Rumor has it that this blended malt is a mix of long matured single malts from four different distilleries. There is talk of Bunnahabhain, Macallan, Highland Park and Glenturret. Some of the malts used should be quite old. The Bunnahabhainanteil even 50 years, presumably distilled in the year of the Prague Spring, 1968. Macallan and Highland Park should be older than 17 years, the Glenturret finally exactly 17 years, a 2001 distillate. Is that all right? Good question. Is Macallan in the Maltman Secret Speyside 16? It is ultimately a question of trust. But if you know the background a bit, at least something speaks for the assumptions fit so well. Anyway, it seems more or less clear that all blends used in blending are stored in ex-sherry barrels throughout their ripening period and finally, wedded in a sherry butt a decade ago and later bottled. Of course, many questions arise. How old were the individual shares? How did they relate to each other in the marriage? What was the alcohol content? If the total bottling is just 46.5% ABV, the older ingredients, especially the old Bunnahabhain, have already dropped below 40% ABV? Again, nobody knows. The Gaelic name Còig Deicheadan, chosen for bottling, at least meaningfully means "five decades" in German.
EYE / NOSE
The first thing that strikes me positively is the lack of false notes. The Sherrybutt used for the final ripening seems to have been of good quality. Fine, fruity nose, albeit less beguiling than I would have hoped. An alcoholic pinch is an uncompromising reminder that this is a malt and not a tame liqueur. There are certainly PX barrels flowed. Molasses sweetness, dried fruit. Not really fresh, rather the musty-woody type, as I often associate with Glenrothes. Has something of a really old malt.
The mouthfeel is rather mild and soft. The relatively low alcohol content and the ripe age of even the youngest ingredients, prevent an unruly burning. Only a slight bite remains. Not bad at all. As in the nose here, nothing really negative to taste. Dark sherry fruit flavors, vinous notes, pipe tobacco, walnuts. No sherry bomb. Rather an elegant, quite multi-layered maturation, which however does not seem arbitrary, as it sometimes happens with blendeds.
FINISH / CONCLUSION
The flavors found in the nose and mouth continue in the end. Already at the beginning spicy barrel notes take over the regiment, displacing the wine sherry sweets. Unfortunately, the spice is followed by a saccharine, dry bitterness, literally 'Oloroso!' screams and likes a lot, but takes a bit of my enthusiasm. I suppose I now understand why you created the Blend the way it is here and why you could not use the oldies as single casks. With the time in the air this weakness decreases even a little bit. In fact, it remains the only small weak point of an otherwise very successful malts.
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