It’s Black Friday, which means that hopefully you might find a good deal on whisky today. As they did last year, The Whisky Exchange bottled an exclusive Black Friday whisky for the occasion. They opted for an 18-year-old single malt from an unnamed Orkney distillery. I’m pretty confident (and you should be too) that this is a Highland Park. There’s 1,400 bottles available of the Orkney malt, which means that contrary to last year, this is not a single cask bottling.
Last year The Whisky Exchange released a 16-year-old single malt from a family-owned Speyside distillery (probably Glenfarclas), which yielded 582 bottles from a single sherry butt. Since I didn’t get around to reviewing the 2017 edition in time for that year’s Black Friday, now seems the right time to do it. So without further ado: here are my thoughts on the two Black Friday Whiskies from The Whisky Exchange.
Black Friday 16 Years Old (54.6%, The Whisky Exchange, 2017)
Nose: Leather polish with dried figs and soft notes of tobacco leaves. Hints of maraschino cherries and almond paste, as well as of sultanas and raisins. A light touch of pickled lemon. Very sweet. Taste: More of the maraschino cherries, with a hint of plums and orange zest, as well as a touch of cappuccino. There’s plenty of spices too, like cloves and cinnamon. Finish: Sultanas, and a rather intense spiciness, before settling down into sweeter citrus notes.
Black Friday 18 Years Old (54.6%, The Whisky Exchange, 2018)
Nose: Heather with a soft floral note and touches of honey and clementines, with a foundation of subtle wood smoke. There’s a thin veneer of white chocolate. Lovely! Taste: Good thick mouthfeel with a subtle peat influence, and a whiff of furniture polish. A whisper of creamy vanilla, honey and zesty orange. Pretty spicy too, think cloves and nutmeg, as well as a handful of cracked black peppercorns. Finish: Floral, some lemon, and lingering spices, as well as a note of cigarette ash.
Both excellent whiskies, this is really just a matter of taste, as both are almost on opposite ends of the flavour spectrum. The Orkney is now available for 69,95 at The Whisky Exchange. Or maybe it isn’t anymore by the time you read this. Last year these puppies went quick.