Friday, October 22, 2021
Monday, October 18, 2021
This whisky is the latest addition to the Speyside distillery of Glen Moray's limited edition Warehouse 1 Collection. The series is designed to show some of the experiments and hidden gems maturing in the Elgin distillery's premium warehouse. The new whisky is the oldest in the collection to date and follows Tokaji and Sauternes wine expressions. It was distilled and filled to ex-bourbon casks in 1998, before being finished for 18 months in ex-Barolo wine barrels sourced from the Piedmont region of Italy. There are just 863 bottles available and they will be exclusive to the UK market including specialist whisky retailers and the distillery shop.
Friday, October 15, 2021
Thursday, October 14, 2021
The Irish whiskey brand of Redbreast have announced a new limited edition expression that will slot into a newly created range. The Redbreast Pedro Ximénez Edition will join the Iberian Series of Redbreast single pot still whiskeys. The Lustau Edition, which was first launched back in 2016, will also join to become the cornerstone of the series. For this PX Edition the triple distilled Redbreast spirit has been initially matured in ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks. These whiskeys were then re-casked to hogshead barrels that had been seasoned with Pedro Ximénez, a sweet dessert style of sherry.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Monday, October 11, 2021
This whisky is the new core product from the north Welsh distillery of Aber Falls. The Aber Falls 2021 Bottling is just the distillery's second ever single malt expression and 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 then 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.
Friday, October 8, 2021
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Welcome to our new video series - Matt's Chats. In these short episodes Matt will chat with figures from the whisky industry that will help to bring their roles and brands to life. The first two videos are now live and saw Matt talking with Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie, and Ewan Gunn, the Scotch Whisky Global Brand Ambassador for Diageo. Watch as Dr. Bill discusses about Glenmorangie and the new experimental Lighthouse distillery, and Ewan chats about the 2021 set of Diageo Special Releases. We hope you enjoy and like the format.
To keep up-to-date with further episodes of Matt's Chats or to watch any of our other videos, please subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Friday, October 1, 2021
Thursday, September 30, 2021
The arrival of Autumn is always signalled by Diageo, Scotland's largest whisky producer, announcing the line-up for their annual Special Releases programme. Each year these bottlings are designed to highlight rare or old whiskies from within Diageo's extensive portfolio of maturing stocks and are eagerly anticipated each year since the series was first started with just three expressions in 2001. The 2021 collection marks the 20th anniversary of the Special Releases.
This year is one of the smaller recent collections and sees just eight bottlings. The eight have been put together to show the stories of whisky from different environments and terrains across Scotland. This incorporates a set of mythical creatures that reside in the sea, lochs and mountains and can be seen on the packaging. The 2021 collection is subtitled Legends Untold as a result. The striking artwork has been created by illustrator Ken Taylor.
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
We have two more recent episodes from our Allotment Dram review series for you. Both are exciting and brand new releases. Firstly Matt discusses the Glenmorangie Lighthouse 12 years old, a distillery exclusive that he recently picked up when visiting. It has been created to celebrate the opening of the new experimental Lighthouse distillery that has been built next to Glenmorangie up in the north Highlands. Watch to find out more about the innovative project and the whisky, before Matt pops the cork and gives his thoughts and tasting notes.
Then on a very warm late September afternoon, Matt returns to the allotment and takes a look at the new Irish single pot still whiskey of Redbreast Pedro Ximenez Edition. Watch to discover more about the whiskey and the new range that it is joining, plus his thoughts and tasting notes.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
The Allt Gleann is just the second ever single malt release from Torabhaig (pronounced tora-vaig), the newest distillery on the isle of Skye. This follows the inaugural Legacy Series 2017 bottling that was released earlier this year in February and sold out immediately. Allt Gleann, meaning 'old glen' in Gaelic, is the second of four planned releases for 2021 and 2022 in The Legacy Series. The new whisky has been created from just 30 first-fill and re-fill ex-bourbon barrels that were distilled and filled in 2017. It is bottled at 46% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. Torabhaig Allt Gleann is available from the distillery shop and via selected specialist whisky retailers. A bottle will cost £50.
Friday, September 24, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Despite having been to Edinburgh for work and pleasure on numerous occasions, we had somehow never got around to visiting Glenkinchie. For much of its recent history this unassuming distillery was the closest to Scotland's capital and attracted many visitors because of the fact. Now it has increasing competition with the Holyrood distillery built right in the centre of Edinburgh and a couple more new ones out in Leith. So what have owners Diageo done? Given it a major revamp and made it even more important than ever.
