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Review / Glenmorangie Lighthouse 12 years old


This new whisky has been released to celebrate the official opening of the new Lighthouse facility at the famous north Highland distillery of Glenmorangie. The Glenmorangie Lighthouse 12 years old is a combination of ex-bourbon barrels and ex-sherry casks, with a ratio of 80% to 20% respectively. It is exclusively available at the Glenmorangie distillery shop. The new single malt is the brainchild of Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie, and is released at the strength of 48% ABV. It is also non chill-filtered. There are just 4,782 bottles in the limited batch and each will cost £85. 

The Lighthouse distillery stands at the heart of Glenmorangie and features a new stone brewhouse and 20 metre high glass stillhouse. The facility, which was also the brainchild of Dr. Bill Lumsden, is designed to allow experimentation and innovation at all stages of the whisky making process. This includes the use of non-traditional grains, different mashing and brewing techniques and altering distillation at various points through the stills (these are exact replicas of the tall stills in the main distillery). 

 

The Glenmorangie Lighthouse distillery.

The casks used for the Lighthouse 12 years old expression have also been creatively woven into the fabric of the building in the form of a wood-aluminium hybrid cladding. This can been seen through the glass panelling. The Lighthouse is powered by biogas generated from the main distillery and is one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable new distilleries in the world. It also features a sensory lab on the top floor which overlooks the Dornoch Firth and beyond. 

"The Lighthouse is our new home of imagination. Here we can indulge our most fantastical ideas as we strive to create a whole array of different flavours. We will play with raw ingredients, making both small adjustments and big changes, in ways never tried before. Nothing is off limits." Dr. Bill Lumsden.

 Our tasting notes The colour is golden yellow with a hint of copper and the nose is elegant, fragrant and sweet. Notes of vanilla fudge, toffee and sultanas rise from the glass and are followed by golden syrup, apricot jam and a hint of baking spices. Hints of milk chocolate, honeycomb and orange oil are also evident.
On the palate this whisky is soft, gentle and mouthcoating. Initial notes of vanilla custard and toffee are quickly joined by some golden syrup and dried fruits (think of big juicy sultanas especially, plus raisins and candied orange peel). Then comes crumbly brown sugar and that apricot jam from the nose, along with hints of warm ginger cake and warming baking spices (think of cinnamon and all-spice in particular). These baking spices evolve nicely with time and wrap around everything to give a little dryness towards the finish. Later notes of creamed coconut, cocoa powder and toasted walnuts along with a hint of dried tropical fruits are also present.
The finish has decent length and begins sweetly. The dried fruits and honey-like sweetness slowly fades and this reveals the baking spices, oak and some malty cereals. This creates a delicious warmth and depth with an increasing dryness with time.
What's the verdict?
This Glenmorangie Lighthouse 12 years old is an absolute stunner. It exhibits the elegance and class that we have grown to expect from the brand and has just enough sherry cask influence to show, but not overpowers the delicate spirit. Simply put, it is a beautiful and expertly crafted whisky. We will sip and savour our bottle and maybe share it with a few lucky friends.
We are also very interested to see what may come out of the Lighthouse in the future. We love the innovative concept but companies like LVMH, Glenmorangie's owners, do not spend £8 million without wanting to see some return. The pressure is on for some of the experiements to work and get out to market. But we suspect we will have have to wait a few years for that to happen. 

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (September 17, 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 ... ________ Kilchoman 
The family-owned Islay distillery of Kilchoman have announced details of their annual 100% Islay release. The 2021 bottling is the 11th whisky in the series. It is so named as every aspect of the whisky comes from Islay - the barley is grown on Kilchoman's own farm, the spirit is produced at their distillery, the casks are matured and bottling takes place there also. The first time anything leaves Islay is to go to retailers.
The 100% Islay 11th Edition has been created from pockets of maturing stock distilled in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Just 33 casks (26x ex-bourbon and 7x ex-Oloroso sherry) have been used. These have yielded just 12,000 bottles and these are released at 50% ABV. The whisky is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. It will be available in selected specialist retailers worldwide and bottles will cost £75/ $105 US each. 

"Our older sherry butts were at their peek and we then tried a few bourbon barrels of a similar age. They were similar so the backbone of this edition came together very easily. Our bourbon barrels and oloroso butts are incredibly consistent and this combination works incredibly well."Anthony Wills / Founder & Managing Director of Kilchoman.




