70cl / 57.3%
Special Releases 2017
- Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Collectivum XXVIII Reviews
Tasting notes by Billy Abbott (The Whisky Exchange)
Nose: Chocolate cornflake cakes, red berries and waxy apples to start. Custard and cocoa sit underneath and a sprinkle of candied lemon lies on top.
Palate: Quite hot to start – it takes water well – with intense cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness. Orchard fruit comes in through the middle, surrounded by lemon and orange. Spice fades and then builds again, with liquorice and hints of smoke at the back.
Finish: Damp leaves and spice fading to chocolate milk.
Comment: A densely packed dram that needs time to reveal itself. A drop of water helps – while it's great that the Special Releases are bottled at full strength, this one definitely needs a drop to show its full potential.
Tasting notes from the producer
Appearance: Pale clear amber.
Nose: Surprisingly mild in feel. The overall aroma is tightly integrated: spicy-sweet and fruity, combining spiky green leaves and dog roses with autumnal forests, toffee and rich vanilla sauce. The greenness comes to dominate, although the sour notes are tempered by sweet brown butter and a slice of candied fruit. Time reveals more herbal notes, with minty toffee and hints of pastry. Water opens all this up, drying and introducing Speyside notes of the sweetshop, with candy and dried apple rings joined by floral touches.
Body: Rich and rounded.
Palate: A balance of sweetness, acidity and tannic dryness. Nuts and spice lead, with hazelnuts and almonds joined by bitter walnuts and hot cinnamon. Sweetness builds behind, with candy, barley sugar and sharp candied lemons. The almonds reappear, now sugared, only to disappear amid more citrus, tempered by toffee and fudge spiced with cinnamon, and finally by fruity dark chocolate. Water cools; the smooth sweetness and spice rise, bringing a refreshing bitter note; cream, apple sauce and milk chocolate laced with oak, clove and dark chocolate.
Finish: Of medium-length, with buttery pastry, warming spice and a thin layer of sharp fruit; a fresh apple pie ready for the oven. The fruit lingers as apple skin, joined by crisp pear.
3 Customer Reviews
Hmm, on paper this shouldn't work. There's just too many moving parts as it were. Overly complex, like mixing too many colours together and just getting a rather unlovable colour as a result. BUT.... it does work, it's an absolute belter! Yes, there is a lot going on, there's heat and pepper and ginger and smoke and sweetness and oak and a boat load of other things (so many!) all flapping about and somehow, none of them appear to dominate and squash the other bits. It's a rather unlikely symphony, like a load of musicians from different bands used to playing different types of music but when they get into the studio they just jam, they work. Like M Ozdamar says in their review, this is a bargain at the price. A whopper of a scotch that proves that blends done well are a kind of witchcraft.
I tried this whisky at the Whisky Show in October 2017, just after tasting the 2017 Brora release. For me the noses of these two whiskies are very similar, which makes this a bargain at this price since the Brora is 10 times the price. On the palate it is also excellent, complex and delicious. Highly recommended.