Glenkinchie is now the official Lowland home of Johnnie Walker, the world's best selling Scotch whisky of which its single malt is an important component. The distillery is one of four dotted around Scotland that each play a similarly influential role within the famous blended range. The other three official regional homes of Johnnie Walker that form Diageo's Four Corners of Scotland are Caol Ila on Islay, Cardhu in Speyside and Clynelish in the Highlands. Each has been renovated to tell each distillery's individual story within the wider Johnnie Walker tale.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
These three new whiskies form part of the 2021 range of single malts from the Highland distillery of Glenturret, which is the oldest currently operating in Scotland. The range 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. They have been created by Bob Dalgarno, the Whisky Maker for Glenturret.
Monday, September 20, 2021
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.
Friday, September 17, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021
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.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
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.
Saturday, September 11, 2021
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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Friday, September 10, 2021
Friday, September 3, 2021
Thursday, September 2, 2021
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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Wednesday, September 1, 2021
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.
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
This whisky is the second release in the annual Warehouse 2 limited edition single malt series from the east Highland distillery of Fettercairn. The small batch series is designed to showcase the variety of cask types maturing in Warehouse 2 - a traditional dunnage warehouse at the distillery where some of their finest whiskies are stored. Batch 002 follows last year's inaugural bottling and also released as no age statement. It is a combination of differing ages that have been matured in first-fill ex-rye whiskey barrels and first-fill ex-bourbon casks, both sourced from America. These casks have yielded just 6,000 bottles. The whisky is also non chill-filtered.
Friday, August 27, 2021
Thursday, August 26, 2021
This new whisky is the third release of the rye spirit produced at The Oxford Artisan Distilley (or TOAD for short). The English distillery has bottled this to celebrate its fourth anniversary. The spirit was made using heritage varieties of grain that were harvested in Autumn 2017. 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 spirit was then matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels for 17 months, before being transferred to ex-Moscatel wine barrels sourced from Portugal. The Oxford Rye Batch #3 follows the first two batches that were released earlier this year in April and July respectively.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
The MacNair's Lum Reek range forms part of the new wider MacNair's Boutique House of Spirits from The Glenallachie Distillers Company. The two whiskies are both blended malts and are joined in the revamped range by three rums from Panama, two at seven years of age and one at 15 years old. MacNair's is a revival of an old Scotch whisky brand that had long disappeared, but that was founded by Harvey MacNair in 1830.
Monday, August 23, 2021
Matt is back at the allotment and has two more whiskies to review. First, he takes a look at Batch #4 of the Bimber Oloroso Cask and talks about the London-based distillery and its phenomenal early success. Then discover his thoughts and tasting notes on this limited edition single malt.
Then on his next visit to the plot, he heads back to Scotland and the small Speyside single malt brand of Spey. This is distilled at the Speyside distillery near Kingussie and is beginning to gain some decent awards. Watch as Matt gives a few details about the distillery and the Chairman's Choice bottling, before going on to give his thoughts and tasting notes.
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Friday, August 20, 2021
Monday, August 16, 2021
It is unbelievable to think that our lockdown side project has reached its 100th episode. Watch as Matt talks about the idea behind the Allotment Dram and then takes a look back over the previous 99 episodes. And he has selected a suitably decadent whisky to sip and savour as he does ...
We would like to thank everyone that has watched, liked and commented on our Allotment Dram videos over the last 16 months and look forward to the next 100 episodes.
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Friday, August 13, 2021
Friday, August 6, 2021
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
This whisky was the third ever single malt release from the innovative and pioneering eco-friendly distillery of Nc'Nean. The spirit is made from unpeated organic Scottish barley and this batch has been matured in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels and ex-red wine STR (shave, toast and re-char) casks. Batch 2 consists of just 5,000 bottles and follows the inaugural release, named Ainnir, which sold out immediately in September 2020 and Batch 1. All the spirit involved was distilled in April, May or June of 2017 and then bottled in October and November 2020. They have since moved on to subsequent batches but the spirit recipe and cask combination remains the same. Each batch consists of just 14 casks.
Monday, August 2, 2021
We have two more Allotment Dram episodes for you. This is where we sit and talk about different whiskies in the the surroundings of our north London allotment. First watch as Matt takes a look at the single ex-Port cask Kavalan Solist and talks about the Taiwanese distillery. Then discover his thoughts and tasting notes as he pops open the bottle.
