Last Friday Master of Malt released their 60 year old whisky. They have had a line of undisclosed Speyside whiskies for a while now, including a 30, 40 and 50 year old. This is the top end of the line, at least for now.
Usually, when the distillery is not disclosed, and it is a Speysider, people guess it’s a Glenfarclas. In this case, that guess is as good as any and I too think it is.
Master of Malt sent out samples to a group of bloggers for a big announcement on Friday, with several tasting notes popping up all around the whisky world wide web. Unfortunately for me DPD was screwing up big time on the delivery end. They first tried last Tuesday, but it took them another week to get the parcel actually delivered. Not being able to find the building I’m working in seems odd. Especially since I’ve seen DPD delivering there more often.
Anyway, the 60 year old. It’s a cask strength bottling with only 42.2% alcohol left. That’s not a lot, but still higher than some other forty year olds, so it must have been a pretty good cask, with tight grains to prevent most of the alcohol from seeping out.
They promote it as being the cheapest 60 year old single malt on the market, and I think they are right. With the way things are going this is actually quite a steal at £ 1000. Highland Park 40 is more expensive. The 50 is ten times more expensive so I cannot imagine what a 60 year old would cost. The same goes for most other distilleries that are in this league.
It’s really woody, but in a different way than most Japanese whiskies are. The flavours are really thick, but gentle. It’s rather fruit with baking spices too, like fruit cake. Not as spicy as regular Christmas cake though. The oak is soft, old and gentle. It does have something crisp going on, which I think is pine resin and pine trees. In the official tasting notes it says tomato stems and I can see why they said so, although I would never have though of it myself. It also has an absinthe like bitterness.
The palate is a bit strange too, in a good way again. Mostly it’s sweet fruit and bitter wood, but here it’s the other way around. There’s a star fruit bitterness going on, with soft vanillins from the oak making up for it. Some peaches and grape pith. I do have a strawberry lemonade and 7Up thingy too. Some parsley and licorice later.
The finish goes on a bit like this, but focuses more on the sweet and bitter than on the complex end of the deal. Grape pith and raisin stems too.
Then the biggest surprise: The finish has HUGE notes of weed. I haven’t encountered this in many whiskies (exactly one, but then I didn’t recognize it), but here it’s huge. Very strange, but not bad.
This is an awesome whisky, and I am really glad DPD managed to deliver the parcel after all. I would have been pissed off if I’d missed this.
The complexity on the nose and palate are incredible, and the combination of bitter fruits and soft, gentle oak are very, very good. There’s a lot of familiarity in this dram, but on the other hand there’s enough novelty to keep you busy too. For a long time. A long time is what this dram deserves.
Speyside 60 years old, 42.2%, Master of Malt. Available at their shop for £ 999.95
Thanks to Master of Malt for the sample. Much, much obliged.