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Allotment Drams / Bladnoch Vinaya & Grace O'Malley Blended Irish Whiskey

We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram review series for you. This is where we sit and talk about different whiskies in the surroundings of our allotment plot in north London. 

First, Matt takes a look at the Bladnoch Vinaya. This is a new addition to the core range of single malts from the Lowland distillery. Watch to discover more about the distillery and brand, and how it has come through a different recent past, before hearing Matt's thoughts and tasting notes.

Then on his next visit he goes Irish in the form of Grace O'Malley, a blended whiskey that has just been launched in the UK. Watch to find out the inspiration behind the brand and details of the bottling, before Matt gives his thoughts and tasting notes.

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Review / Grace O'Malley

Grace O'Malley is an blended Irish whiskey that has recently been introduced to the UK market. This follows successful launches in Ireland and the USA. The whiskey is named after Grace O'Malley, a legendary Pirate Queen from Ireland in the 16th century. The blend contains whiskeys with age statements ranging from three to ten years old. There is a relatively high percentage of single malt included (both double and triple distilled malt, and 46% of the recipe), along with single grain and pot still whiskeys. These have been matured in ex-bourbon and ex-rum casks plus some French Oak barrels, before being blended together by Paul Caris the Master Blender. It joins the Dark Char Cask and Rum Cask, plus a gin in the Grace O'Malley range.

Grace O'Malley is a brand created by the Irish Whiskey Company (IWC). The heritage of the company sees the Teeling family, formerly of Cooley distillery and now the Teeling distillery in Dublin, as majority owners and has The Great North Distillery in Dundalk, Co. Louth at its heart. This started production in August 2015 having been converted from an old brewery by IWC. They produce all three styles of Irish distillery on the site - single malt, single pot still and single grain - and is now the second largest Irish distillery after Midleton.

Grace O'Malley is bottled at 40% ABV and is available in selected retailers in the UK. As mentioned, it is also currently available in Ireland and the USA. A bottle will cost around the £30 mark. For more details on Grace O'Malley, please visit the brand website www.graceomalleywhiskey.com.

Our tasting notes

The whiskey has a deep golden colour and the nose has an instant freshness and sweetness to it. Aromas of green apple, heather honey and milk chocolate are followed by those of toffee, caramel and vanilla. Underneath are further aromas of malted cereal biscuit and hints of cinnamon and toasted hazelnut.

On the palate this whiskey has the same freshness and sweetness as seen on the nose. Crisp and tart green apple notes mingle with a hefty pinch of white pepper and a good dollop of honey. This honey-like note becomes more pronounced with time and heads more in the direction of honeycomb and golden syrup as it does so. These are then joined by further sweet notes such as milk chocolate, toffee and a hint of caramelised pineapple.

Underpinning everything is an increasingly robust maltiness and this adds depth and structure. This again has a biscuit-like quality and grips the tastebuds. A late note of toasted nuts (imagine hazelnut but also a suggestion of walnut) accentuates this. Some even later baking and wood spices add to the initial peppery warmth - think of cinnamon and a pinch of powdered ginger especially.

The finish is a little on the short side. It is the gripping malty characteristic that lingers most as the fruit (that green apple and hint of pineapple) and confected sweetness fade rapidly. This has the effect of bringing the white pepper and warming spices to the fore.

What's the verdict?

Grace O'Malley would be a lovely introduction to Irish whiskey for anyone wanting to try it for the first time. She is not the most complicated whiskey, and nor would you expect it to be for the price, but it is well blended and flavoursome. It offers plenty for the drinker and presents a great entry level experience. 

If only the finish were not so short or slightly aggressive, then this would elevate it from a decent dram to an excellent one. This would be delicious over ice or with a mixer too because of that defined sweetness, which we will definitely be trying soon.


