The Exceptional is a series of small batch Scotch whiskies created by Don Sutcliffe, Managing Director of Craft Distillers.
These are the drams that we had the pleasure of sampling during Wednesday nights Tweet Tasting (once again ably hosted by Steve from The Whisky Wire.)
The malts sampled were:-
- The Exceptional Grain
- The Exceptional Malt
- The Exceptional Blend
We strive for nuance and complexity. Alcohol as structure, not primary.
– Don Sutcliffe: Managing Director of Craft Distillers
If you want to catch up on what all the tasters had to say you can view the tweets by searching for the hash tag #TheExceptional on Twitter.
So, what did I think?
Here are my tasting notes … and the one which was my favourite on the night!
Tasting Notes – The Exceptional Grain (43%)
The Exceptional Grain is a blend comprising whiskies from North British, Loch Lomond, Strathclyde Cameronbridge & Carsebridge distilleries. Finished in first-fill sherry casks. It also includes 33YO Carsebtidge, 32YO Cameronbridge, 21YO Strathclyde and 12YO North British.
Priced at £82.58
Nose: Quite punchy! Sweet, vanilla and caramel. Getting a little hint of aniseed, mixed in with apples and Exceptionally sweet!
Palate: Smooth, icing sugaryness and tropical fruits with a fruity spicy cake mixture.
Finish: Quite fiery, fiesty pepper held in check by the creamy sweetness. Got a little bit of Port there at the end as well …
Overall: Exuding classiness with every drop, these are seriously quality-strewn drams!
Tasting Notes – The Exceptional Malt (43%)
The Exceptional Malt is a blend of malts from Glenfarclas, Ben Nevis, Balvenie, Kininvie, Glenfiddich, Alt-a’Bhainne, Auchroisk, Glenallachie, Westport, Speyside & Macallan.
It also includes: 22YO Auchroisk, 21YO Glenallachie, 14YO Westport, 13YO Speyside and 30YO Macallan. Finished in first-fill sherry casks.
Priced at £82.58
Nose: Caramel fudge with cream – very rich! Green apples, marzipan, buttery – not getting any spiciness at all.
Palate: Lovely, rich tropical sweetness with a punchy after spice.
Finish: Smooth, sweet finish with a slight dryness – no real spiciness to behold on the finish though.
Overall: this … is … a … nice … dram …
Tasting Notes – The Exceptional Blend (43%)
The Exceptional Blend is a blend of grain whiskies including a 33YO from Cameron Bridge and malts from Glenfarclas, Ben Nevis, Balvenie, Kininvie, Glenfiddich, Alt-a’Bhainne, Auchroisk, Glenallachie & Macallan.
The blend proportion is approx. 60% Grain / 40% Malt using the same Whiskies as in their other whiskies but in slightly different proportions.
The Exceptional Blend is then finished in first-fill sherry casks.
Priced at £82.58
Nose: Bit of a combo of the last two but even more intense: sweetness, vanilla, caramel and very fresh green apples. Aromas of sugared almonds. Getting the grain – as other Twitter peeps said – much more pronounced in this dram.
Palate: Rich, smooth, spicy sweetness.
Finish: Lovely, long, strong, sweet finish with a healthy, tongue tizzeling bit of spice to send it on it’s way!
Overall: They weren’t wrong when they named these gems …
My Favourite On The Night
My Favourite On The Night: The Malt, closely followed by The Blend – exceptionally good drams that make you appreciate having taste buds! The flavours in all three are rich and intense and really highlight the selection of classy mature malts that are used in the blending of these drams.
And of course, The Exceptional (@TEWhisky), for sending the samples and without whom!
My fellow Tweeters were:-
@TEWhisky @TheWhiskyWire @TweetTastings @TomsWhisky @Whi5kyGeek @jesslionsmane @DistilleryBikes @kizzsmyth @MaltMad @dvdbloke @SoundOfWhisky @dnisbet250 @WhiskyApocalyps @SanjieB @brawspirit @RealDramRob @godsofgoodison @WhiskyManc @bourgeoisbooze @allthingsbooze @ocdwhisky @whiskyfreak123 @rodbodtoo @Whiskyflasken @Girl_Whisky @LoveBowmore
The Exceptional is available to buy from these Whisky Merchants:-