Backing up slightly as there’s been significant overlap,…
Day two of TWE Show 2019 starts off in Wetherspoons for a budget vegan breakfast. It sets me up surprisingly well for another day’s grazing. Like last year, I pass the annual sheep coercion ceremony on London Bridge. This morning’s in-queue offerings begin with a Cooley from the Cavalier.
Cooley 23yo  Cadenhead World Whiskies bourbon barrel [192 bts] 55% WB89.62
- C: In a snapshot: more peated than expected. Lovely mouthfeel, lovely whiskey.
[Provisionally scores 88 points]
Helsinki Distillery Company Private Cask bottle no.#1 CS [abv unknown]
Also being passed around in the queue, yet another new distillery for my world whisky map. This was a private bottling from cask #1.
- C: Described by the bottle owner as “get shit-faced whisky”, I find a very agreeable bready rye with a likeable soft freshness – and some poke!
From Helsinki to Tel Aviv.
Milk & Honey TWE Show London 2019 Ob. Single cask [100 bts] 55% [50cl] WB84.14
Tasted with no prior knowledge of its makeup, will this be STR-forward whisky I wonder? Thankfully there’s been little sign of it at this year’s show.
- N: With water, candied yeasty peanut oil is all I noted.
- T: More yeasty candy peanuts with marmalade and a touch of boozy butterscotch.
- F: Significantly reduced STR-style than last year’s releases, because of the firmer ex-bourbon and PX sherry butt finishing action. Finishes true.
- C: M&H are still finding their feet yet making good whisky all the while.
Scores 82 points
M&H’s international sales director Tal Chotine tells me [this] ‘The Last One‘ is finished in pomegranate wine casks. Many of these ‘native’ cask-finished whiskies are experiments, seasonal or special releases – Stauning Kjesp [WLP] or Mackmyra Barnsten [WB] for example – though Mackmyra uses ex-Cloudberry wine casks for more regular expressions [WLP].
- N: Ping < pong is all I wrote. Translation: Pinging around in all directions and bouncing back with more gusto than it left.
- T: Less wacky on the palate than expected.
- F: The cask finishing negates any STR vibes.
- C: Pretty fair.
Scores 79 points
From Tel Aviv to London.
Bimber Peated Finish  Un-Ob. 53.8%
At just over 3 years old, this un-released cask sample is a sherry-matured spirit that was stuck in a Laphroaig quarter cask for three months. Many other distilleries have done this [from memory, Wolfburn WLP80 & Stauning’s cask #666 WLP], and with positive results. Let’s see how the little smoky cask liked Bimber’s spirit.
- N: Lightly sherried, enabling a mineral/pebble thing tied up with odd candy string,…
- T: A curious one as Matt had indicated. I noted liquid smoke with only a touch of sherry in comparison to the 1st release.
- F: More sherry action later whilst the mineral/pebble quality remains.
- C: It’s an oddity which I rather like.
Scores 81 points
- N: This young ‘un, unapologetically displays its clean new make-like base, yet with its youthful and firm/full sherried presence, there’s also an underlying illusionary Dalmore/Macallan-like umami-depth that belies its years.
- T: Big sherry action with many of the notes you’d associate with a number of decent sherry cask-driven malts. In this case, ex-solera PX sherry casks. It’s all very candid, no doubt due to Bimber’s ultra-neutral spirit.
- F: Shiny new raisins, more from cask than distillate I’m betting, but from uber-pleasing solera butts.
- C: It’s still early days, but Bimber has produced a young, clean, vibrant and well-considered [Dalmore/Macallan-esque] malt from the big smoke in no time at all.
Scores 84 points