Stellum Bourbon

Stellum Bourbon Cask Strength Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskies 57.49% ABV $55 Website We would like to thank Stellum Spirits and Ro-Bro Marketing & PR for sending us a sample to review. What the Blender Says Stellum Spirits is a new national brand created and produced by Barrell Craft Spirits® (BCS). Please see this release …

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The post Stellum Bourbon first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Review / Jura Rum Cask Finish


This single malt whisky is the third bottling in the Cask Editions series from the Hedbridean island distillery of Jura. The Jura Rum Cask Finish has been created by Gregg Glass, the Whisky Maker & Blender at brand owner Whyte & Mackay, and has seen the spirit first matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to ex-Caribbean rum casks for a finishing period. It is presented with tropical themed packaging to reflect the cask influence. The Jura Rum Cask Finish is bottled at 40% ABV and will initially be exclusively available in a one litre format in UK supermarkets. The price will be £45. A 70cl bottle will also be released to other markets later in 2021.

 

"Summer is on its way and with it consumers are seeking fruity and vibrant flavours. The Jura Rum Cask Finish offers an easy-sipper that will transport tastebuds to tropical islands by way of the remote Scottish island of Jura." Kirsteen Beeston - Head of International Malts at Whyte & Mackay. 

 The Jura distillery is located on the Hebridean isle of Jura and was founded in 1810 by Archibald Campbell. It was originally called the Small Isles distillery after the numerous islands located in Craighouse Bay, which the distillery sits on and overlooks. It was closed for a long period between 1901 and 1960, at which point it was rebuilt using a design by renowned post-War distillery architect William Delmé-Evans. It was only then renamed as Jura. 

Production restarted in 1963 and it has been operating ever since. The distillery has an annual production capacity of just over two million litres and is currently owned by Whyte & Mackay, who took control in 1993. Under their ownership the brand has seen sales grow massively, especially within the last 10 years or so.

Our tasting notes

The colour is golden yellow and the nose is full of vibrant and fruity aromas. Golden syrup and honey mix with dried pineapple and mango, which are backed up with hints of green apple and cocoa powder. Further aromas of peach, apricot and vanilla add depth and interest, and these are accentuated by hints of gingerbread and cinnamon.

On the palate this whisky has an instant luscious and juicy feel. Those tropical fruits from the nose, particularly the pineapple and peach, are expressive and have a delicious vibrancy. These notes are supported by an increasingly influential suggestion of bittersweet malted barley and a hint of soft and gentle distant peat smoke.

Then comes the next layer of sweet and fruity characteristics - sultana, green apple and a twist of blood orange peel combine well with the golden syrup and floral honey from the nose, plus icing sugar. There are also notes of vanilla, dessicated coconut and a good pinch of baking spices (especially cinnamon). Late hints of powdered ginger and cocoa are joined by a drying grass-like quality, which is most reminiscent of raw sugar cane and straw.

The finish is short and sweet. The fruitiness fades and allows the malt, mild peat smoke and warming spices to come through. This also has the effect of giving more prominence to the golden syrup and honey, but then even these are gone.

What's the verdict?

Rum casks are becoming increasingly popular over recent months it seems and Jura are the latest brand to join the party. A couple of the best examples that we have sampled have been quite smoky and the combination seems to work well. Jura's peat smoke is much more subtle and just gives a savoury suggestion, rather than being a dominant feature here. 

The rum cask influence is also much more subtle here than in some of those other examples. The expected tropical notes weave around the savoury and sweet elements, complimenting them well. The result makes Jura Rum Cask Finish a delicious and easy going whisky. Very enjoyable.

 

Rye is Rye, Right? Not So Fast...

Whisky lovers can probably name at least a few varieties of barley commonly used to make single malts, but rye? Rye doesn't get the same respect for its diversity, even though it's been around for hundreds of years. Mike Swanson of Minnesota's Far North Spirits has led a team of researchers looking into the flavors different strains of rye have when they're distilled into whisky. That study has just been released, and he'll discuss the findings with us on WhiskyCast In-Depth. We'll also compare some of the whiskies from that study, cover the week's whisky news, and much more!

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (April 16, 2021)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information. 

Here is the round-up of this week's news ...

