The second release under scrutiny is this 10 year old blend aptly named King of trees..
The official line is that this has seen a finishing period in Scottish oak..
“This whisky employs a rare maturation process – using wood from two centuries-old Scottish Oak trees wind-felled on a Highland estate.
Scottish Oak rarely yields the knot-free staves needed for barrel-making, and these fallen elders provided suitable timber for just one single cask. Initially matured in first-fill Bourbon barrels and refill American White Oak casks, a portion of whisky was then finished in our Native Scottish Oak cask to bring out the prominent orchard fruit notes.
The resulting whisky is the epitome of a Highland style – fresh with crisp apples and pears, soft wood spice, and cinnamon. Just 2,157 individually numbered bottles of this 10 year old blend of Highland Blended Malt Scotch Whisky exist, each of which is non-chill filtered and has no added colour.”
What we have to understand from this is that only enough whisky to fill one cask was finished within the Scottish oak and the rest did not receive a finish..
King of Trees – 10 year old
This blended malt is made up from whiskies distilled in the highlands and married together in order to create this initial release..
Distillery.. Blend ( Highland distilleries )
Age.. 10 years
Casks.. First fill / Refill American oak and one Scottish Oak cask.
This is NCF and Naturally Coloured..
Nose.. Initially green apples and lemon peels greet the senses with a subtle honeyed sweetness.. A hint of pear drop sweets merges with soft dried fruit notes and a delicate marzipan aroma that lurks in the background.
Palate.. Peppery with a kick of natural tannins which soon give way to those fresh green apples and the citrus bitterness.. Honey develops with a butterscotch and caramel flavour that merges with chocolate and delicate coffee notes.
Finish.. Sweet n spicy
Thoughts.. The hot start leads beautifully into a more sweeter, fruity dram which is light and very easy drinking.
No need to give this time to open as it surrenders quite quickly and although water does calm the heat down slightly in my opinion it also takes a little of the character away too.. At 46% this is surely designed to drink as is and that’s my suggestion too..
The art of blending is as old as whisky itself and although it has generally been looked at by many a single malt drinker as the “ lesser whisky “ and shunned by many it does seem that some companies are really trying to showcase just how good blends can be and this blended malt is a good example !!
My only caution is the price tag, not just with this but with many of the blends that are emerging into the market.. This is where the transparency is important, what has gone into this ? Where does the justification for £73.96 price tag for a 10 year old blend come from ?
The whisky is good !! Let’s not forget that.. That is after all the important bit, isn’t it ?
With thanks to Greg at Greatdrams and Whisky Works for this official sample..