Tasting Notes: Filey Bay – Double Oak #1

Back in 2019 the team at Spirit of Yorkshire distillery did something that no one had ever officially) done before: they released a Yorkshire single malt whisky. Following the very successful First and Second Releases their first mainstay recipe and core release was called “Flagship” (sipped and savoured with notes here).

Since then, the team have been regularly releasing a series of different finishes to their signature single malt, to see where the different cask types can take their whisky: STR finish, Moscatel Finish, Peated Finish, IPA Finish etc.

The Double Oak release follows a similar pattern to those finishes, however the experiment is to see how a virgin oak cask can influence their ex-bourbon cask base. The team sampled ex-bourbon casks which contained their spirit first laid down in the winter of 2017/18 and 150 of those were picked to have the dominant characteristics of Flagship and see how could be bolstered from the new oak bite of virgin oak casks.

This “Special Release” Double Oak was bottled at 46% ABV, at its natural colour and without chill-filtration. Limited to 2,000 bottles, this was Double Oak #1 was released at RRP £70.

Filey Bay – Double Oak #1

Nose

Boiled sweets – particularly those Campino strawberries and cream ones! – and toffee apples. It’s all very sticky sweet with honeydew, pineapple, but with some mustier earthier flavours too like butterscotch, and some, grassy, straw-like flavours and some little oak dryness.

Taste

Really sweet – those boiled sweets and toffee apples, these mellow and reveal some solid sweet vanilla ice cream flavour. Cadbury’s fruit and nut bars spring to mind too. Then there is a gradual build of the (double) oak spices – cracked black pepper, stem ginger, and cinnamon heat. There also a final little savoury note which reminds me of Yorkshire’s own Henderson’s Relish.

Finish

It is all over in a fizzly flash, and that boiled sweet set of flavours seems to reappear along with that vanilla backbone.

Verdict

I would very easily go through a bottle of this – the price tag and lack of space in the whisky prevents that though.

Treating the Flagship whisky as the benchmark for this one, then it has all the original whisky’s hallmarks but amped up – the fruits are fruitier, the vanilla flavour is more creamy, the texture is a little more soft and weighty, and the virgin oak gives it real body and bite. It’s called Double Oak but everything seems to have been doubled up. It is a great indication of where they are going and what extra cask maturation will bring to the table.

I touched on it above but £70 seems pretty bonkers to me though. But that does seem to be the ball park these days and people are clearly happy to pay it though as I did try and tease myself and investigate buying one, only for it to be sold out. It is notably called Double Oak #1 however, so maybe let’s keep those eyes peeled for #2.

Having tried several English whiskies of late, I’ve been getting used to the younger malts and benefits of experimentation in a young distillery’s life. This is no exception, and without older malts within their roster to compare next to, these cask/finishing variations are all deliver marked differences. More importantly, whilst the future stuff is an exciting prospect, there is plenty of good stuff to enjoy right now, so let’s not wish the years away!

M

Filey Bay – From Field To Bottle

Sample disclosure: This sample and the beer were received as part of a Tweet Tasting event run by The Whisky Wire for the Spirit of Yorkshire / Filey Bay whiskies. All notes are intended as an honest, fair, and independent review of the whisky and beer, and not as a promotion. Please drink responsibly. Please drink wisely.

Filey Bay Tweet Tasting Pack

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