Uhuru – Batch 2

It’s about a year ago since I started with my Explorers Pack and because of my new job opportunity only three sets were ever released. The fourth pack was however already selected and the bottles in my possession, and though I won’t be selling it to bars and restaurants anymore, that does not have to stop me from sharing their tasting notes with all of you. In fact, the amazingly talented Dominque Wijnands already made some stunning pictures with the set, and I wouldn’t want to withhold you these beauties either. All the pictures that go along with this Uhuru whisky review are made by her!

On to the whisky at hand, this Uhuru Batch 2 is one I already selected many months ago, when I had an interview with Andrew Wilson from Young Spirits. Some might still remember Andrew from my Ferg & Harris article, that I published during my first Explorers Pack release, as their Speyside 12 was featured in that set. During this interview Andrew went into detail about their Uhuru releases, a passion project that Young Spirits started to help support African Wildlife.

No less than 10% of their net profit on these bottles goes directly to the Tusk Foundation. Which takes special interest in protecting both Rhino’s and Elephants. Under the Uhuru brand there are both Whisky releases (with an Elephant on the label) and Rum releases (with a Rhino on the label). Uhuru itself means “Freedom” in Swahili.

The whisky at hand is the second release of Uhuru Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. It has an extra two years of maturation compared to its younger sibling, which puts the age statement of batch 2 at 12 years old. This whisky has matured in Virgin Oak and has been hand bottled at 55% ABV. And though this is a blended malt, a little birdy told me it’s in fact a teaspooned Ailsa Bay!

Tasting Notes – Uhuru Batch 2

ABV: 55% (110 proof)
Age: 12 years old
Distillery: Ailsa Bay
Chill-filtered: No
Natural Colour: Yes

Whisps of seaweed and driftwood come floating of the top of the glass. Which brings an image of the eye of a storm on a deserted beach to mind. Moss, heather and young birchtree branches are paired with luscious amounts of vanilla, strawberry yoghurt and candy canes. The nose is truly a lovely combination of both vegetal and candy influences.

Peppered roast beef, served on a plate made out of tree bark. That’s the first image that comes to mind while sipping this dram. Freshly ground peppercorns, a sultry slab of beef, pine resin, oak shavings, liquorice root, salmiak, and just a hint of aniseed. It all contributes to a hefty flavour profile that in my opinion would go perfectly with a bbq!

The almost creamy mouthfeel lingers for a long time, with elements of beeswax, charred meat, roasted vanilla pods, and oak shavings. Near the very end I’m picking up on the aniseed again and just a hint of menthol starts to appear as well. Giving this dram a lot of nuance differences between nose, palate, and finish. This whisky is elaborate, and I like that!

This second batch of Uhuru is an absolute cracker! It’s both unique, with it’s pronounced vegetal notes, and rich, with its plethora of sweet & savoury notes. And ofcourse, buying a bottle is for a good cause! And I think 10% is a more than fair amount as well! These bottles are only available in the UK. But thanks to Hogshead Imports I was able to import a couple for myself! So if you’re very eager to try this dram, feel free to reach out!

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