I was all over Watt Whisky when they first launched in 2020, but had kind of lost track of them. They’re not imported to the Netherlands. And Brexit didn’t help either. So, just as I’d ordered some Watt Whisky samples myself to rectify the situation, I also received a surprise package from co-founders Kate and Mark. Must be kismet.
I picked one of mine (Clynelish) and two of theirs (Tormore and Croftengea) for today’s blog post. As you may know, Watt Whisky’s ethos is to release affordable whisky intended for drinking. Not collecting. Let alone investing. But be sure to check out their excellent website for more details, where they also write an occasional blog that’s very worthwhile reading.
Tormore 2010 12 Years (59.3%, Watt Whisky, 222 bts.)
Nose: A big whiff of vanilla custard and white wine-poached apples, but also candied bananas, meringues, and some oak spices – nutmeg and tingly white pepper.
Taste: Creamy mouthfeel, and an initial sweetness, but the rye is really showing too. More custard and bananas, a good sprinkle of oak, and complemented by caraway, cloves, and cinnamon. Also some grassy touches.
Finish: Medium length. The sweetness holds up, but now with white chocolate. The spices linger.
Clynelish 2011 10 Years (59.5%, Watt Whisky, 210 bts.)
Nose: Immediately waxy with sweet notes of oranges, apricots and white grapes, but also a tinge of wet pebbles, some minor notes of Demerara sugar, as well as a touch of burlap. Very good.
Taste: Do I need to mention wax with every Clynelish review? I should probably only mention it when it isn’t. Pineapple and green bananas as well, with a touch of ginger, nutmeg and other oak spices, but nothing too overwhelming. And the waxy, citrus-y notes keep the balance in check.
Finish: Lingering waxes, honey, a bit of black pepper. Slightly drying.
Croftengea 2017 5 Years (57.1%, Watt Whisky, 252 bts.)
Nose: A tinge of sauerkraut, followed by damp smoke, prickly pears, and gentle ashes. Also sage, smoked paprika powder, and barley husks. Soft grassy notes too.
Taste: Hints of kippers, ashes, and sea shells. Then plaster and a whisper of new rubber soles, tinned pineapple and waves of dried grass. Intense but not raw, even at such a young age.
Finish: Long with a subtle saline touch, soft medicinal notes and grilled peaches.
It had been over two years since they featured on these pages last, but I have a sneaky suspicion it won’t be as long until the next reviews of Watt Whisky. All of these are excellent picks, and I’m kind of bummed I missed out on this Clynelish. Maybe next time…
Samples provided by Watt Whisky