TomatinThe Highland distillery of Tomatin has revealed details of the fourth and final bottling in its French Collection. The Tomatin Cognac Edition is limited edition and bottled at 12 years of age carrying a 2008 vintage on the label. The maturation saw the first 10 years in American oak ex-bourbon casks before a final two year finishing period in ex-Cognac barrels. It follows the Monbazillac Edition, Sauternes Edition and Rivesaltes Edition.
The French Collection was designed to show the influence of different French wine and spirit casks on the same initial Tomatin spirit. The Tomatin Cognac Edition 2008 is bottled at 46% ABV and is available via the Tomatin website and selected specialist retailers in selected global markets. The exact number of bottles was not revealed in the press release, but each will cost £65/ $90 US.
 

"The fourth and final release from our French Collection is the jewel in the crown. This Cognac Edition, along with the rest of the collection, showcases our innovative dedication to the craft and excellence and is the perfect illustration of the art of comparative final maturation."Graham Eunson / Master Distiller at Tomatin.


  
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Oban 18 Year Old Single Malt

Oban 18 Year Old West Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey 43% ABV $120-$140 Website What the Distillery Says An elegantly matured single malt that balances opulent fruit flavours with rich peat smoke and spicy wood, culminating in a long, smooth, finish. PALATE: Mouth-filling sweetness tempered with smoked malt dryness. SCENT: Peat smoke and spicy wood …

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The post Oban 18 Year Old Single Malt first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Review / Aberfeldy 18 years old Côte Rôtie Finish


This new whisky is the third bottling in the French Red Wine Cask Collection from the Highland distillery of Aberfeldy. The series kicked off in 2019 with the 15 years old Pomerol Finish and was followed in 2020 by the 18 years old Pauillac Finish. This third release has been finished in Côte Rôtie wine barrels sourced by Stephanie Macleod, the Malt Master for Aberfeldy, from the famous Rhône Valley in France. The Côte Rôtie appelation is located in the northern Rhône and covers around 500 hectares. There are 60 vineyards with most growing the Syrah and Viognier grape varieties. The wines are known for their elegance and finesse with fruity and floral characteristics.

Aberfeldy is located in the village of Aberfeldy in the southern Highlands. It is owned by John Dewar & Sons, a subsidiary of the larger global Bacardi group. The distillery is engrained in the history of the Dewar's blended Scotch brand - it was founded and built by John and Tommy Dewar in 1896 to make single malt for their popular White Label. The Dewar's White Label remains one of the world's best known brands with a particular stronghold in America. The distillery has a current annual production capacity of 3.5 million and is also home to the Dewar's World of Whisky visitor experience.  

"The Côte Rôtie style of wine has got wonderful fruity and floral notes so it is just a match made in heaven for Aberfeldy. These wine casks do not come around very often so we snapped them up." Stephanie Macleod.

 The Aberfeldy 18 years Côte Rôtie Finish is bottled at 43% ABV and will be available in selected markets including China, France, Germany, Taiwan and the USA. It is also available from the distillery's online shop. A bottle will cost £95/ €99/ $120 US.  Our tasting notes The colour is a deep coppery gold and the nose is rich and sweet with a distinct fruity edge. Aromas of caramel and golden syrup mingle with juicy dried fruits (think of raisin and sultana especially), baked apple and dried blood orange. Later aromas of milk chocolate, orchard blossom and malted biscuits also come through.
On the palate this whisky has a mouthcoating feel and is deliciously sweet and fruity to begin with, before turning more woody and savoury. Again there is caramel and golden syrup notes early on and these are joined by heather honey, toffee and vanilla custard. The fruitiness is again driven by juicy dried fruits with the raisin, sultana and dried orange again prominent. Further dried fruit is present in the form of cranberry and apricot. Baked apple with butterscotch and cinnamon sauce is evident and adds to the richness. Woody spices and warming baking spices begin to evolve and take the palate in a different direction. Oak tannins, cedarwood and more cinnamon start this, and develop towards leather, cigar box and bitter chocolate. The whisky then becomes drier and woodier with time.
The finish continues this theme with the tannins from the wine barrels now in full control. The savoury spices and woody notes take grip and linger. Malted cereal and cocoa powder are also detected here.

What's the verdict?
This Aberfeldy is a delicious whisky but one that is definitely a game of two halves. This is especially true on the palate. The first half is all about the sweet characteristics and fruity elements, while the second half brings the savoury and woody notes to the fore. It is an interesting journey that the whisky takes you on but you cannot help but wish that the sweetness held on just that bit longer.

