Our friend Jens Unterweger allowed me to sample his latest releases. This really nice, knowledgeable and ‚down to earth‘ guy has had a good hand in choosing amazing casks in the past. But the hunt for treasures is getting harder. Let’s see if he stole the show again.
Burnside 24 y.o. Whisky-Fässle 1989 – 2014, Hogshead, 51,1%
Comment: This one noses like a Riesling Auslese from the Mosel area. Overall, there is minerality and a fruity sourness with grapefruit, passion fruit, pineapple, peaches and citrus-like aromas (tangerine), all this in good maturity (dextrose starting to unfold). Traces of coconuts, almonds and balancing spice (chili, white pepper) complete the nose. It tastes like the nose, very round, then it adds floral compounds and malt. The finish is long on vanilla and lovely fruit, only the oak leaves a little woody bitterness I could do without – but that is the only ‚flaw‘, so to speak, and maybe a personal thing.
Littlemill 23 y.o. Whisky-Fässle 1990 – 2014, Hogshead, 51,2%
Comment: Many bloggers embraced this already legendary Littlemill and scored high – I can follow, wow, what a dram, although it isn’t above many other killers from there, it is right on spot with them. Littlemill is amazing. I keep this shorter: grapefruit, lime, lemon, aprcot jam, gooseberry, wine gum, green tea, marzipan and almonds, cake glace and what not, accompanied by big vanilla, creme brulee, white chocolate and a hint of oak, all in great balance. A must-have for Littlemill fans.
Irish Malt 10 y.o. Whisky-Fässle 2003 – 2014, Hogshead, 49,5%
Comment: Not sure where this is from, Jens doesn’t know either, he said. Let’s nose: A fruity, sour and grassy aroma with big toffee and fudge, tinned pears, Thai curry soup wine gums and Haribo peaches (sorry), lemons, gooseberries, elderflower, grass, hay, white pepper, oak and vanilla at first. Then pistacio, almonds, honeysuckle, apple juice and more. It has moments when it reminds me of ‚orange wine‘ (Sauvignon Blanc). It tastes just like that, nice.
Ben Nevis 18 y.o. Whisky-Fässle 1996 – 2014, Hogshead, 50,8%
Comment: I love Ben Nevis with its funky and unusual profile – and this one is really one of the best ones that were released in the recent past. It takes you along on a walk in the forest (pine needles, resin, earth, ferns, etc.) and adds various citrus fruits and grapefruit, curry, milk chocolate and a splendid acidity that balances everything to perfection. A fat Ben Nevis, gentle though. My recommendation!
Score: 90+ (on a personal level, maybe 91)
Tomatin 17 y.o. Whisky-Fässle 1997 – 2014, Hogshead, 48,3%
Comment: Somehow an old style Tomatin a la 5/10 y.o. from the 1970ies (I prefer the 5) with licorice, garden fruit pits, apples, white peach, pineapple, summer earth, leather and pepper plus the wonderful Tomatin maltiness. It continues to be a classic und old fashioned whisky in good balance.
Diamond Demerara Rum 10 y.o. 2003 – 2014, Barrel, 51,1%
Comment: Rum is on the rise and now in style more than years before, deservedly so. This Guyana specimen (I think it is Jens‘ second rum) has all the typical features of this still but lacks the power on the palate to be great. It is good though, a good starter for getting into heavier rums.