After the HUGE success of the Spirit Thief as a Members Extra last year we asked Spirit Thief to work on a follow up Malt of the Month whisky and here it is! The Spirit Thief American Oak Cabernet.
Made exclusively for the Single Malt Whisky Club, aged in Cabernet casks from a renowned Clare Valley winery and bottled at a premium 55% ABV for our members. This STRICTLY LIMITED viscous single malt is a rich journey into fig jam, vanilla, fresh tobacco, rice-pudding and Italian expresso.
About halfway through last year, we introduced members to the renowned Spirit Thief Distilling Co based in Tasmania. This introduction was one of their independently bottled whiskies – the spirit distilled at Belgrove Distillery and aged in Mataro wine casks. This month we are delighted to announce another Spirit Thief offering but this time a whisky made 100% by Spirit Thief. No indy bottling this one – one of their very own!
Our Spirit Thief American Oak Cabernet is distilled by Brett Steel, and then aged in 25L American Oak casks that have previously held premium Cabernet wine. The Cabernet casks were hand-picked by Spirit Thief from a renowned Clare Valley winery. They have been ‘refreshed’ (shaved, toasted and re-charred to the Spirit Thief specifications) before being filled.
Now the fellas at Spirit thief have called themselves ‘Gypsy Distillers’ in the past for a good reason. They spent their ‘formative’ whisky years distilling alongside and with various Australian legends and independently bottling the result. So they weren’t just buying spirit from these distilleries for their independent bottling, they were actively involved in the brewing, distilling and maturation process, and most importantly – selecting their own unique casks from their ties to the wine industry. All the while watching, listening and learning from their various mentors along the way. And not just ‘some people’ – names like Casey Overeem, Peter Bignell, Damian Mackey, Anthony White and the two Adams from Adam’s Distillery to name a few!
Last month they received a silver medal in their first international spirits competition at the World Whisky Awards in London for their American Oak Tempranillo release. That bottling is now ’sold out’, however SMWC has been in the works with Spirit Thief for almost a year to bring to our members an exclusive release of 100% American Oak Cabernet matured single malt whisky.
Distilled at their home premises in Huntingfield, Tasmania, the team at Spirit Thief Distilling are just starting to spread their wings, and we’re glad we got in early, as rumour has it, they are looking to expand and build their own new warehouse, distillery and cellar-door in Hobart in 2023 (stay tuned!).
Nose: Stewed fruit and oak strait away but there’s a beguiling sweetness over the top as well. I say ‘wizz-fizz’, my dear old dad says boiled lollies and my son (who, at 16, has literally been smelling whisky with me his whole life) says lemonade. Whatever it is, you can (and will!) nurse this one under your schnoz and argue about it for ages!
Palate: A fantastically luscious moutfeel – rich and oily. Nice and fruity without being too sweet – but there are jammy notes as well. At full strength (55% ABV) it does provide a fair pepper, but if that’s not your thing, a dash of water settles that right down. Coffee and nutty notes flow on into the finish.
Finish: Settles in for a while this one. Coffee and dark chocolate rolls around roasted nut brittle and sweet pipe tobacco in the tin as it fades out with a lovely warmth.
This is one of those whiskies you bring out after a good dinner with good company. Then sit back and bask in the ‘wows’. It’s big and bold, but well behaved and with a finish that you’ll chew on with a smile. Be warned though. You are gonna argue about that sweet note on the nose. Just what is it?