James Austin, a bonafide Scot, managed to get his hands on our Bakery Hill Classic, Double Wood and Peated Malts through the generosity of a friend. Below, we enclose his very complementary thoughts on our Australian take on the very Scottish tradition of whisky! "Perhaps Australian whisky has the potential to become the new yardstick for scotch worldwide"...indeed!
I was kindly given a miniature set of your 46% malts to sample from my friend and on the basis that I am a Scot and I love whisky. Not the worst qualifications I suppose, but hardly enough to entitle me to provide a knowledgeable critique, so please consider my review as nothing more than an average whisky-lover's opinion.
I started with the Classic Malt, on my friends advice. Never having tasted Australian whisky before, despite its light and delicate appearance I was expecting quite a rough introduction. But to my surprise the Classic Malt was a real treat. There was no harshness at all; it slipped over easily with syrupy edges, but at the centre was an almost effervescent core that I have never encountered in a whisky before. Great stuff.
Next on the instruction list was the Double Wood. Having just finished the Classic Malt I was hoping for another whisky of at least comparable quality, and I can tell you I was not disappointed. This is an awesome malt. If the intention here was to emulate a true Scotch classic then in all respects the Double Wood is a resounding success. In a blind tasting I would defy anyone to pick this whisky out as anything but a genuine Scotch single malt. The flavour was beautiful and deep, it seemed a pity to swallow it, but when I did it fairly caressed the back of the throat. What can I say? One of the best whiskies I have had the pleasure to experience. Congratulations.
Finally I moved on, somewhat reluctantly, to the Peated Malt. I say reluctantly, not only because I had finished the Double Wood (ah what a scotch), but also because peated whiskies are not really to my liking. It is a personal thing of course, but I always think the acrid taste of peat is like the smell of someone's cold discarded pipe long after it has been smoked. So you will not be too surprised when I say that the Peated Malt was my least favourite of the three whiskies. Nothing to do with the quality, only because I dislike peaty whiskies. Having said all that however, it was still a very drinkable scotch (I drank it all of course ), and as peat whiskies go it would stand its own against any from Scotland. Interestingly, the peat has a distinctly different flavour to any Scottish or Irish peat that I have ever tried, and in fact it was more pleasant. I had been spoiled by the Double Wood however; the Peated Malt was never going to live up to that.
So in summary I would say that the Bakery Hill distillery is on to a real winner with the 3 single malts that I sampled. They are easily a match for most Scottish malts and are better than most. Who knows, perhaps Australian whisky has the potential to become the new yardstick for scotch worldwide? And as a Scot that's not easy to contemplate. Please continue the excellent work, and good luck!
Well, there you have it, folks. A Scottish single malt admirer in Scotland showing some definite fondness for our unique Australian product! What more resounding success could you hope for?