The Great “Down Under” Tasting Tour – Part 2
Okay, here is the second post on our short series of whiskies from Down Under – Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Mike D. reviewed the first whisky in this series with his report on Tiger Snake Sour Mash whiskey. The remainder of the reviews ins this series all come from samples that Mike D. brought to the US on his last visit and which I shared with Sorin, Pete, Chris, Mark, Mark, and Mark…yes, I know, too many Marks! Anyway, Mike brought these six whiskies over from Australia, shown below, and we originally put them to the test back in January, but as I have residual samples, I will re-taste them to see how, or if, there has been any change over time.
For simplicity’s sake,this second review in the series is a review of Limeburners Single Malt whisky which is also produced by the Great Southern Distilling Co. who makes the Tiger Snake Sour Mash whiskey that Mike D. just reviewed. In the post about Tiger Snake, Mike also wrote up a short summary and included photos from his tour of the Great Southern distillery so I won’t go into much detail about it here. Instead, we will get right to the whisky itself!
Review: Limeburners Single Malt Whisky, Australia
Great Southern Distilling Co. produces a series of different releases under the Limeburners label, the “Standard” single malt, bottled at 43% abv and which is the subject of today’s review, a “Barrel Strength” release that is bottled straight from the cask at 61% abv, a “Peated” Single Malt, along with a “Whisky Liqueur” that is a blending of Limeburners Single Malt Whisky “married with local karri honey (unique to Western Australia) and infused with exotic spices.” All of the Limeburners whiskies are produced without the addition of e150a coloring or any cold filtering.
The sample that Mike brought is a “standard” bottling, at 43% abv, and comes from Cask M99, bottle 229 of 305. From the information I could find, their single malt whiskies are matured in American oak ex-bourbon and frequently finished in a variety of secondary casks, including Sherry, Port, and Tokaji (a Hungarian wine). Unfortunately, I could not find anything specific about this particular release. I sent the distillery an email asking about this cask and will update the post if I get a response.*
*Note: 6/23, I received a very quick response from the distillery – thank you to Asit Ghandi – who informed me that barrel M99 was an American oak ex-bourbon cask that had been used previously to mature Australian sherry.
Nose: The initial nose on this one is full of ripe berries, red apples, raisins, and herbal spices. (I honestly put a comment in my original notes asking if this was matured in a wine-barrel and, as I know now, it quite likely did have at least some wine cask exposure.) I get vanilla buttercream, clove and quite a bit of fresh oak notes with some touches of pepper, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.
Taste: The arrival is very vanilla-forward, quite creamy-sweet. The fresh, ripe berries show up mid-palate, a softly citric touch of lime juice, cloves, hints of milk chocolate and cocoa powder, cinnamon, and more red berries. A good body that remains fairly dense and creamy.
Finish: The finish is sweet and fruity, vanilla and berries, cloves, cinnamon, with a slight oaky tannic bitterness at the end. Moderate length.
Overall: In re-tasting this one, at first it seemed “younger” than I recalled because of a rather pronounced hint of new make sharpness, but that quickly fades and the vanilla sweetness starts to assert itself. From there it remains very much as I experienced the first time. Sweet, with a rising fruitiness, soft oak spices – the ginger, cloves and cinnamon, some chocolate, and fresh oak, all with the central berry and apple fruits persisting throughout. The palate stills shows the vanilla and fruit core, hints of pepper and that very nice lime juice “citric bite” complementing the vanilla sweetness. The finish is also the same, ending with that slightly bitter, oaky tannic note.
I have to say that this is quite a nice whisky and comparable to the Balvenie 12 yo DoubleWood or the Tomatin 12 yo. This release of Limeburners Single Malt is a very well-made, enjoyable, quality whisky.
Distillery: Great Southern Distilling Company, Albany, W.A.
Type: Single Malt
Age: NAS (minimum 3 years)
Maturation: Likely American oak ex-bourbon with a secondary or finishing period.
Availability: Sold Out
Sample Source: Mike D.
Malt Whisky Yearbook 2014, Ingvar Ronde, MagDig Media, Ltd.