In their series of A-Z bottlings, the chaps from Caskstrength.net have reached the letter C. Contrary to Arran and BenRiach, it’s a blend rather than a single malt this time. It has been created with the help of Cutty Sark’s Master Blender Kirsteen Campbell.
It’s different from regular Cutty Sark expressions for a couple of reasons: it’s high-strength UK 90 proof (seems a prerequisite to me if your name is Caskstrength.net) and there’s a hint of peat in it.
Cutty Sark ‘Cask Strength’
(51,4%, OB for Caskstrength.net, 500 btl.)
Nose: nice, with lots of pastry qualities and lemon custard. Hints of honey and yellow apple. Very soft pepper. Lemon blossom.
Mouth: rather youngish, with slight new-make notes (apple and pear), which adds to the freshness of course. Lemon drops. Vanilla cake. Soft spices again. A little bitter harshness in the back.
Finish: not too long. Takes the zesty bitterness a bit further. Hints of grapefruit and apple skin. Indeed also an echo of smoke, far away.
While this is fresh and enjoyable, I don’t really feel a special treatment or anything, the Neil & Joel magic, let’s say. For me it is what it’s supposed to be: a cask strength version of the (basic) Cutty Sark. There are 500 hand-signed bottles, available from Master of Malt for £ 35, approximately € 42.