Updated: Nov 27, 2021
2007 - 14yrs - 61.5% - Berry Bros & Rudd - AW Exclusive
I won't bang on about Abbey Whisky and sing their praises too much, as I always do that. And the fact Mike Sharples manages to pick and release some fantastic examples on a regular basis with pinpoint precision and consistency. But he does. I hate him.
This latest Abbey Whisky Exclusive is in collaboration with Berry Bros & Rudd, who have provided a unique cask for a special pre-Christmas release. It's all natural and comes in at a whopping 61.5% ABV.
Appearance: Deep gold. Slow & thick oily legs.
Nose: Stewed rhubarb with vanilla custard straight off the bat. Lovely plumes of a sweet pudding waft out of the glass. Toasted wood appears followed by some warming caramel. There’s a faint mustiness as well that gives it even more depth. On the edges, there’s a slight peppery, gravelly note. What’s surprising is that it’s 61.5% ABV and there’s absolutely no spirit burn at all.
Palate: Sweet woodiness with a big & thick mouthfeel. Fig rolls spring up, followed by vanilla sponge and penny toffees that seem to appear all at once. It then transforms to a mild Pepper-studded liquid caramel with a more tart dryness. This doesn’t taste like it’s 61.5%. Astonishing!
Finish: Long, with a burnt caramel note at first. It then softens and becomes oilier and sweeter before moving again to an oaky dryness. It finally sits there with some warming sweet & sour notes.
Conclusion: For under £80, this is a steal. The term pudding in a glass is what this is. It delivers on all levels and is so satisfying, and perfect at this time of year. I think I can guess the distillery, but I won’t commit to saying what it is in case I’m wrong. Regardless, yet again Mike “the cask whisperer” Sharples has picked another winner.
Available exclusively at Abbey Whisky for under £80 (at the time of writing)