Friday, January 29, 2021
Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (January 29, 2021)
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Allotment Drams / Jack Daniel's Old No.7 & Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair
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.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Review / Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair
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
Review / Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye 92 Proof
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
Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (January 22, 2021)
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Review / The One Port Cask Finished
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
Review / Tamdhu 12 years old
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
Review / Longmorn 23 years old
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
Allotment Drams / Linkwood 12 years old by DS Tayman & Samuel Gelston's Single Pot Still
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.
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Friday, January 15, 2021
Inbox / The Week's Whisky News (January 15, 2021)
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Review / Teeling Single Malt
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
Review / Samuel Gelston's Single Pot Still
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
Review / DS Tayman Second Edition - Caol Ila 12 years old & Linkwood 12 years old
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
Allotment Drams / Laphroaig 10 years old & Mortlach 16 years old
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.
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Friday, January 8, 2021
Review / Caperdonich 18 years old & 25 years old
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
Our Top 10 Whiskies of 2020
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.