ABV: 49.4% Distillery: Langatun Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company Region: Europe
Boutiquey’s Langatun 5 year old was, I believe, the first independent bottling of the Swiss single malt produced in Aarwangen. Operating since 2007 the distillery currently produces two main lines of malt whisky – Old Deer (matured in sherry and Chardonnay casks) and Old Bear (peated and then matured in Châteauneuf-du-Pape) – both are triple distilled. The Boutique-y bottling is adorned with an Indiana Jones style map showing an intercontinental route from the US over to Europe. It’s perhaps one of the most literal labels the company has produced to date.
The route gives us a steady steer about the wood utilised in this Langatun – American oak, onward to Spain for some sherry (fino, I’m told), over to Switzerland for a filling of Langatun’s distillate and then finally, once matured over to Boutique-y HQ in the UK. The bottling itself comes from a batch of just 314 bottles delivered at 49.4% ABV. Initially priced a shy under £80 here in the UK, the allocation appears to have sold out – I can find a few shops in the Netherlands still stocking it, but there’s a premium added, and the exchange rate is (unsurprisingly) crap at present.
Nose: All rather intriguing – Orange peels, hedgerow berries and caramel are joined by root beer and cream soda (seems more American then Swiss right?!). Running throughout, a parcel of heady spices – nutmeg, ginger and clove – alongside milk chocolate an charred wood. Reduction really intensifies the clove note, as well as adding in apple brandy and some sappy wood.
Taste: The arrival is syrupy and diverges from the sweetness of the nose into a spicy rabbit hole – pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger – even the Terry’s Chocolate Orange I can detected seems to have been given a peppy sprinkle. The mid palate allows the fino sherry cask some room to shine – dry and nutty as one might expect – almonds, toffee sauce and vanilla cream. The addition of water heightens the sweetness with cherries, toffee apples and chocolate cake, it also adds some well-toasted cask ends into the mix.
Finish: Medium, with a progressively (and pleasantly) fading spice and charred casks.
There’s a surprisingly number of bourbon-like aspects to this sherry cask Boutique-y Langatun – plenty of char and heady spices and even some cherries – and yet, it remains a malt rather than a corn whisky. I often find with indy bottlers, it’s all about the barrel picks and Boutique-y have picked a good one here – the fino sherry lifts the spirit and adds depth and nuttiness, rather than overwriting everything with saccharine sweetness. All rather good and worth keeping your eyes out for.
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