If you are interested in the earlier posts of this whisky maturation, click here.
As we’ve hit week 10 with my corn whisky in the barrel, I thought I’d spare a slightly larger sample. Usually my samples run around a ml or two every week, but I took 5-8 this week. It’s coming along! However, I still think there’s lots to go. Here are the tasting notes:
Colour: definitely gaining some colour as you can see in the picture to the right.
Nose: It’s still quite raw and aggressive; with lots of vanilla notes and some dried berries; it smells quite sweet – but the aromas are quite floral – the sweetness is more like nectar than honey. The barnyard aroma I detected earlier is done, which is nice, and there are some lovely light blossom-like citrus flavours. It still smells quite oily and there is lots of dried corn dominating the nose along with the vanilla. As for balance, the corn dominates too much and the other interesting floral and citrus aromas lift the whole nose up but they lurk too quietly in the background.
Taste: it’s thick and oily (although not as much as was present in the new make) and fairly sweet, with an alcohol explosion mid-palate (i.e. lots of alcohol without much flavour attached). There is vanilla, icing sugar, and a bit of citrus – orange and lemon peel. Really, it seems a 2 stage taste – there is some heavy dried corn at the beginning followed by vanilla with those light citrus notes. At the end there are spices as your mouth dries out with a bit of tannin and cayenne pepper.
Finish: Light corn, then vanilla and grapefruit. Quite intriguing. Eventually left with dry oak.
It is developing, and has some interesting parts developing – but it has a far way to go, and much more could be done for balance. In the barrel it remains! the 4-6 weeks that was recommended for time in the barrel seems an underestimation, for sure.
(to see the next post in this series, click here)