Stocked up with a few samples from my visit to the Great Southern Distilling company, the New Year brought the opportunity to revisit and possibly sample some of them. Part of the Limeburner’s core range is the Port Cask, an expression from the Albany based Western Australian distillery. The expression is aged in a combination of casks, first in ex-bourbon american oak and then further in port casks, lending it the name.
The spirit once matured isn’t directly bottled but the batch is rather poured into a solera tank, infusing them with much older spirits that have been matured in a similar fashion but for a longer period of time. As the spirits continue to blend, half of the tun is emptied and bottled at 43% while the other half is left for the next batch to be poured in. This gives the spirit an age averaging 5 to 8 years, while also balancing out some of the stronger, harsher flavours that are typical in younger spirits.
Eye : Chestnutoloroso Sherry | Non Chill Filtered, Natural Colour
ABV : 43%
Nose : Fresh wood with hints of vanilla and sultanas; red cherries, bits of strawberries infused with char and pine.
Taste : Vanilla, honey and the sweetness of raisins and strawberry jam; some richness from the port wine are coupled with wood, green pepper and some savory notes.
Finish : Medium | Brown sugar, dried fruits and white pepper
The Port Cask is smooth and youthful; an acquired taste perhaps sharing a similar woody influence like the American Oak without the cantaloupe. The effects of the port cask have rubbed itself onto the spirit with the rich sweetness percolating through along with a pinch of spice – though not as pronounced as I would have imagined. Overly woody and quite amatuerish, the expression lacks complexity both in terms of scale and depth and isn’t as robust for a whisky this aged.
At around AUD $85 for a 350 ml bottle, this one doesn’t come cheap and is one I would give a miss. It’s possibly the strong woody essence and the overall lack of charm that puts me off, especially knowing the expression should have been more flavour laiden due to the solera maturation leveraged at the distillery for this expression.