I very much remember my first encounter with this malt since it was good times. I was working for Glendronach Distillery by the time and was joining a nice colleague from Glenfarclas Distillery in a cosy and small whisky tasting in the Mash Tun in Aberlour, the place to be (Well the only place to be in Aberlour to be fair ;).
I saved this whisky in my mind as „interesting, pleasant and worth another try“ so I´m happy to get a second date with Victoria.
On the nose I get some snow, sea salt and quite a bit of sour and woody notes. On the palate the same paired with more spices and do I even detect a hint of smokiness? Some darker notes appear like coffee or tobacco. I can´t find any info that we are looking at some sherry casks mixed in. The cover says „deep charred oak“, but does not give away what kind of oak.
After a while I come back to it and the nose is more creamy and burned sugar. On the palate we are back in taliskerish land.. just less smoke. Even the chili bite is comparable. Interesting. Three drops of water, since we are looking at 51,5 % vol. And really, nope. The taste gets just very sharp, the sour and bitter notes overpower the nice and pleasant aromas. Did they try to hide some refill casks or youth here with pumping up the alcohol level? A malt for 60 – 75 € should be able to take some drops of water I think. The second dram I´m back with no water and I´m happy :).
I would not recommend this whisky to a complete beginner. It’s strong, medium-complex and has notes that not everyone will like. Typically Campbeltown… It is always something slightly different with these guys. If you like mild, fruity Speyside malts keep away from this one. If you like Talisker, spicy Highland Malts or generally a challenge, you might be very good friends with Victoria. Still I have to say I think she is slightly overpriced, not for the flavors, which I quite like, but for the lack of depth after adding water.
And as you guys know… Its only ever a glimpse… A „one moment“. Thats what we love whisky for. For the moments.
See you guys for the next dram.