Friday, April 9, 2021
Thursday, April 8, 2021
This whisky is the latest in a line of annual Loch Gorm bottlings from the family-owned Islay distillery of Kilchoman. The whisky is named after a freshwater loch that is situated very close to the distillery, between it and the Atlantic Ocean, and was first released in 2012. The Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2021 Edition follows the same formula as previous expressions by using only whiskies matured in ex-sherry casks. For the 2021 Edition 24 Oloroso sherry butts have been hand-selected and then vatted together by Anthony Wills, the Founder and Master Distiller at Kilchoman. These were filled with spirit in either 2011 or 2012 and has resulted in 17,000 bottles.
Friday, April 2, 2021
Thursday, April 1, 2021
This whisky formed part of a relaunch for the little-known Speyside distillery of Tamnavulin in 2016. Prior to that very little Tamnavulin was available outside of the independent bottling scene. The Double Cask is the core product in a range of single malts that also features the Sherry Cask Editon, the travel retail exclusive Tempranillo Finish, a series of limited edition vintages dating back to 1970 and three wine cask finished whiskies featuring ex-Cabernet Sauvignon, ex-Grenache and ex-Pinot Noir barrels. This Double Cask has been matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before a finishing period in ex-Oloroso sherry casks, and is released with no age statement.
Monday, March 29, 2021
We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram video review series for you, both looking at new releases. First, Matt talks about the limited edition Redbreast 10 years old, a single pot still Irish whiskey matured in ex-Oloroso sherry casks and released exclusively for members of The Birdhouse - a private club for fans of Redbreast. Watch to discover his thoughts and tasting notes.
Then on his next visit to our north London plot, Matt samples the rare Ardbeg 25 years old which was released a couple of months ago. This first batch has already sold out but more bottles are scheduled to follow. Watch to find out what makes this Islay single malt so rare and more background behind it, then hear his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with the Allotment Drams or other videos, please subscribe to or visit our YouTube channel page - click here.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
The Magic Cask is from the artisan whisky blending company of Compass Box and was the final limited edition bottling that helped to celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2020. It joined the Hedonism Felicitas, Rogues’ Banquet and Peat Monster Arcana special editions. The Magic Cask is a blended malt made using only Speyside single malts, including some that was distilled from the long-closed Imperial distillery near Aberlour. However, the Magic Cask is so named due to the inclusion of one very special cask (Cask #2) - a first-fill ex-Oloroso sherry butt that was filled by Compass Box with one year old Speyside spirit in 2016 as part of a controlled experiment.
Monday, March 22, 2021
This new whisky represents the oldest expression to enter the core range of Ardbeg to date. The single malt is particularly special given that the cult Islay distillery was out of production for large parts of the 1980s and 1990s when this was distilled. During that time, Ardbeg was only operated for short periods each year and often by staff from other distilleries on the famous whisky island. Therefore, the liquid is extremely rare and will be released in small batches. The Ardbeg 25 years old has been created by Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Whisky Director for Ardbeg, using a tiny selection of casks that were filled in the mid-1990s.
Friday, March 19, 2021
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
This whisky launches a new series of limited editions from the east Highland distillery of Fettercairn. The Warehouse Collection is designed to showcase some of the hidden gems maturing within Fettercairn's 14 dunnage warehouses. It kicks off with this bottling - the Warehouse 2 Batch 001. The new whisky features single malts distilled in 2010 and these have been matured in Warehouse 2 at the distillery in five different casks types made of American oak or European oak. These include virgin unseasoned casks, ex-sherry butts and barrels, ex-bourbon barrels and ex-Port pipes. These have then been married together by Gregg Glass, Whisky Maker for Fettercairn.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
This whiskey is a limited edition one-off bottling by the Irish single pot still brand of Redbreast. It has been released to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Irish Distillers resurrecting Redbreast back in 1991. The Redbreast 10 years old features three different pot still whiskeys distilled at the Midleton distillery in Co.Cork and they have been matured in ex-Oloroso sherry casks for between 10 and 15 years. It has been created by Billy Leighton, the Master Blender for Redbreast, and Blender Dave McCabe. The packaging features a retro design that draws inspiration from when the 10 years old was last on the market in the 1950s and 60s.
