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

Sunday, March 9, 2008

I'm Too Sixy

Sorry, Fred. I couldn't resist.

I can hardly believe it's been six weeks already. The whisky in the cask has at last crossed the threshold: Premium Bottlers recommends six to eight weeks in the cask for optimal deliciousness. And as I'm all about achieving optimal deliciousness, I'm happy we've hit the window.

So how are things coming along? If you remember, I was pretty impressed with where things stood last week. I'd found a strong toffee sensation in the nose, with hints of other flavours such as cooked fruit and a bit of grassy field. This week is very much along the same lines. The biggest change I notice is that the sharpness from the strength of the alcohol has diminished a bit, allowing the other flavours to shine. Plum pudding with butterscotch sauce? Brandy in front of a fireplace? Weird ways to describe the nose of a whisky, but those are the impressions I get. The butterscotch or toffee is still strong, the fruit is reminiscent of cooked plums à la plum pudding or of raisins, or of brandy. There's a small amount of smoke, and still some grassiness, but it's very very subtle.

On the palate, it's a bold dram still. It starts with a spicy butterscotch-chocolate combo which is quickly replaced by a really nice wave of oak and cooked fruit. The finish is very long and warm, with vanilla and spice. The butterscotch is maintained throughout, and the faint smokiness in the nose is also omnipresent, though it's buried underneath the other flavours.

Premium Bottlers had suggested that the most pronounced changes would be early in the process, and this week demonstrates that it seems to be quite accurate: I had noticed sharp, distinct changes from week to week in the first month, but this test is quite similar to last week's sample. The differences now are of refinement. It's not fruitier or smokier or saltier or what have you; it's simply a bit less aggressive in terms of the alcohol content, a bit smoother and mellower, and maybe a bit more refined.

I figure I'll leave it in for another 2 weeks to see what shakes. I expect few pronounced changes, but an increased mellowness, which should be nice.

All in all, it's coming along very nicely.

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