Origin: Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cas: Ex-Bourbon barrel
Added colouring: No
Owner: Fox Fitzgerald
Average price: € 180.00
Official website: www.restandbethanfulcompany.com
There is no end to independent bottlers: just when you think you know enough, there are new ones on the horizon.
To the average consumer, this may seem like just one more cause for confusion, but the truth is that IBs, at their best, are a gift to the curious enthusiast (and the restless reviewer). In this respect we feel deeply grateful for all the opportunities we have had, thanks to them, to taste unique and precious whiskies.
We therefore welcome the blog debut of Rest & Be Thankful, a label behind which lies the old Bruichladdich property before it was sold to the current Rèmy Cointreau, while the evocative name (‘Rest & Be Thankful’) comes from a 1753 stone inscription on the old military road out of Glen Coe, which you encounters when travelling along the A83 from Glasgow in the direction of the ferry boat to Islay.
In business since 2012, Rest & Be Thankful bottles both rums and whiskies, often single cask, uncoloured and unchillfiltered, always with a concern to provide as much information as possible on the label (distillation date, cask number, bottling date, etc.), with the commendable aim of total transparency.
Today we pour into the glass a Port Charlotte distilled in March 2009 and bottled in September 2022, in 225 pieces, after 13 years in a former bourbon barrel. The strength is a remarkable 60.3%ABV.
The colour is light gold.
On the nose, the first impression is, needless to say, a pungent smoke, intense but not overpowering the other scents, not too distantly guarded by notes of shortcrust pastry and custard, with a sprinkling of pepper in the background, and a balsamic touch that makes us think of liquorice root. There is also a fruity side of plum and peach and a hint of lemon zest. Just to make sure we don’t miss anything, there are also anchovies in oil. Unbelievably low alcohol content.
On the palate, after a noticeably peppery opening, the marriage of a creamy dimension (custard) and a fruity one (yellow apple, yellow peach and a mirage of melon) takes centre stage, with a hint of nutmeg that opens the door to a medium-long finish, still rather peppery, with tender kisses of smoke and languid caresses of fruit.
A whisky like this is a hoot and a blessing at the same time: as brazen as Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct in the strength, as dynamic as Bruce Willis in Die Hard in the profile, as unpredictable as Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the aromatic range. There’s really nothing to do but sit back, relax, give thanks and enjoy it all.