Maclean's Nose Blended Whisky & Decadent Drinks Notable Age Statement 17yo


Today’s reviews include a bargain blend from Adelphi and a more expensive, but still great value release from Decadent Drinks.

    Maclean's Nose Blended Whisky

    Region: N/A

    ABV: 46.0%

    Price: £29.00

    We’re told this new bottling from Adelphi has the following composition:

    1. 40 Ex-bourbon casks distilled in the West Highlands (2018)
    2. 5 Ex-bourbon casks distilled in Campbeltown (2016)
    3. 16 Ex-sherry hogsheads distilled in the West Highlands (2018)
    4. 21 Ex-bourbon hogsheads of Grain whisky distilled in the Lowlands. (2017)

    with 25,000 bottles being released.

    Nose

    The nose opens with yeast, white bread dough, fresh white pepper, pear skin, green apple and a faint hint of kiwi. Well there is a young spirit, yeasty character that gives away the age, it’s not as prominent as we’d expect given how young this is. Air brings out a creaminess, along with salted caramel, marzipan and lemon zest. There’s the faintest hint of smoke on the nose, but it’s quite hard to detect.

    Palate

    The palate begins with richer notes of dark chocolate, dates, salted caramel and honeydew melon. The sherry casks in the mix are starting to appear now, alongside a nice orange/lemon citrus note as the palate develops. It’s a little thin on the palate, there’s not much going on there, but the finish does stick with you for a while, mainly showing creamy vanilla and a touch of Maldon sea salt. Time and air reveals some dry earth, toffee and spent coffee grounds.

    Nose (with water)

    Reduction brings out Caramac bars, sponge cake filled with whipped cream, sugar syrup, and a tamer peppery spice. The sherry casks are a little more noticeable now, bringing some cherry and raisin aromas to the nose. Some of that yeastiness has also mellowed.

    Palate (with water)

    The reduced palate shows more chocolate, milk chocolate this time, hazelnut spread, lime and oak. There’s a touch of briney/oiliness appearing now, and the finish remains pretty long. The palate is unfortunately still too thin for us though.

    Conclusion

    This feels like a great introductory whisky for your non-whisky drinking friends, but seasoned whisky nerds will also appreciate the quality here too. It wouldn’t be out of place in a good old fashioned or highball, but can be sipped neat as well. It would be great after a few more years of maturation, but overall the blend works out quite nicely.

    Score: 7/10

    Value

    Stands up well to other bottles in its price range, maybe even better. We’d choose this over Johnnie Walker any day.

    Decadent Drinks Notable Age Statement 17yo

    Region: N/A

    ABV: 53.0%

    Price: £95.00

    This release is a vatting of a 1st fill sherry butt containing a 2001 blended malt and a 1st fill sherry butt of 2006 Aultmore. The resulting mix was bottled at 53%.

    Nose

    We’re finding dates, prunes, a little bit of rancio, dry leaves, cherries in syrup, rittersport chocolate and toffee apples. The sherry isn’t overpowering, it’s well balanced with the spirit. We’re also finding ground cinnamon, some leather and a light nuttiness too. It’s a relatively restrained nose, there’s nothing coming out and punching you in the face.. it’s quite elegant.

    Palate

    The palate starts with nutty flavours, ground almonds and hazelnuts, moving into creamy milk chocolate, clove and a hint of ground ginger towards the finish. There’s a slight bit of spice here but the alcohol is really well integrated. The mouthfeel is nice, there’s some texture here, moving into brown sugar, coffee and a cinnamon bun at breakfast time. It’s a drier style of sherry, but there’s still a caramelised, sweet side to the dram.

    Nose (with water)

    The reduced nose has more chocolate aromas, with lots of cream and caramel too. It’s quite a “decadent” nose… Again, it maintains the richness of a sherry matured whisky without being overpoweringly sweet or syrupy. We’re getting some marzipan and a light touch of charred oak too. It’s handled water quite well.

    Palate (with water)

    The reduced palate is drier, dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans, roasted hazelnuts and cassia bark. The mouthfeel remains good and the alcohol remains well balanced. Similarly to the reduced nose, it’s a touch drier with brulee'd figs and antique furniture.

    Conclusion

    We generally prefer an untouched, unreduced dram, however they’ve done a great job with the reduction to 53% here, it’s incredibly well balanced. We really enjoyed this, there’s not much else to say. If you’re into a well matured, balanced, sherry cask whisky, this could be the one for you.

    Score: 8/10

    Value

    Really good value, we’re about to pick up a bottle ourselves.

    • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
    • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
    • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
    • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
    • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
    • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
    • 4 - Below average. Passable.
    • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
    • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
    • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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