Review / Diageo Prima & Ultima Collection (2021 Edition)



This set of single malts form the second line-up for the annual Prima & Ultima Collection from Diageo, Scotland's largest whisky producers. The 2021 Edition consists of eight rare bottlings and shows the diversity of maturing stock across Diageo's portfolio, both from current and closed distilleries. The whiskies were selected by Maureen Robinson, Senior Blender at Diageo, who has taken over the reigns from Jim Beveridge OBE. He curated the inaugural set in 2020. 

Each bottling is either the first or the last of its kind and marks a particular point of history at each distillery. All are bottled at their natural cask strength and are of natural colour and non chill-filtered. There will be just 376 complete sets with each costing £23,500 / $32,500 US. Registration for the sets can be made via the dedicated website www.theprimaandultimacollection.com. Remaining bottles will be sold through selected specialist retailers globally, although prices for each have not been revealed.  

"This is a selection of very special single malts, some that have never before seen the light of day and others that are the fleeting and final examples of their kind. Each bottling shares a glimpse into the history of Scotch and one that I am honoured to have witnessed in person." Maureen Robinson. 

 

Our tasting notes


Auchroisk 1974
 Speyside/ 47 years old/ 48.7% ABV/ re-fill European oak butt - the first ever cask filled when the distillery began production/ 382 bottles  The colour is golden yellow and nose deliciously fragrant. Aromas of baked apple with toffee sauce mingle with baking spices and a hint of ginger cake. Then come dried blood orange, raisin and sultana plus a suggestion of hedgerow berries. Further wood spice and oak evolve also.
On the palate this whisky is creamy and velvety with plenty of early vanilla, coconut and oak evident. Sweet heather honey and golden syrup then join and highlight the baked apple characteristic from the nose. Toffee, fudge and delicate hints of fresh apricot and bramble fruits are also present. Biscuity cereals and dried fruity notes underpin everything - think of malted cookies, oatcakes, raisins and sultanas here. A drip of orange oil makes everything pop on the tongue. Later, the oaky notes develop nicely to give a warmth and woody spice - imagine cinnamon, all-spice, ginger powder and a grind of white pepper. A pinch of cocoa and white chocolate completes it.

 

Brora 1980
Highlands/ 40 years old/ 49.4% ABV/ 3x re-fill American oak hogsheads, the last remaining stock from 1980/ 505 bottles  The colour is golden yellow and the nose is full of honeycomb, beeswax and vanilla custard aromas. Through these come delicate tropical fruits, burnt caramel and a whiff of gentle sweet Highland peat smoke. Background fragrances of baked apple, antique furniture, cocoa powder and brine add to the headiness.
On the palate this whisky is rich with plenty of savoury notes rising first. The sweet peat smoke and a distinct earthiness come through initially and are followed by notes of dried tobacco leaves, old oak and beeswax polish. Some ginseng root and clove also add to this. Then comes the sweetness - golden syrup and caramel notes mingle with honeycomb and sweet stone fruits (think of apricot and peach especially, and maybe some dark plum in the background). There are hints of ginger and milk chocolate, along with further hints of marzipan and orange oil. The soft smoke licks around everything and is never far away. A late hit of gingerbread and eucalyptus are also evident.  

Convalmore 1984
 Speyside/ 36 years old/ 48.6% ABV/ 3x re-fill American oak hogheads/ 647 bottles  The colour is vibrant gold and the nose pumps out aromas of vanilla, honey and dried tropical fruits - think of pineapple, peach and mango especially. There are also aromas of green apple, hay and yellow melon, along with fresh coconut and oaky wood shavings. Late warming spices and pink peppercorn also come through.
On the palate this whisky is soft, gentle and luxurious. Caramel coated apple and lychees in fruit syrup are evident and slowly become supported by notes of milk chocolate, delicate cereals, vanilla ice cream and toffee. Then comes the tropical fruit - these feel a bit fresher than the dried fruit suggested on the nose. Pineapple and mango join the lychee from earlier, along with a blog of apricot jam and dried banana. The whisky keeps evolving - next comes some further sweetness in the form of golden syrup and candied almonds. Then a savoury woodiness develops to add incredible depth. This begins as earthy damp leaves and evolves into old leather and dry unused cigar box.
 
