Black Friday may have come and gone, but that doesn’t bother the purveyors at The Whisky Exchange — which is based in London, where Black Friday can’t even be a thing, can it? For TWE, Black Friday is a whisky, a special edition bottling that you can only get here. Tragically, it’s already sold out — only 1800 bottles were produced — but a miniature finally found its way across the pond, arriving here only today along with the retailer’s Christmas-themed exclusive, so we’re turning our attention to the both of them posthaste.
Some details are mysterious. What we know can be found riding along with our reviews.
The Whisky Exchange Black Friday 2021 – An easy one to describe: It’s a 22 year old Speyside single malt. Super approachable, this is clearly a bourbon barreled whisky with all the trappings of Speyside: Caramel-soaked apples, some baking spice, a touch of incense, and marshmallow cream all on the bright and lively nose. The palate is again proof that 22 years is nothing in chilly Scotland; this feels fresh as a daisy, with pears, apples, and a spritz of grapefruit peel across the top. A drizzle of salted caramel on the finish. I’d drink this any day. 98.4 proof. A / £110
The Whisky Exchange A Fine Christmas Malt 2021 – Slightly less mysterious, as it’s made by an Orkney distillery, aged 16 years — and still available. That lightly peaty nose immediately tells me this is Highland Park, and it certainly does evoke Christmas — fireside nights and touches of smoky creosote, filtered through toffee and a hint of coffee bean. The peat’s a bit more aggressive than in the typical HP at this age, dulling the sweeter elements of the whisky, though notes of orange peel and a cinnamon/clove melange manage to push their way through the more savory characteristics, at least for a time. The finish retreats to toasty, smoky peat, smoldering and brooding and begging for a blanket to be tossed over it. Fun. 106.4 proof. A- / £80