Overeem, Sherry Cask 46%
As I sit in my favourite armchair on a warm September evening, with John Coltrane providing a certain serenity to the room, I’m enticed by this deep amber nectar of the gods. Much like a Mahler symphony, I don’t know what to expect; utter beauty or simple confusion. I'm welcomed to the glass like a long lost friend, with the first sniff embracing my nostrils like a warm hug. At first, this beast from down under seems rather vibrant in the glass. However, it's deceptively smooth and rounded, with whiffs of fresh wood and sweet tropical fruits smothered in dark chocolate, reminiscent of old sweets my Nan would hide in her purse. A sudden rush of fruit; especially sticky cherries, banana and plums before the delicate spices start weaving their way through my nostrils, with cinnamon and orange zest clamouring to also get a nod. This is all followed by a wave of nostalgia - chocolate covered raisins that my dad would always have in his car. All the while, the light dusting of sweet sherry sneaks in round the back to drive this nose forward. With a dash of water, a sweet note of vanilla interplays with a gentle grassy-ness.
I find myself desperate to delve into the deep layers of flavour found in this beautiful liquid. An abundance of Sunday stewed fruit crumble with vanilla custard attacks my taste buds before a sudden onslaught of liquorice, raisins and cereal notes appear. A real sweetness you get from demerara sugar or fresh icing sugar on a warm sponge cake is present too. Robust woody spices continue to build with each sip, and frolic on the tongue with a particular dustiness leaving a slight chilli note. Chocolate covered raspberries this time, whilst the sherry now takes a leading role. My favourite note? The fizzy refreshers and slight hint of ash.
John Coltrane is playing his final number of his ‘Live in Paris’ album. His sweet melodies in “Impressions” leaves me feeling somewhat melancholic, whilst the whisky lingers leaving warm spices, orange infused chocolate, vanilla, and Werthers Originals (again from my Nans purse!) Somewhat nutty, with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg from the spice rack and a residual dryness also. There is no hiding it, there has been some quality interaction between wood and spirit here. This is not only strongly robust, but is a vibrant, exciting and alluring dram that glides round your mouth delightfully like velvet. I think it was Santana and Rob Thomas that once sung about this whisky: “Oh you’re so smooth…”
When I think about it, this wonderful whisky is much like Mahler's famous 5th symphony. It is utterly beautiful, starting with a tender movement which elegantly continues to build into a triumphant masterpiece. Complex and fulfilling. It is said that Mahler wrote it as a love song to his wife, with a poem attached: “How much I love you, I cannot tell you that with words. I can only lament to you my longing and love”. My sentiment exactly for this Tasmanian Devil.
19th September 2014
Devilishly good whisky from Van Diemen's land
As i poured this amber nectar into my glass this blood orange hued malt opened up immediately with sherry cask influence but this is a masterclass of elegance and balance with layer upon layer of complexity and flavour. I was transported back to licking the back of my moms wooden spoon when she used to make her Christmas cake (with extra sherry soaked fruit of course!)on the original wave of joy you get toasted vanilla, chocolate covered raisins, sugared almonds and old fashioned toffee or fudge. Then just when you think that is all this whisky has to give comes the second wave of joy, hints of brown bread ice cream, aromatic spices, iced custard danish pastries, lavender honey and polished oak.
Can the mouth feel match the nose? you bet your life it can, another exhibition of balance between fruit, oak and alcohol. My first thought is of fig jam on brown toast drizzled with dark Manuka honey with those roasted nuts you get everywhere at Christmas (that Christmas vibe again)then out comes the fruit: damson, black berries (especially black cherry)& dried dates.Add in some nuances of menthol and aromatic old tea chests and even a touch of french toast with added cinnamon and you have still a blockbuster of a finish awaiting you. Buttery toffee apple, mocha, more cherry and chocolate, nut brittle, bread & butter pudding made with dark blood orange marmalade to name but a few on this epic finish but as i only had a 3cl sample of this i am sure this sublime Tasmanian devil would have revealed more to me on further tasting? Truly who cares about age when you can have a whisky this complex and yet so elegant, balanced and with so much powerful nuances of flavour.
