Before I continue with more Scotland trip posts and more recent whiskies reviews, we shouldn’t forget those ‘archived’ tasting notes in the my notebook. It’s still weekend in Europe, it’s winter weather here (at least), so we’ll go for some treat of peat and sweet – the Lagavulin Distiller’s edition.
just concluded a Tweeter tasting of 3 new vintages from Balblair Distillery.
When I planned my Scotland trip, I knew that I want to cover and visit as many whisky related places – large distilleries, small independent distilleries, whisky bars and independent bottlers.
So on a rainy day in Glasgow (are there any other types of days there??) we went to visit Douglas Laing HQ.
What would be a trip to Scotland without meeting friends and sharing a few drinks? As I’m quite active on twitter, I’ve made lots of friends over the last few years and It was a rare opportunity to (finally) meet some in person, so we’ve setup a meeting at the SMWS venue on Queens Street in Edinburgh.
SMWS, the Scotish Malt Whisky Society for you, is practically the largest whisky club on earth (30,000 and counting). You pay annual subscription and get access to unique cask strength bottling done every month which you can buy or taste at the venues. This is what you get to choose from at the venue:
It’s almost X-mas period where news are fading while everybody celebrates, but this week wasn’t too quiet!
Diageo Lines Up Mortlach Single Malt Launch Amid Ongoing Expansion In Speyside
Diageo has announced the rebirth of Mortlach™, one of the most formidable and revered Single Malt Scotch Whiskies to have been created on Speyside.
For decades, Mortlach’s output has been largely captured by Diageo’s blenders to add its unique notes to complex world-class Blended Scotch whiskies – though in recent times, a very limited number of bottles of Mortlach Single Malt Whisky have been available, and sold rapidly to connoisseurs in the know.
But now for the first time, and in response to suggestions over the years that such a rewarding Single Malt Whisky deserved a wider market, it will be available in global markets in four expressions aimed at global travel and the luxury and connoisseur segment: Rare Old, Special Strength, 18-year-old and 25-year-old.
Mortlach has been described by whisky connoisseurs as “The Beast of Dufftown”, for its rich and powerful flavours, produced in an astonishingly complicated and unique distillation process which commentators have attempted to explain as ‘2.81 Distilled’.
Just as both generations of Cowies made major investments to expand and improve their distillery, so they would undoubtedly be proud to note that its present owners (as announced in April 2013) are investing to double the distillery’s capacity and promote its whiskies widely – a statement of intent and ambition that George and Alexander would surely endorse. The expansion will include the building of a new stillhouse, which will replicate the bewilderingly complex distillation process which makes Mortlach™ unique.
The new Mortlach expressions will be available in selected markets in mid-2014. Further details of pricing, distribution and packaging will be released in early 2014.
GlenDronach releases latest batch of its single cask bottlings
AWARD-WINNING GLENDRONACH has today, 3 December, released Batch 9 of its succulent single cask bottlings, selected as always by Master Blender Billy Walker.
The magnificent nine, ranging from 41 to 18 years old, share GlenDronach’s typically richly-sherried signature taste complemented by notes of almonds, cherries, raisins, prunes and lime…even cracked black pepper, cocoa beans and red chilli sauce!
Six were matured in Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheons while the other three come from Oloroso sherry butts. The result is a swirling and mesmerising range of expressions – from delicate sweetness to puckering malt monsters.
The oldest is a 41 year-old Oloroso sherry butt distilled in February 1972 – cask # 702. Bottled at 51.7% vol, this veteran is a complex, fiery wonder – rich dark oak edged with deep ruby. On the nose, it gives sumptuous depths of classic sour cherries dusted with gentle toasted almonds. And on the palate, it’s a beautifully elegant vintage sherry style bursting with a combination of dark espresso, molasses, herbs and oak spices.
And as a contrast, the youngest in the batch is an 18 year-old distilled in April 1995. This Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheon, cask number 3302, was bottled at 53.7% vol. It is rich golden burnt amber in appearance. On the nose, vibrant citrus zest combines with touches of wild mint and oak spice while on the palate an initial sweet chocolate and vanilla fullness moves to a delicate lasting zest and herb note.
The batch details are:
1972 cask # 702 / 41 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 51.7% vol
1985 cask # 1035 / 27 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.7%vol
1989 cask # 5470 / 23 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 49.2%vol
1990 cask # 1243 / 23 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 50.6%vol
1991 cask # 5405 / 21 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 49.9%vol
1992 cask # 195 / 21 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 59.8%vol
1993 cask # 5 / 20 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 53.0%vol
1994 cask # 3385 / 19 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.4%vol
1995 cask # 3302 / 18 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.7%vol
GLENGLASSAUGH LAUNCHES NEW 40 YEAR-OLD SINGLE MALT
GLENGLASSAUGH distillery today, December 3, proudly launches its sumptuous 40 year-old single malt whisky.
With sherry notes complementing the fruit medley and array of spices, it’s typical, classic, gorgeous Glenglassaugh, a 40 year-old marriage of malt and oak and an outstanding representation of this rare and enduring Highland-style dram.
It has an initial run of around 800 bottles but it will be an ongoing product in our range, says Managing Director and Master Blender Billy Walker.
His personal tasting notes show that this is a truly magnificent malt where flavours and styles interlink beautifully to deliver seductive silky sweetness. At 42.5% vol, cask strength, non-chill filtered and at natural colour, this unique expression is full of character and complexity.
Colour: Deep gold.
Nose: An abundance of sweet, syrupy tropical fruits; banana, pineapple and mango in perfect harmony with gentle Oloroso sherry.
Palate: Sweet, rich, syrupy and complex. Oloroso sherry, toffee apples, mango and banana sit beautifully in the mouth alongside ginger and cocoa spice.
Finish: Rich, spiced sherry.
Founded in 1875 by local entrepreneur James Moir, Glenglassaugh has stocks dating back to 1963 and was taken over by BenRiach earlier this year. In August, the owners released their first Glenglassaugh bottling – a superb 30 year-old single malt – and the new 40 year-old continues the Portsoy distillery’s ability to subtly merge tropical fruits with sherry and gentle oak spice.
Billy Walker said: “We’ve inherited some astonishingly fine whisky at Glenglassaugh and we’re delighted to launch our second expression almost nine months after taking over the distillery. There is very strong demand for Glenglassaugh around the world.”
Time to take a break from those posts covering my amazing (at least for me!) trip to Scotland and post some tasting notes so you won’t get angry with me
This time, a trio of Glenmorangie – Nectar D’Or, Lasanta and Quinta Ruban. Those 3 are interesting species as all of them starts as 10 years old Glenmorangie and then finished in different casks for additional 2 years. so how are they?
Last Speyside distillery we visit was The Macallan. It was a cold, windy and rainy da – the perfect day to visit distillery (a staple one) and drink some whisky.