Lagavulin 1992 
Islay/ 28 years old/ 47.7% ABV/ 5x freshly charred American oak hogsheads/ 1,081 bottles  The colour is deep gold and the nose is loaded with fragrant peat smoke. This has aromas of salty seaweed, damp moss and charcoal/bonfire ash to it. Underneath are further aromas of cedarwood, honeycomb and a hint of flax seed. Hints of mocha, vanilla toffee and brandy snap biscuit are also present, along with pinches of black pepper and cocoa powder. On the palate this whisky is smoky, savoury and then sweet. There is a slight chalky feel to the texture and the peat smoke while soft, also carries plenty of influence. The seaweed and mossy notes from the nose are there but it is the ember-like ashy bonfire elements that come through strongest. Characteristics of damp leaves, old cigars and carpenters toolbox add to the savoury feel and give a pleasant dryness. This is accentuated by the chalky/flinty texture. Sweetness develops with sweet oak, vanilla, honey and caramel notes. Then comes some milk chocolate and golden syrup, plus hints of peppery and warming spices. If a big peaty whisky can be elegant, then this pulls it off.


Linkwood 1981
 Speyside/ 39 years old/ 52.9% ABV/ 12 years re-fill ex-bourbon casks then 27 years American oak Pedro Ximenez sherry seasoned casks/ 701 bottles  The colour is deep amber and the nose is highly fragrant and rich. Toasted spices and tropical fruits fill the nostrils along with elegant dried fruit (raisins and candied orange especially), caramel, golden syrup and treacle. Waxy furniture polish, plum compote and apricot jam round off this wonderful nose.
On the palate this whisky has a velvety feel and oozes class. Notes of dark chocolate, Christmas pudding, rum soaked raisins and dried apricots rise first. These are joined by sweet hints of caramel, golden syrup and molasses. Dried fruits are also evident - think of raisins, currants and candied orange peel. The depth and complexity is incredible. Everything is underpinned by some damp dusty spices (think of cinnamon, all-spice, mace and ground ginger), a whiff of cigar smoke and beeswax polish. A long finish begins sweetly and then becomes drier and spicier with a hint of bitter chocolate right at the end. 

Mortlach 1995
Speyside/ 25 years old/ 52.4% ABV/ single Oloroso & Pedro Ximenez sherry seasoned butt/ 454 bottles  The colour is deep copper gold and the nose is fruity and fragrant. Bold green apple and caramel aromas go head to head with dried fruits such as raisin, sultana and apricot. A whiff of ginger treacle pudding, dusty dry earth and a decent pinch of baking spices add depth and warmth.  
On the palate this whisky is big, bold and rich. Savoury and earthy notes rise first and are reminiscent of old leather and cedarwood. Bitter chocolate and gripping malty cereal notes evolve also to add to the savoury feel. Then comes some much needed sweetness in the form of golden syrup, fudge and a hint of black treacle. The multi-layered nature of the whisky continues as the dried fruits from the nose are added into the mix. Later hints of milk chocolate, cocoa and crystallised ginger continue this theme, which finishes with the return of savoury old leather and earthy characteristics from earlier. Wonderfully drying and warm at the end.

 

Singleton of Glendullan 1992
 Speyside/ 28 years old/ 60.1% ABV/ 14 years re-fill American oak then 14 years Madeira cask finish/ 420 bottles  The colour is golden yellow and the nose is packed with aromas of stewed green fruit (especially apple and pear) and citrus - think of orange oil and lemon blossom. Underneath are further aromas of vanilla toffee, butterscotch, sugared sultanas and a big pinch of baking spices. On the palate this whisky has a peppery prickle to begin with due to the high ABV and a chalky/flinty quality. It becomes soft and sweet with a creamy mouthfeel once these settle. Baked apple and poached pear drizzled in butterscotch sauce and candied orange kick things off. Then come further notes of mandarin, gingerbread and hints of peach and marzipan. An almond note rises from the marzipan hint to become more reminiscent of toasted nuts. The richness and vibrancy is enhanced with juicy sultanas and warming baking spices, especially cinnamon. Pinches of cocoa powder and clove mingle with lemon zest and a touch of menthol to accentuate the creaminess. 
 
Talisker 1979
 Islands/ 41 years old/ 47.5% ABV/ 4x re-fill American oak hogsheads, the last remaining stock from 1979/ 556 bottles The colour is pale lemon yellow and the nose is full of coastal aromas. Salty sea spray, damp rocks, dried seaweed and driftwood mix with sweeter fragrances of honey, vanilla fudge and toffee apples. A whiff of warming peat smoke offers further depth along with background aromas of vanilla sponge cake and caramelised pear. On the palate this whisky is superbly multi-layered. Now it is the sweet notes that come through first - honey, golden syrup, fudge and milk chocolate are most evident. Then it is the fruit - the caramelised pear and toffee apple from the nose, plus hints of preserved lemon and lime. The warming peat smoke adds a distinct savoury quality and wafts around, along with some black and pink peppercorns and the faintest hint of green chilli. The final layer comes in the form of those coastal aromas. Delicate sea spray and sandy driftwood notes mingle with salty brine and a hint of smoked kippers. This is one classy single malt.
 

