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Heartwood Velvet Hammer Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (500ml)
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- ABV 68.8%
Distilled by Bill Lark, this is another astonishingly well balanced, high octane selection from Tim Duckett's aged whisky stocks. Distilled November 1999 and matured in an x Jim Beam Bourbon Barrel before being bottled in March 2013. Only 172 bottles produced.
Tasting note: Pale straw gold with a pale green blush. The whopping alcohol is evident but barely issues a prickle. First inhalations reveal flashes of fruitiness, initially unripe strawberry then stewed pear. Several minutes of exposure yields a terrific core of dense vanilla and malt. The third pass is more lozenge like with a butter menthol freshness. Terrific complexity. The entry is creamy, soft and sweet with little indication of the spirit. Mid palate intensifies threefold as bittersweet spices cover the tongue and cheeks. Deliciously shortbread-like on the finish before concluding dry as the vanilla, cocoa and spices climax. Bourbon soaked oak shines through in the aftertaste followed by a hint of Fisherman's Friend. 'Velvet Hammer' is an apt description. Unlike some natural strength bottlings, even at 68.8%, surprisingly, the balance just gets better and better each time you return. However, you've got to pause and come back to it several times to get the full picture.