KWM Whisky Advent 2017 Day 16 – The Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask – Scotch Whisky News

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KWM Whisky Advent 2017 Day 16 – The Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask 

Evan is taking a spin at the Advent Blog today, in his words: 

Balvenie is one of the two major Speyside distilleries owned by William Grant Sons. It is typically one of the top 10 best selling Scottish Single Malt Brands worldwide – but the distillery’s production and sales are dwarfed by another William Grant Sons operation that goes by the name Glenfiddich. You could say that Balvenie gets overshadowed by the giant that is its neighbouring sister distillery Glenfiddich, but then again which distilleries in Scotland aren’t?

The Balvenie distillery still operates its own floor maltings on site – though it is only responsible for up to 15% of the malt needed for its own production. The house whisky profile is typically well-rounded and honeyed in style. Hints of peat can sometimes be found, but typically not in amounts great enough to keep it from being a crowd-pleaser.

Both as a distillery and as a brand, Balvenie has enjoyed a great deal of success over the past half century – due in no small part to a gentleman named David Stewart. David is the Malt Master at Balvenie who has played a large role in making this single malt as sought after as it is to this day. He was one of the first to experiment with cask finishing with the introduction of the venerable Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood in 1993. In 2017 David marked his 55th year of service in the whisky industry with William Grants.

Cask finishing plays a role in much of the of the current lineup for Balvenie including today’s Advent Whisky – the Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask. Originally matured in ‘traditional oak casks’ before being transferred to barrels that previously held Caribbean Rum. Bottled at 43% ABV. 

Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask – 43% – Evan’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Fruity and floral with honey drizzled on top. Peaches and cream, oatmeal with brown sugar, baked apples, pears and even cherries, vanilla, honey roasted almonds and light wood spices. Palate: Smooth and rich. Honey roasted almonds again, apple turnover, poached pears, preserved peaches in syrup, milk chocolate, angel food cake and a gentle, warming spice. Finish: Tangy rum notes, oak and honey on the fade. Comments: Big, rich, and round but so very, very approachable. No real rough edges on this one, just smooth to the point that you wonder where all of the liquid in the bottle went…” $107 for 700ml – or – $10 for 50ml

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/kwm-whisky-advent-2017-day-16-the-balvenie-14-year-caribbean-cask-scotch-whisky-news/

KWM Whisky Advent 2017 Day 16 – The Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask – Scotch Whisky News

IMG_20171215_1720469

KWM Whisky Advent 2017 Day 16 – The Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask 

Evan is taking a spin at the Advent Blog today, in his words: 

Balvenie is one of the two major Speyside distilleries owned by William Grant Sons. It is typically one of the top 10 best selling Scottish Single Malt Brands worldwide – but the distillery’s production and sales are dwarfed by another William Grant Sons operation that goes by the name Glenfiddich. You could say that Balvenie gets overshadowed by the giant that is its neighbouring sister distillery Glenfiddich, but then again which distilleries in Scotland aren’t?

The Balvenie distillery still operates its own floor maltings on site – though it is only responsible for up to 15% of the malt needed for its own production. The house whisky profile is typically well-rounded and honeyed in style. Hints of peat can sometimes be found, but typically not in amounts great enough to keep it from being a crowd-pleaser.

Both as a distillery and as a brand, Balvenie has enjoyed a great deal of success over the past half century – due in no small part to a gentleman named David Stewart. David is the Malt Master at Balvenie who has played a large role in making this single malt as sought after as it is to this day. He was one of the first to experiment with cask finishing with the introduction of the venerable Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood in 1993. In 2017 David marked his 55th year of service in the whisky industry with William Grants.

Cask finishing plays a role in much of the of the current lineup for Balvenie including today’s Advent Whisky – the Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask. Originally matured in ‘traditional oak casks’ before being transferred to barrels that previously held Caribbean Rum. Bottled at 43% ABV. 

Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask – 43% – Evan’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Fruity and floral with honey drizzled on top. Peaches and cream, oatmeal with brown sugar, baked apples, pears and even cherries, vanilla, honey roasted almonds and light wood spices. Palate: Smooth and rich. Honey roasted almonds again, apple turnover, poached pears, preserved peaches in syrup, milk chocolate, angel food cake and a gentle, warming spice. Finish: Tangy rum notes, oak and honey on the fade. Comments: Big, rich, and round but so very, very approachable. No real rough edges on this one, just smooth to the point that you wonder where all of the liquid in the bottle went…” $107 for 700ml – or – $10 for 50ml

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/kwm-whisky-advent-2017-day-16-the-balvenie-14-year-caribbean-cask-scotch-whisky-news/

RARE CASK SOCIETY: WHISKY ART PROJECT: FIRST RELEASE ‘TYGER’ – Australian Whisky News

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RARE CASK SOCIETY: WHISKY ART PROJECT: FIRST RELEASE ‘TYGER’

Project #1, Batch #1 – ‘Tyger’

Rare Cask Society is proud to announce our First Whisky Art Project:  “Tyger”

“Tyger is hidden in the long grass, laying low, paws tighten the earth, his crimson eyes are on his prey, he will not miss.

You can sense it, but you can’t tell what it is, something is hidden, in the air.  Is it fear?

You hear a sound, nothing.  Must be just a silly rabbit, lots of them around.  No, it can’t be, and suddenly your eyes meet, how long has he been waiting, watching, those eyes tell a story, a message, that I will not escape the one and only Tyger”

About the Art

We are very proud to have Datsun Tran (see his Biography below) partner with us at Rare Cask Society. His original painting ‘Tyger’ was painted exclusively for the RCS Whisky Art Project #1, based on his tasting and imagination of the Whisky as ‘dark and dangerous’ given the high alcohol content.  His painting ‘Tyger’ is the first Whisky Art Project, and portrayed on each of the limited 100 bottle release. As a fellow and avid single malt whisky lover, his appreciation for our first release is evident in the expression of this original artwork on each bottle.

About the Artist:

Datsun Tran is a South Australian multidisciplinary visual artist who has worked in radio, theatre, comics and animation.

Tran’s work has varied in style and subject matter over the past 15 years, and while it has primarily featured the natural world, the work is about us, the human story.  His work has explored themes of conflict, utopia and personal identity.

Tran has exhibited all over Australia, North America, Asia and Europe.  He has had over 25 solo and group shows, exhibited in over 30 art fairs and has been a finalist in over 20 art prizes.

Follow Datsun for his latest artwork on Instagram:  datsuntran

About the Whisky

Very Limited production of 100 bottles at 66% ABV cask strength.  Single Cask.  Non-chill filtered Single Malt Whisky.  We have purchased the last remaining cask from a closed distillery in South Australia, aged 5 years in American Oak Port Casks.

Tasting notes:

Colour: Enticing dark sticky caramel laced with honey.

Nose:  Maple syrup with candied pecans. Oak, subtle spices and dried orange peel.  Delicate, sweet Christmas pudding.

Palate:  Butterscotch, cognac soaked raisins and a touch of marzipan.  Soft syrupy and luxurious mouthfeel that starts dangerously warm but is soon comforting.

Finish: Very long and lingering finish.  Perfect with a cuban cigar.

Release date: 1 December 2017, 5:00pm AEST.

Bottles are selling out quickly: We are excited to advise that all 100 bottles from this closed Distillery are now held in Melbourne, hand-numbered and ready for despatch before Christmas. Each bottle comes in its own custom-made, velvet lined RCS gift box.

