South Island 18 (New Zealand Whisky Collection)

South Island 18 1.jpg

Thanks to /u/Boyd86 for this sample.

New Zealand Whisky Collection and I have danced this dance before. And the reason is simple.

Back in 1997, while the rest of us were dealing with an onslaught of boy bands asking to fuck us (in various, gentle ways), the last New Zealand distillery closed.

The reason no one noticed is there weren’t any hobbits there yet. Those darn hobbits-s.

Well, I say Us, but I’m assuming Australian and Kiwis noticed these. And people who understood good whisky and weren’t in High School, like me.

Anyway, in 2010, when I actually had hair on my body and not on my head, the last 80,000 litres were bought and moved to Oamaru, which I can only assume is a made up word to confuse mainlanders like myself.

The company that bought them? Nope, not Chuck Testa. It was actually the New Zealand Whisky Collection. They hoped to use these to help start a new distillery from that country which is totally not Australia.

Since then, it would seem that some of these got watered down. That includes South Island 18. Made by Willowbank distillery, this is a Single Malt that uses 100% New Zealand barley and is aged 100% in ex-bourbon, American oak casks.

This is specifically the 1993 barrels, which were the best ones. Best is a comparative word, remember that.

Sounds like a good idea to try. I’m assuming that the LCBO got this only because it’s low Abv., and we worry that people can’t control themselves and will pull their own genitals off less we stop them. It’s part of the Rare and Collectable part, so I assume good things

Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

South Island 18 2.jpg

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: New Zealand

Abv: 40%

Colour: 5Y 9/6

Nose: Nectarine, vanilla, rice pudding, gingersnaps, lemon icing, violets

Nice. Reminds me of a lighter Highland. Has some interesting notes going on. Nothing too harsh, smells like it’s well rounded.

I totally don’t think this is a trap. And my last three girlfriends had Adam’s apples and only ever let me do Anal because that’s the kinda women they are.

Taste: Peach syrup, black pepper, alcohol, ginger

The joke is about traps. Google it. At work. You’ll have fun (this is sarcasm).

This is rough. Any refined sweetness (not in a refined sugar way) is gone, and it’s more harsh on the tongue. There’s a mix of alcohol, burn, and super sweet notes. Oh, and a kick in the nuts.

But enough about my love life.

Finish: Lemon, cumin, alcohol, grass, almond

The finish isn’t as rough as the taste, which is something I certainly have never said in a brothel while covered in wax and wondering how much this is going to cost.

There’s a nutty, light side to this that reminds me of enjoying the nose. Otherwise this is pretty rough.

Conclusion: The nose is good. I feel pitty for anyone who tried anything other than the 1993, if this was the best of the best.

Part of me thinks it tasted a lot better as CS. However this company has brought out CS versions. So I think that maybe, just maybe, this didn’t sell for 13 years and stuck around in an airplane hanger because it wasn’t that great.

Still want to try more from them though.


World Whisky review #157, New Zealand review #2, Whisky Network review #725

One thought on “South Island 18 (New Zealand Whisky Collection)

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