Whisky Review: Wolfburn Aurora

Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Wolfburn Distillery

Bottling: Aurora Brewing

ABV: 46%

Cost: £48.08 from Master of Malt

wolfburn-aurora-retouched

What they say:

Signature Range: Aurora

MELLOW AND GOLDEN
This beautiful sherried whisky is made from spirit laid down in a combination of American oak  and Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. Benefitting from long fermentation and slow, gentle distillation, the spirit is laid down on site in our purpose-built warehouses. At the end of the maturation process the casks are brought together to create an exceptionally smooth and perfectly balanced dram.

SMOOTH AND WARMING
“On the nose you’ll sense sherry sweetness accompanied by dried fruits and malt. On the palate there’s a warmth imparted from the sherry, augmented by autumn fruits and nutty flavours, with a hint of spice in the background – wonderfully smooth and mellow.” – Shane Fraser

AURORA BOREALIS
Tumultuous streams of glory gushed,
Ten thousand thousand rainbows rushed
And revelled through the boundless sky,
In jousting, flashing radiancy.
– David Vedder, The Aurora Borealis [Northern Lights], 1828

What I say:

Dramvent Calender Day 1

This December I am attempting to sample and review a whisky everyday for the 24 days of Advent in the run up to Christmas. My very basic criteria as I sorted through my masses of whisky and samples were these:

  1. Single malt scotch only and should be (or have been) generally/easily available
  2. Each day must be from a different distillery
  3. Each day must be equivalent in age or older than the previous

To make things easy lets start with Wolfburn, distilling returned to the Wolfburn site in 2013 and so their whisky has just come of age in 2016. This is the 2nd Wolfburn sample we have tried and is guaranteed to be 3 years old, having been distilled in 2013, bottled 2016 and officially declared as single malt scotch whisky (requiring a minimum of 3 years maturation in oak casks).

Colour:

Soave white wine, refractive gold (4/20), oily & slow medium-sized tears leave fine legs

Nose:

Fresh & sweet, with cereal barley and drying linen/washing aromas, a fresh citrus lemon builds starting as lemon puff biscuits and peaking at fizzy lemon sherbet, some nutty notes follow with almond and hazelnut, everything is very light to this point before the dried fruit presence from the sherry casks arise with currants, sultanas and a little cherry blossom still all light and delicate

Taste:

A honey sweetness combines with a zesty lime and grapefruit citrus rind and pith, cherry drop sweeties, dried fruits such as raisin & currant give way to baked almond croissants and Bakewell Tart mini-pastries, cereal grain and malted barley mixes with a little raspberry or cherry jam fruit and some astringent new oak wood, powdered cinnamon spice follows as a heavy dusting before a wave of vanilla custard.

Finish:

Medium-long, oak wood adds a bitterness that is slightly palate cleansing assisted by a dash of lime juice and more powdered cinnamon

Overall:

I was surprised at first as the previous Wolfburn whisky we sampled was matured in ex-Islay casks imparting reasonable peat influence, whilst the Aurora had no element of peat discernible at all. This light and delicate dram was a little lip-tingling and teeth cleaning attest to the youthfulness of this spirit, whose vigour is tempered by some complex maturation and marrying on the palate. The nose is a little underwhelming and the finish a little over-spiced but don’t let this detract from the serious quality in this whisky which at only 3 years old is a great wee drinker and perfect starter dram.

Score: 82/100

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