Harry E. Wilken 15 Years Old Pre-Prohibition Era 50% High Shoulder 1917
€ 2.299,00 (in Vat)
|Bottler||The American Medicinal Spirits Company|
|Bottled for||For medicinal porposes only|
|Distilled date||Fall 1917|
|Bottling date||Fall 1932|
|Cask Type||Virgin Oak Casks|
|Condition||In Original Container|
Serge Valentin (90)
Nose: deep, intensely polished and brimming with incense, pot pourri, orange bitters, cloves, liquorice, dry wood spices, cola cubes and fruity red chilli heat. There’s also this medicinal aspect as well, a kind of concentrated, very spicy cough medicine. Given time it unfolds with notes of mint leaf, old pipe tobacco, unlit cigars in cedar boxes, blood oranges and some soft notes of caraway. Really beautiful. Not just an emotional old whisky, but aromatically majestic and technically brilliant. The kind of aroma that makes you realise just how spectacular and idiosyncratic American whiskey is when its at its best. A style you just cannot replicate anywhere else I think.
Mouth: the level in this one was pretty low but you still feel the power and the sinew of the distillate and the quality of the wood even after so many decades in that tiny half bottle. Orange oils, sharp spices, textural citrus fruit pastes, rinds and oils. Menthol tobacco, leather, very distant dried herbal aspects and a sooty, earthy and almost greasy quality. More of these cough medicine notes, boot polish, bay leaf, strong black tea and an intensely peppery, clean wood spice quality.
Finish: long, earthy, sooty, camphory, waxy, peppery and wonderfully spicy. Big, echoing mulled spice notes. Some chamomile and herbal teas. Hardwood resins.
Comments: I know shamefully little about American Whiskey but I feel that I know enough to recognise the level of balance and complexity and power in this wee slice of liquid history. An embarrassingly pleasurable whiskey.