Holiday Hidden Gems by Jenna ElieThe Scotch Malt Whisky Society
We are on a passionate pursuit of the world’s most unique casks of whisky. Oftentimes, the casks that turn out to be the most memorable happen to be the most unexpected. Here are three (3) Holiday Hidden Gems selected by Jenna Elie to consider for your home collection and for sharing this holiday season!
It's not often we see a whisky from an Oloroso hogshead on our "Juicy, Oak and Vanilla" flavour profile! Cask No. 80.31 Insuperable enjoyment hails from a Speyside distillery that we very rarely see any official bottlings, and 11-year in both ex bourbon and Oloroso hogsheads delivers all of the flavour! The nose is fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate, on top of a warm slice of ginger cake. The palate explodes with pistachio, hazelnuts and creamy bourbon cream! This would pair beautifully with some warm pound cake and fresh berries, which would make a great addition to your holiday spread this year!
The "Spicy and Sweet" flavour profile has become a fan favorite for me this year, just busting at the seams with rich, and exotic flavours and Cask No. 68.70 Intriguing Idiosyncratic is a welcome addition to our purple hued group! After nine years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, we transferred this Highland whisky into a 1st fill custom toasted American and European oak barrique, which resulted in some whacky, rich, decanent and luscious flavours! The nose is ripe tropical fruits baking in a library full of old books on a hot day. The palate was like a chex mix, both sweet and savory, with notes of hazelnut mousse topped with bacon with a lovely herbaceous wisp on the end. A wild ride of a whisky, perfect for sparking some great conversation this holiday season!
During the holiday season, it's easy to forget to treat ourselves, and if you're looking for a sign to do just that, here it is! Cask No. 63.86 Just immerse yourself takes you on a wild ride of aromas and flavours that have my mouth watering as I write this! The nose presents fresh bourbon sweetness followed by Scottish tablet and a hint of freshly squeezed citrus. Matured for 19 years in a first fill bourbon barrel, this whisky has some serious flavour to explore! On the palate there is spiced pear tart with a shortbread crust, followed by some faint tropical sweetness. Following close behind is a viscous warmth of herbal tea and vanilla creme, rounded out with a little effervescent pop! I dare say this is a perfect after meal dessert, and worth immersing yourself in!
If ordered separately: Cask No. 80.31= $125; Cask No. 68.70= $130; Cask No. 63.86= $200.
Cask No. 80.31 - Insuperable enjoyment
Date distilled: March 2010
Cask: First-fill Oloroso hogshead
Age: 11 years
Region: Speyside Spey
Cask No. 68.70 - Intriguing Idiosyncratic
Date distilled: August 2008
Cask: First-fill custom-toasted American and European oak barrique
Age: 12 years
Region: Highland Southern
Cask No. 63.86- Just immerse yourself
Date distilled: May 2002
Cask: First-fill barrel
Age: 19 years
Region: Speyside Spey