The label is almost too informative, but here are all the details: First fill, American oak, 200 liter casks. Matured for 3.5 years. Malt: Pale barley, pale wheat, beach wood smoked barley. Cask number 9359.
And it contains wheat malt. Interesting.
Nose: It smells like whisky, and much less of congeners than a three year old can be expected to. A bit of lemon, a bit of malt, but a rather closed nose. With water it develops a somewhat surprising note of eucalyptus, with a persistent grain (as in dried barley and wheat, not as in “grain whisky”) character underneath.
Palate: My brain may be stuck on the ingredients list, but I actually think it tastes of driftwood and wheat husks. Water turns it sharper and brings out the eucalyptus from the nose, as well as some dry wood and a little newmakey roughness.
Comments: This is not bad at all. Arcus are not just playing at making whisky, that much is obvious. It would probably not stand up to a really good single malt, but then, at three, it can hardly be expected to. I’m looking forward to the next chapter.