Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Finished in ex-Oloroso Sherry
Added colouring: No
Owner: Boss Hogg Treviso
Price: € 145.00 at the venue
Official website: Boss Hogg Treviso
The name of Samuele Ambrosi certainly doesn’t go unnoticed by those who are passionate about mixology and bartending, having become a key figure in the field over the years, for the awards he has received worldwide and for the many different initiatives he has led and continues to lead for those who love good drinking.
His latest creation is Boss Hogg, a bar right in the centre of Treviso whose small dimensions conceal an immense bottle cabinet with 300 labels of whisky from all over the world, an intimate and elegant environment with a welcoming atmosphere that, needless to say, encourages drinking (and chatting).
All this sounds like a shameless ploy, but having been able to personally experience the professionalism of both Samuele and his right-hand man Federico Zivillica on the occasion of the Kilchoman European Tour stop, I can only say one thing: I am lucky not to have him on my doorstep otherwise I would pitch my tents there!
But let’s talk about whisky, or rather this bottling made precisely for the opening of the bar by Wilson & Morgan, chosen by Samuele Ambrosi from among the various casks on offer and with which, although not a great lover of peat, he immediately fell in love.
Fourteen years of ageing, the last two of which were spent in a pair of first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks, cask strength and, of course, no alteration.
Such long maturations are not exactly common in private bottlings, so expectations are… high.
With the alcohol content totally absent on the nose, dark fruit emerges forcefully from the glass: black cherries, dates, blackberries, dried figs (with almonds) and currants flood the nostrils with warmth, with the roughness of leather in the background. This is followed by baked apple, blood orange, balsamic vinegar, aromatic herbs (thyme, marjoram) and, of course, smoke, which acts as a trait d’union to the aromas, with woody velleities. Rich and opulent.
Fruit also dominates in the mouth, framed by a weave of black pepper and nutmeg, picking up the thread of ripe red fruits that pave the way for other dark brushstrokes of pure liquorice, anise, cinchona, roasted coffee and burnt caramel. The peat is expressed in the toasted malt and wood, a dense but not intrusive smoke that envelops the palate, revealing fresh balsamic touches along the length.
The finish is long and balsamic, with menthol traits on ash, red fruits, vegetable veins and spices.
The balsamic part I admit surprised me a little, it came unexpectedly but proved to be a pleasant variation for a whisky dominated by dark notes, despite being very light in colour. I can see how it impressed its selector, because it actually brings out an uncommon and very, very pleasant peat.