Welcome to da islands mon…. sorry wrong islands. Welcome to the almost perpetually wet, stormy, brine covered and glorious Scottish isles. Today we head to Orkney to a distillery that most of you know very well. This is again one of those casks where the distillery must not be named from Claxton’s Independent bottlers. Claxton’s are based in England and have built a reputation for bottling exceptional casks in their iconic if not imposing flat and square bottles.
The distillery in question today was founded in 1798 and is in the far North in Kirkwall in the Orkney Island chain. Influenced by repeated Viking raids and eventual settlements the Orkneys have a very unique history as part of Scotland lore.
Most expressions from this distillery are lightly peated so it will be interesting to see how this single cask compares to the prorietary bottlings.
Claxton’s Orkney 10 Year Old – Island – Bourbon Hogshead #1836-008A – 63% abv
Colour: Lighter than anything that has gone before so far this edition. 18k gold.
Nose: Lovely sweet barbequed, buttered corn on the cobb. Definite influence of some earthy peaty elements but they are wrapped in sweetness. Loving this hogshead influence on this nose. It’s a little on the delicate side which is a really good thing. The more sniff time I spend on it the better it gets. All of this and at 63%. No way in the wide world of sports would I think that this was 63%…….. ever. Great balance on this.
Palate: Some tropical influence which comes as a bit of a surprise. Not quite ripe pineapple, citrus, but lighter lemony notes. The 63% really does not dominate at all and I find myself barely thinking about the abv or feeling it for that matter.
Finish: The sweetness and fruit dominate the finish. I am still getting that creamy BBQ influenced sweetness that is somehow transforming itself into a corn on the cobb. This is a really new tasting note for me with Scotch but my brain cannot get past it.
This is a great example of how minimal oak influence can be outstanding in leaving a ton of nuanced flavors that would otherwise be swallowed up. Fantastic dram Claxton’s well done on the cask selection.
Last edition we had the A.D. Rattray Glen Moray 9 Year Old.
Tomorrow we are heading to Islay for our first full on peaty experience of this edition from Douglas Laing. Buckle up boys and girls this is going to be fun.
This was a nice softening up process on the peat stakes before we set out to try and hurt you tomorrow. Hoping that you have been having a blast so far. It’s hard to believe that we are closing in on the half way mark already. It takes Cindy and I almost a whole year worth of work to put this together and it seems to go by so fast.
See you tomorrow lads and lassies.