A radical, eccentric and never to be repeated release combining ex-red wine and muscat barrels with alligator-char barriques. This is the standout Australian distillery of the moment pushing traditional single malt in a genuinely new direction... there's nothing being done like this anywhere else in Australian whisky. Primary maturation in 225L & 300L medium char & heavy char French & American oak barriques that held South Australian Cabernet and/or Shiraz, followed with a spell in 6-20 year old ex-liqueur Muscat casks. The final twist was a 'finishing' using Alligator char level red wine barriques, roasted over open fire (yes, Morris still run their own barrel cooperage). These barrels could only be used once as the extreme charring essentially destroys them. Hence, even though the total maturation equates to just three years, one can understand why this release was an expensive exercise. The whisky is clearly a single malt, however the barrel regime also leaves an impression of Port matured Bourbon (think Angel's Envy), although the effect here is much more profound. Morris have delivered fascinating, shape-shifting aromatics, conjuring fruit mince pies, port soaked tobacco, white chocolate and even suggestions of mezcal. The smokiness is nothing like peat - more like smouldering campfire, which makes perfect sense given the radical finishing. At first taste you might consider it a dessert malt, but the Muscat is managed so that the early sweetness makes it accessible without being confected. Fruit cake and stewed plum flavours build in a malty middle before the barrel char kicks in with a warm blanket of wood smoke and spice. The finish is dappled with cranberry infused dark chocolate, fading with a light astringency. Smoke and muscat rebound late. Purists will appreciate that the liquid underwent a VERY light chill filtration, essentially to take any volatile edges off and provide a mouth feel consistent with the previous Morris releases.
Product of Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia.
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