Bramble Whisky Company North British 2015 4 year old
Posted 19 August 2021 by Matt / In North British
Bottle Name: North British 2015
Distillery: North British
Bottler: Bramble Whisky Company
Bramble Whisky Company’s second release is the youngest North British I’ve seen bottled – the closest alternative being a 6 year old Duncan Taylor Octave from a few years back. But, whilst barely out of nappies, this grain whisky has been fully matured in a virgin American oak cask – the result of which, the bottler describes as “…about as close as you can get to a Scotch-bourbon hybrid…”. 375 bottles have been produced at 46% ABV. They’re available via Mothership (Bramble’s parent company) for £50.
Nose: Crunchy toffee and creamy caramel provide a base whilst oak seethes throughout. Hot chocolate powder, toffee-dipped pecans and freshly planed oak join isoamyl acetate (pear drop) and lemon gel whilst moist earthiness lurks in the background. Reduction presents additional creamy cask influences with vanilla crème patisserie and a slice of buttered toast.
Taste: Vanilla imbued caramel and soft toffee sit with dulce de leche, foam bananas and lemon jelly. Spice develops offering cinnamon, ginger and pepper – together with cinema popcorn. Reduction brings the cask very forward – liquid oak, sunflower oil and desiccated coconut.
Finish: Quite long, with fresh and sappy oak, citrus gel and underlying chocolate.
Bramble Whisky Company’s North British 2015 is old beyond its years – blind, I’d easily be pegging this >10. It has achieved this perception of maturity via some highly active wood - which the young grain spirit has eagerly soaked up like a sponge. And this assimilation has left very little of the original spirit’s character to discern. The cask is fully in control here. Now whether or not that’s a positive or a negative will completely depend on your predictions for distillate vs. wood – but, either way, you have to have some admiration for quite how drinkable the virgin oak has made a grain whisky that’s barely of legally bottling age.
Review sample provided by Bramble Whisky Company
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