For all enquiries: whisky@rarecasksociety.com

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/rare-cask-society-whisky-art-project-first-release-tyger-australian-whisky-news/

RARE CASK SOCIETY: WHISKY ART PROJECT: FIRST RELEASE ‘TYGER’ – Australian Whisky News

TigerTiger

RARE CASK SOCIETY: WHISKY ART PROJECT: FIRST RELEASE ‘TYGER’

Project #1, Batch #1 – ‘Tyger’

Rare Cask Society is proud to announce our First Whisky Art Project:  “Tyger”

“Tyger is hidden in the long grass, laying low, paws tighten the earth, his crimson eyes are on his prey, he will not miss.

You can sense it, but you can’t tell what it is, something is hidden, in the air.  Is it fear?

You hear a sound, nothing.  Must be just a silly rabbit, lots of them around.  No, it can’t be, and suddenly your eyes meet, how long has he been waiting, watching, those eyes tell a story, a message, that I will not escape the one and only Tyger”

About the Art

We are very proud to have Datsun Tran (see his Biography below) partner with us at Rare Cask Society. His original painting ‘Tyger’ was painted exclusively for the RCS Whisky Art Project #1, based on his tasting and imagination of the Whisky as ‘dark and dangerous’ given the high alcohol content.  His painting ‘Tyger’ is the first Whisky Art Project, and portrayed on each of the limited 100 bottle release. As a fellow and avid single malt whisky lover, his appreciation for our first release is evident in the expression of this original artwork on each bottle.

About the Artist:

Datsun Tran is a South Australian multidisciplinary visual artist who has worked in radio, theatre, comics and animation.

Tran’s work has varied in style and subject matter over the past 15 years, and while it has primarily featured the natural world, the work is about us, the human story.  His work has explored themes of conflict, utopia and personal identity.

Tran has exhibited all over Australia, North America, Asia and Europe.  He has had over 25 solo and group shows, exhibited in over 30 art fairs and has been a finalist in over 20 art prizes.

Follow Datsun for his latest artwork on Instagram:  datsuntran

About the Whisky

Very Limited production of 100 bottles at 66% ABV cask strength.  Single Cask.  Non-chill filtered Single Malt Whisky.  We have purchased the last remaining cask from a closed distillery in South Australia, aged 5 years in American Oak Port Casks.

Tasting notes:

Colour: Enticing dark sticky caramel laced with honey.

Nose:  Maple syrup with candied pecans. Oak, subtle spices and dried orange peel.  Delicate, sweet Christmas pudding.

Palate:  Butterscotch, cognac soaked raisins and a touch of marzipan.  Soft syrupy and luxurious mouthfeel that starts dangerously warm but is soon comforting.

Finish: Very long and lingering finish.  Perfect with a cuban cigar.

Release date: 1 December 2017, 5:00pm AEST.

Bottles are selling out quickly: We are excited to advise that all 100 bottles from this closed Distillery are now held in Melbourne, hand-numbered and ready for despatch before Christmas. Each bottle comes in its own custom-made, velvet lined RCS gift box.

For all enquiries: whisky@rarecasksociety.com

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/rare-cask-society-whisky-art-project-first-release-tyger-australian-whisky-news/

KWM Whisky Advent 2017 Day 15 – Glenglassaugh Torfa – Scotch Whisky News

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Generic Torfa Photo

KWM Whisky Advent 2017 Day 15 – Glenglassaugh Torfa 

Glenglassaugh distillery is built into the sand dunes above the east end of the Sandend Bay on the Moray coast. Established in 1875 by Col. James Moir the distillery remained in the family until just 1892 when it became a part of Highland Distillers. The distillery was established at its location near the growing town of Portsoy to supply the town’s growing grocery business. It also helped that the distillery sat on the plentiful clean Glenglassaugh Springs, and it was also surrounded by bountiful barley fields. Highland Distillers, who also owned Macallan, Glenrothes and the Famous Grouse Blend owned the distillery from 1892 through 2008. The distillery didn’t operate uninterrupted during these years.

