South Island 21yo (40%, The New Zealand Whisky Company)

And here is already the third review of a Whisky released by Mr. Ramsay’s New Zealand Whisky Company. After the Dunedin Doublewood and the South Island 18yo, both very good Whiskies. Time to step up the stakes with this even older 21yo. Let’s see if it is also a step up in quality and taste.

South Island 21yo (40%, The New Zealand Whisky Company)Color: Light gold.

Nose: Fresh, citrus fruits, waxy and herbal. Quite complex and instantly likeable. Tarry toasted wood in the distance. Toffee and cookie dough that is also present in the 18yo. I really like the unusual grassy toffee this has. The fruits shift from the initial citrussy freshness toward more sweet an cloying yellow fruits like (dried) apricots. After some breathing there seems to be a hint of smoke and a floral note as well. Well how is this for complexity! Given time, the nose keeps developing, it gets better and better. (Even later again: grassy bonfire and pencil shavings)…

Taste: Wood and cardboard upfront (huh?), but that is quickly surpassed, yet again, with yellow fruits, but not as citrussy as the nose suggested. Small hint of bitterness from the wood to give the fruitiness more character, as does the little bit of sweetness this has. Just one sip and the Whisky already shows great balance. It all fits nicely together. As with the 18yo, this could benefit from a little bit more alcohol. Nice waxiness again.

What a wonderful nose, you kan sit comfortably somewhere and keep smelling this over and over. At 21 years of age this has remarkably little wood, and the wood that’s there makes for great balance. Lovely stuff and a good step up from the 18yo.

Points: 86

Thanks Mr. C!


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