During my three-day stint at Hanse Spirit, which I attended as a fan and as an exhibitor this year, I got slipped a few samples. Stylistically, the drams from Paul’s Prime (The Nine Springs 3yo), Jura Distillery (Tastival 2016) and Compass Box (Flaming Heart 2018) do not have much in common – except for the fact that they are all whisky and all good. And that is enough for me to group them together in this review flight and introduce them to you. Have fun!
The Nine Springs 3yo by Paul’s Prime
(Single Malt Whisky • Bordeaux Barrique • 48%)
The Nine Springs is a German whisky produced at No9 Spirituosenmanufaktur in Thuringia. It gets quite a bit of praise these days. And based on this single cask bottling from Kiel-based micro bottler Paul’s Prime, which marks my first contact with The Nine Springs, I must say: rightfully so! The nose is sweet and charming with cocktail cherries, brandied pears, roasted nuts and fresh vanilla. The mouthfeel is pretty round and smooth with no more than a slight edginess from the whisky’s youth. I taste strawberries, plums, peppermint and hazelnut cake. The finish does not go on forever, but it is pleasing. It has a lot of red fruits and creamy nougat as well as a striking freshness. I think I will keep an eye on both the distillery and the bottler from now on.
Jura Tastival 2016
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Triple sherry • 51%)
I already reviewed the Jura Tastival 2016 here on BarleyMania before. However, my bottle has long since been emptied. So I am curious to give this precious islander another try and refresh my memory. This time, I sniff a lot of sweet and dulcet aromas accompanied by a slight sourness. Sugared cherries, crunchy apples, juicy oranges and squashed limes. Also brown sugar and a hint of coffee. In the mouth, I get a powerful chocolate kick first, followed by red and orange fruits. Then some sharp ginger and dried cloves. Fresh and zesty notes as well. The alcohol peek-a-boos here and there, too. In the course of the on-going aftertaste, the Tastival 2016 produces a lot of oranges, grapes and pears covered in thick, gooey chocolate sauce! I really dig this whisky… it’s exciting, complex and very delicious!
Compass Box Flaming Heart 2018
(Blended Malt Scotch Whisky • Heavy-toasted oak • 48.9%)
The Flaming Heart rocks! Before it hits the stage, it already builds anticipation with an epic mix of fresh and fiery aromas. Birch wood split by a lightning rod. Apple slices spiced with cayenne pepper. Salted popcorn left in the pan for too long. Green peppers on a gleaming BBQ roast. Lovely… very effin’ lovely! When the curtain drops and the whisky hits the tongue, its peatiness becomes more prominent. My first sensation is that of a stuffed ashtray on the whisky-soaked counter of a shabby yet glamorous rock’n’roll bar. Bit by bit, the smokiness gets supplemented by additional flavors. Burnt cookies. Dark brambles. Thick vanilla sauce. Herby cough candy. Mushy apples and peaches. A skull splittin’ power chord o’ flavor! The encore is a highlight, too! It is long and spectacular with a reluctant fruitiness, a beguiling honey sweetness, an earthy peatiness and a good amount of bonfire smoke. Without a doubt: The 2018 expression of the Flaming Heart is a worthy contender for the headliner slot in any given line-up!
The Nine Springs 3yo by Paul’s Prime (Single Malt / Germany / 3yo / Bordeaux Barrique / 48% / ?? Euro)
Jura Tastival 2016 (Single Malt / Scotland / NAS/ Triple Sherry / 51% / 100 Euro)
Compass Box Flaming Heart 2018 (Blended Malt / Scotland / NAS / Heavy-toasted Oak / 48.9% / 130 Euro)
*** Whisky samples kindly provided by Paul’s Prime, Borco-Marken-Import & Compass Box ***