In 1960 the distillery had a major upgrade, they doubled production and changed to producing a lighter spirit. But the good times were not to last, the late 1970s and early 1980s were a difficult time for the industry. An enormous number of distilleries were closed between 1981 and 1993, many never reopened. Only 26 years after its major upgrade Glenglassaugh joined the list of closed distilleries. The industry downturn was brutal, but it didn’t last forever. In the 1990s interest in Scotch whisky, especially single malts began picking up, many of the closed distilleries we brought back to life, none of them later than Glenglassaugh; though Brora, Rosebank and Port Ellen are set to change this. It is surprising that Glenglassaugh ever re-opened at all, as the distillery was very remote and not especially well known, bottled seldomly even by independents.

In 2007 a group of Dutch investors, the Scaent Group, who had been looking for a distillery to purchase found their way to Glenglassaugh. They purchased the distillery and approximately 400 casks of pre-1986 stock from Highland Distillers. They took possession the following year and released the oldest introductory core range that any Scottish distiller ever has, consisting of 26, 30 and 40 year old single malts. After 6 months of intensive refurbishments, the First Minister of Scotland was on hand to turn on the mill for first time, November 28th 2008, reviving the distillery. In 2013 the distillery was purchased by the BenRiach Distillery Co. who also own BenRiach and Glendronach distilleries. BenRiach Distillery Co. was itself purchased by Brown Forman in 2016. As the post 2008 stocks mature, it will be interesting to see how the whiskies develop. They can’t be the same as the pre-closures stocks as much of the equipment changed, but in the hands of the BenRiach Distillery Co. they will be sure to make a mark. While we wait for more mature stocks, they have released three young expressions including the Glenglassaugh Evolution, our Day 8 whisky!

The name Torfa translates roughly to Turf or Peat in the Old Norse influenced Scots Gaelic of Scotland’s North East, and as the name implies this is a peated single malt. The original Glenglassaugh distilled before its closure in 1986 was unpeated. When the distillery reopened in 2008, cognoscente of the fact that the new whisky would never be exactly the same as the old, the decision was made to produce both peated and unpeated single malts. The Torfa is, according to the bottle, “Richly Peated”, peated to 20ppm, matured Ex-Bourbon.

Glenglassaugh Torfa – 50% – Matured in Ex-Bourbon – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: big, malty and savoury; a big hit of salted caramel, candied apply and brown sugar melting on warm homemade oatmeal; a touch of decadent spice and marmalade. Palate: still big, brash and malty; there is a surge of tarry-oily-peat on the palate; Dutch licorice and salted caramel with dried orange peel and cloves; more decadent spice and marmalade; still sugary with more melting brown sugar. Finish: clean, smoky and malty with more salted caramel. Comment: I swear the recipe for this whisky is evolving as the maturing spirit at the distillery ages; it is richer, more complex and peatier than I recall; it also tastes a lot peatier than 20ppm!”$78 for 700ml or $10 for 50ml

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/kwm-whisky-advent-2017-day-15-glenglassaugh-torfa-scotch-whisky-news/

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada December 2017 Outturn – Scotch Whisky News

SMWS Dec17

Share the Society love this Christmas as December Outturn brings seven sparkling new single casks, sure to be at the heart of your festive celebrations.

CASK NO. 35.172  ALPACA FLEECE

20 years old; 1st fill barrel; 52.9%; Light delicate

We imagined a tiled floor in a vestibule with new Barbour jackets and waxed leather boots. We were invited in for toast with clover honey. A drop of water and it turned very delicate, almost fragile; candied angelica and alpaca fleece.

CASK NO. 64.91  PORRIDGE OATS ON A TROPICAL BEACH

10 years old; 1st fill barrel; 58.8%; Juicy, oak vanilla

The sun was beating down on the upholstery as we sat down to honey nut cereal and porridge oats with lingonberry jam and banana. Honeydew melon was thrown in with pear drops, blackcurrant tea and malted milk as we admired the tropical scene of pineapple trees.

