If you’re a regular reader of “It’s just the booze dancing…” then you should already be familiar with Single Cask Nation (click here to find out about their upcoming Whisky JewBilee in Manhattan and Mt. Kisco, NY). If not, here’s a brief refresher as to who they are and what they do which was taken directly from the FAQ section of their website:
Single Cask Nation® is a private, social fellowship or membership society organized around the right to purchase rare, fine single cask whiskies from Jewish Whisky Company. More than a mere club, Single Cask Nation® represents a unique virtual community in which members share a common affinity for the quality whiskies and other spirits of the world.
Several weeks ago, we were lucky enough to receive samples of their three most recent releases, two of which will be reviewed in this blog post. The third sample was a Glen Moray 12 that Limpd will review very soon.
Let’s get down to business…
- Appearance: Pale golden color.
- Aroma: There is no mistaking where this whisky was made! Peat smoke is front and center, like a freshly lit pile of hardwood charcoal. Once you get past the smokiness, some iodine, sea spray, herbal notes, and a hint of sweetness come through. Think head on collision between a Wint O Green Lifesavers and soft, chewy Panda Licorice.
- Taste: WOW! That first sip is like an explosion of flavor on the tip of your tongue. Once again, the smoke is front and center at the onset, but it fades fairly quickly. Sharp chile pepper heat takes over at mid-palate and intensifies as you approach the finish with a distinct mint/licorice note coming through. The finish is very intense with a lingering heat that lasts for quite awhile. The smokiness shows up again in the aftertaste.
- ABV: 57.8%
It’s no secret that I enjoy a smoky dram now and again, so it should come as no surprise that I really enjoyed this whisky. Based upon my experiences with older Laphroaigs and other Islay expressions, time takes the edge off of a smoky dram. That’s definitely not the case with Cask #119. If you like the fiery intensity that comes from a young Islay, then this is the whisky for you.
- Appearance: Pale copper color.
- Aroma: This is the polar opposite of the Laphroaig #119. Smells like a freshly opened bag of Sunmaid Raisins when I first stick my nose into the glass. Also getting some dark brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and a bit of dried figs.
- Taste: Starts off with those dried fruit and brown sugar notes that I picked up in the nose. As you head towards the middle, a healthy dose of cinnamon heat kicks in, but it never overpowers the subtle sweetness of this whisky. The PX influence shows up at the end with a big hit of fig jam to counteract the baking spice heat. Long, soothing finish that lingers for a few minutes.
- ABV: 46.1%
With the exception of the 1263 King Alexander III, I’ve never been all that impressed with The Dalmore, and thanks to this wee dram from our friends at Single Cask Nation, I now know why. It’s all about the ABV! With the exception of their new Cigar Malt expression, the core range of whiskies from The Dalmore are bottled at 40%. While there is nothing wrong with their whiskies, I have always found them to be a bit too polite, i.e. dull. Dalmore Cask #6951 changes all that. What I enjoyed most about this whisky is that the nose lulls you into thinking that this will be a gentle and fruity dram. While it’s nowhere near as intense as the Laphroiag #119, the extra 6% ABV definitely has me second guessing my opinion of The Dalmore.