Have I mentioned I like heavily sherried whisky ? Well I do and when I heard about this single cask offering from the independent bottlers Bartels, then I just had to get some to try.
Bartels are an independent bottler who release single cask offerings at cask strength and natural colour, they also have a blended whisky released under the ” His Excellency ” label..
The industry is not short of indie bottlers these days and the competition is certainly getting fierce but with the shortfalls within the industry there is certainly a position for the indie bottlers..
From what I see the main strength of these indie bottlers is the release of whisky under the single cask, natural colour and cask strength banners.. This is where the official bottles fall short for those who consider themselves a little more advanced than the average drinker, those who want to explore the whisky in its natural state, straight from the barrel with none of the extra marketing bullshit..
I for one love the experience these single casks offer, they tell us far more about the journey the whisky has undertaken, the interaction with the wood, the story behind each and every cask is different, this is where the future lies for me, id love to see more and more whisky sold under the single barrel, cask strength regime..
We all know how important the wood regime is within the industry and how each individual cask will offer something different, the difference might be slight but its always there, sit down with a few different single casks and spend some time with them, you will soon spot the difference between them and you wont need a scientist to point it out !!
23 Year Old Speyside Single Malt
Age.. 23 years
Cask.. Sherry Butt #2
Nose.. This dives straight into dried fruits like dates, figs, raisins with plum pudding, dark chocolate and Turkish delight.. Espresso coffee, treacle and old leather aromas wind their way through dry tobacco and that old dunnage warehouse aroma. The longer you leave this sitting the more prominent that chocolate note becomes.. its just divine and seductive..
Palate.. This is oaky with a real mature feel.. The oak dominates but in a good way, eventually those typical sherry notes muscle their way through with dried fruits, chocolate, coffee and old leather notes shining, a touch of aniseed slowly makes an appearance along with cherries, black forest gateau and thick orange marmalade..
Finish.. Spices and oak..
Thoughts.. This is dirty…..
And by that I mean it has all those well matured sherry notes with an oaky dominance, oak driven and everything I love in well aged sherry matured whisky !! It is like walking into a very old dunnage warehouse, grabbing the valinch, plunging it into a barrel, sitting down on the earth floor and enjoying the aromas, flavours within the damp, dark surroundings..
I absolutely love these type of whiskies and luckily for me I have a few in the cupboard.. I know this style is not for everyone but isn’t that the whole point.. Whisky is about finding what suits your palate and working out what does and doesn’t work for you..