Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Side by side: Three Speyside Single Cask 60's

Unfortunately not 60yo (but if you have any I'm more than happy to do a side by side) instead these are all 60%+ ABV.

They are all Speyside Single Casks, two distillery bottlings and one from the now sadly defunct Creative Whisky Company.

DramBenRiach 2008
Cask #2048
Benromach 2010
Cask #280
Glentauchers 2008
Cask #900253
Characteristics61.7% ABV, Non-coloured, NCF
9yo Peated Port, Batch 15 release.
D: 18 Mar '08, Cask #2048, B: '18, Bottle 66 of 858
61% ABV, Non-coloured, NCF
7yo Distillery exclusive.
D '10, Cask #280 1st Fill Sherry Hogshead, B: '17, 311 bottles
64.2% ABV, Non-coloured, NCF
Bottled by the Creative Whisky Company.
D: '08, Cask #900253, Refill Sherry Butt, B: '17
My thoughts: 

Lovely red gold colour, port cask influence is very obvious. Swirls leave an inverted crown eventually leading to slow thick legs.Light red gold colour, sherry influence shining through. Again an inverted crown from swirls and slow thick legs.Dark gold colour. Again an inverted crown from swirls and slow thick legs.
NoseSmoke and red fruit jump out of the glass and attack your nose - loads of port notes. Wow - this reminds me a lot of the Glen Moray 2011 Cask 6000434 BYO.
Strawberries, raspberries, plums, cherries they are all in there but you're eating them next to a bonfire!

With water: Not much change but the fruit notes are more prominent.
Dunnage warehouse notes immediately - oak, earth, dampness, strawberries.
Another enticing nose - a real sherry bomb - lots of dried fruit and Christmas spices.
After a little while in the glass toffee apples notes appear.

With water
: The toffee apple notes come to the fore - there's still earth and oak but now slightly subdued.
Musty books, wood, strawberries and a faint smoke note?
There's a little citrus in here too - lemon and clementine.

With water: The smoke notes are enhanced - as are the citrus - this is just coming to life!
PalateThick syrupy arrival, smoke fills the mouth, instantly drying, loads of spice. There's lots of red fruit, brown sugar and a hint of citrus marmalade.
The ABV doesn't hide - there's a load of ginger spice burning at the top of your mouth.

With water: If anything  this feels thicker(?) - the brown sugar coming to the fore - immense sweetness slightly dulling the spice. But the blanket of smoke is always there.
Another thick syrupy arrival, the spice attacks first, huge warmth in the mouth - the ABV showing itself. Lots of red fruit, some milk chocolate and ginger spice.

With water: the chocolate and ginger spice come to the fore - strawberry sherry notes linger!
Unexpected sweet arrival, not as thick as the other two drams. Loads of burning chilli spice. Honey, strawberries and lemon battle on the tongue. there's loads of icing sugar sweet and dry robbing the mouth of moisture.

With water: Lemon and spice notes are enhanced, a much more drinkable dram now - full of fruit and wood flavours.
FinishLoad and smoky, hints of red fruit and faint citrus. Smoke chimney effect in the throat as the liquid disappears.Long and drying, the sherry fruit notes and Christmas spices linger. Nice!Spice and again that hint of smoke - some fruit, especially citrus. Yummy!
OverallAll three of these drams need respect, 60+% ABV is not to be taken lightly! I started with a simple 40% ABV dram to customise my mouth to whisky before starting on these. Small sips, held on the tongue, with little gaps in between allow the complex liquids to reveal their secrets. After half of the liquid was gone I used a pipet to add a couple of drops of water watching it's oily effect on the whisky, I probably only dropped the ABV to 50% but the difference is noticeable.

I like cask strength drams but normally they are around the 50-55% ABV mark, these being on the younger side have higher ABVs and being above 60% are fairly unusual but as I said treat them with repeact and you'll enjoy them.

For me the Creative Whisky Company bottling of the Glentauchers was the best of the three - the citrus notes really making an impact. The BenRiach came next - because I love Peated Port cask finished and this one didn't disappoint! The Benromach distillery exclusive wasn't far behind - a real sherry bomb if that's your thing!

BenRiach, Benromach and Glentauchers #Bubbelation

Cask remnants in the Glentauchers sample

Many thanks to @bhoy_whisky (Benromach) and @AlpacaJo (BenRiach) for the samples!

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