________

 Buffalo Trace 
The multi award-winning American distillery of Buffalo Trace has announced the release of three Kosher whiskeys - the Kosher Rye Recipe Bourbon, Kosher Wheat Recipe Bourbon and Kosher Straight Rye Whiskey. The releases are planned to appear every year going forwards and follows a trial release in 2020. It follows a 10 year project of the distillery working with the Chicago Rabbinical Council to give consumers what they believe to be the world's first truly Kosher whiskey.
Strict rules were followed both during the production, maturation and bottling to ensure that the whiskey remained Kosher throughout. All three bottles are released at 47% ABV/ 94 Proof. The Buffalo Trace Kosher bottlings will be available via specialist retailers across the USA and in selected markets worldwide. Each bottle will cost $45 US/ £33.
  
Highland Park 
The Orkney distillery of Highland Park has revealed details of its latest 50 years old release. It is the third such single malt bottled at this age and the 2020 batch follows releases in 2010 and 2018. The Highland Park 50 years old 2020 Batch has been taken from nine re-fill casks that were filled in 1968. These casks were then combined in 2008 and filled to first-fill ex-sherry casks.
Then in 2020 just one of the ex-sherry casks was chosen by Gordon Motion, the Master Whisky Maker at Highland Park. He introduced a small quantity of the 2018 batch to this and left it to mature for a few more months. In turn, the 2018 edition had previously had some of the 2010 batch introduced. This has resulted in just 274 bottles at the natural cask strength of 43.8% ABV.
The Highland Park 50 years old 2020 Batch is presented in a heavyweight glass decanter that is embossed with the brand's Nordic inspired design. This is housed in a handcrafted wooden casket made from walnut and is accompanied by a book that tells the journey of the whisky over five decades. It will be availabke in selected specialist and luxury retailers globally and each bottle will cost £20,000/ $27,450 US. 

Old Fitzgerald
The Kentucky straight bourbon brand of Old Fitzgerald, which is owned by Heaven Hill, has announced the details of the Spring 2021 edition in its Bottled-In-Bond series. A new release has been added each Spring and Autumn since the series launched in 2018. The Spring 2021 Edition is bottled at 8 years old and at 50 % ABV/ 100 Proof. The term 'bottled in bond' carries strict requirements - the whiskey must be from a single distillation season at a single distillery, then aged for a minimum of four years and bottled at 100 Proof. The Old Fitzgerald Bottled-In-Bond Spring 2021 is available across the USA and will cost $85 US.

 

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The Singleton of Dufftown 15 Yr

The Singleton of Dufftown 15 Yr Single Malt Scotch Whisky 40% ABV $70 Website (sort of) What the Bottle* Says Fruity Decadence Vibrantly fruity, chocolatey and subtly spiced. Indulge in this deeply delectable 15 Year Old. Here we’ve got whisky from both refill ex-Bourbon casks, known for imparting a kiss of sumptuous vanilla, and Pedro …

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The post The Singleton of Dufftown 15 Yr first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Review / Bladnoch Vinaya

This whisky is a new addition to the core range of single malts from the revitalised Lowland distillery of Bladnoch (pronounced blad-nock). The Bladnoch Vinaya takes its name from a Sanskrit word meaning respect and gratitude, and joins the similarly named Adela, Samsara and Talia expressions (amongst others) in the ever-expanding range. The distillery, which has seen a major recent revamp of both production equipment and fortunes, is known as 'The Queen of the Lowlands'. The Vinaya has seen whisky matured in both first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and first-fill ex-sherry casks, which have been selected and married together by Master Distiller Dr. Nick Savage.

 

"Vinaya is inspired by teachings throughout the distillery’s history. From our original founders in 1817 to our new era, we wanted to showcase the Lowland style of Bladnoch distillery. We are excited to share it with the world." Dr. Nick Savage. 

 Bladnoch is located in a remote spot of Dumfries & Galloway close to the village of Wigtown and is further south than parts of northern England, including the city of Newcastle. It was founded in 1817 by brothers John and Thomas McClelland. The name is derived from the ancient Gaelic place name of Blaidzenoch and the nearby River Bladnoch supplies the water for the whisky production. The distillery has had a chequered history and has been closed and re-opened on a number of occasions due to operational, financial and location reasons.

The most recent closure came in 2014 when the previous ownership went into liquidation. This led to David Prior taking over in 2015 and he undertook a complete refurbishment of the distillery. The only piece of old equipment that remained fit for purpose was the mill with everything else replaced. Production restarted in the Summer of 2017 with a new visitor centre later opened by HRH Prince Charles in September 2019. Production capacity is now 1.5 million litres with around 100,000 litres of this being a heavily peated spirit.