Monday, March 15, 2021
This whisky is the latest single malt in the Seasonal Range, which appears each Spring and Autumn, from the pioneering Swedish distillery. The Mackmyra Björksav has seen the brand collaborate with the Swedish artisan winery of Grythyttan Vin and use ex-birch sap wine casks for part of the maturation. Björksav translates as 'birch sap' in Swedish. The sap can only be collected from the trees once a year as the sap rises each Spring. Other casks used include ex-bourbon, ex-Oloroso sherry, Swedish oak and even a dash of ex-raspberry wine barrel. Björksav has been created by Angela D'Orazio, the Master Blender at Mackmyra.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Then he is back on an equally warm and lovely afternoon to talk about the Mackmyra Björksav, the latest single malt in the Swedish distillery's twice-yearly Seasonal Collection. The whisky has been part-matured in birch sap (björksav) wine casks amongst other cask types and turns out to be a perfect accompaniment. Watch to find out his thoughts and tasting notes, plus the details behind the release.
To keep up-to-date or to watch other Allotment Dram episodes, please subscribe to our YouTube channel - click here.
Friday, March 5, 2021
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
This is a new whisky that is the latest to enter the core range of single malts of the popular Speyside distillery of Aberlour. The Aberlour 14 years old Double Cask Matured has undergone a double maturation process (as the name suggests, haha) with a minimum age of 14 years. First the whisky has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels from Kentucky, USA and then in ex-Oloroso sherry casks from Jerez, Spain. This process was overseen by Graeme Cruickshank, the Master Distiller at Aberlour, and his cask selection team. The whisky will be a constant bottling in the core range but created and released in small batches. Our bottle is from Batch 0002.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
This whisky is a limited edition single malt that celebrates the 50-year heritage of producing peated spirit at the innovative Speyside distillery of Benriach. The Benriach Smoke Season is a small batch release designed to showcase the spirit that uses malt peated using Highland peat, which has been distilled for a short period each year since the early 1970s and remains a rare practice for a Speyside distillery. It has been created by Dr. Rachel Barrie, the Master Blender for Benriach, and features peated spirit matured in toasted virgin American oak casks and first-fill ex-bourbon barrels. It is said to be the most intensely peated Benriach ever released.
Monday, March 1, 2021
We have two more episodes from our Allotment Dram series of video reviews for you. The weather has warmed up and Matt is back at the plot with a new offering from the Australian whisky brand of Starward - the Starward Left-Field. This is an Australian single malt that has been matured in three different types of Australian red wine barrels sourced from the Barossa and Yarra Valley wine regions. Watch as he talks about this European exclusive.
Then on his next visit, he looks at another brand new whiskey. This time it is from Ireland and comes in the form of the 2021 edition of the legendary Midleton Very Rare. This is the first to be released under a new Master Blender, so watch to find out more about this super premium Irish whiskey and then discover his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our latest videos and to watch previous episodes of the Allotment Dram, please visit our YouTube channel here.
Friday, February 26, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
We have two more episodes of our Allotment Dram video review series for you. First, we join Matt on a freezing cold day as he talks about the Swedish distillery of Mackmyra and their Reserve Cask programme that allows you to own a personal cask of whisky. Watch as he then samples the Visingsö Sunset, a special single Swedish oak cask whisky given to the first Reserve Cask owners in the UK.
On his next visit the weather has warmed up and Matt takes a look at the Blue Spot, the final piece of the jigsaw in the Spot Whiskey family from Irish Distillers. The whiskey, which was released back in November, carries a 7 year old age statement with each batch going to be bottled at cask strength. Watch as he talks about the range and then samples this newest addition, giving his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our latest videos and to watch other episodes of the Allotment Dram series, then please visit our YouTube channel and subscribe - click here.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
The Moscatel Wine Cask Finished is the latest edition to the range of The One blended whiskies from The Lakes Distillery. The One is a series of whiskies, all of which use exactly the same blend that is then finished in different cask types. The blend has The Lakes single malt at its heart and also features single grain and single malt whiskies from the Highland, Islay and Speyside regions of Scotland. The One Moscatel Wine Cask Finished has seen the blend matured for the final months in ex-Moscatel sweet wine barrels sourced from the Cádiz province of Andalucia in the south of Spain.
