After such a brilliant start with the Chorlton Miltonduff, we were primed for something interesting. Our host then poured us this Orkney dram, which we sampled completely blind before the reveal.
Orkney 9 year 63.1%
- Colour – Light straw
- Nose – Wow! Began with acetone, medicine capsule, industrial metal – particularly copper, burnt ghee, then started to shift into caramel, suddenly heavy dry fruits, nuts – imagine a box of figs and nuts! Then curd – like those yoghurt covered raisins, shifting further into grape skin, a wine tannins, back to minerals, wet slab for sharpening a knife… all of this before even the 1st sip! Then a smoked honey ham, like a Chinese honey pork dish from Mumbai’s Golden Dragon
- Palate – Superb! A lovely balance, silky, sweet, smooth, spice with a gentle smoke… a bit of wood char, salty caramel… a lovely honey sweet with a touch of salt yet no medicinal element
- Finish – Lovely, long and continued to hold
The aromas kept evolving – particularly after the 1st sip.
And what about adding water? Yes please! We found it brought out the spice and honey even more. A dash of dry roasted cinnamon and other sweet spices. In some ways the peat was quite deceptive – hardly their on the 1st sip even with water and then quite pronounced in subsequent sips.
We concluded that water really helps open this whisky up beautifully. And yet we equally enjoyed it without water… one of those remarkable whiskies that is terrific both with and without, simply showed off different dimensions.
All we could be certain is there was high quality wood, a classic approach with an ex-bourbon showing no signs of sherry or experimental wood finishes. Truth be told, it was mighty good to simply enjoy a traditional dram.
We set it aside to sample the 3rd whisky in our trio – each explored blind with only our speculation for company!
And then returned to this one… And found it a bit sour, salty on the nose, the peat clear and warming on the palate, a distinct personality with a nice chewy quality. Imagine a coconut lozenge… Delicious!
The Chaps over at Master of Malt have this to say:
9 year old single cask single malt from the isle of Orkney, drawn from a bourbon hogshead and independently bottled by Chorlton Whisky. With a very small number of whisky distilleries in Orkey, you might be able to figure out which one this whisky is from when tasting it. 191 bottles were produced.
- Nose: Coffee bean, sea air and a touch of cookie dough.
- Palate: A bit gristy, but with plenty of vanilla and salted caramel to back it up.
- Finish: Lingering smoke and olive oil.
Alas with less than 200 bottles, it flew off the shelves at Master of Malt at the reasonable price of €62.49 – now completely sold out.
We also enjoyed these other Chorlton Single Cask whiskies:
- Miltonduff 9 year 58.3%
- Glenturret Ruadh Maor 8 year 62.5%
And what about other Orkney (aka Highland Park) drams?
- 1998 40%
- 8 year 43% (G+MP)
- 12 year 40%
- 16 year “Thor” 52.1% (Valhalla Series)
- 21 year 1991 Vintage 40%
- 24 year (1992/2016) 50% (Daily Drams)
- Einar 40%
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