Nose: It’s quite sweet on the nose – almost jelly lolly sweet. Quite a decent dose of moss and eucalyptus notes as well. The nose reminds me of opening a bag of fruit gummy bears down by the lake after a BBQ as a kid.
Mouthfeel: It’s a bit of an interesting mouthfeel on this – its a medium-weight whisky, nowhere near as thick and meaty as say a Bruichladdich, but it feels like it’s got a solid strength behind it. It may only be a mid-weight, but it is viscerally there, and doesn’t dissipate no matter how long you swirl it around your mouth.
Palate: Citrus and stewed apples with a hint of eucalyptus, and a touch of fresh vanilla pods. There’s a slight appearance from some oak spices, along with a heavy hand of medicinal peat as it heads to the back of the tongue.
Finish: The wood and the peat come through in great abundance on the finish. There’s still a trace of the vanilla and eucalyptus notes – definitely more the former than the latter. The peat has been waiting until now to really come through in force, but is still nicely balanced.
This is the 4th batch of Riverbourne’s Supremacy label – the only peated release in their core range. Batch 4 is a marriage of casks 25, 26, 27, and 28; and has been bottled at a strength of 47.8% with no added colouring, and no chill-filtration.
This whisky takes you on quite a journey; starting with the sweet and funky nose, to the fruity, funky, wooded, and peaty flavour of the palate, through to the long peaty finish – and despite the three quite disparate profiles that this whisky shows us, it never feels unbalanced, and never feels that it was trying to be something other than its natural self.
I have mentioned eucalyptus notes, and a funkiness, several times in my tasting notes; which may sound off-putting, and in many whiskies either of these two descriptions would indeed be so – but this whisky has pulled both notes off in amazing style. This whisky is not like any peated Scotch you will ever try, and never tries to be. It is however definitely worth trying.
Martin Pye, the owner, distiller, brewer, blender, bottler, and general dog’s body – along with his wife Eileen, is creating very spirit-driven whiskies from their property at Jingera, near Captain’s Flat, in the NSW Southern Tablelands south-east of Canberra – at the cradle of the Molonglo River.
I might sound like a commercial for bottled water, but it is the fresh natural water from this beautiful river at its very start, that I believe helps give Riverbourne such a clean crisp spirit – and it is this clean crisp spirit that allows Martin to create the style of whisky he is after. And with this release of Supremacy he has nailed it.