Cask 34, 2006 Tasting Notes
Lady of the Glen are an independent bottler owned by Gregor Hannah, all offerings are cask strength and non chill filtered, and to date I still haven’t had a bottle from and to be honest Gregor has such a way with casks I’d be surprised if I ever did.
This 10yo Sherry Butt Tullibardine offering is taking advanced orders here priced at £65 and with delivery expected mid November, is it worth getting in early? Read on and find out.
Sherry Butt 34 was distilled on the 14th April 2006 and bottled in October 2016. The 10 year old Oloroso Sherry Butt produced a natural cask strength of 58.7% alcohol and elected to bottle just 200 bottles, non-chill filtered with no colourings.
A limited Edition 200 bottle release – each uniquely glass etched bottle has been numbered.
An independent Sherry Tullibardine isn’t an everyday offering, so let’s see what this one is like.
As you open the bottle and transfer it into your glass of choice, you are immediately met by freshly roasted coffee beans, so strongly I checked it was whisky I was pouring. There’s a refined strong earthy maltiness, crushed autumn leaves being stirred into a pot of Horlicks.
It’s then bursting forth with strong berry flavours with black currants, brambles and logan berries, robust and sticky. There are notes of cloves which join with rich liqourice and just a touch of clay, then, in comes the fainest sweet note of rich, abundantly sweet Strawberry. Not just strawberry puree, but also “fake”, synthetic strawberry laces and ice cream sauce.
As you start to question if it has given all it can the wonderful aroma of dunnage warehouses start to appear. All the wonderful damp straw, cold stone floor, wet iron and row upon row of damp, cold wet wood ans as this continues to open up there is a slightly greener, fresher note, with an estery note of gooseberries and a slight whiff of acetone.
Although for me there wasn’t all that much sherry influence on the nose for me, it is here in spade loads on the palate, in fact those sweet, sherry notes are so strong you could be forgiven for thinking you had been handed a glass of Olorosso sherry, were you drinking it blind. With a wave of sultana’s, chopped nuts which include hazelnuts, Brazil’s and a sweeter almond note, before drying and bitter walnuts make themselves known.
However those common Christmas spices start to come through with nutmeg, All Spice, and some Chinese Five spice to add an interesting change, with plums, sticky stoned dates, prunes and the brambles and the blackcurrants from the nose almost overwhelming the palate, but not quite.
A second sip reveals all of the above, albeit revealing a little more depth. There’s notes of old school assembly halls, all polished wood and linseed oil, leather bound satchels and old paper textbooks turned dry and musty by the hands of time.
The sugar crust from a sugared almond marches through, hand in hand with crunch cocoa nibs and 90% dark chocolate add a dark, yet sweeter note. Before bung cloth and orange oil appear, all wrapped up in a parcel of nutmeg and chopped ginger.
Warming, a little thin, although the fruity berry notes, continue. As first I thought the finish was short, almost blink and you miss it, but what I hadn’t counted on was the mouthwatering sweetness of the brambles and the secondary cocoa notes with the ginger following throughout.
Although not at all what I expected on the nose, with arguably not much of a sherry influence coming out on the nose straightaway it is still an interesting nose with a burst of forest fruits and polished wood. On the palate there is no doubt as to the origin of this whisky, the Oloroso influence is off the scale.
There are the traditional, somewhat expected notes, which a sherry influenced whisky would usually offer up, with stewed fruits, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, but its’s the notes of dunnage warehouse that really make this into something far more special. It’s not a note I expected to find, but there is was and it worked tremendously.
This is a dram that for me does a complete U turn, starting out on the nose with almost no hint of the Oloroso but on the palate, boom! There it is. The palate is really fantastic with so much going on, with the star of the show for me being the dunnage warehouse notes, and old schoolhouses, wonderful.
This is a whisky to enjoy whilst relaxing in a leather arm chair, with the paper, or a weighty tome. Or maybe just on the couch contemplating life and all it has to offer. Maybe you’d prefer it after dinner, if you aren’t one for desserts, or better still poured over ice cream. What do I know, if you buy it, drink it however you decide best.
Excellent value for money for a slightly more unusual distillery, single cask and cask strength, you won’t see this everyday. There are a few nods to some youth but they are fleeting, over all this feels far older than it’s ten years. It’s all vintage sophistication, old schoolhouses and dusty museums in a glass. A must try.