This is a single cask, cask strength malt bottled specially for the Dubai Duty Free. Coming in at a hefty 58.7% it aims to appeal to the serious malt drinker who like his malts tough!
Rather an unusual nose this. Almost like sitting in a wooden cabin after a week of particularly savage thunderstorms. Growing on the walls is a generous amount of mould and that in turn overlooks the moss growing on the floor. By your side sits a chocolate brownie and as you reach out to pick it up you are distracted by a faint whiff of peat coming in through the door.
The palate is like reaching into the back of your kitchen cabinet and finding a box of sugar that’s been forgotten for months. Sugar that is now damp from it’s surroundings. There’s a touch of citrus and a drop of lemon. And then curiously a dash of soy sauce! I have no idea where that came from!
Once again I am convinced that these whiskies are being plucked too young. At about 4 years it had a lot more work to do. I can only hope older age statements age gracefully and the younger ones are slowly faded out as the distillery grows in stature.
But till then this malt is a young child who does not understand what you want. And that’s a little disappointing.
Rating : 82
This is Islay’s first farm distillery. Which means that they grow their own barley instead of buying it. The distiller is very very new and, hence, the expressions on offer are almost foetal in age.
This particular one is around 4 years old (though I suspect younger). Quite pale in it’s appearance with runny legs. It’s a mildly peated whisky with a familiar Islay twang to it. Freshly cut grass and wet wood are the first aromas that catch your attention. If you try harder and let your mind wander you can almost discern a fruit basket filled with tangerines and ripe pears. Visit it a third time and traces of Islay start to feature. The familiar smell of iodine and moist sea sand bring you comfort.
Though the aromas are all there they seem somewhat weak and confused. Much like newly born kittens meowing for attention but not getting any.
The delivery is dry and the first sip vanishes from your palate so fast it would make Houdini proud. As you coax a second taste from the glass a bundle of aniseed stuck to red Lozenges come rolling in. The sensation on the side of my tongue signals an element of citrus and finally nuts and small stick of clove tickle the back of my throat going down.
This is a young malt and has yet to define itself. It is desperately trying to build character but seems it is being nipped in the bud much too soon. While this distillery has great promise in the future is it doing itself a disservice by releasing it’s malts too soon?
I certainly think so.
Rating : 82