Berry Bros & Rudd Williamson Moscatel Cask #207 & Berry Bros & Rudd Williamson Christmas Edition Cask #233


We're starting the week off by looking at two single casks of Williamson, bottled by Berry Bros & Rudd.

Berry Bros & Rudd Williamson Moscatel Cask #207

Region: Islay

ABV: 57.9%

Price: £90.00

This release of Williamson from BBR was distilled 214, finished in an Moscatel cask, and bottled in 2022 at 9 years old. 300 bottles were made available.

Nose

We're getting a strong cream soda note right off the bat, following into marshmallows toasting over sweet bonfire smoke. We're also finding dried apricots, runny honey and leather coming through. As it sits in the glass, aromas of fig jam, red currants and a light salinity start to appear. There's good alcohol balance here, you can get your nose deep into the glass without much resistance. 

Palate

The palate begins with saltwater, heavy medicinal smoke, rubber gloves, baked strawberry cheesecake, flamed lemon peel and a herbal fennel/aniseed-like flavour. It's got a lot of fruit here but it's not overly sweet, it still manages to retain a dry and earthy palate overall. Time and air reveals a little prune, nail varnish remover and chimney soot. The mouthfeel is nice, not overly oily or thick but definitely not thin either. The finish is long with red fruits and medicinal peatsmoke. 

Nose (with water)

Water brings out more fruit - strawberry laces, peaches and red currants, with a smokey whipped cream aroma underlying them. There's also a biscuity note that started to appear alongside some tinned pineapple slices.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate brings along some of those biscuit-like flavours, dry oatcakes and lemon zest. There's still a good amount of peat, but it's definitely mellowed compared to pre-dilution. Interestingly, the little sweetness we got before has all but disappeared, leaving the dram considerably drier than before. We'd probably avoid adding water for this very reason.

Conclusion

We quite enjoyed this. The nose didn't have an overly strong peat aroma, but the palate brought more of that medicinal smoke that Laphroaig fans love. The Moscatel cask did a good job in imparting the spirit with some light fruit notes, without making it overly sweet. The mouthfeel was a little thinner than we'd like, but overall it's a good quality dram.

Score: 7.5/10


Berry Bros & Rudd Williamson Christmas Edition Cask #233

Region: Islay

ABV: 60.9%

Price: £65.00

This release of Williamson from BBR was distilled 2012, matured in a hogshead, and bottled in 2021. 322 bottles were made available.

Nose

The nose opens with custard cream biscuits, phenolic peat smoke, a little turpentine, leftover charcoal ash, a little burnt rubber and freshly laid asphalt. Leaving it in the glass for a while and we're starting to find a little dill pickle brine, smoked duck charcuterie, wood resin, pencil shavings and pine. The alcohol feels fairly well balanced for the 61% it comes in at. It's quite a dry, earthy, peat-forward nose, with not a lot of sweetness coming through. 

Palate

The palate opens with sour plums, walnuts, roasted and salted peanuts, and earthy, vegetal peat smoke powering through the reasonably long finish. The mouthfeel is really nice, it's oily, textured and coats all of the palate. We're also getting some iodine, chewing tobacco and the faintest hint of barley sugar, however make no mistake, this is quite a dry dram. 

Nose (with water)

Reduction brings out a hint of vanilla, cardboard boxes, lime cordial and ashy peat. The nose feels somewhat dustier, wood chippings from a carpenters workshop and the papery skin from a roasted pistachio. There's still a good amount of smoke here, but overall the nose feels like it's a little simpler now.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate continues along the same road as the reduced nose, with dry oak, wet cardboard, smouldering peat and a hint of lime pickle towards the finish. It's not really gained much sweetness, and is still quite dry. 

Conclusion

A big and bold Laphroaig, showing off a lot of earthier, nutter notes alongside the classic Laphroaig peat. It's a dry dram, with not much sweetness to be found. Some may dislike that style - for us we quite enjoy it. It's got a great mouthfeel, good alcohol integration and a long finish, showing off the quality of the spirit and cask. We're somewhere between a 7/10 and 7.5/10. We'd like just a touch more sweetness to add better balance to the dram.

Score: 7/10

  • 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.

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