boggling. All of the parts were there and in the right places. I think some of the heat detracted from the overall experience (even with water) but pair this with some nice Stilton cheese and/or 70%+ cacao chocolate and you just might find yourself in a little place I like to call “Heaven.”
Be sure to check out Gal’s (of Whisky Israel) post on this whisky. It’s a great read and he seemed to like it as well.