Monthly Archives: November 2017

A wee collectable for you bourbon maturation lovers

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Here is a collectable matured in one bourbon first fill cask by Ballechin.It is so rare that there are few details or tasting notes.

Ballechin 2004
12 Year Old Cask #330 TWE Exclusive
70cl / 54.5%

Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillery Bottling
TWE Exclusive
Web Exclusive Price £79.95 £66.63 ex VAT (£114.21 per litre)

Details
Facts

A single-cask bottling of Ballechin 12 Year Old, exclusive to The Whisky Exchange.

Age
12 Year Old
Vintage
2004
Bottling Date
May 2017
No of Bottles
251
Country
Scotland
Region
Highland
Cask Type
First-Fill Bourbon
Cask Number
330

I loes single cask expressions. Nowadays there are so many of them I almost can’t keep track.

So much guid whisky! So little time

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

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

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

Your Scotch Spirit Master

The reason I like Indies

Halò Single Malt Mates,

I really loes indies. Signatory, Alexander Murray, Gordon and Macphail, Compass Box, you name it.
They always put out collectables and really guid whisky!. I have a 19 year old Mortlach bottled by Signatory which is the bomb.

I have stumbled on this new expression bottled by Gordon and MacPhail.

Glen Keith 19 Year Old 1997 (cask 72577 & 72528) – Un-Chillfiltered Collection (Signatory) (70cl, 46%)

I loes single cask and double cask expressions. Hard to beat.

Glen Keith 19yo 1997 Details

Country Scotland
Region Speyside
Distillery / Brand Glen Keith
Bottler Signatory
Age 19 year old Whisky
Distillation Date 26 May 1997

Glen Keith 19yo 1997 Bottling Note

Un-chillfiltered Glen Keith single malt, aged in a pair of hogshead casks for 19 years. This was distilled in May 1997 and bottled in May 2017 (just a few weeks before its 20th birthday) by Signatory for the Un-Chillfiltered Collection.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Baked apples dusted with cinnamon and brown sugar, hints of white wine and toffee.

Palate: Soft ginger arrives first on the palate, followed by Toffee Crisp bars and black pepper.

Finish: Maple syrup and a hint of savoury barley.

If this expression was cask strength, (it isn’t), it would be considered pure whisky by aficionados. It still sounds great.

“We borrowed golf from Scotland as we borrowed whisky. Not because it is Scottish, but because it is good.” – Horace Hutchinson, English amateur golfer who played in the late 19th century and early 20th century..

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

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 Mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee bit of whisky fact

Halo Single Malt Mates,

Whilst shopping for mo Mac’s Nollaig present at a local liquor warehouse, for the best price me being a Scot and all, I stumbled on an expression that I’d never heard of before.

The Company started at Leith a suburb of Edinburgh where Mary Queen of Scots landed from France. Mo clann and I visited the dock there. Didnae even know aboot HRH Mary Queen of Scots being their.

Here are some facts

Highland Queen Profile
Scotch Whisky

The image of Mary Queen of Scots on a prancing horse after landing at the port of Leith in 1561 became the constant design motif for Highland Queen blended Scotch. It has appeared on every label since its launch in the late 19th century, even after a change in ownership.

The brand encompasses a range of standard blends (NAS, Sherry Finished, 8 Years Old, 12 Years Old); premium blends (Highland Queen 1561, 30 Years Old, 50 Years Old); and single malts under the Highland Queen Majesty brand extension (Classic, 12 Years Old, 16 Years Old, 1986 Limited Edition, 40 Years Old and 52 Years Old).

Today the range is produced by The Highland Queen Scotch Whisky Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Picard Vins et Spiriteux, owner of Tullibardine distillery. No doubt a proportion of Tullibardine single malt makes it into Highland Queen.

Production type
Blended Scotch
Single malt

Highland Queen History

Highland Queen was introduced by Leith-based whisky blender Macdonald & Muir in 1893 and rapidly became the company’s flagship brand. The company took inspiration for Highland Queen from its proximity to the port of Leith, where Mary Stuart (later Queen of Scots) landed in 1561.

First distributed locally, Highland Queen soon became a household name in markets around the world as Roderick Macdonald spread the word for the brand overseas, regularly sending orders back to Leith.

In 1924-5 it was one of a handful of blended Scotch whiskies selected for sale at the British Empire Exhibition, held at Wembley, London. During this period and despite Prohibition, it became very popular in the US being ‘transhipped’ by importers from Nassau, St Pierre and Miquelon. It was also popular in Canada and Australia.

