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.
This Ardbeg is efficient in every way, revealing a bold salty character as well as citrus fruit notes (lemon, clementine). While this initial impression presages a certain freshness, the bourbon cask nonetheless envelops the malt in rich and vanilla notes (Arlequin sweets). Add a hint of pear, a pinch of pepper and nutmeg, and you have a simple but very enjoyable malt.
This edition—whose composition changes every year—is in this case a blend of equal part sherry and bourbon casks. It reveals the typical cereal notes (porridge) so cherished by Springbank enthusiasts, as well as a fairly pronounced medicinal and mineral character. The palate is dominated by citrus fruit, orange in particular. A few spices also emerge alongside a handful of raisins. Overall it is round and quaffable but still with excellent balance.
The name “The Enlightenment” is a reference to the intellectual movement that took hold of Europe in the late 17th century and continued throughout the 18th century. This bottling from Bruichladdich, released in 2002, is so named because it was accompanied by a reprint of one of the first treatises on distillation, written during this period, in 1718. The man behind the reprint was the late Malcolm Greenwood, a famous whisky writer and stalwart Bruichladdich fan who, along with the distillery’s then-director Jim McEwan, chose the two casks found in this bottling. It was also released to celebrate the reopening of the distillery (one year earlier), as it emerged from a dark period in its history that had begun with its closure in 1995. The whisky itself is also all about light, immediately revealing aromatic freshness and clarity on the first nose, with notes of quince and green apple taking us to an orchard, followed by spices (white and black pepper) and vanilla. Finally, notes of fresh, damp grass add to the feeling of spring, as rose ice cream adds feminine charm. The palate is fluid and creamy. Fruity (ripe peach, nectarine) and rich (espresso con panna), it ends with the same spices found on the nose. The finish is long, sweet and vanilla, again with notes of creamy coffee. Stunning!