Monthly Archives: October 2017

A wee new collectable from BenRiach

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Here is another example of a distillery maturing whisky in a exotic cask with a limited production of bottles.

BenRiach 22 year old Moscatel
Wow

Benriach

Benriach
22 Year Old Moscatel Finish 46% 70cl

Details
Producer Benriach Distillery Co Ltd
Age 22 Year Old
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 46%
Bottler Official
Region Speyside

Description
This is a wonderfully rich Benriach that has been finished off in Moscatel casks. The age and maturation combine to create a wonderful marmalade, fruits and honey flavour, topped of with spices and a depth of leather and oak. It is a limited edition of 5927 bottles.

Staff Tasting Notes
Nose: A complex nose of leather, beeswax and linseed oil. There is a slight sweetness, similar to mincemeat and berry jam.
Palate: Dark chocolate orange at first, with burnt toffee and marmalade following up. Rich tea biscuits appear with a slight pepperiness after a while.
Finish: The orange character persists to the end, which arrives fairly abruptly.
Comments: An excellent opportunity to try a more unusual cask finish, with Benriach’s spirit providing a fantastic canvas on which to fully experience the complexity it brings.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: A full, sumptuous nose consisting of dark orange marmalade, rich fig syrup and sweet dates. A dusting of cocoa and cinnamon followed by a gentle a hint of garden mint adds a luxurious character.
Palate: Rich, velvety dark chocolate fondant topped with glazed maraschino cherries develops to plum cordial and spiced honey. The long finish is rounded with a gentle, earthy balance of nutmeg, stewed barley and old vintage leather.
Finish: A rich body laden with dark Mediterranean fruits and a complementary balance of warm spices and delicate oak characters.

I loes moscatels. I think this expression should be great. Pure dead brilliant as the Scots would say!
I say try it you might like it.

“Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”
(Joseph O’Leary)

“Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast.”
Compton Mackenzie

May you aye ha’e a copper to spare,
And a pinch o’ guide sneeshin’ to share!
And what is the best thing o’ a’ –
A freend at yet beck an’ yer ca’

Slainte mhor agad

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee auld Laphroiag collectable.

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Indy Bottlers usually pick out a number of guid casks and even a single cask that contains rare whisky and then bottle them. Today I have run into an auld Laphroiag (16 years old) bottled by a reputable indy Hunter Laing. This one was matured in a single first fill sherry cask and there is only 742 bottles of this spirit in existence. I loes first fill sherry cask expressions..

Here tis:

Laphroaig
2001 Old Malt Cask 16 Year Old 50% 70cl

Details
Producer Hunter Laing
Age 16 Year Old
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 50%
Bottler Independent
Region Islay
Vintage 2001
Country Scotland

Description
A carefully matured and specially selected single cask of Laphroaig from Hunter Laing. This 2001 vintage single malt was matured in a single re-fill sherry butt and matured for 16 years. There are only 742 bottles available.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Peat, smoke, iodine and liquorice.
Palate: Sweet with peat and smoked bacon.
Finish:Long with sweet peat and smoke.

First fill sherry casks add the most flavour to the spirit. It has a full charge of the chemicals that give the spirit flavor. This is why I loes them.

A wee bit of advice. Indy bottlers usually have rare and guid expressions for sale. So keep an eye out for them..

Lift ’em high and drain ’em dry
To the guy who says, “My turn to buy.”

Lord keep our pots distilling weel
Lord send the excise man to the de’il
Lord bless our couthy meal
Amen
Free translation
Lord keep our pot stills distilling well,
Lord send the revenuer to the devil
Lord Bless our agreeable meal
Amen

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slainte gu Soirriadh

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee new expression…

Halò Single Malt Mates,

This is an expression from Glen Keith.

Glen Keith is one of the younger distilleries in Scotland, having only been founded in 1957 by the Chivas Brothers. It is located in the beautiful Speyside town of Keith, within eyeshot of Strathisla, the oldest distillery in Scotland. 2000 the distillery was closed in 2013 and reopened.

Here is the whisky:

Glen Keith
Distillery Edition 40% 70cl

Details
Producer Pernod Ricard
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 40%
Bottler Official
Region Speyside
Country Scotland

Description
Glen Keith distillery is not one of the best known but it has been an important part in many of Scotland’s most popular exported blends. It’s light, fruity whisky has only been released sparingly since it was built in 1957 but you now have the chance to try it yourself with this new release.
.
Official Tasting Notes
This is a smooth, distinctive single malt with hints of freshly-picked orchard fruits and rich toffee notes.

This whisky is non guaranteed age and relatively inexpensive. Looks like a good dram for the money.

“Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast.”
Compton Mackenzie

Thoughts on whiskey: “Tell me what brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.” President Abraham Lincoln.

Lift ’em high and drain ’em dry
To the guy who says, “My turn to buy.”

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slainte Mhor Agad

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee new collectable

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Glenlivet has produced a small batch release of uber cask strength whisky, matured solely in Olorosso Sherry casks. Olorosso and Pedro Ximenez casks are my fave for whisky maturation. This is a collectable as it is of one vintage and a small batch.

