The other day, I opened the mail box and found a number of bills, some begging letters from a variety of worthy causes, and the odd catalogue (Oriental Trading, Victoria’s Secret, and Venus). At no point in time was my trip to the mail box worth my while, nor was I able to drink anything that was in the box. G-LO, on the other hand, has a decidedly different experience with his postman. I think he might even hold a secret hope that his postman would ring twice. Anyway, G-LO opened his mail and found a healthy sample of the Syndicate 58/6 which he was kind enough to share. Not to be outdone, I offered him my South Jersey Gas bill and a letter from a benevolent society. Oddly enough, he did not accept my generosity.
I wish I had a little more information about this whisky, but the label was a little generic and offered very little insight. A check of the interwebz revealed that the Syndicate 58/6 is a twelve year old whisky made with an array of single malts and single grains. The brilliant idea to first make the whisky was the result of “finding” a number of casks of blended whisky in a warehouse. After hearing this story, I am left wondering if there are a staggering number of warehouses that have whisky casks just lying around. Maybe we need to set up a reality show like Storage Wars or Auction Hunters and gallivant all over Scotland looking for these mythical “lost” casks (this sounds like the plot from a Clive Cussler novel).
Here’s what the Syndicate says about their 58/6 whisky…
The Syndicate blend contains 18 Single Malt Whiskies and 4 Single Grain Whiskies. The quality and consistency of the blend has been maintained over the years by operating a ‘Solera’ system whereby when additional 12 year Old whiskies are added they are reblended with the older stock.
Thus the Syndicate blend still contains small quantities of the original 1958 blend. One of the things that sets the Syndicate blend apart from other blends is that it is ‘married’ and finally matured for up to 2 years in 4 year old Oloroso Sherry casks which we import from the Spanish region of Andalucia.
This final marrying and maturation process serves to give the Syndicate blend its exceptionally smooth and distinctive taste.
And here are our impressions…
- ABV: 40%
- Appearance: Very close to a clover blossom honey.
- LimpD: Alcohol, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Earl Grey tea, sugar cane and vanilla.
- G-LO: There’s a bit of alcohol at first, but that quickly subsides, allowing a good bit of spiced fruitiness to come through. I’m getting grilled peaches, cinnamon, dark brown sugar, a hint of clove, vanilla, and some menthol.
- LimpD: Medium mouthfeel. Upfront, there is some great balance of the somewhat muted flavors of alcohol, sugar and cinnamon. At mid-palate, there are hints of summer fruits and florals that combine with the spice. The ending has a slight hint of tobacco just before the nice, if brief, warming finish.
- G-LO: Not too thin. Not too thick. Like Limpd said: medium mouthfeel. Starts off lightly sweet with some cinnamon heat and pipe tobacco smokiness. Levels off at mid palate with some of the clove and vanilla coming through along with some more cinnamon. The finish is rather short with more of those tobacco notes along with some licorice and menthol in the aftertaste.
Although our tasting notes were slightly different, our conclusions about this whisky were pretty much the same…
We really didn’t know what to expect from this sample. The label didn’t have all that much information, and while the color and nose were certainly intriguing, our expectations were quite low. Fortunately, the taste quickly remedied our position. This was a really good blended whisky. We say blended whisky almost as if it’s a bad thing. We have found that our biggest gripe with the blends isn’t the fact that they’re blended, but rather the relatively low ABV. If this had been released with a higher ABV, the flavors, which were very nice, might have been given the opportunity to provide that “Yowza!” moment. Overall, this was a very nice whisky. We just wish it packed a bigger punch.