I cracked open this batch of Nadurra with a bunch of good friends just shy of two weeks ago. Between us, we managed to put a healthy dent in the bottle that night (along with a few others), and I’m not gonna lie…the bottom half of this one has been calling to me in the evenings ever since. I figured we should maybe get ’round to sharing some notes before there was nothing left to share notes on.
Nadurra is, quite simply, one of the most consistent and seemingly underrated malts on the market. Maybe ‘underrated’ is the wrong word. ‘Under-mentioned’, is more in line with what I’m trying to get across. While quite universally respected, it never seems to garner as many mentions as several of its contemporaries do (105, a’bunadh, etc). I’m not sure if this is due to the preconceptions associated with the rather simple and prototypical Speyside profile we generally ascribe to the name Glenlivet, or if there are other factors at play. Or maybe its simply a matter of where I’m looking and who I’m speaking to. Either way, Nadurra deserves to be held up as a shining example of well-crafted single malt whisky.
‘Nadurra’ is the Gaelic word for ‘natural’. It is a batch-released whisky served up big and bold, and is sort of a poster child for the model that, in my opinion, all distilleries should be following (age-stated, cask strength, non chill-filtered, etc). I think we’ve gone through most of this before spiel before, so let’s just get on with it. What say?
I should note, before we get into tasting notes, that I specifically remember the day I bought this bottle. I was wandering the shop with a handful of dollars burning a hole in my pocket and a view to doing a future write-up. I couldn’t really find anything that was lighting my fire, and ended up settling for this one. I recall leaving the store slightly disappointed that I hadn’t found something more exciting and unique to bring home, but there is absolutely no regret now. This is a great bottle, and one I may try to track down a second of if any are still dust-gathering around here.
Nose: Peach tarts. Freshly peeled apples. Perfume / floral notes. Toasted wood. Cinnamon. Pepper. Ginger. Slightly creamy. Utterly brilliant nose. Nothing too complex, but rings out like a beautiful harmonic.
Palate: Great delivery. Kinda peppery. Woods and apple right up front. Just a hint of peach again, but that may be olfactory carryover. Now ginger and mixed spice. A kind of ‘champagne-like’ nutty, herbal note. Tart apple skins on the finish. Somewhat drying.
Thoughts: Great right off the cork, but even better once it settles down in the glass for a few minutes. There’s a wonderful creaminess that develops over time. Great stuff. I love it when a malt I remember as being a favorite from way back still manages to knocks my socks off by now being even better than I recall. This is still a top notch malt, years on from when I first tried it. Absolutely no quality slippage here, and this particular batch is one of the best versions of Nadurra I’ve come across.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt