Are Whisky Drinkers Being Spun a Good Yarn?

imgres

By Martin Isark

The New Order of whisky investors, it seems are no-longer  prepared to wait the 10 years plus to recoup their investment. They want their returns NOW! To achieve this they are releasing ‘embryonic malts’ at 3, 4 & 5 years onto the market at super-premium prices. 

Until recently these embryonic single malt whiskies  would  at best be sold  as a bargain basement malt whiskies or used as a cheap bulk filler in a  blended whisky. 

Have these whisky producers found the secret to making youthful malt whisky that tasted as good as 18 year old? Or are the distilleries marketing machine spinning us a good yarn, fancy bottle and hefty price tag?

Below are two embryonic malts that I’ve tasted from Annandale Distillery  

2015 Vintage of Man O’ Sword, Aged in Ex Bourbon Casks, Alcohol 59.6%, Annandale Distillery, Lowland, Scotland, £126.00

Available from Annandale Distillery 

A well-crafted,  smoky, high octane cask strength malt that has the pronounced peatiness of the Octomore Malt from Islay’s Bruichladdich Distillery.  It does not have the multi layered complexity of the Octomore, but it has the potential with further ageing to develop along a similar path. Whisky collectors and aficionados will find the Man O’Sword interesting now, but like the Octomore they’ll get more pleasure as it ages further in the barrel/cask.
Score 88/100
Buy? Aficionados & Collectors only.
What should I buy to drink now? Octomore 8.3

2015 Vintage Man O’Words, Aged in Ex Bourbon Casks, Alc. 61.6%, Annandale Distillery Lowland Scotland, £126.00

Available from Annandale Distillery 

If smoke and peat ‘reak’ does not  float your boat then Annandale’s Man O’Words,  their unpeated malt will hit the spot.   There is no question, it is an excellent example of 4 year old malt, but it is still a baby.
A wonderful example of what can be achieved when an aged malt that has been well-crafted from start to finish  is  the 18 Year Old Glen Grant, Speyside Malt Whisky. The Man O’Words has tremendous potential, but as yet it is not the 18 Year Old Glen Grant.

Score 85/100
Buy? Aficionados & Collectors only.
What should I buy to drink now? 18 Year Old Glen Grant 

Contact: Martin Isark
Martin Isark, Food & Drink Journalist, Taster & Author

Contact: Can I Eat It?


 

Comments

Comments are closed.