Inchgower 22yo, 1996-2018, Old Particular
Price per bottle: °°°
Bottling: Douglas Laing (Germany exclusive)
Cask type: Sherry Butt (# DL11920, 610 btl.)
Colour: Deep amber.
Nose: Sweet with old sherry, nicely mixed with dark fruits, orange peel, dark chocolate and cocoa. Spicy notes of oak, nutmeg and cinnamon arrive followed by gingerbread and a whiff of sea salt in the back.
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate with a warming mix of dried fruits, sherry, Demerara sugar and prunes. This is accompanied by dark chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom and a hint of nutmeg with a certain nuttiness towards the finish. Very harmonious and velvety.
Finish: The finish is long, sweet and velvety with acacia honey, barley sugar and almonds. Becomes drier on the tail with cocoa, tobacco leaves and a whiff of saltiness.
With water: There's more sweetness coming through when a few drops of water are added, mixed with lots of sherry and spicy plums. The warmth and intensity is tamed on the palate while sweet and fruity notes of sherry and dried fruits are coming through, followed by bitter orange peel towards the finish. The finish is still long with honey, barley sugar, walnuts and dry notes of tobacco mixed with oak and cocoa.
Comments: This single cask bottling of an old Inchgower impresses by its complexity of diverse aromas, such as old sherry, dried fruit and winter spices. No overloaded sherry aromas or too much influence of oak wood. Nothing dominates, everything's in perfect harmony. A powerful demonstration of the enormous potential of this unusual Speyside distillery by the folks of Douglas Laing.
Inchgower 8yo, 2008-2016, C&S Dram Collection
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: C&S Dram
Cask type: Bourbon Barrel + Wine Finish (#807577, 304 btl.)
Nose: The nose starts off with a gentle vanilla sweetness, followed by a restrained fruitiness of apricots and lemons. The alcohol is overpowering but not pungent. Behind that overripe fruity flavours emerge, mainly melons, accompanied by notes of freshly baked bread, ginger and a hint of oak in the back.
Palate: Bold and intense on the palate. Sweet vanilla, ripe melons and apricots, complemented by a very warming alcoholic bite. Spiced oak, black pepper and caramelised ginger emerge, followed by subtle tobacco leaves (rather the green ones) and a metallic note towards the finish.
Finish: The finish shows medium length. Still very warm with tender creamy sweetness of vanilla and melons. Becomes dry and subtle bitter on the tail with green tobacco leaves and spiced oak.
With water: Water tames a bit of the alcoholic bite. The fruitiness is pushed in the back while spices and slightly bitter notes of grape peel come to the fore. Also significantly tamed on the palate leaving enough space for a delicate vanilla sweetness. However, bitter notes of grape peel, grapefruit and lemon also arrive. Still warming spiciness of oak, pepper, nutmeg and ginger. The finish is a bit shorter, less sweet but warm and very dry with oak on the tail.
Comments: This is a young, striking and boisterous Speyside single malt. A massive attack to one's taste buds. Only little cask influence with a powerful distillery character. Nonetheless enjoyable neat. The filigree fruitiness and vanilla sweetness bravely defy the massive load of alcohol and spiciness.
I thank Caminneci - Wine & Spirit Partner for sample and photograph!
Inchgower 7yo, 2008-2015, Hepburn's Choice
Price per bottle: °°
Bottling: Langside Distillers
Cask type: Finished in a single European Oak Quarter Cask (94 btl.)
Colour: Pale gold
Nose: A delicate tropical fruit potpourri on the nose with pineapple, banana, tangerine and gooseberry. With time, flowery notes emerge with subtle toffee and creamy milk chocolate. Very nice and satisfying.
Palate: Deliciously viscid fruit on the palate with a lightly liquorous texture. Sweet with gooseberry jam, banana and sticky blossom honey, along with lingering vanilla and gentle spice - oak, white pepper and ginger - leading to a warm finish.
Finish: The finish is medium-long and creamy with lingering tropical fruit. Slightly bitter oak emerges towards the end with a spicy dryness on the tail.
With water: There's even more tropical fruit on the nose, along with subtle vanilla. Sweet and fruity on the palate with gooseberry, mango and a sligthly decreased spiciness. The finish is medium-long, sweet, fruity with lingering vanilla, gentle marzipan and a whiff of warm spice.
Comments: This whisky unveils a charming vibrant sweetness, lacking the typical Inchgower’s salty signature. Well-balanced, enjoyable and appetising. Very good indeed. The quarter cask finish already delivers a soft, creamy and delicate tropical fruitiness. A pleasant and savoury dram.
I thank the German importer Prowhisky for sample and photograph!