Nose: Bushfire smoke. Wet earth. Fresh roadworks.
Palate: Raw peaty spirit – but not green at all. Dirty, earthy, smoke – pure unadulterated bushfire. A little salty. A little sweet. Faint traces of winter fruits.
Mouthfeel: Thick and warming. No burn at all – even at this cask strength.
Finish: Long. So very very long. Smoke hanging around until next century.
Bottled exclusively for the RTD Spirits Covid-19 Black Gate whisky tasting that took place (virtually) on the 20th June 2020. This special-release whisky was bottled at a cask strength of 69.3% ABV with no colouring and no chill filtration in 500ml bottles. 20 bottles were released at this cask strength.
Phwoar. Now this is a whisky!
This whisky is basically Australia’s Black Summer (summer 2019/2020) in a bottle – dirty, earthy, smoke. However, unlike the Black Summer, which was just horrible, this whisky is simply delicious!
This whisky was “only” peated to 55ppm at Bairds in Scotland – the same place that peats Bruichladdich’s Octomore and Port Charlotte whiskies. And speaking of Octomore, this whisky really does remind me of Octomore – almost a marriage of Octomore 01.1 and Octomore 05.1. It has that deep earthy roughness that Octomores of recent years have lost. Simply stunning.
BG072 was aged for 4 years – in a 3rd fill ex-sherry/whisky/rum cask. Single cask releases that are not aged in 1st fill casks are quite rare in Australia, but if this is the result; I want more!
The Black Gate distillery is is run by the husband & wife duo of Brian and Genise Hollingworth. The distillery is located in the Central West region of New South Wales, in the town of Mendooran – which is approximately 45 minutes north of Dubbo by road, about 6 hours north of Canberra by road, and about 5 hours north-west of Sydney by road.
I’d say you should definitely grab a bottle of this, but with so few bottles made available, and only sold on the night to people who were part of the tasting, it will be extremely unlikely that you will find a bottle. I am greatly looking forward to the standard release of BG072 from Black Gate though!
If this isn’t my favourite whisky of 2020; the end of this year is going to be spectacular!
Would I Drink It Again?
Absolutely - one of my regrets in life is that I only bought 2 bottles of this whisky!