50cl // 47.5% ABV
Reference Series II, as well as being an excellent blended malt in its own right, is the second of three ‘control’ whiskies that increase in average age and complexity. Each of these three initial releases are made up of the same constituent parts, only in different quantities.
In this case, we have a blend of both youthful and older, richer malts, with a generous helping of old and very old single malt comprising over 20% of the blend. Subsequent releases (II.1, II.2 etc.) will showcase different additional ingredients and techniques, allowing drinkers to refer back to the original control whisky and appreciate exactly how these specific changes translate in the glass.
Nose: Juicy and honeyed with sweet barley and orange. Hugely buttery and quite meaty, extremely well-rounded. Nettle, buttercups, oak, cakey-ness and a little pepper.
Palate: Big, satisfying entry with plenty of classic Sherry influence, herbal and malty with cherries and chocolate.
Finish: Rich oak, chocolate and fantastic creamy Black Forest gâteau.
Overall: Reference Series II has a much higher proportion of very old single malts than I, producing a tremendous blended malt that’s also the second control whisky for the brand’s ongoing whisky experiments!