Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-bourbon first fill
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Wolfburn Distiller
Average price: € 60.00
Official website: wolfburn.com
Thanks to the Belfast Whisky Week held at the end of July 2021, I find myself with a large set of samples, including several from Scotland’s most northerly distillery (excluding the islands): knowing little about their products, the opportunity to cover this gap is welcome.
Established in 2013, Wolfburn is a distillery that can rightly be described as artisanal, and this no-age-declaration bottling (introduced in 2018) contains spirits from its very beginnings, joined by others from later vintages, all au naturel and at a significant (but not full grade) alcohol content. And it is billed as ‘the best of Wolfburn’.
Langskip is the name of the Norse ships that once sailed (and plundered) the coast, and the town where the distillery is based, Thurso, is said to be named after Thor himself: references to Viking history and mythology don’t just apply to Highland Park…
You don’t feel at all the powerful alcohol content on the nose, bringing instead plenty of wood spices (nutmeg, cinnamon) over classic hints of ripe banana, pear, vanilla, a touch of honey, lemon zest. In the background, leather and malt slide over a slight herbaceous note.
In the mouth it’s less aggressive than you’d expect, presenting a nice structure, compact and oily, with a hint of white pepper and ginger on nuts (hazelnut and almond), malt, sugar icing, vanilla, lemon tart. Tobacco and leather in the background, with a vague balsamic note along the length.
Medium-long finish with flashes of pepper, lemon, wood spice, nuts, white sugar.
A young whisky with such a high ABV that manages to remain balanced and without excess, resulting in a simple dram that, in reality, has very little that is simple. The whisky lacks just a hint of personality, but with this result they already demonstrate uncommon mastery.