Bernard Shaw referred to whisky as liquid sunshine. Others call it nectar, juice or essence. But not so Bryan Davis. Inspired by the freaky experiments of a certain Dr. Moreau, the co-founder of the Lost Spirits Distillery boldly named this peaty creation of his an Abomination. Like the man-beasts that the crazy scientist from H.G. Wells’s novel brought into being, this high-strength malt is also everything but ordinary. It is based on 1-2 years old Islay spirit, which got imported to the US, quick-matured with a special reactor technique and enriched with Riesling-seasoned wood staves. Technically, the Abomination is not yet a whisky. But practically, it looks and smells and tastes like one. Although I understand the outcry among the traditionalist part of the BarleyMania followers, I must say that I find this “whisky” quite intriguing. It might not be a beauty – who would have guessed with a name like this? – but it certainly kicks ass!
Eye: Shimmering orange brown.
Nose: Though it was born on US soil, there is no doubt that this beast was conceived on Islay! Hot ash and steaming asphalt are the strongest odors it oozes. Then, there is clammy earth, soaked moss, gritty salt, sizzling twigs and powdered paprika. Brambles and rosehips provide some sweetness, whereas burning tires and molten gummy bears add a bit of a “freaky” component.
Palate: Despite its vigor, this behemoth is not full-on violent. I would not go as far as to say that it has a soft side, but at least it can be tamed. When done so, it rewards its master with intense notes of burnt stick bread, puffy smoke, red fruits, grilled vegetables and slightly bitter marmalade. The Abomination has character and is not bar of complexity. The test tube, in which it was spawned, worked!
Finish: Instead of sneaking away, the Abomination exits in a rage. Its short finish is raw, punchy and metallic. It has smoke, fruit, rubber and wood. Grrooaaarrr!
Type: Quick-Matured Malt
Alc. volume: 43 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~55.00 Euro
More info: https://www.lostspirits.net/ (Distillery)
Interesting.. very interesting. Do you think there’s a market for these pre-“whisky” spirits?
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I don’t think quick-matured malt will ever replace traditionally matured whisky. There’s something about age – even if it’s “just” the minimum of 3 years – that is just magical! Nevertheless, I find this to be an interesting approach and in the case of the Abomination it worked mighty fine. So personally, I am very open to try (and buy) such a pour from time to time. But I wouldn’t want all my “whisky” to be produced like this.
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Fair play. I tried a 2.5yo Starward from Australia recently and it tasted really good. I guess it’s all a stop gap really whilst the main stock is maturing away, right?