Today we’re looking at two blended malts from two well respected independent bottlers.
Thompson Bros SRV5 8yo Blended Malt Batch 01
This release was produced from a mix of single malts aged for over 8 years. They were combined in a 1200 litre charred European oak vat. When bottling, two third of the whisky was removed and the remaining liquid will be blended with the next batch of malt to be bottled.
Crusty white bread, young malty notes, a little white pepper, ginger and overgrown grassland. There's also a little pear and apple, but quite muted in our opinion. There's a touch of salty smoke here, and a touch of lemon zest as well. After some air we're finding sweeter notes of honey, banana milkshake and vanilla essence. There's a fair few different aromas coming through, but you can still identify the youthfulness of the spirit.
The initial palate has briny olives, lemon juice, black pepper and a little wax. There's a nice vanilla sweetness coming from the oak, as well as an effervescence and citrus flavour reminding us of Albariño wine. The mouthfeel is ok, it's not particularly textured but there's a little oiliness there. The finish is quite fresh, floral and citrus forward, going into melon, apple and peppery alcohol spice.
Nose (with water)
More floral and citrus aromas appearing, oak spice and a gentle hint of smoke. We're also finding some richer aromas of butterscotch and caramel in the background. We're not sure if water has helped the spirit, but it's not made the nose worse.
Palate (with water)
Woodier off the bat, bitter grapefruit, more earthiness, slight smoke, thyme and pepper. We've lost some of those nice light, fruitier flavours which is a disappointment. We're also finding the mouthfeel to have worsened with additional water, it just feels a little thin now.
We're not the biggest fans of the nose, it feels a little too young for us, but the palate makes up for this. There's a good balance of sweet, sour and spice to keep you interested. We'd avoid adding water, it doesn't impact the nose too much but ruins the palate for us. All in all an enjoyable whisky and an unbeatable price.
North Star Spirits Supersonic Mach 4
This release is a vatting of two 7yo sherry butts. Just 716 bottles were released.
Rich aromas of orange peel, charred oak, rye spice, tobacco, raisins and powerful alcohol. We're also finding leather, toffee and roasted hazelnuts. It's quite an aggressive nose, and clear that it's a young sherry bomb, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. After some air we're finding rubber, caramel and a little honey too.
The palate starts off with a bang, orange liqueur, a little boozy cherry, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon spice. There's a nice vanilla and chocolate note coming through on the mid palate that leads into a spicy, toasted oak finish. The spirit coats the mouth well, but the power of the alcohol is very apparent and may be difficult for some to get past.
Nose (with water)
Water brings out more of a roasted coffee aroma, milk chocolate and coca cola. The dilution does mute some of the alcohol bite, but we've lost some of those richer orange aromas. We're now finding prunes, plums and a little minerality too.
Palate (with water)
More chocolate coming through now, along with walnuts, creamy vanilla and syrupy Pedro Ximinez. There's an acidity here that's balancing these richer flavours. The mouthfeel is still good and the finish retains its length with a little blackberry and apricot.
A powerful sherry bomb that reminds us of older batches of a'bunadh, rich, toasty aromas and flavours with a crazy high ABV backing it up. To be honest, it does need some water to reduce that alcohol bite, however we did find a reduction in some of the heavier flavours which is a pity. Good whisky, good price, good for the sherry heads out there.
- 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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