Spheric Spirits might seem like just another independent bottler, but that would sell them short. While I’ll take a look at their Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 2001 19 Years in a minute, please let me introduce you to a couple of fermentation freaks. And I mean that in the most complimentary of ways.
I’m talking about Spheric Spirits founders Benedict John Skelton and Claudio Schöller, two Germans with an affinity for flavour, fermentation and funk. As far as I know they don’t have their own distillery, but they do produce in partnership with other distilleries.
Benedict has interned at Dornoch, a distillery well-known for their experimentations with yeast varieties. He has spent time in Mexico studying fermentation and distillation of mezcal. Benedict also partnered with Nc’nean to fill 31 casks with spirit that was fermented with wild yeast from New-Zealand.
And currently he is the research and development guy at Aurora Spirits, the northernmost distillery in the world. They not only produce whisky, but also aquavit (aged and unaged) and arctic gin. Indeed, a passion for spirits is ingrained in the DNA of Spheric Spirits.
I can’t wait to see what they’ll release in the future, but for now I’ll make do with their Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 2001 19 Years. The description on their website hints at the inclusion of older components with this statement: “Back in 2001 the partially already mature liquids have been vatted and re-racked [into a single refill sherry butt].”
Nose: Plenty of dried tropical fruits (apricots, peach and mango) with a touch of chalk, cherry-flavoured candy canes, and zesty orange. A sliver of furniture polish, blackcurrants and aniseed. Really attractive. Taste: Decent texture, albeit slightly dry. Warming spices (nutmeg, cinnamon) in duet with polished leather, tobacco leaves and sweetened coffee. Some soft notes of fennel and citrus also. Finish: Long, somewhat dry and tannic with chocolate and star anise.
Can't really fault much about this Blended Malt 2001 19 Years from Spheric Spirits. It's a little dry and tannic at times, but offsets it with a maturity and depth of flavour that are very attractive. Probably really good value when this was released, but now only available on the secondary market, if at all.