Bladnoch Vinaya is bottled at 46.7% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. It is available globally from specialist retailers in selected markets or via www.bladnoch.com. A bottle will cost £49/ $68 US. 

Our tasting notes

The colour is pale gold and the nose is light, sweet and on the delicate side. Aromas of brown sugar, honey and butterscotch rise from the glass and are quickly joined by sultana and a hint of almond. Then comes further hints of milk chocolate and cinnamon along with distinct aromas of dried grass and malted cereals. 

On the palate this whisky has an initial lightness and elegance. The sweetness leads the way - think of crumbly brown sugar and juicy sultanas in particular to begin with, followed by honey and butterscotch. This leads to further notes of toffee and a hint of milk chocolate. 

Underneath are those distinctive grassy and cereal notes from the nose - imagine meadow hay and straw combined with gripping bittersweet malt and oat biscuits. These characteristics underpin everything and accentuate the sweeter notes, therefore elevating them. A good pinch of warming spice is also evident, especially cinnamon and gingerbread, and these add a further layer of complexity and flavour. A final hint of hazelnut and a drop of orange oil round things off.

The finish is on the short side, especially once the sweet elements have gone. This leaves the warming spices and gripping maltiness to drag out the finish, although not to the length that we expected. This gives the finish a final bit of heat.

What's the verdict?

This is our first experience of Bladnoch under the current ownership, having not sampled anything from the Lowland distillery for over 10 years. And we are delighted with what we have found. From memory the previous expressions that we have tasted were in the typical Lowland style - light, grassy and delicate. 

The Vinaya is very much in the same vein but with a little extra richness and sweetness coming from the ex-sherry casks. It now makes us want to try the other whiskies in the core range and it is great to see the distillery putting out such good whiskies and coming back from the dead.


The Dalwhinnie 30 Year Old 2020 Special Release

Tasting notes:
On the nose, we got lemon treacle with a thin stream of melted dark chocolate included just to see if the master of the house would notice (he didn’t). There are also pine needles fashioned out of orange pith and used as a centerpiece for a large table (he didn’t notice that, either). We also found upside-down pineapple cake with a very browned bottom and topped with a hint of caramelized Szechuan pepper dabbed with a woman’s perfume and a man’s cologne (the servants had cast lots on which Master would prefer, but yet again, he didn’t notice).

The mouth offers prickly pear made into a piquant green curry (just for the staff, of course). There’s also chalk powder from Mrs. Bumbridge’s blackboard that she uses to lay out the courses and keep the staff on point. It fell upon the ginger donuts she had made for afternoon tea (and Master had been content believing they were coated in powdered sugar). 

The finish is a low, seemingly never-ending roll of warming spice that doubles back on itself like Master’s favorite water feature in the garden (none of the staff can figure out his attraction to the crazy legs frog fountain). The sensation it leaves you with is that of microscopic pinpricks on the tongue, but in a soothing, wellbeing-inducing way: imagine a million nurses simultaneously administering vaccinations, and you’ll be close to the idea. This is something, unfortunately for the rest of us, our protagonist has not dreamt of, being centered only on his own indifferent life.

 
 

Rating:
On the scale of examples of non-self-absorbed elites–

The Dalwhinnie 30 Year Old 2020 Special Release is Mckenzie Scott donating over $4 billion–most, if not all, of it with no restrictions attached–to food banks and other COVID relief funds–The combination of high-end and this kind of good is tough to beat. 

 
 




 
 

                                                                                      —Stephen

 
 




 
 

–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!

 


 

Allotment Drams / Tamnavulin Double Cask & Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2021 Edition

We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram series for you. This is where we talk to you about whisky from the surroundings of our north London allotment. First join Matt as he takes a look at the little known Speyside distillery of Tamnavulin, which he has not tasted anything from for over a decade. Watch to discover his thoughts and tasting notes for the accessible Double Cask expression.

Then on his next visit he samples a brand new release from the family-owned Islay distillery of Kilchoman. Watch as he talks about the distillery and the annual Loch Gorm bottling, before giving his thoughts and tasting notes on the 2021 Edition.

To keep up-to-date with our Allotment Drams and other videos, please subscribe to and visit our YouTube channel by clicking here.






 

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Booker’s 2021-01 “Donohoe’s Batch”

Booker’s “Donohoe’s Batch” Batch 2021-01 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 6 Years, 11 Months, 4 Days 62.65% ABV $90 Website We would like to thank Beam Suntory and Multiply for sending us a sample to review. What the Distillery Says: “The first release of the Booker’s® Bourbon 2021 Collection is Booker’s Batch 2021-01 ‘Donohoe’s Batch.’ This …

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The post Booker’s 2021-01 “Donohoe’s Batch” first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

An Anniversary Celebration...One Year Late

Bourbons Bistro had everything ready to go for its 15th anniversary dinner in April...of 2020. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Louisville landmark to cancel its plans, and there were times when it looked like the bistro might suffer the same fate as many other bars and restaurants that went out of business over the past year. Jason Brauner and his team made it, though, and will celebrate with a 16th anniversary dinner on April 21.  We'll talk with Jason about the events of the past year - and the 15 years before it - on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, we now know more about Jeff Arnett's future plans after leaving Jack Daniel's ahead of a formal announcement next week, while Diageo plans a pricey release of rare Brora whiskies next month to celebrate the distillery's reopening. We'll also have details on two charity projects from the Bourbon world and much more on this week's WhiskyCast!

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (April 9, 2021)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information. 

Here is the round-up of this week's news ...

________ Brora 
The soon-to-be reopened north Highland distillery of Brora has announced the release of three very rare bottlings from some of their last remaining stocks. The Brora Tritych is designed to celebrate the forthcoming rebirth by looking back to the distillery's pre-closure days, before production ended in 1983. The collection has been collated by Stewart Bowman, the Master Distiller for Brora, and will only be sold as complete sets.
The Brora Triptych is formed of the Timeless Original 38 years old, the Age of Peat 43 years old and the Elusive Legacy 48 years old - the oldest ever official release of Brora. The Timeless Original was distilled in 1982 and is bottled at 47.5% ABV. The Age of Peat was distilled in 1977 and is bottled at 48.6% ABV. The Elusive Legacy was distilled in 1972 and is bottled at 42.8% ABV.
All three rare whiskies are presented in bespoke hand blown decanters designed by Glencairn Crystal and these are housed in a handcrafted wooden casket made from ash by esteemed cabinetmaker N. E. J Stevenson, holder of a Royal Warrant. The Brora Triptych will cost £30,000 ($41,200 US) and will be available in luxury and specialist spirits retailers worldwide from mid-May. The exact number of sets was not revealed in the press release.


Glen Scotia
The Campbeltown distillery of Glen Scotia have announced this year's special release for the annual Cambeltown Malts Festival, which will again be held as an online event in 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2021 Edition has been created using unpeated spirit that was distilled in 2009, 2010 and 2011. These were matured in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels before being transferred for a finishing period in ex-Bordeaux red wine casks. It is bottled at 10 years of age and at the natural cask strength of 56.1% ABV. It is also both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. 
The Glen Scotia Campbeltown Festival 2021 Edition 10 years old and will be available in limited quantities in selected world markets. The exact number of bottles and the price was not included in the press release. For further information on this bottling, please visit www.glenscotia.co.uk

"The release of our Glen Scotia Festival Edition has become a keenly awaited fixture on our calendar. This year’s expression takes influence from both our rich history and coastal location, while the delicious flavours from the Bordeaux wine casks add a unique twist."Iain McAlister - Distillery Manager at Glen Scotia.