First fill means they took the casks that had just been drained of sherry and the new spirit put in.

So here is the whisky:

Glenlivet

Nadurra First Fill Oloroso 60.3% 70cl
a new Glenlivet

Glenlivet

Nadurra First Fill Oloroso 60.3% 70cl

Details
Producer Pernod Ricard
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 60.3%
Bottler Official
Region Speyside
Description
A small batch release, aged in fresh, high quality ex-oloroso casks. This is the first time The Glenlivet spirit has been aged solely in ex-oloroso casks, and we like this edition, particularly since it is cask strength.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Summer fruits, with syrupy richness. Notes of fudge, vanilla, blackberries and hints of dark chocolate cake.
Palate: Dried fruits including raisins and apricot. Pimento stuffed olives. With water, soft berry mousse notes come through, violet liqueur, honey and more apricot.

Thoughts on whiskey: “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” Mark Twain.

“There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.” Raymond Chandler

Here’s to those who loes us or gives us a lift.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you

Your Scotch Spirit Master

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

a new An Cnoc.

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Mo Clann gave me an An Cnoc 22, pronounced a-nock, for Hogmanay. It is pure dead brilliant (fantastic) as whiskies go.

Today a new ANCNOC is available matured for 14 years in charred oak. European and American oak casks. They are not telling us what was in the casks and they might be what is called fine oak which means the whisky was the only spirit matured in the cask. Or not, only ANCNOC knows.

Here is a picture of whisky matured in American and European oak. The Spanish Oak gives a darker colour to the whisky.

Here is the new whisky:

AnCnoc
2002 Vintage 46% 70cl

Details
Producer International Beverage
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 46%
Bottler Official
Region Highland
Vintage 2002
Country Scotland

Description
An Cnoc’s vintages are always worth taking some time to consider. Their 2002 release has been matured in a mixture of Spanish and American oak casks for over 14 years. It is a light, spicy and citric all at once, taking all the best parts of the barrels it has matured in.

anCnoc 2002 Vintage Tasting Notes

Colour: deep gold into Amontillado sherry (slightly darker than the 2001 Vintage – more European Oak influence?).

On the nose: honey at the forefront, with toffee and fudge notes following. It’s very elegant indeed, with sweet apples, fresh peaches and apricots in golden syrup. There is vanilla there) but it isn’t dominant like many new whiskies). With time it really opens up to some lively grist quality: the barley plays a proper role. Haybarns. Floral and then a Champagne-like, bread-and-wine note.

In the mouth: oranges, dried apricots and sultanas, with a hint of grapefruit acidity. The barley quality – yeasty though – places a more focussed role, but it is an inherently more fruity affair than last year’s release. Less grassy. Slight wisps of fennel in the background. Rose’s Lime Marmalade. Baked apples or rhubarb, and golden syrup. Lovely sweet fruits and warming ginger on the finish.

AnCnoc is one my current faves I think you will like it as well!

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi’tippeny, we Fear nae evil;
Wi’usquabae, we’ll face the devil!

Lang may yer lum reek wit’ ither peoples coal!

Slainte gu Soirriadh

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee 27 year old Laphroaig

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Some people loes Laphroaig. Some don’t. Turns out the older the whisky the less medicinal the taste. Or so they say!

Here is a 27 year old Laphroaig:

Laphroaig
27 Year Old 41.7% 70cl

Details
Producer Beam Suntory
Age 27 Year Old
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 41.7%
Bottler Official
Region Islay
Country Scotland

Description
Laphroaig’s that have had a chance to slowly mature for a longer time take on a character seldom seen in their younger counter parts. The harsh smoke is replaced with nuts and fruit, although the Islay identity is never truly lost. This 27 year old has also benefited from a portion of the whisky being matured in refill quarter casks – adding more depth to the 1st bourbon barrels the rest in matured in.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: A ripe, pulpy tropical fruit flan, topped with finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts and smothered with vanilla cream.
Palate: the smoke is tempered by limes and nectarines, giving way to sea salt and mild chilli.
Finish: Antique leather and green tobacco leaf.

This sounds interesting. It is pricey but Laphroiag fans won’t care.

“Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”
(Joseph O’Leary)

“Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast.”
― Compton Mackenzie

Here’s tae the heath, the hill and the heather,
The bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slainte Mhor Agad

Your Scotch Spirit Master

Whisky alert Whisky Alert

Halò Single Malt Mates,

A Yank independent bottler has come up with a delicious looking blended Malt Whisky! It is made up of 11 single malts which is always a good sign.

Here is the whisky:

The Exceptional
Malt 43% 70cl

Details
Producer Sutcliffe & Son
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 43%
Bottler Independent

Description
Created by Sutcliffe & Son, an American independent bottler, this blended malt forms part of the “Exceptional” series. With a huge amount of industry experience behind the company, in the form of Willie Phillips (former Managing Director of Macallan) and Don Sutcliffe (Managing Director of Craft Distillers), this whisky is truly exceptional. Combining spirit from 11 single malt distilleries, including Glenfarclas, Macallan, Ben Nevis and Balvenie, it is a rich, sweet and nutty whisky with big fruit and spice notes.

