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port Askaig 10th Anniversary (2019, Speciality Drinks, 55,85%)

Brands are like creatures, you still see them like tiny little ones as they take their first steps, one moment later you find them at university ready to break the world. We remembered the Port Askaig series as a good bet by Speciality Drinks, aka The Whisky Exchange, and instead we find ourselves having already missed the tenth anniversary from the birth of what today is a whisky known by anyone with a passion for peated whiskies. This bottling came out in fact in 2019 and 10000 bottles were filled from the union of barrels Refill Hogsheads, 1st Fill Bourbon and Sherry. As always for Port Askaig, we are talking about an undisclosed single malt from Islay, elegantly covered behind the name of Port Askaig, the charming little harbour in the northern part of the Scottish island. The usual envious – rest assured – will say Caol Ila.

N: classic Islay, you smell it and you know it: we do not say that we could do the review with our eyes closed without a glass in front, but almost. Vanilla and lime; a little yellow fruit (almost pineapple). A smoky peat but not too much, very soft and pleasant. A sea breeze hits the nostrils. Very good. A little balsamic.

P: we confirm: equal to many as profile, but very, very good, and stands out for its balance. Grilled vegetables and barbecue smoke; sharp peat and sea water; lemon cream with vanilla. Burnt leather; lemon essential oil. The ex-sherry share seems to come out later, with roundness that turns on caramel and creme brulée. Pink grapefruit.

F: sea water, a touch of licorice, a little bit of toffee.

Drinking this celebratory Port Askaig, we were certainly not impressed by the exuberant, exotic nuances or by the search for the sensory pirouette that leaves drinkers speechless. On the contrary, it is a whisky that dispenses certainties and therefore in a certain sense is perfect to affirm the solidity of the Port Askaig series at the turn of the decade: the full degree is not a muscular exhibition but a nice support for the taste profile; the mix of barrels does not take us to the Moon, but blunts here and there the possible roughness, making everything pleasant and accessible. And finally, it tells us how that distillery, whose name cannot be pronounced, maintains truly enviable quality standards and identity. Let’s go with 87/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Amor Fou – L’ultima occasione

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