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.
Yamazaki Of. Peated Malt 2022 Edition Tsukuriwake Selection
Thanks to its eight pairs of stills in varying shapes and sizes, and a range of heating methods (among other things), the Yamazaki distillery (which celebrates its first century of operations this year) is capable of creating a vast palette of malt whiskies, even before it begins experimenting with maturation. It was to demonstrate and pay tribute to this expertise that the Tsukuriwake range was created.
The nose on this peated version is heady and complex, taking us deep into the heart of Japan, with notes of cedar, incense and yakisugi (a local technique that involves burning the surface of a wooden plank to strengthen it). The subtle peat brings aromas of liquorice caramel (“Batna”) that never overpowers the accompanying notes of vanilla and citrus fruit (white grapefruit, lemon). Spice (clove) is also present. Gradually, as it breathes, metallic notes and creosote become more apparent. The nose is constantly changing and soon its focus turns to spices, with Kampot pepper and gentian root. The palate is full and lively. The same citrus fruits from the nose are found in a tangy aspect. The peat remains restrained, serving as a backdrop for a palette of fruit and spices (pepper, juniper berry). The finish is long and ends on the original register, with peat, grapefruit and ash.
A perfect example of the distillery’s mastery, this version shows that Yamazaki’s position in the world elite is in no danger of being usurped!
Bunnahabhain 1968 Of. The Family Silver Limited Bottling
1968 was a great year for Bunnahabhain and this 30 year old bottling is the perfect example, even though is less well-known than the Auld Acquaintance bottling and its red label. In any case, it proves that, even without the peat for which its more famous neighbours are known, Bunnahabhain produces outstanding whiskies and deserves its place in the spotlight.
The round and generous nose reveals notes of candied ginger (nonette) and tarte tatin sprinkled with ground clove. A refreshing sea breeze is never far away. There are also notes of furniture polish and light sooty notes. Allowed to breathe further, it even has the feel of a red vermouth. The palate is smooth and dominated by orange flavours. All the trademarks of sherry cask maturation are there, as well as well-integrated notes of oak. Next, notes of dried flowers, spices (clove again) and cocoa add the finishing touches to an already very rich palette of flavours. The finish is long, floral (violet) and salty, bringing a reminder of the distillery’s location and surroundings.
Clearly Bunnahabhain has nothing to envy of its Islay sisters!
Caroni 15 years 2000 Velier Full Proof Single Cask No. 4655 - bottled 2015 The Nectar
An uncompromising Caroni with the trademark tarry character and notes of hydrocarbon. This is accompanied by notes of liquorice, walnut stain and salted almond. Staying in the same very dark register, tobacco and old leather then bring a still relatively average-aged rum the feeling of one much, much older. This clever slight of hand is almost certainly the work of its tropical maturation. Interestingly also, despite the 71% angels’ share, this bottling boast a very high but well-integrated ABV of 70.4%.