Single Cask Nation Stones of Stennes 13yo (57.4%): Today I am tasting a member exclusive bottle from Single Cask Nation released in collaboration with the hugely popular podcast Hello from the Magic Tavern. The whisky in the bottle comes from an undisclosed distillery situated on Orkney Islands which doesn't start with the letter "S". It is distilled in December 2004, aged in a 2nd fill PX sherry hogshead (#76) and bottled in January 2018 at cask strength yielding 294 bottles.
Color: Honey, medium amber with thin but very slow legs.
Nose: Cranberry juice, dried sour cherries and boiled eggs. I definitely can nose sulphur but not at an alarming level. Zante currants and cooked prunes, lemon juice and salt. Letting it air helps a little. Less sulphury more earthy aromas now... Newly watered black gardening soil and forest mushrooms. Adding water strangely didn't change a lot... Everything above but a little dialed down.
Palate: The texture is sublime... It is thick and oily. You feel like you can bite into it. Beef stew, cooked mushrooms and golden raisins. Black currants, dried cranberries and brown sugar. Red pepper flakes, wet cigar butt and unstruck matches. Sulphur is more dominant on the palate but still under control. A few drops of water thins out the texture but in this case it is not necessarily a bad thing... It actually helps with sulphur and add the sherry sweetness. More brown sugar and honey syrup. Yeah, maybe a little too sweet for my palate now... Next time I'll be more careful with the amount of water I am adding.
Finish: Long with red pepper, sour worms and prunes. Old leather and chewing tobacco.
Overall: If you ever tasted one of the Highland Park Single Cask Series it is almost unmistakable that the whisky in the bottle is a Highland Park. It is thick, chewy, sweet and sour but also unfortunately sulphury. I had a couple before which were undrinkable because of sulphur but this cask is not even near to that level... Strangely hard to detect any peat in, smoke comes mostly as dark soil and cooked vegetal notes. For what it is worth I am a big ex-bourbon cask fan and therefore sometimes very heavily sherried whiskies are hard to enjoy for me. Judge my score accordingly... It is a sherry-bomb for sure and if you are fan of this style of whisky you will enjoy this beast much more than I did. Thanks again to J&J from the Single Cask Nation fame walking the off the beaten track and offering us the members of the Nation always unique casks.