Apologies, this is the 2010 version. Thanks, again, to @wierdo for the sample. A mix of the Bere strain of barley, from various farms in Scotland, which is apparently so hardy it can grow on Orkney. It yields about 50% of what a modern grain does and is another applaudable attempt from the Progressive Hebridean Distillery to create unusual and experimental malts for us to try. Not sure about the casks, sorry, but I'd guess mainly ex-bourbon.
Not often I will crack open a sample and review it straight away but, what the heck, why not?!
Nose - Barley sugars, gristy, light ale notes and very fruity - apricot, yellow pears - and a touch of eucalyptus. Nice balance of sweet and sour but leaning to the sour. A little hint of clove in there too.
Taste - Woah, water needed! Very condensed neat. Decent mouth-feel, oily and mouth coating. Quite a dry and sour arrival with heavy, course even, grain notes. More sour barley sugars. It fizzes on the tongue as it develops going quite peppery and more bitter. More pear and apricot but they take a back seat compared to the nose.
Finish - med - long. Drying with white pepper, sharp but clean tannins and more menthol and barley sugar sweets at the death. My tongue feels like it's been kicked!
A big, meaty and juicy malt that perhaps veers too much towards the sour and bitter side for my own tastes. That said, it certainly showcases the barley here and the purists will no doubt adore this. High quality whisky for sure. Feels very 'rye-like'.
@RianC Your review sums it up pretty well and based on your notes I’m surprised at your generous score. I keep trying with this one, but the fact is that, 3/4 of the way through the bottle, I just don’t like it. I guess it must just be my finicky taste buds.
I was able to try the 2008 edition of their Bere barley and found it very intriguing. That one also had a spicy rye like edge. My notes indicate arugula and caraway which I both things I've found in somerye whisky and that I find enjoyable.
I am curious to see how these notes would ne affected with time.