Origin: Lowlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon finished in ex-Tokaij
Added coloring: No
Owner: Wilson & Morgan
Average price: € 240.00
Official website: www.wilsonandmorgan.com
And here is our first single grain Scotch, a whisky made from a grain other than barley.
Cameronbridge is Europe’s largest distillery, with almost 100 million litres of distillate produced each year, much of which ends up in blends (e.g. Johnnie Walker, J&B and Bell for whisky) or other products (Smirnoff for vodka, Tanqueray and Gordon’s for gin).
It was founded in 1824 by John Haig, the eldest son of a family already traditionally involved in whisky production since 1655, under the name of Haig Distillery.
At that time, the Lowlands were very active in the production of spirits, and Haig’s creature was no less so, so much so that in 1877 he founded an association, the Distillers Company Limited, joining forces with Port Dundas, Carsebridge, Glenochil, Cambus and Kirkliston, coming to control 75% of the production of grain distillate in the whole of Scotland.
The distillery initially produced both malt and grain whiskies, becoming single grain from 1929, and with the exception of its closure during the Second World War, has never stopped production.
Several expansions took place in the 1960s and 1980s, with gin and vodka also added to production in 1989, and finally the move under Diageo in 1997, becoming the only single grain distillery in their portfolio.
What I have in my glass today is a single cask, distilled in 1984 and bottled in 2017 at cask strength, finishing in casks of Tokaji, a well-known Hungarian wine, producing 230 bottles.
Gold in the glass.
At first glance, the nose has a strong waxy and acidic component, almost like a solvent, which becomes softer as it airs, giving rise to hints of corn, honey, vanilla and coffee. The beginning was not exactly inviting, but it clearly improves, while maintaining a certain underlying acidity.
The alcohol content makes itself felt on the palate, sweeping away the solvent felt on the nose and leaving plenty of room for butter and cereal, candied fruit (apricot, orange), chocolate, hazelnuts and brown sugar. Restricted coffee. Sweet but with acidic veins and a hint of bitterness.
Fairly long finish of hazelnuts, chocolate, cereals and a slight astringency.
A decidedly unusual Scotch, reminiscent in many ways of a Bourbon, with that initially repelling olfactory approach that somewhat spoiled my experience, which was nonetheless very interesting.
Other bottlings from Wilson & Morgan in the blog:
Wilson & Morgan Ben Nevis 7yo (2013-2020)
Wilson & Morgan Bunnahabhain 2014
Wilson & Morgan Glen Grant 25yo
Wilson & Morgan House Malt 2013-2018
Wilson & Morgan Ledaig 2008
Wilson & Morgan Macduff 2006
Wilson & Morgan Tobermory 23yo
Wilson & Morgan Caol Ila 2008-2020 Quercus Alba