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Whiskey news from around the world

Green Spot 1991 26 Year Old Marsala Cask

Green Spot 1991 26 Year Old Marsala Cask Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey The Whisky Exchange Exclusive 55.7% ABV $675 – $800 Website What the Producer Says A very special bottling, selected by and exclusive to The Whisky Exchange: a single cask of 26-year-old Green Spot pot still whiskey, distilled at Midleton and filled into …

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The post Green Spot 1991 26 Year Old Marsala Cask first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Review / Jameson Black Barrel Proof


This whiskey is a limited edition higher strength version of the popular Black Barrel expression from Jameson. The Jameson Black Barrel Proof is bottled at 50% ABV (100 Proof in old money) and has been created to show extra depth and richness. The whiskey is a combination of triple distilled pot still and grain whiskeys, and these have been matured in three types of cask - American oak, ex-sherry and double-charred ex-bourbon barrels. It is also non chill-filtered. The Jameson Black Barrel Proof will only be available in selected retailers in Ireland, including at Dublin airport, and will cost €60 a bottle. However, the exact number of bottles in the limited release has not been revealed.

Jameson is owned by Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard and is produced at the Midleton distillery in Co. Cork. This was built in 1975 to replace the old Bow Street distillery in Dublin, which is now home to the brand's visitor centre. This original distillery was built by founder John Jameson in 1780. Midleton makes both single grain and single pot still whiskeys with a combined capacity of 64 million litres per year. These go towards Jameson, which is the best selling Irish whiskey in the world, and other Irish Distillers brands such as Green Spot, Paddy and Redbreast.

Our tasting notes

The colour is a vibrant gold and the nose is sweet and highly fragrant. Aromas of honey, golden syrup and robust cereals leap from the glass and are quickly joined by fresh green apple and vanilla custard. Underneath are further aromas of warming baking spice and ginger cake, along with hints of dried tropical fruits and freshly sawn oak.

On the palate this whiskey is expressive and bold from the beginning. Notes of juicy sultana and crisp green apple mix superbly with malty cereals and golden syrup (the combination is reminiscent of a good oat cookie). Then the dried tropical fruits come through - think of pineapple, mango and apricot especially. This develops further with some dried pear and white chocolate. There are also plenty of vanilla notes.

Then come the warming spices and these evolve to good effect. They threaten to dominate but the balance is cleverly maintained. Woody spices such as cinnamon, cassia bark and toasted oak mingle with earthier notes including ginger (this is more like gingerbread than fresh ginger) and cocoa powder. There is also a hint of mocha in the background.

The finish sees the sweetness return to full effect with the tropical fruit characteristics leading the way. Vanilla patisserie and golden syrup notes are also evident, before the malty cereal and warming spiced elements take hold for one last time. Drying oak rounds things off.

What's the verdict?

This is a lovely expression of Jameson. It is a while since we sampled the regular Black Barrel but this limited expression has incredible depth and complexity with the aromas and flavours exaggerated by the higher ABV strength. The mix of sweet, tropical and spiced notes is delightful and bold. Well worth a try if you are a Jameson fan and in Ireland. Bad luck if you are not, but maybe your local Irish bar may snag a bottle somehow.


Review / Bushmills Causeway Collection



The Causeway Collection is an annual series of whiskeys from the Irish single malt distillery of Bushmills. This years selection, which is named after the Giant's Causeway that is located close to the distillery, features 12 whiskeys. The youngest is bottled at nine years of age (the 2011 Sauternes Cask Finish pictured, above left) and the oldest at 32 years old (the Port Cask, one of the oldest ever releases from Bushmills). 

Other highlights include two Marsala Cask Finishes from 1991 and 1995, another Port Cask Finish from 2000 and a Jupille Cask Finish from 2008 featuring a barrel from the famous Belgian brewery. The 12 whiskeys will be spread across eight world markets - Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Scandanavia, UK and travel retail. All are triple distilled, non chill-filtered and natural cask strength with prices ranging from €55/ £47 to €950/ £815 per bottle.

Bushmills holds the oldest distilling license in the world dating back to 1608. However, the official foundation date is widely recognised as 1784. It is located in the town of Bushmills. This sits right on the northern County Antrim coast in Northern Ireland and just two miles from the famous Giant’s Causeway. Another claim to fame is that Bushmills has the longest continually used logo - the pot still design was introduced to celebrate the formal registration of the distillery in 1784 and still used today. The distillery is owned by Casa Cuervo, who took control in 2014, and the annual capacity is nine million litres.



"The Causeway Collection celebrates our extremely rare and unique cask finishes, our passion for single malt and honours our rich heritage. It is a privilege to work with such rare liquid, these special cask-finished whiskeys really are our greatest treasures." Colum Egan / Master Distiller at Bushmills. 

 

We attended a launch event in London a couple of months ago where we sampled the two UK exclusives - the 2000 Port Cask and 1991 Madeira Cask Finish. We have also sampled three of the remaining 10 whiskeys - the 2011 Banyuls Cask Finish, 1995 Marsala Cask Finish (pictured, above right) and 32 years old Port Cask. Our thoughts and tasting notes are below.

 

Our tasting notes

Bushmills 2000 Port CaskUK exclusive / First-fill Ruby Port barrel for full maturation / 1327 bottles / 54.1% ABV The colour is deep gold with a red/amber tint and the nose is packed with rich and sweet aromas of caramel, fudge and dried fruits. Prune, raisin and currant are particularly prominent. They are supported by further aromas of milk chocolate, candied orange peel and baking spices.
On the palate this whiskey feels spicy, woody and peppery to begin with. These are quickly overtaken by rich and sweet notes including caramel and dark dried fruits (think of the prune, raisin and currants from the nose especially). In addition there are also some red fruits (imagine hints of raspberry and brambles) and a suggestion of toffee apple. A distinctive note of orange oil and citrus blossom rises but is quickly overtaken by plenty of warming oak spice. The finish continues the drying and spicy theme, and shows a late note of bitter chocolate.

Bushmills 1991 Madeira Cask FinishUK exclusive / Bourbon & Oloroso casks then 15 years finishing in Madeira barrels / 738 bottles / 50.2% ABV
The colour is vibrant gold and the nose fruity, sweet and equally as vibrant. Aromas of sweet sultana, toffee, vanilla fudge and candied orange rise from the glass. Then comes a mix of milk chcoolate and ginger cake, followed by a hint of espresso coffee and earthy wood spices.
On the palate this whiskey feels viscous and rich. Juicy fruits (think of those sultanas again, plus peach and apricot with ripe tropical notes) mingle with golden syrup, milk chocolate and zesty orange peel. A hint of coffee also comes through as on the nose. It feels sweet and soft before turning drier and spicier on the finish - warm gingerbread and cinnamon cookies are to the fore, followed by tannic oak spice. The warmth and spice carries through to a finish that is long and enjoyable. A late pinch of brown sugar rounds things off nicely. This has a real 'old school Irish whiskey' quality to it.

________ 
Bushmills 2011 Banyuls Cask Finish53.6% ABV 
The colour is deep gold and the nose shows a wonderful mix of fruity, sweet and floral aromas. Dried berries, raisin and sultana come through first and are followed by toffee, muscovado sugar and milk chocolate. These aromas are supported by heather honey, earthy baking spices and a hint of rose petal.
On the palate this whiskey feels rich and creamy but with a good pinch of peppery spice. Caramel and toffee marry wth further notes of red apple and crisp green pear. Then comes a distinct hit of milk chocolate along with dried coconut and cocoa powder. The dried berries and raisins from the nose are never far away, although the sultana takes a little longer to develop. A blob of golden syrup and hefty pinches of cinnamon, clove and mace add depth and complexity. The finish is warming and increasingly dry and woody with a bitter hint of tannin.

Bushmills 1995 Marsala Cask Finish57.8% ABV The colour is a deep coppery amber and the nose is luscious and juicy. Plump dried fruits such as sultana and raisin are quickly joined by ripe tropical fruits, most notably pineapple and papaya. There is also a hint of green mango. Sweetness is provided by a lovely aroma of honeycomb backed up by butterscotch.
On the palate this whiskey packs a punch. Once it settles then it is the luscious juicy fruits that rise first. Ripe peach and apricot mix with the pineapple, papaya and plump dried fruits from the nose. There are also hints of confected citrus fruits such as candied lemon and lime. With time comes an increasingly influential woody spice note that is reminiscent of cinnamon, cassia bark and toasted oak. This adds incredible depth and seems to exaggerate the sweeter fruit characteristics. Late notes of milk chocolate and butterscotch lead towards a drying and wood spiced finish.

Bushmills 32 years old Port Cask53.8% ABV
The colour is pale gold and surprisingly light for something of this age. The nose is packed with deliciously sweet aromas - think of brown sugar, golden syrup and candy floss married with apricot jam, tropical fruit compote and vanilla fudge. It is a heady, uplifting and enticing combination.
On the palate this whiskey is elegant, rich and classy. Opening notes of milk chocolate and golden syrup are quickly joined by a good pinch of baking spice - imagine cinnamon and all-spice with hints of star anise and clove. Then comes wave after wave of sweet ripe fruitiness. First there is pineapple and mango, then apricot and peach, before a final hit of something reminiscent of lychee and maraschino cherry. The combination is delicious. Late savoury notes of old cigar box, cedarwood and a hint of leather give even more depth and complexity. The finish is long and sweet, before turning savoury with a distinct woody dryness right at the end.


Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (November 26, 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 ...  ________  Glasgow 
The Glasgow Distillery Co. have announced the release of three limited edition single malts - the 1770 Cask Finishes. The collection is designed to show off how the distillery's three spirit types mature in different casks. The classic unpeated spirit has been paired with ex-Ruby Port casks, the peated with ex-Sauternes dessert wine barrels and the triple distilled with ex-Tokaji wine casks. All are finished for a short period in each cask, are bottled at cask strength and are limited in number.
The 1770 Ruby Port Cask Finish is released at 56.2% ABV and has just 467 bottles available. The 1770 Peated Sauternes Cask Finish is 53.7% ABV and has 486 bottles, while the 1770 Triple Distilled Tokaji Cask Finish is 53% ABV and 380 bottles. All are non chill-filtered and of natural colour. No indication of price was given for each whisky in the press release. They are only available via www.glasgowdistillery.com and are restricted to two bottles per customer. 

"Something that sets us apart from most other distilleries is that we make three very distinct styles of single malt whisky at the Glasgow Distillery - unpeated, peated and triple distilled. I am really proud to be able to offer these three releases as an insight into our innovation, experimentation and quality."Liam Hughes / Founder of the Glasgow Distillery.





Johnnie Walker
Diageo have released the third and final whisky is their spuper premium Johnnie Walker Masters series. The Johnnie Walker Masters of Flavour follows the Ruby Reserve and Master's Edition in the collection. The new expression is a blend of extremely old whiskies with a minimum age of 48 years, each hand selected by the Johnnie Walker Master Blender Dr. Jim Beveridge OBE. It is to be one of Beveridge's last whiskies before he retires. Closed distilleries included are Glen Albyn, Glenury Royal and Port Dundas, plus the recently revived Brora. There are just 288 bottles, each of which are made from Baccarat crystal and housed in an oak casket.  The Johnnie Walker Masters of Flavour is bottled at 41.8% ABV and will be available globally via selected specialist whisky and luxury retailers. Each bottle will cost £20,000/ $26,875 US. 
  Whisky Exchange 
The leading spirits retailer has released its fifth Black Friday bottling to mark the post-Thanksgiving retail frenzy. As with each previous year, the identity of the distillery is not revealed. The details of the Black Friday 2021 Edition are that it is a 22 year old single malt from a Speyside distillery. It is bottled at the natural cask strength of 49.2% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. There are just 1,800 bottles with each priced at £110. They are only available via a special page on the Whisky Exchange website or from one of their London retail stores. Hurry as last year's expression sold out in two hours. * NB / bottles were still available at time of publishing.
 

"Customers want something special on Black Friday and we are the only whisky specialist that produces its own bottling for the day. Our customers trust us and take a chance on it every year, and for good reason: we’re well-known for finding very nice whiskies."Sukhinder Singh / Co-founder of the Whisky Exchange.


 

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Allotment Drams / Method And Madness Rye & Malt and Ailsa Bay

We have two more recent episodes of our Allotment Dram series for you. This series sees us talk about different whiskies in the surroundings of our north London allotment. First, Matt takes a look at the new Method and Madness Rye & Malt, the latest innovative whiskey from the Irish Distillers micro distillery. Find out more about the limited release and the micro distillery, before hearing his thoughts and tasting notes on the whiskey.

Then on his next visit he reviews the first release from Ailsa Bay. This peated Lowlander caused excitement at the time as it was almost the total opposite of what a classic Lowland Scotch whisky normally was. Watch to learn more and then discover Matt's tasting notes.

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Baker’s Exclusive Selection

Baker’s Exclusive Selection Unfiltered Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Privately Selected; 11 years, 8 months 53.5% ABV $100 Website We would like to thank Beam Suntory and Multiply for sending us a sample to review. What the Distillery Says This fall, Baker’s® Bourbon proudly introduces Baker’s® Exclusive Selection, a limited time offering of extra …

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The post Baker’s Exclusive Selection first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (November 19, 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 ... ________  LagavulinThe Islay distillery of Lagavulin has celebrated its continued sponsorship of the Islay Jazz Festival with a new limited edition whisky for this year's event. The commemorative bottling is the first to ever be matured in ex-Mezcal barrels from Mexico by the distillery. The whisky is released at 13 years of age with the initial maturation taking place in re-fill American oak ex-bourbon casks, before a final finishing period in the ex-Mezcal barrels. It has been bottled at the natural cask strength of 54.8% ABV and will only be available for sale at the distillery and via www.malts.com. There are just 3,000 bottles and each will cost £160. 

