New Whiskies

Batch 26

by

This week Becky Paskin gets acquainted with a heavily-peated PX-matured single malt from Peat's Beast, another heavily peated malt from Octomore aged in virgin French oak, plus four of Wemyss Malts' new 2016 single cask bottlings.

Scoring Explained

Overview

  • Barrista’s Dram, Craigellachie 2002 (Wemyss Malts)

    Score 8/10
    Scoring explained >
    Barrista’s Dram, Craigellachie 2002 (Wemyss Malts)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Rich & Round
    Nose

    Thick and meaty, polished leather, ripe orchard fruit – pears and red apples. After a short while burnt toffee and dark chocolate come through.

    Palate

    Sumptuously viscous. Starts with intense cooked fruit and oats, giving way to a slight rubberiness and old leather. Some icing sugar, pear drops and barley sugar ensue. Chewy. Loses its brooding intensity with water, as you’d expect.

    Finish

    Here’s where the coffee grounds kick in, with toasted almonds and a hint of anise rounding it off nicely.

    Conclusion

    Meaty, rich and intense. It’s like bumping into Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne down a dark alley.

    Right place, right time

    Smoking cigars on the terrace with Batman. 

    Coastal Confection, Bowmore 1996 (Wemyss Malts)

    Score 7.8/10
    Scoring explained >
    Coastal Confection, Bowmore 1996 (Wemyss Malts)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    54.7%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islay
    Flavour camp
    Smoky & Peaty
    Nose

    A beach BBQ – seaweed, sea-washed pebbles and a coal-burning fire. Further in Flying Saucers, Sherbet Dip-Dabs and icing sugar make a nostalgic appearance, particularly with water. 

    Palate

    Quite meaty actually; very intense and spicy. Add water to discover stewed forest fruit, wood spice, and menthol.

    Finish

    Long, as the salty BBQ smoke slowly peters away.

    Conclusion

    A classic example of Bowmore’s ability to marry layered fruit alongside heavy smoke. Delightful.  

    Right place, right time

    Shivering under a blanket while trying to stay out at the beach as late as possible.

    Fallen Apples, Glen Garioch 1989 (Wemyss Malts)

    Score 9.4/10
    Scoring explained >
    Fallen Apples, Glen Garioch 1989 (Wemyss Malts)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Highland
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Spicy
    Nose

    Demerara sugar and cooked bananas dotted with milk chocolate. Later revealing caramelised apples, toffee apples even.

    Palate

    Creamy milk chocolate that develops into Thornton’s chocolate-covered toffee and then richly caramelised tarte tatin.

    Finish

    Silky smooth, kissed with a touch of spice.

    Conclusion

    Such remarkable depth and complexity that it rivals Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper. 

    Right place, right time

    Riding the carnival’s Ferris wheel, looking down contentedly on the world below.

    Toasted Anise, Glenrothes 1996 (Wemyss Malts)

    Score 8.6/10
    Scoring explained >
    Toasted Anise, Glenrothes 1996 (Wemyss Malts)
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    46%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Speyside
    Flavour camp
    Fruity & Floral
    Nose

    Baked apples and cinnamon, ginger oat biscuits, dusty hay, vanilla. Water brings out some zingy green apple notes.

    Palate

    A vibrant mouth of cooked apples with sultanas and ginger spice, plus a generous splodge of sticky toffee pudding – with more ginger – for afters.

    Finish

    The prevalent ginger spice transforms into a lingering pepperiness as the Glenrothes’ floral notes come to the fore in the form of rose petals.

    Conclusion

    Absolutely delightful. Quite simply Speyside in a bottle.

    Right place, right time

    Riding a horse bareback through a lush green Speyside landscape.

    Octomore 07.4

    Score 7.1/10
    Scoring explained >
    Octomore 07.4
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    61.2%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    Islay
    Flavour camp
    Smoky & Peaty
    Nose

    Liquorice blackcurrants, cherry-flavoured Tunes (menthol sweets). Pan-friend bacon cooked on a wood fire. Maraschino cherries soaking in syrup with whole roasted hazelnuts. Water brings out the eucalyptus scent.

    Palate

    It’s a sickly sweet blackcurrant pie dripping in syrup but punctuated by a rye pepperiness. Water softens the menthol spice (although the high strength is perfectly palatable without dilution) and reveals cooked plums and more forest fruit, all the while underpinned by that wood smoke. It’s a touch rancid in the middle.

    Finish

    A strong eucalyptus flavour on the finish. It’s like sucking on a Soothers lozenge at a friend’s BBQ, only the liquid has an equally numbing effect.

    Conclusion

    An interesting experimental release from Bruichladdich's Octomore matured entirely in virgin French oak. It's an intensely woody dram – almost too woody – although a strong fruit presence gives it some much needed depth.

    Right place, right time

    Ditch the Lemsip and stock this in your hipflask. It will banish the nastiest of colds in no time.

    Peat's Beast PX

    Score 7/10
    Scoring explained >
    Peat's Beast PX
    Price band
    £ £ £ £ £
    ABV
    54.1%
    Production type
    Single malt whisky
    Region
    n/a
    Flavour camp
    Smoky & Peaty
    Nose

    Sweet vanilla fudge, mixed citrus peel and fluffy delicate fruit cake that – like the brand’s label – has been singed around the edges.

    Palate

    A dry, sour start builds into a mouthful of dates, grapefruit peel, orange peel, hazelnuts, almonds. Like reaching into a bag of dried fruit mix. A punch of TCP, salt spray and bonfire smoke bursts in unexpectedly in the middle.

    Finish

    Slightly dry. As that intense smoke eventually subsides it leaves notes of bitter dark chocolate, cloves and rum and raisin ice cream in its wake. There’s a very slight sulphury note on the end. 

    Conclusion

    It’s a fierce dram but in the end you’re left with the taste of chewing on the crusts of burnt fruitcake. 

    Right place, right time

    Sneaking a sip from a hipflask smuggled into afternoon tea at the Ritz in the depths of winter. You know it’s naughty, but a brew just won’t cut it here. 

Scroll To Top