Waxhouse Ed.008 Milk & Honey


Today, we're looking at a new-ish indie bottler, Waxhouse Whisky. If, like us, you had never heard of them before, here are a few details:

Waxhouse Whisky Company was formed in 2018 by three friends who administer the St. Albans Whisky Club, with the intention to bottle whiskies for the club members.

The name Waxhouse comes from the Waxhouse Gate, a cultural landmark in St. Albans, which is a stone's throw from the pub where the club regularly meets. Originally the site of the candle makers, where pilgrims would buy their candles before entering St. Albans Cathedral, it later served as the city's jail and was an important meeting point for rabble-rousers and rebels during the Peasants' Revolt.

Their first release was a peated Glenturret, followed by a Glenrothes and then a Linkwood. Since then, they've also released bottles from Cotswolds and St. George's.

We've been told that future releases will include Glenallachie and Highland Park casks, as well as the club's first rum.

If you'd like to find out more, check out their site at https://waxhousewhisky.com.

Today we’re looking at their newest release:

    Waxhouse Ed.008 Milk & Honey

    Region: Israel

    ABV: 53.9%

    Price: £85.00

    This single cask release was filled in December 2019 into a STR cask and left until May 2023. The cask provided 323 bottles.

    Nose

    We’re met with a black pepper spice, pomegranate, cola bottles, caramel shortcake, raspberry jam and squares of good quality dark chocolate. It’s a very punchy nose, we’re getting a fair bit of alcohol for only ~54% ABV. Time and air brings out some red fruits, strawberries, maraschino cherries and some pear drops right in the background. The Israeli climate has really done its job here, and you’d think this was much older than 3 years old.

    Palate

    The palate begins with more of those cola bottles we found on the nose, preserved lemon, pistachio, cocoa beans, along with dry spices like nutmeg and cloves. It’s a little bit spicy, there’s some chill heat coming through. The mouthfeel begins nicely, but falls off a bit too quickly for us. It’s quite a dry palate, there’s a lot of oak and dry leather to contend with. In the background we’re finding blueberry syrup and a bit of chewing tobacco too. The finish lingers on for a decent while, but doesn’t give any reprieve from the spice and dryness.

    Nose (with water)

    Reduction reduces a lot of the upfront spice we perceived before, and we’re getting considerably more light, orchard and stone fruits coming through.. pears, apples, peaches and nectarines. There’s some additional citrus now, with orange peel bursting out at us. It’s much more balanced with water, it feels quite refined now.

    Palate (with water)

    The reduced palate begins with some light vanilla, caramel, lemon barley water, moving into bitter grapefruit and orange pith. The dry, woodiness from before has morphed into more of those bitter fruits which we find a bit more pleasant. The mouthfeel and finish remain broadly similar to the unreduced palate, but overall we’d say that water greatly improves the palate.

    Conclusion

    A punchy but pleasant nose with lots of sweet fruits and chocolate confectionery, but this dram falls down on the palate for us. It’s just too spicy and dry without the promised sweetness to balance it out. If you’re into drier whiskies, you’ll like this more than we do, however we’re looking for a bit more balance in our whisky.

    Score: 5.5/10

    Value

    This seems roughly in line with M&H single casks, some will say it’s a lot for 3yo whisky but they do have considerable angels share to contend with.

    • 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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