Talisker 15 Year Old (Special Release)

One of the Special Releases 2019 that got me excited was this Talisker 15 Year Old, the first time this is seen as an official release of this age. It’s a 2002 vintage matured in freshly charred American oak hogsheads, bottled at natural strength.



Talisker 15 Years - Special Releases 2019Talisker 15 Years - Special Releases 2019Talisker 15 yo 2002
(57,3%, OB ‘Special Releases’ 2019, freshly charred American oak hogsheads)

Nose: rather bright and mellow at first, with some banana cake and stewed apples, smoked peach and iodine. A little wax and vanilla. Rather summery and blossomy, but not too soft. Light chilli and cinnamon. Mouth: quite powerful, more of the trademark (green) pepper and ashy smoke now. Apples and cinnamon, raisins, maybe charred pineapple and honey. Salty notes as well, with more iodine and seaweed than I was expecting. Bitter almonds and herbs. Finish: long, with earthy spice, mint and wood smoke.

This starts with a nice mix of fruits and coastal notes on the nose. On the palate it’s quite peppery and again quite coastal. A punchy Talisker, slightly deeper and spicier than most. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt among others.

Score: 88/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/talisker/talisker-15-years-special-releases/

Arran 2013 // Port Charlotte 2008 (Fisherman’s Retreat)

The Fisherman's RetreatThe Fisherman's RetreatThe Fisherman’s Retreat is a restaurant and wedding venue near Manchester, but they also have a valued whisky bar and store.

We’ll be trying two of their shop bottlings: an Arran 2013 (Yalumba Octavius Shiraz wine cask) and a Port Charlotte 2008 (Haut Brion cask). They seem to have a preference for red wine casks (specifically from the Southern hemisphere), also for their previous releases.




Arran 2013 Yalumba - Fisherman's RetreatArran 2013 Yalumba - Fisherman's RetreatArran 5 yo 2013
(54%, Fisherman’s Retreat 2018, Yalumba Octavius cask, 191 btl.)

Salmon colour. Nose: slightly gimmicky red wine maturation, like in the early days. Cooked strawberries and a hint of rubber. Rosé port notes and old roses. Hints of pink grapefruit as well. Some porridge in the background. Mouth: oh so winey. Strawberry bubblegum and vanilla. Hints of liquorice, aspirin, mandarin peel and this tangy dryness of a red wine. Malty notes and oak spice, mostly pepper. Finish: not too long, slightly hot.

Some casks simply don’t work too well with whisky in my opinion – it’s easy to drown Arran spirit with red wine. At around € 100 for a 50 cl bottle, difficult to recommend. False start.

Score: 71/100




Port Charlotte 2008 Haut-Brion - Fisherman's RetreatPort Charlotte 2008 Haut-Brion - Fisherman's RetreatPort Charlotte 10 yo 2008
(54%, Fisherman’s Retreat 2018, Haut-Brion cask, 360 btl.)

Nose: now this can stand up to a bit of red wine. There’s the typical farmy / peaty side, with plenty of cured Spanish hams and dark cecina, old cellars and attics and hints of warm beach sand. Smoked cereals. After a while nice, jammy fruits appear (cassis, cherries). Some buttery vanilla and toffee in the background. Nice and clean. Mouth: very ashy and smoky, a lot of cured meats again, as well as some smoked lemons, blood oranges and kippers. Dried pear. Pipe tobacco. Hints of juniper. Just a wee sour note from the wine cask. Finish: rather long, with sweet and sour fruits, liquorice, dark smoke and herbal notes.

This is much more like it. If you insist on using red wine casks, then choose a powerful spirit. Same price: around € 100 and much better value in my opinion. Available from their online shop.

Score: 86/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/bruichladdich/arran-2013-port-charlotte-2008-fishermans-retreat/

Springbank 10yo Local Barley and Kilkerran 8yo from The Springbank Society – Scotch Whisky News

Springbank Society

We are delighted to be emailing you all to announce two new releases – one from Springbank and one from Kilkerran. Both whiskies will be available from today (9th November 2019).