Happy Hour Live at the American Whiskey Convention

Live broadcasting is sort of like walking a tightrope...most of the time, it works. Then, there are those times when one's walking the tightrope while juggling chainsaws, and that's what happened during our #HappyHourLive webcast Friday night at the American Whiskey Convention. While the live video stream was plagued with technical glitches, our audio backup made this episode possible! Thanks to all of our guests who joined us Friday night, as well as those of you who watched the live video stream. 

Daviess County Double Barrel Bourbon Limited Edition

Daviess County Double Barrel Bourbon Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Missouri White Oak Barrels 48% ABV $50 Website We would like to thank Lux Row Distillers and BYRNE PR for sending us a sample to review. What the Producer Says This limited-edition, small-batch bourbon whiskey is finished in fresh Missouri White Oak …

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The post Daviess County Double Barrel Bourbon Limited Edition first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Kentucky Bourbon's Next Generation Comes of Age

Distillers like to say they're laying down whiskies for the next generation, but in many cases, it's their next generation who will be bottling those whiskies. That tradition is being passed on now in the Noe and Russell families, as Freddie Noe and Bruce Russell take on more and more responsibilities at the Jim Beam and Wild Turkey distilleries. Freddie is the eighth generation of his branch of the Beam family tree, and will eventually take over for his father Fred Noe as Beam's master distiller. Bruce is the son of Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell, who had to work for decades under his father, the legendary Jimmy Russell...who celebrated his 67th anniversary at Wild Turkey this past Friday. We'll catch up with Freddie and Bruce on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth. In the news, it's Kentucky Bourbon Festival week in Bardstown, but this year's festival is being hit by both Covid-19 and a strike at Heaven Hill that's forced that distillery to pull out of festival events.  We'll have those stories and in our Behind the Label segment, we'll remember one of whisky's unsung heroes who passed away the other day.

Allotment Drams / Abasolo & The Whistler 'Mosiac' Marsala Cask

There are two more Allotment Drams, the series of short videos where we sit and review whiskies at our north London allotment, for you. And they are two slightly different ones too. Firstly, Matt takes a look at a new Mexican whisky called Abasolo, which is made from 100% Mexican heritage corn varieties and uses ancient techniques during the whisky making process. Watch to discover more about the groundbreaking distillery where it is produced and then Matt's thoughts and tasting notes.

Then he is back on a hot September afternoon and is back in Ireland for his next choice - The Whistler Marsala Cask from their small batch single grain range of whiskeys. Find out more about the brand and the Boann distillery that it is associated with and then discover Matt's thoughts and tasting notes.

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#AllotmentDrams

 

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (Sept 10, 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 ... ________  
Aber FallsThe north Welsh distillery of Aber Falls has released its second ever whisky expression - the Aber Falls 2021 Bottling. This follows the Inaugural Release from earlier this year. The three year old single malt features whiskies matured in ex-bourbon, ex-Oloroso and ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry, plus virgin oak casks. These have been married together by Dr. Kirstie McCallum, the Master Blender for Aber Falls. It is bottled at 40% ABV and will be available in the UK via Tesco supermarkets (Wales only), online retailer Master of Malt and from the distillery website  www.aberfallsdistillery.com. A bottle will cost £26. 
 
Glenallachie
The Speyside distillery of Glenallachie has announced its latest limited edition single malt - the Glenallachie 14 years old Oloroso Cask Finish. The small batch release will be exclusive to the UK and has seen the whisky matured in first-fill and re-fill American oak casks for 12 years. It has then been finished for two years in ex-Oloroso sherry puncheons. The whisky is released at the natural cask strength of 55.4% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. It will be available through selected specialist retailers in the UK. A bottle will cost £90.
 

"As soon as we acquired the Glenallachie distillery, I knew exactly the direction I wanted us to take the liquid in - a single malt known for its bold and indulgent sherried character. This UK bottling is no different and a sophisticated single malt that exemplifies that direction."Billy Walker / Owner and Master Distiller at Glenallachie.