CASK NO. 9.124  MADEIRA MARKET COFFEE BREAK

12 years old; refill hogshead; 56.2%; Spicy dry

The nose is a granary mill next to a Madeira market. The palate contrasts juicy citrus and rosewater against dry ginger, nutmeg and pepper.

CASK NO. 55.44  HONEY ON A STRADIVARIUS

16 years old; 1st fill French oak hogshead; 57.1%; Spicy sweet

The nose – imagine Baklava in cigar boxes, treacle tarts in spice cupboards, honey on a Stradivarius, weavers glugging Calvados. The palate – syrup, toffee and chocolate sweetness combined with coy, wood-derived spices (nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, clove). This was previously in ex-bourbon wood.

CASK NO. 28.32  SOLAR ECLIPSE

8 years old; 1st fill Oloroso butt; 60.3%; Deep, rich dried fruits

Bittersweet chocolate ganache, Madeira soaked raisins and dark roasted coffee beans on the nose, whilst 99% cacao chocolate melting slowly in your mouth made this an overall intense experience. Water added tobacco aromas and on the palate now sweet chewy Medjool dates.

CASK NO. 4.227  DREAMING TO THE SOUNDS OF THE SEA

12 years old; refill hogshead; 58%; Lightly peated

Seaweed swayed in the tide, imagining a seafood platter of shrimps and mussels with tempura and sushi. Sweetly floral with a herbal finish.

CASK NO. 3.300  DIRTY MARGARITA ON A YACHT

17 years old; 2nd fill toasted oak hogshead; 59.7%; Lightly peated

The nose is maritime and malty, with heather, smoke, tar and barbecued ribs. The palate has deeper smoke, lavender, pecan pie, bacon Frazzles and ‘dirty margaritas’ on a yacht. This was previously in a bourbon hogshead.

SMWS Canada

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/scotch-malt-whisky-society-of-canada-december-2017-outturn-scotch-whisky-news/

Tobermory 1994 (Sansibar)

The Clans label is a new Sansibar series which honours the legendary Scottish clans from the region the whisky was made in. For the Isle of Mull this is the MacLean clan, one of the oldest in the Highlands.

Tobermory 1994, matured in a PX sherry cask. A combination we haven’t tried before.

 

 

Tobermory 1994 - Sansibar ClansTobermory 1994 - Sansibar ClansTobermory 23 yo 1994
(57,9%, Sansibar ‘Clans Label’ 2017, PX sherry cask, 242 btl.)

Nose: no sulphur or weird notes, good start. Rather on cranberry biscuits, banana bread and cinnamon rolls. Then red plums. Caramelized apples. Light coastal notes. Hints of pipe tobacco and dried leaves. Mouth: again quite clean, with lots of peppery notes, cloves, walnuts and hints of bitter oranges. Grassy notes, earthy touches, more typically Tobermory if you like. Hints of grape pips. Some salty liquorice in the end. Mouth: long, dry, nutty, with liquorice, espresso and a salty edge.

A powerhouse, with firm flavours and good integration of the sherry notes. I’m not generally a fan of the distillery but this I like. Around € 200.

Score: 86/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2017/tobermory/tobermory-1994-sansibar-clans/

Highland Park The Dark 17 Years

Highland Park The Dark 17 Years

Highland Park The Dark 17 Years

This new release is part of diptych that celebrates the seasons on the Isle of Orkney, home of the Highland Park distillery. The Dark focuses on autumn and winter, while The Light will symbolise spring and summer. We can expect the other one early 2018.

Highland Park The Dark 17 Years is matured in European oak sherry-seasoned casks.

 

 

Highland Park The Dark 17 Highland Park The Dark 17 Highland Park The Dark 17 yo (52,9%, OB 2017, 28.000 btl.)

