Alchemy is one of Science’s earliest precursors; it is the tool the ancients used in the search of the three most desirable treasures known to mankind: gold, eternal life, and infinite knowledge.
The early Arab chemists – more conjurers and cooks than scientists – were obsessed with Alchemy’s elusive rewards, but they remained unattainable. They did, however, make one great discovery: alcohol – without which there’d be no whisky!
Gordon Wright named his exceptional new line of independently bottled spirits in honour of the old tradition of Alchemy – and it’s an apt name too, because the art of great spirits is just as mystical. Gordon discovered the magic of single malt whisky during 15 years working for his family’s distillery, Springbank, and later at Bruichladdich, for which he traveled the world promoting its Alchemical wares!
The new Alchemist line includes Single Malts, Calvados, Armagnac and even Rhum Agricole.
They sent us down a little sample pack to be getting on with and here were our findings…
Macallan 14 Year Old 46% Alchemist
Nose: Honey and barley, then some barley, then a touch of honey, then some barley (you see where this is going…)
Palate: Initially quite sweet; a burst of honey, and then a whack of powerful, almost yeasty notes, like marmite! Then it becomes deeply fruity.
Finish: Very good length, with thick barley malt.
Highland Park 15 Year Old Calvados Finish 46% Alchemist
Nose: Rum! You’d be forgiven for thinking this was the product of molasses, and not of barley malt! It’s light and rum-like, with fruit and a dash of spice.
Palate: Sweet, on barley, vanilla, apricots and smoke.
Finish: Malty sweet with just a touch of smoke, a hint of iodine and though it’s not that long a hint of smokiness remains.
Overall: Very rum-like, wonderfully sweet. You may also be interested in the Highland Park 16 Year Old Calvados Finish
Nose: Potpourri, sandalwood, marzipan, the intense aromas of an apothecary! But most of all Floral Gums!
Palate: Floral Gums again, then molasses. Very perfumed, and slightly soapy.
Finish: Floral, tannic, then Cox’s Orange Pippin apples, clinging for some time.
Overall: Great stuff; puts us in the mood for a good Café-Calva!
Chateâu de Castex 14 Year Old Bas-Armagnac 42%
Nose: Brown sugar, prunes, apricots and spices. A classic Bas-Armagnac nose.
Palate: A mix of woody, herbal, thick, fruity and botanical notes, brown sugar, cardamom.
Finish: Good length, herbal, slightly tannic.
Overall: A classic Armagnac, really enjoyable. Also see the Chateâu de Castex 15 Year Old Armagnac
– The Chaps at Master of Malt –