After the Second World War, in the face of intense competition in the blended Scotch markets, Macdonald & Muir renewed its focus on the UK market but also explored markets often overlooked by the big industry players, such as Finland and Venezuela. The brand was relaunched with new packaging, presentation and label design in 1976.

In 2008, The Glenmorangie Company (as Macdonald & Muir had become) sold Highland Queen and other brands to Picard Vins et Spiriteux, which proceeded to repackage, redesign and extend the brand range to its current corpus.

Here is a blended Scotch from them which means it is a blend of single malt and grain whisky

Highland Queen Blended Scotch Whisky (70cl, 40%)
(3 Reviews)

Highland Queen Blended Bottling Note

The standard release of Highland Queen blended Scotch whisky, named after Mary Queen of Scots. Like much of the range, it offers very good value for money.
Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Some dark honey, caramel, allspice, cooked apples and pear drops.

Palate: Crisp apples now, nougat, more honey, subtle vanilla, perhaps even some tarragon.

Finish: Clean and quite short.

Overall: For a basic blend, you could do a lot worse!

Raymond Chandler

In three words: Novelist and screenwriter
Thoughts on whiskey: “There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.”

I quite agree especially if it is free.

I myself tend to focus on single malts but if offered I ne’er pass up a whisky!

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

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

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

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee new Glenfarclas sherry maturation

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Mo Clann and I visited the Glenfarclas distillery. Here is a blurb:

Glenfarclas Visitor Centre
Region: Speyside
Owner J. & G. Grant
Founded 1836
Status Active
Water source Ben Rinnes
No. of stills 3 wash stills, 3 spirit stills
Capacity 3,000,000 litres

Glenfarclas distillery is a Speyside whisky distillery in Ballindalloch, Scotland. Glenfarclas translates as meaning valley of the green grass. The distillery is owned and run by the Grant family.[1] The distillery has six stills which are the largest on Speyside[citation needed] and are heated directly by gas burners.

The distillery has a production capacity of around 3.5 million litres of spirit per year. Normally four stills are used for production with two kept in reserve.

The distillery has approximately 68,000 casks maturing on site, in traditional dunnage warehouses, with stock from every year from 1953 to the current year. Glenfarclas produce a traditional Highland malt with a heavy sherry influence.

We went there and visited a bonded warehouse full of casks see above.. It is a great visit.

Here is the whisky:

Glenfarclas 2007 Marriage of Casks
TWE Exclusive

Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Vintage
2007
Bottling Date
2016
Country
Scotland
Region
Speyside
Cask Number
435 & 456

Details
Facts

Exclusive to The Whisky Exchange, this 2007 Glenfarclas has been aged in a pair of sherry casks. A subtle and refined style of sherried Glenfarclas, this has notes of raisins, nutmeg, sherry and fruity chocolate.

I loes double sherry cask maturations. In fact, I loes single cask sherry maturations. Lets face it the more sherry maturations the better, in my book. Anyway this is another collectable exclusive. If you have the quid buy two, one for sippin’ and one for collectin’

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

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

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.

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

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee compairison of the same whisky

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Now we hae a label collectable. It seems Highland Park changed the label of the 18 year old expression. However the whisky has remained the same. According to the vendor that is. I gave me-self this new Highland Park for Nollaig.

Here is the auld expression:

Highland Park 18 Year Old (old bottling) (70cl, 43%)
(70 Reviews)

$122.27

Highland Park 18 (old) Bottling Note

A superb 18 year old from the Highland Park distillery and a winner of a Gold Medal at the 2005 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: A profusion of ripe floral notes and fresh blossom with a delectable fruit salad. Notes of honeyed exotic fruits with a little botrytis.

Palate: Creamy and full with fruit conserves and espresso. A creaminess with cinnamon and allspice. Notes of toffee with thick black forest honey with a touch more citrus.

Finish: Long and well sugared with a herbal edge.

Here is the new expression:

Highland Park 18 Year Old – Viking Pride (70cl, 43%)
(1 Review)

$122.27

Highland Park 18yo Bottling Note

Highland Park’s 18 Year Old enjoyed a redesign in 2017, receiving livery inspired by the wood carvings from Urnes Stave Church and a new sub-name, “Viking Pride”. The Orkney single malt remains the same as before – rich, complex and supremely delicious.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: A profusion of ripe floral notes and fresh blossom with a delectable fruit salad. Notes of honeyed exotic fruits with a little botrytis.

