Something Awesome This Way Comes 1
Whisky: Master of Malt Highland Park Batch 1 Boutiquey Whisky Company
Master of Malt
Highland Park Batch 1
I work for a craft beer importer here in Perth Australia, I've worked here for almost 2 years now. During that entire time I would talk whisky again and again and for the longest time there was no interest in us importing, distributing or even selling whisky. We wouldn't be able to do enough in sells to justify it, our 9 litres of alcohol minimum purchase that is government required would ensure that we couldn't sell spirits.
Obstacle after obstacle stood in the way and I had resigned myself to the fact that we would never sell whisky. I contented myself by making whisky suggestions to our retail sister store, some of which were heeded and some of which were ignored.
And then came Whisky Live and my wife's and my trip to Scotland. I started being invited to whisky events around Australia and when my wife and I went to Scotland almost every distillery and bottler that we visited did something special for us.
When I got back, things had changed. The bosses were interested in whisky. We had a new manager for our sister shop and the bosses informed me that I was in charge of the whisky selections of both shops. It didn't matter what I chose as long as it sold.
I started with what I term "shadow imports." Whiskies that would come into the country in very small numbers, independent bottlers, etc. Nothing that the big chain stores would carry, nothing that they'd be able to sell and the whisky took off in a way that I couldn't believe.
We were selling a dozen or more whiskies each week, no sooner then I'd place an order and most of it would be sold out, even before it arrived. It was mindblowing.
I kept bringing up the possibility of importing whiskies into the country for sell, but there was no interest, none at all.
At one point I was informed that if I wanted any countries that we currently brought beer in from that it wouldn't be a problem, so late one Saturday afternoon I made a decision. I wanted whisky from a very specific bottler, for both my store and my sister store.
I chose Master of Malt Boutiquey Company whiskies, 500ml bottles of cask strength small batch whiskies, mainly single malts, with an awesome comic book label on the bottle, usually showing scenes from each of the distillery's history, but sometimes just awesome labels.
That's what I wanted.
I emailed the bosses a list of the whiskies that I wanted, asking what it would run us to bring them in for our shop. And when I got into work on Tuesday I got a massive surprise.
The bosses were thrilled, these whiskies looked dead sexy, reasonable price points, did I think we'd be able to sell these whiskies to other bars and shops?
I came up with a list of bottle shops, restaurants and bars where I thought it'd take off. We made an order that doubled and then doubled again. The order has been placed and in a few months some new whiskies, never before seen for sale in Australia start coming in.
This sample is from Master of Malt which was sent to me months ago, in fact a few weeks before my wife and I visited Scotland. And now with awesome toys on the way it's time to give it a crack!
Highland Park Boutiquey Whisky Company batch 1, 44.7% abv. 241 bottles in this release.
I'm sitting down for dinner with my wife, I've just poured it into a gift from another whisky company, a cut crystal glencairn, bloody well love the heft on this bad boy!
Pale color so I suspect it's mainly bourbon casks in this release. The Boutiquey Whisky Company is completely NAS or No Age Statement and when I asked them months and months ago regarding this I was informed that the Macallan I was looking at had about 5-10% 5 year old Macallan with the rest of the spirit being 30+ years old, which explained the price. If they'd gone with an age statement the bottle would have read 5 years old and who's going to pay a hefty chunk for 5 year old Macallan?
Also due to the blending of single malts this is not single cask releases, however from everything I can see they are bottled at cask strength.
Let's give this little guy a spin shall we?
The nose is both savory, spicy and sweet. I'm picking up mushrooms, a bit of burnt meat, salt, big oranges, vanilla, caramel, sweet smoke, heather, honey, fruit, peaches.
Very enjoyable nose and a nose that requires that you spend some time with the whisky.
Time for a taste now!
White peppers, cloves, light peat, soft smoke, quite nutty, honey, citrus and apricots, big oak, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla.
Enjoyable, a good session dram, not incredibly complex, but very enjoyable.
A long oaky finish with soft smoke completes the whisky.
As I said before this to me is going to be a great session whisky. If you want to sit there and play around with water and seeing what the nose and body will do you can, but if you'd just like to sit down and have a few drams after work and not think about life, you'll be able to as well.
Tomorrow will be the Clynelish batch 2!