Single Cask Nation Inchgower 10

May 30, 2024

This time around I’m exploring an independent bottler that’s been in the news recently for all the right reasons. It’s the Single Cask Nation release of an Inchgower 10 year old, distilled at the Inchgower Distillery, in the burgh town of Buckie, on the Moray Firth coast of the Speyside region of Scotland.

Single Cask Nation is an independent bottler that’s been on the scene since since 2011 and earlier this year their scene got much bigger when they were acquired by The Artisanal Spirits Company, who also own the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. I recently had the opportunity to meet and talk with Single Cask Nation co-founder, Jason Johnstone-Yellin and he seems excited about the opportunities this merger brings to their independent bottling efforts.

There are many independent bottlers out there but one thing I appreciate about Single Cask Nation releases is the amount of detail they put on the bottle labels. They let you know precisely what’s going on inside.

Inchgower is not the most well-known whisky brand out there because a majority of its outturn goes into blended whisky, and although the distillery does put out a couple of their own bottlings, what fame it does have within the whisky community is mostly due to the wide variety independent bottling companies out there who are putting their own spin on the Inchgower spirit. Just like this one.

This 10 year old release is the product of a marriage between two casks, an ex-bourbon barrel and a first-fill Oloroso hogshead, and it was bottled at a hearty 54.5 percent ABV. Now when it comes to the coloring and chill-filtering, I got it straight from the horse’s mouth that there is none of that foolishness going on here. However, despite there being such great info on the bottle label, this info is surprisingly missing. So here’s my suggestion: put it on the label, just to help out someone who’s potentially buying it off the shelf and who’s never heard of Single Cask Nation before. Or maybe just for people like me who want to be reassured.

So I am in love with the natural color of this one, which has a light mahogany, cherry-copper hue to it. And there are some moderately thick legs of viscosity gracing the glass.

Nose:

I get the initial scent of cherry marmalade coming off the glass. This is followed by marinated raisins. Then there’s a bit of an abrupt stab of rubbing alcohol on the nose. But it rebounds nicely with the pleasant smell of lilac bushes.

And I often like to remind folks that if you haven’t had any other alcohol pass your tongue before you drink this whisky, give your taste buds a chance to acclimate and wait until after taste #2 to make a judgement here.

Palate:

First there’s a big, robust spice on the tongue. It’s also got a chewy texture to it, like prunes that have been marinating in coca-cola. I also get the taste of cherry liqueur. If you’ve ever had a Dominican cigar that’s been dipped in buckwheat honey then you get what I taste here. And then a chocolate malted with an espresso floater.

I was thoroughly impressed with the flavor profile straight out of the bottle but decided to play around with it and add some water.

Nose + H2O:

With water I get cardamom followed by the sweetness of a root beer vanilla float.

Palate + H2O:

The nutty sweetness of peanut brittle comes through. This leads to burnt caramel, and then a cup of spicy Mexican hot chocolate.

This is a case where adding a few drops of water absolutely brought this one to life.

Finish:

The finish is medium in length. I get some sugar on the lips. Then I’m left with an earthy mouth feel, like wet tea leaves, a root beer lollipop, Raisin Bran cereal, and a sweet salt stick.

Rating:

There are a lot of deep, rich flavors converging here. I found this to be a very nice treat for my mouth. As with all Single Cask Nation releases it is a limited bottling so you may need to move quickly to lay your hands on one at the retailer of your choice. But overall, this is an excellent example of the ways that independent bottlers can introduce us to spirits we might never have explored or even known about. Good job, SCN. I’m giving the Single Cask Nation Inchgower 10 year old release a nine finger pour.

Age Statement: 10 years

ABV: 54.5 %

Chill Filtered: no

E150a caramel coloring added: no

Average Price (750ml): $95 (US)

https://singlecasknation.com/