The start of October saw another Whisky Wire tweet tasting, this time with 4 samples from Tweeddale, all at 46% ABV. The concept is interesting as the whisky was tasted in age order, with each subsequent whisky having undergone an additional year (or two years) ageing in a different finish cask with further tweaks batch to batch. Take a look at Tweeddale's tasting notes for more info.
"An indulgent small batch, limited edition blend drawn from nine single casks*; an aged single grain whisky and eight individually selected aged single malt whiskies, with a high malt content (50% grain, 50% malt). In keeping with the original blend it has not been chill filtered and has been bottled at 46% alcohol by volume. This ensures a balanced, full bodied and full flavoured whisky with pronounced sweet, sherry notes."
Sample #1 is the 10 years old release which pours "pale fields of gold" according to my description! Fairly gentle on the nose with a woody spiciness and fresh baked shortcake. Extremely smooth, quite sweet, a fiery punch but with a sultanas and redcurrants on the finish. After the initial heat subsides a touch of phenolics and honey, expertly balanced. adding a splash of water brings green apple to the nose and mellows the heat allowing the spiciness in the nose to show. Available for a very reasonable £26.99
Second for the evening was the 12 y/o papery, wood pepperiness, impressive legs again sweet rhubarb and custard sweets, dusty gooseberries. The nose really evolves on warming to a summery fruit compote of peaches, raspberries and pears, quite soft. Heat sneaks up & hits the back of your throat...eye wateringly so! After that subsides those fruit berry flavours come out adding water really emphasises that islay addition..iodine dryness and salty barnacle encrusted ropes dipped in vermouth. Really great blend this one.
Up next, the 13 year old. is such a pale blonde,as if someone dumped water but still has the legs to prove otherwise long nosing of this ,fairly subtle on the nose, a bit of pear drops and pure ethanol very fiery and peppery, peardrops on adding waterits really sweet on the palate, almost unfinished..unfermented out, sweet italian vermouth with added canderel.
Fourth and final whisky is 14 years old and had quite some kick on the nose! very peppery, lemon peel definite root ginger more of the spicy notes in the taste, alongside wine gums and some rounded sweetness. Well balanced but not quite my bag. Finishes wine gums dissolved in ginger ale... could make for a good cocktail spirit.
For me the 12 year old was the most accomplished with the 10 year old also enjoyable. I wasn't keen on the 14 year old and the 13 year old didn't sit right with me at all...guess 13 is unlucky for some after all! Thanks as always to Steve for organising the tasting and Alasdair from Tweeddale for providing the samples!