The Dram Team – July 2021

The Dram Team, New Kids on the Block – July 2021

As you may have already seen, we recently participated in a virtual tasting with The Spirit Specialist called ‘New Kids on the Loch‘. July’s The Dram Team box takes a similar name, and looks at some of the newer entrants to the whisky market globally. In this box we travel from Ireland, to Australia, to Scotland, and finally to England – a truly global tasting!

Self-Led Tasting

We took a more laid back approach to this tasting, completing it over a couple of sittings with TV in the background. Something nice to do in the middle of the week. That doesn’t stop preparation being key, and we would definitely recommend having a glass of water nearby to refresh your palate between drams.

Tasting Notes

Kingsbarns, Dream to Dram – 46%

Nose: tropical fruits, charred pineapple, summer berries, brown sugar, clotted cream toffee
Palate: creme brûlée, custard cream biscuits, orange oil, caramelised tropical fruit, burnt toffee
Finish: peppery spice, quite long, cinder-toffee, and orange peel

Dream to Dram is Wemyss Malts flagship expression, aged in ex-bourbon and STR casks.

We can absolutely see why this dram won an award in 2020 – a very yummy, decadent dram – feels like desert in a glass!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Strathearn, Batch 001 – 46.6%

Nose: dark caramel, dark charred oak, red berries, cinder-toffee, warm leather, dried Christmas fruit wreathes
Palate: honey malty milky drink, milk chocolate, toffee, woody-spice
Finish: more leather and woody-spice, cinder-toffee and oat biscuits

Always exciting to see a batch 1 – we do love trying a new whisky distillery (Cardrona, Just Hatched and Raasay Ni Sia are great examples!), so high hopes from the offset.

It does not disappoint – very impressively mature for a first batch, we’re excited to see where this distillery goes.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Starward, Left-Field – 40%

Nose: tannins, red apples, oak wood, cherries, red berries
Palate: malt biscuits, red berry jam, honey sweetness, tropical fruits
Finish: burnt sugar and charred oak

An Australian single malt, we were definitely intrigued when we saw this in the box. To top it off, this particular expression has been aged in Australian red-wine barrels – we just can’t get enough wine-aged whisky!

Sweeter than we were expecting – would love to see this dram at 43 or 46% to give it a bit more oomf. A very easy drink – could be a good midweek companion.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Clonakilty, Port Cask Finish – 43.6%

Nose: stone-fruit cobbler and custard, clotted cream, fresh peaches with brown sugar, citrus zest, leather sofa
Palate: spring fruits and floral blossom, citrus oil, stewed red fruits and plums,
Finish: chilli spice and charred oak

This is a blend of Irish malt and grain whiskey – something a little bit different!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Kilchoman, Machir Bay Cask Strength – 58.6%

Nose: rich earthy peat, vanilla, lemon peel, peaches and cream
Palate: thick honey, warming smoke with rich grass, stem ginger spice and raw fruit cake come through
Finish: salt and pepper, lemon peel, more rich heavy grassy peat

The Machir Bay Cask Strength was actually one of the first whiskies we reviewed – so it’s interesting to look back, and see if our palates pick up different notes!

This is still a fantastic whisky and for me that is a must have. Well balanced between fruit and thick earthy peat, this dram offers lots for the most seasoned of whisky drinkers but also for the newbie.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bimber, Ex-Bourbon Cask #260, Exclusive Cask Sample – 57.1%

Nose: fresh green and red apples, pears, orchard blossom, sweet and crisp, honey, cherry blossom, fresh and clean
Palate: fresh, tart, apple crumble, vanilla spiced sugar, sour apple,
Finish: oaky and fresh – a perfect warm summer evening dram

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

We recently visited the Bimber distillery in London, and were lucky enough to try lots of their different whiskies and new-make spirit. We’re yet to have a bad one! This was unmistakably Bimber, and very quickly took us both back to that fabulous distillery – we can’t wait to visit again!

Final Thoughts

The future of whisk(e)y is bright! To see so many fabulous up and comers in a difficult market is brilliant. Each of these distilleries had a distinct taste, and felt as though they were bringing something different to the casual drinker!

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