the whisky lounge - a journal tracking a whisky maturation project involving a newly-acquired oak cask and a significant amount of patience

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sweet!

This is Part Two of the second week's commentary. You can read Part One here.

Last weekend, after nearly burning away my ability to smell anything by taking a big whiff of the immature spirit, I noticed that the whisky in the cask made the immature whisky seem like it was lacking something. The smell of the young spirit had holes in it, as if there should have been more to it, but there wasn't. The ageing spirit, on the other hand, was moving towards caramel and fruit. The medicinal nose to the young spirit was gone, but in general the nose of the casked whisky was complementing, rather than replacing the bouquet of the younger spirit.

This has continued unabated. The whisky in the cask presently has a fruited, smoky odour which is quite pleasant. It's also a lot less in-your-face. The strong alcohol predominance is becoming further subsumed into the rest of the bouquet, meaning that the smells of wood and char from the cask and fruit from the sherry are really starting to come through more strongly. It's very butterscotchy as well, interestingly enough. It's a rich sweetness, with plum, raisin, gateau breton, wine, a hint of vanilla, and a lot of oak. It starts with the oak and moves through the fruit before ending with the butterscotch. It's beginning to smell very, very nice.

One contrast of note that wasn't apparent the last time is something which hearkens back to comparing the immature whisky with the Oban 14 and the Talisker 10 several weeks ago. Remember how I said these ones brought out a strong malt vinegar nose in the young whisky? The Whisky Works whisky after being in the cask only two weeks is doing the same thing: the sugars are such that the same malt vinegar scent is quite noticeable in the original now. I take this as a very good sign, since Talisker and Oban are two of my favourites. If the Whisky Works Whisky is entering the territory that those whiskies share, then I'll be very happy with the result.

I could keep my nose in the glass all day and be a happy, if peculiar-looking, man.

On to Part Three!

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