While I do enjoy the consistency of distillery release bottlings, I find the uniqueness of independent single cask bottlings a bit more alluring these days. It is true that independents can be hit and miss but for me it is a gamble I am willing to take. The Single Cask Nation is a new independent bottler that set up much like the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, in that you are able to access their bottles through being a member of the “Nation”. This independent bottler was started by Joshua Hatton, Jason Johnston-Yellin and Seth Klaskin. The independent bottler category is pretty competitive these days for which casks they are able to procure. This is my first sample of the Nation’s bottlings so let’s see how they did…
Single Cask Nation Arran Pinot Cask #6
1st Fill Ex-Bourbon Cask for 8 years
Ex-Pinot Noir Cask for 4 years
Color: Light copper
Nose: Very fragrant, initially a touch of steel – something metallic, an interesting combination of charred oak and fragrant sweetness, ripe apples, bubblegum, a layer of dark red fruit – strawberry jam, maltiness and freshness are not lost though, hints of salty air.
Mouth: First thing that came to mind was: Fun! The interplay between the two casks was a bit of a high wire act but the result was very well balanced. Initially the red fruit sweetness then switches to the traditional notes of bourbon cask and maltiness. It is not over powering neat I am happy to say. A nice sweetness (not cloying), strawberry jam, vanilla. I really liked the layering of flavors. With water: it got a little medicinal – cough syrup and I picked up some tannins.
Finish: Medium, malty with a touch of red fruit.
Again, this was a fun one to try. This is a perfect example of what I like in single cask expressions. You chose wisely Nation!
*Disclosure: this sample was provided to us by the Single Cask Nation*