That’s a nice way to be introduced to a distillery you haven’t tried before. Trade a sample, and have it turn out to be a single cask as well! A split cask, by the looks of it on Whiskybase, since it’s in there twice and the cask number is the same.
Anyway, I don’t know anything about this distillery, and I hadn’t tried their whisky before last night. They’ve been around at least since 1983 since the oldest whisky on Whiskybase is a 1983 bottling. The 25+3 years old. Not sure why they call it that, though.
Since I don’t have much to say unless I start looking it up on wikipedia, I get right on to the tasting notes.
The nose is rich with sherry, right from the start. Dates and figs are very prominent and it has an aroma of Oloroso sherry, or maybe a gentle PX. Although it’s a 43% whisky the nose has quite some alcohol on it. The sherry is very lovely and not too sweet.
The palate is gentle and smooth, but has quite some oak to it and is not as fruity and sweet as the nose suggested. There’s some pepper and the sherry flavours are very late to the party.
The finish goes in a rather nutty direction. Confit fruit and brown cake, but slightly drying.
While I like each bit of tasting this whisky, I do feel it’s rather inconsistent. There’s fruit on the nose, some spices on the palate and it goes more cake-y in the finish. If tasted blind I would not have guessed this to be a single cask, but rather a quite inconsistent blend.
Is it a bad whisky? No, far from it. The scents and flavours are very nice, but not great. The inconsistency just makes it a bit harder to just sit back and enjoy it since the flavours are all over the place.
Shinshu Mars, 1992-2004, 43%, sherry butt #1124 bottled for Espoa.