The Whisky Tasting Club

Sirius Launch

Whisky enthusiast, investor and collector Mahesh Patel has added another string to his whisky bow – he’s launched his own independent bottling company.

The plan is to select single casks of whisky from a variety of ‘Premier cru’ distilleries and bottle therm as limited editions at Cask Strength. In the future he hops to release malts from The Macallan and Glenfarclas.

But his first four releases, to be showcased at the Nth Whisky Show in Las Vegas on March 2 and March 3 and sold exclusively in the United Kingdom through The Whisky Shop retail chain, are all from Whyte & Mackay and they’re all aged more than 45 years old. They include single malts from Fettercairn and The Dalmore and grain whiskies from North British and Carsebridge.

Here are my tasting notes:

Carsebridge 1965, 41%

Initially sweet and bourbon on the nose, with dried tobacco and locker room talc, this settles in to something more gutsy with stewed prunes, damp forest, burnt treacle and a meaty mustiness. The palate is very soft and sweet, with caramel sauce drizzled on soft vanilla ice cream and scattered with hazelnuts. It’s velvet smooth, utterly delightful and with no blemishes. The gossamer like caresses last in to a relatively short but chewy toffee conclusion.

North British 1962   46%

Very different to the Carsebridge, with more phenolic, medicinal notes on the nose, fern and fir, balsa wood, carpenter’s workroom.Delicate, very different to many aged whiskies in that the bourbon influence isn’t so prominent. It’s much thinner  as well, and the vanilla notes mix with damson, green apple, barely ripe pear. The finish is short and not particularly impressive. But boy, what a curio of a whisky!

Fettercairn 1966 40%

Old Fettercairns can be truly amazing, and this is older than the delightful 40 year old released as an official bottling.It has a big assertive nose, which if it was in colour would be as orange andy brown as the liquid itself.There’s diced apple, date and walnut salad on the nose, sweet fig, dark treacle, and caramelised coffee. The palate is totally dominated by aged whisky rancio, all beautiful liquorice and aniseed, which forces somer apricot and peach in to the back seat, then  an astringency from wood, which makes itself obvious the longer the taste goes on, ending with some sharp pepper spice. The finish is bitter as a result of the age, but the overall experience is a positive one.

The Dalmore 1967  60%

Not a typical Dalmore nose at all, with an intense, almost oily intense Autumnal note to it. With water a pruney, stewed strawberry jam and fruit compote develops. But this scores big time on the palate – with water the orange fruits and yellow fruit Rumtopt notes are an intense delight,a menthol and liquorice sub story develops and there is none of the forced burnt toffee distractions sometimes present in Dalmore. It’s soft, balanced and unaggressive on the palate, and it has the most delightful grapefruit and orange marmalade finish.


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