"This 13 year old is a fantastic expression and the first Lagavulin to be finished in Mezcal casks. The distinctive and unusual flavour profile is sure to intrigue and excite Lagavulin fans and every whisky aficionado alike."Pierrick Guillaume / Distillery Manager at Lagavulin.



 Midleton 
The premium Irish brand of Midleton Very Rare has announced the fourth edition in its Dair Ghaelach collection. The series celebrates the use of Irish oak and the conservation of heritage woodland by owners Irish Distillers. The new whiskey has been matured in casks made using oak from Kylebeg Wood, which is located to the southwest of Dublin and near Stradbally, Co. Laios. 
Just seven trees were used, with each creating six casks. Each cask of the 42 resulting casks were then filled with the pre-aged Midleton Very Rare blend and then matured for 15 months. Each tree has been released at the natural strength as its own expression, with ABVs ranging from 55.4 to 56.1%. The Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach : Kylebeg Wood will initially only be available via the Midleton website and in Ireland, costing €310 per bottle.
 Singleton 
The popular Singleton brand of Scotch single malts has announced the second bottling in its rare super premium Epicurean Odyssey series - The Singleton of Glen Ord 39 years old. This follows an inaugural release that was bottled at 38 years of age and has been created by Maureen Robinson, the Master of Malt for The Singleton. She has taken inspiration from her travels around the wine growing regions of southern Europe.
The whisky has undergone a lengthy 27 year period of secondary maturation, which is the longest ever for any Singleton. After 12 years Robinson split a pocket of stock between a number of European oak casks that had previously held either Oloroso or Pedro Ximenez sherry, Port or red wine. Then 27 years later she married the whiskies back together for a short finishing period in ex-Bordeaux wine casks from France.
The Singleton of Glen Ord 39 years old is bottled at 46.2% ABV and is restricted to just 1,695 bottles. It will be available through specialist whisky and luxury retailers in selected global markets, and via www.malts.com. A bottle will cost £2,295/ $2,680 US.
  
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Allotment Drams / Aber Falls 2021 Bottling & Redbreast Pedro Ximenez Edition

We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram whisky review series for you. Both whiskies have been recently released. Firstly, Matt is at the plot and takes a look at the Aber Falls 2021 Bottling, the first of an expected annual series from the Welsh single malt distillery. Watch to discover more about the distillery and the whisky, before finding out Matt's thoughts and tasting notes.

Then on his next visit Matt opens and samples a small bottle of the new Redbreast Pedro Ximenez Edition, the latest product from the popular Irish single pot still brand. Again learn more about the release as well as his tasting notes and thoughts.

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Dunville’s Three Crowns Vintage Blend Irish Whiskey

Dunville’s Three Crowns Vintage Blend Irish Whiskey Sherry Finished 43.5% ABV $35-40 Website What the Distillery Says Dunville’s Three Crowns Irish Whiskey is a premium vintage blend of superior aged whiskeys finished in three of the finest sherry casks. Nose: Very gentle, floral, sweet and juicy. Orchard fruits intertwined with nutty caramel, nougat and powerful …

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Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye 2021

Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye 2021 Canadian Rye Whisky 63-67.0% ABV (sample reviewed @ 63.7%) $75 Website We would like to thank Alberta Distillers and Multiply for sending us a sample to review. What the Distillery Says Alberta Distillers, Distillery of the Decade as named by the 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards, proudly announces its 2021 …

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Review / The Oxford Artisan Distillery 'Red Red Rye'



This new whisky is the fifth release of rye spirit produced at The Oxford Artisan Distilley (or TOAD for short) - the English distillery that has celebrated its fourth anniversary this year. The spirit was made using heritage varieties of grain that were harvested in Autumn 2017 from fields just seven miles from the distillery. The composition of the mash was 90% maslin (a blend of 70% rye and 20% wheat that were grown in the same field) and 10% malted barley. 

The whisky has undergone a journey through three different cask types. It began in two American oak ex-bourbon barrels, which were then combined into one ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry butt. This was then finally split between two vintage Port barriques for its final maturation. The Red Red Rye follows the first four batches that have been released over the last year or so. 

