It has been a long time since we’ve tried Port Askaig bottlings. These undisclosed Islay malts (often Caol Ila, but not all) are bottled by Speciality Drinks (member of the Whisky Exchange group) and the range has been growing steadily since the launch in 2009.
One of the latest additions is this Port Askaig 15 Year Old Sherry Cask, a vatting of peated whisky from 1997 (20%) and fruitier spirit from 2001 (80%). They were married together at 50% ABV for three months and then brought back to bottling strength. All matured in first-fill Oloroso sherry butts.
Port Askaig 15 yo ‘Sherry Cask’ (45,8%, Speciality Drinks +/- 2017, 5000 btl.)
Nose: interesting and rather elegant mixture of sweet honey, earthy peat, vaguely fragrant notes (violet candy and cassis) and darker notes like blackberry jam and salmiak. Hints of burnt toast, meaty sherry and toffee underneath. Fresh heather and menthol top notes.
Mouth: quite silky and sweet at first, with malty notes, then getting drier on earthy peat and liquorice again. Orange peel. Ginger, clove and lemon zest. Lots of ashy notes. Hints of vanilla and burnt toffee.
Finish: long, on dry ashes and some oaky touches.
It’s quite a complex and smoothly peated whisky, but somehow the original spirit is overtaken by some sherried notes that I find less convincing. Around € 100 from Master of Malt (with discounted shipping) or The Whisky Exchange among others.