Three Ships 10 Single Malt (2003 Release)

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Best enjoyed with some Biltong 🙂

So a while back I ordered a bottle of Tree Ships’ latest 10yo Single Malt and in doing so won for myself their entire range of single malts. This particular one was quite exciting and I was not expecting it to be included in my prize, but it was.

Way back in 2003, Three Ships, which only had about 2 bottom shelf expressions back then, decided to try their hand at making a world class single malt whisky. The result was a very small release of around 6000 bottles matured in ex-Bourbon,  European Oak and sherry casks.

It was very well received and became quite popular and apparently these bottles are very sought after. But since my whisky is all for drinking and sharing with friends I took it along to a Robbie Burns night so we could enjoy it.

Aged 10 years. 43% ABV. Matured in ex-bourbon, European oak and sherry casks. No colourant added. 

Nose: The sherry on this is very pronounced on the nose and I was quite enjoying the aroma even while I just had the glass sitting next to me for 20 minutes before tasting it. Lots of oranges. Dusty sherry. Deep, aromatic spice notes. Cinnamon, cloves. Slight chemical smoke note. Raspberry sherbert. Milk chocolate liqueur. Slight earthiness.

Palate: A little watery. Woody Orange. One of my friends mentioned a taste of wet cardboard when I’d first opened the bottle and I think it’s quite apparent here. Bitter wood tannins. Light fruits, red apple, raspberry. Light wood smoke.

Finish: Medium. Bitter wood. Dirty sherry. Sour milk. Chemical smoke. Carbolic soap.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: N/A

This was not one of the best whiskies I’ve tried but it certainly was interesting. It had quite a lot of complexity to it although it did feel a little unbalanced on the palate (the nose was lovely though). One thing I really liked here was the sherry influence, it seems to work well with the malt, and I’d really like to see more of that with Three Ships, especially now that their Single Malts are really going strong. I think for what it was, a small, experimental release, it’s a job well done, if perhaps a bit before its time. I was really happy that I got to try this milestone whisky.

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