Thompson Bros. K&L Wines Selection ⠀
I’ve been getting into some of the simpler bottles on my shelf lately. Blends, 46%’ers, straightforward ex-bourbon casks—nothing too fancy. A couple of bottles have been hitting that spot for me. Ardnamurchan’s AD/ and these neat little blends from Thompson Bros. Having finished off this bottle recently, my appreciation for it evolved over the past year.
Distillery: Unknown. Possibly Miltonduff.
Bottler: Phil & Simon Thompson.
Region/style: Speyside* Blended Malt Scotch.
Age: 11 years. Distilled in 2010. Bottled in 2021.
Cask type: First Fill Barrels.
Color: 0.8 Deep Gold. Natural Color. Non-chill-filtered.
Tasted neat in a Glencairn with 15+ minutes of rest. Dilution was added for the second half of the tasting with an additional rest of upwards of an hour.
Nose: Fruit and honey blended up in an industrial grease smoothie. Something about this blend brings out a weird accouterment of aromas. Unsalted European butter with a very grassy, green element. Clover, alfalfa, and sage. Unripe, green strawberries, right from the vine. Coinciding with the previous fruit note, there’s this artificial fruit punch aroma reminiscent of a Kool-Aid packet. Right behind the fruit is loud, obvious peat and cereals. That dirt and grit just remind me of a bagged school lunch. A warm ham sandwich in a plastic baggie. From the nose, I’m kind of in love with it.
Palate: Dirty, funky peat with a side of engine oil. Very industrial in composition on the nose and now the palate. The fruits are kind of murky but the flavors are still evident at the sides of your tongue. Summer berries and hopped mead. The grassy elements are clear and clean like fresh-cut herbs from your back garden. Fresh watermelon and rocket summer salad. Sesame oil and toasted black sesame paste. A salinity comes around with a welcome umami emphasis.
Finish: A subtle hint of a sherry cask in the blend, just sufficient to perk up my taste buds. Lots of old tannic oak bitterness. It’s old, earthy, and dirty with just a light fruity wisp on the finish. Textiles and old warehouse dust. Heavy cereal notes and a light sweet barley flavor coming through. Metals of iron and rust, like a butter-basted steak in a cast iron pan. Wet grass cuttings and mulched leaves. Mushrooms and vegetarian broth. The finish is so damn earthy and I’m here for it.
The flavors and aromas keep placing my mind in my driveway. Under the car, changing my oil, waiting for it to drain. Drinking a lukewarm beer, with condensation dripping on the cardboard ground cover. Casual, rugged kind of malt.
This is a nice bottle to have around for a dram that has zero expectations. It’s not the best flavor in the world. Not some hidden gem but it’s a bottle that I grew to enjoy. It’s the sub sandwich you packed for a beach getaway that you unfortunately dropped and tried to brush the gritty sand away. It didn’t entirely work. I don’t know why I have these intense flavor imageries but it ended up ultimately being an enjoyable bottle for me.
One part brilliance of blending, a splash of creativity, and an equal amount of eating mud. What a dirty little blend.
Final Score: 87