The Wu Dram Clan recently celebrated their 3rd Anniversary with three eye-catching releases. A Glenburgie 1995 27 Years, Caperdonich 2000 22 Years and Unnamed Islay 1990 31 Years (which is a Laphroaig). All of these were sourced from the vast stock of Signatory Vintage.
It seems improbable that this bottler has only been around for three years. After all, they’ve managed to built up quite a reputation in such a short amount of time. But opposed to many other newish independents they’ve gone beyond the usual suspects. They’ve released many higher-end single malts which have caught people’s attention. And their 3rd Anniversary lineup is no exception.
Glenburgie 1995 27 Years (57.7%, Wu Dram Clan ‘3rd Anniversary’, C#6668)
Nose: Pretty gentle, but a appealing mixture of fruity and floral notes. Candied apple peels, apricots and meringue, but also honey dew melon and freshly cut grass. A touch of furniture polish, some sweet pastries and soft butter. Taste: We’ve got a winner. As fruity as one can hope for. Mango, grapefruit, lychees and lemon zest. It’s all there. The white pepper, nutmeg and honey add to the complexity, while the grassiness makes an encore as well. Water brings out even more sweet fruits. Finish: Lingering fruits and soft spices. Medium to long.
I’m a sucker for fruity malts, and Glenburgie has proven to be just that in recent years. This anniversary release from Wu Dram Clan is no exception; it might be even one of the better examples I’ve tried.
Caperdonich 2000 22 Years (55.2%, Wu Dram Clan ‘3rd Anniversary’, C#29490)
Nose: Touches of beeswax with pear skin, zesty oranges and lemons, but also a hint of melted butter, coconut shavings and vanilla custard. Some untreated, raw oak as well. Taste: Fatty mouthfeel. A mixture of gentle spices (mainly white pepper) and orange pith, golden syrup, bright lemons and butterscotch. Also a tinge of fennel in the background. Finish: Long, syrupy, bright fruits and sweetness.
This Caperdonich is a rather big whisky, but the big flavours balance each other well. The ex-bourbon cask has clearly been influential, but it never loses sight of its Scottish heritage.
Unnamed Islay 1991 30 Years (51.4%, Wu Dram Clan ‘3rd Anniversary’, C#2674)
Nose: Immediately such a refined nose. Hints of nail polish, smoked eel and sunflower oil with oily and briny touches. Whiffs of fresh mint, zesty lemons and green olives, but they’re followed golden syrup, plaster and papaya. Taste: Oily mouthfeel with ashy smoke, a nice salinity, medicinal touches and dried seaweed. It’s briny, mildly spiced and showcases gentle fruits such as nectarines and lemons. Soft vegetal and grassy notes too. Finish: Long, salty, fruity peat.
This nicely combines older Laphroaig with modern elements. There's many good, young peated whisky available, but nothing beats a well-aged release such as this one.
A more than worthy anniversary lineup for the Wu Dram Clan. They continue to release high-end single malt for the (affluent) whisky geek. I’m looking forward to what they’ll come up with next. For now, a massive congratulations to Boris, Sebastian and Takesado. To many more!