So, here we go again with another great tasting with Norbert from Whisky Experience in Hamburg. Just one week ago, Tobi wrote a review about the Irish Whiskey tasting we attended together. This week, my wife and I booked a tasting called “Independent Bottlers and Single Casks”. As always we received a very warm welcome from Norbert. It was already the sixth time we met him for an evening of great whisk(e)ys. The group of guests was rather small this time as only four others found their way to the tasting room. But then again, smaller groups have the advantage that you can compare and discuss your perception of the different whiskies in more detail.
We started the evening with a 17yo Blair Athol from Highland Trail. A very sweet whisky that brings lots of yellow fruits to your nose. Surprisingly, the palate is dominated by a wide selection of herbs. A really nice beginning. After that, we were served a 10yo Miltonduff by Gordon & MacPhail. Both whiskies were matured in boubon casks and showed the typical sweetness and vanilla notes these containers produce. Especially the Miltonduff was a real vanilla bomb in the nose. And it underlined this impression in the mouth.
Up next was a whisky that was matured in Oloroso sherry casks only. A 19yo Ben Nevis from The Maltman with very distinct sherry notes, but also a lot of dried red fruits and spices. This was the oldest whisky we had this night and also the most expensive one. But to be honest, about EUR 80 is not too much for a 19 years old whisky and it is definitely worth its money. After three whiskies from Scotland we were now about to do a short trip to France. The 9yo Armorik Breton Oak is a very (very!) sweet whisky with notes of vanilla, yellow fruits and even some marzipan. Though it is bottled at 54.6%, it is still very smooth.
On our way back to Scotland, we stopped by on the Isle of Arran. There, we found my personal highlight of the tasting. A very young – just five years old – Arran from A.D. Rattray bottled at powerful 57.3%. It combined sweetness, vanilla and fresh yellow fruits with the typical saltiness of whiskies from the seaside. Of course, I had to take this whisky home with me. The last whisky of the tasting was the one the peatheads were waiting for: an 8yo Smokehead by Ian MacLeod from Islay. If you like the idea of smoked ham with honey, then this is the perfect dram for you. Although this was our sixth dram, it was not our last. Traditionally you always receive an extra sip of your favorite whisky. But this time Norbert had a special surprise for us. He brought along a surprise bottle and so we also got to try the Summer Fruit Cup, a 15yo Auchentoshan by Wemyss, which reminded me of a freshly opened can of exotic fruit cocktail. Once again, it was a very entertaining and interesting evening. This was certainly not our last whisky tasting at Whisky Experience.
Blair Athol by Highland Trail (17yo / Scotch / Highlands / 46% / 69 Euro)
Miltonduff by Gordon & MacPhail (10yo / Scotch / Speyside /??% / ?? Euro)
Ben Nevis by The Maltman (19yo / Scotch / Highlands / 46% / 87 Euro)
Armorik Breton Oak (9yo / French Whisky /France / 54.6% / 69 Euro)
Arran by A.D. Rattray (5yo/ Scotch / Islands / 57.3% / 54 Euro)
Smokehead by Ian Macleoad (NAS / Scotch / Islay / 43% / 33 Euro)
Auchentoshan by Wemyss (15yo / Scotch / Lowlands / 46% / 79 Euro)
Whisky Experience: https://www.whisky-experience.de/
Gordon & McPhail: http://www.gordonandmacphail.com/
A.D. Rattray: http://www.adrattray.com/
Ian Macleoad: http://www.ianmacleod.com/