Updated: Feb 6, 2021
Exclusively bottled to celebrate Abbey Whisky’s 10th Anniversary.
Appearance: Golden pine. Long & speedy oily legs
Nose: An unadulterated abundance of fireside toffee & runny caramel with a really faint hint of coconut ‘bounty bar’ at the back. The initial reaction is that if a confectionary made a whisky, this would be it. Once you’ve stepped out of the sweet shop, there’s a tart fruit note, like cherries and rhubarb. In fact, rhubarb and custard sweets really comes through now. Back into the sweet shop we go then… Once the candy-store hit has had its way with you, there’s lots of sweet sherry and sticky dessert wine to be had. The whole thing is so luxuriously candied and caramel-infused, you’d be forgiven if you just wanted to smell it for an hour. And that would be easy, as there’s very little, if any, alcohol burn on the nose at this bold 67.1% ABV. And as much as I don’t like to use the cliché of “aromas of rich Xmas fruitcake”, I’ll just say aromas of a rich and moist Dundee Cake instead and be done with it.
Palate: Sweetness is so in your face it’s ridiculous. Fire-cracker caramel that’s been laced with popping candy coats the whole mouth, tattoos the tongue, and leaves a sweet and oily layer that drapes itself over everything. This is a whisky for people with a sweet tooth and who like caramel-drenched desserts and sticky toffee pudding.
No water in my glass by the way – it really doesn’t need it (for me). In fact, the last time I thought adding water to a whisk(e)y at this sort of strength was unnecessary was a George T Stagg at almost 70%ABV. It’s all about the flavour here, and the high ABV really doesn’t get in the way and ruin it. In fact, the strength seems to provide a great platform for the flavours to roll-up and appear one after the other.
Finish: Sweet and long. The sweetness fades to a light bitter fizz, and then moves over to a more mellowed burnt-sweetness.
Conclusion: Pretty fantastic. Utterly sweet with bold liquid-caramel and everything naughty. Totally recommended. Be warned though – it’s very strong and very drinkable. So just keep an eye on that level in the bottle!
Selected by the Mike “the Cask Whisperer” Sharples at Abbey Whisky, this is one that I’ll remember, and at under £70 for this single cask, I’d give it a Godzilla-sized thumbs-up in the value vs quality stakes.