Operating out of the County of York, British indie bottlers Claxton’s brought their first single cask whiskies to the market in early 2016. Despite the fact that they hit the scene more than two years ago, I only got acquainted with them recently. More precisely, I had my first touch point with Claxton’s last month, when I attended the legendary “Day Of The 100 Open Bottles” at Pinkernells Whisky Market in Berlin. In the course of the event, I tried not one but half a dozen Claxton’s expressions. And quite frankly, I could have taken any of them home if I had solely based my choice on the quality of the drams (and if my pockets had been deep enough). However, as buying more than one bottle was not an option, I went for this 10 years old Scotch whisky from a secret Orkney distillery (which, according to rumor, is run by vikings rather than artisans *wink, wink*). Not only is it as strong as an able-bodied Northman and as impetuous as the raging sea, but also is it full of amazing smells and flavors. In short: This Orkney 10yo is one helluva Islands whisky, albeit with a twist. Between all the barnacles and ocean foam, there also lingers an exotic fruitiness that contradicts as well as complements the bottling’s maritime complexion. If you are looking for a full-of-surprises powerhouse for a fair price, this Northern beast makes an excellent pick!
Eye: A bleached and sandy yellow.
Nose: Like waves crashing against the cliffs, seemingly contrasting aromas clash in this powerful Islands malt. On the one hand, there are fresh notes of sweet limes, gooseberries and matcha tea. On the other, there are coastal fumes of moist stones, wooden piers and salty air. The delicate scent of pastry and the strong bite of alcohol shine through occasionally, like beams of sunlight piercing a thick, dark cloudscape.
Palate: This 10-year-old single cask bottling from the Orkney islands is as fascinating in the mouth as it is in the nose. When savored, it becomes less fizzy and more weighty. Besides meaty fruits, crumbled caramel and a whiff of smoke, it also has a herbal character and a certain ginger sharpness. Stir it a little and all the salt of the Atlantic ocean manifests in your glass.
Finish: An ongoing and mouth-filling finish with tea leaves, salt and avocado. Yes, that’s right. I sensed something in this whisky that somehow reminded me of that green-skinned, egg-shaped fruit. After all the other flavors had gone, a thin layer of cold ash remained on my tongue.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Islands (Orkney)
Age: 10 Years
Alc. volume: 63%
Cask type: Hogshead
# of bottles: 330
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~62.00 Euro
More info: https://claxtonsspirits.com/ (Bottler)