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Blackadder Smoking Islay Raw Cask (Sherry Cask) Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 60.5%
Blackadder proprietor, Robin Tucek, is on a mission against the 'amelioration' of whisky - be it via chill filtration or the addition of caramel to add colour, he's dead against it. Tucek's Blackadder selection aims to keep your whisky experience as authentic as possible. The opening rant on his company website is not only informative, but makes good sense to anyone interested in getting the most for their whisky dollar.He writes, "Most malt whiskies bottled by the distillery owners are a marriage of several different casks. These big cask vattings are then often chill-filtered and coloured with the addition of varying amounts of caramel before being bottled. Even whiskies that are not chill-filtered are normally bright-filtered. Chill-filtration - when the spirit is chilled to freezing point or below prior to bottling - is done for cosmetic reasons, as it removes any possibility of cloudiness. Unfortunately, it also removes many of the natural fats, oils and flavours in the whisky which in turn removes a great deal of the individual character of a whisky as the esters, or flavour congeners, in the spirit tend to gather around these fats. The more a whisky is chilled when filtering, therefore, the greater the proportion of fats and esters are removed. And caramel has its own flavour, which is added to that of the whisky. In fact, the majority of malt whiskies are treated in this way when bottled. Bright filtering also removes a large part of these fats and esters with losses of around two to three percent of the cask volume when bottling". Single Casks of fine non-filtered, non-coloured single malt whiskies are nowadays becoming rather hard to track down. Indeed, casks of some of the more celebrated and powerfully flavoured malts are becoming like hen’s teeth to get hold of. But when you do manage to track down one of these rare masterpieces... wow! Then you know what you have been missing. "Smoking Islay" is, as the name suggests, dedicated to all the hardcore peat freaks out there. Loads of smoke, full sherry cask maturation and a bucket load of alcohol. 60.5% Alc./Vol. Now we're talking!! Tasting notes: Flawless bright gold appearance. The sensational barley sugar opening sniff is intense and pure; second pass adds aromas of melted butter and roasted nuts to the mix. Minutes later the bouquet loses some of the early sweetness as the smoke comes to the fore with wool shed / lanolin-like scents rounding off a superb whisky bouquet. A soft, creamy entry turns delicately bitter-sweet at mid palate with sponge cake, cocoa and hints of peat unrolling with astonishing poise. Finishes oily, satiny and with faint rum-like sugars persisting into the aftertaste. A freak sherry-peat fusion that will take you by surprise. Outstanding. 60.5% Alc./Vol.