Abbey Whisky – 20.11.13

AbbeyWhiskyTweetTastingAbbey Whisky, Rare Casks Tweet Tasting – 20th November 2013

We were lucky enough to be able to be part of the @thewhiskywire Tweet Tasting for the club. It was decided that Kirsty would take charge of this as she really liked the sound of the drams that they had sent.

Caperdonich 17 Year Old Refill Bourbon – Vintage: 1995 – Bottled: 2012 57.8% – £59.50

Nose: fresh, sweet, clementine’s and Satsuma’s coming through, plums and pears with plenty of Demerara sugar & vanilla, nose opening up with lovely pepper and clove notes, pineapple with a hint of buttercream.

Palate: hot pepper invading straight away, tingling on the lips, then calming into sweet vanilla, pineapple, flambé bananas coming thru now, backed up with coconut and custard, nutmeg, cinnamon hanging on, chewy toffee.  Palate, still holding its own as it nears the finish, really enjoying this, love the Caramac sweetness and mouth coating qualities, very smooth.

Bunnahabhain 23 years of age.   Distilled in 1989, this special malt was aged in a refill bourbon barrel for 23 years before being bottled at natural cask strength of 44% vol – £72.95

Nose: wow, lemons, gentle ocean waves, salt, almost like a tequila slammer, gentle peat blowing through, slight acetone, evolving into something softer with a gentle sweetness, warming vanilla still present, hints of fresh green apples too, granny smith I think.

The nose continues to evolve, picking up a gentle nuttiness, losing the sea but gaining charcoal with a chalkiness reminiscent of schooldays, pineapple and a little mango finishes.

Palate: sweet, toffee muffins, almonds, apples, lemon with a little pear, then the gentle smoke and saltiness, hints of oak with leather & lovely tea tannins coming through, with the salt making a welcome return.

Ben Nevis 16 Years of age Vintage: 1997 – Bottled: 2013 –  55% Oloroso Sherry Hogshead. – £64.95

Nose: the sherry hits you in the face and then that plimsoll smell that I personally love in a dram!  Christmas pudding covered in brandy and set alight.  The more it warms the more spice you pick up, all spice, ginger, glazed cloves, dark molasses, warm gym halls, evocative of school fates in the gym hall, home baking and old musty oak floors and fresh rubber.

Palate: Big hit with the rubber sulphur, then getting stewed fruits, dark chocolate covered cherries, a hint of good quality aged Parma ham, touch of smoke and maple syrup. The palate then changes and the shift is towards the sweeter treats in life, toffee and vanilla, fresh crème anglaise, and Butterscotch, but the pepper bite starts to come through, such a tangible dram, oily, chewy and mouth coating.

Mystery Dram which was revealed to be GlenDronach 1993, Single Cask #33 – £89.95

Distilled in 1993, this outstanding dram has been bottled exclusively for abbeywhisky.com. The whisky has taken on a beautiful, dark crimson colour thanks to its 20 year slumber in an oloroso sherry butt,

Nose: Picking up toffee and cereal notes, malted milk biscuits with a tropical undercurrent and stewed, dark fruits, plums, damsons and rich blackberries are all simmering under the surface.

Palate: Rich, with a wonderful sweet, lovely malted milk, warming taste as it first hits the tongue, this then gives way to waves of plums, dates and toasted walnuts as promised on the nose.  There is a fantastic rum and raisin hit and at first I questioned if this were a rum rather than a whisky, however as it lingers on the palate you can start to pick up the sherry qualities with plenty of spice, and spirit.  A truly amazing dram and one that I would happily drink again and again.

Conclusions:

A great tweet tasting, not a bad dram amongst them and I would be hard pushed to pick the best of four truly outstanding drams.

The packaging was beautiful (I know not everyone is that interested in the packaging, but I am a sucker for it and was not disappointed).  Abbey Whisky were incredibly active throughout the tweet tasting which I really liked, I think it’s important to have good interaction.

As rare finds I personally feel that the prices are pretty much spot on and good value for money.

The tweet tasting was lively, as always, with a good mixture of regulars and beginners to whisky, or at least tweet tastings, well run as Steve Rush’s Tweet Tastings always are.

I can honestly say there was not one whisky that I did not like, or would happily own, if pushed, the GlenDronach is my favourite, and although may initially seem pricey, for a single cask 20 year old, it’s well worth splashing out.

Kirsty

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