A 2004 17 year old Ballechin, matured full term in a first fill bourbon barrel with an outturn of only 188 bottles at a natural cask strength of 53.7%.
The Spongetopia Trilogy explores three possible 'Sponge-themed' dystopian futures and presents them as old school pulp sci-fi novels with their respective 'first paragraphs' on the rear labels. It's a series that fuses whisky and sci-fi geekery to new and intoxicating levels. If you love dystopian sci-fi, label art, and uniquely charismatic aged peaty highland whisky - well, these are bottlings for you!
Part one 'The Sands of Sponge' takes a trip to the end days of the Earth and the mysteries of the 'Spongelith'...
This one is brimming with creamy, tarry peat smoke and concentrated medicinal flavours. You will probably like it, a lot.
Nose: Smoked herbal tea sits alongside barnyard peat (sans any overt ‘dunginess’) – turned hay, leather saddles and a fully under control barn fire. Earthiness runs throughout – alluvial motifs of gravels and putties – alongside lamp oil and a selection of first aid box materials. Menthol imbued Chantilly cream wraps things up. Reduction presents golden grains, soot and touches of rubber whilst diminishing the rocky quality that presented neat.
Taste: More compact and intensive. The arrival delivers a pang of balsamic before bitumen, cold cream and swipe of floor cleaner sit alongside a drizzle of BBQ sauce. Chiselled minerality follows with limestone cliffs and loam sand. Chopped herbs joins a tub of Vicks Vapor Rub whilst again the oddly mentholated Chantilly lurks. Water is worth playing with – ash and a strawberry forward mixed salad together with wood lacquer and burnt electrical boards. Oddly wonderful.
Finish: Long, tarry and medicinal with a fading sharp minerality.
The distillate sings loudly throughout this not quite, but nearly naked Sponge Ballechin. There’s plenty going on here and whilst much of it might seem divergent, none of it is either a distraction or a misstep. Far from a daily drammer, but thoroughly enjoyable to sift through the sands of the Sponge nevertheless. Multifaceted stuff.
|Classification||Single Malt Whisky|
|Cask||1st fill ex-bourbon barrel|
|ABV / Volume||53.7%/ 70cl|