There are still a few more distilleries visits posts in the making, but it takes time to sift through all those pictures I took during the visits, select the proper ones and process them for the posts, so I needed a distraction and therfore I decided to throw in a few whisky reviews here and then to sweeten your time.
Besides, it’s not like there’s shortage in new whiskies releases (and notes of old ones) as we are gearing toward x-mas and the shelves are being filled with shiny new bottles. From ultra rare and expensive bottles (nowadays it means everything over 25 year old ) to young cheaper (relatively) NAS releases.
Sometimes there’s a whole line up release that covers the entire spectrum, like the new releases of Port Askaig from Speciality Drinks. There’s new Port Askaig 45 year old up in the stratosphere with 30 yo and 15 yo in the middle and a down to earth NAS cask strength offering – the Port Askaig 100 proof. And it was pure coincidence I got the 100 Proof sample yesterday, really!
Now, it’s not like there wasn’t cask strength Port Askaig releases in the past. In fact, the Port Askaig 19 yo is still available in UK and Europe, but it was a limited edition and here we were promised that the 100 proof will be on shelves on a continuous basis.
I have to admit that when I came to taste the new Port Askaig 100 proof, I automatically categorized it as one of those “Young, NAS, expensive and bad VFM” releases we see (and rant on) so too often lately. But then the truth prevailed.
Port Askaig 100 Proof (57.1%, £44.95/€49.95)
Nose: Peat yeah! soft and surprisingly very gentle, lemon, gentle smoke, fruit, pears, barley sugar. After a few minutes some dough and fresh baked bread sprinkled with icing and lemon peels.
Palate: Sweet peat, pears and peaches, mineral but not much soot and ash at first, although they show up as a 2nd wave, tingling and zesty lemon, charcoals, cereals.
Finish: Long but relaxed, lingering sweet peat with some soot and charcoals, lemon and peaches.
Thoughts: This dram kinda caught out off guard. Like I said, I expected it to be yet another young, boring and expensive whisky, in other words – bad VFM whisky and another example I can rant on. However, to my delight I found it to be a pretty tasty, gentle and rounded for young NAS. Truth be told it doesn’t feel young as it’s probably is – it does lacks complexity but flavours are there on full show. When you look at the price, the 100 Proof seems to be priced reasonable (and right now in some NL webshops it’s on discount), making it a great choice for a wintery everyday dram.