Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
The New Zealand Whisky Company (NZWC)
Stated Age
25 years old
American Oak, Ex-Bourbon Casks
55.1 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
14 May 2015 7:31 pm
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 305.52

4 × in wishlist

20 × member ratings

30 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Willowbank 1988 NZWC

3 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.50 points

  1. Mvk_dub scored this whisky 96 points Member Junior

    Notes from:

    1988 Cask Strength

    With a score of 96.5/100, this 25 year old single malt was recently awarded the southern hemisphere whisky of the year in Jim Murray’s 2015 Whisky Bible.

    “When I first encountered this whisky it would have been a six-year-old and the Dunedin distillery had a very uncertain future. Question marks hung over the quality of the stock, so they were a bit surprised when I assured them that the vast majority of what they were making was of very decent to high standard. Who then would have thought that some two decades on I would be tasting this as one of the most delicate and sophisticated and complex 25-year-olds imaginable? Only the untidy finish shows the distillery’s Achilles: low copper content. On the other hand, it also ensured that it would never be short of character. One of the most poignant and enjoyable whiskies of the year. And memories of the only distillery I ever visited and then took a five minute drive to watch penguins surface from the seas”

    – Jim Murray The Whisky Bible 2015

    Notes (Jim Murray)

    Nose: deft peat forms the most delicate shell imaginable over no less fragile citrus. Soft salt, still a little grist after all these years, background vanilla: almost something akin to a moist lemon drizzle cupcake … with a few atoms of smoke thrown in .. ; Taste: the adroit citrus mingles with the most alluring malt imaginable. The shadow of smoke acts like a siren while the tannins just up their game slightly. Just so well integrated … ;Finish: long, with a feeble spice buzz. Evidence of the shortage of copper from the cask comes through only at the very death;

  2. mds51 scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    My first malt from New Zealand. I have to say, I expected worse. But on the whole a solid malt.
    I would personally refrain from adding water as it loses something of its "charm".
    • Nose
      Flower meadow, vanilla, mango, papaya, pineapple, a touch of coconut , in the background a bit leathery.
      With water, it opens again a little. the leathery smell is a little more effective. If you swing it, the flower meadow comes to light again.
    • Taste
      Oily. Gentle vanilla spreads in the mouth, with some oak in the background. It develops citrus notes, which are more likely to keep in the lemon. Then the bitterness slowly sets in, which extends to the finish.
      With a few drops of water, the malt in the mouth unfolds a slight tingling and then creates a slight sweetness, the bitterness is no longer felt.
    • Finish
      In the finish, a slight to medium bitterness develops, which is almost reminiscent of coffee. Overall finish medium.
      With water, the finish longer and only after half a minute develops a minimal fragility, which is barely noticeable.

  3. markjedi1 scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    A beautiful single
    cask that does not disappoint. A huge difference between the nose and the
    palate, though. It is hard to believe this is 24 years old. It tastes so
    lively. And is a lot better with some water.
    • Nose
      The nose is sweet and
      rich with the emphasis on nougat. Some citrus and floral elements quickly
      manifest themselves, but nuts and nougat take the lead. Some brown sugar, honey
      and vanilla. Touch of caramel. Make that toffee. Likeable. Diluted it becomes
      sweeter, water brings out more citrus as well.
    • Taste
      Oily and mouth
      coating, that is the least you can say of this one. On the palate I now get
      mostly citrus. Think lemon and grapefruit. Not much nougat in the taste. A
      little bitter as if from green tea. Must be the wood. With a teaspoon of water
      it becomes easily quaffable and the bitterness fades somewhat, which increases
      the sweetness.
    • Finish
      Long, spicy finish on
      white pepper and liquorice.


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