It’s all about the X and the Os: TWA XO Blended Malt and WF XO Blended Malt

XO Blended Malts

The Whisky Agency XO Blended Malt 44,7%

The Whisky Agency (bottler) | XO Blended Malt (Good Times) | 44,7% | NAS | Sherry Butt | NCF & NCA |

Situation: (April 2019) Still on family vacation, happy and tired. Made a T-Rex today. 

Information: The story behind these extra old drams is quite fascinating. Maybe even miraculous or well, just a story. I haven’t heard this story myself but read about it in slightly different versions which all revolve around the same nucleus: An independent bottler or broker discovers that some of his old casks or extra old casks actually in his warehouse have gone underproof. 

Tamdhu as well as Glenrothes are names that are usually mentioned. Macallan as well as Highland Park are also mentioned, which seems reasonable as all of these were once owned by Highland Distillers Group which later became part of the Edrington group. 40 as well as even almost 50 years are age statements that are thrown around. 

In the early 2000s these underproof casks were then married to young high-proof Glenfarclas and recasked for some time and then, I guess, bottled at different times as there are different releases of this as well as similar releases by Whisky Fässle.

Nose: I love this nose from the very first second! Hard to put into words though, quite delicate but at the same time very deep, if that makes any sense to you. Chocolate, old leather, slightly floral aspects, very deep sherry influence without being dominant, marzipan, almonds, honey and vanilla…wow! Such a fragile and at the same time powerful nose. When I nosed the WF XO, I realized that there’s hardly any wood influence on the nose, amazing.

Taste: Surprisingly thin entry, leather, milk chocolate, lots of nuts and red fruits,/dried fruits, raisins, salt/pepper and some hints of smoke as well. Oranges?

Finish: Oaky and drying.  Almost waxy, leather, gentle smoke, vanilla and some peppery notes. Here the age shows as it was very drying and rather long given the abv.

Conclusion: The nose was like a perfect summer dream but sadly the rest couldn’t live up to the (granted very high) standard set by it. Still very interesting and tasty. This also needs some time and the finish stays with you for a while. At first this looked like the clear winner of the night but the WF improved so much over the course of the night. Still a very nice dram.

Score: ★★★★☆ Click here to find out what that means to me

Other whiskies I reviewed from the distillery: Undisclosed Blended Malt

Other whiskies with the same score: ★★★★☆


Whisky Fässle XO Blended Malt for KWM 45.4%

The Whisky Agency (bottler) | XO Blended Malt (Good Times) | 44,7% | NAS | Sherry Butt | NCF & NCA | read more tag

Situation: See above

Information: This was bottled for the 25th Anniversary of the Canadian company Kensington Wine Market is, or rather is rumored to be a marriage of different malts from the 60s and 70s distilled by Macallan, Glenrothes, Tamdhu as well as Highland Park as all of these were formerly owned by the Highland Distillers. Maybe it’s wrong and it’s something completely different but as long as it’s as good as the TWA XO who really cares…?

Nose: Much less fragile, glue notes at first but they disappear with air, bitter oak, maraschino cherries, old books, tobacco leaves, quite musty, some farm-y notes as well (think hay/wet hay), honey and vanilla. 

Taste: Creamy entry, honey, spicy wood, leather, white pepper, vanilla, walnuts, oranges, vanilla icing, raisins, sugared red fruits, 

Finish: Very long finish, woody and powerful, sweet honey, vanilla, drying oak and tannin, vanilla, tobacco, oranges, a bit buttery, walnuts.  

Conclusion: Let this one air! I was a bit disappointed first but it really improved over time. And I’m talking about half an hour and more. This is actually fantastic, deep and complex but at the same very time easy to drink. While I started liking the TWA one more the WF took that place over the course of the evening. 

Score: ★★★★☆ Click here to find out what that means to me

Other whiskies I reviewed from the distillery: Undisclosed Blended Malt

Other whiskies with the same score: ★★★★☆ 

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