To Infinity and Beyond…
With the tiresome pun out of the way the question is, is this whisky any good?
And the answer is a resounding yes. This is an excellent whisky. Why is it excellent?
Firstly the finish is wonderful. Long after going down there is a satisfying and warm clinginess. The closest comparison that comes to mind is the mouthfeel after having had a glass of full-bodied red-wine. It has the same rich, red fruit taste mixed in with a hint of wood and peat. This is no doubt due to part of the whisky mix having been finished in Tempranillo casks.
It’s kind of whisky you need to pause and close your eyes after drinking so you can focus of the flavour and the feeling.
The wine-y-ness doesn’t come through immediately though, as the whisky passed first my lips, the initial thought was that it was akin to a light fruit cordial drink, or watered down lemonade. Quite unusual that it seems quite light to start with, then settles in to a complex and rich after taste. It is 50%abv but it is delightfully smooth with no alcohol burn, maybe a little sting on the tip of the tongue. I put a tiny drop of water in but it’s just as good without.
The smell is what really sets this whisky up as something exceptional. Very complex and whenever I pour myself a dram I can't help but keep drawing in deep sniffs of it - it really is rather addictive. There is lots going on here but it’s all complimentary. There wine influence is there again, this time reminiscent of standing in a cool cellar amongst wine barrels. The woodyness is much stronger and there is a touch of smoke too. It’s a hugely comforting and evocative aroma. I also picked up a bit of burnt sugar, possibly due to the influence of some sherry finished whisky.
Given what I’ve just said you expect it to look pretty and it does. A pleasingly deep, dark gold colour, it looks like it will promise a depth of flavour.
I can’t let this review pass without mentioning the bottle either. As you can see from the picture it is black and completely opaque. Personally I think it looks very sleek and stylish. Producing such a stand-out bottle could have gone one of two ways, if the whisky hadn’t been up to scratch this bottle would have definitely made the whole package worse – it would give it an air of fur coat and no knickers, style over substance. As it is, given the excellent whisky contained within the bottle it actually makes revisiting the whisky rather satisfying. Although one minor criticism is that it’s almost impossible to tell how much is left.
I would add in a word about Bruichladdich here but I think they might be worth a separate blog post. A recent trip to their distillery was in turn enlightening and thought-provoking and, like them or not, they’re one of the most interesting distilleries out there.
Finally a word on cost. I picked up my bottle at the Bruichladdich distillery for £42 (using a £5 off tour voucher). A quick look on-line shows it’s generally available for around that amount. For me that puts it in the price bracket of ‘treating myself’ or ‘generous gift’ from someone close, rather than regular go-to bottle.
But what a treat it is.