Single Cask Nation (a new whisky bottler)

Single Cask Nation

It’s always nice to see a new whisky bottler on the scene. In my view, you can never have too many, as they will each pick a different cask from a distillery, release it and the public can decide which is their favourite, and which bottler seems to have the talent for picking the best casks. You also start to see an ethos with bottlers in terms of the brands they are bottling and the flavours they are looking for.

The chaps who founded Single Cask Nation are part of the Whisky Blogging fraternity; Jason Johnstone-Yellin and Joshua Hatton. I have met both on many different blogging occasions, and I am really happy to see that they have taken their ideas and moved on to the next step; bottling casks of whisky. They very kindly sent me some samples, and I have to say they are some of the most exciting samples I have smelled in a while. Weird, crazy and beguiling. I’ll review one of the whiskies today, and the other two will follow soon.

Arran Pinot Noir Finish 12 Years Old
8 Years 1st fill ex Bourbon
4 Years ex Pinot Noir
54.8% ABV
Single Cask Nation: Join here

Nose: Sour, nutty and leathery. Quite meaty. A touch of fruit, like tinned raisins. It noses like some Belgian sour beers, like a Lambic. Really not whiskyish, although I like the fact it is so out there. Vinegar, prawn cocktail crisps and a bit of gravy. This is insane. It has been a long time since I have had such a savoury dram.

With water: More prawn cocktail crisps, sweet and sour pork, honey glazed ham.

So far, I just can’t believe what I am smelling. Enjoyable, but really different.

Palate: The Pinot Noir powers through. Earthy, chocolatey and grapey. Still some of the spiciness, tangy notes and a note of BBQ’d meat.

With water: More sweetness. Blackcurrant and figs. Still has a spicy, burnt and peppery note.

Overall: Bizarre, but in good way. I like the fact that there are so many different flavours going on the glass, and such unusual and unexpected flavours to boot. As a sample it’s great but I would be interested to taste a whole bottle (over a month). Then I may get my head round this crazy whisky. I recommend you buy a bottle too. It’s an enjoyable, bizarre experience of a whisky and surely life is about enjoyable, bizarre experiences.

Chris Hoban