Adelphi Ben Nevis Cask #10714 & Adelphi Caol Ila 10yo Cask #302779


We've got two (what look like) sherry bombs from Adelphi, let's get stuck in...

Adelphi Ben Nevis Cask #10714

Region: Highlands

ABV: 62.2%

Price: £74.00

Cask #10714 was distilled in 2015 and matured in a 1st fill oloroso butt for 6 years before being bottled in 2021. 588 bottles were released.

Nose

Toffee crisp bar, raisins, a slight funk, and a pork / meatiness. We’re also finding some strawberries, nail varnish remover, cranberry juice and leather. It’s a dry, richer style of sherry we’re getting, not too much sweetness coming through. Air reveals a floral hit of lavender and rose water, moving into a chocolate and cherry delice. There’s alcohol appearing on the nose, but nowhere near as much as we expected given the drams’ ABV.

Palate

There’s a black pepper spice on the initial sip, following into salted caramel, freshly blended strawberries, a little cognac and dark chocolate. It’s alcohol forward, maybe too much so, but we find the flavours are able to stand up to the alcohol and it still drinks very well for 62%. It has a silky, caramel-like mouthfeel with a finish that lasts a good while. It’s one of those drams that re-appear as you breathe in and out minutes after your last sip. Leaving it in the glass and we’re getting mocha flavours starting to develop.

Nose (with water)

It feels richer, darker roast coffee and even darker chocolate than before. There’s oak spice, a slight acidity and more meatiness than before. It’s like we’ve dialled the intensity of the dram up to 11 and turned an already active cask into something even more extreme. That’s not in itself a bad thing, however we do feel a bit of the spirit’s character has been lost now.

Palate (with water)

Salted caramel, black pepper on those strawberries with a drizzle of luscious cream, and sultanas soaked in armagnac. We’re unsure if we like it as much with water, similar to the diluted nose it’s more intense, but some of those more nuanced flavours seem to be overpowered by the oak.

Conclusion

A youthful dram that manages to stand up to a very active cask and remain in balance. The alcohol is a bit powerful at first, but settles down as the dram sits in the glass. It’s not overly sweet, theres’s some nice red fruits and richer flavours whilst still being drier than most heavily sherries drams we’ve tried. Be cautious with water, it’ll increase the intensity of the sherry and oak, but you may lose some of the more delicate flavours and aromas. A sherry bomb for sure, and another quality cask from Adelphi.

Score: 8/10


Adelphi Caol Ila 10yo Cask #302779

Region: Islay

ABV: 51.1%

Price: £99.95

Cask #302779 was distilled in 2012 and matured in a 1st fill oloroso hogshead for 10 years before being bottled in 2022. 256 bottles were released.

Nose

We’re finding coastal aromas, fresh sea air, beach campfires in the distance, salt and vinegar on fish and chips, with light wisps of smoke in the background. There’s some bright red fruits appearing, strawberry, cranberry and a hint of herbal mint too. Leaving it in the glass, we’re getting nuttier aromas, toasted almonds and walnuts, a little cinnamon bark and allspice. We’re also finding Chinese smoked meats and dried shiitake mushrooms.

Palate

Initially we’re getting sweet peat smoke contrasting with a slightly sour, pickle juice-like flavour. It’s zesty, we’re getting a lot of orange and lemon alongside some fresh raspberries, then onto an earthy, rich finish with casis, cherry and chocolate. The mouthfeel is nice, with a silky caramel-like texture, and the finish lingers on with dry oak, leather and charcoal smoke. After giving it some time in the glass, we’re finding cloves, cinnamon and raisins appearing, along with brown sugar backing those spices up. It has a touch more of an alcohol bite than we were expecting for the 51% ABV.

Nose (with water)

It’s nuttier now, those walnuts appearing more prominently alongside some chocolate coated peanuts. There’s also more of a saltiness coming through now, along with some of the dried fruits from the palate.

Palate (with water)

Slightly sweeter on the initial palate, but the contrasting acidity is still present. We’re getting charred oak, cask sediment and even more salt than before. Interestingly, the palate feels a bit thinner now, and overall the dram has lost a bit of body. We’d probably avoid adding water, the dram is at good drinking strength already.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of complexity here, it’s a dram that reveals more and more aromas as time goes on. There’s not as much sherry influence as we were expecting, but the dram is in good balance overall. It’s a good example of a well made spirit and a good quality cask coming together. It’s not super exciting, but not all drams need to be. At £100 for a 10 year old, it’s a bit steep, so we’ll go for 7.5/10 but if you’ve got the money it’s a solid buy.

Score: 7.5/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

    Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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