NAS, 60% ABV, American Oak, Victoria, Australia
I recently exchanged a number of emails with the friendly and helpful people at Dram Fine Whiskies in Melbourne Australia. A week or so later I was genuinely excited when a small box arrived from them with a few samples of some great Australian single malts that I hadn’t tried – this Bakery Hill was one of them.
Bakery Hill distillery started in 1999 in Victoria, Australia. Fast forward 14 or 15 years and they now produce six or seven different single malt whiskies, along with a Vodka and a Gin.
Did you know…
Bakery Hill originally tested out their peated malt whisky using imported malt from the UK, before switching to Australian peated malt in 2005.
Big sweet alcohol spirit nose. You know it’s cask strength, but it’s still somehow soft and a bit mild. I get hints of malty cereal notes and really soft peat in the background.
Add a few drops of water and the nose really opens up with some light creamy vanilla notes, sweet oak and light peat smoke. Much better!
A big smack in the mouth of oily, viscous spicy sweetness. Really light fruit notes – almost a bit sour – hints of smoke, spice and oak.
Some water brings out a nice creamy sweetness and highlights those fruit notes a bit more. It also allows the peat to show through, bringing with it a somewhat drying nutty oaky-ness.
Wave after wave of warmth (really though, that’s kind of what you expect for a 60% ABV heavy weight) The warmth gives way to some earthy drying peat notes.
Water tames the finish, only ever so slightly though. Warming spice, earthy peat and a slight dark cocoa/oak bitterness right at the back.
When I saw the words ‘peated malt’ I was expecting something a lot more in your face, but this was somewhat delicate, especially as far as the peat is concerned.
I could be wrong, but I’m guessing this batch is post 2005 (when they started using Australian peat). It seems to have a drying earthiness to it, similar to a Speyside peated whisky, like a peated BenRiach. It’s quite different to the Isaly peat we’re most familiar with.
Some people like their cask strength whiskies neat (and some cask strengths actually taste better neat), but I think this one really benefits from a few drops of water – that’s when it really opened up for me. I suspect this is fairly young, but it’s got some great flavour going on, so I would love to see something older from Bakery Hill in the future!
A big thanks to Shaun from Dram Fine Whiskies in Melbourne for the sample.