After much planning and hard work, we're delighted to finally have launched our own independent bottlings of whiskies. Under the name York Road Bottlers, we will be releasing bottlings of single casks from interesting and great distilleries - all liquid that we've tasted and fallen in love with.
For our inaugural release we have four whiskies - three Speyside stalwarts and an Islay legend, all of which have been finished in sherry or port octaves. An octave is a smaller-than-normal cask, just a quarter of the size of a barrel. Finishing a whisky in an octave amplifies the interaction between the spirit and the wood character, meaning the bottled whisky reflects more of the port/sherry character of the cask itself.
All four octaves produced less than 64 bottles each. All bottles are cask strength, natural colour and are unfiltered.
The nose has dark chocolate and coffee, with an earthy background alongside figs and ripe dark berry fruits. Rich dark dried fruits like a fruit cake and rich spices. This is a rich whisky with lots of dark cooked fruit flavours and fruit cake, all very evident on the palate. Damp tobacco leaves and very dark chocolate mix with caramel and baked plums. The finish is rich and long with spice, chocolate and dark dried fruits including raisins and dates. Conclusion - The small cask has given the spirit great richness without taking away from the distillery character of the spirit.
An expressive nose of apples, red berries and light vanilla with a touch of caramel. A little florality and lemon zest. With a little time in the glass to air, there are typical Glen Elgin light tropical fruits coming through under the red fruit. On the palate there is vanilla fudge and zesty lemon at first with the mid palate giving tropical and red berry fruit and a little sweet toasty oak. Touches of spice and cracked black pepper sit in the background. The finish is long and juicy with soft spices and toasty oak. A little fennel shows right at the end and the overall finish isn’t drying at all. This is an intense and satisfying dram for a ten year old. Good depth and breadth of flavour for a relatively young whisky.
This has a spicy and zesty nose of lemon and dried apricots with cinnamon and nutmeg. Light fine oak runs through the background. Given a little time to breath there are gorse flowers coming through. The palate is sweet at first with light honey and vanilla fudge and then lots of fine spices: Allspice and Star Anise. The fruits are dried but sweet including currents and dehydrated peach. The finish is long with nutmeg and apricot tarte tatin. Fine oak right at the end brings in a dry finish. This is not a sherry bomb - it is much more complex and refined than that - yet remains intense and rich.
The nose has sweet bonfire smoke and steeped dark fruits and caramel. There’s a little grassy note in the background and citrus zest giving high notes. The palate has sweet, cooked fruits and manuka honey, sitting atop of barbeque smoke and a little rancio note. Very well balanced with a top dressing note of struck match giving a little highlight akin to seasoning a meal with pepper, which brings out the cooked fruit and fruit cake flavours. Dark chocolate, dried figs and soft spices round out the back of the palate giving a satisfying dram. The finish is complex and very long. The dried fruits persist, and the spices and sweet smoke come through in waves in contrast to toasted oak and a little dark honey. The very end is still rich and spicy and not at all dry. Conclusion - A very complex and satisfying whisky which is well balanced and bottled à point, with the oak well integrated and very fine tannins.