Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by ImpEx. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Sam Filmus founded ImpEx beverages in 2008 with a vision to import premium and rare spirits from around the globe. We have previously reviewed several of ImpEx Beverages’ rare selections here at The Whiskey Wash, and now we get to review some special bottles in their very own line-up. The ImpEx Collection Edition One launched in July and features six scotches, one Israeli whiskey, and three rums. Bottles in the collection range in age from 3 to 40 years, which makes this line-up rare.
One of the scotches in The ImpEx Collection is a 40-year-old blended cask distilled in 1980. As a millennial, this age statement made me have a little existential crisis. Rather than a single barrel, ImpEx has chosen a blend from Elixir Distillers. Knowing this, the blend could be either from Port Askaig, Elements of Islay, or Single Malts of Scotland. From my research, I guess it is Elixir’s brand Single Malts of Scotland, which has a more mature small batch blend called Marriage of Casks.
When selecting barrels for this inaugural collection, ImpEx Vice President Chris Uhde asks three questions:
- Is it delicious?
- Would I be proud to share and enjoy this whisky with friends?
- Does the cask fit in a complementary way with the other casks being offered in the release?
If Uhde cannot answer “yes” to each of these questions, then the barrel is not selected for the collection. Of the three samples available to me, they do form a cohesive line-up so far. What a lucky job getting to select a rare barrel.
Given the ages of the whiskies, you will have to scour every crevice to find a bottle. The ImpEx Collection is the culmination of the company’s growing portfolio of spirits. Having access to rare casks means having a collection on par with Diageo’s Special Releases. Let’s see how the 40 Year Blended Cask in the ImpEx Collection fares.
Tasting Notes: The ImpEx Collection 40-Year-Old Blended Cask #34 1980
Vital Stats: 45.5% ABV. Blended Scotch finished in sherry butts. 525 bottles available. 750ml $330.
Nose: The nose on this 40-year-old whisky complex and abundant with an array of aromas. I first get baby powder, but then it quickly moves toward the sweet. Toffee and brown sugar are warm, whereas lemon peel and pear are bright. Rich vanilla mingles with tobacco and fig near the end.
Palate: Strawberry compote and brown sugar first land on the tongue. Then I notice tobacco and leather sneaking up. Cedar lingers in the background, constant and steady. There is a bit of spice from ginger and clove. The finish is big with bonfire, chocolate, and espresso.
The ImpEx Collection 40-year-old Blend Cask is one of the best blends I’ve had that has a mature age statement. The flavor is impressive, and you can pull out more than what I have mentioned above. I’m surprised at the price tag and would be willing to pay far more. If you can get ahold of this 40-year-old blend, then do it.
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Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...