When Mossburn debuted their blended malt offerings (one Island one and one Speyside one), it took a lot of restraint to not bias myself toward purchasing the Island one simply because I’m a peathead. So instead, I gave the Speyside several tries before purchasing. I’m glad I did: it’s a nice change of pace and a very easy-going sipper.
The overall concept of the Mossburn offerings is to marry a blend of whiskies in their own custom casks (“second maturation”), after sourcing the whiskies from a specific region. For Speyside, the second maturation cask was a first-fill Oloroso Sherry Butt but outfitted with heads (barrel top/bottom) of heavily charred American oak. All of the sourced whiskies spent their first maturation in American bourbon barrels.
The Speyside marketing claims that there are “rich, spicy vanilla flavors” – and I think that’s quite spot on. However, with the addition of chocolate. What we both independently wrote down after tasting it was “chocolate, vanilla, chocolate”
- Score - 7/107/10
Nose: Fruit, pineapple, honey, vanilla, leather – and barrel. It smells definitely like the inside of a barrel. Also dark chocolate. Palate: Creamy, sweet, white chocolate, vanilla, some apples. Dessert – but with a spicy edge rather than a sweet maple-y candyfloss Yamazaki. Slight dry tannic ending with light lemon acid, smoke, and Hershey’s kisses. Medium finish. Summary 7/10. Good whisky. TLDR: Spicy vanilla chocolate. Overall: Well balanced sweetness and “clean” tasting. Not immensely challenging, but just a nice one to kick back with. Bought for: ~$60/bottle at the SF Whisky Shop
- ABV: 46%
- Cask: First fill American standard barrel. Second is the specialty Mossburn cask of sherry butt (500 liter) body with American oak heads
- Whiskies in Blend: Not disclosed.
- Age: No Age Statement
- Mossburn owns the Torabhaig distillery on Skye near Talisker (about an hour’s drive – Thanks to John for the clarification!). It is a new farmstead turned distillery (purchased in 2013), with a targeted flavor profile of: medium weight, fruit-forward, and medium peat. They began distilling in 2017 and will release their first special release bottling in Christmas 2020 (phenol of 80-85 ppm).
- Mossburn also has a “Vintage Cask” series of independently bottled single casks from the likes of Linkwood, Inchgower, Blair Athol, Teannich, Benrinnes, etc.
- Both the independent single malt bottling series and the new Island/Speyside blended malt series are to bridge the financial gap for releasing their own whisky