Since this is the Springbank Society, we will start by talking about the Springbank offering, our brand new 10yo Local Barley bottling.

10yo Local Barley

This Springbank Local Barley was bottled at 56.2% abv and is the 5th in our series of annual releases distilled from barley grown locally in the areas surrounding Campbeltown. This year it is Optic barley that has been used and it was grown especially for us, 11 years ago at High Cattadale farm. The whisky was matured in 77% Bourbon casks, 20% Sherry casks and 3% Port casks and there are approximately 9000 bottles available worldwide.

Tasting notes

Nose: Sweet and slightly spicy with hints of honey, Demerara sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Light peat smoke and a dusty characteristic reminiscent of freshly milled barley

Palate: Tropical and soft fruit sweetness. Ripe pineapple, mango and juicy peaches are complimented by a building peat smoke. Green tea and a coppery tone follow.

Finish: Creamy, buttery mouthfeel with light integrated peat smoke and a coastal salty influence.

This bottling will be available in the UK from Saturday 9th November 2019 – please note that the release date in other markets and countries is likely to vary. For details of when the new Springbank 10yo Local Barley is available near you please consult your preferred Springbank retailer or visit the “Where to Buy” section of our website to find a Springbank stockist.

You will also find this bottling at the whisky shows our Sales Team are at this weekend: Spirits in the Sky (Belgium) Glasgow Whisky Festival (Scotland) and at Villingen Whiskymesse (Germany).

  • The Campbeltown Cadenhead shop will be selling this bottling for £86.00
  • There will be no Society discount applicable to this bottling as it is not a core range product
  • This is not a Society exclusive release

Kilkerran 8yo Cask Strength

The new edition of the Kilkerran 8yo Cask Strength is available from tomorrow (9th November 2019). Bottled at 57.1% this new KK 8yo CS was matured in 100% Re-charred Oloroso Sherry Casks.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Waves of smoky bacon and sticky glazed ham are followed by dried fruit characteristics that give way to soft peat smoke.

Palate: Rich, fruity and spicy. Notes of ginger loaf, fresh ripe cherries and sultanas. Hints of cloves, dark chocolate and a refreshing menthol note.

Finish: A lasting finish of nostalgic buttered brown toast, espresso and ashy peat smoke. A lasting, earthy character reminiscent of the distillery’s dunnage warehousing.

This bottling will be available in the UK from Saturday 9th November 2019 – please note that the release date in other markets and countries is likely to vary. For details of when the new Kilkerran 8yo Cask Strength 57.1% is available near you please consult your preferred Kilkerran retailer or visit the “Trade” section of our website to find a Kilkerran stockist.

You will also find this bottling at the whisky shows our Sales Team are at this weekend: Spirits in the Sky (Belgium) Glasgow Whisky Festival (Scotland), Whisky Live Taipei (Taiwan) and at Villingen Whiskymesse (Germany).

  • The Campbeltown Cadenhead shop will be selling this bottling for £48.00
  • There will be no Society discount applicable to this bottling as it is not a Springbank product.
  • This is not a Society exclusive release


The Springbank + Kilkerran Team

To join the Society please contact them at Springbank Society society@springbank.scot

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/11/springbank-10yo-local-barley-and-kilkerran-8yo-from-the-springbank-society-scotch-whisky-news/

Glen Garioch 21 Years 1965

Cheaper by the DramCheaper by the DramCheaper by the Dram is a new whisky sample service specialized in rare and unique drams. They are sourcing collectable whiskies from auctions and collections and make them available as 3 cl samples.

It’s a shame that they can’t mention the distillery on the sample bottle, nor publish a picture of the actual bottle that is being shared. It has to do with SWA labeling requirements and copyrights, they claim most other sample services are walking on a thin line. However they can link to Whiskybase profiles.


