Trips to Singapore since discovering the world of whisky nearly always include a stop at La Maison du Whisky.
Sure there has been a change in staff however when I shared my idea of doing a twist on our usual ‘blind tasting’ approach, Priscilla did a great job…
Sansibar is a new independent whisky bottler out of Germany, on the isle of Sylt, Bad Nenndorf, near the Danish border. They carefully select their Scottish casks, have them bottled then brought over for their (and now our) enjoyment.
It kicked off our underground original Mumbai tasting group’s 6th anniversary. My original plan was to then contrast and compare with the Bombay Cigar & Malt gents a week later! Except that session kept getting delayed… from Feb.. to March… to April to… ? So decided without further ado to share notes from our 1st tasting experience!
Sansibar Islay Malt Whisky 8 year (2007/2015) 52.2%
Here is what the original underground group found:
- Nose – A salty lemon citrus twist entangled with muted peat, initially quite fresh, one found it quite ‘pungent’, another was reminded of peppermint drops, then it began to shift into paan, ‘bazooka‘ chewing gum, basil and pine needles. As it continued to open, took on a nutty quality yet overall sweet citrus with a light touch
- Palate – Nice and chewy – starts with sweet citrus then shifts into cinnamon spice and rounds out with peat
- Finish – A lovely long finish
- Water – Unbelievable – water rounds it out even more!
Though we knew it was only 8 years and a steep starter for the evening at 52.2%, found no rough edges and instead a remarkably well rounded whisky. One member speculated it must be matured in re-fill bourbon barrels.
We returned to the Sansibar Islay after sampling the other whiskies and found it took on a much more nutty quality like almond marzipan, lots of cereals, rice milk and concluded, in short, it is simply a wonderful whisky.
While not disclosed on the bottle, I came to know the distillery is Lagavulin. The Lagavulin 16 year was once a familiar friend and I had an opportunity to try the 8 year side by side with this one in Singapore – absolutely no comparison!
The Sansibar Islay comes from a single cask with 330 bottles. If you are lucky enough to stumble across one, grab it!
Standard Lagavulin 8 year:
- The palate is light in texture, with a magnificently full-on Lagavulin taste that’s even bigger than you may expect; sweet, smoky and warming, with a growing, smoky pungency, then dry, with more smoke.
- The finish is lovely: clean, very long and smoky. This is a polished and exquisitely crafted celebration of Lagavulin with smoky-clean aromas and a mighty taste.
The trio of whiskies sampled in our undisclosed distillery included:
- Sansibar Islay 8 year (2007/2015) 52.2%
- Port Askaig 19 year 50.4%
- Wilson & Morgan “Highland Heart” Sherry Cask 9 year (2006/2015) 43%
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