  
Glenmorangie
The north Highland distillery of Glenmorangie have announced an innovative new project and a new whisky to celebrate that project. The Glenmorangie Lighthouse 12 years old has been created for the official opening of the Lighthouse distillery, which sits alongside the famous single malt distillery in Tain. It is a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks and is exclusive to the Glenmorangie distillery shop. The new single malt is the brainchild of Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie, and is released at 48% ABV. It is also non chill-filtered. There are just 4,782 bottles available and each will cost £85.
The new Lighthouse distillery stands at the heart of Glenmorangie and features a stone brewhouse and 20 metre high glass stillhouse (both pictured, below). The new facility, which was also the brainchild of Dr. Bill Lumsden, is designed to allow experimentation and innovation at all stages of the whisky making process. This includes the use of non-traditional grains, different mashing and brewing techniques and altering distillation at various points through the stills (which are exact replicas of the tall stills in the main distillery).  
The casks used for the Lighthouse 12 years old expression have also been creatively woven into the fabric of the building in the form of a wood-aluminium hybrid cladding. The Lighthouse is powered by biogas generated from the main distillery and is one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable new distilleries in the world, and features a sensory lab on the top floor which overlooks the Dornoch Firth and beyond. 

"The Lighthouse is our new home of imagination. Here we can indulge our most fantastical ideas as we strive to create a whole array of different flavours. We will play with raw ingredients, making both small adjustments and big changes, in ways never tried before. Nothing is off limits."Dr. Bill Lumsden.


 Glenturret 
The Highland distillery of Glenturret, which is the oldest currently operating in Scotland and dates back to 1775, has announced details of their 2021 range of single malts. This line-up follows 2020's Maiden Release series and features the same six expressions - the no age statement Triple Wood, 10 years old Peat Smoked and then age statements at 12, 15, 25 and 30 years old. However, each whisky is different to its 2020 version and they have been created by Bob Dalgarno, the Whisky Maker for Glenturret.
The Glenturret Triple Wood has been matured in ex-bourbon, re-fill American oak and European oak, and is bottled at 44% ABV. The 10 years old Peat Smoked is made using peated malt and is bottled at 50% ABV. The 12 and 15 year olds are bottled at 46% and 53% respectively. There are just 204 bottles of the 25 years old and 750 bottles of the 30 years old. They are bottled at 44.3% and 41.6% ABV respectively. All are of natural colour and all are non chill-filtered with the exception of the Triple Wood. Prices for each expression were not revealed in the press release.
  Yamazaki 
The House of Suntory have announced their oldest ever bottling from their Yamazaki distillery - the Yamazaki 55 years old. The highly anticipated global release from The House of Suntory celebrates the Japanese Showa era of the 1960s, a period of significant change for the company.  The rare whisky is made from two pockets of maturing stock - one from 1960 that was distilled under the supervision of Suntory's founder Shinjiro Tori, which has then been matured in Japanese mizunara oak casks, and the other from 1964 distilled under the supervision of Suntory's second Master Blender Keizo Saji and matured in white oak barrels.
The Yamazaki 55 years old is bottled at 46% ABV and is presented in an engraved crystal decanter completed with traditional Japanese touches. It comes housed in a handmade casket constructed from mizunara oak. There will be just 100 bottles available worldwide and these will be distributed between key markets. These include China, Taiwan, the UK and USA. 100 bottles were also released to the Japanese market in 2020. Each bottle will cost £43,250/ $60,000 US.
  
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The Talisker 8 Year Old 2020 Special Release

Tasting notes:
At 57.9%, this one is unmistakably young and feisty. But at the same time, the nose opens with more sophistication than one would expect from and 8 year old: there are magical perfumes of the spheres dancing all over something that once probably resembled peat, but now is cleaner, finer, and coated with the thinnest veil of cracked rose pepper. Still, there’s something in there that smells like a musk-dusted foot traipsing through a dense fog. The combination is, perhaps surprisingly, wonderful.

The mouth is huge, firing spice over every bit of the palate that hangs around through the finish. There’s ginger, a hint of clove, and cinnamon coming together in the most pleasant, but also the most complex of ways. One could really study this one. And coming from us, that’s high praise, especially for such a young’un.

The finish isn’t terribly long, but it’s terribly good: a bonfire of the spiceties. Vegetal spice erupts like the burp from a volcano that’s been properly seeded with members of the super-rich. Actually, exhaling the finish makes one feel a bit like Smaug after starting a barbecue joint. This is Talisker at its youthful best.

 
 

Rating:
On the scale of spices coming together in interesting ways–

The Talisker 8 Year Old 2020 Special Release is the abiding joy that is Indian food–Despite what some say, the combinations of spices in Indian food are alluring, exciting, and often wonderfully piquant. One could spend a lifetime studying it and all of its variations. And one could fill a lifetime just considering all of the many, many things that would be worse to do. 

 
 




 
 

                                                                                      —Stephen

 
 




 
 

–Our thanks to Diageo for the sample!