16th September 2014
Old Holbart, Overeem, Sherry Cask Matured
Colour - Hammered copper.
Nose - Dried fruits and glacé cherries. Caramelising apricots, almonds, some sweet candle wax and generally all things “pain aux raisins”. Fairly flawless, great intensity and nuts in the nose. Clean sherry with fresh fences, long grass, simnel cake and dried banana slices. With water, more custardy pastry and fresh lavender flowers - just a hint of acrylic and very feminine. Rather lovely but water takes the intensity down a little.
Body - Sweet spicy brown sugar, sponge fingers, baked apples, then icing sugar and fresh mint leaves on vanilla ice cream. With water, a touch of bitterness and unbalancing chilli comes through, and a little pepper. Going back to it neat, the chilli is definitely there but held back by the alcohol and the intensity of the sherry.
Finish - Medium, sweet, more vanilla ice cream and lingering oils on the tip of the tongue. Toffee pennies signal the end of this sip and lead you back for more glacé cherries.
A very pleasant dram, keep it neat.
13th September 2014
Overeem- Stick & Twist
There is a strange familiarity about this whisky, a nostalgia. Its deep amber recalls car journeys of childhood, in the backseat; peering through foggy windows at the warmth of the streetlamps, each one a reminder you were nearing your destination, with each one you were closer to family and friends.
That first sniff: nostalgia. The rustic herbs of a roast, fragrant, filling the house. That selfish anticipation that only great flavours, that you know you will taste soon, can bring. It grew then, it grows now, as you bury your nose in the glass. Then the sudden rush of spice and fruit; a pudding- the imperious scent of brandy - the friendly warmth of a kitchen. This whisky is already a full meal, and you've not even had a taste yet.
And then you taste, and the memories are renewed, more vivid. There are those herbs again, yet this time fresh from the garden, the smell clinging to your hands. There is maraschino cherry, at the peak of a vanilla sundae, and the same giddy indulgence you felt then. Blackberries from the bush, their purple blood oozing. The resinous wood of stately panelled rooms.
These are old flavours- the sort of flavours you occasionally see advertised in fading murals on old buildings "Buy Lyon's Tea". Yet there is a twist, there is a strangeness here, some innovative exotic freshness: the New World. A hint of bourbon takes you to the cornfields of America. Spice and cream takes you the chaihouses of India. Eucalyptus and honey takes you to the temperate rainforests of Tasmania. New flavours, new memories.
Overeem Sherry Cask comforts you with memory, before stretching you to match its ambition. This is a dram that doffs its hat to tradition, whilst turning to face a new world of whisky.
5th September 2014
Overeem, a whisky for a big stage
This is the Daniel Day Lewis of whisky. Capable of being many things and capable of making you totally enthralled by its performance. There is power in this whisky, but also beauty, fire, complexity, sweetness and excitement. Like a great film it is impossible to pick up all the subtlety of the story on one viewing. You understand the plot but miss the detail; different moods will allow you to see different expressions in the whisky. Above all it is something to share, that burst of apple-caramel, or lingering cinnamon finish can leave you glued to the glass like you would be to the screen. In reality, trying to write a tasting note to describe something like this is like trying to describe Lincoln as ‘a tall man with a big hat’; you’ve got an outline but the only way to really know is to try it for yourself. @BestyMike if you like the tasting note.
25th August 2014
I can't put it any better than stated above! I bought a bottle of this lovely liquid for Christmas Day. Typically I am a Speyside whiskey fan, but after trying this at a Christmas party whereOvereem was featured tasted something completely unique, I would definitely recommend this Aussie treat for ANY occasion!
28th December 2013
On the nose we have notes spiced apple pie, vanilla ice cream some perfumed notes and a slight vegetative note (boiled sweet potato.) Given time some sweet, plump raisins come to the fore, alongside a little dustiness and some cracked black pepper. Extremely rich and complex!
The palate: Wonderfully spicy and sweet, with star anise, clove and cinnamon dusted apples coating the palate, alongside some dried fruits (apricot and date), soft caramel and some vibrant blood orange notes.
The finish is very lengthy indeed giving lingering notes of dark chocolate, orange zest and toasted malt.