 

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Highland Park Full Volume

Highland Park Full Volume Single Malt Scotch Whisky 47.2% ABV $100 Website What the Distillery Says Some things in life are best enjoyed in their most intense forms. This includes your closest friendships, your favourite songs, and exceptionally intense single malt whiskies. Full Volume is a robust, beautifully balanced whisky, exclusively matured in Kosher certified …

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The post Highland Park Full Volume first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Review / Kilchoman Loch Gorm (2021 Edition)


This whisky is the latest in a line of annual Loch Gorm bottlings from the family-owned Islay distillery of Kilchoman. The whisky is named after a freshwater loch that is situated very close to the distillery, between it and the Atlantic Ocean, and was first released in 2012. The Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2021 Edition follows the same formula as previous expressions by using only whiskies matured in ex-sherry casks. For the 2021 Edition 24 Oloroso sherry butts have been hand-selected and then vatted together by Anthony Wills, the Founder and Master Distiller at Kilchoman. These were filled with spirit in either 2011 or 2012 and has resulted in 17,000 bottles.

Kilchoman is one of Scotland's smaller single malt distilleries and is named after the local church parish. It is located on Rockside Farm on the remote west coast of the famous whisky island of Islay, close to the sweeping Machir Bay The first spirit was only produced in June 2005 and the first single malt was released in November 2009. Kilchoman is independently owned and now has a production capacity of just over 350,000 litres a year, following a recent ambitious expansion of the facilities. 

"The Loch Gorm releases show how well our peated spirit can combine with sherry casks, something that is not always an easy task. This 2021 edition is packed with rich bold flavours and has a breadth, depth and balance of character." Anthony Wills.

The Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2021 Edition is bottled at 46% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. It will be available through selected specialist whisky retailers in worldwide markets until sold out. A bottle will cost £70/ $97 US. 

Our tasting notes

The colour is golden yellow with a tint of amber and the nose is elegantly peaty and sweet. Aromas of sea spray and damp embers mingle with heather honey, raisins and sultana. Underneath are further aromas of bittersweet cereals, damp moss, a twist of bitter orange peel and a good pinch of warming spices - think of cinnamon, ginger and white pepper.

On the palate this whisky feels luscious and juicy to begin with. The sweet heather honey and sultanas are evident immediately. However, the smoky and peaty elements are not far behind at all. This appears in a wave of notes - damp earth, charred oat cookies, dying embers and a hint of charcoal ash. The mix of sweet versus drying and savoury is very enjoyable.

Underneath are further notes that develop with time, especially once the peatiness begins to mellow. The bittersweet malty cereals offer a robustness and grip the tastebuds. Then comes those warming spices from the nose, which are a mix of traditional baking spices (cinnamon and all-spice especially) and woody spices (think of toasted oak and a hint of sandalwood). Extra warmth is added by a late note of gingerbread, which is joined by a hint of milk chocolate and golden syrup.

The finish is long and warming. The sweet notes continue their luscious journey for a decent time before fading slowly. This leaves the robust cereals and drying ash-like smoke to linger and wrap around the tastebuds. Delicious.

What's the verdict?

This is a wonderful new expression in the Loch Gorm series and one that shows the continued development of the Islay distillery. The excellent combination of ex-Oloroso sherry casks along with Kilchoman's peated spirit is a joy and presents great balance. The nose is enticing and the palate is even better, delivering flavour in abundance. It will be interesting to see how Kilchoman grows now that they have expanded. We will be following their progress closely.


Aberlour 16 Year Old Double Cask Matured

Aberlour 16 Year Old Double Cask Matured Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky 40% ABV $75-$100 Website What the Distillery Says Fruity & Deep With the depth and complexity that comes from being matured for 16 years in a combination of American Oak casks and the finest Sherry butts, this expression’s warm and fruity notes are …

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The post Aberlour 16 Year Old Double Cask Matured first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

A Sustainable Future for Whisky Distilling

Distillers are always looking to the future. After all, many are laying down casks of whisky for future generations to bottle. Now, more distillers are looking ahead for a different reason...to make sure their distilleries have a minimal impact on the environment. Scotland's Nc'Nean Distillery was named "Sustainable Distillery of the Year" in Whisky Magazine's 2021 Icons of Whisky Awards, and we'll talk with Nc'Nean founder Annabel Thomas on WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, Scotland's government is slowly relaxing strict public health restrictions, and that's allowing distillery shops to start opening again. We'll also have details on a groundbreaking new Bourbon, the latest innovation from Bruichladdich, the retirement of a longtime whisky blender, and the celebration of a 60-year-long (and counting) career for Glen Grant's Dennis Malcolm.

