A new independent bottler emerges from The Netherlands. They call themselves The Whisky Nerds, which might not seem very original at first, but I think it immediately makes them one of the better named independent bottlers out there.
The Whisky Nerds go by the names of Bram and Floris in everyday life. They are also part of the board of the Usquebaugh Society, the largest whisky society of The Netherlands. Bram is the president and Floris the secretary. I’m a member of the Usquebaugh Society, and that is how I know these two gentleman.
Don’t expect dozens of new bottlings from them every year. That is not their philosophy, as is evident from their website: “The bottlers have no other desire than to put out good whisky, at the right time. If benefit is to be expected from giving a cask another year to perform more magic on the precious spirit inside it, then it is given. So, bottlings under the Whisky Nerds label may very well be a rare event.”
Their first bottling is a joint one with Japanese Whisky-E. It is a Glendronach from 1995, one they describe as an “honest sherry cask, in stark contrast to the more modern era sherry bottlings that can be found today”. The Whisky Nerds were kind enough to share a sample with me.
Glendronach 1995/2015 (55,1%, OB ‘for The Whisky Nerds, C#2380)
Nose: Sultana’s, milk chocolate and powdered coffee. Lots of sweet fruits with black berries, dried dates and cherries. Very syrupy. Also some porcini, which is a new aroma for me in whisky. Taste: Cherry syrup, sugared sultana’s with walnuts and macadamia nuts. Slightly spicy with cinnamon, cloves and a hint of pepper. Very well-balanced and smooth, never would’ve guessed this was bottled a just over 55 percent. Finish: Cherries and berries with a spicy note and a slight dryness. The milk chocolate lingers for a long time.
Simply put, this is a very good sherried whisky from start to finish. It is almost faultless, a little bit more excitement would’ve really put this over the top. Still widely available in Dutch webshops.