For the fourth and final bottling in our Antarctica Series – with again a fantastic label thanks to the sharp lens of photographer Ilse Everaert – we travelled to an Orkney distillery. This sherry cask had been sleeping for 15 years and offers a beautiful malt that bursts with fruit, but remains very close to the distillery character at the same time. With an ABV of 53.2% it would even set the heart of a Viking on fire!
Wonderfully fruity and bright nose on apricots and peach, joined by some bitter oranges, but soon the typical distillery traits rear their heads: earth, heather, soft peat and a salty edge. The smokiness in the background is very discrete, but oh, so heart-warming.
The body is just great. Round and rich and – despite the high ABV – not burning. Forget water, you do not want to dilute this. While the typical salty note comes first now, along with some grand peat smoke, the fruitiness gives it a delicious sweet side that becomes irresistible. Pastry, dried apricots, oranges and a hint of pineapple on the barbeque. Boy, oh boy, this is good.
In the very long and wonderfully fruity finish, the malt proves how well balanced it truly is.
Manny and I are very happy to be able to present this malt to you. We are certain it will be enjoyed during many a winter evening. A worthy conclusion to our Antarctica Series.