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Newsletters may be annoying and clog the inbox, but not all of them are spammy. Some week ago, I received a nice newsletter from the people at Gortinore distillers, that a new Natterjack whiskey was now for sale – the Natterjack cask strength.

I enjoyed the first Natterjack, and was very excited about the idea of one at cask strength. Obviously it wouldn’t be the same batch, but it sounded very intriguing so I ordered one straight away.

The future distillery

In recent days we’ve heard the good news that Gortinore finally have been granted planning approval for their new distillery in Kilmacthomas, county Waterford. The building has been an old woolen mill and later a storage house for Flavahan’s porridge oats. Now, there are big plans for a distillery with a visitor centre, and I wish Aidan, Lisa and everyone else involved the best of luck with everything that lies ahead!

The first Natterjack whiskey was released last year – then a more subtle blend. I wrote a post about it in September 2019, that you can read here.

The cask strength whiskey

While the first Natterjack was what I’d call an entry level whiskey, this new release in my opinion is in a totally different league, with a lot more to offer in terms of flavour and complexity.
The Natterjack cask strength is also a blend of grain and malt whiskey, matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished for at least six months in extra charred virgin oak. This cask has been charred to level 4 which brings out some extra flavour goodness from the wood.

It is bottled at 63%, in 50 cl bottles. I personally really like the idea of smaller sized bottles for this kind of limited release because it means that more people can get access to it. And it looks like there are still bottles available at Celtic whiskey shop. People, go there and buy one right now!

The whiskey comes with this nice linen bag, made by Irish company Enrich and Endure.

Nose

My first nosing of this was an explosion of pronounced aromas of toffee/caramel, like when you open a bag of caramel filled chocolates. There’s mixed dark/lighter chocolate, orange peel, cinnamon, a hint of cloves and nutmeg, and wood. There are also some darker fruit notes.

Palate

Nice creamy mouthfeel, with much of the same characters as were on the nose. Intense warm spice, creamy toffee, orange, Riesen chocolates, and oak. The high ABV makes it quite stingy, but a drop of water cuts the alcohol sting nicely to open up the flavours. With more water, the citrus flavours come forward a bit more.

Long pleasant finish with spice, toffee and dark chocolate.

To me this is a gorgeous whiskey. Dense dark flavours mixed with lighter fruit and a touch of spice.
I have a weakness for the toffee/chocolate heavy flavour profile, and with the orange and spice mixed in, it takes me back to the Christmases of my youth.
I’m surprised that this whiskey isn’t sold out yet. There is a high demand for cask strength whiskeys in Ireland and this is a truly lovely dram. Natterjack isn’t among the more talked about brands though, and this is probably the reason.
I want to applaud Gortinore for this expression, and will happily sip it now and then. I have a feeling it won’t last too long though – lucky me that I decided to buy a second bottle!

2 Comments

  • Esther Adolfsson
    22nd November 2020 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you for this great article ! Do you think we are able to order this Whiskey to Sweden and/or order it through our systembolaget? I really would like to buy and try this Whiskey!

    Reply
    • Susanne
      22nd November 2020 at 8:49 pm

      I think you can forget Systembolaget because it takes a long time for them to get new whiskeys, and I don’t think they would have interest in such a new brand (yet). But if you try the link to Celtic whiskey shop, and there are bottles left, they normally ship all over the EU, I remember I bought something from them when we lived in Sweden. Sadly the shipping from Ireland is very pricy, could have been €20-30 per bottle? Check it out!
      Just a warning.. I know that at least in Norway they turn away deliveries of alcohol above a certain %. A friend of mine ordered a Highland Park to a friend in Scotland because of this. I can ask her the exact reason to get a hint whether it’s the same in Sweden.

      Reply

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