Review : Cam X Peated Malt Project

Every once in a while, you stumble across a unique style of whisky that completely blows you away, licking every last drop dripping down the tumbler. The surprise here is that this expression doesn’t come from a distillery but from the comforts of a purchased still, handmade and concocted under the watchful eyes of an enthusiast, one who surely knows his juice.

This friendly, fun loving bloke has been experimenting with spirits for over a decade, starting off with brewing beer initially and then progressing into a spectrum of spirits – vodka, gin, rum, brandy and whisky in humble quantities, sufficient for his own consumption. Much of the raw materials he sources are from his very own garden; while the delta is purchased from markets, groceries and shops.

Now, there isn’t a name attached to this expression, but for convenience sake, I shall call it the Cam X Peated Malt Project. The X is made from peated malted grains that have been fermented to between 12 and 15% ABV. The wort is distilled in a 25 litre pot still and matured in Oak barrels for about 6 months. Barrels used are sized at 5 and 12 litre with the larger whisky to wood ratio combined with the summer heat allows for deeper interaction between whisky and wood inducing darker, more natural shades and hopefully more intense flavours.

Now to get the right flavour profile, John mentioned the journey wasn’t all that easy. John (let’s call him that) mentioned it took him quite a while to perfect, disposing of those unfavourable heads and tails, keeping only the desirable fruity, aromatic hearts that have helped him translate to these “funky” flavours.

ABV : ~50%

Eye: Tawny

Nose: Syrupy brown sugar, cream and cashews, coated over slices of cantaloupe and dipped in dark rum. Richly sherried and equally savoury with leather, soy sauce and char, taper to bring out curry like spices and white pepper.

Taste: Licorice and caramel infused with cloves and butter, are greeted by a luscious mix of raisins, plums and black currant. Crushed almonds and roasted cashews are sprinkled over thinly sliced melons adding in the tropical nuance.

Finish : Warm and nutty, with tropical hints coupled with sherry and a mild char.

Oily and viscous, the expression holds on to the palate leaving a lovely, thick, sherried and savoury after taste. It isn’t too heavy but starts of light and then progresses to this bounty of flavours in both depth and breadth. The nose is charming and inviting, capturing the essence of american oak, giving out a mild yet distinct woody, caramel spice and the european oak with all that sherry goodness and nuttiness.

A lovely expression, I wish I could get bottled or at least more off (*shedding man tears*)… Ho hum!! A great outcome with a vivid, unorthodox array of flavours that will take a while to let go, especially coming from a bloke who has this genuine passion for what he does and does it by feel, touch and sight.

Slainte!