The Oxford Artisan Distillery was founded in 2017 by Tom Nicolson and sits on the outskirts of the city of Oxford. The first production took place on July 27 of that year and has its bespoke stills, designed in conjunction with South Devon Railway Engineering, housed in an old barn. The distillery has to date produced single malt and rye whiskies, plus various gins and vodka, and only uses heritage varieties of grain grown organically. They are advised by archaeobotanist John Letts. He has spent 25 years researching and growing ancient cereals that were commonly farmed in the UK before industrial farming was introduced. 

The TOAD Red Red Rye is released at 46.4% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. There are just 600 available and these can be purchased via the distillery website here. A few bottles will also be available through selected specialist UK retailers. Each bottle will cost £150.

Our tasting notes

The colour is a deep red amber and the nose is packed with rich and sweet aromas. Fragrant cereals and caramel mingle with milk chocolate and toffee apple to create a heady mix. Later aromas of floral honey, red fruit compote and dark dried fruits (think of raisin and fig especially) come through along with a pinch of baking spice and a hint of menthol.

On the palate this whisky has plenty of power and grip. It seems to hold onto the tastebuds and keeps developing. The mix of sweet versus spicy creates a similar heady feel as on the nose. Bittersweet cereal notes give an earthy quality and combine with dry, warming and tannic wood spices. The caramel and fairground toffee apple from the nose are also present to give much needed sweetness. 

Dark dried fruits (imagine raisin and fig again, plus date) and red fruit jam or compote add further depth and richness (think of cranberry and hedgerow brambles). There are also evolving notes of milk chocolate and mocha, along with a hint of black treacle and cardomom. The warming and drying spices return to round things off  in the form of cinnamon, toasted oak and cassia bark.

The finish is long and increasingly warming. The sweet and fruity notes fade to leave the spices and bittersweet cereals to build further. This is the only time where the whisky shows its youthful age through a lasting heat once all other notes have gone.

What's the verdict?

The Red Red Rye is simply delicious and perfectly shows some of the wonderful experimentts that are happening through the craft whisky scene in the UK at the moment. We love the distillery's attention to detail and the fact that they use ancient and heritage cereal varieties that could otherwise have been lost to history. The results are increasingly impressive and long may it continue. It will be so interesting to see what else comes from TOAD in the future.


Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (November 12, 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 ... ________  
Bowmore
The Islay distillery of Bowmore has announced a collaborative single malt with the super premium car brand of Aston Martin. The Bowmore x Aston Martin Masters Selection 21 years old has seen Bowmore's Master Blender and Aston Martin's Chief Creative Officer work together to contruct a whisky using scientific and engineering principals. The result sees a base of 21 year old Bowmore used that has been matured in first-fill ex-Oloroso and ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. The remainder of the recipe consists of older Bowmore whiskies, some over 35 years of age.  The Bowmore x Aston Martin Masters Selection 21 years old is bottled at 51.8% ABV and will be available through specialist and luxury retailers in selected world markets. These include Canada, China, Germany, the UK and USA. The price of each bottle will be £300/ $400 US.
 
Cotswolds
The award-winning Cotswolds distillery have announced their latest single malt whisky release - the Cotswolds Reserve. As with all bottlings from the English distillery, the whisky is made using 100% local barley. The spirit has been filled and matured in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and STR (Shaved, Toasted and Re-charred) ex-red wine casks. These have then been combined in a ratio of 80% bourbon and 20% red wine cask to create the Cotswolds Reserve. It is bottled at 50% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and natural colour. The Cotswolds Reserve is available via www.cotswoldsdistillery.com and specialist whisky retailers. A bottle will cost £55. 

"We are excited to launch this smooth and elegant whisky, which combines first-fill ex-bourbon and STR ex-red wine casks. We think Cotswolds Reserve is one of the most approachable whiskies we have ever produced."Daniel Szor / Founder of Cotswolds.



Jameson 
The leading Irish whiskey brand of Jameson has announced a rare older expression as a limited edition - the Jameson 21 years old. The new whiskey features spirit that was filled to cask at the turn of the 21st century. It is a combination of single pot still and single grain whiskeys, all produced at the Midleton distillery in Co. Cork.  They have matured in ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks for 18 years, before they were blended together and then re-casked into ex-bourbon barrels for a final three year period. The whiskey was then finally married together with a small amount of single pot still whiskey that had matured for 21 years in first-fill ex-Oloroso sherry butts.
The Jameson 21 years old is bottled at the natural cask strength of 57.2% ABV and will only be available via a ballot. There are just 2,301 bottles with each costing €310. The ballot closes to applications at 6pm GMT on Wednesday 17 November. To enter the ballot - click here.
 

