Yesterday I had pleasure of attending the Watt Whisky Tasting at Whisky Exchange’s Great Portland St. store. The tasting was hosted by Kate Watt, the co-founder of Watt Whisky. The tasting consisted of 7 amazing whiskies. From a 21 year old Grain whisky to 22 year old peated Highland single malt, we’ve tasted some interesting whiskies. Alongside with the tasting Kate Watt take us trough the story of their brand and how they become on of the most respected independent bottlers in the market.
A quick information about Watt Whisky: With over 40 years experience in the Scotch Whisky industry Mark and Kate Watt established the Watt Whisky in December 2019. They bottled their first cask (for Crowdfunders only) in 2020. In their first year they bottled a total of 26 casks including different categories such as single malt, blended malt, single grain, blend, rums and Indian whisky. All bottles from the brand are non-chill filtered and comes with natural colour.
Watt Whisky uses coloured labels on their bottles, which is nothing unusual in the whisky business. The unusual detail about it is that Mark Watt decides these colours when they do sampling. Apparently, Mark have an unique talent of smelling colours which makes perfect sense to me. Because often I associate aromas with various things such as songs, locations or colours.
Glen Elgin 2012 – 11 Year Old (60.9%)
A 2012 single malt from Speyside distillery Glen Elgin, matured 11 years in Hogshead bourbon casks and bottled at 60.9% abv.
Marzipan, lemon meringue pie, toffee. shortbread and raisin butter.
Nose: Starts with quite fresh and fruity with lemon, apple, honey, toffee and raisin. You don’t feel the 60.9% abv level at all. Soft and delicate.
Palate: Quite juicy and sweet with lemon, orange peel, toffee and shortbread. Abv level now kick you a little, so 1-2 drop water helps to bring the aromas forward.
Finish: A medium long finish with lemon, orange peel and oak.
An enjoyable single cask from Glen Elgin that reflects the Speyside character so well.
Price at the time of tasting: £69.95
Speyside Single Malt 2009 – 13 Year Old (56.1%)
A 2009 Single Malt from unknown Speyside distillery (it’s definitely Mortlach), matured 13 years in Hogshead bourbon casks and bottled at 56.1% abv.
Nose: Starts with very strong meaty and sulphury notes. Followed by black pepper, orange and gum. No question this one is from Mortlach.
Palate: Similar with the nose, meaty and sulphury character is dominant. Accompanied by some sweet and sour aromas such as orange, Ipa beer and ginger.
Finish: A long and dry finish with meaty and sour note.
I found this bottle a little straight forward with strong meaty and sulphury notes. It’s lack of complexity but no doubt it’s a perfect dram for Mortlach lovers.
Price at the time of tasting: £75.95 – Available from Whisky Exchange
Blended Scotch Whisky 2017 – 5 Year Old (57.1%)
A Blended Scotch whisky from independent bottler Watt Whisky, and is a blend made of 43% North British grain, 28.5% Campbeltown malt and 28.5% Glasgow malt whiskies. This whisky is the first expression that is blended and married by the company itself. Finished in a refill sherry butt and bottled at 57.1% abv.
Nose: Starts sweet with toffee, pear and pineapple, followed by strong sulphury and dusty notes. Quite complex
Palate: Similar with the nose but more sherry effect on the palate with some raisin and plum. Oily and full-bodied.
Finish: A medium finish with sherried and sulphury notes.
A very good Blended whisky with good complexity and texture. Perfect price for value.
Price at the time of tasting: £47.95 – Available from Whisky Exchange
Campbeltown Blended Malt 2014 – 9 Year Old (56.8%)
A blend of Campbeltown malt whiskies, this bottle is distilled in 2014 and initially matured in bourbon casks before finished in ex-Clarendon Rum cask for 20 months and bottled at 56.8% abv. The first cask finish that they did themselves.
Nose: Makes you say “funky” with the first smell. Rum cask effect is quite visible with tropical fruits. Followed by cinnamon, oak and
Palate: More rum notes on the palate with caramel, cinnamon, banana, peach and oak. Quite juicy and delicious.
Finish: Medium long finish with caramel and cinnamon.
A very good example of what can be achieved by with a right cask selection. As a rum lover I really enjoyed the intense rum character in this bottle.
Price at the time of tasting: £64.95
Port Dundas 21 Year Old – Japan Exclusive (58.7%)
A 21 year old grain whisky from closed distillery Port Dundas, exclusively bottled for Japan. This one matured in bourbon casks and bottled at 58.7% abv.
Nose: Quite sweet with toffee, caramel, chocolate and gum notes. Followed by oak and hints of hay notes.
Palate: Similar with the nose, very sweet and juicy. Caramel, milk chocolate, maple syrup and cinnamon.
Finish: A medium long finish with caramel and oak.
A delicious grain whisky from Port Dundas with a oily texture and mouth lingering character.
Price at the time of tasting: N/A
Highland (Peated) 2000 – 22 Year Old (54%)
A peated Highland single malt from an undisclosed distillery, this single cask was aged in a sherry hogshead for 22 years before bottled at 54% abv.
Nose: Wet stone, old wood and musk smell reminds me of a traditional dunnage warehouse (which I love!). Followed by peat, dark stone fruits and smoked meat.
Palate: Great balance of peat and sherry. Dried fruits, caramel and honey nuances followed by cedar wood and smoke.
Finish: A long finish with smoky and light sweet sherry notes.
A perfect example of peat and sherry combination. I especially enjoyed musky and smoky flavour on the nose, as well as the balance of two components throughout the palate.
Price at the time of tasting: £94.95 – Available from Whisky Exchange
Caol Ila 2013 – 9 Year Old (59.6%)
A single malt from Caol Ila distillery distilled in 2013 and matured 9 years in Hogshead bourbon casks before bottled at 59.6% abv.
Nose: A classic Caol Ila with medicinal, smoky and briny notes. After some time in your glass, grassy and sweet aromas such melon and chocolate appears.
Palate: Starts with dry peat smoke and medicinal notes. Followed by lime, salted caramel and cream. Oily texture.
Finish: A long finish with smoky, dry and briny notes.
It’s basically everything you can expect from a Caol Ila. Not my cup of tea to be honest, but this was the favourite of our host Kate Watt as she is a huge fan of Caol Ila.
Price at the time of tasting: £67.95