‘Rich’ is a blended malt composed of American and European oak oloroso and PX sherry casks – likely respectively. However, it’s not all just big butts here – there’s some hoggies and quarter casks at play too (PX QC’s can be pretty fun when carefully judged). The components have been blended and then bottled non-chill filtered at 46% ABV. Rich can be found over at Master of Malt for £42.50.
Nose: Part jammy, part dried red berries – with raspberry preserve, strawberry cordial and air-dried redcurrants. Orange oil follows together with a scattering or raisins and sultanas. Brown sugar and Caramac join ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove (all nicely in check). Dilution reveals autumn spice cake and berry strudel alongside vanilla and toasted cereals.
Taste: A controlled sweetness on the arrival with some gentle mouth cling. Out of the gates a palpable cask influence with cinnamon and nutmeg – and then a syrupy delivery of fudge, fruit cake, vanilla icing and a combination of both red and black berry jams. Toffee sauce follows with tart redcurrant jelly cutting through. The addition of water offers a much drier composition – likely too much. Darker notes of coffee and chocolate are added into the mix.
Finish: Medium to long in length with canvas sack cloth, juicy and dried berries and fading baking spices.
J.G. Thomson’s ‘Rich’ blended malt is very amenable as is. Though similarly to its ‘Sweet’ sibling, it shines best when left alone at its bottled strength of 46%. The cask impact here is not nothing – and so reduction comes with an expected additional delivery of tannins. However, straight out of the bottle there’s a lot to like here, with the oloroso and PX components nicely intermingled.