Recently, Douglas Laing’s German importer Bremer Spirituosen Contor started the sublabel “Time for whisky adventures” within the Old Particular line of bottlings. The first releases sporting the new moniker and logo are three real sherry bombs: an Auchentoshan 22yo, a Blair Athol 22yo and a Benrinnes 16yo. Each is drawn from a single sherry butt, decorated with a classy black label and sold exclusively in Germany. Whereas the Lowlander (Auchentoshan) and the Highlander (Blair Athol) both cost about 150 Euro a bottle, the Speysider (Benrinnes) hit the market for the hard-to-believe price of 77 Euro! At that rate, I could not let it pass me by – especially since I had the chance to try it a fair and experience its quality first-hand! This is a wonderfully sherried, impressively dark and greatly balanced single cask Scotch whisky. A profound and copious pour from a distillery that often flies a little under the radar but never ceases to amaze!
Eye: Dark chestnut brown.
Nose: Nuts n’ wood n‘ spices. To the nostrils, the whisky offers warming notes of nougat cream, nutmeg and old furniture. Furthermore, I get burnt gingerbread cookies, stewed apples and plum jelly. The aromas are dense, full and also dusty. They blend and harmonize very well.
Palate: This sherry-matured Speysider fills the mouth with all kinds of nutty and fruity flavors: hazelnuts, chocolate nips, raisins, dark grapes, brambles, mirabelles and strawberry-infused toffee. It also has yeast dough and buttered toast. The spirit is pretty weighty and the overproof ABV clocks in at exactly right percentage. The whole thing’s really “wow”!
Finish: When swallowed, the full-bodied whisky becomes a bit lighter. Now I make out apricots, peaches and apple pie together with macadamia nuts, caramel bars and floral notes. Here and there, an ounce of spice makes itself known as well – albeit nowhere near as clearly as in the nose. Occasionally, some of the darker fruits from before return as well. This time, however, they are covered in cocoa powder. Thankfully, the delicious finale lasts pretty long.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 16 years
Cask: Sherry butt
No. of bottles: 262
Alc. volume: 56.5 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~77.00 Euro
More info: http://www.douglaslaing.com/ (Bottler) ; http://www.bremerspirituosencontor.de/ (Importer)