Willowbank Distillery Tasting Notes

Posted: September 27, 2011 in New Zealand, World Whiskies & Spirits

Willowbank Distillery, Milford 10 year old 43%

Batch 321MY2/ Tasted: Oct 2009

The aromas are quiet light and have a high-toned spiritiness to them. There is some oily honey, vanilla along with some pleasant wood spices, but it has a rather strange metallic character. However the honey does have a rather lovely maturity to it.

The palate is much like the nose, with that metallic note, although it displays a great deal less maturity that the nose would indicate. Its quiet simple with a butter-vanilla finish and a suggestion of smoke. Altogether not unpleasant, yet not exactly stimulating.

Dunedin Distillery, Double Wood 10 year old 40% (9.0)

The debut release from The New Zealand Malt Whisky Company was distilled at closed Willowbank in Dunedin on the South Island before being matured for 6 years in American oak and finished for 4 in French oak barrels formerly used to hold North Island red wine.

Tasted: Feb 2013

Nose: Full, aromatic and quite oaked with crystallised orange, Satsuma and a hint of raisin. Lovely depth with some big, creamy grain.

Palate: The palate displays a lot of oak and dried fruit along with some sherry cask richness and spice. Lovely depth with the spice grain building pleasantly.

Finish: Good length with the spicy grain prominent.

Conclusion: A lovely, soft, rather well oaked blend with a balancing spicy graininess.

New Zealand Whisky Collection Dunedin 1993 (19 year old) 55.4%

Bottled by the New Zealand Whisky Company

Cask 32/ Dist: 1993 Btl: Mar 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2015

The nose opens with some pleasantly sweet barley, crème caramel, vanilla, liquorice and herbal spice. The opak is very fragrant and it feels first fill. Hints of parma violets, light peat smoke and marzipan follows. It reminds me of an unsalted Bowmore.

The palate is soft and toffee’d with the drying alcohol coming in rapidly. Hints of flambéed banana, light wood tannins and biting spice on the middle. Very dry finish with a lovely parma violet after-taste. It definitely needs water.

Diluted the nose is more herbal and shows less oak although the marzipan notes remain. Hints of oily/ lanolin and sugar coated orange also appear. The palate has become very fruity with that tinned fruit salad like quality. It’s still a little on the dry side and quite woody now but the marzipan tries to inject a little sweetness. The oak bitter a little in the finish but the smoke lingers well.

 

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