Nose: apples caramel cinnamon
Body: loooong-finish rich
Palate: apples oak sultanas
I've recently had the pleasure of winning and tasting a 40 year old whisky from Abbey Whisky. I'd won this bottle in a Facebook competition much to my disbelief and loved it. My wife and I actually scored it a 96 out of a 100 which is to this date the highest score I've given out to a whisky, a score that only one other whisky I've ever tasted, a thousand dollar bottle of Ardbeg Lord of the Isles received.
Now I was informed by the very nice gentleman who sent me my free prize that the fine folks at Abbey Whisky had been so pleased with my review of their 40 year old Speyside that they were going to send me the 30 year old Speyside to sample.
Free whisky, good free whisky!
But this very nice gentleman is to be married soon and weddings take lots of time and lots of energy as I well remember after just finishing celebrating my first year anniversary with my wife so who knew when the samples would come? I didn't think it would be for weeks at the soonest, months most likely.
How wrong I was.
I'd just come home from running around and getting chores done and had just sat down and started gaming with my brother on xbox live when the doorbell rang. I wasn't expecting anything, my wife hadn't ordered anything so I sort of figured that my sister in law had ordered something and had it sent to the house as she will occasionally will do.
But somehow, that didn't seem right, my spidey sense was tingling and telling me something was up.
My brother in law knocked on the door to the entertainment room and called out that I had a package...
I was puzzled, not sure what would be for me, hoping it wasn't some sort of bill I'd forgotten, but as he hands me a small package I'm excited and puzzled.
Surely not! They couldn't have sent me anything! But on the package there is a little stamp from the Royal Mail.
I rip open the package and there is a little box and a note.
The note is from Abbey Whisky and reads:
Thought we would get another wee dram sent across for you to try!
I'm going to try to keep it a secret that we sent this, so it lands on your kitchen table a complete surprise! Not sure if I'll be able to not tell you, but I'll give it a shot!
Thanks for the great review before, truly appreciated.
Slainte! Very nice gentleman."
Very very nice. And in the box a cute little 3cl bottle of 30 yr old Speyside whisky from the Secret Casks with a little gold wax topper.
Now this is even better for me then normal as I'm currently in the middle of a series of entry level whiskies which sadly for the most part are bland, boring, thin and watery. Something to look forward to at the end of this is just making my day!
Several days pass as I don't want to crack open the bottle while I'm still doing the entry level whisky reviews and then finally the big day comes!
So tonight I crack open that cute little bottle and pour it's lovely contents into my trusty glencairn. The moment I crack the bottle open the smell of apples fills the room.
Now I normally taste my whiskies at dinner time. And I have a special routine. And that routine goes along the lines of I crack open the whisky bottle and pour myself a dram, my wife and I dish up our dinners while I smell the whisky, we sit down and watch TV and eat, I nose the dram the entire time, I finish eating, I continue to nose, she finally finishes eating, she then waits and waits and waits while I continue to nose the dram, finally she is ready, she then noses the dram for a minute or so then takes a sip, yay my turn! I then sip.
Whew that's a lot! I let my wife always take the first sip of any whisky we have never tried before, always have, always will.
Now the entire time I'm nosing the glencairn, I'm salivating, non stop. And it normally takes my wife around 40 to 60 minutes before she's ready to sip the whisky so it feels like an eternity!
The smells coming off this glencairn are phenomenal!
Apples come off it in waves, caramel apples and apple pie specifically! There is butterscotch and vanilla along with oak in there. But apples are what dominate.
Now this is making me miserable, because it's taking my wife so long to finish her meal and I'm just dying for a taste, but I'm a good and patient husband so I don't say anything, I just wait and nose.
Finally she's finished with her meal and ready to have a drink! WEWT!
She takes a sip and thinks for a minute and says that the strongest flavor for her is the oak with apples in the background, then she hands the glencairn to me!
Huzzah! My turn!
I eagerly take a sip and yes the oak is there in force, but not enough to overpower the whisky, I get the apples, hints of cinnamon and in the background sultanas.
The finish is long. And the sultanas and apples follow the oak the whole way down.
And when I say long, I don't just mean long, I mean LOOOOONG.
This is just a 40% ABV, and while I'd love to see this at 43% or even a 46% ABV, the finish is insanely long, like an hour after taking the last sip of the whisky, after walking the dogs, after taking out the trash, after taking a shower my mouth is still salivating kinda long.
I want more.
This whisky runs for around $135 AUS and is available from only Abbey Whisky.
Now I like to do comparisons and I believe in strongly value for money so I grabbed the big chain liquor store over here and pulled up a couple bottles. Macallan 18 yr old runs for roughly $170 AUS, Glenlivet 25 yr old runs at around $500 AUS and Glenfiddich 30 yr old runs for roughly $490 AUS.
Now that I've finished the review I hope you don't mind that I now sneak off to go lick the dregs out of my glencairn.