For his latest batch of exclusives, Sebastian of DeinWhisky.de has joined forces with two very renowned indie bottlers: Sansibar Whisky from Germany and Hart Brothers from Scotland. From these two companies, Sebastian sourced three really special drops: a sturdy Ben Nevis 24yo, a classy Secret Speyside 29yo and a winterly Tomatin 10yo. The first two appear as part of Sansibar’s “The Clans” series with portraits of kilt-wearing Scottish noblemen on the labels. The latter comes in Hart Brothers’ classic bottle and tube. I recently had samples of all three of these whiskies. Here’s how I experienced them …
Ben Nevis 1996/2020 by Sansibar
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • ex-Bourbon cask • 43.9% • ? bottles)
Attention, nostrils! Get ready for a dense wave of aromas coming your way. This independently bottled Ben Nevis 24 Years Old from Sansibar Whisky has a strong, heavy nose. It starts with a zesty citrus kick. Step by step, the fragrences become smoother as vanilla, mirabelle and butter pastry join in. Underneath there is also a vibrant grapefruit note and even something that reminds me of hard cheese – like dry, aromatic parmesan. The latter smell is a bit unusual, of course. But it also makes the bouquet really unique and outstanding. I like it a lot. When I sip this Ben Nevis, the first thing I notice is how full-bodied and weighty it is. That’s a pretty cool first impression! And the taste is great, too. I get lots of lemons, some fresh grass, a bit of cooled off tea, a good amount of puff pastry, a spoonful of brown sugar and some mild zests and spices … and maybe a few pieces of grated cheese have made their way onto the palate as well; however, they are less present here than in the nose. The aftertaste lasts. It leans into a minty direction without overwhelming you with freshness. Imagine a chewing gum that you have already had in the mouth for a while. It is still flavorsome, but it does not send a chill through your oral and nasal cavity anymore. This sensation is rounded off by the sweetish flavors of yellow plums, pureed apples and green spring twigs. A really nice mix and a worthy finale to a grand, aged Highlander.
Secret Speyside 1991/2020 by Sansibar
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Hogshead • 49.1% • ? bottles)
Oh Speyside, oh Speyside. Amidst your sheltering valleys and towering hills, thousands of beautiful whiskies have come to be. One such dram is this lovely 29 Years Old from an unspecified distillery that resides somewhere on your sacred soil. Its fragrances are playful and alluring with vanilla, clover, orange, pear, lemon grass and walnut oil. Despite its raised ABV, this Secret Specyside caresses the tongue, gums and inner sides of the cheeks in a mellow and pleasing way. It tastes bright and inviting, offering creamy vanilla and crisp peaches as well as sunflower seeds, banana milk, lime zest and sweetish white wine spritz. When swallowed, this fine ol’ dram fades smoothly and easily. It leaves behind a fine assortment of grainy and kernel-y notes. Plus bright fruits, soft sultanas, squeezy lemons and chewy carrot cake with sweet creme on top. Sounds good? Oh yesss … !
Tomatin 2010/2020 by Hart Brothers
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Port pipe • 53.8% • 360 bottles)
This single cask Tomatin 10 Years Old from a port pipe marks my first-ever (conscious) encounter with renowned indie bottler Hart Brothers. It is full of thick, mouthwatering aromas: cooked red fruits, dried orange slices, crumbly ginger bread, grated nutmeg and also some worn leather. Now the taste. It picks up exactly where the nose left off: plum jam, milk chocolade, cinnamon sticks, raisins, raspberries and dried potpourri. The finish is delicate and ongoing. In it, sweet fruits and sugared berries mingle with mild spices and chocolate ganache. On their website, DeinWhisky.de call this exclusive bottling “a great whisky for the soon-to-come Christmas time”. And indeed, the spirit is full of winterly notes that make it especially well suited for the festive season. Yet, it is – of course – not bound to that speical time. Having just sipped it in late January, I can confirm: This delish Tomatin 10 Years Old from Hart Brothers for DeinWhisky.de is not just great in December, but also in the other eleven months of the year!
Ben Nevis 1996/2020 Sansibar (Sin. Malt / Highlands / 24yo / ex-Bourbon cask / 42.9% / ~199 Euro)
Secret Speyside 1991/2020 Sansibar (Single Malt / Speyside / 29yo / Hogshead / 49.1% / ~185 Euro)
Tomatin 2010/2020 Hart Brothers (Single Malt / Highlands / 10yo / Port pipe / 53.8% / ~75 Euro)
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*** Whisky samples kindly provided by DeinWhisky.de. Thank you. ***