 


 

Larceny Barrel Proof

Larceny Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Batch A120 61.6% ABV $50 Website What the Distillery Says Larceny Barrel Proof offers a new opportunity to experience our acclaimed wheated Bourbon mashbill in its purest form: non-chill filtered and bottled at full barrel proof. Released three times per year in January, May, and September, each offering …

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The post Larceny Barrel Proof first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Happy Hour Live with Brent Elliott, Darryl McNally, and Christopher Coates

Four Roses is releasing its 2021 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon this month, and Master Distiller Brent Elliott joined us on the latest #HappyHourLive webcast with the details. We're also joined by Darryl McNally. who stepped down as Master Distiller at Ireland's Dublin Liberties Distillery recently to start his own Limavady Irish Whiskey brand and revive his family's distilling heritage in Northern Ireland's County Antrim. Whisky Magazine editor Christopher Coates makes his first appearance on our Friday night webcasts, too. Join us each Friday at 5:00pm New York time for our live webcasts on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch!

Maker’s Mark 101 Proof

Maker’s Mark 101 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky 50.5% ABV $50 (1 liter) Website What the Distillery* Says Maker’s Mark® 101 is a bolder interpretation of our classic wheated whisky, bottled at 50.5% abv. This unfiltered expression exhibits a rich and creamy mouthfeel, with a mellow, lingering midpalate finish that combines the smoothness of classic …

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The post Maker’s Mark 101 Proof first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

80 Years of Patience Pays Off for Gordon & MacPhail

On a cold, wintry Scottish day in February of 1940, one of Gordon & MacPhail's Sherry casks was filled with new make spirit at Glenlivet Distillery. That cask lasted through wars, recessions, and a couple of generations of Urquhart family members to become the oldest Scotch Whisky ever bottled: the Gordon & MacPhail Generations Glenlivet 80 Years Old. Stephen Rankin of Gordon & MacPhail joins us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth to share the story behind this rare whisky...and we'll taste it, too! In the news, global shortages of glass bottles and packaging materials caused by the pandemic are about to result in higher whisky prices, while Diageo has opened its new Johnnie Walker experience in Edinburgh and Beam a new distillery in Kentucky. We'll also look at a unique way to add the character of a wood to whisky when it's impossible to actually make a cask from that wood.

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (Sept 3, 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 ...  ________  Compass BoxThe independent whisky makers of Compass Box have announced the release of a new whisky for their core Signature Malt Whisky Collection – the Orchard House. The new whisky is a blended malt has been constructed using single malts from distilleries known for their fruity character. These include Benrinnes, Clynelish and Linkwood and have been matured since distillation in casks selected by Compass Box. These include first-fill ex-bourbon, ex-Oloroso sherry and French oak barrels. They have been married together by James Saxon, the Lead Whisky Maker at Compass Box. The Orchard House is bottled at 46% ABV and is available initially via specialist spirits retailers in the UK. A bottle will cost £42/ $57 US.  

“Orchard House is our first core range whisky produced from whiskies we have aged since the day they were distilled. In a sense it is more ‘our whisky’ than anything we have made before. We are so proud of this as it is something new and different for us.” John Glaser / Founder of Compass Box.

  Gordon & Macphail 
The family-owned independent whisky specialists of Gordon & Macphail have revealed what is believed to be the world’s oldest single malt Scotch whisky – the Gordon & Macphail Generations 80 years old. The rare whisky was distilled at the Glenlivet distillery in Speyside during World War II in 1940 and is taken from a single cask. This has yielded just 250 bottles.  The packaging has been designed by architect Sir David Adjaye OBE. This includes a ‘jewel-like’ hand blown decanter created by Glencairn Crystal and a bespoke 'Artistry in Oak' wooden casket produce by furniture makes Wardour Workshops using sustainably sourced oak.  In addition, Cask #1 will be auctioned at Sotherby’s in Hong Kong on October 7. All proceeds from the auction will go to Trees For Life, a Scottish charity aiming to repopulate and manage the Caledonian Forest. The strength was not revealed in the press release and the price is available upon application to Gordon & Macphail. 

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Barrell Bourbon Batch 030

Barrell Bourbon Batch 030 58.66% ABV $90 Website We would like to thank Barrell Craft Spirits and Ro-Bro Marketing & PR for sending us a sample to review. What the Blender Says Barrell Bourbon Batch 030 began with a group of tropical fruit forward 5-year-old Indiana barrels, a group of stone fruit forward 10-year-old high-rye …

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The post Barrell Bourbon Batch 030 first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Allotment Drams / Starward Two-Fold & Power's John's Lane 12 years old

We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram series. Within this we record whisky reviews in the surroundings of our north London allotment. For these two new episodes we have gone Australian and Irish. First, watch as Matt talks about the Starward Two-Fold - a whisky made from berley and wheat at the Melbourne-based distillery. Discover some background behind the distillery and bottling before finding our his thoughts and tasting notes.