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (April 2, 2021)



Welcome to Inbox, our weekly round up of whisky news and PR material that has found its way in to our WFE email. It was created as we cannot write full articles or do justice to every piece received. It features items from around the world of whisky and is published by us each Friday. Within Inbox we aim to write a few lines detailing each press release/piece of news/PR event that we have received and provide links, where possible, for you to find out further information. 

Here is the round-up of this week's news ...

________

Jura
The Hebridean island distillery of Jura has announced the third bottling in its Cask Editions series - the Jura Rum Cask Finish. The whisky has been created by Gregg Glass, the Whisky Maker & Blender at brand owner Whyte & Mackay, and has seen the spirit first matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to ex-Caribbean rum casks for a finishing period. It is presented with tropical themed packaging. The Jura Rum Cask Finish is bottled at 40% ABV and will initially be exclusively available in a one litre format in the UK. The price will be £45. A 70cl bottle will be released to other markets later in 2021. 

"Summer is on its way and with it consumers are seeking fruity and vibrant flavours. The Jura Rum Cask Finish offers an easy-sipper that will transport tastebuds to tropical islands by way of the remote Scottish island of Jura."Kirsteen Beeston - Head of International Malts at Whyte & Mackay.




Kilchoman
The family-owned Islay distillery of Kilchoman has announced details of its annual Loch Gorm release, named after a nearby freshwater loch. The Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2021 Edition follows the same formula as previous expressions by using only whiskies matured in ex-sherry casks. For the 2021 edition 24x Oloroso sherry butts have been vatted together. These were filled with spirit in either 2011 or 2012. The whisky is bottled at 46% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. This has resulted in 17,000 bottles being available to worldwide markets with each costing £70/ $97 US. 

"The Loch Gorm releases show how well our peated spirit can combine with sherry casks, something that is not always an easy task. This 2021 edition is packed with rich bold flavours and has a breadth, depth and balance of character." Anthony Wills - Founder and Master Distiller at Kilchoman.



Littlemill 
The long-closed Lowland distillery of Littlemill, which was the oldest licensed distillery in Scotland until production ceased in 1992, has released its oldest expression to date - the Littlemill Testament. The remaining stock is held and owned by The Loch Lomond Group and overseen by Michael Henry, the Master Blender for the company.  The liquid used for Testament was from a single distillation on October 4, 1976. This was recasked in to American oak ex-bourbon casks in 1996 before Henry transferred it to first-fill ex-Oloroso sherry hogsheads for a final four month finishing period. There are just 250 decanters, which were designed and hand-blown by Glencairn Crystal, of this rare whisky available worldwide. Littlemill Testament is released at 42.5% ABV and each decanter will cost £8,000/ $11,000 US. 

"It has been an honour to have played my part in the development of Testament as the current custodian of the few remaining casks from the original Littlemill distillery. I am very proud of the result."Michael Henry.

 

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Compass Box Tobias & The Angel

Compass Box Tobias & The Angel Blended Malt Whisky 47.6% ABV $500 Website What the Blender Says Made from just two parcels of whisky, which we are unlikely to source again at these ages, Tobias & the Angel is a culmination of two decades of whiskymaking. We have a long-held reverence for the whiskies of …

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The post Compass Box Tobias & The Angel first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

The Akashi Meïsei Blended Japanese Whisky

The Akashi Meïsei is an 80 proof special edition blended whisky sold only in France. It’s vatted with 45% single malt, and it’s aged in American oak barrels. (“Meïsei” means “celebrity” in Japanese.)


It’s produced by the White Oak distillery, which is located in Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan.  It was founded in 1984, it uses two pot stills, and it’s owned by the Egaijima Sake Brewery Company, Ltd.

Tasting notes:

Nose: Sherried, smoked cold cuts, pine, and soft floral bouquets. 77/100.
Mouth: Stewed fruits and chewy wood. Pears. Salt, and more floral notes. 89/100
Finish: Maple, spices, biscuits. White bread, but satisfying. 83/100

Rating: 83/100

 
 




 
 

April Fools! The rating is really 82/100.

 
 




 
 

                                                                                      —Bill