Ben Ellefsen is back to talk you through the delights of Intensity 10 Year Old. It looks as good as it tastes.

I’ve been racking my brain for weeks as to what this release reminds me of (beyond the obvious design-cues) and it hit me just this morning:

In addition to being a prime case of life imitating art imitating life, this latest release is very much worthy of your attention for more than just the fact that it looks absolutely epic sitting in a collection of other more, shall we say ‘traditional’ Scotch whiskies.

A ten-year-old single malt from a secret Speyside distillery, given a lengthy finish in extremely good-quality oloroso sherry hogsheads and presented at a healthy 50% ABV, with no chill-filtration and (amazingly) at natural colour.

Intensity 10 Year Old

Speyside single malt and sherry cask maturation: a winning combo

Form AND function

It’s worth taking a second look at that last point, as the product image doesn’t really do the liquid justice, the bottle measures 5cm deep, as opposed to something like Kilchoman (just as an example, it was next to mine on the shelf) which measures 10cm. No prizes for the maths leading on from this observation.

The depth of flavour imparted by these fresh, highly active casks is superb. Layers and layers of rich dried fruit, cinnamon, clove, leather, cigars, and sandalwood. For me (at least) the ABV is perfect for drinking neat, not too aggressive but enough to provide the correct level of, well, intensity.

Form is nice, function is essential, and when both align, the result is really quite something.

Intensity 10 Year Old tasting note:

Nose: Thick caramel, rooibos tea, sticky ginger cake with dates, and a touch of treacle. Furniture polish and leatherbound books nestle in the depths.

Palate: Golden sultanas drizzled with honey, toffee pennies, vanilla fudge in the depths, and subtle roasted nuts – almonds and Brazils.

Finish: Well-developed notes of drying oak arrive for the finish, alongside perfumed notes of cedar and more of that rooibos from the nose.