Palate: Creamy and full with fruit conserves and espresso. A creaminess with cinnamon and allspice. Notes of toffee with thick black forest honey with a touch more citrus.

So now we have another way to own collectables. By Vintage, by single cask, by the number of bottles, and now drum roll please by different label.

Some whisky quotes

“I’d much rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea.”
― Carrie Bradshaw

“I have never in my life seen a Kentuckian who didn’t have a gun, a pack of cards, and a jug of whiskey.”
― Andrew Jackson

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 Mhath

Your Scotch spirit Master

A wee Happy Thanksgiving

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Since Scots do not celebrate ‘Thanksgiving’ I have had to dig for a Gaelic phrase for Happy Thanksgiving.

So Hopefully this is how to correctly say it in Scots Gaelic:

Gabh Là na Taingealachd
Happy Thanksgiving.

So Gabh Là na Taingealachd to all my readers wherever you may be. I had mo Clann over and we had a festive meal and a guid time was had by all!

When Mo Clann and I were in Scotland we visited the Glengoyne Distillery, northeast of Glasgow. It was a brill visit and all had a guid time. The whisky is verry guid. It is distilled and put into barrels in the highlands and matured in the lowlands. How aboot that?

Here is an interesting whisky for you to look at!

Glengoyne
15 Year Old 40% 70cl

Details
Producer Ian Macleod
Age 15 Year Old
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 40%
Bottler Official
Region Highland

Description
Slow distilled, which increases the spirits contact with copper, creating a relatively fruity spirit, which is then aged in ex Sherry casks, which gives it a richness and meatiness.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Toffee popcorn and an initial hit of sweet lemon.
Palate: Oily notes, walnuts, cinnamon and a citrus burst.

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

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 gu Soirriadh

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee new collectable from Glenlivet

Halò Single Malt Mates,

I loes single cask expressons. Here is one from the Glenlivet Distillery.

The Glenlivet distillery

The Glenlivet distillery is a distillery near Ballindalloch in Moray, Scotland that produces single malt Scotch whisky. It is the oldest legal distillery in the parish of Glenlivet, and the production place of the Scottish whisky of the same name. Wikipedia

Location: Moray
Owner: Pernod Ricard
Founded: 1824
No. of stills: 14 copper pot stills (7 Wash @ 15,000-L, 7 Spirit @ 10,000-L)
Headquarters: Ballindalloch, United Kingdom
Capacity: 10,500,000-Lpa (liters of pure alcohol)

Here is the collectable:
Glenlivet 18 Year Old Auchvaich
70cl / 55.7%

A single cask from Glenlivet named Auchvaich. Aged for 18 years in cask 96404, this was bottled at a natural cask strength of 55.7% in March 2016.

There are no tasting notes as they can’t afford to open a bottle. Since there are so few of them.

Both the Whisky Exchange and Royal Mle whiskies will auction collectables. So if you don’t drink it it will be a collectable for sale. MO Clann opts for drinking

A thought on Whisky
” If when you say whisky you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.” Judge Noah ‘Soggy’ Sweat

I would like to make a toast to lying, stealing, cheating and drinking. If you’re going to lie, lie for a friend. If you’re going to steal, steal a heart. If your going to cheat, cheat death. And if you’re going to drink, drink with me.

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

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee interesting An Cnoc

Halò Single Malt Mates,

An Cnoc makes a guid wee dram. Now they have a new exotic peated expression. Mo Clann gave me a AnCnoc 22 and it is brill..

Here is a blurb about the distillery.

The Knockdhu distillery is a whisky distillery in Knock, Banffshire owned by Inver House Distillers Limited.

The distillery was founded in 1893 by John Morrison, who bought the land from the Duke of Fife[citation needed] to produce whisky for Haig’s after several springs on the southern slope of Knock Hill were discovered.[1] The site was also chosen for its proximity to the Knock Station on the Banff branch line of the Great North of Scotland Railway (GNSR) between Aberdeen and Elgin.[citation needed] Not only was the new location convenient to the railway but it was also within a few miles of a district noted both for its barley and inexhaustible source of excellent peat.[citation needed] The distillery was built using local eye grey granite, with two steam heated stills.[1] The two pot stills could turn out 2,500 gallons of spirit per week.[citation needed] It was also the first malt distillery built for the Distillers Company Ltd. It started production in 1894 and remained in continuous operation until 1931, when it was forced to close for a few years due to the economic depression. Wartime restrictions on barley forced a second closure from 1940-1945.[2]

