Organising a whisky club can be tough work. Members are generally a demanding bunch, always seeking new and interesting expressions, and all with a different set of palettes to satisfy. But, sometimes life is that little bit easier and experiencing a new whisky from a new distillery invariable results in huge anticipation from club attendees. It was as such on a dark, wet Friday night that ‘Dramble’ club members gathered at my bar eager to have their first taste of Wolfburn.
Following a short cobbled-together introduction to Wolfburn, whom I had been following for the past three years, but was entirely new to all attendees we began our exploration. We’d been kindly sent two samples, one clearly new make spirit (which using some Google-fu I surmised was somewhere in the region of 63.5% ABV) and one in a clear plastic container mysteriously absent of any markings or descriptions. This, I presumed, given the timing of our tasting was Wolfburn’s brand new first single malt bottled at 46%, natural colour and non-chill filtered (all things which make a certified whisky fan smile with contentment).
New make spirit is always interesting to sample, it can tell you so much about the quality of a distilleries ingredients, process, and importantly, give you some early signs into how a whisky is going to develop with age. The Wolfburn spirit, instantly revealed notes of coastal salt and was balanced by a softness which frankly belied its understandably high ABV. A promising start – especially for me, a self-confessed coastal whisky fanatic. With our baseline set it was time to taste the new Wolfburn proper.
Nose: Instant pungency of the sea and saline tempered with a fresh and gentle citrus and the early hints of vanilla and cream imparted from the oak.
Palette: An excellent delivery which hammers home the coastal terroir of the distillery itself. Impressively complex for a 3 year old whisky, with fruit notes interplaying with both salt and hints of toffee and caramel.
Finish: Warming with an entirely pleasant fade. Certainly short, though such is the nature of the beast and in no way should this be seen as an outright negative.
Universal praise from all members who highlighted the quality of the base malt spirit, impressive colouration (for just three years in the cask) and clearly defined personality of the malt. We’d drink this now happily, but important, ears were fully pricked up for the huge potential of this whisky in the years to come. Dramble are certainly now hungry like the wolf.
Many thanks and hearty congratulations to Wolfburn