Anam na h-Alba means as much as ‘the soul of Scotland’ and is a German independent bottler, run by Tom Skowronek. Tom only bottles at cask strength and without chill filtration. This 17 years old ‘secret’ Speyside malt was launched in 2012 with only 60 bottles. It was one of Tom’s first releases.
The sweet nose offers butter, honey, beeswax and vanilla from the the first whiff. That is later joined by baked apples and pears, apricots and peach. Some gooseberries kick in. There is also a big floral note. And after five minutes it is impossible not to smell the candied sugar. Very enticing.
The first sip is silky soft and sweet on litchi, pear, peach and oranges. Some pepper and ginger and a surprising note of mint. The second sip is very sweet – almost too sweet but just within limits. Somewhat candy-like, but with a prickle from the spices. The third sip introduces the wood with a bitterness from the tannins. But it does make for a very good balance.
The finish is quite long and again allows the litchi and pepper to show themselves.
It was simply impossible to identify the distillate, but I do believe this was a bourbon cask. Who cares? This is just very good.