I am always happy to fetch new samples from Whic.de out of my mailbox. After all, their bottlings are usually of top quality and great appeal – two attributes that also apply to their most recent whisky duo. It consists of a Glenrothes 22yo (proudly flying the “Amazing Whiskies” flag) and a Ledaig 12yo (continuing the popular “War of the Peat” saga). Both were drawn from sherry butts and released in June 2020. The Glenrothes costs 150 Euro and sold out on launch day. The Ledaig clocks in at 110 Euro and is still available. One possible reason for this: The islander produced more than twice as many bottles as the Speysider. Anyway. To learn a bit more about either whisky, feel free to check out my tasting notes below.
Glenrothes 22yo “Amazing Whiskies”
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Speyside • 58.8% • 270 bottles)
Earlier this month, Whic launched a new series called “Amazing Whiskies”. They marketed it in an over-the-top way that paid tribute to the fun fair attractions, silver screen spectacles and pulp fiction epics of the first half of the 20th century. A cool concept – at least for folks like me that have a soft spot for the odd, the offbeat and the nerdy. True to the narrative, the “Amazing Whiskies” series debuted with a bang! The kick-off expression is a 22-year-old Glenrothes matured in an active sherry butt. It sold out in a flash, but it also stirred up some heat. Since Whic did not put the cask number on the label, numerous people accused them of masquerading the fact that this was “only” the other half of a cask bottled by Signatory in 2019. Personally, I do not mind this alledged lack of transparency too much. After all, I have never traced back the casks of the indie releases I bought anyway. For all that I know, they could all have secret siblings somewhere. Well, let us move on to the spirit now. As said, it comes from the acclaimed Glenrothes Distillery in Speyside. The whisky is dark in color and intense yet silken in character. Its scent is predominantly sweet and fruity with a covibrating spiciness. I get sweetend raspberries and yellow plums, soft peaches, crumbled milk chocolate, mild cinnamon, parched paper and also some oak. Whereas the fruits are juicy, the other aromas are dryish – a nice contrast. On the tongue, I taste a delish assortment of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and raisins, all coated in gooey chocolate sauce. Additionally, I make out almonds, licorice, cappucchino and pepper corns as well as armagnac. The cask strength ABV is nicely interwoven; it amplifies the flavors without rivaling them. The aftertaste is lasting, golden and smooth. It offers a lot of grapes, blueberries, quinces, cocoa nibs and hard candy. Pretty amazing, if you ask me!
Ledaig 12yo “War of the Peat”
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Islands • 58.5% • 642 bottles)
Despite the fact that we have already been hit by three devastating blows, the “War of the Peat” is still not over. The invaders keep firing their smoky shots and peaty projectiles. Their latest weapon of malt destruction: a sooty Ledaig 12 Years Old from a refill sherry cask. It shimmers golden in the glass and feels fumy in the nostrils: Its most significant aromas are those of mushy apples and oranges, burnt cookies, biting pepper, lit tabloids, extinct camp fires and black smoke. The first sip brims with salt. It takes some time to settle down. Once this has happened, the sweetness of vanilla milk, banana chunks and marzipan crescents chimes in, too. Slowly but steadily, it unfolds in the mouth. The smoke is rather thin at this stage – it stays in the back. During the finish, the whisky gets fumier and greasier again. But it keeps its sweetness. Now, I also make out some fruits. In one sentence, I would describe this Ledaig’s thickish aftertaste as a mixture of peanut butter and apricot jelly spread across a crusty, honey-glazed pork rib. This was another hard-to-fend-off attack. If the next one will be equally strong, I have but one message to the invaders: Keep ’em coming!
Glenrothes 22yo “Amazing Whiskies” (Single M. / Spey. / 22yo / Sherry butt / 58.8% / ~150 Euro)
Ledaig 12yo “War of the Peat” (Single Malt / Islands / 12yo / Refill sherry / 58.5% / ~110 Euro)
*** Whisky samples kindly provided by Whic. ***