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Templeton Rye Barrel Strength Straight Rye Whiskey 2018

Templeton Rye Barrel Strength 2018 Straight Rye Whiskey 57.2% ABV $60-$70 Website What the Bottle* Says Limited Bottling 2018 This special addition to the Templeton family is a barrel strength edition matured to perfection in flame charred American oak barrels. Natural, non-chill filtered and bottled at 57.2% ABV, this limited release is bursting with rye …

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Elijah Craig Straight Rye

Elijah Craig Straight Rye Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey 47% ABV $25 Website What the Distillery Says The first extra-aged Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey to join Elijah Craig’s award-winning family of Bourbons. A unique combination of spicy rye grains and sweet corn, coupled with a steadfast attention to detail, give Elijah Craig Straight Rye the perfect …

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The post Elijah Craig Straight Rye first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (November 5, 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 ... ________  Glenallachie 
The award-winning Speyside single malt distillery of Glenallachie has announced six single cask whiskies that will be exclusive for the UK market. Each of the six, selected from more than 50,000 barrels maturing in Glenallachie's warehouses, has been handpicked by Billy Walker, the Master Distiller.  The whiskies range in age between 12 and 32 years. All are bottled at their natural cask strength and are both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. Each bottle is individually numbered also. They will be available through selected specialist whisky retailers in the UK and the Glenallachie visitor centre shop. Details of each cask are below, although the exact number of bottles was not revealed in the press release.

  • Cask #5856 / Marsala barrel / 12 years old / Distilled 2009 / 58% ABV / £99
  • Cask #6896 / Virgin oak barrel / 13 years old / Distilled 2008 / 58.3% ABV / £105
  • Cask #6611 / Pedro Ximenez sherry hogshead / 14 years old / Distilled 2006 / 60.3% ABV / £110
  • Cask #868 / Tawny Port pipe / 15 years old / Distilled 2006 / 60.7% ABV / £115
  • Cask #4465 / Rioja wine barrique / 15 years old / Distilled 2006 / 60.5% ABV / £115
  • Cask #6495 / Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheon / 32 years old / Distilled 1989 / 55.8% ABV / £625


 
Jack Daniel's
The famous Tennessee whiskey brand of Jack Daniel's has announced details of its annual Single Barrel special release - the Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Coy Hill High Proof. Each barrel has been taken from the top of the old rickhouses on Coy Hill. These sit within the distillery at Lynchburg, Tennessee. The Coy Hill High Proof is made using Jack Daniel's classic sour mashbill of 80% corn, 12% malted barley and 8% rye. The spirit is then filtered through charcoal before being filled to barrels and matured in Coy Hill rickhouses #8 and #13.  A number of single barrels form the release and cover a range of strengths between 137.4 and 148.3 Proof (68.7% ABV and 74.1% ABV respectively). They are the highest ever strength releases by Jack Daniel's and were hand selected by Chris Fletcher, the Master Distiller. The Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Coy Hill High Proof will be exclusively available across selected states in America. A bottle will cost $70 US. 

"The Coy Hill High Proof is all about pushing the limit for single barrel maturation to create one of our boldest whiskeys yet. It highlights one of the unique attributes of the Jack Daniel distillery – the dry air of the highest floors in the barrel houses and the amazing impact it has on the whiskey."Chris Fletcher.




Johnnie Walker
The leading Scotch whisky brand of Johnnie Walker has added High Rye to its core range. The new product has a 60% rye content in its mashbill and sees this married with single malts and single grains. It has been created by Dr. Jim Beveridge OBE, the Master Blender for the Johnnie Walker range, and is designed to push the boundaries of Scotch whisky. The single malts represented include Caol Ila, Cardhu, Glenkinchie and Teaninich with the single grain and rye whisky being produced at Cameronbridge. The Johnnie Walker High Rye is bottled at 45% ABV and will initially be available in America. A bottle will cost $35 US. 

"Our journey of crafting something truly unique was guided by Black Label and how flavours from rye whiskies present in classic whisky cocktails. The tasting experience features familiar Johnnie Walker notes that are expressed and emphasised like nothing we have crafted before."Dr. Jim Beveridge.

 


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Booker’s 2021-03 “Bardstown Batch”

Booker’s “Tagalong Batch” Batch 2021-02 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 6 Years, 5 Months, 0 Days 62.75% ABV $90 Website We would like to thank Beam Suntory and Multiply for sending us a sample to review. What the Distillery Says: The second release of the Booker’s® Bourbon 2021 Collection is Booker’s Batch 2021-02 ‘Tagalong Batch.’ This …

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The post Booker’s 2021-03 “Bardstown Batch” first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat Gin

Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat Gin 43% ABV $50 Website What the Distillery Says Tom Cat Gin is an expedition into uncharted territories. Once distilled, we age the gin in new American oak barrels in search of a bolder expression. The robust character of the new oak barrel mingles with the coniferous quality of the …

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The post Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat Gin first appeared on Whisk(e)y Apostle: Proselytizing the way of the malt.

