"Interesting, but in this case more cask influence might have helped to direct the spirit"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
The Gauldrons is the last in the Regional Malts series by independent bottler Douglas Laing and refers to bay west of to Campbeltown facing the Irish sea. The non-age stated blended malt includes spirit from several of the three still-standing distilleries in the city. The spider on the label that is spinning a golden web apparently relates to the story of Robert the Bruce, who (after failing to defeat the English 6 times) on Rathlin Island, lying before the Irish coast across The Gauldrons, watched a spider succeeding to start its web at a seventh attempt and decided to fight the English once more (to ultimately succeed and become a righteous king of Scotland). Today I will discuss batch 3, which by the way is still shrouded in clouds regarding its age, cask maturation and exact contents.
First I get overripe apples, fresh leather and some kind of chemical solvent. It is rather spirit-y and feels young. Hints of vanilla cake, rum raisins, marzipan and overripe peaches. It smells slightly unstable and a tine bit wacky. A few drops of water and about ten minutes of breathing brings a more balanced whole. I get some additional tangerine, minerals, lemon zest, a hint of red fruits and calvados.
The palate opens with lots of leather, inhaled bonfire smoke (in distance), tanned peaches, mud and nectarine liquor. The spirit is present throughout these notes and does seem to need some time and water to settle. Indeed it improves slightly to a more balanced palate. More leather (now older), lemonade, Sprite and grapefruit. The aftertaste is medium long with more citrus fruits, leather and that a consistent hint of peat in the back.
Young spirit can be very enticing, but also rather difficult to appreciate. This mixture of young Campbeltown malts shows exactly that. There some promising and intriguing features within, but the problems with the balance, a lack of further development make the tasting experience slightly uncomfortable. Personally, I would like to see some more cask maturation to give the spirit more direction.
This sample was part of organised by Whisky4all!
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •