Goalong Small Batch 2023
Tasting a 5 cask whiskey
Last year I reviewed the Goalong Small Batch 5 yo. After a while, the Goalong distillery reached out and asked if I wanted to try their 2023 edition of their Small Batch. Would I? YES PLEASE! So they send me a sample all the way from their distillery. Most information about the distillery can be found in my previous reviewed Goalong Small Batch. But before we go to this 5 casks whiskey, I wanted to address two questions that I received after posting my unboxing video of this whisky on Instagram:
Question 1: What is a Small Batch whiskey?
A small batch whiskey (or bourbon of whisky) is a whiskey that is produced by mixing a set of specially selected barrels. This can be "standard" casks (Ex-bourbon/ex-sherry) or "special" casks (Ex-beer, ex-wine, ex-port ex-etc.).
In this case: Tennessee cask, Bourbon cask, Wine cask, Sherry cask and Brandy cask. Quite a mix!
Question 2: Whiskey from China, is that any good?
Well, lets try it!
This whiskey was bottled at 48% vol. It is non-chill filtered and no coloring was added. And what a color this whiskey has. A warm full yellow whiskey, going towards a very light orange. Like a late afternoon summer sun. Giving it a quick dance in my glass, I get a thin clear line with medium thick legs.
On the nose: Summer dried apples and fresh hay. Some hints of malt and soft pear.
In the back of the nose some tannines from oak and light leather. Overall a sweet and fruity nose with some sprinkled vanilla drops.
The freshness continues on the palate. A soft but lingering taste of sweet tropical fruits on my tongue, combined with a slight tingly sharpness of vanilla, spirit and spice. The fruity notes almost go towards pear and lychee, the spice to white pepper and cloves. The sweetness is like sweet green grapes. Maybe that's from the wine and brandy? I definitely get that kind of sweetness.
It has a surprising long finish. The pepper stays quite long, but in a very nice way: It almost goes to papaya-pepper. Fruity but spicy.
Now let me compare this whiskey with its older brother.
First, again, the packaging. I love the ingenious way this bottle is packed. Some serious attention for detail went into this. The bottle has the same shape, but misses the sticker telling me what bottle number it is. Not that I care, but with a small batch you can add that detail.
Secondly, the types of casks are only mentioned on the box, not the bottle. Again, I don't mind, but the previous one had it.
Then the whiskey itself. I like this better than the previous.
At first my thought were that 5 different casks might be too much. But it all blends into one very nice whiskey that I can enjoy for a longer time. It is a sipping whiskey, discovering some layers. And I like those kind of drinks.
I think this whiskey will be hitting the shelves soon in Europe. If you are looking for something special to add to your selection/collection, this might be a great whiskey to try!