On his next visit Matt goes Irish in the form of the Jameson Crested, a slightly under the radar member of the famous brand's core range. Find out a bit about this Irish whiskey and what makes it different from the regular Jameson expression. Watch further to then hear his thoughts and tasting notes.
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Friday, July 30, 2021
Friday, July 23, 2021
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
The coastal distillery of Glenglassaugh in the east Highlands has announced the released of an extremely old and rare single malt - the Glenglassaugh 50 years old. The whisky comes from a single ex-Pedro Ximénez sherry cask that has been maturing in a warehouse at the distillery for half a century. The cask was hand selected by Dr. Rachel Barrie, the Master Blender at Glenglassaugh.
Monday, July 19, 2021
These two new whiskies are a pair of Scotch blended malts from wine and spirits company Biggar & Leith. The Gladstone Axe 'American Oak' and the Gladstone Axe 'The Black Axe' are designed to be 'a modern twist on classic Scotch' and are named after four-times UK Prime Minister William Gladstone. The brand and both blended malts have been created by Elwyn Gladstone, the founder of Biggar & Leith and the great great great grandson of William Gladstone.
Friday, July 16, 2021
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
We have two more Allotment Dram episodes for you as Matt returns to the plot following a period of self isolation and a busy couple of weeks. First, he takes a look at the brand new limited edition Ardbeg 8 years old : For Discussion. This whisky is exclusively available to Ardbeg Committee members and he managed to snaffle a bottle. Watch to discover about Ardbeg and the Committee, before he opens the bottle on camera to give his thoughts and tasting notes.
Then on his next visit he revisits an old favourite - the Redbreast Lustau Edition. Learn about the origins of the Redbreast brand and the collaboration between the Midleton distillery in Co.Cork and Bodegas Lustau in Jerez, Spain. Then watch further to find out his thoughts and tasting notes on this Irish classic.
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Monday, July 12, 2021
This single malt whisky is the latest limited edition from the Islay-based distillery and will be exclusive to Ardbeg Committee members. The Ardbeg 8 years old : For Discussion is designed to get Committee members talking about the whisky and how it compares to other whiskies in the Ardbeg range. It has been created by Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Distilling & Whisky Creation, and has been matured in ex-sherry casks. The aim was to temper the powerful smoke of the 8 year old spirit. The Ardbeg 8 years old : For Discussion is bottled at 50.8% ABV and is both natural colour and non chill-filtered. The Ardbeg Committee has over 100,000 members worldwide.
Friday, July 9, 2021
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
This is the first ever release from the new Bankhall distillery, which is located in the English seaside town of Blackpool. The Rebellion is a bourbon-style spirit that has been matured in new American oak barrels for eight months. It was triple distilled through copper pot stills as a single batch sweet mash recipe consisting of corn, rye and malted barley in Autumn 2020. The casks were then monitored by Vince Oleson, the Master Distiller at Bankhall. The Bankhall Rebellion is released at 47.6% ABV and there are just 588 bottles. These will be available via selected online retailers in the UK only. The recommended price is £30 per bottle.
Friday, July 2, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
This whisky forms part of the core range from the Speyside distillery of Tamnavulin. The Red Wine Cask Edition has first been matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels before a finishing period in ex-Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels sourced from France. It sits alongside two other wine cask finished whiskies in the range. These have been part-matured in ex-Grenache and ex-Pinot Noir wine barrels. All three are released with no age statement. The core range also features the best-selling Double Cask, the Sherry Cask Edition, a travel retail exclusive Tempranillo Finish and a series of limited edition vintages dating back to 1970.
Friday, June 25, 2021
Thursday, June 24, 2021
This whisky is the second release by the Cotswolds into the Hearts & Crafts series from the English distillery. The Cotswolds 'Heart & Crafts' Pineau de Charentes Cask has been fully matured in French Oak casks that have previously held Pineau de Charentes. This is produced the Charentes Maritime region of France, which is near Bordeaux. It is made from fresh grape juice blended with Cognac, which is then left to mature in barrels. The new whisky is inspired by the Art & Crafts movement championed by famous ex-resident of the Cotswolds, William Morris. Morris inspired designs are featured on a special packaging tube and neck tag.
