Thursday, 21 June 2007

First Cask: A new brand?

Until one week ago, I never had heard about "First Cask". Perchance, I could get two samples of this brand, and I was immediately convinced.
So, here are the results of my investigations about this new series.
The brand seems to belong to a Dutch importer, called Whisky Import Nederland . The founders of this company are above all whisky lovers. Both of them (Jan Kok and Marcel Bol) are Keepers of the Quaich. The origin of their business comes from a request by Charles Mac Lean (famous whisky writer, Malt Maniac and in charge of the selection of the casks at Adelphi) to import Adelphi bottles in Holland. They accepted the deal.
Besides Adelphi, they also represent Berry Bros & Rudd and James Mac Arthur amongst others.
And they decided to market some whisky directly selected by themselves. So the collection "First Cask" was born...
Long life to First Cask! The two first bottles in the range are really amazing. Here are my first comments about them:

Caperdonich 26 yo 1980-2007, Cask 741, 56.8%
  • A very nice clear nose, with very nice malty notes merged with all the freshness of mint and cut grass. A touch of yeast behind the spring fragrances. At first nosing, this whisky seems to have a very strong character.
  • In the palate an amazing mix of sweetness and bitterness. A real firework of tastes. Papilla's have a great job... Somewhere between walnut and wood on the one hand and between malt and aromatic herbs on the other hand> Very complex, very wide taste palette. Really excellent.
  • The finish is very pleasant as well. A woody domination well tempered by malty notes. This finish is specially lingering. Really a very good bottle.

It deserves a 19/20... I'd say even a bit more !
Caol Ila 25 yo 1982-2007, Cask 741 60.8%

  • The nose is very clear and direct. Peat and smoke. A nice kind of oily peat which does not really filter out the nice fruity smells champing at the bit behind an impressive veil of smoke. Even a kind of freshness is guessed even if it is rather difficult to qualify behind all this peat smoke.
  • The palate is really creamy, with no hinder at all from the high percentage of alcohol. A trip between peat and smoke through nice fruity, and others close to chocolate notes. Discrete citrus fruit hints are detected too.
  • The finish is lingering and warm. Peat is still dominating, merged with a nice smoke and some hints of too ripe fruits. Wonderful finish, just lingering and full of nuances.
This bottle deserves probably more than the 18 points I grant to it.

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