Our Masterclass at Feis Ile 2016 saw a dramatic demonstration of progress so far. Adam Hannett shared samples of two year old spirit from Black Isle and Aberdeen, tasting them live with his audience and saying: “On the nose, they exhibit very different characters. While the Black Isle has pronounced cereal notes, with the Aberdeen spirit the fruit is to the fore with those cereal notes in the background.
But they have different emphases, different identities.
In time, vanilla from the cask has started to influence the flavour and maybe make it less easy to tell, but even after two years in fresh Bourbon casks we can still detect significant variety.
“This is very much a work in progress. It is important to remember that we are a long way from making value judgements about these differences – we are not saying one is better than the other. We simply find them interesting and challenging for their own sake. To watch that whisky change, to watch that whisky age, and to see those differences, it’s proof to us that what we do and the things that we talk about are real! It’s not a story that we’re making up. If you grow barley in different regions, you get different flavours. This is important to us.”