If you’re not from The Netherlands, there’s only a small probability you’ve ever heard of 3006 Whisky. And even if you are, then there’s still a good chance this is the first time you read about this small independent bottler.
Simply put, founder Jop Boer is an avid whisky enthusiast, just like you and me. After amassing a serious whisky collection, he looked for something new. Buying a cask was something he had been thinking about for a while, so after some deliberation he went ahead with his plan. A plan that inadvertently led him to becoming an independent bottler.
His first ever purchase was a cask of new make spirit from Dalmore. Originally Jop planned to buy just one, but before he knew it, he had bought another handful of casks. At that point, he still didn’t plan to release anything soon. That was, until the opportunity arose to buy an almost 30 year old Caledonian.
After tasting it, he decided it was ready to be bottled. This was 2017. Not one to settle for mediocre, he had a signature bottle designed, and brought his inaugural release to market. The Caledonian was a popular release, and can only be found in a few shops. I tasted it last year (haven’t reviewed it though), and can confirm that it is quite excellent.
Late last year Jop released three more whiskies. This time of a significant younger age. His Glen Moray, Ardmore and Secrets of Islay are now available in Dutch shops.
Glen Moray 2007 9 Years Old (61,2%, 3006 Whisky, C#5711)
Nose: Fruity from the get-go, with an apple cider like aroma popping up from the glass, accompanied by white grapes. There’s also a fair amount of vanilla sweetness, as well as some cotton candy, cookie dough and icing. Finally a very light mineral touch with a whiff of burlap. Water brings out more of an orange-y aroma. Taste: Nice thick mouthfeel. A spicy (white pepper, nutmeg) and nutty (roasted peanuts) arrival. A whisper a ginger too. A tad aggressive at first, probably in part due to the high alcohol percentage. Adding water and waiting a little while remedies that, making way for soft citrus fruits and some hops, bringing a bit more balance to it all. Finish: Returning to the fruity and sweet signature I already experienced on the nose, although a little less explicit here.
Ardmore 2010 7 Years Old (61,0%, 3006 Whisky, C#1486)
Nose: I admit to having a bit of a soft spot for Ardmore. Plenty of charcoal, soot and coal smoke to start, before (surprisingly enough) becoming a tad more coastal with some salty seaweed and a hint of brine. A whiff of rubber quickly makes way for greener, vegetal notes, as well as some dill and sweet porridge. Lots to like here. Taste: Dangerously quaffable at such a high alcohol percentage. Fairly oily, which is nice. Quite medicinal at first, before settling into a warm, gentle peat smoke. There’s some lime, lemon and chalk, but also a good amount of tar. Finish: Green and grassy, with lingering smoke. Fairly long.
Secrets of Islay 2008 8 Years Old (59,2%, 3006 Whisky, 86 bts.)
Nose: Incredibly clean and crisp. This is said to be a Lagavulin, and I can see why. Ripe banana, lemon rasp and sweet marzipan go hand in hand with fresh peat, wood smoke, bandages and just a hint of beeswax and menthol. Wonderful balance. Taste: Mouth-coating, which is of course a plus. Sweet at first, before spices take the lead. Mainly cracked black peppercorns, but also a whisper of cinnamon. Of course there’s plenty here for peat heads as well, like (of course) peat, ashes and charcoal. There’s also room for charred lemon skin and bitter grapefruit. Finish: Lingering on citrus and dark notes of peat and ashes for a long time.
First of all, quality-wise, I find these three lie very close to each other. If you’re thinking about buying one it really depends on your own preference which to choose. The Glen Moray is almost like a very fruity, candy-esque spirit, with a spicy bite. While the Ardmore is probably the most accessible one, in spite of its peaty character. If it counts for anything, it is my favourite. The Secrets of Islay will most likely satisfy any peat lover. Young, intense, bottled at cask strength and affordable. Which goes for all of these, actually.