Review / Glenallachie Wood Finishes (2021 Releases)



These three new limited editions from the boutique Speyside distillery of Glenallachie will go into their Wood Finishes Series. The latest additions feature whiskies finished in ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry, ex-Ruby Port and ex-Madeira wine casks. All have been created in small batches and are bottled at 48% ABV. They are also all non chill-filtered and of natural colour. Exact numbers of each bottling have not been revealed.

The Glenallachie Pedro Ximenez Sherry Wood Finish 11 years old has been matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels for nine years before being transferred for a final two year period to the sweet sherry casks. 

The Ruby Port Wood Finish 12 years old has seen ten years of maturation in American oak ex-bourbon casks before being re-racked to Ruby Port pipes for the remaining two years of maturation. 

The Madeira Wood Finish 13 years old has been matured for 11 years in American oak before two years of finishing in Madeira barrels. They will be available in limited numbers in selected global markets. The prices are £60, £63 and £68 respectively. 

The Glenallachie distillery is located just outside the town of Aberlour in the Speyside region of Scotland. It was founded by Mackinlay, McPherson & Co. in 1967 and was designed by renowned distillery architect William Delmé-Evans. The current owners are The Glenallachie Distillers Co. who took over in mid-2017. 

Under their ownership, and the vision of Master Distiller Billy Walker in particular, the brand has quickly established itself as a single malt brand and has a cult following. Previously, bottlings were rare with most spirit going into popular blends such as Ballantine's and Chivas Regal. The annual production capacity is four million litres, although Walker has reduced this to around 750,000 litres per year.

Our tasting notes

Glenallachie Pedro Ximenez Wood Finish 11 years oldThe colour is deep gold and the nose is sweet and rich with a savoury undertone. Aromas of caramel and treacle toffee are joined by caramelised tropical fruits (especially pineapple) and walnut. Earthy and woody spices are also present - think of cinnamon, toasted oak, cocoa nibs and dry soil.
On the palate this whisky is silky and sweet. Creamy butterscotch and caramel are quickly accompanied by black treacle tart with toffee sauce and raisins. This element evolves to become reminiscent of rum and raisin ice cream. The combination is delicious. There is also plenty of moscovado sugar and dark chocolate (or is ot high percentage cocoa?), plus a shaving of oak and nutmeg with a twist of orange peel. It feels highly complex. The caramelised tropical fruits also come through but are a little dimmer than on the nose. Hints of golden syrup and increasingly robust malt round things off nicely.
The finish is long and sweet. The richness drives this on, especially the caramel/ treacle characteristics and the chocolate and dried fruits. The chocolate-like element lingers longest and accentuates the later spices and malty notes. Wonderful.
 
Glenallachie Ruby Port Wood Finish 12 years oldThe colour is a deep amber with a reddish tint and the nose is rich and heavy. Aromas of dried fruits, caramel and milk chocolate lead the way. Raisin, date and fig are particularly evident. The richness is complimented by supporting aromas of Turkish delight and mocha.
On the palate this whisky is as big and bold as the nose suggested. The floral Turkish Delight note from the nose shows much more immediately and is joined by delicious further notes of caramel, milk chocolate and a hint of espresso coffee. Then comes some maltiness and heather honey to add depth and structure. The dried fruit notes are never far away and start to come through well in the second half of the palate. Again think of raisin, date and fig but with a suggestion of dried cherry also. Some late baking and earthy spices come through, as does a late hint of marzipan and ginger marmalade.
The finish is also rich and seems to just go on and on forever. The sweet and fruity notes provide the richness and these hang around well. Once they begin to dissipate then the malt and spices take over - think of cinnamon, ginger, ginseng and hints of star anise and liquorice.
 
Glenallachie Madeira Wood Finish 13 years old The colour is vibrant gold and the nose is full of sweet and confected aromas. Milk chocolate, toffee and golden syrup rise first from the glass. These are followed by further aromas of sultanas, candied orange and dried apple, plus a pinch of cinnamon and cocoa powder. Very enticing.
On the palate this whisky has a wonderful sweetness to begin with. Big juicy sultanas and toffee kick things off, and sit alongside notes of golden syrup and honeycomb. There is also a distinct malty cereal feel underneath. Further layers of flavour start to evolve - first comes some more dried fruit (think of candied oranges and limes, plus hint of raisins and fig). Then comes a note reminiscent of vanilla sponge cake with butterscotch icing. And finally some warming baking spices - imagine cinnamon and all-spice, plus a pinch of white pepper and powdered ginger. A late oaky woodiness adds yet more depth.
The finish is a touch on the short side. The sweet and dried fruit characteristics fade relatively quickly and this leaves the malty cereals, warming spices and oak notes to take control. They linger around but just not quite long enough sadly.

