Back in September, my friend Dave Worthington, That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s brand ambassador, gave me a mountain of samples, and I’m still working my way through them. Hard work, I know. This time I’m trying something from a Taiwanese distillery I have never tried anything before: Nantou. Nantou Distillery was founded in 2008, becoming Taiwan’s second whisky distillery. In 2015, Puli Pan, the distillery manager since 2012, releases a first whisky called Omar. This core range will become known as Yushan Signature and will be joined by Yushan Blended Malt. Since then, they also released whisky under the Nantou name. For now, only two independent bottlers released whisky from Nantou apart from the official bottlings, and we try Nantou batch 2 from That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC).
Nantou Batch 2 TBWC Review
After a first batch released by Boutique-y in 2020, TBWC released this batch 2 in 2022 as part of their 10th birthday line-up. This 5-year-old Taiwanese single malt was made from peated malt and matured in an ex-bourbon cask. Only 281 bottles were produced, filled at 52% ABV, and neither chill filtration nor colouring was used. The suggested retail price for this whisky was £84.95, but it appears to be sold out at this time.
Neat: It presents smoky and woody notes, with hints of vanilla, soot, and fruit such as peach and apricot. There are also subtle undertones of minerality with limestone, and maritime notes with sea spray.
With water: The aroma becomes reminiscent of apple pie with cinnamon, and an ashtray with menthol cigarettes.
Neat: The palate of Nantou presents an oily mouthfeel and a combination of spices, wood bitterness, and earthy ash. There are also notes of caramel and vanilla, as well as cough syrup, tabasco sauce, chili pepper, wasabi, and ginger, for quite a spicy touch.
With water: The flavour becomes sweeter, with hints of wood polish and peppered apples.
The finish of Nantou whisky is lengthy, featuring an ashy note that lingers with vanilla and wood. There are also subtle hints of ginger and tabasco that persist.
I was pleasantly surprised by my discovery of this Nantou Batch 2 from The Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC). I cannot say if this specific batch is representative of the distillery’s overall output, but it has piqued my curiosity and I am eager to explore more from Nantou. Unfortunately, this batch is sold out and it may not be possible to purchase a bottle based on this review. The same goes for me as well.
Photo: Whiskybase. Lead image: That Boutique-y Whisky Company. Sample provided by That Boutique-Y Whisky Company.