No matter how versed you think you might be in the world of whiskey, there will always be something new, something unheard of, something unique that you haven’t tried. Recently, I had just that experience.
Now, let me first say that I don’t profess to be the most knowledgeable or experienced whiskey drinker. Far from it (despite our tongue-in-cheek approach to Flight Club). But I can say without doubt that even if my experiences were much greater, I would probably not have come by this particular bottle. And that would have been unfortunate.
A few weeks ago, my brother-in-law returned from a business trip in Sweden. There, he has gotten to know the proprietor of a local whisky shop, nestled in the Hotel Skansen. The proprietor is Fredrik Norén. The bar is known as The Whisky Dram Shop and offers more than 1,200 whiskies from around the world. They purport to having been named one of the “Great Whisky Bars of the World.” Take a look at their Instagram hastag and you won’t find reason to disagree.
The Long Island Whisky is the independent bottler trademark for Skansen’s whisky. This particular whisky was a sourced product from Tullibardine, a Highland Scotch distillery. It appears that at least some of the maturation occurs on site at the Hotel Skansen. This is a single cask bottling at cask strength, using fresh bourbon barrels. No color was added and it is bottled without chill filtration.
The Long Island Whisky – Old Ferrytown Whiskey No. 4 – Single Malt/Single Cask (59.3%/118.6 proof) (Approximately 8 year)
Nose: Initial waives of grain and granola, along with honey, citrus (lemon/orange), apple, tropical fruit (pineapple and melon), toffee and chocolate. Behind those notes are light vanilla and caramel, likely derived from the fresh bourbon barrels. Additional earthiness and light soft peat (grass/hay) arrive after a bit of time in the glass, replacing the fading citrus. Some additional light floral notes are also present. Complex and soft for its proof. (4.5/5)
Palate: More warm apple, pineapple and citrus, along with honey, chocolate, vanilla and toffee. Tea and white pepper/spice appear, along with herbal notes. Soft earthiness and light brine develop with time in the glass. The mouthfeel is thick, almost chewy, and the addition of water creates a bit more creamy texture. Nonetheless, these flavors seem to be best enjoyed (if possible) at full strength. The high proof only appears as a light numbing of the tongue if you leave it on the palate for an extended period of time. (4/5)
Finish: Medium-long. It is not often that a finish can be described by texture, but this is most noted by a chewy granola bar flavor, with chunks of apple and tropical fruit that peak about halfway through the finish. Hay, along with caramel, toffee and a bit of spiced chocolate round it out. There are some almost bittering qualities like red apple skins that hit late in finish. (4/5)
Overall: From start to finish, this whisky is more than satisfying. While youthful, it is not lacking in character. By no means is this over influenced by wood. However, the quality grains and distillation, with a fair amount of age, and bottled at cask strength, produce a delicious fruit and grain forward whisky. (4/5)
Value: N/A – price not disclosed.
“From start to finish, this whisky is more than satisfying. While youthful, it is not lacking in character.”
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.