Cheaper by the Dram

Cheaper by the Dram


Anyway they offered me to test-drive the service and sent me a sample of this Glen Garioch 21 Year Old 1965, the version at 43% bottled in the mid 1980s. A great experience: nice packaging with shrinkfoil sealed screwcaps, reliable shipping, no complaints at all.

Other whiskies are already announced on the website, often in pairs: the first Octomore, old Macallans, Laphroaig 15 Years from the 1980s and 1990s, etc.



Glen Garioch 1965 21 YearsGlen Garioch 1965 21 YearsGlen Garioch 21 yo 1965 (43%, OB mid 1980s, light vatting)

Nose: oldskool whisky. Herbal notes, menthol, old metallic tools and silver polish, a little chalk. Old waxed papers and leather. Wet limestone. A great minerality and linseed oiliness, with very light coal smoke. Light fruits in the background. They don’t make it like this any more. Mouth: sweeter, but with plenty of herbal notes. Cough sweets and tea. Mint liqueur. Plenty of tobacco. Candied ginger. Light hints of meadow flowers and chamomile, but no perfumy notes. Orange peel. Pepper and eucalyptus. Finish: pretty long but thinner, with herbal tea, light coffee, minty notes and resin.

Complex, ‘slow’ whisky with some degree of austerity but also very seductive touches. I love these hints of garages and metal workshops. Truly old-style. Not available but be sure to check the other offerings from Cheaper by the Dram.

Score: 92/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/glen-garioch/glen-garioch-21-years-1965/




FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Oct. 31, 2019) – Buffalo Trace is unveiling a new O.F.C. Vintage bourbon this fall. The bourbon whiskey in this release was distilled and rolled into the warehouse to rest in 1994, a year which saw box office hits like “Forrest Gump,” “The Lion King” and “Pulp Fiction,” and headlines documented Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as South African president and OJ Simpson’s infamous white Ford Bronco chase.

Now, 25 years later, this vintage collectable bourbon has been bottled and will begin reaching stores in late November, but will be very limited and extremely rare.

This is the fourth O.F.C. Vintage release, and like the previous releases, the 1994 Vintage will arrive in a wooden display box containing a provenance card.  Inside the wooden box lies a crystal bottle with real copper lettering in-laid in the bottle with a hand applied paper label. The label on the back of the bottle notes the milestones for the year 1994. The provenance card contains the same information found on the back label.

The O. F. C. vintage-dated bourbons have a name derived from this National Historic Landmark’s original moniker – the O.F.C. Distillery – renowned for producing top class whiskey during its tenure.

Tasting notes for this bourbon describe lots of cherry on the nose followed by butterscotch with hints of brown sugar and oak. Toasted caramel, cinnamon and oak greet the palate, followed by a long finish of coffee, herbs and oak.

Of the four O.F.C. Vintage releases this is the third offered for sale. In the fall of 2016 Buffalo Trace Distillery released three vintage-dated bourbons, exclusively to non-profit organizations at no charge to raise money for their causes. Those bottles, from 1980, 1982, and 1983 were auctioned at charity and raised nearly $1.2 million for a variety of causes such as cancer services, cystic fibrosis, leukemia and lymphoma, children’s rights, autism, military veterans, animal protection, arts foundations, and many more.

Last year Buffalo Trace released four O.F.C. bourbons to the public, including vintages from 1985, 1989 and 1990 in the spring, and a 1993 vintage in the fall.

