Still Waters New Make Single Malt [Aging Experiment]

Still Water New Make Single Malt

And this is where we end the mini cask experiments, however more on that latter. The last white spirit I put into the cask was the Still Waters New Make Single Malt. I’m a fan of Still Water. When I originally reviewed[1] the New Make, I enjoyed it. There was definitely something there that was worth exploring.

Also, let’s not mince words: I bought it not to really drink it, but to support a distillery near me so they can eventually bring out something older. And they have, and I’ve bought it. But I was still left with the New Make spirit, so I purchased their mini cask to try it out.

I first put in an overproof white rum into it[2] , then the Still Waters New Make Rye[3] . The Rum turned out nice, the Rye didn’t. Let’s see how the Single Malt did.

Previous Day 0 Review[4]

Day 3

Colour: Packaging tape

Nose: Stewed plums, weak cranberry sauce, lake water, violets, mace

Taste: Sour grapes, wood, blackberry, banana, caramel, cinnamon

Finish: Perrier, hard caramel, sour orange, green onion, old candy

68/100

Day 6

Colour: Very Light yellow

Nose: Grapefruit, pine, lemon custard, sour raspberry, ginger, melon, banana bread

Taste: Dry wheat, cinnamon, clotted cream, pepper, green tea, grit, currants

Finish: Sour, lemon rind, nutmeg, cinnamon, cocoa, oranges, rye bread

74/100

Day 14

Colour: Light Brown

Nose: Caramel, strawberry, cinnamon, banana, buttercream, caramelized pecans, macadamia, vanilla, nutmeg, anise

Taste: Sweet caramel, banana, vanilla, fake peach, caraway seeds, anise

Finish: Burnt toast, caramel, strong candy, lemon, molasses, pine

80/100

Day 21

Colour: Straw

Nose: Banana, lemon cake, cinnamon, orange rind, peanuts, pine, candy corn, rubbing alcohol

Taste: Lemon, burn, toasted wheat, brown banana, cocoa, corn, mineral water

Finish: Iodine, malt, yeast, lime rind, charcoal

78/100

Day 28

Colour: Burnt oranges

Nose: Banana, yeast, cloves, toasted oats, nail polish remover

Taste: Banana bread, chili, mushroom, burnt butter, yeast, vinegar

Finish: Burnt butter, banana, bitter, yeast, brown bread

75/100

Conclusion: So that should be the end of it, right? Then why didn’t I include a picture of my bottle, filled with my third experiment?

Well you see, it doesn’t end there. I tried my last little bit, and decided it was time to pull the bottle. When I did so I ended up with 2 oz (70 ml) of liquid. Turns out that during the rye test, the barrel ended up breaking and had a slow, hard to find leak.

I proceeded to pour myself this last dram, and let’s just say that it was all burnt oak and nail polish. I don’t blame this on Still Waters, as the cask did break and they can’t control that. Oh well, learning without any failure isn’t learning.

Final Conclusion on Mini Casks: There’s a recent push for more and more “white whisky” products, and at first glance, a Mini Cask Seems like the best idea to pair with them. I mean, you can age your own! Try out different temperatures, finishes, etc! What’s to miss out?

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s the solution that we need. There’s too much wood contact, it’s more flash then flavour. The Rum turned out nice, the Rye has a rough flavour, and the Single Malt ended in the carpet. It shouldn’t have ended up with any leaks as it was placed in the room with the highest humidity and a humidifier on at all time.

I’ve learned a little bit about the process, and for that I’m grateful, and I won’t stop aging my own white whisky, yet I won’t recommend a mini cask in the future. Instead I’ll be trying out miniature oak staves in the future, and potentially using them in red wine first to get the finishes that I’d like.

World Whisky reviews #28-29, Canadian reviews #15-16, Whisky Network review #151-152

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