Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

The Hearach batch 10 – muscled newcomer!

It must be an universal truth that whisky drinkers speak better Gaelic than most of the population in Scotland and other regions where the language is still alive. While looking into the (to me quite unknown) operation of the Isle of Harris Distillery, I stumbled upon this charming little video. I will leave you with that, and then move on to tasting the stuff.

The Hearach 2024 release, batch 10, bottled at 46 % abv by Isle of Harris Distillers

Makeup: Exactly 12058 bottles of The Hearach were released. Apparently this is batch 10, and I managed to miss 9 previous batches before ever tasting my first whisky from the Isle of Harris Distillery. The batch is a potpourri of casks used, namely from Heaven Hill, Buffalo Trace, Oloroso & Fino.

General impressions: From the Outer Hebrides, that sentence alone is enough to make the heart beat faster, isn't it? There we go, my first ever whisky from the Isle of Harris Distillery. Starts out rather austere, with a very centred smell that does not really lean towards anything. Certainly maritime notes, mostly pushed forward by vanilla tones. There is also a subdued hint of coconut. It does feel like we are on an island, with lots of sandy beaches.

It's time for my first ever sip then. Exciting! Oof, and it is good stuff too. The mouthfeel is really silky, maybe because of the water source? For so many different casks used, I am happy to notice that they were all complimentary to the whisky, not overpowering it. So, there is lots of barley, dark bread and a decently complex bitterness. Quite heavy, even diluted to 46 %. Impressive, I must say. I appreciate a young producer allowing the whisky to embrace its youth. There is a slight sweetness on the finish that I attribute to the sherry casks. Any peaty element is carefully woven into the fabric of this expression. Gets sweeter with time in the glass, lots of barley sugar.

Conclusion: Young malt whisky for sure, but wearing that fact with pride. I am reminded of a Talisker "distillery only" I picked up way back in 2007. A happy memory, and a compliment for the newcomer.

Score: 84 points
Disclaimer: taken from a sample acquired from Whiskysite.nl. Images kindly provided by Bresser & Timmer

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