Recently, Whic.de released Batch 2 of its “Nymphs of Whisky” series. It consists of four single cask releases from Scotland, namely a Glen Moray 11yo, an Arran 13yo, a Craigellachie 12yo and a Secret Speyside 14yo. The Glen Moray, I already introduced here on BarleyMania in January. So now it is time to follow up with tasting notes for the other three malty maidens. In regard to their appearance and character, they differ quite a bit from each other: One is full-hued and immensely fruity. One is light-colored and dangerously savory. And one is dark-as-night and extremely sherried. But which is which? Read on to find out!
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Madeira finish • 50.3% • 363 bottles)
Hailing from Arran Distillery, this fresh and frolicking nymph enthuses us with an immense fruitiness. Her scent reminds of stewed apples with a lotta cinnamon on top. Also, she makes us think of summer flowers, lemon juice and crunchy grapes. To round things off, these aromas are encapsulated in a noticeable layer of study dust (most likely coming from the Madeira cask). When tasted, the whisky presents itself rather full-bodied. It offers a variety of green and yellow fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes and mirabelles. There is also a citrus sourness and a pastry sweetness. The aftertaste is smooth and ongoing with jaffa cakes, almond cookies, candied ginger and orange-infused whipped cream. This is a very fine offering from one of Scotland’s last remaining indie units.
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel • 54.3% • 239 bottles)
Vanilla, apple, pastry, marzipan and powdered sugar – this lovely lady from Craigellachie Distillery put on some really nice fragrances. And the whisky is not just pleasing to the nose, but also to the mouth. There, its stature is lean and its weight is light. The leading flavors are those of yellow, exotic fruits: pineapples, peaches, tangerines and soft mangos. They are accompanied by butter cookies, banana milk, apple puree and vanilla pudding. The mid-long, mellow finish has banana, citrus and peach. Also macha tea. I really enjoyed my encounter with this soft and sunny Speyside lassie.
Secret Speyside 14yo
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Sherry butt • 64.1% • 318 bottles)
I know it’s a clishé, but I’ll be going for it anyway: The finale of Batch 2 of Whic’s “Nymphs of Whisky” series is the epitome of a “sherry, sherry lady”. Dark and mysterious, this sumptuous seductress hides her origin behind a “Secret Speyside” veil. But hey, no matter where she comes from, she is quite a stunner. Fourteen years of maturation in a sherry butt have given her a rich and intense bouquet full of squashed brambles, roasted hazelnuts, oven-fresh raisin bread and spread plum jam. These dark, heavy scents are accentuated by the fresh fragrance of redcurrant-flavored cough drop jellies. The first sip is full of black coffee and strong licorice. With time, blackcurrants, plums and raisins join in. Later, sloe gin and oak make themselves known as well. It takes a while for the electrifying effect of the extremely high ABV (beyond 64 per cent) to vanish. The finish goes on. It has brambles, currants, raisins and wood. And a minty, After Eight-like quality. If you got what it takes to stand eye to eye with the darkest and strongest of Whic’s nymphs, she will reward you aplenty. If not, she will bring you to your knees.
Arran 13yo (Single Malt / Islands / 13yo / Madeira finish / 50.3% / ~80 Euro)
Craigellachie 12yo (Single Malt / Speyside / 12yo / 1st fill ex-bourbon / 54.3% / ~60 Euro)
Secret Speyside 14yo (Single Malt / Speyside / 14yo / Sherry butt / 64.1% / ~90 Euro)
*** Whisky samples kindly provided by Whic.de ***