Origin: London (England)
Type: Single Malt English Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry PX finish
Added colouring: No
Owner: Whisky Facile
Price: € 139.00 on Whisky Facile
Official website: Whisky Facile
If 2021 marked the tenth anniversary of the most famous Italian blog dedicated to whisky, being appropriately celebrated with six (plus one) bottlings released in the course of the same year and the following one, at the end of 2022 the bloggers officially enter the arena of independent bottlers without the excuse of an anniversary.
After the Space Whisky Odyssey, here is the Black Cat Series: first four bottlings united by the common thread of a black cat with great powers (and great responsibilities). And we couldn’t help but start with their great love, namely the small craft distillery in London that, since its birth, has polarised the interest of aficionados thanks to a spirit of extraordinary quality, capable of yielding even on short maturation.
Here, then, is a 2018 distillate that has spent the last of its four years of ageing in a former Pedro Ximénez sherry cask, enthusiastically chosen by the diverse group of drinking companions in May 2022.
The intensity of the ageing cask is clearly evident at the olfactory onset, all the decadent roughness of PX fills the nostrils with black cherries, prunes, sultanas, dried goji berries, nutmeg, pine nuts, chocolate and leather. But there’s more, and it is full, sometimes waxy notes of honey, ripe peach and apricot, propolis and a vegetal afflatus that reveal itself in length. A remarkable balance, as much for its youth as for the cask, with aromas that do not step on each other’s toes but integrate into a whole that is anything but pandering.
The alcohol content doesn’t go unnoticed at first sip, but even though it is intense, it almost immediately dissolves into a lively splash of black pepper and ginger that opens the door to evocations consistent with the nose, in which the sherry notes raise the volume without becoming overpowering: nutmeg, red fruits (currants in particular), black cherries, chocolate, a cup of coffee and liquorice root. Nuts and leather complete the picture, with the vegetal and fruity aspects emerging secondarily, regaining visibility along the length where the magical balance of the nose returns.
The finish is long and dry (quite), of red fruits, vegetal notes, coffee, leather, spices.
A complex and layered whisky that takes time to unwind the skein of a multifaceted personality that is not without its surprises, in some respects a cerebral whisky where a distracted drinker might get lost in the maze of evocations.