Port Askaig Islay 110 Proof Whisky (750 ml)
Port Askaig is a single malt brand which selects whisky from Islay to use in its releases. A small batch selection of whiskies from as few as two to up to forty casks are used for each bottling. This 110 proof is a cask-strength bottling and it was matured in American oak. As with all Port Askaig releases, it is non chill-filtered with no color added. This marks the first release for the US with more releases to follow.
Nose: Ashy, meaty smoke reminds me of charred meat roasting over an open wood fire. Singed dry grasses (hay), like the scent of a distant wildfire. Dry malt, with a lot of nose tickle if you venture deeper into the glass. Some very faint vanilla.
Palate: Thin body. Robust tongue burn, in fact pretty fiery for a 55% which suggest the age might be on the shorter side (6 years is my wholly unsubstantiated guess). Dry on the tongue, with more charred meat and heavily toasted multigrain bread.
Finish: Concentrated smoke, like bottled “liquid smoke” – almost verging on hickory. Fades without bitterness, and also without much dimension.
With Water: Several drops of water adds little, instead roughening up the nose tickle. The finish is a little better balanced, with some sweet malty notes to counter the dry smoke. I’d only bother with the water if you find the ABV too high to enjoy neat.