By the admission of its creator, Bhakta 27-07 was a mistake. The limited edition spirit, a blend of Calvados and Armagnac finished in Islay scotch casks, is so labeled because its blend was supposed to be made from 27-year-old-spirit at its oldest, and a 7-year-old-spirit at its youngest. Due to an error by the company’s cellar master, the blend is in fact 49 years old at its oldest and 18 at its youngest: call the resulting release a happy accident.
Bhakta Spirits comes from eponymous founder Raj Peter Bhakta, who also started WhistlePig Whiskey before later selling the company. He’s amassed a luxury spirits portfolio anchored by Armagnac holdings dating back to 1868—the flagship spirit, Bhakta 50, is an Islay-finished blend of Armagnac vintages from between 1868 and 1970.
But back to Bhakta 27-07: It has a warm, musty nose—and yes, I’m aware that “warm and musty” aren’t always the most complimentary of modifiers—but think of an orchard around harvest time, just after rainfall. To that end, it had me thinking of stewed apples and pears, and slightly sour, fermenting grapes.
The experience starts with a luscious texture on the palate and those cooked apple and pear flavors, following along to pie crust at the center accompanied by oak spice and cinnamon. Afterward the spicy, mid-palate sweetness turns to black licorice and spearmint before drying out with leather and cherry pipe tobacco.
It’s those last two notes that prove particularly potent by the climax; the effect is like sinking into a leather armchair with your pipe at hand after having a slice of cherry pie for dessert. The finish is embodied by that odd but enjoyable flavor of tobacco and dried fruit, which absolutely coats the palate and dwells inside the mouth as if you’ve just finished smoking—not always a desirable experience, but in the case of Bhakta 27-07, just what the doctor ordered.
Bhakta 27-07 is a slow, contemplative ride that’s rich, weird, and rewarding—all in all, a happy accident.