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Langatun Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish

Langatun Oloroso

Now it wasn’t too long ago that I was saying you should probably try something from Langatun, the fine Swiss distillery that makes some genuinely interesting whiskies.

I‘m now telling you to try this from Langatun, which is a genuinely delicious whisky. In fact, what makes this particularly outrageous is the fact that it tastes like something that is much, much older – and something that you could quite easily fool a Glenfarclas or GlenDronach fan as being something produced by one of those distilleries, a rogue sherry monster single cask.

Which makes me wonder, just what on earth is the “house style” of Langatun? You find some distilleries spend a fortune trying to live for consistency, some identifiable trait at the bare minimum, but Langatun has a chameleon-like character, something that changes and adapts massively to the casks that its spirit goes into. There’s a detectable bass-note in the spirit, but other than that each whisky is a new whacky adventure.

I suppose this is largely down to the fact that a small, nimble operation can pretty much just do what it likes. No shareholders to please. No stories to fabricate to sell something – whisky becoming little more than perfume advertising. And the fact that the distillery chooses very good casks that give a very active maturation. It’s something lacking in many older Scotch whisky releases, which have gone into well-used casks when the industry didn’t care too much about quality.

Anyway, enough preamble – which is just as well, as I’ve said many things about Langatun in the past. This is a fantastic whisky, so we’ll crack on with the review. Initially matured in a chardonnay cask, this whisky has been finished for just 10 weeks in a first-fill Oloroso Sherry Cask. Distilled in December 2011, it was bottled in August 2017 at 49.12%. Expect to pay around £80 for it.

Langatun Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish – Review

Colour: henna, dark stuff indeed.

On the nose: about as sherry-tastic as whiskies can get. Huge sticky figs and dates; hints of elderberry, port even. Damson chutney and balsamic vinegar. Wonderfully sweet: muscovado sugar, with coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, raspberry jam. Werther’s Originals on the lighter tones.

In the mouth: again, massive amounts of flavour, thick and cloying notes that echo the nose perfectly. The same rich, very dark fruits, yet it retains finesse and balance. Nutty: walnuts, with damsons again coming through. Lovely oily quality to the spirit – not so much dry, but lovely and viscous. There’s nice balance too: it’s not all sweetness. Herbal notes, a little black tea, and some ginger, coriander-like warmth (but not aggressively so). A little nutmeg towards the finish.

Conclusions

You could honestly put this in front of a GlenDronach fan (me) and they’d think it was one of their single casks that were at least 12 years old. Seriously. And this comes from a whisky that’s under 6 years old – and has spent not even 3 months in the sherry cask.

It is, quite frankly, astonishing stuff. Langatun spirit is so well made that it brings a thick, cloying density – the kind you get with the big fat stills and a decade or more at GlenDronach or Glenfarclas even. Like your sherry bombs? This is the whisky for you. Honestly.

Why have you still not tried something from this distillery?

I’m waiting.

Score: 9/10

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