48.2% (1st version)
Appearance: Rich Teak, long & thin unhurried legs.
Nose: The first immediate scent I picked up was Dunnage. That fermented, whisky-saturated air you take in when you step foot into a warehouse before the Angels take it for good. The longer I had my nose in the glass, the more came out: sour plums, old sherry, acetone (like pear drops), raisins and moist squishy fruit. Then let it breathe for longer as I know there’s more in there… more sweetness – this time warm runny caramel and finally some woodiness. It really needs to breathe as there are hidden layers.
Palate: A gentle and unhurried sweetness is there at the forefront. I prefer it like this as many of the younger whiskies hit you in the chops with a candied cloying wallop straight away. But this one is far more refined & laid back and isn’t in a hurry to show you how much sweetness it can throw at you. Sherry abounds here, most definitely, and that fortified character pushes though with confidence, being trailed by a warming mild pepper and spice. There’s also a light bitterness that holds it together to add some balance. It’s not dissimilar to the ‘bite’ you get with a mild liquorice. Black cherries appear with a hint of boozy chocolate. A spicy pepper-fizz tickles the tongue, but it’s very soft.
Finish: Long, with a dance of refined oily sweetness and a wiggling of flint. The faintest hint of tobacco on the tongue and roof of the mouth is left, followed by a dry woodiness and a black cherry lick. It all leaves a light waxy coating in the mouth.
Conclusion: An exciting new corner being turned. The distillery hasn’t done this kind of film-partnership before and it’s an interesting move. As for the whisky itself? It’s like a Grandeur, yes. Similar bottle. Similar attention to detail on the packaging. Similar exclusivity. Similar strength. Similar elegance in the contents itself. But it’s not a Grandeur. I’m not quite sure where this fits in. On its own? Is it the forerunner of a new range from the distillery? Time will tell. Regardless, the marrying of the casks used to create this liquid is extremely well considered and masterfully executed. And it is very emotive for the senses – both on smell and taste. For those who will buy one and consume it, it’s the kind of bottle that will quite easily be drained quickly. And I think it’s a bullseye strength at 48.2% But now comes the price: £550 a bottle. Whilst I’m sure it will most definitely sell out quickly (I’ll wager it’ll be off the shelves in less than 30 days), it is a price tag that will make many people wince and question where are the distillery going. I hope our beloved core range and single casks won’t be affected.
Absolutely no water added to this.