Monday, February 22, 2021
Friday, February 19, 2021
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Big things are about to happen within the Japanese whisky industry with the announcement this week of a change to the laws governing the labelling of products from Japan. These have been drawn up to tackle growing concern that the reputation and sales of Japanese whisky, both of which have grown rapidly over the last decade, could be irreparably harmed if not acted upon. The current loose regulations can mislead customers, with the newly announced ones offering more transparency so that consumers know what they are purchasing and drinking.
At the core of this is that many Japanese whiskies are not what they appear to be - ie : they may not actually be Japanese. Many brands actually include whiskies from other countries (such as America, Australia, Canada, Ireland and Scotland) alongside Japanese whisky in the blend. In some cases there can be no Japanese whisky present at all in a 'Japanese' blend.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
The Left-Field is the latest whisky released to the core single malt range of the Australian distillery Starward. The whisky combines their Australian single malt with the influence of Australian red wine barrels. Left-Field has been fully matured in French oak ex-Cabernet, ex-Pinot Noir and ex-Shiraz barrels sourced from wineries in the Barossa Valley and Yarra Valley wine regions. These have been aged seperately before being married together to create Left-Field. It joins two other single malts, the Nova and Solera, and a blend named Two-Fold in the current core range. These are supplimented by limited editions and collaborations on occassion.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
We have two more episodes of our Allotment Dram whisky review series for you. First, Matt goes Irish and blended as he talks about the Sadler's Blended Irish Whiskey from their Peaky Blinder range of spirits. Learn about the brand and then hear his thoughts and tasting notes about this budget dram.
Then for his next visit, which is on a freezing cold day, he takes a look at the brand new Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 9 - the latest release in the annual cult limited edition series from the east Highland single malt distillery. Find out details of this year's bottling, plus Matt's thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our latest videos and to subscribe to our YouTube channel - click here.
Friday, February 12, 2021
Thursday, February 11, 2021
The Quartermaster is a blended Scotch whisky that forms part of Whisky Works, an experimental range of whiskies that have been developed by Whyte & Mackay. This whisky features both single grain from the Highlands and two Speyside single malts. The grain whisky was matured in ex-rum casks before being finished in ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, while one single malt was matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels and the other in ex-sherry butts. The minimum age of all the whiskies involved is 11 years and there are just 2,134 bottles created. Please note - this whisky was released in October 2019, but most major retailers are showing it as still in stock.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
This new single malt is the latest bottling in the highly anticipated Cask Strength series from the east Highland distillery of Glendronach, which is normally released annually. The Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 9 has been slightly delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and each batch is made to be different and have its own personal character. Batch 9 has seen whiskies matured in both ex-Oloroso and ex-Pedro Ximénez sherry casks of differing sizes (both puncheons and butts are included). These have been selected at different ages before being married together by Dr. Rachel Barrie, the Master Blender for Glendronach.
Friday, February 5, 2021
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
This whisky is a new limited edition single malt from the Edinburgh-based brand of John Crabbie & Co. It joins a core range that features Crabbie's Yardhead and age statements of 8, 12, 15 and 30 years old, plus a growing number of such single cask releases. These have recently included the 1994 25 years old single cask from the Tobermory distillery on the isle of Mull and a 50 years old single cask from an un-named Islay distillery, both of which are still available.
This single cask was distilled at an un-named distillery in Speyside during 1992 and bottled at 28 years of age in 2020. The only clue given is that the distillery is located in the Livet Glen, which narrows the possibilities down to a handful. The whisky has been exclusively matured in an ex-bourbon cask and this has yielded just 260 bottles. It is released at 45.6% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour.
