Thompson Bros Nc Noch & Thompson Bros Circumstance 3yo


Today we're looking at two intriguing releases by indie bottler Thompson Bros.

Thompson Bros Nc Noch

Region: Highlands

ABV: 48.5%

Price: £70.00

First up is a 5yo blend that is a mix of 80% Nc'Nean and 20% Dornoch.

Nose

The nose opens with a burst of tropical fruits, apricot brandy, tinned pineapple slices, lemon butter, alongside pink lady apples and light peach aromas too. It's a very fruit-forward nose, light and subtle yet enough aromas to keep you coming back. Time and air brings out orange and almond cake, some apple cider and fabric softener. The alcohol is relatively well integrated and it's really pleasant to nose overall.

Palate

The palate opens with honeydew melon, dried apricots, milk chocolate buttons and hazelnuts towards the latter part. There's also fizzy cola bottles, green apple skin and mango chutney. It's got a good balance of sweet, fruity flavors alongside a slightly richer, creamier chocolate-forward taste. The mouthfeel is pleasant, it's not overly thick or vicious but it's not watery at all. The finish has a medium length with mostly tropical fruits and simple sugar notes coming lingering on.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose is slightly richer, the fruits are now complemented by sweet oak and brown sugar. There's a slight earthiness appearing too, it reminds us of an autumn stroll through the forest. Some of those nuttier aromas are still present, albeit still in the background.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate has a slightly thicker mouthfeel, it's more akin to single cream now. The flavors seem to be more integrated together, it's really quite nice after a little drop of water. Lots of pineapple, mango and guava coming through, some orange zest and sponge cake too. 

Conclusion

It's quite delicious, a real tropical fruit bomb and impressive for a 5 year old whisky. We think the reduction in ABV has both helped the dram stay in better balance, but also lost some of the thicker, oilier textures and flavors we may have gotten. Super drinkable, we'd happily drink many more drams.

Score: 7.5/10

Value

Yes, its a touch pricey, but we've no doubt it's because the Nc'Nean wasn't cheap to procure. 


Thompson Bros Circumstance 3yo

Region: English

ABV: 57.1%

Price: £70.00

This English grain whisky was distilled 29th July 2020. This particular cask was produced from 85% distilling malt & 15% raw distilling malt, fermented for 14 days with a saison yeast. It was then matured in an ex-bourbon cask, before being bottled March 2024, with 220 bottles released.

Nose

The nose opens with lots of creamy vanilla, it's very bourbon cask forward with additional aromas of fudge, shortbread, buttery French pastries and barley sugars. It's quite impressive for 3 years old, the cask has really masked a lot of the young spirit aroma. We're also finding a distinct tropical fruit style here.. pineapple, orange juice, some mango and a touch of passionfruit.

Palate

The palate opens with more of that sweet bourbon cask, it's quite creamy, buttery, vanilla ice cream with some toffee sauce. Alongside this, similar to the nose, we're also finding orange and lemon zest, the syrup from tinned pineapples and some black pepper heat. The palate gives more of the age away, with some varnishy younger spirit notes appearing as you get to the mid palate and finish. The alcohol is quite punchy here, but there's enough flavor to combat this.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose has more of the fruit appear in the beginning, pushing some of those pastries and cakes further into the background. We're getting more citrus now, oranges and lemons.. but not sharp or acidic, more watered down, like a cordial or squash.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate maintains the creamy mouthfeel, but the younger spirit notes do seem to come to the forefront a little quicker. The finish has lots of sweet oak and pastry cream, but the mid palate is dominated by varnish, dry oak and malt. We'd probably avoid water here.

Conclusion

The nose on this is lovely, a well balanced mix of fruit and oak, making us assume this is older than 3 years. The palate is pleasant, but does have younger, spicier and harsher notes as opposed to the mellow and integrated nose. It's still a good dram and we'd happily have another. If a 3 year old is as good as this, we're excited to see what this distillery can produce in the next decade.

Score: 7/10

Value

You wont get a cask strength whisky release much cheaper than this.

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  • 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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