The View from the Golden Promise is a chance to see the bottles under the hammer at finespirits.auction in a new light. To give you this fresh perspective, we’ve called on two experts from the Golden Promise Whisky Bar.
57.3%, 70 cl, 2014, 2nd Fill Sherry Butt #6857, Batch #2, Signatory Vintage for La Maison du Whisky
Now this is a delicate whisky with a spring-like character! Its more prominent notes include strawberry and Mirabelle plum, as well as a supremely complex orange with a characteristic mixture of sweetness, gentle acidity and bitterness. Honey and apple notes can also be picked out, creating parallels with certain Calvados. This subtle balance of sweet and bitter flavours gives the whisky an almost wistful character.
52%, 70 cl
The oldest (and highest bottling strength) in Yoichi’s classic range was launched by Nikka in July 1999, in the same range that was discontinued in 2015 in favour of a single bottling with no age statement, much to the disappointment of many fans. Personally, Yoichi has always reminded me of a walk in a forest after the rain, and this version is no exception. The nose is round and dense, spicy and smoky. Moss, ferns and pine needles take us to woodland paths and are accompanied by animal notes (leather). Next come orange zest, Sichuan pepper and pink peppercorn. Finally, camphoric notes of sports massage gels add a medicinal touch. Allowed to breathe, the nose becomes increasingly subtle. The palate is rich and spicy (black pepper, Sichuan pepper). Subtle exotic notes (guava) intertwine with soot, before returning to spices and forest walks. The peat is measured, playing a supporting role to the flavour palette. The finish is then long and salty, focusing on pepper, peat and dried herbs. Despite the high alcohol content, finesse and balance reign throughout. 20 truly is a great age!
60.9%, 70 cl
For whisky fans, the Rare Malts range is a cornerstone collection, releasing over its ten years of existence (1995-2005) bottlings from small and niche distilleries. It was also responsible for many rare official bottlings of several distilleries that are now closed forever. This Port Ellen was one of the distillery’s very first rare official appearances (excluding the incredibly rare bottling produced for the Queen’s visit in 1980) and is also one of my favourite versions overall as it reflects Port Ellen’s typical character, with one foot in the sea and the other on dry land. Already on the nose, we’re taken offshore with sea spray, while the peat remains measured. Then come citrus fruits (lemon, citron) and herbaceous notes of gentian root, samphire, wild fennel and sleet. It then returns to peat after a detour through a stable. Liquorice caramel provides richness. The palate is then full and lively, with peaty smoke enveloping seaweed sprinkled with black pepper. The mid-palate is thicker, becoming oily and resolutely marine. Medicinal (antiseptic), notes of peppermint provide refreshment. The finish is long, peaty and spicy. An outstanding Port Ellen.