A small box landed at my office from The Whisky Exchange and in it was a sample bottle labeled Black Friday. It stated it’s 16 years old, from Speyside and at 54.6% ABV. The accompanying letter said that the 582 bottles will go on sale on Black Friday, when the full details will be announced.
I’m allowed to say that it’s from a Speyside “family owned” distillery, being run by the 5th and 6th generation of the same family. It is also known that this family does not grant permission to use the distillery name on independent bottlings, so I’ll just give you one more seven character hint for it: AB37 9BD. I hope that was helpful 😉
Here are my thoughts on the whisky:
Whisky Exchange Black Friday 2017, 16 Year Old Speyside, 582 Bottles (54.6% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Chestnut colored, thin and long lasting legs.
Nose: Slightly dusty sherry, Japanese plum wine, sweet red wine, vanilla, fresh blood oranges and sliced white bread. A few drops of water bring out a burst of vanilla with a medley of summer fruit – peaches, fresh apricot and nectarines. Some time brings out a bit of balsamic vinegar.
Palate: Sweet and fruity at first turning spicy towards the end. It’s tangy and citrusy on the palate, with a lot of spice crushed in with it. A few drops of water take it to the dry and bitter side of things, with an almost chalky dryness
Linger: Spicy and somewhat dry, almost dusty feel to it, with pepper and clove around the gullet. There’s some sherry tannins in the mouth.
On the one hand, this is a different sherry experience. Not a sherry bomb, this feels like a second fill American Oak cask, and you get the vanilla and fresh fruit in troves, rather than the leather and dried fruit I adore. On the other hand, if this is your style of whisky, it’s really good value. Where else can you pick up a cask strength 16 year old sherry matured whisky for £60?
All in all, the whisky takes some time, and while water adds to the nose, I’m not sure it aides the palate.
If you want a bottle, you can find it at a special Whisky Exchange page here.