Wolfburn Aurora is the new single malt whisky release from the young distillery and an addition to their ‘Signature Series’. According to the distillery, Aurora will be part of the permanent range as Wolfburn filled Sherry casks on a regular basis since 2013. There are also rumors of cask strength single malt expressions, but we should not be expecting to see them for another year or so.
William Smith built the original Wolfburn Distillery near the town of Thurso, Caithness, in 1821 . For its time, the distillery was of considerable size and ran as a successful operation for several decades. Unfortunately it ceased operations in mid 1800’s. The distillery gets its name from a nearby stream – Wolf Burn – where it draws water from.
In 2012 a private consortium under the name ‘Aurora Brewing’ built a new Wolfburn distillery in Henderson Park, Thurso, situated approximately 350m from the site of the old one.
The wolf like animal in the Wolfburn logo represents a ‘sea-wolf’ and was taken from a book called ‘The History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents’ by 16th Century linguist and zoologist Konrad Gesner. Sea-wolf was a beast rumored to live in Gesner’s time. According to the lore of the time, the sea-wolf did “liveth both on sea and land.” and said to bring good luck to all those fortunate enough to see it.
You can find a video about the Wolfburn Distillery here.
Wolfburn Aurora – named after the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis – is an expression matured in different cask types. 40% in second fill ex-Islay quarter casks made from Spanish and American oak; 40% in first fill ex-Bourbon barrels; and 20% in first fill oloroso Sherry hogsheads.
Shane Fraser, the master distiller of Wolfburn defines the characteristics of this expression as;
“On the nose you’ll sense sherry sweetness accompanied by dried fruits and malt. On the palate there’s a warmth imparted from the sherry, augmented by autumn fruits and nutty flavours, with a hint of spice in the background – wonderfully smooth and mellow.”
Along with this release, the distillery re-launchs its first general release (bottled entirely from quarter casks) as Wolfburn Northland.
Wolfburn Aurora is a NAS product bottled at 46% ABV and non-chilled filtered. It will be available for purchase for around £48.