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£375 ex VAT
(£900 per litre)
A rare single-cask release from closed New Zealand distillery Willowbank – the world’s southernmost distillery until its destruction in the late 1990s. Distilled in 1988 and bottled in 2017 exclusively for The Whisky Exchange, this is a rich, well-aged dram with all the fruity intricacy and deep-rooted wood influence one might expect from a whisky on the brink of its third decade. A fine, one-off bottling that won’t be around for long.Tasting Notes (1)
Billy Abbott, The Whisky Exchange
Fragrant white, stone and tropical fruit, and polished oak: peaches, pineapples and pears in an old wooden fruit bowl. Lardy-cake brown sugar and sultana notes build, with rich caramel and soft spice following – cinnamon and dark brown sugar sprinkled on white toast.
Polished oak and woody explode across the palate. Cinnamon and vanilla part to reveal a fruity core: pineapple sweets, spiced baked apples, white-wine-poached pears and crisp white peach. Rich toffee notes build from behind with a hint of cooling mint and menthol.
Buttered toast and sultanas fade to leave light fruitcake and wax-polished tables.
Elegant and well-aged, although still with a punchy intensity. Tropical fruit and restrained spice come together with a touch of old-fashioned waxiness to create an excellent, old-school whisky.
Quite unusual from a Scotch drinker's perspective, but certainly very interesting. Needs water and time to unfold, then it gets very fruity (exotic) and also quite grassy, little or no oak/tannins at all, which is surprising after 29 years of cask maturation. Impossible to tell/guess which type of oak was used here. Finish is more on herbs and black tea, slightly drying. Recommended for those who are looking for a different experience from Scotch single malt.
So many better options for the price. I found it very underwhelming with little depth or balance. Im from NZ, but unfortunately,im going to have to say, dont buy it, look elsewhere! £450 for a bottling on par with a Glenmorangie Lasanta.
Warning,: if you like Cask Strength for its spiritous powerful punch, this syrupy soft richness may not be for you. OMG. I can see why Jim Murray scored this as the best ever non-Scot, non-Japanese dram he's ever tasted.
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