Friday, January 29, 2021
Thursday, January 28, 2021
We have two more episodes of our Allotment Dram video series for you and hope you will enjoy them. Firstly, watch as Matt tackles one of the world's biggest selling whiskeys in the form of Jack Daniel's Old No.7. Learn a bit about the brand's history, plus what the terms 'sour mash' and 'Lincoln County Process' mean. Then find out his thoughts and tasting notes.
Then on his next visit he heads back to Scotland, and the island of Islay in particular, to take a look at the sherry cask influenced Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair. Watch to discover how to pronounce the name of the whisky and some information about the distillery, before giving his thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our latest videos, please subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
This whisky from Bunnahabhain forms the entry point in to the Islay distillery's core range of single malts. It sits alongside expressions at 12, 18, 25 and 40 years of age and a plethora of limited editions and special releases. The distillery is one that favours the use of Gaelic names for their whiskies and this is no exception, being arguably the most complicated and daunting of them all to try and get your tongue around. Stiùireadair is actually easier to say than you would think - it is pronounced stew-rad-hur and means 'helmsman' in Scots Gaelic. The helmsman in question is the one on the brand's logo.
Monday, January 25, 2021
This whisky is a new arrival to the UK market and is produced in the American state of Virginia. The Roundstone Rye is their flagship range and features this 92 Proof alongside the 80 Proof and Cask Proof bottlings (this is released twice a year). The three whiskies are made in a pre-Prohibition rye style and from 100% rye grain, which is sourced locally where possible. All parts of the distillation process - mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation - take place at the distillery. The spirit is matured in charred American white oak barrels for a minimum of two years, with only one single cask in every ten being selected for this 92 Proof release.
Friday, January 22, 2021
Thursday, January 21, 2021
The One Port Cask Finished is a whisky from The Lakes distillery and its range of The One, their blended whisky offering. This range features three more bottlings - the Signature Blend, Sherry Cask Finished and Orange Wine Cask Finished. As with each of The One expressions, this whisky has The Lakes' own single malt at its heart and is then blended with Scotch single grain and single malts from the Highlands, Islay and Speyside. The Port Cask Finish has been matured in first-fill American oak casks and finished for one year in first-fill ex-Ruby Port and ex-Tawny Port casks sourced from the famous Douro Valley region in Portugal.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
This whisky is the cornerstone of the core range from the Speyside distillery of Tamdhu (pronounced tam-doo). This range also features a 15 years old expression and the annual Batch Strength release. These are joined by occasional limited editions and single casks. The brand has a commitment to just one style of cask maturation and only use those that have been previously seasoned or filled with Oloroso sherry. However, these ex-Oloroso sherry casks can be made of American or European oak and of differing sizes. These include butts, hogsheads and puncheons. In the case of this 12 years old they have used whisky matured in both first-fill and re-fill ex-Oloroso sherry casks.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
This whisky forms part of The Secret Speyside Collection from Chivas Brothers, a 15-strong selection of single malts from the company's lesser known Speyside distilleries. Four distilleries feature in the collection - Braes of Glenlivet, Glen Keith and Longmorn are all currently in production but have much of their production allocated for the company's extensive range of blended whiskies. The fourth is Caperdonich, which has been closed since 2002 and is now demolished. There are three Longmorn expressions in the collection - this 23 years old, plus other age statements at 18 and 25 years old (this is bottled at the cask strength of 52.2% ABV). All are non chill-filtered and of natural colour.
Monday, January 18, 2021
Two more new episodes of our Allotment Dram series for you, both filmed on chilly January afternoons. First watch as Matt opens a single cask Speyside offering from new independent kosher whisky bottler DS Tayman - a Linkwood 12 years old finished in kosher red wine barrels. Then on his next visit he goes Irish as he talks about and samples the Samuel Gelston's Single Pot Still. Watch both videos to find out more about each brand, plus Matt's thoughts and tasting notes.
To keep up-to-date with our videos, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel? Click here to do so.
