Nose: Christmas Cake. In. A. Bottle.
Fortified wine. Sultanas. Glazed oranges. Caramelised sugar. Rich moist cake.
Palate: Still a touch green – with notes of white wine up front. After that though, there’s sultanas, icing sugar, and glazed oranges. Hints of chocolate oranges as well. Almost a slight rum profile as it heads to the back of the tongue. A little bit pepper – but just a touch.
Mouthfeel: Thick and oily. With just the slightest tingle.
Finish: Warming. Raisins, marmalade, and burnt sugar. A little bit of oak spice, but still quite sweet. Really long. The raisins and marmalade notes just keep hanging around for an eternity.
In the spirit of complete transparency – although I have bought, and loved, whisky from Craft Works in the past; this whisky was provided as a sample by Craft Works.
This whisky is an Australian single cask, single malt, independent bottling of an un-named (at the distiller’s request) southern NSW distillery. Non-chill filtered, and bottled with no added colouring at a thumping 54% after being matured in a heavily charred 100L ex-Tokay French oak cask for 2 years an 11 months (2 years is the minimum required in Australia).
Only 230 bottles of this single cask whisky were released in April 2020 – just as Australia headed into lockdown thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, and only a few months after the Lithgow region – where the Craft Works distillery is located – and a significant part of the country were engulfed in the worst bushfires in Australia’s history.
Craft Works is a one-and-a-half man band distillery that is located behind the Royal Hotel in Capertee in New South Wales (Australia) – with Craig “Crafty” Fields being the owner, distiller, brewer, blender, and everything-else operator, along with his apprentice and side-kick; Todd.
Crafty, and his well-worn French cap, have been a massive presence throughout Sydney’s whisky scene for a number of years now – and if you’ve attended more than a handful of whisky tastings and events in Sydney over the years, you’ve probably met the man. Several years ago, Crafty started buying whole casks of whisky from a variety of Australian whisky producers, with an eye on becoming an independent bottler; of which this whisky is a result. Eventually he took the plunge and established his own distillery as well – the results of which we will have the pleasure of sampling in a couple of years.
This is one solid whisky. So rich, with such an amazing depth of flavour for such a young whisky. And the finish just keeps going – I still find myself sitting here licking my lips more than half an hour after I finished drinking a dram of this amazing whisky.
If you don’t have a bottle, I highly recommend you get one.