The Schtick: This is an independent bottling of spirit distilled at Bowmore and bottled by the now defunct Exclusive Malts. It was distilled in 2001 and bottled after 12 years of aging in a sherry cask that yielded 589 bottles. It was bottled at cask strength, without any coloring or filtering. I tried this sample blind at a gathering, and received the reveal after I handed in my notes.
Bottler: Exclusive Malts
ABV: 58.4% ABV
Age: 12 Years
Nose: Rich and pungent. Loads of sherry, buttered bread, nutty and sweet. There’s some funk – light peat, heavy ash, maybe some iodine. Light minerality. Some floral undertones, but at heart, this smells like a bruiser or peat and sweet sherry.
Taste: Thick mouth feel. Heat is present but restrained. Really rich, syrupy stewed fruits. Currant, honey, fig, prunes and blackberry. Then some minerality and smoke roll in. Pretty balanced though, which is impressive. Smoke is ashy and earthy, definitely not something from Laphroaig, Ardbeg or Kilchoman.
Finish: Long, sweet and rich. Peat leads here – real funky, earthy and mineral forward. Light bandaid, but nothing super prevalent. This balances well with some present sweet sherry still. Cherry, fig, currant and sweet creme brulee.
Overall: This was really interesting. The nose was easily the most aggressive portion, with the palate and finish showing impressive complexity and balance. It’s hard to get that in something heavily sherried and peated.
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1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.
2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.
3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.
4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but many things I’d rather have.
5 | Good | Good, just fine.
6 | Very Good | A cut above.
7 | Great | Well above average
8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.
9 | Incredible | An all time favorite
10 | Perfect | Perfect