While the name “Casg Annamh” immediately makes me think of the Castle Aughhh from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it’s actually a Gaelic word meaning “rare cask,” which is a fitting moniker for this most recent release from Speyside scotch distiller Aberlour (it rhymes with “happy hour”).
Casg Annamh is the first triple cask matured whisky to be released by the 141-year-old distillery, which is chiefly known for producing double cask matured single malts aged in Oloroso sherry casks and American oak. In the case of Casg Annamh, a larger hogshead cask is added to the mix.
It has dark fruits, raisins, honey, and toasted hazelnuts on the nose. Once sipped, it proves rich and sweet upfront as the dark fruit and honey flavors immediately reveal themselves, accompanied by a tannic and tongue-coating texture. The whisky grows sweeter towards the center as the malty, honey-coated flavors begin to evoke nutty desserts like baklava and Turkish delight.
In the home stretch, a slowly growing field of spice begins to shoot up, growing patiently until it envelops the tongue with a pleasant, lightly burning field that’s succeeded by a silky, creamy postscript of milk chocolate-covered hazelnut—not unlike a Ferrero Rocher—that simply glides over the by-now-thoroughly spiced tongue.
Is there any such thing as a dessert scotch? If not, Aberlour Casg Annamh deserves the title. Its delectable dark sweetness, buoyed by a honey-coated nuttiness and reined in by a patient layer of spice, is a fitting conclusion to any meal. You may even consider that final chocolate-hazelnut note to be a dessert-within-a-dessert.
— 48% ABV