From the lovely folks at Abbey Whisky we received a bit back some whisky samples to explore. Due to us visiting Scotland and also totaly loosing our senses in a flue we had to put it all aside sadly and just wait it out to get better. And oh, are we in for a treat, when only sniffing these little bottles. First up is a sample out of The Rare Casks collection from the Ben Nevis distillery, distilled in 1997 and aged for 16 years in a single Sherry hogshead. Bottled at 55%, cask strength, and no colouring or chill filtration added to this.
Removing the seal is like opening a present a bit, and when smelling some of this whisky on my hands, and instantly moves me back into a dunnage warehouse and lots of sweet raisins.
The nose gives me a lot of red summer fruit, like raspberry, red berry, cassis and strawberry. Vanilla, cocoa butter, cookie dough, rich, sweet, fresh, hint of mint, almond flakes and lemon.
The palate is rich and sweet. What I found on the nose is clearly present also on the palate, and with some other fruit notes added to it. Hint of banana comes to mind, red apples and dark chocolate sprinkles. Bit creamy and a good dash of citrus. There comes a little bit of coconut to the top, and disappears quickly. That one surprised me a little but was very nice added to the fruit, honey and vanilla creaminess.
On the nose and on the palate I noticed some very soft pepper note, aniseed, fennel and some cinnamon, almost hints to liquerish a bit. The Sherry influence is very clear and you get a finish that makes me think of a heavy Sherry with a bit syrup feel to it. Could not find the type of Sherry cask used for this one, but I am guessing Oloroso?
Lovely expression for sure! That it is at 55% gives the fruit and spices in here an extra punch I think, they are in a lovely balance throughout the whisky. If you can find yourself a sample/bottle of this one really should try it. Giving it a good 7,5 out of 10 for now. Warming, sweet, fruity, spice, and balanced dram. Slainte!