Friday, January 15, 2021
Thursday, January 14, 2021
This whiskey forms part of The Unconventional Collection from Irish distiller Teeling. The Teeling Single Malt is made from 100% Irish malted barley and features a complex marriage of five cask types - the whiskey has been matured in ex-Cabernet Sauvignon and White Burgundy wine casks plus ex-Madeira, ex-Port and ex-sherry casks. These are then combined in differing percentages to create the final single malt. The Teeling Single Malt is released at 46% ABV and is both non chill-filtered and of natural colour. It is available in specialist whisky retailers and travel retail in selected markets worldwide. A bottle should cost around the £50/ €57 mark.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Samuel Gelston's is an Irish whiskey brand that is owned by Halewood Artisanal spirits. This single pot still has been produced using both malted and unmalted barley in the traditional way at an un-named distillery in Ireland and then matured exclusively in American oak ex-bourbon casks. This Single Pot Still sits within a wider range of whiskeys that includes the Blended Irish Whiskey and single malts at no age statement, five and 12 years of age (three different expressions) plus the 26 years old Very Rare Reserve. The Samuel Gelston's Single Pot Still is bottled at 40% ABV and is available in selected markets globally. A bottle should cost around the £22-25 mark.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
DS Tayman are a new independent bottling company that have been set up with the aim of offering certified kosher whiskies to customers. This is being achieved by pairing selected casks of whisky with wine barrels from different wineries. These casks have then been blessed by a Rabbi in situ in the warehouses in Scotland. This gives the company the ability to carry kosher stamps from KLBD (Kosher London Beis Din), MKL (Mishmeres haKashrus London) and OU (The Orthodox Union). DS Tayman is part of Dalkeith Brokerage.
The company released their first two whiskies in Spring 2020. This Second Edition was released back in the Autumn and features two more whiskies - one from Caol Ila on the island of Islay and one from Linkwood in Speyside. These are released as a set of single casks (30 in total) spanning the two distilleries and at the same ages. In each case the whisky has been initially matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to ex-red wine casks from the Flam Winery in Israel.
Monday, January 11, 2021
Happy New Year (or is it too late to still be saying that?) and to kick off 2021 we have two more episodes of our Allotment Dram series for you. Firstly, watch as Matt talks about the classic Laphroaig 10 years old - the biggest selling peated Scotch single malt in the world. Learn about the popular Islay whisky and find out his thoughts and tasting notes, plus what he harvested for the WFE Christmas dinner.
Then watch as he visits the allotment on a freezing cold New Year's Eve and opens the Mortlach 16 years old, which we received as a Christmas present. Watch to find out a bit about the Speyside distillery, known as 'The Beast of Dufftown', and hear his thoughts and tasting notes after popping the cork.
To keep up-to-date with our video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE.
Friday, January 8, 2021
These two whiskies form part of The Secret Speyside Collection from Chivas Brothers, a 15-strong selection of single malts from the company's lesser known Speyside distilleries. Four such distilleries feature in the collection - Braes of Glenlivet, Glen Keith and Longmorn are all currently in production with Caperdonich closed for many years and now demolished. This makes these two whiskies arguably the rarest of the series.
The Caperdonich 18 years old in particular is extremely rare as it features peated spirit, which was only produced at the distillery for a short time each year during a short period of its history. The Secret Speyside Colection feature six Caperdonichs in total - three using the classic spirit at 21, 25 and 30 years of age, and three using the rare peated spirit at 18, 21 and 25 years of age.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Another year has passed and it is time for one of our favourite blog posts - our top 10 whiskies from last year. Everyone will have a different opinion about what should and should not be on such a list. Our list is simply our favourites with no agenda or criteria, other than the whisky had to be released in 2020.
2020 was a year like no other in our lifetimes. The effects of Covid-19 have impacted all facets of daily life and beyond. It has had huge implications for the whisky industry around the world too. But after a short hiatus in March and April, companies began to carry on with adapted plans and release new bottlings. Launch events, tastings and even whisky shows turned to the online format and have now become commonplace.