Maltbarn, the German independent bottlers lead by that knight without fear and with a lot of malt who is Martin Diekmann, has recently bottled this eighteen-years-old from the Orkney Islands. Unfortunately we don’t really know the distillery, but on Orkney there are only two distilleries and this baby here apparently doesn’t come from Scapa. Distilled in 2000 and bottled after 18 years in a bourbon cask, it owes its name to the nice bay in front of Kirkwall Airport. It’s a good looking (I think?) single cask who promises an overbearing (overbearing? overbearing.) drinking experience, and it is listening to such promises that, in collaboration with my calabro-bavarian friend Francesco that a bit foolishly I bought this bottle. Was it a good deal or
an abnormous fuck-up not?
In the glass it’s more yellow than the skin of a person with jaundice, and it’s more oily than a deep fried eggplant. Why eggplant? No idea, focus on the “deep fried” part. But let’s stop with my metaphors and let’s go on with my allegoric tasting notes!
Nose: It starts to seduce me with a litany of pear, malt, vanilla and salt, as if it were an oration of that pompous Cicero, like that time when he tried to convince the Senate to send an army against that poor hippy of Catilina. Dried grass (I mean straw/hay, not marijuana), and now a mango also says hello. Really very good, even if it’s not the most complex one. It also has an oily, fattish side. Not bad…
Taste: A bit of smoke (very vague, more than Raoh of Hokuto’s eyebrows) which is incredibly well integrated with a nice flavour of malt. Rich, with a kind of classic vanilla and a surprising cream. Really very tasty and enjoyable, with some hints of pear and banana. Oily but not too much, a bit hearty, I’d say something like “compact”, but maybe it’s just my limited English vocabulary. To sum it up in young people’s language, it kicks ass.
Finish: Not too long, but the vanilla and the cream linger joyfully. There is absolutely no wood: super clean!
Overall: Really very good, I enjoyed it a lot: 90/100. Like almost all Maltbarn bottlings it sold out fast and furious, and this just proves how much Martin’s work is appreciated. If you don’t know his bottles, you gotta try them!