After the war, with the distillery connected to the national grid, the steam powered engine, which had been used since the its founding, was retired in 1947.[citation needed]

Knockdhu was closed in 1983, and was sold to Inver House in 1988,[1] after which production resumed in February 1989. Various bottling ages are available the most popular being 12 years old, there is also an annual vintage bottled around 14–15 years old, a 16-year-old (matured solely in second fill bourbon casks) and a 30-year-old. Previously named Knockdhu after the distillery, the whisky was renamed anCnoc in 1994 to avoid confusion with Knockando.[3]

Here is the AnCnoc:

anCnoc

Rascan 46% 70cl

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

Description
An addition to the An Cnoc peaty range, Rascan refers to the tool used to prepare the ground for peat harvest. This is a lightly peated malt whisky, with honey and toffee mixed in with the smoke

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: An initial honey sweetness followed by green apples, oranges and lemons.
Palate: Vanilla and honey, with toffee, spice and a leathery undertone.

This is one for you peat lovers like mo Mac. The rest of mo Clann don’t like peated expressions. I like them after I have had a few drams of other faves…I suggest you try that one as well..

Thoughts on whiskey: “My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.” William Faulkner, celebrated author

Thoughts on whiskey: “My God, so much I like to drink Scotch that sometimes I think my name is Igor Stra-whiskey.” Igor Stravinsky Russian Pianist and composer. My kind of guy!

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

Mo Clann at Loch Ness

An interesting BenRiach

Halò Single Malt Mates,

Aye, you learn something new every day lads and lasses.

Here is a guid auld expression from BenRiach. I have owned three. We visited the distillery and we had a good time doing it..

Located in the ‘Heart of Speyside’, in the North-East region of Morayshire, BenRiach displays all the traditional charm of a Speyside distillery. Built by John Duff in 1898, BenRiach draws its water from the Burnside springs located underground, deep below the distillery.

Here is the whisky:

BenRiach
22 Year Old Dunder Dark Rum Cask 46% 70cl

Details
Producer Brown Forman
Age 22 Year Old
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 46%
Bottler Official
Region Speyside
Country Scotland

Description
Benriach have a proud history of producing peated Speyside malt and using interesting barrels to finish their whiskies; with this release they have combined both. This 22 year old single malt was originally mature in American oak barrels before being finished in dark rum casks. The name ‘Dunder’ comes from the left over residue in rum production after it is distilled which is often used as a source of yeast.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: An intriguing, delicate floral peat smoke floods over cinnamon-spiced apple sponge. Crisp white pepper adds a gentle warmth to the nose.
Palate: Roasted apples and pears dusted with demerara sugar and lemon peel, all infused with a crisp barley sweetness and lingering wood smoke character.

I loes exotic maturations. Rum Chardonay, Port, Sherry, Italian and Tuscan wines, bring them all on…

It all adds up to possible collectability. Plus you have the added bonus of great whisky!

So I say try it, you might like it..

Thoughts on whiskey:

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

“Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“Whisky is liquid sunshine.” George Bernard Shaw

Couldnae say it better mesel.

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

Why I loes Indies

Halò Single Malt Mates,

I loes Indies like Signatory and Hunter Laing. Why? Because they ferret out collectable expressons and bottle them for me to buy! I loes collectables. Just wish I could buy two and keep one. But alas, that ain’t the case now.

Here is a new collectable:

Ben Nevis
1996 Old Malt Cask 50% 70cl

Details
Producer Hunter Laing
Age 21 Year Old
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 50%
Bottler Independent
Region Highland
Vintage 1996
Country Scotland

Description
A very limited single cask from the Highland Ben Nevis distillery. Only 318 bottles have been garnered from a single refill hogshead and they are full of rich toffee character dosed with herbs and honey. A great value for money 21 year old whisky.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Toffee, green herbs and honey.
Palate: Tea, caramel, vanilla and coffee.
Finish: Medium length, with a gentle sweetness.

Mo Clann and I visited Ben Nevis Distillery. It was a wee bit of braw which means awesome in Scot’s English.
If you make it to Alba you should go too. And try a wee dram of Ben Nevis as well.

“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

Thoughts on whiskey: ‎”I wish to live to 150 years old, but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other.” Ava Gardner

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 Mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master
Mo dug!