Explosive As It Is Extraordinary!
And There’s Two Versions…
When this dram came across my desk late last year, I really thought that Mr Tim was out of his mind.
“How much alcohol did you say? Are you completely mad?”
And then I cracked the sample
Oh My Giddy Heart.
** Big Bang No 1
Heartwood Convict Unchained 500ml 71.9%
This is Australia’s Most Extraordinary & Explosive Single Malt!!
So be warned.
This man, Tim Duckett, seems to have got it oh so right! His Heartwood range to date has been exciting as it they been thrilling as they have been certainly challenging. All of his whiskies so far, have been at cask strength and with the latest offering, at extreme cask strength. But the inherent sweetness of oak and malt he gets from his whiskies really do require and deserve a higher strength alcohols.
While Tim has had a big hand in the distilling process, it’s in abilities in handling of oak where his undoubted skill lay. As the key factor in all this, is that just knows how to use oak along with time to get the best out of his spirits. And importantly, he’s not afraid to re-rack and play around with a wide variety of oak and barrel size with his spirit in order to meet his exacting standards.
And the biggest surprise of all? All of his whiskies are Tasmanian! So to his latest offering, The Convict Unchained. This brute comes in at a massive 71.9% abv that’s bigger than the very visceral George T Stagg. Sweetly fruited and dare I say a subtly complex nose, hints of wood varnish, crisp malt, barley sugar, honey and slightly resinous oak but clean as a whistle. And of course alcohol, it’s there, it’s intensive and yep, it works.
And then you taste it – Oh My God – a very sweet and viscous entry, soft pulpy malted barley and very creamy oak with a big dash of sherried dried fruit flavours and then the clean, intensive spirit let’s rip and it just drives these flavours and enormous texture down the palate. At the end, it finishes, clean, crisp with a subtle dried fruit and oak finish. This whisky just has monstrous length and enormous flavour. And it is so bloody well balanced!
So it works. That’s the killer for me.
The Convict Unchained is extremely limited.
From Graham Wright
(The Odd Whisky Coy)