Cask No. 4.360
PROFILE Peated REGION Highland AGE 11 years ABV 62.8% CASK TYPE 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel
The aroma brought to the Panel's collective mind swimming pools, plasters, celery salt, kimchi and lime juice. A scented, elegant peat smoke with vivid coastal Atlantic freshness. Reduction brought sweeter cask tones such as custard and creme brûlée, along with metal polish, soft waxes, heather honey and sooty notes. The neat palate was soft and smoky, with notes of frying bacon in a cast iron skillet, bouquet garni herbs, salted almonds and gauze.
Water brought sharp mineral notes of beach pebbles and bath salts, cured ham, leafy peat smoke, cut grass and coastal flowers. At six years of age we combined selected casks from the same distillery. We then returned the single malt into a variety of different casks to develop further. This is one of those casks.
Cask No. 12.74
CRÈME BRÛLÉE, BUTTERSCOTCH AND BLOWTORCHED BANANAS
PROFILE Spicy & Dry REGION Speyside AGE 12 years ABV 59.2% CASK TYPE 1st fill HMTC barrel
The nose suggested French toast with cinnamon and maple syrup, “cowboy boots trampling blood oranges”, dried fruits, honey on straw and balsamic glaze – wonderfully complex. The palate was punchy and powerful, evoking charred staves, Turkish coffee, toffee apples and spicy pinchos Morunos, with a drying finish of liquorice and ash.
The reduced nose carried crème brûlée, butterscotch and blowtorched bananas, tinned mandarins and damson jam. The palate sweetened to demerara and barley sugars; the finish seemed still dry, yet lip-smacking (toasted almonds, waxy physalis, leather and wood). Nine years in ex-bourbon wood preceded a spell in this heavy toast, medium char, first fill barrel.
Cask No. 73.151
VANILLA CRESCENT COOKIE
PROFILE Juicy, Oak & Vanilla REGION Speyside AGE 11 years ABV 59.6% CASK TYPE 2nd fill ex-bourbon barrel
We imagined grilling ripe peaches until they were perfectly caramelised, then seasoning them with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. They were served warm with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. On the neat palate, a wonderful fruitiness of mango, passion fruit and guava next to an apricot, lime and ginger fruit cake.
Following reduction, the nose had plenty of sweetness on offer with creamy custard, boozy sponge fingers and a biscuit base lemon meringue pie. To taste, crispy citrus candied pistachios as well as Vanillekipferl - a vanilla crescent cookie made with ground nuts and dusted with vanilla sugar