Today we're looking at two single casks bottled by Infrequent Flyers. We've got re-charred and virgin oak Speysiders so we're excited to see what rich, powerful flavours these cask types will bring to the spirits.
Infrequent Flyers Glenlossie 13yo cask #799
This release was distilled in 2009 and Matured in a Re-charred hogshead until being bottled in 2022. 283 Bottles were released.
Brown sugar, a little pepper, some sour candy, and vanilla slice. There's a sweetness reminding us of icing sugar, along with caramel and toffee. These notes would make you think it's overly sweet on the nose, but there's a rich toastiness underpinning all of the sugar bringing it into good balance. A little air brings some fruit, apples, limes and some freshly peeled pear. The alcohol is present on the nose but the cask has been so active that it blends in well.
The toasted oak flavours come through right away, caramel shortcake, caramelised ginger and vanilla ice cream. Unlike the nose, we are finding the alcohol to be a little overpowering on the palate. It's quite peppery and leaves a fiery sensation in the back of the throat. The cask has given it a pseudo-smokiness, not peat but some charring that gives a similar flavour. It's got a decent mouthfeel and good length finish, although some of those rougher alcohol notes linger on longer than we'd like.
Nose (with water)
Water brings out a slightly fresher nose with more citrus and a touch of mint. It feels slightly less sweet as well, and we're finding those orchard fruits are beginning to come to the fore. We're also finding a little orange zest and the jam from the inside of a bakewell tart.
Palate (with water)
The reduced palate brings the alcohol bite into balance and we're now getting raisins, toffee, barley sugars and charred oak flavours. With a little more air we're finding all spice, muscovado sugar and a little honey. It retains the mouthfeel from before, and the finish has significantly more balance now.
Some people love toasted oak, others don't. We fall somewhere in the middle... it can do wonders to bring depth of flavour not usually found in standard ex-bourbon maturation, but sometimes it can be overpowering and astringent. This Glenlossie was nearing the overpowered category, but water really rounded it out. The nose is consistently good, but the palate was just too spicy and hot without dilution. Overall we enjoyed it and would happily have another dram.
Score: 7.5/10 (with water!)
Infrequent Flyers Glen Spey 15yo cask #4830
This release was distilled in 2006 and bottled in 2022 after a finishing period in a Virgin oak barrel
Ginger, cloves, pepper, quite a lot of spice going on initially. Behind this spice we're finding some caramelised white chocolate, hot caramel sauce and a touch of dried mint leaves. There's a little bit of almond nuttiness here too, and maybe some fudge as well. It seems reasonably alcohol forward on the nose, but this could be in part the virgin oak cask adding additional spice.
A mixture of dried fruits with a rum-like tinge backing those up. It's spicy, but in a rich, flavourful way rather than an overpowering, bitter way that we've found with some virgin oak casks. It's actually incredibly well balanced, slightly unexpected based on the spice off the nose. The mouthfeel is good, it has an oily texture and the finish lingers on for a while with some ginger, cloves, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Nose (with water)
Palate (with water)
Similar notes of rum and dried fruits, a little sweeter with slightly less richness now. There's some Werther's originals, cinnamon ice cream, hazelnuts and mint chocolate appearing now. The mouthfeel is still good, and the finish retains its length. There's a slightly dry wood note appearing right at the end of the finish.
We were expecting something overly spicy and hot on the palate, but we were pleasantly surprised. The nose is spice forward but has a lot of richness coming through too. The palate is where this dram really shines, it's creamy, sweet, rich and well in balance. Water doesn't hurt the whisky, but we're not sure it's really needed. It's a really good dram, but just falls slightly short of a purchase for us.
- 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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