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Tasting Notes: Thompson Bros: Sutherland

By Alcoholandaphorisms
Tasting Notes: Thompson Bros: Sutherland

Thompson Bros: Sutherland (Scottish Blended Malt Whisky: 5 Years: 48.5% ABV)

Visual: Medium yellowed gold. Medium speed thick lines come from the spirit.

Nose: Oily. Trifle. A kind of non horrible gas fumes smell? Like paraffin lamp flames? Vanilla custard. Sherried sultanas. Rye crackers. Peppery. Water adds dryer smoke and soot.

Body: Oily. Non horrible gas fumes. Oily peat. Slight dry and waxy. Smoked pineapple. Grapes. Sherry trifle. Water adds shortbread and grilled peppers.

Finish: Oily. Soot. Waxy. Kipper skin. Cooked mango. Grapes. Water adds sherry trifle and peppery. Grilled peppers.

Conclusion: What the heck is this? So little Brora in it, yet such interesting smoke influences. This is oily and waxy, sweet trifle notes but the instant thing that hits you as soon as you approach the glass is the odd paraffin lamp aroma, but somehow nice vibe that just punches and surprises you.

There is still that gas air and wax character, and again that smoke influence. Less peaty, more like everything within it has been grilled. Pineapples? Smoked pineapple flavours my friend. Peppers? Grilled peppers here. It gives a distinct and completely different vibe to the whole dram from what you would usually get.

Water relaxes but does not remove that gas air, but brings a sweeter more sherry trifle touched taste, roaming around that whole lovely mess of smoked and grilled touch flavours. Just that big more easy going, easy pleasing in the middle of a delicious and strange whisky.

Delicious and not afraid to be deliciously different. So odd and I am so glad to have tried.

Background: Second whisky in the Uber Whisky tasting at Independent Spirit. You may be wondering why a five year old blended malt is on such a distinguished line up, as I did before investigating. For one it is from the Thompson Brothers, who are making a huge reputation with their hard to get hold of blends, independent bottlings and their own whisky. Secondly, this is a very interesting blend. They used 100 litres of Clynelish 9 year old from refill bourbon, and 214 litres of 8 year old refill bourbon Clynelish. Ok, not bad but not something to make you guess its rarity and demand. Then it had 54 litres of their incredibly hard to get hold of Dornoch aged in Bodega sherry butt that was a refill Glen Moray barrel. Finally 3cl of 37 year old whisky from the silent Brora distillery. I have to admit I took that as a little distillery joke, that little whisky surely could not have an influence. As you will see from the notes I was surprised indeed. Now, probably a cheaper and less rare whisky may have had a similar effect, I cannot say without trying, but yeah I was surprised so little seemed to actually have an impact. Anyway this created 636 bottles of very much in demand whisky. As always at a tasting like this I could not do my usual style of notes but I tried my best.

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