A Pair of Can’t-Miss Speysiders—K&L Exclusives from Linkwood and Craigellachie  – Scotch Whisky News

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There are instances in any person’s booze exploration that are transitional. I used to be somewhat of a checklister, but I’ve learned to stop and smell the malt. As we examine this incredibly diverse and deep category, there’s a strong propensity to categorize our experiences. This is the X of Y. This is like an older version of that. This bottle reminds me of that bottle. We want to categorize our experiences so we can better explain and understand them. But inherent in the goal of understanding and explaining our experiences we remove ourselves from them. Sometimes we just need to sit back and enjoy.

2006 Craigellachie 12 Year Old “Sovereign” KL Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $54.99 View

1996 Linkwood 21 Year Old “Signatory” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) $129.99 View

So if I tell you that this is the best Sherried Speysider under $55 this year – will it be more or less fun if you line it up next to every other sub-$55 sherry bomb you’ve acquired in the last 12 months? There aren’t many so I expect it will be a quick tasting. If I tell you that this is easily the best Linkwood for your dollar in the entire country, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to try it. But I can only confidently say that because I’ve tried every other available Linkwood on the market today. You could spend thousands to do a thorough survey of the marketplace, compare anonymous online reviews and ultimately you’d be very lucky to disprove my postulate. But all that work wouldn’t enhance your experience of these exceptional malts. Indeed, you’ve just wasted all the time you could have spent experiencing with all that thinking.

So stop and enjoy two of the best Speysider Scotches we’ll ever sell you from two exceptional distilleries in two very different styles. Both exemplify what has now become the most important Scottish region and yet each is completely different from the other. A truly befuddling conundrum indeed. Best to have a drink and think about it.

—David Othenin Girard, KL SoCal Spirits Buyer

KL1

2006 Craigellachie 12 Year Old “Sovereign” KL Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($54.99)

Every year the biggest struggle we have when selecting casks isn’t necessarily finding ultra-rare casks. If we’re willing to pay for them, the diamonds are there. What’s much more difficult to find are the affordable sherried malts from good distilleries. Last year we smashed things up with an absolutely stellar Aultmore. This year we’ve got a few replacements, one of them being this incredible cask of Craigellachie. While it doesn’t have the inky, nearly bitter extraction that the Aultmore had, there might not be a better sherried whisky available for this price anywhere. Craigellachie is a workhorse whisky, but its stalwart quality is well known to blenders. Sitting on the hill directly across from Macallan, just a short trip over the River Spey, Craigellachie was never sold as a single malt because Dewar’s was too lucrative to spend time selling single malt. There’s no visitor’s center or other fanfare but those who know this special distillery grow to love it. In 2014, the distillery finally released an OB. Long before those well-received bottles appeared on the scene, the malt was well-regarded by Independent Bottlers, especially when aged in sherry casks. The rich malty character and deep waxy fruit are perfectly balanced by the roasted nutty flavors of this sherry butt. No question, this will be up there as one of the best values we’ll have to offer in malts all year, maybe ever. An absolute must-try by any measure. Those who know best are bunkering this bad boy.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2018

I keep wanting to call this the cask of the season, but I only hesitate because there’s SO much more coming down the line I don’t want to overstate just how special this whisky truly is. That said there’s no doubt that this will be one of those incredible values that people will be asking for in the months and maybe years to come. 12 full years in an oloroso sherry butt have turned the majestic malt from Craigellachie into a veritable gem. The nose is full on oloroso with the dry nutty aromatics taking full charge. It’s not the extracted almost bitter bomb that we had from last year’s Aultmore, but it’s no less complex and filled with sherry character. The palate is ultra rich with the bold oloroso character traits locked with the dense malt – the tiniest hint of fresh peat aromatic is a bonus. With a bit of water the whole thing transmutes into one of the most balanced and approachable malts we’ve sold in years. The nuttiness gives way slightly to a complex dried blood orange, cigar box, exotic wood. The palate has tons of sweet malt to balance the sherry and while some may prefer this at full strength with water this is one of the most exciting and drinkable whiskies we’ve ever sold. The total package in every sense of the term and priced to bunker. The first of many legends in the 2018 Whisky Season!

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 06, 2018

Oh man, I like this and wish I was sitting in my grandpa’s basement drinking this right now. This toasty Scotch comes at you with scents of old leather, cigar box, tobacco, and just a little creaminess to take the edge off. There are tiny notes of dark caramel and molasses, cardamom, clove, and a lingering smell of buttery cooked cherries. The palate boasts bigger spice, bolder leather, and a phenolic bandaid flavor that I love. Adding water enhances the caramel and brings out a nice saltiness.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 06, 2018

This has daily drinker all over it. It’s a hefty, oily, waxy Scotch with deep sherry notes at a measly 55 bucks for full cask strength juice. The powdery tannins are present, but not overpowering. They showcase the sexy rancio flavors of the finest sherries and bring out the underlying fruity character of the malt. A little water added and this malt explodes into flavors of rolled oats, granola, stone fruit compote, dried figs and cold beer. A perfect pour for every night of the week.

Anthony Russo | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 03, 2018

Its richly dark color is completely natural and due to its delicious 12 years in sherry oak. The near 60% ABV is barely detectable on the nose, which is instead replaced by dried apricot and cooking spices. After a few drops of water, the flavors truly appear and the liveliness of this whisky shows itself. With the new 12 year standard price hanging around $70, it is unique to have something this interesting at this age/cask strength. Great find!

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 03, 2018

I had expected a rich and juicy sherry aged single malt with no smoke but got a pleasant surprise when I tasted this cask. The nose had the deep dried fruit aromas that I had expected but they were topped off with nice smoke notes. In the mouth it was rich and round with plenty of smoke to balance out the flavor profile. A great value for a high quality single malt.

KL2

1996 Linkwood 21 Year Old “Signatory” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($129.99)

The exceptional Linkwood distillery is another one of the grand old Diageo malts that you wonder why they haven’t bothered to make a big deal of. Until you dive deeper into how and why the distillery is so important for making them money on the globally viable blended whisky market. After one taste of this Linkwood it’s immediately clear that this is one of the heart malts for the great Johnnie Walker Blends. It kind of reminds me of all the things I love about Johnnie Walker that aren’t peaty. Johnnie Walker, in particularly the Johnnie Green, is actually an incredibly high quality product compared to the majority of blended scotch on the market. The reason even the Black and Red are so well regarded is the addition of very special distilleries like Linkwood, which even in relatively small quantities give those whiskies a distinctive quality that’s hard to replicate. And since the deep complexities of Linkwood are so crucial to improving the character of those blends when inexpensive younger grain whisky is added to soften and stretch the flavors, we very rarely see it available on the open market. In many ways, Linkwood is the classic Speyside malt, but its character is nothing like the names you might associate with the area. The rich character is driven by big malt, herbal and unrelenting, that gives way on the palate to rich textured cereal and sweet grain qualities. A bold complex style that will take most drinkers by surprise. But once you know you’ll never forget.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2018

Linkwood is one of those distilleries that has a pretty surprising following despite not being at all available in the US. The last official release from this exceptional distillery was a limited release 37 year old, which was sold for $600+ initially. In a lot of ways Linkwood is the quintessential “Scotch” for my palate, a bench mark for Scotchiness that they set pretty high. Here we have it in its most classic form—although in desperate need of a tiny dollop of fresh water, there are few malts more enamoring. After a little squirt of spring water, the powerful dark malt suddenly falls away to reveal a complex web of orchard fruit and citrus peel. Canned pineapple and white nectarines, pointed by a subtle green plum and floral honey. Subtle briochey malt lingers in the background, hinting at the rich, textured, almost sweet entry. More of those tart plums, dark cocoa powder, sweet barley tea and a long white peppery finish. An absolute dream that’s approachable enough for nearly any Scotch drinker to fall in love. Indeed this could be the quintessential Speysider. ADD THAT WATER!

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 07, 2018

Immediately familiar and yet, completely new. This whisky explodes on the palate with a ferocity that I confess, I must tame with a cube or more than a drop of water. As a major Diageo component whisky, you will typically only experience Linkwood cut with soft grain whisky, never in it’s full power. This beast at cask strength is a bomb of chocolate covered fruit mixed with granola in vanilla yogurt. It’s got tang, sweetness, a bit of dank funk, and major muscle. With a generous drop of water, the game changes dramatically. The softer side of Linkwood that feels like home comes out. A complex blend of cooking spices make you feel like you’re baking for the holidays. Jam and honey and fresh winter fruits fill the glass. It’s immediately transformed in to one of the easiest drinking Scotches in the store. Factor in the price of this bottle compared to a OB from the distillery and you’ve got yourself a hell of a deal.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: November 05, 2018

It is always exciting to see something from Linkwood on the shelf because it produces exceptionally good single malts. The nose on this bottling is deep with dried fruit aromas. In the mouth it is full bodied and elegant with layered malt and dry fruit flavors and a nice mouth feel.

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/11/a-pair-of-cant-miss-speysiders-kl-exclusives-from-linkwood-and-craigellachie-scotch-whisky-news/

New: Balvenie Stories // Nikka Days // Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection

The Balvenie stories 12 / 14 / 26 Years

The Balvenie stories 12 / 14 / 26 Years

The Balvenie is working on three new expressions or Stories about craftsmen and their experiences, and how they produce the true character of the spirit:

  • Balvenie 12 Years ‘The sweet toast of American oak’ (43%), focused on the fruitier, sweeter style of Balvenie, made with a batch of ex-bourbon casks transferred to virgin oak barrels for a finishing period
  • Balvenie 14 Years ‘The Week of Peat’ (48.3%), produced during the one week each year that the distillery uses peated malt
  • Balvenie 26 Years ‘A day of Dark Barley’ (47.8%), produced with dark roasted brittle barley more commonly used to make stout beer.

 

 

Nikka Days

Nikka Days

Nikka Days is a new blended Japanese whisky, combining grain whisky (Miyagikyo) and lightly peated malt (Yoichi). It’s meant to be smooth, delicate and fruity. Bottled at 40% ABV and available for around € 40. Could be a nice everyday drinker.

 

 

Gordon  MacPhail Private Collection

Gordon  MacPhail Private Collection

Gordon MacPhail has unveiled the new look of its Private Collection range with the launch of two new releases:

  • Inverleven 1985 (57,4%, refill bourbon barrel #562, 130 btl.) – £ 1000
  • Glenrothes 1974 (49,5%, refill sherry puncheon #18440, 276 btl.) – £ 1250

Watch out for my reviews – working on it as we speak.

 

 

Glenlivet Founder's Reserve - American oak selection

Glenlivet Founder's Reserve - American oak selection

This is a new version of the base expression Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve. It is supposed to contain first-fill ex-bourbon casks only. Bottled at 40% ABV. Basically the same recipe as what they did to the Nadurra range, focusing on specific cask types – maybe there will be an Oloroso matured Founder’s Reserve in the future?

 

 

Also interesting

Things that may not have been widely announced but that grabbed my attention in shops recently…

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/whisky-news/balvenie-stories-nikka-days-gordon-macphail-private-collection/

New: Balvenie Stories // Nikka Days // Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection

The Balvenie stories 12 / 14 / 26 Years

The Balvenie stories 12 / 14 / 26 Years

The Balvenie is working on three new expressions or Stories about craftsmen and their experiences, and how they produce the true character of the spirit:

  • Balvenie 12 Years ‘The sweet toast of American oak’ (43%), focused on the fruitier, sweeter style of Balvenie, made with a batch of ex-bourbon casks transferred to virgin oak barrels for a finishing period
  • Balvenie 14 Years ‘The Week of Peat’ (48.3%), produced during the one week each year that the distillery uses peated malt
  • Balvenie 26 Years ‘A day of Dark Barley’ (47.8%), produced with dark roasted brittle barley more commonly used to make stout beer.

 

 

Nikka Days

Nikka Days

Nikka Days is a new blended Japanese whisky, combining grain whisky (Miyagikyo) and lightly peated malt (Yoichi). It’s meant to be smooth, delicate and fruity. Bottled at 40% ABV and available for around € 40. Could be a nice everyday drinker.

 

 

Gordon  MacPhail Private Collection

Gordon  MacPhail Private Collection

Gordon MacPhail has unveiled the new look of its Private Collection range with the launch of two new releases:

  • Inverleven 1985 (57,4%, refill bourbon barrel #562, 130 btl.) – £ 1000
  • Glenrothes 1974 (49,5%, refill sherry puncheon #18440, 276 btl.) – £ 1250

Watch out for my reviews – working on it as we speak.

 

 

Glenlivet Founder's Reserve - American oak selection

Glenlivet Founder's Reserve - American oak selection

This is a new version of the base expression Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve. It is supposed to contain first-fill ex-bourbon casks only. Bottled at 40% ABV. Basically the same recipe as what they did to the Nadurra range, focusing on specific cask types – maybe there will be an Oloroso matured Founder’s Reserve in the future?

 

 

Also interesting

Things that may not have been widely announced but that grabbed my attention in shops recently…

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2018/whisky-news/balvenie-stories-nikka-days-gordon-macphail-private-collection/

New K&L Exclusives from Scotland’s Finest Distillers – Scotch Whisky News

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New KL Exclusives from Scotland’s Finest Distillers

It’s official. Scotch season has finally arrived! To celebrate, we’ve assembled a trio of sure-fire winners that are guaranteed to scratch your whisky itch. Under the “Sovereign” label are a pair of stunning drams from Tullibardine and Caol Ila and from “Old Malt Cask” is a powerhouse 21-Year-Old from Ben Nevis.

The Tullibardine is a picture-perfect 10-Year-Old and a delightful follow up to “The Murray,” which we offered earlier this year. In a classic Tulli style, it serves up bright citrus, toasted nut, and sea salt flavors. Its mouth-coating delivery is so enticing it draws you back to the glass time and again. At $50, this Highland malt is a smashing value. Simply put, we couldn’t be more pleased with this brilliant selection.

Next up, is the Caol Ila 7 Year Old. Like poetry in a bottle, this Sherry-finished single malt is a perfect encapsulation of everything we love about this Caol Ila. Powerful, yet with an understated elegance, it graces the palate with wafts of smoke, sea breeze, iodine, bacon fat, and toffee. A breathtaking Islay, this is bound to become a fast favorite among Caol Ila fans.

Last, but by no means least, is mammoth 1997 Ben Nevis 21 Year Old. Built on a massive scale, it deftly blends the raw power of Ben Nevis with range and complexity of first-fill sherry butt. Honey, salted toffee, graham cracker and so much more are all at play. That it’s priced just under $100 is nothing short of remarkable. But, that’s where having close relationships with the distilleries pays off.

As is always the case with these exclusive single casks, there isn’t much to go around. So, when they are gone they are gone for good. With winter finally upon us, now is the time to stock up on these inspired single malts.

For more on the 2018 whisky season, check out our recent blog post.

 KL1

2008 Tullibardine 10 Year Old “Sovereign” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($49.99)

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2018

I get asked all the time what my favorite whiskey is. It’s an impossible question to answer without a lot of context caveats, but what does hold true for any candidate in the “best whiskey” category is they offer value. This gem from Tullibardine offers extreme value. For 50 bucks, this hits so many high points. It’s fresh and full of bright fruit. It offers a huge spectrum of flavors from a salty earthy tone straight through cut grass, caramel, cereal grain, and white florals. All the while it has the full and oily texture you’d expect from any Highland Scotch. While we still have a little warm weather, this is at the front of my liquor cabinet; a perfect afternoon whiskey!

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2018

The odd and loveable little distillery in the Southern Highland is so compact and quaint it’s almost laughable. The distillery is right off the road in the tiny town of Blackford and the visitor center is at the far end of a little mini-mall next to a Baxters. They’ve done a great job to take this tiny space and create a veritable Single Malt experience, but crossing over the little burn to the distillery you notice how incredibly tight the space actually is. The distillery’s French owners sell most of the malt in France and this is the first Tulli we’ve ever bought. This whisky fits perfectly in a difficult to hit under $50 price point and offers some serious highland character. I highly recommend a drop of water as the first nosing has a malty gravelly quality, while the palate is full of bright fresh citrus fruit. With a drop of water the earthy grain falls completely away and you’re left with a perfect little aperitif style malt that brings just the right amount of subtle floral quality, pure cereal notes and zippy citrus peel. The texture is creamy with a little hint of Szechuan pepper to keep it from feeling cloying. If you’re a fan of a malt driven style and don’t mind a bit of an aperitif in the afternoon, this will be the perfect whisky for you.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2018

I’ve always had an appreciation for the bottlings that trickle out of Tullibardine, and in my opinion there are never enough. This cask chosen by Signatory lives up to my expectations with a nose of vanilla bean, heavy cream, cedar wood, red licorice, great floral notes of rose and lilac, and a nutty almond quality. The palate has more spice presence with clove and cinnamon, and an addition of water brings out these spices even more revealing cayenne and also adds a nice viscosity.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 29, 2018

This is a single malt for someone who is looking for an easy to drink and enjoy whiskey. The nose is sweet and waxy with a very subtle savory nuances. In the mouth it is mouth coating , round and rich, with a juicy malt liveliness.It offers all of this but it is not too heavy or out of balance.

KL2

2010 Caol Ila 7 Year Old “Sovereign” KL Exclusive Single Sherry Finished Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($49.99)

We love to when our friends at Hunter Laing bring us young peaters to try. We’ve done several of these casks of Caol Ila in the past, but I don’t think we’ve ever come across one as absolutely perfect as this little monster. Now some people will notice the description is quiet unusual, a Sherry Finished Butt. We usually expect these young peaters to get filled in to old hoggies and often stay there until we come across them 5-6 years later. Maybe they would have thrown is into an ex-sherry cask for a year or so to ace’d. Now we’ve moved into a whole new territory. The Laing’s are taking used sherry butts, filling them with sherry for a year or so and then filling fresh young Caol Ila malt in there. The result is much more significant sherry influence than you’d ever see with a quick 6-12 month finish. I’m not sure why there isn’t more stuff like this coming from the distillery or even independents yet, but there’s no question that the Laing’s have cracked the code here. There’s so much going on in such a small elegant reasonable package. What’s even more incredible is that the sherry doesn’t muck up the gorgeous purity of the Caol Ila smoke, instead it just sits perfectly around the ages adding depth and nuance. This whisky loves water and swims like fish. Definitely don’t miss this special little whisky because while it looks available right now, once people start tasting it, I’m certain they’re going to load up. If you love peaters and can afford it, stock pile this one.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2018

Oh Caol ila. We love you so much. There’s just something about this malt that gets me everytime. It doesn’t have the fanfare or mystery of the distillers on the southern coast (Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Laphroaig), but it does have some of the best peated malt in the world. Often when the super geeks lament the loss of legends like Port Ellen, we must reminded ourselves that we have a living legend near the little Port Askaig. Few seem to truly appreciate it majesty mostly because the owners don’t care to make a big deal of it. But, this wonderful cask is something we rarely ever see – sherried Caol Ila! We’ve had Caol Ila finished in sherry before but here we’ve got an old used butt refreshed in Scotland with new sherry. After some time seasoning it was filled with this Caol Ila for a true maturation not just a finish. The result is not something hinting toward a sherried peater, but instead the full hog real deal. It almost feels like cheating. Apparently cheating tastes great sometimes because this stuff is on another level. Deep roasty bbq smoke, dense nutty toffee, leather, tar and salted fruit. The big bold peat (ozone, iodine, bacon smoke and leather) continues on the palate, but is tempered with a sweet dried fruit and smoldering cedar. With water it lightens a bit but keeps its hefty character and rich texture. Adding a bit of salinity and some burnt citrus peel which makes it feel almost refreshing. For some this will easily be the best value whisky of the year. Others might appreciate the depth and complexity. For the peat haters we have other things for you.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2018

This Caol Ila wants you to sip it slowly for long winter contemplation… Reflect on your year as you roll this sweet and smoky whisky around your tongue with its notes of cherry wood, light mesquite, charcoal, old leather, medley of dried and candied fruits, and a super long finish that ties everything together.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 28, 2018

Young single malts from Islay can be really nice and delicious. This selection from Sovereign helps present proof for this statement. It has pleasant, pretty smoke and malt aromas. In the mouth it is round with a creamy mouthfeel.With a splash of water it opens up with smoke and subtle salt and savory flavors coming forward. A great value at this price.

KL3

1997 Ben Nevis 21 Year Old “Old Malt Cask” KL Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($99.99)

Ben Nevis sits just at the base of its namesake, Scotland’s highest mountain. A coastal distillery in the Western Highlands, Ben Nevis draws its water from the Allt a’Mhuilinn which originates from two pools, Coire Leis and Coire na’Ciste, which are both sited a good way up the mountain. The distillery was founded in 1825, by the gloriously named ‘Long John’ MacDonald, for whom the renowned Long John blended Scotch was named. After Long John’s death in 1856, ownership was passed down to Donald McDonald, his son. In 1989, the distillery was sold to the Japanese distiller Nikka and that’s where most of the malt is used (both in blends and malt for the Japanese market). We’ve always loved this special idiosyncratic distillery on the gorgeous western coast of Scotland. The thick weighty malt that’s produced here is often too much too handle in the 3rd and 4th fill barrels we often see from the IBs. But when great Ben Nevis is filled into a first fill bourbon or sherry butt, there’s absolutely nothing like it. This cask is rich with funky malty aromatics, but not over the top. A medium amber hue and tons of texture, the most shocking thing about it though is the incredible price. We’re very lucky to have an advantageous exchange rate and some really serious negotiating power. The oily richness of Ben Nevis loves plenty of air and a dab of good spring water will really help open this monster up.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2018

You can nearly smell the weight of this dram. The aroma is dense, waxy, pungent. It reminds me of an amped up version of Cointreau or Grand Marnier – tons of bitter orange peel, all of the viscosity, but none of the sugar. The sherry is perfectly integrated providing a salty edge and a slight rancio note. A little bit of water opens up the floral and fruity components of the whiskey and provides a softer, gentler drinking experience. This is a work horse whiskey perfect for any occasion or Scotch lover.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2018

This 21 year old offering from Ben Nevis has developed a lot of deep flavors after its prolonged aging and Sherry Butt maturation. It’s delicious with components of deep caramel, honey-graham cookies, salted toffees, old leather, dried peaches, chocolate-covered berries, wildflower honey, beeswax, and just a bit of an oxidized Sherry note. Scrumptious!

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 29, 2018

Ben Nevis produces very interesting and tasty single malts. This 21 year old single malt is absolutely fantastic. The nose is very expressive with wax, honey and distinctive savory notes. In the mouth this continues with a nice mixture of the above flavors. This single malt is delicious, interesting, complex and a very good value.

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/11/new-kl-exclusives-from-scotlands-finest-distillers-scotch-whisky-news/

New K&L Exclusives from Scotland’s Finest Distillers – Scotch Whisky News

kl_logo_trans

New KL Exclusives from Scotland’s Finest Distillers

It’s official. Scotch season has finally arrived! To celebrate, we’ve assembled a trio of sure-fire winners that are guaranteed to scratch your whisky itch. Under the “Sovereign” label are a pair of stunning drams from Tullibardine and Caol Ila and from “Old Malt Cask” is a powerhouse 21-Year-Old from Ben Nevis.

The Tullibardine is a picture-perfect 10-Year-Old and a delightful follow up to “The Murray,” which we offered earlier this year. In a classic Tulli style, it serves up bright citrus, toasted nut, and sea salt flavors. Its mouth-coating delivery is so enticing it draws you back to the glass time and again. At $50, this Highland malt is a smashing value. Simply put, we couldn’t be more pleased with this brilliant selection.

Next up, is the Caol Ila 7 Year Old. Like poetry in a bottle, this Sherry-finished single malt is a perfect encapsulation of everything we love about this Caol Ila. Powerful, yet with an understated elegance, it graces the palate with wafts of smoke, sea breeze, iodine, bacon fat, and toffee. A breathtaking Islay, this is bound to become a fast favorite among Caol Ila fans.

Last, but by no means least, is mammoth 1997 Ben Nevis 21 Year Old. Built on a massive scale, it deftly blends the raw power of Ben Nevis with range and complexity of first-fill sherry butt. Honey, salted toffee, graham cracker and so much more are all at play. That it’s priced just under $100 is nothing short of remarkable. But, that’s where having close relationships with the distilleries pays off.

As is always the case with these exclusive single casks, there isn’t much to go around. So, when they are gone they are gone for good. With winter finally upon us, now is the time to stock up on these inspired single malts.

For more on the 2018 whisky season, check out our recent blog post.

 KL1

2008 Tullibardine 10 Year Old “Sovereign” KL Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($49.99)

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2018

I get asked all the time what my favorite whiskey is. It’s an impossible question to answer without a lot of context caveats, but what does hold true for any candidate in the “best whiskey” category is they offer value. This gem from Tullibardine offers extreme value. For 50 bucks, this hits so many high points. It’s fresh and full of bright fruit. It offers a huge spectrum of flavors from a salty earthy tone straight through cut grass, caramel, cereal grain, and white florals. All the while it has the full and oily texture you’d expect from any Highland Scotch. While we still have a little warm weather, this is at the front of my liquor cabinet; a perfect afternoon whiskey!

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2018

The odd and loveable little distillery in the Southern Highland is so compact and quaint it’s almost laughable. The distillery is right off the road in the tiny town of Blackford and the visitor center is at the far end of a little mini-mall next to a Baxters. They’ve done a great job to take this tiny space and create a veritable Single Malt experience, but crossing over the little burn to the distillery you notice how incredibly tight the space actually is. The distillery’s French owners sell most of the malt in France and this is the first Tulli we’ve ever bought. This whisky fits perfectly in a difficult to hit under $50 price point and offers some serious highland character. I highly recommend a drop of water as the first nosing has a malty gravelly quality, while the palate is full of bright fresh citrus fruit. With a drop of water the earthy grain falls completely away and you’re left with a perfect little aperitif style malt that brings just the right amount of subtle floral quality, pure cereal notes and zippy citrus peel. The texture is creamy with a little hint of Szechuan pepper to keep it from feeling cloying. If you’re a fan of a malt driven style and don’t mind a bit of an aperitif in the afternoon, this will be the perfect whisky for you.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2018

I’ve always had an appreciation for the bottlings that trickle out of Tullibardine, and in my opinion there are never enough. This cask chosen by Signatory lives up to my expectations with a nose of vanilla bean, heavy cream, cedar wood, red licorice, great floral notes of rose and lilac, and a nutty almond quality. The palate has more spice presence with clove and cinnamon, and an addition of water brings out these spices even more revealing cayenne and also adds a nice viscosity.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 29, 2018

This is a single malt for someone who is looking for an easy to drink and enjoy whiskey. The nose is sweet and waxy with a very subtle savory nuances. In the mouth it is mouth coating , round and rich, with a juicy malt liveliness.It offers all of this but it is not too heavy or out of balance.

KL2

2010 Caol Ila 7 Year Old “Sovereign” KL Exclusive Single Sherry Finished Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($49.99)

We love to when our friends at Hunter Laing bring us young peaters to try. We’ve done several of these casks of Caol Ila in the past, but I don’t think we’ve ever come across one as absolutely perfect as this little monster. Now some people will notice the description is quiet unusual, a Sherry Finished Butt. We usually expect these young peaters to get filled in to old hoggies and often stay there until we come across them 5-6 years later. Maybe they would have thrown is into an ex-sherry cask for a year or so to ace’d. Now we’ve moved into a whole new territory. The Laing’s are taking used sherry butts, filling them with sherry for a year or so and then filling fresh young Caol Ila malt in there. The result is much more significant sherry influence than you’d ever see with a quick 6-12 month finish. I’m not sure why there isn’t more stuff like this coming from the distillery or even independents yet, but there’s no question that the Laing’s have cracked the code here. There’s so much going on in such a small elegant reasonable package. What’s even more incredible is that the sherry doesn’t muck up the gorgeous purity of the Caol Ila smoke, instead it just sits perfectly around the ages adding depth and nuance. This whisky loves water and swims like fish. Definitely don’t miss this special little whisky because while it looks available right now, once people start tasting it, I’m certain they’re going to load up. If you love peaters and can afford it, stock pile this one.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2018

Oh Caol ila. We love you so much. There’s just something about this malt that gets me everytime. It doesn’t have the fanfare or mystery of the distillers on the southern coast (Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Laphroaig), but it does have some of the best peated malt in the world. Often when the super geeks lament the loss of legends like Port Ellen, we must reminded ourselves that we have a living legend near the little Port Askaig. Few seem to truly appreciate it majesty mostly because the owners don’t care to make a big deal of it. But, this wonderful cask is something we rarely ever see – sherried Caol Ila! We’ve had Caol Ila finished in sherry before but here we’ve got an old used butt refreshed in Scotland with new sherry. After some time seasoning it was filled with this Caol Ila for a true maturation not just a finish. The result is not something hinting toward a sherried peater, but instead the full hog real deal. It almost feels like cheating. Apparently cheating tastes great sometimes because this stuff is on another level. Deep roasty bbq smoke, dense nutty toffee, leather, tar and salted fruit. The big bold peat (ozone, iodine, bacon smoke and leather) continues on the palate, but is tempered with a sweet dried fruit and smoldering cedar. With water it lightens a bit but keeps its hefty character and rich texture. Adding a bit of salinity and some burnt citrus peel which makes it feel almost refreshing. For some this will easily be the best value whisky of the year. Others might appreciate the depth and complexity. For the peat haters we have other things for you.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2018

This Caol Ila wants you to sip it slowly for long winter contemplation… Reflect on your year as you roll this sweet and smoky whisky around your tongue with its notes of cherry wood, light mesquite, charcoal, old leather, medley of dried and candied fruits, and a super long finish that ties everything together.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 28, 2018

Young single malts from Islay can be really nice and delicious. This selection from Sovereign helps present proof for this statement. It has pleasant, pretty smoke and malt aromas. In the mouth it is round with a creamy mouthfeel.With a splash of water it opens up with smoke and subtle salt and savory flavors coming forward. A great value at this price.

KL3

1997 Ben Nevis 21 Year Old “Old Malt Cask” KL Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($99.99)

Ben Nevis sits just at the base of its namesake, Scotland’s highest mountain. A coastal distillery in the Western Highlands, Ben Nevis draws its water from the Allt a’Mhuilinn which originates from two pools, Coire Leis and Coire na’Ciste, which are both sited a good way up the mountain. The distillery was founded in 1825, by the gloriously named ‘Long John’ MacDonald, for whom the renowned Long John blended Scotch was named. After Long John’s death in 1856, ownership was passed down to Donald McDonald, his son. In 1989, the distillery was sold to the Japanese distiller Nikka and that’s where most of the malt is used (both in blends and malt for the Japanese market). We’ve always loved this special idiosyncratic distillery on the gorgeous western coast of Scotland. The thick weighty malt that’s produced here is often too much too handle in the 3rd and 4th fill barrels we often see from the IBs. But when great Ben Nevis is filled into a first fill bourbon or sherry butt, there’s absolutely nothing like it. This cask is rich with funky malty aromatics, but not over the top. A medium amber hue and tons of texture, the most shocking thing about it though is the incredible price. We’re very lucky to have an advantageous exchange rate and some really serious negotiating power. The oily richness of Ben Nevis loves plenty of air and a dab of good spring water will really help open this monster up.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 31, 2018

You can nearly smell the weight of this dram. The aroma is dense, waxy, pungent. It reminds me of an amped up version of Cointreau or Grand Marnier – tons of bitter orange peel, all of the viscosity, but none of the sugar. The sherry is perfectly integrated providing a salty edge and a slight rancio note. A little bit of water opens up the floral and fruity components of the whiskey and provides a softer, gentler drinking experience. This is a work horse whiskey perfect for any occasion or Scotch lover.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 30, 2018

This 21 year old offering from Ben Nevis has developed a lot of deep flavors after its prolonged aging and Sherry Butt maturation. It’s delicious with components of deep caramel, honey-graham cookies, salted toffees, old leather, dried peaches, chocolate-covered berries, wildflower honey, beeswax, and just a bit of an oxidized Sherry note. Scrumptious!

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 29, 2018

Ben Nevis produces very interesting and tasty single malts. This 21 year old single malt is absolutely fantastic. The nose is very expressive with wax, honey and distinctive savory notes. In the mouth this continues with a nice mixture of the above flavors. This single malt is delicious, interesting, complex and a very good value.

KL-emailheader

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/11/new-kl-exclusives-from-scotlands-finest-distillers-scotch-whisky-news/

The Whisky Barrel releases their latest exclusive bottling, this time a grain whisky from the lost Cambus Distillery – Scotch Whisky News

Beautiful autumn landscape with yellow trees and sun. Colorful f

The Whisky Barrel releases their latest exclusive bottling, this time a grain whisky from the lost Cambus Distillery. 

Specialist online whisky shop, TheWhiskyBarrel.com, is proud to release the Cambus 30 Year Old 1988 Sovereign Exclusive.

Cambus Distillery, near Alloa, is a lost Lowlands grain whisky, having closed in 1993. Hunter Laing Cambus grain whiskies are extremely popular.

Aged in a refill hogshead (HL14857) and bottled at cask strength, the Cambus 30 Year Old is a non chill-filtered grain whisky. Bottled in September 2018 by Hunter Laing Company of Glasgow exclusively for TheWhiskyBarrel.com with just 313 bottles available.

With rich fruit and chocolate flavours and a lingering hint of cinnamon to finish, this whisky makes for the perfect malt to enjoy on a winter evening.

Available exclusively from The Whisky Barrel, shipping to customers Worldwide including the United States of America, Canada and Japan.

Cambus 30 Year Old Sovereign Exclusive |1988| TheWhiskyBarrel.com| 45.2%

Tasting notes 

Colour: Light gold, this is the natural colour.

Nose: Notes of peach, apricot and plums. 

Palate: Sweet with forest fruits, dark chocolate and coconut. 

Finish: Long, with a lingering hint of cinnamon. 

Price: £104.86 GBP / $113.53 USD (+ PP) 

   cambus 30 year old 1988 sovereign TWB label exclusive

Notes

  1. Q) What is the product called?
    A)  Cambus 30 Year Old 1988 Sovereign Exclusive
  2. Q) When will this product be released/was it released?
    A) Friday 2nd November 2018
  3. Q) Where is it available?
    A) Scotland, off-trade, TheWhiskyBarrel.com.

Q) Is this product already available in other markets?
A) Scotland only, TheWhiskyBarrel.com ships worldwide.

Q) How much is it?
A) £104.86GBP / $113.53 USD (+ PP)

  1. Q) Who handles the product’s distribution?
    A) In-house at TheWhiskyBarrel.com.

Q) What is the ABV of this product?
A) 45.2% ABV natural cask strength.

  • Q) Why has this product been launched?
    A) Limited Edition single cask distillery exclusive for The Whisky Barrel. 

 

The Whisky Barrel is a specialist online whisky and spirits merchant based in Fife, Scotland and  was established in 2007. The Whisky Barrel won Whisky Magazine Online Retailer 2018 and was International Wine Spirits Competition runner-up in 2016.

N.B. Prices correct at the time of publishing and are subject to currency fluctuation.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/11/the-whisky-barrel-releases-their-latest-exclusive-bottling-this-time-a-grain-whisky-from-the-lost-cambus-distillery-scotch-whisky-news/

MASTER THE ART OF BLENDING AT HOME WITH CHIVAS’ EXPERIMENTAL GIFT KIT – Scotch Whisky News

Chivas

MASTER THE ART OF BLENDING AT HOME WITH

CHIVAS’ EXPERIMENTAL GIFT KIT

October, 2018 – Chivas, the original luxury blended Scotch whisky, has launched a Blending Kit featuring a selection of whiskies and tools to give Scotch lovers the chance to get hands-on and experience the art of blending in the comfort of their own home.

The perfect gift for any whisky fan, the kit contains four single malt whiskies and one blended grain whisky, each representing a different flavor characteristic: floral, fruity, citrus, creamy, and smoky. Armed with a pipette and a beaker – plus a bottle of one of the world’s best-loved blended Scotch whiskies, Chivas 12, for inspiration – whisky fans are encouraged to explore, experiment and have fun testing their skills and senses to delicately combine the whiskies and craft a blend worth shouting about.

The new release was launched to celebrate the magic of blending Scotch, and to bring the craft to life outside of Chivas Director of Blending Sandy Hyslop’s blending room. 

Sandy, who’s been blending Scotch whisky for more than 30 years, said: “At Chivas we believe that blended is better – in life and in Scotch. Every day I get to indulge in my greatest passion, experimenting with the world’s finest malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary when blended together – and this passion is something I want to share with other whisky fans. Each component in a blend plays an important role in determining the profile of the finished whisky – I can’t wait to see what creations my fellow blenders around the world put together.”

Chivas’ belief in blending was instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who pioneered the art in 19th century Scotland. And now, two centuries later, the Blending Kit celebrates Chivas’ continued commitment to bringing together the best malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary.

Blended whisky lovers around the world are invited to give it a go themselves and share their success stories on Instagram @ChivasRegal using #MyChivasBlend.

Find an interactive guide to your Blending Kit experience and why blended is better at Chivas.com 

NOTES 

The Blending Kit (RRP £25, available at The Whisky Exchange)

  • x1 5cl Blended Grain Whisky (Floral)
  • x4 5cl Single Malt Whiskies (Fruity, Citrus, Creamy, Smoky)
  • x1 Pipette
  • x1 Beaker
  • x1 5cl Empty Bottle
  • x1 5cl Miniature Bottle of Chivas Regal 12

About Chivas

Chivas believes that blended is better, in life and in Scotch.

The original luxury blended Scotch whisky, Chivas’ belief in blending was instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who pioneered the art of blending in 19th century Scotland. Since then, Chivas has been integral to the growth of the Scotch whisky category worldwide – by bringing together the best malt and grain whiskies to create something extraordinary.

Chivas believes in the power of blending in life, as well as in Scotch. In bringing people together to create a greater whole – which is why Chivas is proud to be the global spirits partner of Manchester United, the world’s biggest football club; and in blending ambition with generosity and using success to enrich the lives of others – which is why the Chivas Venture supports social startups with $1m in annual funding.

Chivas blends its home in Speyside, Scotland, with more than 100 countries across the globe, who together have made Chivas the global success it is today, selling more than 4.2 million 9L cases every year.

The Chivas range blends timeless classics with modern innovation, including: Chivas 12, Chivas Extra, Chivas XV, Chivas Mizunara, Chivas 18, Chivas Ultis, Chivas 25, Chivas Regal The Icon, and the Global Travel Retail exclusive Chivas Brothers Blend.

Chivas. Success is a blend.

www.Chivas.com

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/11/master-the-art-of-blending-at-home-with-chivas-experimental-gift-kit-scotch-whisky-news/

Johnnie Walker launch its first 50-year-old Scotch whisky – The John Walker Masters’ Edition – Scotch Whisky News

Johnnie Walker Global Brand Director John Williams said: “Fifty year old whiskies are very rare. Whiskies of this age have incredible character but it takes great skill to reveal their flavour and then balance them so people can appreciate the end result. That’s where our Master Blender Jim Beveridge – one of only six in the history of Johnnie Walker – and his small team of exceptional whisky-makers come into their own as masters of their craft.”

The John Walker Masters’ Edition features single malt whiskies drawn from some of the oldest available stocks from the Glen Albyn and Glenury Royal distilleries – which are now closed – and the much-celebrated Blair Athol distillery, which stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. The three grain whiskies used in its crafting are drawn from the ghost distilleries of Caledonian, Cambus and Port Dundas.

Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge said: “Each drop of this whisky has been hand-selected from some of the most valuable and precious casks of malt and grain whiskies to be found in our reserves.

“About 20 years ago, Johnnie Walker blenders recognised that these individual whiskies were very special and the decision was made to put them aside for special use, allowing each of them to continue to mature in their casks, knowing that, in time, something even more remarkable would emerge. Our goal was to pay tribute to the whisky masters who worked with these whiskies such a long time ago and, with the creation of The Masters’ Edition, I believe we’ve done that.”

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/11/johnnie-walker-launch-its-first-50-year-old-scotch-whisky-the-john-walker-masters-edition-scotch-whisky-news/

Johnnie Walker launch its first 50-year-old Scotch whisky – The John Walker Masters’ Edition – Scotch Whisky News

Johnnie Walker Global Brand Director John Williams said: “Fifty year old whiskies are very rare. Whiskies of this age have incredible character but it takes great skill to reveal their flavour and then balance them so people can appreciate the end result. That’s where our Master Blender Jim Beveridge – one of only six in the history of Johnnie Walker – and his small team of exceptional whisky-makers come into their own as masters of their craft.”

The John Walker Masters’ Edition features single malt whiskies drawn from some of the oldest available stocks from the Glen Albyn and Glenury Royal distilleries – which are now closed – and the much-celebrated Blair Athol distillery, which stands at the gateway to the Scottish Highlands. The three grain whiskies used in its crafting are drawn from the ghost distilleries of Caledonian, Cambus and Port Dundas.

Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge said: “Each drop of this whisky has been hand-selected from some of the most valuable and precious casks of malt and grain whiskies to be found in our reserves.

“About 20 years ago, Johnnie Walker blenders recognised that these individual whiskies were very special and the decision was made to put them aside for special use, allowing each of them to continue to mature in their casks, knowing that, in time, something even more remarkable would emerge. Our goal was to pay tribute to the whisky masters who worked with these whiskies such a long time ago and, with the creation of The Masters’ Edition, I believe we’ve done that.”

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/11/johnnie-walker-launch-its-first-50-year-old-scotch-whisky-the-john-walker-masters-edition-scotch-whisky-news/

ALL ABOOT THE DRAM – it’s not rocket science. – Whisky News

paul-liz-charlie

WhiskyTOURS Paul Liz with Charlie Maclean

ALL ABOOT THE DRAM – it’s not rocket science.

Other countries produce whisky (or, whiskey), but it is Scotch whisky that has caught the world’s imagination, resulting in an industry that today supports over 40,000 jobs across the UK (including ours); each year adding £5bn or more to the UK’s taxes; and contributes almost £4bn to the UK’s balance of trade.  Legally Scotch whisky within the UK the rules are set out in The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 (SWR), which came into force on 23 November 2009. Under the terms of the SWR, Scotch whisky has to have been distilled at a distillery in Scotland, matured in Scotland for a period of not less than three years and one day (leap years) in oak casks of not more than 700 litres with an alcoholic strength by volume minimum 40%.

There are five categories of Scotch whisky. (a) Single malt Scotch whisky is whisky produced by batch distillation in pot stills at a single distillery. (b) Single grain Scotch whisky is any other whisky produced at a single distillery in Scotland, in addition to malted barley, grains of other malted or unmalted cereals can be used. (c) Blended malt whisky is a blend of two or more single malt Scotch whiskies from different distilleries. (d) Blended grain whisky is a blend of two or more single grain Scotch whiskies from different distilleries. (e) Blended Scotch whisky is a blend of one or more single malt Scotch whiskies and one or more single grain Scotch whiskies. In the labelling, the category of whisky must be shown, and a distillery name may only be shown on Scotch whisky that has been wholly distilled at that distillery. Where an age description is used on a label (i.e. “aged 10 years”), that must be the age of the youngest Scotch whisky in the bottle, the term “pure malt” is banned from labels – but Paul does have a bottle of Cardhu Pure Malt.  Most single malt Scotch whisky is sold at a strength of between 40% and 45% alcohol.

However, whiskies that are not diluted at all and are sold at “cask strength”, i.e. they are bottled at the strength at which they come from the cask. All malt Scotch whisky is matured in oak barrels that are second-hand: that have been previously used to mature some other alcoholic drink somewhere in the world. As a result Scotland is the destination of a constant flow of empty and dismantled bourbon casks from the USA, sherry and port casks from Spain, Burgundy and Claret casks from France, to name just a few, Edradour to my mind is a world leader in experimentation, love this distillery and the drams that emerge from it. The process of making malt whisky has the same stages wherever in Scotland it is made. Many distilleries do not have maltings, preferring to buy their barley already malted from one of the very large industrial maltings that now are available.

The best way of understanding the process is to book with MCLEANSCOTLAND on a bespoke whisky tour, they will take you to various distilleries, offer masterclasses, whisky schools and tastings – they have many industry experts working with them, many of them friends. With a team of 8 driver guides, plus Liz and Paul, you are in the best of hands, no matter if you know it all (no one knows everything) or just starting out, their tours are an education, fun and very more ish.

https://whiskytours.scot/

tamnavulin team

The Whisky Making Team at Tamnavulin

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2018/11/all-aboot-the-dram-its-not-rocket-science-whisky-news/