Wolfburn Small Batch No. 375 (2019)
A small, young distillery in the northernmost parts of Scotland, there was some excitement when Wolfburn released their inaugural whisky in 2016. Reviewed favorably, I wondered where this initial success would lead to. So far though, Wolfburn hasn’t really surpassed their early acclaim, which is a shame.
That won’t stop me from trying their whisky though. Up next is the Wolfburn Small Batch No. 375. Limited to 5,500 bottles, this was made from unpeated spirit that has matured for around four years in a combination of half-size (100 litre) first-fill bourbon barrels and second-fill Oloroso sherry hogsheads. It was released in early 2019.
Wolfburn Small Batch No. 375 (46%, OB, 2019)
Nose: Vanilla-bomb. At first at least. Honey takes over after a little while, when there’s finally something going on. Apple skin, notes of cherries and a whiff of sultanas, but oak-y notes are omni-present as well. Soft floral notes as well.
Taste: Somewhat creamy to start with soft notes of apple and vanilla custard, quickly followed by oak tannins and bitterness, as well as cloves and coconut shavings.
Finish: Hints of sweetness, caramel-glazed apple, honey. Short to medium in length.
Not really balanced enough on the palate, with the oak and spices dominating too much. It does redeem itself on the finish, but that’s not long enough to completely make up for the lack of depth. Not Wolfburn’s best release…
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.