When sourcing barrel 03 what attracted me to it, was that it had come from a barrel that had previously aged Port in it for 70 years.
In 2015, when I was still in the early days of sourcing and discovering barrels, I really had to wonder how could a vessel that is filled with liquid and decanted regularly hold up and how much flavor would it absorb into its pores?
On receiving the barrel it was obvious that the staves had seen some years, unlike the new French oak barrels that have a smooth uniform finish, this barrel was already showing signs of buckling and discoloration, there was even some evidence of cracking in the staves that showed just how hard the cooper had worked to shape the old lady!
The barrel had been charred to medium/ high level and the aroma was already amazingly fruity and rich - it is hard to describe the nature of such a well developed smell in an empty barrel.
On filling the barrel it did not take long for the barrel to start to weep and a thick sticky syrup started to penetrate the small gaps pressing through under the pressure of the new make, only to dry hard and seal where it had come from. This gave a hint of the flavor that was to follow, almost like a master stock of sorts that sadly can not be bottled in its own right!
All OCD Whiskey is bottled in bond.
As this barrel is still from the early stages of OCD, it is the result of 16 hand mashes and 18 distillations. A slow and repetitive process that was well worth the effort.
Tasting Notes & Aroma:
The aroma is very much influenced by the cask with the “jammy” port right in the front.
On tasting (neat) the fruity flavor is evident and the oily nature of the whiskey wants to run and explore.
Dried fruits with vanilla tones followed by the smooth barley malt of the new make create a sweet tail, and of course the warm finish that the malted barley gives is a lovely way to end.
With the ABV at 57.9% adding a few drops of water would not be a sin and definitely opens up the bouquet.
New flavours complexities become evident as you continue to sip and enjoy this smooth offering from OCD.