The Waterford Organic Gaia 1.1 Irish Single Malt Whiskey

Tasting notes:
The nose of the Waterford Organic Gaia, release 1.1, opens like a full-tang jackknife, by which I mean, it’s like a knife whose blade is made of Tang™. At first, it’s acidic and sharp—and Tang-y—but with a bit of time in the glass, it opens to a grassy meadow, whose individual blades have been painted with butterscotch by a Christo-wannabe artist. (So derivative!) A faint note of wet paint wafted by, tokening the relative youth of the Organic Gaia, 1.1. There’s also a flitting herb-y note, like a big-winged luna moth that’s been spending quality time with rosemary bushes and salvia officinalis, the sage subshrub.

The mouth hews to the nose; very attractive in a whisky (less attractive in John). We got a crazy-quilt acidic crème brûlée, redolent with more butterscotch and gobs of passionfruit. There is a thread of youngness woven into the crazy-quilt crème brûlée; it’s a green thread, feeling appropriate for an organic Irish whisky! More berries clustering on the roof of the mouth: blueberries, conkerberries, huckleberries, and mungoberries.
[Stephen: Bill! You’ve never had a conkerberry and there is no such thing as a mungoberry!]
That’s true…but there are Mungo Jerry’s! Take that! And John, ever the pseudo-contrarian, said he got “chuckberries” on the mouth going into the finish, wailing away on electric guitar.

The finish is univocal, meaning, I suppose, that the nose, the mouth, and the finish form a choir of Gregorian monks, intoning a sacred chant, all on the same note, but with different timbres at different octaves. All of us picked up a creamy, lightly white-ly peppery milky scrim curtain enrobing the finish. 

 
 

Rating:
On the scale of wonderfully terrible puns about movies–

The Waterford Organic Gaia, release 1.1, is Like Waterford Chocolate, based on the Laura Esquivel novel Like Water for Chocolate. It’s a great pun (thanks, Kirk Anderson!) for a solid chocolate. It’s well-tempered, it’s creamy, it’s got layers to it, some nougat, perhaps, and a lot of room to grow up.

 
 




 
 

                                                                                      —Bill

 
 




 
 

–Our thanks to Raj Sabharwal and Glass Revolution Imports for the sample!

 


 

Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (October 29, 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 ... ________  
Cutty Sark
The popular blended Scotch whisky brand of Cutty Sark has extended its core range with a 12 years old expression. The new whisky will be available initially in the travel retail sector in a one litre format. A 70cl version will appear in domestic markets next year. The brand owners, La Martiniquaise-Bardinet, launched the product earlier this week at the TWFA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes, France. The Cutty Sark 12 years old is bottled at 40% ABV and the 70cl bottle is expected to retail at £20/ €24/ $24 US.  

"We are very excited to be launching the Cutty Sark 12 years old. It has more Sherry notes than the original expression but still has the smoothness. The brand has huge awareness in a lot of countries and this is our first step to recruit the next generation of Scotch consumers."Sylvia Bernard / International Marketing Director at La Martiniquaise.



 
Nc' nean
The eco-friendly independent craft distillery of Nc' nean has revealed a limited edition that will form the first part of a new ongoing series. The new series, entitled Quiet Rebels, is designed to highlight the people that work at the distillery and make Nc' nean what it is. The first is named after founder Annabel Thomas, whose mission was to create a sustainable and innovative distillery in the west Highlands. The series will also show off some of the distillery's early experiments. Nc' nean Annabel is a marriage of ex-bourbon and ex-Tokaji wine barrels.
The Nc' nean Quiet Rebels 'Annabel' is limited to just 4,504 bottles and is released at 48.5% ABV. It is available in the UK now via www.ncnean.com and selected specialist retailers. The whisky will also be available in very limited numbers in selected European markets at a later date. These include Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. A bottle will cost £65 / €78.  

"The Quiet Rebels series celebrates the team that makes Nc’nean what it is. A group of passionate, skilled and adventurous people who are the driving force behind our mission to pioneer sustainable production. It is my turn to go first with this release but I cannot wait to see what the rest of our team come up with."Annabel Thomas.




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