Suggested retail pricing for this collectable and very limited 1994 O.F.C. Vintage Bourbon is $2,500.  More information about the O.F.C. line can be found at https://ofcvintages.com.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 21 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year by “Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2018” and its William Larue Weller and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac were named 2nd and 3rd finest whiskeys in the world, respectively, in the “Jim Murray Whiskey Bible 2020.”  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 500 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/11/buffalo-trace-distillery-releases-1994-vintage-o-f-c-bourbon-whiskey-american-whiskey-news/

Kilchoman 2012 STR Cask

Another STR cask whisky. These are red wine casks treated with Dr Jim Swan’s proprietary shaving / toasting / re-charring process. The wine adds depth but the shaving and re-charring takes away the excessive winey edge, while also eliminating the rough new oak elements. A mix of seasoned and virgin oak if you like, mostly used by young distilleries (like Gouden Carolus and Cotswolds) to beef up young whisky.

Kilchoman STR Cask is a combination of 43 hogsheads, filled with 50 ppm new make and aged for around 6-7 years of age.



Kilchoman STR Cask 2012Kilchoman STR Cask 2012Kilchoman 2012 STR Cask
(50%, OB 2019, 14500 btl.)

Nose: a lot of caramelization and barbecue notes. Lots of ashes. A red berry and grape theme as well. Raspberry candy, a light touch of balsamic. Bananas flambéed. Big peppery notes and some fresh oak shavings. Mouth: sweet at first, quickly becoming more acrid and peppery. Quite strong. Salmiak, big earthy peat and tarry notes. Chilli chocolate. A bit of berry sweetness but the winey side is less strong now. Salty hints and drying wood towards the end. Finish: long, drying and just a tad harsh, with pungent pepper, some tannins and heavy black tea.

The balance with the red wine is fine, I think the peppery kick and peat blast are more prominent than the wine. A flavoursome, punched up Kilchoman, I wonder who came up with the idea to give this spirit an extra kick in the butt? Still available from TWE and MoM for instance.

Score: 83/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/kilchoman/kilchoman-str-cask-2012/

Mortlach 26 Year Old

Mortlach 26 Years - Special Releases

Mortlach 26 Years - Special Releases

We’re proceeding with the 2019 Special Releases and I’m sure this Mortlach 26 Year Old is on many whisky lovers’ wishlist.

Mortlach is a bit of a difficult brand in my opinion: drastically premiumized in 2015 but without success, then given a makeover with more reasonable prices last year. I think they are now offering much better value for money (but also significant batch variation). Interesting to see where this is going.

Mortlach 26 Years is a 1992 vintage, matured in first-fill PX and Oloroso seasoned casks.



Mortlach 26 Year OldMortlach 26 Year OldMortlach 26 yo 1992 (53,3%, OB ‘Special Releases’ 2019, first-fill Oloroso PX seasoned casks, 3883 btl.)

Nose: leathery sherry, with heady whiffs of paint thinner and oak polish up front. Thick raisins in rum, baked apples, stewed rhubarb and dates. Blackberry jam. Walnuts and burnt sugar. Light meaty notes and mushrooms in the background. A bit GlenDronachian, especially the Revival in its early days. Mouth: oily and leathery, fairly dry with a marked oaky side, but with enough fruity notes to balance it. Dark cherries, raisins and a lot of dates. Charred oak with some tannins, mint, gentian. Herbal tea and ginger cake. Dark chocolate too. Finish: long, still very dry and herbal, with toffee, orange peel and liquorice.

You need big sherry to counter the beefy Mortlach spirit. A successful marriage, albeit with some serious oak on the palate. The nose deserves a high score though. Around € 1750 – a heavy price.

Score: 90/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/mortlach/mortlach-26-year-old/

Peated Perfection: New Dazzling Single Malt Exclusives from Michel Couvreur – Sxotxh Whisky News

