Watt Whisky 6yo blended malt (Campbeltown) & Watt Armagnac Chateau Laubade 17yo


A couple of more recent releases from Watt Whisky to end the week.

Watt Whisky 6yo blended malt (Campbeltown)

Region: Campbeltown

ABV: 58.6%

Price: £60.00

This Campbeltown blend, distilled in 2017, was matured in a bourbon barrel and bottled in 2023. The outturn was 252 bottles.

Nose

The nose opens with tinned pears in syrup, nectarines, dried apricots, a little bit of lime zest, light fudge notes and dunnage warehouse mustiness. There’s a fair bit of alcohol showing, but it’s in reasonable balance alongside additional aromas of slightly stale sponge cake, sawdust, sugar dusted shortbread and whipped cream. There’s a bit of a yeasty, young spirit note here that gives away the drams age, but the cask has imparted enough to mask this somewhat.

Palate

The palate begins with a burst of citrus, lemons and limes in abundance, alongside fondant icing, with pink peppercorns bringing a bit of spice that lingers on for quite a while. It’s a warming dram, you can tell it’s in the high 50’s ABV-wise. The mouthfeel is really good, it’s oily and viscous, and we’re finding a more of an oak spice and a salinity coming through as the palate develops. Time and air brings out a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, but it’s primarily fruity boiled sweets and citrus that dominates the palate.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose brings more coastal aromas, salty sea air, wet rope, a little minerality too. The aromas from the unreduced nose are still all mostly here, dusty warehouses, shortbread, mellow fruits and peppery spice.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate hasn’t changed too much, we’re still met with lots of fresh citrus, then moving into vanilla sponge cake, stewed fruits and a little bit of spice. The pepperiness has mellowed, but it still lingers on the finish. The mouthfeel has been impacted a little bit, but it’s still got a decent texture

Conclusion

For a 6 year old whisky, it’s quite impressive. It’s fiery, don’t get us wrong, but there’s plenty of flavour and aroma from the cask to counterbalance this. Perhaps it’s not the most complex of drams, but it’s still really tasty and we’re finding ourselves going back for another sip after sip.

Score: 7/10

Value

£60 for cask strength Campbeltown whisky, it's a 'yes' from us.


Watt Armagnac Chateau Laubade 17yo

Region: Bas Armagnac - Colombard

ABV: 54.8%

Price: £90.00

This Bas Armagnac, distilled in 2006, was matured in a Gascon black oak cask and bottled in 2023. The outturn was 294 bottles.

Nose

The nose opens with red apple skin, fig puree, grape must, alongside pancakes drizzled in maple syrup. It has a very sweet nose, not in a bad way, and we’re finding candied almonds, cinnamon candies and toffee brittle. There’s also a slight rubber note, alongside black cherries and a malt-loaf type note too. The alcohol has a reasonable balance, present but not too overpowering.

Palate

The palate begins with raisins, maraschino cherries, Christmas cake spices, lots of cinnamon and clove coming through. We’re also finding lots of fresh apple, alongside some rum-like flavours too. The mouthfeel is a touch thin, but there’s still some texture there. The finish lingers on for a medium to long length, with brandy butter, cinnamon spice and a bit of liquorice too. Going back after some time and air reveals a slight salinity which we didn’t quite expect.

Nose (with water)

The reduced nose feels slightly more harmonious, as if all the aromas have come together in a cherry, cinnamon and dried fruit cocktail. We’re still getting the maple syrup too, all in all it hasn’t changed too much.

Palate (with water)

The reduced palate has lost some of the upfront spice, and gained a richer oak and molasses flavour. There’s candied ginger, toffee sauce and prickly pear. There’s also a slight bitter wood note towards the finish which we’re not super fond of .. we’re probably skip the reduction here.

Conclusion

More people should drink Armagnac (and also actual sherry, but that’s another story). This is a great introduction to the spirit, it’s a touch fiery in places but we’ve come to expect that from Armagnac of this age. Bursting with flavour, we’re more than happy to go back for another dram or two.

Score: 7.5/10

Value

Armagnac usually offers good value relatively speaking and this is no different. You’d struggle to find a cask strength 17yo Scotch from a quality distillery at a comparable price.

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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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