River Rock Single Malt Whisky 40% 70cl
River Rock was created in late 2020 by three friends who had previously worked for the Edrington Group, owners of the likes of The Macallan, Highland Park and Glenrothes. They wanted to launch a whisky that was approachable to all but also gave something back to the planet, and as a result we now have a single malt whisky bottled at an unknown age from an unknown distillery contained in a very distinctive 'wonky' bottle made from recycled glass.
Now, there is quite a lot of marketing bullshit that surrounds this brand. A number of websites that gained early reviews talk about the spirit being selected 'from higher up the still' - that is patent nonsense and absolutely meaningless. You take the spirit from the top of the still where it runs off - you don't get to pick and choose, unless you use a column still with rectifying plates, and in that case you can't call it a Scotch Single Malt.
So what I'm guessing is that River Rock is sourcing whisky from a distillery with taller than normal stills - and given the soft, sweet flavour profile I'm almost inclined to assume it's Glenmorangie. They also harp on about ex-Bourbon casks being used - well, lots of other brands do too.
BUT the most important thing is the liquid inside the bottle, not the word salads surrounding it, and fortunately this whisky is incredibly enjoyable to drink.
Now, I HATE the word smooth - it's essentially meaningless as we all have different ideas of what 'smooth' means. But this is the closest I've come to describing a whisky as such. There's a lovely rich, full, silky texture with a sweet nutty feel - almost like nougat. There's a nice bite at the end - even with a 40% ABV - but it's closer to the sharp tang of a green apple as opposed to heat of alcohol.
It's ridiculously easy drinking, and works briiliantly in cocktails too. The bottle looks lovely on the shelf. And the price point is pretty much spot on. And that's why I'm more than happy to stock it, even if the marketing aspect of the brand really does get my goat!
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