We are back with another set of amazing single malt exclusives from Michel Couvreur. These bottlings have earned a cult following and have grown into one of our most successful brands. The late Michel Couvreur was a Belgian wine dealer who moved to Beaune in the 1950s. Then, in the 1960s as he followed his passion, he moved to Scotland to become more involved with the Scotch whisky industry. He had developed a taste for sherry-aged single malt. He worked out a few contracts from suppliers and began purchasing whisky to mature in his own sherry butts that he secured from Jerez. In the ’70s, Michel decided to move back to Beaune, in order to focus more on quality cooperage (Beaune was closer to Spain and easier to work out of) and that’s when he decided to mature his own casks, in his own cellar, that was built deeply into the side of a nearby hill. Michel would contract whisky from Scotland, barrels from Spain, and make his own expressions of single malt whisky from the heart of French wine country. These single malts, while not technically Scotch, soon became the stuff of legends. When our spirits team finally got a chance to taste these coveted single malts, an exclusive deal was struck immediately. The expressions featured here follow in this tradition of excellence and are destined to garner even more adoring fans. Quantities are limited and our allocations always sell out, so don’t miss out on one of the most exciting brands in the world of single malt.

Michel Couvreur “Cap a Pie” Whisky (750ml)

This unusual expression from our dear friends in Bouze-les-Beaune is a slight departure from their usual sherry driven malts. This blend of sherry aged malt whisky and whisky barrel (hogshead) aged grain is similar to their popular “Unique Whisky,” but with a higher proportion of malt aged in medium humid conditions. The result is something awesomely round, but with unparalleled freshness. The little blend dubbed, “Head to Foot” really has it all. This is the complete package for anyone looking for an easy drinker that doesn’t leave you wishing for more. Rich malt flavors meld with hints of tropical fruit, great structure, subtle nutty aromatics, and a long toasty finish. If you’re looking for something that’s not too head strong, yet still keeps you on your toes, don’t look any further than Cap A Pie.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 10, 2019

For a mere 70 bucks, this falls into the category of ‘life’s simple pleasures. “Head to Toe”, it’s a perfect blend. Set aside how wonderful, cool, and unusual Couvreur is as a producer and just taste the whisky. It’s flawless and offers a bit of everything in the whisky-verse. If you’ve ever enjoyed a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue, be prepared to be blown out of the water by this number.

Will Blakely | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

Anyone that tells you blended whisky is inherently inferior needs psychological evaluation to determine who hurt them to make them so cynical. And high-quality malt and grain mixtures don’t need to cost an arm and a leg like Johnnie Blue or Ichiro’s worldwide blend. Before you even raise the glass as far as your lips, enchanting aromas of orchard fruit, sweet grain, and white flowers greet you warmly. Honeyed, nutty, sticky malt and bright, delicate grain find the perfect balance and coax a subtle stone fruit character from the dynamic array of flavors you find in each sip. It’s so fresh and delightful that even casual drinkers may find themselves sitting in front of an empty glass wondering where all the whisky went.

Jackson Lee | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

This would be a great Scotch for anyone looking to try to get into the Islay flavor profile. It was so approachable, I smiled as I smelled and got the warm and fuzzies (and maybe some audible expressions as well). Sweet leather, bacon wrapped apples, and brine remind me of other Islays but with a lot of the medicinal qualities toned down. Sipping this was a very pleasant experience. It’s smooth and balanced with notes of apple, light peat smoke, chocolate covered toffee, and sweet grass which all follow you into the finish. This dram is dangerously delicious for the price and something I could see myself going through multiple bottles of with a group of friends.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: May 27, 2019

This blended whiskey has a beautiful expressive nose that is full of sweet and inviting aromas. In the mouth it is soft and round and very easy to drink. It is on the malty sweet side and will be great alone or on the rocks. The Cap A Pie is not a heavy or concentrated but light and a crowd pleaser.

Neal Fischer | KL Staff Member | Review Date: May 24, 2019

How is this French family so great at handling Scotch? I don’t know the answer to that question, but it doesn’t matter because they’ve impressed me again. This new offering is buttery with just a touch of smoke on the nose. More sniffs and a few drops of water bring out rich red fruit scents and a pleasant pungent quality. The palate is a bit of a conundrum because the whisky is gentler and yet the peat comes out more as well. Even with more smoke, this whisky is never aggressive. Instead, floral flavors and vanilla bean unfold and lead up to dying campfire finish.

