The whisky that you see in the above photo (it’s made by William Grant & Sons, the owners of Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Hendrick’s Gin, and so much more) made it’s US debut in early March at a bar called Reserve 101 Whiskey Bar and Cocktail Lounge which is located in Houston, Texas. Way back in late February, we received an email from the bar’s PR firm asking if we’d like to attend the debut. While a trip to Houston would have been good fun, it’s highly doubtful that The Benevolents would ever greenlight such a boondoggle, especially given the short notice.
Although we couldn’t attend this event, the PR firm was kind enough to send us a sample of the Annasach 25. Limp and I evaluated it on the same night that we tasted the not so Gifted Horse. As you are well aware, we didn’t care much for The Gifted Horse. Did we like the Annasach 25? We’ll get to that in a paragraph or two. In the meantime, here’s what the owner of Reserve 101 and William Grant & Sons have to say about the Annasach 25:
“No bar has ever done this – this is a first. This is a blend of single malts that will be unlike anything most whiskey fanatics have ever come across. Each single malt included in the blend is no less than 25 years old and only 600 bottles will be released,” said Mike Raymond co-owner of Reserve 101.
According to Millar, “We’re excited about the release of this exclusive blend. Master Blender Brian Kinsman created one of the most individual flavors the spirit’s world has ever known, and it’s another great landmark for William Grant & Son’s history. Since I’m retiring, this will probably be my last trip to the U.S., so I’d love to have a drink with my friends in Houston to help me celebrate,” he said.
Utilizing a rare expertise in spirits, Master Blender Brian Kinsman personally inspected and examined the William Grant & Son’s warehouse ledgers with one goal in mind: to blend some of the finest aged collections of rare, single malt whiskeys. The result is one of the finest and impressive blends that ever been released.
Those are some pretty serious words! Let’s find out if this whisky is any good…
- Appearance: Amberlita rides again! Such a pretty color. And look at those legs!
- ABV: 40%
- Limpd: A certain amount of sharpness. Some Rye notes perhaps? I’m getting some liniment, sugar cane, maple syrup, menthol, and honeysuckle.
- G-LO: Herbs and spices galore with hints of clove, anise, cinnamon, cardamon, pipe tobacco, brown sugar, and a touch of mesquite.
- Limpd: A little sweet at first, but not as syrupy as I expcted. Nice blend of sugars followed by a bit of peppery heat which was not expected given this whisky’s advanced age of 25 years. Ends with a little sharpness (again with the Rye notes!), i.e. a soft burn which leads to a very pleasant warming sensation.
- G-LO: Slightly oily mouthfeel. Starts off slow with a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon sweetness. Really opens up at mid-palate with the cinnamon getting hotter. Herbal notes come through as you approach the finish with the spice hanging on till the very end. The aftertaste is quite astringent with some lingering heat.
Limpd: The Annasach is not at all what I was expecting, i.e. I thought this whisky was going to be a soft, muted, and velvety 25 year old. What I found was a very tasty whisky that has a great blend of sugar and spice, and plenty of flavor.
G-LO: The Annasach 25 was surprisingly intense given its modest ABV. There’s lots of flavor in this with just enough mystery to keep you guessing. My only disappointment is with the 40% ABV. It works well here, but given that the suggested retail price for this whisky is $250/bottle, I think they should have upped the octane a bit to justify the steep price.