Last month, I received a wee parcel from Flickenshild whisky shop in Itzehoe, Northern Germany. The content: Three samples of their most recent exclusives, realized in collaboration with renowned indie bottlers Wu Dram Clan and Hunter Laing as well as fellow spirits dealers Whiskyhort and Schlüter’s Genießertreff. The drops in question are a Tomatin 2009 from a Tempranilla red wine cask, a Mortlach 2012 from a refill hogshead, and an Ardmore 2013 from a Bourbon barrel. The opulent Tomatin definitely sticks out for me, but the buoyant Mortlach and the peat-laden Ardmore are really great as well. So, to sum it up, we got three real winners here! If you are now curious to learn what makes these drops such good catches, please read on!
Tomatin 2009/2022 by Flickenschild & Whiskyhort
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Highlands • 60.3% • 770 bottles)
Here we have a shared release by two much-loved German whisky shops: Flickenschild from Itzehoe and Whiskyhort from Oberhausen. Together, they brought us this 12-year-old Tomatin from a Tempranillo red wine cask. It comes with a high ABV of 60.3 per cent and a ton of aroma! The nose brims with hazelnut brownie, raspberry marmalade, mocha bean, and mousse au chocolat. The mouthfeel is full and heavy – with an stimulating CS tickle. In regard to the offered flavors, the following notes most dominant: dark chocolate, brandied cherry, juicy grape, and jellied orange. Once gulped down, the whisky culminates in one helluva aftertaste; to me, this is the greatest stage of the degustation! The lush assortment of parting gifts includes rum truffles, chocolate muffins, caramel chunks, bramble jelly, and fruit cake. Plus kiwi, citrus, and oak. For maximum wholesomeness, these mouthwatering treats echo long and strong!
Mortlach 2012/2022 by Hunter Laing for Whisky³
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Speyside • 54.9% • 242 bottles)
This light-colored Mortlach 10 Years Old is a joint release by Flickenschild, Whiskyhort, and Schlüter’s Genießertreff. Drawn from a single refill hogshead, it starts off with a fresh and fizzy nose: lemon sorbet, apple rings, rhubarb foam, honey cake, and all kinds of green and yellow garden berries. A splash of Piña Colada adds a certain creaminess. In the mouth, the whisky continues the creamy path it had taken before. Vanilla, honey, and pastry intertwist with lime, apple, and mandarin. The good finish has stature, verve, and length – it is full of fresh citrus fruits, sourish berries, sugared strawberries, liquid toffee, and sweet beeswax. When my friend Andy (@Whisky_Captain) recently sipped this Mortlach 12 Years Old at a Robin Laing concert organized by Flickenschild, he labeled it an ideal summer’s dram; and that is exactly what it is!
Ardmore 2013/2022 by Wu Dram Clan for Flickenschild
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Speyside • 53.2% • 229 bottles)
For me, an independently bottled Ardmore is always a reason to get excited. After all, there’s lots of hidden gems coming out of that often overlooked Highlands distillery. This eight-year-old single cask release – though pretty steeply priced at 115 Euro per bottle – further strengthens my statement! Its fumy nose has (lots of) smoke, moss, hay, and grain. Plus a barley sugar sweetness and a cocoa powder dryness. Both oddly and amazingly, I also smell seafood and olive oil. On the palate, the young Ardmore presents itself a bit less eccentric; but equally good. Now, the most prominent notes are candied apples, canned peaches, baked bananas, toffee-flavored gobstoppers, milk-soaked cereals, and burnt twigs – and around all a cloud of light, fresh smoke. The finish is great! It lasts long and emphasizes on apple purree, milk chocolate, vanilla pudding, and sweet puff. Yummy!
Tomatin 2009/2022 (Single M. / Highlands / 12yo / Tempranillo / 60.3% / ~125 Euro)
Mortlach 2012/2022 (Single Malt / Spey. / 10yo / Refill Hogshead / 54.9% / ~80 Euro)
Ardmore 2013/2022 (Single Malt / Highlands / 8yo / Barrell / 53.2% / ~115 Euro)
*** Whisky samples kindly provided by Flickenschild. Thank you. ***