New releases from the Whiskydudes already? It’s barely been two months since I wrote about this indie bottler’s Summer 2023 Release. They’re really ramping up for the fall whisky season, I suppose. Today I’ll share my thoughts on the Whiskydudes‘ Autumn 2023 Release, including whiskies from North British, Teaninich, Invergordon and Staoisha. The official launch date is tomorrow, September 14th.
North British 1994 28 Years (43.7%, Whiskydudes, C#300266)
Full maturation in an ex-bourbon barrel for an outturn of 209 bottles.
Nose: Opening up on notes of nail polish (ethyl acetate) and resin. Fairly light and delicate spirit, expressing itself through white chocolate, a touch of pineapple, some green bananas, buttered popcorn and nougat. Just a hint of lemon too. Taste: A satisfying, creamy mouthfeel. Sweet arrival with a gentle peppery bite. Then a good amount of vanilla custard, caramel and cappuccino, as well as touches of banana and butter. Fairly sweet overall. Finish: Medium length. It’s all about butterscotch, caramel and vanilla with a pinch of white pepper and oak.
Not your typical grain whisky. I mean, it has all the markers of grain whisky, but with a lighter and more delicate touch than I’m used to. The ex-bourbon influence is paramount yet never becomes the centre of attention.
Invergordon 1986 36 Years (48%, Whiskydudes, C#23661A)
Initial maturation in a refill sherry butt followed by 11 months in a fresh Tawny Port quarter cask. Outturn of 216 bottles.
Nose: Well hello, port cask. It has been undeniably influential. Notes of blackcurrants, figs and blueberries, as well as pralines, just a touch of resin, Demerara sugar and crème de cassis. Not too wine-y, but also not NOT wine-y. Get it? Also whiffs of amaretti cookies, apricots and rose petals. Taste: Thick and somewhat cloying mouthfeel. Honey-esque with traces of a whisky liqueur. Touches of treacle and light caramel, as well as syrupy forest fruits and brown sugar. There’s cinnamon, some damp oak and fudge too. Finish: Long. Plenty of sweet berries and dried dark fruits. A sliver of oak too.
It’s a lot. I appreciate the whisky, but am also conflicted. The port cask is just so… I don’t know. Present? That’s the best I can come up with. Then again, why not drown a grain whisky in cask influence? They’re generally more narrow than malt whiskies anyway, so you need to rely on the cask more. Probably better not to overthink this too much and just enjoy the whisky.
As far as the score goes, it might be a bit of a cop-out. But if you’re into this style of whisky I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up rating it 0.5 points higher than I did.
Teaninich 2007 16 Years (59.6%, Whiskydudes, C#302397B)
Initial maturation in a refill hogshead followed by 28 months in a 2nd refill Oloroso hogshead. Outturn of 215 bottles.
Nose: Fresh, fruity and even somewhat malty. Touches of grist, sweet breakfast cereals and malt along with gentle dried fruits such as damsons, nectarines and apricots, but also brighter fruits like lemons and unripe pineapple. There’s a sliver of peach iced tea too, as well as some cotton candy grapes. Taste: A big, somewhat spicy arrival with white pepper leading the way, as well as some peanut skins and wormwood. The alcohol doesn’t overpower and there’s enough room for sweet (sugary almost) and fruity (citrus and mangos) influences, much like the nose already promised. Finish: Medium length. Some bitter oak along with warming spices, caramel and more sweet fruits.
The refill ex-Oloroso finish adds sweetness without taking away from the years this Teaninich spent in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead. Really good whisky that shows restraint yet vibrancy.
Bunnahabhain Staoisha 2014 8 Years (58.9%, Whiskydudes, C#10166B)
Initial maturation in a fresh Oloroso sherry butt followed by 23 months in a fresh Oloroso quarter cask. Outturn of 141 bottles.
I’ll write tasting notes, but really you could also go back and read what I wrote about all the previous Staoisha releases from the Whiskydudes. (Here, here, here, and here.) This is a continuation of an excellent series that has been going for a few years now.
Nose: It’s dense and rich with plenty of tar, a touch of sulphur and sweet peat smoke. Touches of dark chocolate and maybe even a whiff of mulled wine, as well as some dark, charred fruits. Taste: Creamy mouthfeel with an assortment of peat smoke, asphalt and tar, as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Also plenty of blackcurrants, a few candied cherries, liquorice, and a gentle medicinal touch. Finish: Long (but of course). Char, black pepper and salty prosciutto, as well as a nice coastal influence.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you enjoyed the previous Staoisha releases from Whiskydudes, there's no reason not to add this to your shelf.