Nose: a slightly subdued nose. There are sweet blackberries and fig pastry but mainly spices. Cinnamon sticks and roasted (chest)nuts. Soft hints of metal polish. Mouth: again a fairly spice-driven sherry profile. Roasted nuts and coffee beans, dark malt, including a light bitter edge of Seville oranges. Then strong herbal tea, juniper and clove. Cinnamon cake. Some heathery smoke towards the end. Finish: long, fairly dry, with smoky notes, herbs and a bittersweet dark chocolate edge.

A fairly dry and spicy expression, perhaps more influenced by the type of wood than by the sherry itself. I started with a lower score but it really grew on me. A bit expensive for what it is, I think, but I admit it looks great. Available from Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 88/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2017/highland-park/highland-park-the-dark-17-years/

KWM Whisky Advent Day 14 – Writers Tears Copper Pot – Irish Whiskey News

KWM Whisky Advent Day 14 – Writers Tears Copper Pot

Today’s is the first whisk(e)y in the 2017 edition of the Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar not to be from a single distillery. For Day 14 of Advent, we are delving into our second Irish whiskey, but a more traditional one than the first. The Writers Tears Copper Pot is a blended Irish whiskey, composed of 60% pot still and 40% malt. There is a lot to unpack here, but before we go any further let’s quickly discuss the Irish spelling of the word whisk(e)y. The Irish, along with the Americans, are the only people in the world to employ an “e” in the spelling of whisk(e)y. The difference relates to Anglicizations of uisge beatha Scots Gaelic and usice beatha Irish Gaelic for “water of life”.

Single Pot Still, formerly, Pure Pot Still, is the most Irish of whiskey styles. The first whiskies in Ireland and Scotland were made from malted barley, essentially distilled beer. Unlike corn or wheat, barley has enzymes which can convert insoluble starches in the grain into fermentable sugars. Barley is also a hardy grain, so it is ideal for storing in cool, wet climates like Scotland and Ireland. Scottish and Irish whisk(e)y production in the 1700s did not escape the eyes of the government in London. Westminster sought to curb excessive drinking and tax its production. One way of doing this was by taxing malted barley by the ton. Although the alcohol yield per ton of barley can vary by strain and by harvest, taxmen could estimate the amount of whisky that would result from a given ton of barley. They could also estimate a distillery’s production for the purposes of taxation.

Over the course of the 18th Century the British imposed a series of “punishing malt taxes”. No one knows when or where the practice began, but Irish distillers began using a blend of malted and unmalted barley in their mashes as a way of avoiding or reducing their exposure to the “hated malt tax”. As is common in Canadian and American whiskies made principally from corn, you only need a small quantity of malted barley in the mash bill, 10-15%, for an efficient fermentation. So Irish distillers began making whiskey from a small amount of malted barley, and a greater amount of unmalted barley, or green malt. A uniquely Irish style of whiskey, Pure Pot Still, was born. In 2010 the style which had at least two other common names was legally re-categorized as Single Pot Still Whiskey.

Due to the Irish whiskey industry’s contraction, all Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey available today comes from the New Middleton Distillery in Cork. Some Single Pot Still Whiskey is bottled pure, under labels like: Red Breast, Powers, Green Spot, Writer’s Tears and Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy. But as with the bulk of single malt whisky production in Scotland, most pot still whiskey is produced for Blended whiskey. Many other distilleries in Ireland are making Single Pot Still whiskey, but none of them have yet produced whiskies old enough to bottle. Curiously Shelter Point on Vancouver Island has produced the closest thing we know of to Irish single pot still whisk(e)y, the Shelter Point Single Grain Montfort Lot 141.

Writers Tears is produced by Walsh Whiskey, which opened their own distillery in June of 2016 at Royal Oak, County Carlow. It is the first distillery to be built in this region of Ireland in over 200 years. The distillery was founded by Bernard and Rosemary Walsh, who started the Hot Irishman in 1999 to blend and bottle the perfect Irish Coffee. In 2007 the branched into whiskey with “The Irishman”, releasing “Writers Tears” for the first time a few years later.

