A starker contrast can scarcely be imagined: yesterday the dirty sherry of the Bowmore Devil’s Casks II, today we have a light, fruity, almost overly sweet bourbon-matured malt.
Yesterday did not go so well for me, points-wise and guess-wise. Just 20 points because I was way off on the age (and had selected my ABV based on a specific bottle. Bad Matti, never do that again!). There is an upside, though: I am now convinced that the Bowmore Devil’s Casks is not for me, which saves a large amount of money. And now, for something completely different:
The nose is sweet. I’ve decided to put a period there to emphasize just how mindbogglingly sweet. Doesn’t mean there’s nothing going on, though, on the contrary: butter, vanilla, honey and coconut all make an appearrance. There’s some wood, which grows more noticeable over time, powdered sugar, mild spices (white pepper, cinnamon) and some dried grass. Then there’s nutty aromas (hazelnut, wild chestnut) and a hint of marzipan. This is a very light spirit in a very good ex-bourbon cask.
In the taste, once more there is a very sweet ensemble of flavours: grapefruit, banana, white grapes, fructose, mild pepper, very milky milk-chocolate with only a little dryness from the fairly active cask(s). The finish is rather short, with hazelnut paste and aniseed.
Overall, this is sweet and lovely. About 48% ABV and with a very light spirit underneath. Distilleries that crossed my mind: Aberlour, Miltonduff and especially Glenmorangie. I was going for the Glenlivet Nadurra (48% travel retail version), but then I had another little taste after having a little sip from the (sherried or at least winey) sample #9 and found that there was now a much more prominent grassy note, as well as lemon and cookie dough. I’ve had one whisky in my lifetime which perfectly fit that profile, and it was a Bladnoch. So:
My guess: Bladnoch, Lowlands, 22yo, 48.0% ABV
My score: 88/100
What it turned out to be:
Littlemill 1990 Archives (whiskybase) 12.1990 - 03.2014 (23yo) ABV: 47.8% Joint bottling with Pure Spirit