Nose: Straight off the bat you get slammed with a big punch of campfire smoke and dessert spices. Once that settles, it’s like a Christmas cake doused in vanilla custard – lots of dark fruits including plenty of raisins, a hint of candied citrus, and a serving of sweet vanilla.
Palate: If ever there was a whisky that tasted exactly how it nosed, this is it – just throw in some red berries, and maybe a slivered almond or two, and the palate is the nose.
Mouthfeel: Thick, oily, and not a hint of alcohol despite it’s ABV. Like liquid velvet on the tongue.
Finish: The finish lasts an eternity, and continues on with the notes from the palate – the vanilla waning, the smoke disappearing altogether; replaced by a dusty cocoa covering the raisins and berries, and bringing in some plums that you couldn’t wait to ripen fully.
Country to Coast is an Australian blended malt that has been bottled with no colouring or chill-filtration at 48% ABV. There were 300 bottles released.
This whisky is a collaboration of 2 whisky distilleries; Black Gate from Mendooran in NSW Central West, and the Fleurieu Distillery from Goolwa in the Fleurieu peninsular in South Australia. Each distillery produced a single cask that was aged at the respective distillery before being married, rested, and bottled at the Fleurieu distillery.
This is an unusual blend – there’s not a lot of blended whisky from Australia – and even more unusual being a blend of two single casks of malt whisky that were then married together not by a third party, but by the two distilleries that distilled the spirits originally. If this is the result of such a collaboration, I’d love to see more!
The cask from Black Gate was an apera (Australian version of Sherry) cask filled with heavily peated spirit. The second cask, from Fleurieu, was a tawny (Australian version of Port) cask that was also filled with peated spirit.
This is an amazing whisky – so full of character, yet so drinkable. Thick and dark, yet lively. A sweet whisky, but not over the top – just as comfortable for an afternoon on the balcony as it is as an after dinner sipper by the fire. Quite the bottle of contradictions.
I’d definitely recommend getting a bottle of this – after first trying it, I grabbed another myself.
If it wasn’t for Black Gate’s BG072 Cask Strength, this would definitely be in the running for my Aussie whisky of the year! Pipped at the post by its own half-sibling!