Whisky Galore!! Part 2/2

Following on from Part #1, we continue to sail into the eye of the storm and embark on a flight of new make’s.

Wolfburn Distillery

Wolfburn Peated New Make [+/-2020] Ob. 46% [5cl] WLP80

C: I was so endeared with Wolfburn’s spirit back in July 2017 [WLP80], but then, that was at the distillery itself. Subjectivity can easily creep in when ‘on-site’. Of course, I’ve also changed aplenty in the last four years. Today, and in context, this new make leaves me unmoved, though it naturally remains faultless ready-spirit begging for wood. On a side note, I’ve not yet seen a Wolfburn release from an independent bottler, despite the distillery being established since 2013. I’m sure TBWC have tried and/or are trying.

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Dornoch New Make [2019] Ob./Thompson Brothers 60% [200ml] WB85.20[12] VIDEO WLP[ns]

Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to snaffle a 20cl bottle of Dornoch’s new make from TWE/MoM when they were briefly available. I did, however, manage to try this at a London Whisky Club event last year [2020] led by the Thompson Brothers themselves [WLP].

  • N: Very classy genever-like soft green-fruit spirit that is right up there with Lagavulin’s new make [from distant memory]. Over Bimber’s new make [to follow], this has a timeless quality about it, as if it has come from a distillery that has been established for 100 years or more.
  • T: Raspberry leaf amongst the usual suspects,…. this rolls along.
  • F: Concluding light and oily, it rings true from start to finish.
  • C: Dornoch has made a distillate beautifully poised for maturation with a focus seemingly distinct from Bimber’s.

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Bimber New Make [2020] Ob. 63.5% [5cl] WB? WF86 WLP179 WLP2[ns]

  • N: By comparison, this spirit celebrates the beer-led fruitiness in a way that Dornoch’s spirit does not. Dornoch’s new make is cleaner/more poised,… elegant, whereas Bimber’s has a aliveness about it. It’s ready to go, now!
  • T&F: With some shape and sustain, this spirit captures the lively essence of its fermented fruity legacy,.. the yeasts, the esters,..
  • C: Delicious beer/wash-centric spirit that certainly suits Bimber’s short-term maturation programme. Perhaps Dornoch’s spirit into whisky has more staying power as things stand right now?

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Bimber Peated New Make [2020] Un-Ob. Test Batch Sample 63.5%

I tried this last year at the distillery and was very impressed [WLP80]. I’ve always been a fan of young smoky spirit and tonight is no exception.

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Bimber 2016/2019 Ob. Re-charred Batch 01/2019 [5000 bts] 51.9% WB85.41[177] WF87 WLP82

  • C: This is a release the Bimber Brigade seems to rave about more than all the others [so far]. Being so ‘hell for leather’ cask-driven, it’s a bit disappointing straight after the fabulous new make, but these are still just early days for the London-based distillery, and indeed, for many of its fans. Bimber offers exciting new developments in the current climate, but I won’t be wearing their scarf just yet.

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We finish [almost], with a brace of young blends. First up, a release from Duncan Taylor.

Politician [2021] DT/Ob. 40% WB79[2] [WF]60

  • N: ‘Mineralic’ and buttery?,.. no it’s margarine! 
  • T: Pleasantly innocuous. Neither good nor bad, there’s little to speak of.
  • F: A faultless nothingness remains.
  • C: Sure it’s just another blended malt, but in perspective – as a £20 whisky [15 euros in Germany] – things look more favourable. However, aside from the established brands – undisclosed or branded [JW Black, £20 / Chivas Regal 12yo, £20] – competition-wise comes similarly-priced disclosed & undisclosed single malts with age statements at a similar price [Glenfiddich 12yo £20 / Tesco’s Finest 12yo £23]. Jeez, Ardbeg 10 was down to £24 on Amazon last night!! Tough gig.

Scores 74 points [a near miss in my book]

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Silkie [2021] Ob./Sliabh Liag Distillers Blended irish Whiskey 46% WB81.20[13] M-R2/10

  • N: This ‘sourced’ triple distilled Irish peated blended whiskey gives off caramel-y Oxo stock over raspberry & apricot jam, marg into cake mix, ham,… peat.
  • T: Fairly soft at 46%, we’ve a pleasant entry with the peat picking up pace and becoming more creamy.
  • F: More margarine quality and a mineralic peatiness.
  • C: A decent peated Irish blend for £32, but like the Politician, competition at this at price-point is fierce.

Scores 82 points

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Land ahoy! For the home leg of our journey, we finish with a single malt classic I last tried at Islay’s Feis Ile in 2018 [WLP83], thereby completing our whisky triangle: single malts to new make spirit to blends and back to single malts again.

Bowmore 15yo [+/-2012] Ob. 43% WB84[442] TWL

  • N: Soft-smoked lavender, thin dirty mechanical/sooty sweet jammy quince jelly,… Any briny ex-bourbon cask resinousness as dropped off from this particular bottle opened many years ago.
  • T&F: Really soft and lacking in body with a deep/faint sootiness, spent [one-use BBQ] charcoal,.. more [briny] lavender, and with a deep yet distant mineral vegetal conclusion.
  • C: Despite being a tired bottle, the story remains [as it has in recent years since] the same – I’m left wanting for more.

Scores 83 points [same as before]

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It’s time to disembark. That’s more than enough whisky,.. for a week!!

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END

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