Then on his next visit he takes a look at the Power's John's Lane 12 years old, a classic single pot still whiskey from the famous old Irish brand. Learn a bit about the history of Power's and its old distillery in John's Lane, Dublin. Then he pours a dram, so discover his thoughts and tasting notes.

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Happy Hour Live with Steve Beal, David Blackmore, Ewan Morgan, and Owen Martin

Make sure your battery's charged for this one, since we spent nearly two hours talking the other night with longtime Scotch Whisky and Bourbon ambassdors Steve Beal, David Blackmore, and Ewan Morgan, along with Stranahan's head distiller Owen Martin. We covered everything from Steve's ongoing fight against pancreatic cancer to life on the road and Owen's latest distillery exclusive bottling for Stranahan's. Join us each Friday night for our #HappyHourLive webcast at 5pm New York time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, our Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.

Review / Benriach Malting Season (First Edition)


This whisky is a very special new limited edition from the innovative Speyside distillery of Benriach. The Benriach Malting Season is the first in over a century that uses barley malted exclusively at the distillery using the traditional floor maltings that were restored in 2012. This First Edition has seen the spirit produced from the floor malted barley then matured in ex-bourbon and virgin oak casks. There are 23 casks in total and they were married together by Dr. Rachel Barrie, the Master Blender for Benriach, to create the final product. This inaugural release used a variety of barley called concerto. Benriach is one of only two distilleries in Speyside to have an operational floor malting. Balvenie is the other.

The Benriach distillery was founded in 1898 by John Duff and is located just south of Elgin. Following a long period of closure Benriach re-opened in the mid-1960s and became well known for producing high quality single malt to be used in blending. The practice of producing peated malt began in early 1970s and has been maintained each year since. In addition to double distillation, triple distillation is also practiced. This first occured in the late 1990s. The current owners are Brown-Forman and the annual capacity is just over one million litres.  

"Benriach is one of only seven distilleries in Scotland to continue the traditional practice of floor malting. Distilling spirit from barley malted here on site is a true labour of love and something we are passionate about as an ode to our creative whisky making heritage." Stewart Buchanan - Global Brand Ambassador at Benriach.

 The Benriach Malting Season First Edition is bottled at 48.7% ABV and is both natural colour and non chill-filtered. There are just 6,672 bottles, all of which were distilled and filled to cask in November 2012. It is available in selected specialist retailers in selected global markets and will cost £99/ $138 US per bottle.  Our tasting notes The colour is pale gold and the nose is fragrant with an immediate fruity and sweet aroma. Rising first are green apple and vanilla with a hint of brown sugar and baking spice. The combination made us think of tarte tatin and apple based patisserie. Then come further aromas of milk chocolate, honey, breakfast cereal bars and a hint of almond.
On the palate this whisky has a creamy and almost velvety feel with the fruity and sweet notes again to the fore. The green apple has evolved to become baked apple and the brown sugar and baking spice a spiced caramel sauce over the top. The marriage is delicious. Then comes notes of custard infused with vanilla pod/seeds, cocoa powder and malted cereal biscuit. This biscuit-like quality becomes more nutty and influential with time (think of toasted almond and walnut). Further depth, compexity and structure is added with some notes of honey, milk chocolate and pears poached in white wine. Late oak and another pinch of baking spice (especially cinnamon with a a suggestion of white pepper) accentuate these. One last hit of earthy cereals send you onwards.
The finish is of decent length and again begins with the prominent green fruit and sweet confected characteristics. These begin to fade and this allows the oak and baking spices through. But it is the earthy and gripping cereal notes that really shine through superbly now to give everything a lovely bittersweet edge.
What's the verdict?
This is a delicious new whisky from Benriach, an innovative yet seemingly underrated distillery. We have always liked what they do there and the way they manage their controlled experimentation. This floor malting aspect is now yet another aspect to add into the mix. It will be interesting to see how these Malting Season whiskies develop over the coming years as their own floor malted stock increases in age.  This First Edition shows huge promise and has plenty going on considering its relatively young age. The only negative is that it may be a touch expensive for what it is, but then you are paying for the fact that it is a rarity amongst Scotch whiskies. Somewhere around the £70-75 mark would seem about right to us.