Will Jens have picked a loser this time – I seriously doubt it. The duck breeder keeps delivering. Here are my reviews of the new releases:
Comment: Loved the last one, hope this can keep up. The nose reveals dry sherry wood, garden fruit and exotic fruit (esp. pineapple), cocoa, ginger, pepper, licorice, resin and soaked gingerbread cake (if that exists). On the palate it shifts into higher gear, really impressive and classic in style. Old polished sherry malt style that reminds me oft he biggest names in Speyside with a hint of Orkney. Juicy stuff that keeps you sipping because the finfish is soooo classy.
Comment: This one is adored by quite some friends and I also find Cragganmore underrated but not all bottlings of this herbal malt are great. This specimen is the Amaro (an Italian Bitter) among Craggies, herbal healing. It also reminds me of a walk in the forest with a basket of apples and a flower bouquet. I also has nutty elements (even pistacchio), beech leafs, bark, nettles, green tea, honey, agave (yes, it has tequila-esque moments), yuzu and orange zest. The palate is mature and unusual, great old oak, sherry-style, yet teaish green, wow. Orange, apples, apricots, licorice, vanilla and fallen leafs. A long finish rewards the drinker. Different and hard to score, maybe I am at the low end of this one.
Score: 89 (some might go higher here)
Comment: Clearly a Dickel from Tullahoma (I lived close many years ago) with rye in the mash bill. Complex sweet oak elements meet maple syrup, nuts and marzipan. Very more-ish.
Comment: My favourite from this batch – which I wouldn’t have expected from the sheer facts on the label. This is so pure, clean and spirit-driven, it hurts. Classic profile with juniper, olive oil, moss, coal gas, big lemon drop, green apples, gunpowder tea, soot and ashes along with peat, resin and tar. The palate is powerful and very well-balanced. Expressive purity! Amazing spirit. Islay holiday at the first sip.
Comment: Another cool pick, I must say. Wonderfully old-school with a metallic edge. I am getting leather, peaches and stone fruits, orange zest, quince, lemons. Behind that there are nougat whiffs, mild chili and slightly bitter old oak elements that fit very well. It tastes very complex and much fruitier than expected. It is an example of a solid and complete malt.