What a finale to the whisky year! A 10-year-old (just shy of), BIG APERA matured Tasmanian whisky with a story like no other. From the legendary Peter Bignell of Belgrove Distillery fame, EXCLUSIVE to the Single Malt Whisky Club and bottled uniquely for us at 700ml, for a cracker of a Festive Season price – The Remnant Whisky Co. – Black Spot ‘SMWC’ – Oh jingle bells!
This is seventh release of the Black Spot range and it’s exclusive to us – it’s even called Black Spot ‘SMWC’! And it is a pearler! The Black Spot ‘SMWC’ has spent almost 10 years maturing in American Oak Apera casks in Tasmania and is bottled at 48% ABV. This (as all Black Spot releases) are very limited-edition whisky and normally the Black Spot is only released as 500ml bottles, but as a special favour to the SMWC, Peter and Co. have kindly agreed to a 700ml bottling for our members. And the price is unbelievable for whisky of this vintage and exceptional quality!
The Remnant Whisky Co. – Black Spot ‘SMWC is a huge whisky both in terms of it’s story, name(s) associated with this whisky, taste of the whisky itself and incredible price of this bottle!
Now we all probably know of a certain Tasmanian distillery and barrel investment program that went, well, tits up in 2017 leaving many (small and not-so-small) investors with empty – or non-existent – barrels of whisky. It’s a long, sad, train-wreck of a story that began to unravel when Australian Whisky Holdings (now Lark Distilling) was in the process of buying the aforementioned distillery and discovered the discrepancy between what was on the books, and what was actually in the bond-store. Read a good summary of it here if you’re interested.
Possibly the saddest part of the whole saga (apart from the lost investors money, of course, which I in no way wish to make light of (I know some of our own members were affected) is the fact that this distillery seemed to be on a meteoric rise. Lauded (and awarded!) around the world as ‘liquid gold’ – this was a distillery destined for great things. Or so it seemed.
Long story short – AWH ended up buying the real estate and distillery– but they bought none of the ageing stock (the actual stock, that did exist). Although AWH did, however, agree to manage the existing stock for the investors. So AWH didn’t own it, but there was no money to pay the investors out either. It was fantastic whisky that no one really knew what to do with.
In 2020, Peter Bignell (of Belgrove Distillery) and his son Dane lead a consortium that set out to ‘save’ these barrels from the ‘whisky purgatory’ they were seemingly stuck in. So they bought around 300 casks – and since then have been blending and bottling from these fantastic casks under the apt brand name ‘The Remnant Whisky Co.’ Without the efforts of Peter’s consortium – who knows where this whisky would have ended up.
The Black Spot range from The Remnant consists of the very best of these casks. Each Remnant Black Spot batch is released in very limited numbers. Almost 10 years old now, these casks were filled during the ‘golden years’ of the distilleries production. The name refers to fact that the distilleries name had been painted out on the casks when Remnant took possession of them.
Nose: Sharp, green apple fruitiness coated with a just slightly burnt toffee and a pleasant new leather note brings up the rear.
Palate: Lovely and rich, more tart fruit notes but also a mixed peel quality with warm ginger. Nice and crisp – with an underlying maltyness rounding it out.
Finish: Delicious and chewy with just enough astringency to really get that mouth salivating, tart red fruit coulis, warm oak notes and sweet milk arrowroot bikkies with a leather note sneaking in every couple of twirls.