Recently in Other Whisky Category
Hellyers Road is Australia's largest single malt distillery. Their Original expression comes without an age statement at 46.2% and is made entirely of Tasmanian malt. The wine bottle which contains this whisky comes complete with a screw top, and the back label describes "tenacity and vision," notably lacking any mention of the whisky's character.
Nose: Despite clear indications on the label, grain alcohol features prominently on the nose. Too much oak, grassy, a hint of smoke, something reminiscent of sea salt, a touch of black licorice. The nose is unrefined and lacks any significant depth.
Palate: The plum note and mint undertone is a nice but cheap cocoa packed with heat and uncomfortable spice are sure to trigger an involuntary grimace.
For the whisky enthusiast who enjoys bold flavours, cask-strength bottles are among the most coveted expressions in any distillery's lineup. I grabbed this bottle of Knob Creek with a wedding in mind - not as a present but rather for my flask. The high alcohol content makes the best of the flask's necessarily limited capacity, and the inevitably punchy taste makes the flask last longer. The Single Barrel Reserve is nine years old and bottled at an anesthetizing 60% abv.
Mackmyra 1st Edition Swedish single malt was a bit of an epiphany purchase for me at the LCBO. Having recently returned from the whisky trail in Scotland I was on the hunt for an inexpensive yet interesting bottle (the gold standard for the frugal whisky enthusiast). Mackmyra's bright contemporary packaging suggests a young whisky and its Swedish origin held the promise of something a little bit different. This expression is aged in 100 litre casks, which accelerates the aging process, and weighs in at 46.1% unchillfiltered. There is no age statement.
Nose: Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Berries with a background of pool chlorine. Smells somewhat resinous with a sulfur-like smell reminiscent of spent fireworks. A faint scent of old banana also happens to just barely register, along with dried prunes.
Palate: Upon first experiencing this whisky, it will undoubtedly take you a long time to even partially grasp the different flavours being experienced. True to it's name, Amarut Fusion brings together a flavour profile that on paper, you'd swear wouldn't work and is just as hard to precisely identify. The flavours work the palate from middle back, with nothing on the tip of the tongue. Salted caramel with a light iodine smoke (no doubt from the Scottish peated barley) becomes somewhat hot, fruity (raisins) and increasingly sulfuric as it works its way to the back of the tongue.