This review looks at the Master of Malt Christmas Cake & Dark Chocolate & Madjool Dates & Cinnamon 8 Year Old Single Malt Whisky from Atom Brands.
Bottled at 48% ABV, it is Non Chill Filtered (NCF) and we would guess natural colour.
Being an Atom Brands product it is available through Master of Malt, however, some smaller independent retailers seem to also be carrying it.
It retails from Master of Malt for £39.95 as part of their range of unusually named "Whisky&" collection such as Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire 10 Year Old which reflect the character of the whisky. This release is no different with the name giving a clue as to what to expect with this whisky and if you hadn't guessed it from the name, the little holly leaf on the bottle should confirm to you that this is indeed a Christmas release, however, we don't know how many bottles were produced or if indeed it will endure as a permanent member of the line up.
Considering it's presentation and price, it gets a value score of 95.01 out of 100 which is not too bad at all.
On paper it may seem a little on the pricier side for a 8 year old, but considering its slightly higher ABV and the festive nature of the release, it is very reasonable and puts the bottle easily in reach of almost every whisky enthusiast, this needs to be commended, especially at a time when we are seeing price rises across most whisky and especially limited or seasonal releases.
With regards to cask maturation, it is a sherry influenced style, they don't state specifically if this is full maturation or finishing or indeed if other types of cask have been blended into the mix.
Finally before we get into the tasting, this is from an unnamed distillery. The only clue to its identity is that it is from Speyside and that it is a sherry style whisky.
On the nose, instantly this reminds us of Glenfarclas 105, the sherry influenced cask strength which is a blend of ex-bourbon and ex-sherried whiskies. The 'Christmas Cake &' starts with the unmistakable nose of sherry; Dank earthen dunnage warehouses, rich fruits, spices and oak. The nose does come across nicer than even the 105. There is a nip of alcohol hitting the nasal hairs and a hint of its youthfulness.
On the palate, you get orange peel and orange oil, dark chocolate and sherry drenched dark fruits and cherry. Towards the finish its a little bitter with coffee more dark chocolate and charred would and spice. At the very end there is a little baby sick or off milk, often a description for sulphur. The alcohol is slightly nippy, once again giving a little sign of its 8 year age.
This is a fantastic whisky, the palate has hints of Glenfarclas, this isn't a full on sherry bomb, certainly on the palate. It is a very similar style to the 105.
In terms of an overall score we consider this to be worry of 88 out of 100. We will be getting another bottle of this as its one that is worth sharing but maybe a little too nice to share it all.
We do recommend this whisky and if it attracts you then head over to Master of Malt with this our affiliate link and help support our channel and website.
Our review video is below: