Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire

Bottelaar: Johnnie Walker
Regio: Schotland
Fles: Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire, OB 2019
Kleur: amber
ABV: 40.8 %

Adem van een Draak

De tweede nieuwe Game of Thrones botteling, tegelijk gelanceerd met A Song of Ice, is deze A Song of Fire met de draak van House Targaryen op het label. Gebotteld op een iets hoger alcoholpercentage zou het hart van deze blend bestaan uit single malt van Caol Ila. Prettig kleurtje, alvast. Maar wellicht, net als A Song of Ice, eerder een instapper, bedoeld om een nieuw publiek aan te trekken.

Op de neus – die je toch even moet laten ademen om een rubberen toets weg te krijgen – neem ik karamel en vanille waar, iets van getoaste eik, geroosterde kastanjes en kaneel. Iets van melkchocolade met een vulling van aardbeien die een subtiele rokerigheid vooraf gaat. Een vers afgesneden stukje biefstuk. Dit valt me eigenlijk best mee. Mijn fantasie slaat op hol en vertelt me dat dit de adem van een draak zou kunnen zijn.

Hij is erg romig – ongetwijfeld te danken aan de graancomponent, volgens mij Cameronbridge – en zoet met een tikkeltje kruidigheid in de vorm van witte peper, nootmuskaat en kaneel. Daarna volgt opnieuw wat rood fruit en chocolade. De rokerigheid van de neus is hier een pak meer uitgesproken, wat ik toejuich. De Caol Ila doet zijn werk.

De finish maakt voor mij heel wat goed en duwt hem een pak hoger in score dan zijn twee voorgangers. Warm, gekruid, waxy en verrassend lang.

Een hoogvlieger is het niet. Goedkoop evenmin. Maar deze durf ik al eens te laten proeven – met of zonder de Coca Cola Signature Mixer Smoky.

80/100

Geproefd door Mark Dermul op 04-10-2019
(om snel andere tasting notes te vinden, surf naar www.whivie.be).

Article source: https://blog.whivie.be/?p=5048

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 276: Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice & Fire – Scotch Whisky News

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 276: Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice Fire

Mark Dermul, Belgian whisky blogger, puts two Johnnie Walker Blends head-to-head. Diageo clearly is not yet finished with Game of Thrones. After last year’s White Walker, they now present two blends: A Song of Ice around Clynelish and A Song of Fire around Caol Ila. Mark was not very enthusiastic about the White Walker and hopes these two will finally hit the spot.

https://youtu.be/HrUgmFhE6R0

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/10/marks-whisky-ramblings-276-johnnie-walker-a-song-of-ice-fire-scotch-whisky-news/

Raise a Glass With Larkfire: New ‘Wild Water’ Launches Online – Scotch Whisky News

Raise a Glass With Larkfire: New ‘Wild Water’

Launches Online

Whisky fans can raise a glass as a new ‘wild water’ – which helps to enhance the depth of flavour of scotch – is now available online.

Larkfire is sourced from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, where 3-billion-year-old gneiss rock helps give it a unique softness and natural purity that helps unleash the rich mix of aromas in whisky.

The high quality natural water is the only known canned water for whisky and is now available for just £1 a can at www.larkfire.co.uk.

The launch comes after Swedish chemists Björn Karlsson and Ran Friedman published a paper in the Scientific Reports journal in 2017, which helped establish why whisky tastes better when water is added – proving that water boosts the concentration of flavour compounds at the surface of the drink, enhancing the flavour.

Larkfire taps into the growing trend of ‘premiumisation’ in the drinks industry, where consumers take great care in the preparation of their drink, often prioritising quality above quantity.

A percentage of sales will flow back into the islands via an agreement with The Stornoway Trust, which looks after 69,000 acres of land on the Isle of Lewis, where the water is sourced.

Larkfire was founded by two whisky enthusiasts who observed people drinking wild water from streams in Scotland.

Co-founder James McIntosh said: “As whisky fans ourselves, it’s been a labour of love launching Larkfire.

“Whilst exploring the incredible Scottish landscape, we kept coming across locals drinking wild water straight from the ground.

“The centuries-old Lewisian gneiss rock is metamorphic and non-soluble, creating a pure and soft natural water with a low mineral content – which is perfect for whisky. It’s this process that helps create such a unique wild water, and we were determined to share it with people up and down the country.

“In Edinburgh and London you often see people add regular tap water to an expensive scotch – the problem is tap water has been recycled several times before it even reaches your glass, and chlorine and fluoride are added, interfering with the delicate flavours found in whisky. Put simply, tap water shouldn’t go anywhere near a good scotch.

“In Scotland we have a law specifying how whisky should be made, yet we’re willing to dilute this centuries-old craftmanship by allowing bog-standard tap water to be added to our great drink.

“Bottled water carries its own problems, as its high mineral content interferes with the aroma and taste.

“Consumers are becoming more discerning about not only their spirits but their mixers too. When you’re paying £20, £30, or even more for a single glass of whisky in a bar, you deserve to have the best water to pair it with.

“After travelling the breadth of Scotland, consulting master blenders, professors, chemists and geologists along the way, we think we’ve come up with the perfect solution.

“Mixing Larkfire with whisky creates a natural chemistry – complementing the whisky and unlocking its hidden complexities, creating a drink that is more enjoyable with greater depth.

“It’s a case of letting nature do its work with as little human intervention as possible.”

Larkfire is sourced on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, which is home to 15% of the UK’s freshwater surface area. The climate of the Isle of Lewis is characterised by short, cool and windy summers and extremely wet and windy winters – this wild climate and Scottish wilderness come together to produce the purest wild water.

The water is held on the surface by 3-billion-year-old Lewisian gneiss rock, among the oldest rock in the world. This non-soluble metamorphic rock is part of the reason for the water’s purity and lack of mineral content – it is naturally very soft and retains a slightly golden hue.

Larkfire is available now from www.larkfire.com priced at £1 per can, with a minimum order of 24 cans, plus delivery.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/10/raise-a-glass-with-larkfire-new-wild-water-launches-online-scotch-whisky-news/

MIDLETON VERY RARE 2019 UNVEILED AS ONLINE MEMBERS’ PROGRAMME LAUNCHES WITH SALE OF RARE VINTAGES – Irish Whiskey News

MIDLETON VERY RARE 2019 UNVEILED AS ONLINE MEMBERS’ PROGRAMME LAUNCHES WITH SALE OF RARE VINTAGES

Irish Distillers, makers of some of the world’s most enjoyed whiskeys, has unveiled the eagerly awaited Midleton Very Rare 2019, alongside the launch of the ‘1825 Room’, an online members’ programme for discerning whiskey lovers to delve further into the pinnacle of Irish whiskey.

The 36th edition in the renowned and highly collectable range has been masterfully blended from whiskeys laid down at Midleton Distillery, Co Cork, over the past four decades. Crafted by Master Distiller Brian Nation, Midleton Very Rare 2019 combines only hand-selected single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys of exceptional quality and rarity within the Midleton inventory. With each whiskey having been matured exclusively in lightly-charred ex-bourbon American oak barrels for between 13 and 34 years, 2019 marks the oldest collection of casks used to create a Midleton Very Rare.

“Each year, for over forty years, we have been setting aside very small amounts of the finest single pot still and single grain distillates so that the Midleton Very Rare legacy can continue. I am delighted that our 2019 vintage is once again a whiskey of exceptional quality that fits beautifully into the family,” explains Brian. “This vintage features an extraordinary blend of whiskeys from the rarest casks in our collection, with the youngest whiskey in our 2019 vintage having been aged for 13 years, and the oldest dating back to 1985.”

Midleton Very Rare 2019 is a whiskey of great depth and flavour that marries the spice of a pot still whiskey and the floral fragrance of grain whiskey with a layer of delightful sweetness from the finest bourbon casks. Offering ripe fruit and sugary notes that complement the charred American oak of the barrels, Midleton Very Rare 2019 is a luxurious liquid with a touch of spice that slowly fades to give way to charred oak and barley notes that linger.

Bottled at 40% ABV, Midleton Very Rare 2019 is available globally from this month at the RRP of €180 in markets including Ireland, the UK, and the US.

To mark the release of its 2019 Midleton Very Rare vintage, Irish Distillers has launched the ‘1825 Room’, a members’ site to pay homage to Midleton Distillery’s outstanding influence on Irish distilling since its foundation in 1825. Offering exclusive content and features about Midleton Very Rare, the site – available to join now @ midletonveryrare.com will also include an exclusive online store, with five rare vintages for sale from 2nd October for one month. To celebrate the launch of the 1825 Room, members will have the opportunity to purchase a bottle of the very first 1984 vintage at the price of £40 Irish punts, which equates to €50.80. In anticipation of demand being exceptionally high, purchasers will be selected through a ballot system.

“The new 1825 Room gives us a unique opportunity to offer rare releases, which we have acquired over time or released from our archives, to whiskey fans and collectors around the world.” explains Brendan Buckley, International Marketing Director at Irish Distillers.

Tasting notes for Midleton Very Rare 2019: 

Nose: Ripe fruit notes of sweet pear and apple that develop over time, adding a delicate touch of mango. Complimented by the charred American Oak, these flavours are further accentuated with additional sweet layers of brown sugar and vanilla, with a light dusting of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove spice.

Taste: Luscious and silky texture with the orchard fruits and pot still spices coming to the fore while the grain’s soft floral notes gently linger in the background, allowing the oak to add dimensions of mild tannins and wood spice.

Finish:  The fruits and gentle spice slowly fade, giving way to the oak foundation that leaves a mild roasted coffee and nutty character to linger until the very end. 

About Irish DistillersIrish Distillers is Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of some of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys. Led by Jameson, our brands are driving the global renaissance of Irish whiskey. Jameson is the world’s fastest-growing Irish whiskey, experiencing 30 years of consecutive growth and hitting sales of 7.7m cases in 2019. Our brands are exported to 130+ markets, with over 70 of those experiencing double- or triple-digit growth.

Irish Distillers was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between John Power Son, John Jameson Son and Cork Distilleries Company. In 1988 Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard, gaining access to unprecedented levels of investment and an extensive global distribution network. Since 2012, we have invested over €250m to double our production and bottling capacity to meet global demand for our products.

We employ over 600 people across our operations in Cork and Dublin. 

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the No.2 worldwide producer of wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €9,182 million in FY19. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has developed through organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and VinSprit (2008). Pernod Ricard, which owns 16 of the Top 100 Spirits Brands, holds one of the most prestigious and comprehensive brand portfolios in the industry, including: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard’s brands are distributed across 160+ markets and by its own salesforce in 73 markets. The Group’s decentralised organisation empowers its 19,000 employees to be true on-the-ground ambassadors of its vision of “Créateurs de Convivialité.” As reaffirmed by the Group’s three-year strategic plan, “Transform and Accelerate,” deployed in 2018, Pernod Ricard’s strategy focuses on investing in long-term, profitable growth for all stakeholders. The Group remains true to its three founding values: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust, and a strong sense of ethics. As illustrated by the 2030 roadmap supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “We bring good times from a good place.” In recognition of Pernod Ricard’s strong commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption, it has received a Gold rating from Ecovadis and is ranked No. 1 in the beverage sector in Vigeo Eiris. Pernod Ricard is also a United Nation’s Global Compact LEAD company.Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/10/midleton-very-rare-2019-unveiled-as-online-members-programme-launches-with-sale-of-rare-vintages-irish-whiskey-news/

Mark’s Whisky Ramblings 276: Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice & Fire

Diageo is duidelijk nog niet klaar met Game of Thrones. Na de Johnnie Walker White Walker van vorige jaar, komen ze nu met twee nieuwe blends: A Song of Ice rond Clynelish en A Song of Fire rond Caol Ila. Ik was niet erg enthoesiast over de White Walker en hoop dat deze twee me wel op andere gedachten kunnen brengen.

Article source: https://blog.whivie.be/?p=5052

Compass Box Affinity

Compass Box Affinity is a mix of 62% Scotch whisky (Craigellachie + the typical Highlands base) and 38% Calvados from Domaine Christian Drouin in France. The idea is based on a couple of affinities between the two spirits, such as the climate, double distillation and the use of French oak casks for maturation.

John Glaser said he had been blending Calvados and whisky at home for years, and now he decided to bring it to the market. It can be served over ice, mixed with vermouth for a unique twist on a boulevardier, or paired with tarte tatin.

 

 

Compass Box AffinityCompass Box AffinityCompass Box Affinity (46%, OB 2019, whisky + Calvados, 6028 btl.)

Nose: a lot of sweet red apples up front, as well as apple tarts and Appletiser. Hints of vanilla ice cream, bananas flambéed, orange juice and oak spice like clove and pepper. Just a whiff of potpourri and bubblegum too. Nice. Mouth: juicy apple sauce and tart apple pie or sour apple candy. It quickly becomes spicier, with a lot of peppery oak and nutmeg. Quite tangy with a slight burn. Some waxy notes and raisins. Finish: medium, with mostly oak spices and this juicy apple sweetness.

A peculiar spirit, combining the sweet and sour apple notes softened by creamy malty touches. The Calvados is playing the first violin here, but the end result is quite interesting. Available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange for instance.

Score: 80/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/other-spirits/compass-box-affinity/

LAPHROAIG UNVEILS POP-UP SMOKEHOUSE AT LONDON COCKTAIL WEEK – Scotch Whisky News

LAPHROAIG UNVEILS POP-UP SMOKEHOUSE AT LONDON COCKTAIL WEEK

  • Laphroaig to launch a pop-up Smokehouse bar serving cocktails with an unusual smoky twist
  • Members of the public have the chance to choose exactly how smoky they want their drink from “Gently Smoked” through to the intense “Bonfire Bite”
  • Drinks will be matched with Laphroaig cold-smoked bar snacks inspired by opinions of the whisky’s unique, and often divisive taste, submitted by members of the public via #OpinionsWelcome

3 October 2019: Laphroaig is setting the capital’s drinks scene ablaze with a pop-up Smokehouse, appearing exclusively at London Cocktail Week.

Launching on the 9th October in The Cocktail Village on Brick Lane, the Smokehouse brings to life the famously intense smoky, heavily peated flavour of Laphroaig. The Smokehouse offers classic cocktails with an unusual smoky twist, alongside cold-smoked bar snacks.

Guests can choose exactly how smoky they would like their drink, from “Gently Smoked” through to the intense “Bonfire Bite”. With each playing on the intense cold-smoked flavour that has made Laphroaig famous, the cocktails bring to life the unique and complex flavour of the liquid in truly new and innovative ways.

As well as personalising the smoke level of your cocktail, guests can choose from a range of Laphroaig cold-smoked flavoured bites including haggis, fudge, sausage and beef jerky. The Smokehouse emulates the cold smoking process that is responsible for the tarry note typical of Laphroaig.

Open from midday through to 11pm Wed-Sat, and midday through to 7pm on Sunday, The Smokehouse is open to the public throughout London Cocktail Week. It is set to bring a sense of theatrical intrigue that whisky lovers and those new to the liquid can enjoy. Created with an Instagram moment in mind, discerning drinkers can look on as original Islay peat is infused via bespoke pipes and bell-jars to richly infuse every sip with the iconic Laphroaig taste. The Smokehouse emulates the cold smoking process that is responsible for the tarry note typical of Laphroaig.

Nick Ganich, head of brands at Edrington-Beam Suntory, commented: “The Laphroaig Smokehouse is a unique celebration of the many divided opinions this iconic liquid conjures among its fans. Laphroaig is the UK’s number one Islay malt whisky and we’re seeing a rapid growth of demand for the iconic brand.”

“Although we hope to introduce this Islay malt to a great many more potential enthusiasts, we know a dram of neat Laphroaig is not a thing for everyone. However, there is always a cocktail and food pairing that make Laphroaig universally enjoyable. The Smokehouse will not only celebrate our unique taste, but also will showcase Laphroaig’s unexpected versatility.”

“All opinions are welcome at The Smokehouse, and we will even go so far as to adorn our walls with evocative statements ranging from the compliments to a lyrical description of Laphroaig tasting ‘Like bacon if your Grandma dropped her cigar into the cooking pan – twice.”

The Laphroaig Smokehouse will be open to the public from noon on the 9th October – 7.00pm on the 13th October, at The Cocktail Village, 146 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RU.

Alongside The Smokehouse, whisky lovers can participate in Laphroaig dining and cocktail experiences across the city during London Cocktail week. Baptist Bar within L’oscar hotel, Gilray’s Steakhouse Bar, Smith Wollensky, as well as Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge are all offering specially created Laphroaig cocktails. Additionally, Hawksmoor has developed a delicious 3-course meal perfectly paired with cocktails and drams.

For more information on The Smokehouse or to sign up for the cocktail-making masterclasses, tasting sessions and an exclusive supper club, go to https://drinkup.london/events/27504/laphroaig-smokehouse/

About Edrington-Beam Suntory Distribution UK

Edrington-Beam Suntory Distribution UK is one of the UK’s conjures spirits sales, marketing and distribution companies. It is a joint-venture company jointly owned by Edrington and Beam Suntory.

Edrington-Beam Suntory UK represents leading spirit brands in categories including:

Blended Scotch (The Famous Grouse, Naked Grouse and Teacher’s)

Malt whisky (Highland Park, Laphroaig, The Macallan and Ardmore)

Japanese whiskies (Yamazaki, Hibiki, Hakushu, Toki and Chita)

Bourbon (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek)

Imported whiskies (Canadian Club and Kilbeggan Irish whiskey)

Gin (Roku and Larios)

It also handles UK sales and distribution for Courvoisier cognac, Snow Leopard vodka, Brugal 1888 rum and a portfolio of liqueurs and specialities (including Sourz, Bols liqueurs, Galliano and After Shock).

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/10/laphroaig-unveils-pop-up-smokehouse-at-london-cocktail-week-scotch-whisky-news/

Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice

Bottelaar: Johnnie Walker
Regio: Schotland
Fles: Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice, OB 2019
Kleur: goud
ABV: 40.2%

Popcorn

Diageo is duidelijk nog niet klaar met Game of Thrones. Na het overdonderende succes van de reeks single malts – die binnenkort wordt aangevuld met een nieuwe Mortlach 15 Year Old ‘The Six Kingdoms’ – komen er twee nieuwe expressies van Johnnie Walker. We hadden eerder al de erg middelmatige White Walker, maar zopas lanceerde Johnnie Walker het duo A Song of Ice Fire. De eerste release in de blauwe fles met de grote witte direwolf van House Stark krijgt de naam Song of Ice mee. Het is een blend die werd samengesteld met ondermeer Clynelish. Het wordt aanbevolen deze te serveren met een blokje ijs.

Frisse neus op vanille, popcorn, flink wat gras en kokosrotsjes. Ja, er zit wel een toefje bijenwas in, maar om nu te zeggen dat ik Clynelish (waar ik wel wat ervaring mee heb) hierin kan ontdekken… neen. Een hint van tropisch fruit als perzik en mango, maar wel bedolven onder de typische toetsen van graanwhisky. Niet slecht, maar hij blaas me absoluut niet van mijn sokken.

Op smaak is het één en al graanwhisky. En volgens mij jonge graanwhisky. North British, lijkt me. Niks mis mee, maar spectaculair is het nou ook weer niet. Wat vanille, veel honing en popcorn, een schijfje citrus, een druppeltje karamel. Het smeuïge mondgevoel kan zowel van de Clynelish als de grain komen, me dunkt. Ik beken… hij doet me niks.

De afdronk is kort en zacht met slechts een klein toefje houtkruiden en wat vanille.

Blink zou ik gezegd hebben dat ik een graanwhisky proefde. Goed om te mixen met een Coca Cola Woody maar puur de moeite niet waard. Zo’n 30 tot 40 EUR, wat gewoon veel te duur is voor zo’n instapper.

77/100

Geproefd door Mark Dermul op 04-10-2019
(om snel andere tasting notes te vinden, surf naar www.whivie.be).

Article source: https://blog.whivie.be/?p=5043

Berry Bros. & Rudd

Berry Bros. Rudd Ltd.
3 St James’s Street
London SW1A 1 EG
UK
+44 20 7022 8973
https://www.bbr.com/

In een notedop

Berry Brothers Rudd is een instituut. Het is de oudste wijn- en spiritshandelaar uit het Verenigd Koninkrijk die al sinds 1698 vanuit dezelfde shop in hartje London opereert! De shop werd opgericht door een dame gekend als Weduwe Bourne. De dochter van mevrouw Bourne huwde met William Pickering, die haar twee zonen schonk: John en William Jr. Toen John overleed, trok William Jr een handelsparnter aan: John Clarke. Een kleine eeuw later zou diens kleinzoon, George Berry, de zaak overnemen. We spreken 1803. Het is George die uiteindelijk de focus van de kruidenierszaak zal wijzigen naar wijnen en spirits.

Twee van George’s zonen – de broers George Junior en Henry – namen de zaak over in 1845 en zette Berry Brothers op de gevel. Het duurde nog tot 1920 voordat Hugh Rudd met zijn enorme wijnkennis het bedijf zou vervoegen. Een paar jaar eerder gingen 69 kisten met zeer kostbare wijn en spirits teloor bij het zinken van de Titanic.

Cutty Sark

In diezelfde periode stonden de Verenigde Staten droog, te wijten aan Prohibition. De wijn en whisky van Berry Bros. Rudd werd plots heel populair in de Bahamas, een populaire stop voor smokkelaars. De blend Cutty Sark werd bedacht in 1923 en op een snelle theeklipper van dezelfde naam door Captain McCoy naar de States gevoerd. De uitdrukking ‘the Real McCoy’ stamt uit die tijd. Het was de manier om een ‘echte’ Scotch te bestellen in de zogenaamde speakeasy bars. Cutty Sark werd hierdoor één van de populairste whisky’s van het bedrijf tot in de jaren 1970.

De tragedie van de Tweede Wereldoorlog noopte het bedrijf ertoe om voor het eerst bestuurders van buiten de familie aan te trekken. Maar zo konden ze wel hun positie als wereldleiders op het gebied van wijn en spirits consolideren. In 1967 bouwden ze als eerste – in Basingstoke – wijnkelders met klimaatregeling. Daar liggen vandaag de dag zo’n 9 miljoen flessen. In 1994 gingen ze nog een stap verder en lanceerden bbr.com, waar klanten online en dus via postorder wijnen en spirits konden bestellen. Daarnaast openden ze een aantal Duty Free Wine Shops op de luchthaven van Heathrow en openden de Hong Kong Wine Club in Azië. In 1998 openden ze een tweede winkel op Harry Street in Dublin.

Range

Het bedrijf bottelt flink wat whisky onder het eigen label ‘Berry’s Own Selection’, maar is ook verantwoordelijk voor de bekende en hoog aangeschreven blend Blue Hanger. In 2018 en 2019 lanceerden ze de nieuwe labels ‘the Classic Range’, ‘Scyfion Choice’ en ‘The Perspective Series’.

Daarnaast hebben ze ook de bekende No 3 London Dry Gin. Grappig genoeg wordt die in Nederland gestookt.

Article source: https://blog.whivie.be/?p=5036

The Whisky Exchange “Novelty Bottles – Cask Finishes Edition” – Whisky? News

Novelty Bottles – Cask Finishes Edition

Casks, amirite? Some of them are familiar, some of them are less so – all of them have an irrevocable (or irreparable, depending on where you’re sitting) effect on the spirit matured within them. In honour of Whisky Show and its theme – The Journey of the Cask – today we’re exploring some of the less familiar – or downright odd – cask-matured drinks wandering the spiritscape, from new releases to storied oldies.

Grape Scott! Bacchus to the Future: Part 1

You know what they say: ‘when life gives you left-over grape bits, distil them and whack the resulting high-strength spirit in a red wine cask for six months.’

East London liquor company East London Liquor Co. have followed that old adage to the letter, teaming up with Renegade London Wine to take 2017’s Hereford Bacchus grape pomace and turn it into a hilariously punny, full-flavoured, grappa-style spirit, bottled with a healthy, healthy dose of 80’s film nostalgia.

In many ways, like weird, grapey cask cannibalism.

WhistlePig Amburana Rye 12 Year Old TWE Exclusive

Now, this one isn’t going to make an awful lot of sense unless you’ve tried it.

The cask impact on this spirit cannot be understated, especially when you consider that this batch of WhistlePig rye whiskey rested in its South American amburana-wood cask for a period of just ten days. Ten days. The result is a powerfully fragrant, richly spicy whiskey, riddled with coconut flavours and tonka-bean character.

Unlike anything you’ve tried before, unless you’ve tried it before…

Amrut Naarangi

It’s well known that whisky-maturation regulations are – if you want to be taken seriously, at least – pretty strict. Not only does this ensure that whisky in a bottle is more or less what we think it should be, but it also encourages people to work out some pretty fascinating work-arounds.

One such work-around comes in the form of Amrut Naarangi, which deftly side-steps the question, ‘how do I infuse my whisky with orange without actually infusing my whisky with orange?’ by filling an ex-oloroso sherry cask with white wine and orange peel for three years, emptying it out, then finishing a three-year-old whisky in it for three more years.

Bravo, Amrut. Bravo.

 Asta Morris Glorious Bastard

What happens when you – rumour has it, accidentally – finish a single malt Scotch whisky in a cask which previously contained gin? Well, Glorious Bastard, that’s what.

Contrary to common sense, academic wisdom and, indeed, previous personal experience, whisky + gin seems to, in this instance at least, work. Juniper enhances this single malt’s citrus character while balancing out some of its sweeter parts with that particular gin-y bitterness.

Also, being a child stuck in a grown-up’s body, I think swear words on commercial goods are funny.

Bastard. Hehe.

JJ Corry – The Battalion

Have you ever been just kind of, you know, hangin’ out, chillin’, letting your mind wander, and suddenly thought to yourself, ‘phwoar, yeah, whisky and tequila and mezcal probably taste pretty nice together’?

Now we’re no mixologists but, no, neither have we, to be honest. But then we’re not superstar independent Irish whisky bottler JJ Corry!

The Battalion, named for a battalion of Irishmen who fought for Mexico in 1846, is a blended Irish whisky finished in ex-mezcal and ex-Tequila casks. Sounds like a strange choice but, now we think about it, that slightly smoky, herbal edge might be pretty interesting.

A recent re-do of Scotch whisky maturation rules to allow ageing in agave-spirit casks means we’re likely to see a whole lot more of this sort of thing, too…

Herring, Tabasco and beyond…

The world of cask-finishes has been to some weird places, and it’s not getting any less adventurous. That being said, there are some places which, once visited, need not be explored again.

Billy’s very own bottle of Hotscotch.

In 2002 for instance, the SMWS finished whisky in a cask seasoned with Tabasco sauce. The result was, by all accounts, a brain-meltingly fiery whisky which, while undrinkable on its own, went on to live a happy life of saucedom in the form of Hotscotch.

Image from ScotchWhisky.com.

The descent into madness continues with the now all-but-ungettable, nigh-on-mythological Fishky – a single cask of Bruichladdich finished in a cask previously used to store herring. It is, according to our very own Billy Abbott, “very bad” – he’s not tried it himself, but has patiently held the hand of many an adventurous whisky geek who has, as they tearfully recounted its terrible, innate, fishy wrongness. But ours is not to wonder why – only to marvel at the, well… marvellousness of it all.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/10/the-whisky-exchange-novelty-bottles-cask-finishes-edition-whisky-news/