We like to think when you drink cask-strength whisky, you’re already getting a two for one, but in the case of Cask 18.48, you’re maybe getting more. This whisky hails from a coastal distillery, located just outside the fishing port of Buckie, and the spirit often carries this lovely rich and nutty salinity. Quick mashing, short ferments, and a weighty spirit which is then expertly extra-matured in a first fill Spanish oak Oloroso hogshead. For fans of waxy coastal malts with an extra dimension of complexity, do not miss this underdog.

Initial nosing drew notes of cherry bakewells, hessian, toasted pecan nuts, red apples and old leather. A rich, but precise and spicy nose. Some water evoked notes of fig jam, peppery watercress, chamois leather, cured game meats and dried herbs, plus a wee saline tang of black olive tapenade. We agreed it was more complex with water. The palate when neat was wonderfully salty and earthy; lots of salted almonds, cellar mulch, pipe tobacco, walnut oil and dark chocolate. With water we found bitter citrus piths, apple seeds, toasted almonds, aged amontillado sherry and earthy black teas. This was matured for 12 years in a bourbon hogshead before being transferred to a first fill Spanish oak oloroso hogshead.

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