South Island Single Malt 21 Year

Single Malt — South Island, New Zealand

5.0 out of 5 stars
Note: this is for a 23 yr old French cask New Zealander whiskey, not the one labeled here...but I was anxious to leave a review, and they didn't have this particular one listed (they're extinct now anyway). This is from a 3cl sample (another one of the many that I had bought last year during a UK business trip.) I love trying samples from closed distilleries. There's one part emotion of knowing that these are truly limited and will probably never be made again (especially a New Zealand one, where all it's distilleries closed.). it's really a rarity. The only other closed distillery I ever tried were from two amazing legacies--a 30 yr old Brora and a 21 yr old Rosebank. This one doesn't match up to its extinct Scotish cousins, but it's up there. Nose is like an Irish whiskey. Fruity, like gauvas and passion fruit. Exotic tropical fruits. Taste carries through really smoothly without the oak influence for a 23 yr old. It's more tropical fruits. More mangoes and gauvas, lime and oranges as well. This is amazing. I feel like I'm having one of the best lowlanders. Finish Is of eucalyptus and honey. Now more of a Speysider. Half of it is definately the thought of having a piece of history. The other half is just plain good craftsmanship.
  • PBMichiganWolverine

    It's interesting how these distilleries became extinct. Back a few decades ago, blends were preferred over single malts. And those that were too small in production for blends simply couldn't survive. So, out of the Islays for example, Caol Ila, Lagavulin and Laphroaig were heavily used in blends. While Port Ellen had a smaller production just for single malts. The smaller single malt mothballed, while the others made it.