Review : Wolfburn Aurora Single Malt Whisky

A distillery that shares its name with the local stream that sources their water; is also inspired from a mythical creature that is shrouded in ancient lores. A mystical sea wolf that lived on both sea and land, is considered to bring good fortune to those who could cast their eyes on it. The Wolfburn distillery was first built in 1821, at the outskirts of Thurso and remains to be the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland. Towards the mid to late 1800s, this distillery ceased production but was rebuilt again in 2012 by a group of private investors, beginning production the following year.

With the relatively recent production dates, it would only be natural that the distillery wouldn’t have spirits sufficiently aged to chuck out those beloved 10 and 12 YO expressions. Hence most expressions from the distillery are NAS expressions consisting of spirits aged for the minimum 3 years. The Aurora, was released in 2016, taken from Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights and consists of whiskies matured in a combination of casks, first fill bourbon casks and Olorroso casks, blended together without caramel colouring and chill filtration!!

ABV : 46%

Eyes: Pale Gold | Non Chill filtered, no caramel colouring

Nose: Cantaloupe with a drizzle of honey and malt; some burnt char, leather and wood. Sweetness from bits of raisins, dried fruits and pear with the zest of freshly cut ginger and white pepper.

Taste: Vanilla and honey, tropical notes emanating from melons and stone fruits with pleasantly sweet nuances gathered from its time in Sherry oak. Mildly dry on the palate with a dash of white pepper.

Finish : Light and short | Sweet vanilla infused with peppery notes.

Smooth, rounded and silky on the palate, this young gun is crisp and robust showing far more maturity for a rather young whisky. The Wolfburn is pleasantly sweet with a pinch of savoury, fondly enveloped in sherried notes. It is quite enjoyable as you chew through it, giving it that wee bit of time to unveil itself. However, it does lack depth in flavour, though provisioning some breadth with all those tropical nuances tied closely together.

For AUD $100 it is an expensive dram, but seems more forgiving if you can catch it at a discounted rate; I bagged it at $75 from Vintage Cellars, which again seems to lie on the upper end of the spectrum. At 46% it does have a stronger than usual nose but isn’t harsh on the palate, so much so that you can continue to sip this neat!

Slainte!

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