Friday, June 18, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram video series for you. First, Matt takes a look at the Speyside distillery of Tomintoul and the classic 16 years old expression from their core range. Watch to discover a few facts about the distillery and bottling before he cracks open the bottle to give his thoughts and tasting notes.
Then, on his next visit he talks about the brand new Mackmyra Brukswhisky DLX. This is the latest addition to the pioneering Swedish single malt distillery's limited edition Moments series. Watch as Matt gives some background to the distillery and brand, then discusses what makes the whisky special. Then he opens the bottle (eventually) to offer his thoughts and tasting notes.
To watch other episodes of the Allotment Dram or any of our other videos, or to subscribe to our YouTube channel - please click here.
Monday, June 14, 2021
Friday, June 11, 2021
Thursday, June 10, 2021
This whisky is one of two limited edition single malts from Diageo to celebrate this year's Feis Ile festival. The other is from Lagavulin's fellow Islay distillery of Caol Ila - read our review of that release here. This Lagavulin is a 13 years old expression and this was initially matured in re-fill American oak casks, before being transferred to high char ex-Port barrels for a finishing period. These were selected by Pierrick Guilaume, the Distillery Manager at Lagavulin. There are 6,000 bottles and the whisky is released at the natural cask strength of 54.4% ABV. Each bottle will cost £160. Both whiskies will be available exclusively from the Lagavulin distillery shop and www.malts.com.
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
This whisky is the annual limited edition Feis Ile bottling from the Caol Ila distillery. It is joined by a 13 years old expression from Diageo's other Islay distillery of Lagavulin. This Caol Ila is bottled at 12 years of age and has been matured firstly in re-fill American oak casks before being transferred to ex-Moscatel wine casks for a finishing period. These casks were nurtured by Samuel Hale, the Distillery Manager at Caol Ila. The Caol Ila 12 years old Feis Ile 2021 Edition is released at the natural cask strength of 56.6% ABV. There are just 3,000 bottles and each will cost £130. Both whiskies are available via www.malts.com and the Lagavulin distillery shop.
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
This bottling is the first ever single malt whisky from the Aber Falls distillery in north Wales. The Aber Falls Inaugural Release features some of the very first barrels of single malt produced at the distillery back in 2018. This was the first whisky distilled in north wales for 100 years. It has been matured in a combination of three cask types - European oak first-fill ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, American virgin oak barrels and rare European oak ex-orange wine casks. These have then been married together by Dr. Kirstie McCallum, the Master Blender of Aber Falls. The Aber Falls Inaugural Release is bottled at 46% ABV and is limited to just 2,000 bottles. Each bottle was sold for £45.
Monday, June 7, 2021
This bottling is a limited edition single malt whisky from The Glasgow Distillery Co. The release is designed to celebrate the unique relationship that exists between a cooperage and a distillery. The whisky is a collaboration between the Glasgow-based distillery and the Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky. The cooperage is one of the largest independently-owned cooperages in America. It was founded by Ed McLaughlin in 1991 when he moved his coopering business from Glasgow to the famous whiskey state of Kentucky.
The cooperage, now owned by Ed's son Paul, has created a cask made from a combination of two different cask types - half of the staves are heavily charred virgin American oak and half are from a lesser charred cask that has previously held Glasgow 1770 single malt. This unique cask was then filled with Glasgow 1770 spirit that had previously been maturing in ex-Port barrels.
Friday, June 4, 2021
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
This rare whisky is the second and final release in Diageo's The Singleton Paragon of Time Collection. The Singleton of Dufftown 54 years old is the oldest ever single malt to be bottled by the company or the Speyside distillery of Dufftown. The whisky was distilled in 1966 and was filled to a European oak cask that has yielded just 235 bottles. The cask was selected by Maureen Robinson, the Master Blender for The Singleton, who gave it a final carefully monitored and short finishing period in a single ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry cask.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
We have two further episodes from our increasingly popular Allotment Dram series for you. This is where we sit and review different whiskies in the surroundings of our north London allotment. Firstly, Matt takes a look at a classic Speyside single malt in the form of Glen Grant 10 years old. Watch to discover about the distillery and then hear his thoughts and tasting notes on this multi award-winning whisky.
Then on his next visit, which is a pretty warm Spring afternoon, he cracks open the new Black Bottle 'Island Smoke', a blended Scotch whisky that forms part of the famous old brand's new Alchemy Series. Find out more about the new bottling and a little bit about the history of Black Bottle before he then gives his thoughts and tasting notes.
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