Writer’s Tears Copper Pot – 40% – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: doughy with loads of cooked apple, white chocolate Hershey’s kisses, a touch of juicy malt and fresh almond croissants; a touch of that distinct, dusty but oily pot still note. Palate: round, oily and coating; more cooked apple, under-cooked pie crust and dewy flowers; steely, a bright copper note and citrus; more white chocolate and light coloured Jujubes. Finish: more white chocolate, almond croissants and Jujubes; light but lasting and fresh. Comment: this is not mind-blowingly complex, but it is dangerously drinkable, especially on a hot day!” $52 for a 700ml or $7 for a 50ml

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/kwm-whisky-advent-day-14-writers-tears-copper-pot-irish-whiskey-news/

KWM Whisky Advent Day 13 – Gordon Macphail Balblair 10 Year – Scotch Whisky News

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KWM Whisky Advent Day 13 – Gordon Macphail Balblair 10 Year

Balblair is one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries. The official founding of the distillery was in 1790, by a local man named John Ross. There are records though that indicate the distillery may have been operating on its original location, as far back as 1749. Built near Edderton, the original distillery was moved a half a mile north in 1895, to make better use of the Inverness to Ardgay rail line. The distillery operated until 1911 when tough economic times forced its closure. It would not reopen until 1949.

The distillery was expanded twice in the 20th century, to take advantage of the boom in demand for Scotch whisky in the 1960s and 1970s. A major expansion took place in 1964, followed by extensive improvements in the 1980s. The distillery was owned by Hiram Walker from 1970 until 1996. In 1996 the distillery was sold to Inverhouse Distillers, who already owned Old Pulteney and Knockdhu (anCnoc) Distilleries. They would later add Balmenach before that firm was itself sold to a beverage industry giant now known as Thai Beverage Inc.

Like Glenrothes, Balblair distillery bottlings don’t have an age statement range, instead releasing its whiskies in vintages. Independent bottlings of Balblair are increasingly rare, exception today’s Gordon Macphail Balblair, the only other whiskies available from this distillery in Alberta the distillery bottled vintages of 2005, 1999, 1990 and 1983. All of the whiskies are bottled at 46%, without artificial colouring. The Gordon Macphail bottling we are sampling today is from the Macphail’s Collection range, bottled at 43% after maturing in Refill Ex-Bourbon.

About the Gordon Macphail “Macphail’s Collection” (Courtesy Gordon Macphail): At the very heart of our business lies the sample room; its contents, the sum of over a century of experience maturing and bottling the finest Scotch whisky. We regularly sample the contents of our casks to make sure they are maturing well, only bottling them for sale when we believe they are truly ready. This approach to cask curation means we know exactly how spirit with a specific distillery character matures in different styles of oak. Using this knowledge, which has been handed down through four generations of the Urquhart family, we created ‘The MacPhail’s Collection’: a selection of seven unique distilleries from across Scotland; providing the perfect starting point for a spirited journey to discovering the outstanding diverse flavours of single malt Scotch whisky.”

Gordon Macphail Balblair 10 Year – 43% – Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrels – Andrew’s Tasting Note: “Nose: honey and orange strike out first with a slight maritime hue and almost, curiously, some clean smoke; malty, dried apricots and peach eau de vie. Palate: thick, honeyed and malty; oily and then bang… a wave of fruit: orange, apricot and peach; more salt and a whiff of smoke with some creamy-vanilla-oak-tones; very savoury with salted caramel. Finish: light and fresh the oils, salt, honey hang on even after the fruit has vanished. Comment: seems light but it catches you a bit by surprise; very fresh!” $90 for 700ml

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2017/12/kwm-whisky-advent-day-13-gordon-macphail-balblair-10-year-scotch-whisky-news/