Origin: Spesyde (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry and ex-Madeira first fill
Added coloring: No
Owner: Aceo Ltd.
Average price: € 50.00
Official website: www.murray-mcdavid.com
Every now and then, the whisky drinker needs to have fun and one of the ways to do this is to play a game of guessing the distillery of origin of a particular single malt. Whether it’s a blind tasting or simply a lack of certain data, in the end it matters little: what counts is the pleasure of putting yourself to the test.
On the basis of this thirst for curiosity, the independent Murray McDavid has built up a series of proposals called Mystery Malt, with the intention of arousing the interest of the enthusiast through level-headed bottlings, about the origin of which only a few brief, but often sufficient, indications are given.
For example, of today’s Mulben Moor we know that the distillery was built in 1972, that it is located on Speyside between Rothes and Keith and that its single malt was originally bottled as ‘The Singleton’.
This is evidently Auchroisk.
Natural colour and no chillfiltration for a blend of two ex-Bourbon casks, No. 137 and No. 138, and two ex-Madeira first fill, No. 31 and No. 32, with 1,553 bottles still available.
The colour is light amber.
On the nose, after a rather spicy entrance on notes of cloves, nutmeg and white pepper, we are greeted by an ensemble of wildflower honey, milk chocolate, nougat and nuts (walnuts and almonds), with just a touch of sultanas. A hint of apricot seems to prelude a fruity turn that doesn’t show up. Instead, a turn into dry biscuit territory arrives, with an impression of vanilla in the background.
On the palate, the overall profile fluctuates between sweet and fruity, with hints of wildflower honey, nougat, apricot and peach in syrup, with significant incursions of nuts, grapefruit zest and yellow orange juice, and a nice dash of pepper.
The finish, of medium-long persistence, is still very peppery, with a hint of nougat to remind us of Christmas long gone.
Two confirmations and one certainty. The first confirmation is that young whisky doesn’t necessarily mean ungainly whisky, on the contrary: single malts like this score several points over much more mature colleagues. The second is that if it were not for independent bottlers, many distilleries that are not top-notch (Auchroisk is one of many) would not be able to shine as they deserve.
The confirmation is Murray McDavid, once again able to reconcile originality of proposal and quality of outcome.