Flavour Hunters Festival: We’re taking a different approach to our May Festival bottlings this year, with our range of ‘Rare Releases’, a series of six small batch single malts.
From Euan, our spirits manager: Islay is the only region where we’ve bottled two festival whiskies this year, and although they’re both in our Peated flavour profile, this one shows just how different these island drams can be – even from the same region and from the same flavour profile. In this case, the spirit spent time in bourbon hogsheads before we transferred it for more than two years to first fill American oak oloroso hogsheads from our partners at Tevasa cooperage in Jerez. That’s given the whisky a great mix of a more full-on Islay peaty character with dark, nutty and sweet oloroso sherry.
We imagined cooking sesame peanut noodles with umami paste on an old steam tugboat with boiler smoke, engine oils, tar and mechanical rags next to aromas of camphor and creosote. On the palate smoke galore – imagine a peat smoked green olive tapenade made with olives, anchovies, garlic, parsley, olive oil, capers and lemon zest – add some Maggi liquid seasoning and wasabi – you get the picture! Following reduction, the scent was that of dry cured streaky bacon, apples baked with raisins and cinnamon as we made ourselves a Pu-erh tea. The taste now salty, sweet and smoky as well as oily, thick and tarry – terrific!