These three whiskies form part of the core range of spirits from J & G Thomson & Co. - an experimental new Scottish bottling company based out of Edinburgh. Their goal is to bring characterful spirits from high quality casks to a wider audience. As well as the three whiskies, the core range features a gin and a rum. Despite only recently being launched, the bottlings have already collected some top awards at UK spirits competitions. All are produced in small batches and are bottled at 46% ABV.
Another goal is to keep things simple and aid consumers with their choices. This can be seen in the naming and labelling - the three whiskies are simply titled Smoky, Sweet and Rich. The aim is to guide drinkers towards their preferred flavour profile with the three exhibiting peaty, bourbon cask and sherry cask characteristics respectively. The other two products follow this - Bold Jamaican Rum and Citrus Dry Gin. Each whisky will reail for £42.50.
The three whiskies are all blended malts. These are released as non chill-filtered and of natural colour. They will be joined by occasional limited editions. The first two of these are the 23 years old blended malt, featuring only Speyside single malts, and the 1972 blended grain, featuring different single grains from different distilleries that were all filled to cask in 1972.
J & G Thomson & Co. has been founded by The Artisanal Spirits Company. They also own the renowned Scotch Malt Whisky Society. They are one of the world's largest suppliers of single cask and small batch Scotch whisky and spirits. The new venture is inspired by wine and spirits merchant J. G. Thomson, who operated in Leith during the 18th century.
Our tasting notes
The colour is deep golden amber and the nose is decadent with plenty of dried fruit aromas - think of raisin, sultana and fig especially, plus candied orange peel. These are joined by caramel, milk chocolate (or is it mocha?), baking spices and a hint of black treacle or molasses.
On the palate this whisky feels viscous and oily with plenty of sweetness upfront. Caramel and treacle notes lead the way and are heavily supported by the collection of dried fruit characteristics from the nose. Dark dried fruits such as raisin, sultana and fig mingle with citrus peel (especially orange and grapefruit). Heavy wood and baking spices develop - imagine cinnamon, mace and cassia bark with hints of clove and star anise. The finish becomes surprisingly dry, savoury and woody with a distinct charred oaky vibe coming through.