It is a non guaranteed age blended malt so who knows how old the whiskies are. However, it should be a great experiment to try a dram of this! Mo Mac is getting one so I shall have a dram next year. Cawn’t wait.

“Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”
(Joseph O’Leary)

“Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast.”
― Compton Mackenzie

May the hinges of friendship ne’er rust nor the wings o’ love lose a feather.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slainte Mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master

Whisky alert Whisky Alert

Halò Single Malt Mates,

I have stumbled on a new expression that is new and very interesting.

OUR WHISKIES

James Eadie sources and distributes the finest Scotch whisky. All bottlings are either Small Batch or Single Cask.

Here is a new expression with the whisky produced like it was in Queen Victoria’s reign.

James Eadie

Trademark X Blended Scotch Whisky 45.6% 70cl

Details
Producer James Eadie
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 45.6%
Bottler Official
Country Scotland

Description
James Eadie have been blazing a trail of well priced, well reviewed single cask whiskies but now they have gone back to their roots and released the blend that made the name famous. The Trademark X blend was well known in Victorian times and this new release has been created to replicate the now lost original.

Since this is a limited edition there are no tasting notes

Here are notes from an eight year old expression just for a base line on what this might taste like

Staff Tasting Notes
Nose: Warm honey on brown toast, Crunchie bars, Lyons Golden Syrup.
Palate: Smooth, soft and rich, the initial sweeter but dark chocolate box character develops into delicately meatier tones.

This is an interesting expression. I am looking forward to some day partaking in a dram or two.

“I know some who are constantly drunk on books as other men are drunk on whiskey.”
― H.L. Mencken

“Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast.”
― Compton Mackenzie

“Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”

May you aye ha’e a copper to spare,
And a pinch o’ guide sneeshin’ to share!
And what is the best thing o’ a’ –
A freend at yet beck an’ yer ca’.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee blended malt Scotch Whisky

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Blended malt Scotch Whisky is a blend of single malts from different distilleries. Compass Box is a bottler that specializes in blending really interesting single malts from different maturations.

Here is a blurb about the company
Compass Box Delicious Whisky Profile

Compass Box Whisky Company is headed by founder and whisky-maker John Glaser, who spent many years working in the wine trade before moving into Scotch whisky and a role as marketing director for Johnnie Walker.

As the company puts it, he established Compass Box Whisky “…based on his commitment to evolving practices in the industry to make great Scotch whisky more approachable and relevant to more people.”

Unsurprisingly, given his wine background, Glaser has a deep commitment to wood quality when it comes to maturation, and at times he has pushed the boundaries of conventional whisky wisdom. For example, he created the first commercial blended grain Scotch whisky, named Hedonism, and Spice Tree, which fell foul of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) for its use of suspending staves of toasted French oak within conventional casks.

Here is an interesting blended malt.

Oak Cross
by Compass Box 43% 70cl

Details
Producer Compass Box
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 43%
Bottler Official

Description
Created using 5 Highland Malts, that have been matured in a mixture of Bourbon casks, American oak casks, and bespoke casks made up of French and American oak. The skill of the master blender is shown in the Compass Box range, where the best casks will be blended together to produce an excellent product.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Warm and enticing, with sulty sweetness, honey and Kalhua. Flapjacks, with toasted oats, golden syrup, mint chocolate, orange and peach. Some ginger and cloves too.
Palate: Soft and honeyed, with sweet malty notes and brown toast. Grassy and fruity and a little toasted oak.

“Whisky, drink divine!
Why should drivelers bore us
With the praise of wine
While we’ve thee before us?”
(Joseph O’Leary)

Òlamaid deoch-slàinte!
(Let us drink a toast; literally, Let us drink [to] health)

Lang may yer lum reek wit’ ither peoples coal!

Here’s tae the heath, the hill and the heather,
The bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slainte Mhor Agad

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee new expression

Halò Single Malt Mates,

As I have said before Distilleries are using new wine casks to mature their whisky. Here is a new expression:

Isle of Jura

One and All 47% 70cl
In stock
£114.95

Details
Producer Whyte and MacKay
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 47%
Bottler Official
Region Island
Country Scotland

Description
The locals of Jura are affectionately known as Diurachs and they are passionate about the place they stay. This new bottling from Jura has been chosen by the distillery team, who all stay on the Island, and has been matured in a combination of ex-bourbon casks, ex-sherry casks, sparkling Cabernet Franc cask, Cabernet Sauvignon casks and Pinot Noir barriques. A very complex and unusual Island dram.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Tropical fruits, toffee, ginger spice and honey.
Palate: Black morello cherries, maple syrup, chewy liquorice and white chocolate.

This is a non guaranteed age whisky but it has been matured in a fascinating mix of spirit and wine barrels. I think that this will be either fantastic or simply guid. I think if you try it you will like it.

Thoughts on whiskey: “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.

Thoughts on whiskey: “There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.” Raymond Chandler

Here is to those who loes us or gives us a lift!

Here’s tae the heath, the hill and the heather,
The bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you

Your Scotch Spirit Master