South Island 21 Years Old Single Malt New Zealand Whisky (New Zealand Whisky Company)

40% ABV, £108.50 for 70cl

Score: 86/100

What they say:

Our flagship Single Malt Whisky marked the re-birth of Single Malt Whisky for our company. We’ve worked hard to create a true successor to the award winning Milford Single Malts bottled by our predecessors, and believe we have. The new, contemporary label, featuring a 3D like image effect of the ‘Water of Leith’ Distillery, is sure to catch your eye sitting among the standard fair of Scotch whisky labels. The South Island Single Malt is 21 year old, bottled at 40% abv. Aged for 21 years in American Oak, ex-bourbon barrels.

Mid gold, with copper lights. A mild and very mature nose – seems older than it’s age statement. The influence of the cask is apparent, but wholly beneficial: the nose is floral, rather, with light coconut and acidic tropical fruits.

Taste is sweet, freshly acidic, then farmyard- musty. Water raises straw and hay-loft dust.

What I say:

I have sampled this several times thanks to Erik (@thewhiskykiwi) and have a great respect for the New Zealand Whisky Company and their whiskies, finally I found the time and the dram to sit down and distil my thoughts about this their 21 year old Bourbon cask matured single malt whisky.

Colour:

Gold

Nose:

Floral violets, sweet oil-seed rape honey, and sweet coconut much like the scent of Broom flowers

Taste:

Oily and delicate, this has cereal malt barley, sweet sugar syrup and floral honey and nectar, finally coconut and vanilla flavours from the cask influence permeate

Finish:

Pure coconut cream, sweet and of medium-length, a little heart-warming and a hint of aged oak wood bitterness creeps in

Would I buy it:

Our overall opinion of this single malt is it is extremely smooth with a little hint of bitter in the finish, very drinkable and subtle but reasonably complex, definitely one to spend some time over. This rivals a lot of the Speyside whiskies in terms of flavour profile and comparatively is in the same price range of many Scotch malt 21 year olds, however this offers a little more of the exotic in both taste and origin – for those seeking something a little different this is a perfect example.