Sweet malt, salty sea spray and maritime notes, a hint of kelp and smoked peat. There's a strong influence of the sherry octave, bringing out red berries and succulent flame raisins.
The seaside stays with you as well as the smokey peat. There's a sweet fruitiness to it, fiesty though and defintiely opens up with a drop or two of water. Cherries, black current cassis and cracked black pepper.
Long and nutty, the peat smoke lingers off leaving a sweet and slightly drying end to a brilliant dram.
Whitlaw 5: Ex-Caol Ila PX Octave
This here is a 5 year old, single cask Whitlaw, finished in a custom octave cask, built up of ex-Caol Ila staves and seasoned with Pedro Ximénez sherry wine.
Behind the Highland Park distillery on the Scottish Orkney Archipelago, lie the Whitlaw Hills. Highland Park sometimes uses the pseudonym of Whitlaw for a peated release. Quite a rarity, so this one's special!
Distilled at Highland Park (Whitlaw) and then specially selected by The Single Cask, this whisky was finished in an ex-Caol Ila Octave cask, seasoned with Pedro Ximenez, and then bottled in 2021 at cask strength of 57.6%.
Pedro Ximénez (pronounced Him-en-eth) is a super sweet grape variety, most commonly used to produce a delightful Spanish sherry. The resulting sherry produces an excellent seasoning for whisky casks.
The small size of an Octave cask means a greater percentage of the liquid within is able to interact with the seasoned wood. The result is a greatly intensified flavour and colour profile, at a much reduced finishing time.
Whitlaw is already slightly peated, but married together with the additional peaty residue of the Ex-Caol Ila cask, along with the succulent sweetness of the sherry, results in an absolutely delightful dram.
Distillery: Highland Park (Whitlaw)
Region: Island (Orkney)
Finish: Ex-Caol Ila Pedro Ximénez Octave
Bottled: Natural colour and without chill filtration
Bottle Size: 700 ml