Scotch Review: Assorted Cask Samples: IV

Elliott
3 min readNov 26, 2022

Assorted Cask Samples: IV / CS / Free

All are tasted starting neat, adding water if necessary, in a blender’s glass

These are samples of some various casks that are/were available for purchase on the secondary market. I will be taking a look at them from a different perspective than usual, more to understand the wood/distillery character over time, as all of these are quite young. I have also anonymized the sellers’ / cask-specific information as well; all of these are fairly young, and probably in the £4–12,000 range.

I will start these in no particular order, and will use a compressed scale from 1–5:

(1) No good at all; ruinous; unsalvageable 
(2) Bad, but maybe it just needs more time
(3) OK; could be fine with a few more years
(4) Good; nice stuff, you could bottle it now, or give it a bit more time
(5) Perfect; why is this still in the cask??

Renegade Rum: Old Bacolet 50%

I’m not the biggest rum guy, but Renegade Rum is a new startup in Grenada making rums from Cane Sugar not molasses, I think. Wow, the nose is very unique, it’s got Japanese raw oysters, cane sugar, fermented pickles, and bottled green olive. On the mouth, it’s like a dirty martini with cane sugar; the finish is green olive juice.

I think you can buy this at TWE if you’re interested.

Verdict: 4-: I am not sure this is for me, because of my inexperience in the category, but it’s super interesting.

Aber Falls: Welsh Whisky 40%

A new distillery in Wales, Aber Falls has a few different spirits on offer. This is a whisky, decent colour in the glass. Nose is young, sweet with some oak, honey. Flavour has a sour note I don’t like, otherwise it feels like generic “whisky”. Doesn’t help that I don’t know the specs, and it’s not CS.

Verdict: 2: Not excited to try this again.

Speyside Distillery Tenne / Tawny Port ~60%

I like Speyside Distillery, and I love a nice Tawny Port. Nose is oaky, with some grape and fennel. Taste combines blackcurrant with spice. The finish is quite pleasant!

Verdict: 4: This is pretty good, I would like to see it with more age.

Bunnahabhain 10 Year Sherry Butt / ~60%

Colour and nose are close to new make; flavour is peated, very nice; similar to Lagavulin 12 CS, lots of iodine and peat. Some rounding off from oak, but very slight.

Verdict: 3-: I can see this being quite good in more active wood, or with a lot more time. Personally, I’d maybe think about re-casking it?

Speyside Distillery 8 Year, ex-Bourbon Hogshead / ~60%

Fairly innocuous on the nose, but a nice oaky, sweet palate. Lavender and lemon. This would be great at 18 / 20 years!

Verdict: 4-: solid, well-made whisky that would be excellent in time.

Anonymous Irish Pot Still / 3 Years / ~60%

Menacing but buttery nose; chestnuts, rosewater. Taste garlic, cream, and honey. Delicious!

Verdict: 5-: this is already excellent, best of the lot so far.

Mackmyra 10 year / ~50%

Piney nose, black licorice, campfire smoke and … persimmons? The flavour is hugely spruce sap, then a rich oaky and honey. More botanicals in the mouth and finish.

Verdict: 3: I think this needs to get out of the cask before it becomes a digestive, there’s actually too much wood influence here.

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Elliott

Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade