Inchmurrin 2003 14 Years Old (Bourbon & Sherry, WhiskyNerds)
Finally, the WhiskyNerds have bottled something new for us. Bram and Floris bring us two new Inchmurrin, with a third one coming later this year. Both Inchmurrin 2003 are 14 Years Old, with one having matured in a refill ex-sherry butt, and the other in a first fill ex-bourbon cask.
So far I’ve loved every bottling the WhiskyNerds have released. Granted, there only have been three in the last two years, but that’s because they aren’t in it for the big bucks. They only bottle what they really love, and aren’t looking to release whisky just to stay relevant. The WhiskyNerds also don’t care if they can put their own label on a bottling. As long as the liquid is good, it doesn’t really matter what the container looks like, right?
They’ve come up with an interesting concept for their trio of Inchmurrin, first releasing part of the ex-bourbon cask (nicknamed Order) and part of the ex-sherry cask (nicknamed Law). They then vatted the remains of both casks, currently marrying somewhere in Scotland, which will be released in a couple of months time. Should be fun to first taste the separate parts, and then later this year the vatting, which they dubbed the Executive.
Nose: This is from the ex-bourbon cask. Vibrant and fresh with a big hit of candied lemons, but also lemon peel and pink grapefruit. It’s safe to say this is quite fruity. It settles down after a little while, making way for more subtle aromas, such as nectarines, orange juice and finally some crème brûlée.
Taste: You thought the nose was fruity? Think again, because the palate might just trump it. An attack of pink grapefruit and lemon, with a hint of pineapple and cotton candy, as well as some bitter oak. It has an enjoyable spicy edge (white pepper, ginger).
Finish: Grassy, subtle spices. Lingers on fruit. Medium.
Nose: The sherry influence is hugely evident, but also balanced and not too dominant. There’s burlap, cocoa powder, lots of dried fruits (dates, sultanas), cassis and juicy plums. It has an interesting feint, vegetal edge. A touch af aniseed and nougat to finish things off.
Taste: Interestingly, the fruitiness that so characterizes the ex-bourbon cask, also makes an appearance here. The grapefruit is most evident, but there’s apricot too. The sherry influence is most dominant, with milk chocolate, tobacco leaves and cherries, but it leaves room for the Inchmurrin-spirit.
Finish: Cocoa powder, dates and nectarines. Long.
The ex-bourbon cask is just a tad too bitter to reach the 90 point barrier, but displays an incredible fruitiness that’s hard to find elsewhere. The ex-sherry cask takes it up a notch, especially on the palate, where it takes some of that fruity spirit and combines it with the best a sherry butt has to offer.
After tasting these, I can’t wait for The Executive-bottling. Last year Bram and Floris gave me a taste of an incredible decadent home made blended malt, consisting of BenRiach 1976 and Glendronach 1972. The Executive most likely won’t reach those heights, but might turn out to be a light-version of that concoction. I for one have good hopes that in this case the sum will turn out to be greater than its parts.
Both the ex-bourbon and ex-sherry bottlings will be available for approximately 100 euro, and exclusively in some of the better Dutch (online) shops. If all goes well, these Inchmurrin should be released in the next few days.
Samples provided by WhiskyNerds.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.