ABV: 50.2% Distillery: Undisclosed Ireland Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company Region: IrelandAge: 16
The Dramble has been participating in Boutique-y Advent for some years now – a month long fest of the multiplicity of whisky. But back in the calendar’s earliest days, the selection then felt quite arbitrary at times. Still tasty things of course, but rather the hodgepodge that presumably Atom Brands had left over from previous bottlings. Fast-forward to the last few editions and it’s clear that Boutique-y has realised that whilst an Advent calendar is one method for shifting unsold stock – it’s also an incredible powerful promotion for selling full-sized bottles too. Like what you’ve found behind door number x? Well it’s December – the ideal time to be gifting your loved ones and treating yourself. Surprisingly, an Advent calendar might not just be for Christmas.
This is not quite the case with door no.14 in the 2020 Boutique-y Advent calendar. Whilst I’ve sampled many of bottlers’ existing line-up of Irish whiskies, today has caught me off-guard.
I’ve spotted Irish Single Malt #2 in two previous guises before – a 14 year old (Batch 1) and a 12 year old (Batch 2). Door No.14 skips batches 3 and 4 and heads straight for batch 5, in an expression that as far as the Internet is concerned barely exists. Which, dear readers explains to the eagle-eyed among you why the bottle photo on this post is related, but incorrect.
There’s no Whiskybase listing for Batch 5 nor any retailers currently peddling that I’ve been able to find at 6am <yawn>. However, there’s nothing like a bit of Twitter-fu to unearth a modicum of answers. What emerges is a 16 year old Irish single malt (you should already, with both the style and the age known, be able to make some guesses as to the distillery) and a release of 990 bottles, produced before October 2019 at 50.2% ABV. I guess I really should have asked the font of all Boutique-y knowledge Dave Worthington for some insights into this release before sitting down to put pen to paper. #MustTryHarder
Nose: Fruit-forward and increasingly expressive. Syrupy, tinned apples and pears alongside orange peels and lemon meringue pie. Crushed walnut are joined by pink wafer biscuits, whilst creamy toffee sits with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Everything is lightly dusted with nutmeg. Water presents additional frutiness with pineapple juice and Comice pear washed in red grape juice and scattered with forest berries.
Taste: Similar story. Ripe and fresh and tinned orchard fruits are joined by Seville orange and tangerine peels. Prominent pineapple chunks emerge and sits with golden syrup, wood polish and shaved chocolate. Dilution expresses a lovely softness with chocolate sponge, fruit salad and gummy sweets alongside a twist of ginger and nutmeg.
Finish: Medium in length with milk chocolate and latte coffee alongside residue pineapple.
I wish the mysterious Boutique-y Irish Single Malt #2 16 year old Batch 5 were a little less so. Whilst presumably sold out – or indeed produced for export / specialist retail – I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for this AWOL batch. It possesses a lovely clarity alongside bright, vibrant and defined fruitiness. Which, when combined with a compassionate cask that doesn’t scream too loudly can only result in good things. And that’s certainly the case here.
Does Sorren know anything more about Batch 5? Head over to OCD Whisky to find out.
Review calendar provided by Atom Brands
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