I’ve given Three Ships a fair deal of attention here, and with the way that they’re going rightfully so. One of the early experiments when the parent company began to let the brand flex its muscles and stop just being a cheap local alternative to cheap Scotch Whisky, was a 2003 release of a 10 year old single malt. The popularity of this defied expectations and later on, between 2010-2012 three annual releases were made of a 10 year old single malt.
This single malt was not matured in bourbon and sherry casks like the 2003 release, it was exclusively bourbon cask matured, and each release came in a collectable tin featuring 3-ship fleets of notable explorers, namely Jan van Riebeeck, Vasco da Gama and Bartolomeu Dias.
I was lucky enough, upon ordering a bottle of this year’s 10 year old release, to win the 2003 release as well as all 3 of the aforementioned release. So naturally one of the three was opened to see what it was like.
Aged 10 years. 43%ABV. Matured in bourbon casks.
Nose: Dry grass. Salty toffee. Citrus peel. Light peat.
Palate: Fruit leather. Salt. Orange peel. Grassy peat.
Finish: Medium. Bitter fruit. Woody vanilla. Wood smoke. Pencil shavings.
Would I buy this: No
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was a really nice dram. It wasn’t over the top in terms of complexity, but was very approachable and not harsh at all. The aging also made the peat influence quite mellow and subtle which worked well with the profile. Would very much like to see what this would be like straight from the cask.