Greg St. Clair | KL Staff Member | Review Date: May 21, 2019

The nose if full of heather and honey and if I didn’t know better I’d think it was a Highland Malt. On the palate you get a very high toned, central focus that makes this spirit seem very elegant. It has a long finish, fresh and uplifting.

Michel Couvreur “Peaty Overaged” KL Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml) ($79.99)

The chance to work with Michel Couvreur on a special KL whisky project was something that David and I had been dreaming of for years. We had heard the stories. This crazy Belgian had moved to Burgundy in the ’60s, carved out a wine cellar inside a mountain, only to fill it with Scottish single malt whisky instead of Pinot Noir. He set up camp in Beaune, ordered new-made spirit to be delivered by tanker, and drove down to Jerez himself, selecting his own sherry butts to ensure the finest quality casks for his contracted spirit. Unfortunately, Michel Couvreur passed away in 2013 from pancreatic cancer, thus ending the career of one of the industry’s most courageous pioneers. Luckily for us, however, apprentice Jean-Arnaud has carried on after studying under Michel for more than a decade. When we visited the underground cave, we were all in total awe. The tunnels of dripping stone go on forever, and the amount of whisky stored in this secret lair is jaw-dropping. We put our trust completely in Jean-Arnaud and are happy that we did. Our peated version of the incredible sherry expression is a seamless creation that drinks like the best version of Johnnie Black ever, mixed with the most supple and soft expressions of Macallan. It’s a lush, unfiltered, creamy, caramel-laden dream of a whisky composed only of malts 12 years and older. There’s a bit of peat on the finish, but the soft sherry is the star. (NOTE: do NOT cut the hard wax seal, use a wine opener to go through it)

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 14, 2014

The magnificence that is Michel Couvreur has always been clear, but it wasn’t until we stepped into the special cave, carved out of the rock, in Bouze-Les-Beaune, that you can fully appreciate the incredible endeavor and process of this fine producer. While this is by definition NOT scotch, because it is aged outside of the country, the old school practices utilized at here are unusual back in Scotland. The fact that these guys literally drive to Jerez to pick out fresh sherry casks (from Equipos Navazos no less) is totally unique in modern times. In fact, no producer of malt whisky is getting access to fresher barrels than these guys. Despite not being able to use the famous moniker, that does not preclude this from being one of the most authentic and absolutely delicious malts on the market. There is stupendous depth and complexity even at 86 proof. And while the sherry is toned down from the standard version, a subtle fino/amontillado quality exists in the back ground. This is pointed by a fabulous smokey sweetness, which hints at the source whisky. A truly unique gem.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 10, 2019

This has been a favorite bottling of mine every year since it first landed in 2014. This marks our fifth iteration and I believe it may be the finest. The soft sherry is of the highest quality. The malt is all 12 years and up, and the smoke profile is perfect. It has pure sexy peat and is intense yet welcoming. A slight salinity brings freshness to the palate and highlights the brimming sweet fruit. It’s rare to see anything of this quality come together, let alone for 80 bucks.

Jackson Lee | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 02, 2019

Nosing this in the glass was addicting and I had to stop myself before becoming in danger of singeing nerve endings. A sweet hickory smoke softly emanated from the glass with a bit of brine behind it. Working my way past the sumptuous smoke, I got notes of apple skins and barbecued yellow nectarines. The palate was round and soft; I felt no need to add water to this one. Black pepper and honey smoked ham, combined with charred canned pineapple, almost made me feel like I was at a luau. The finish was pleasant, not too long, but had a waxy, spicy play going on, and once everything felt like it was over, a bit of leftover charred pineapple showed up to do one last curtsy.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 09, 2019

This Michel Couvreur Malt Whiskey is a perfect marriage of smoke and sherry aged spirit. It is balanced and not heavy, with the sherry aging adding a kiss of influence but not dominating the spirit, creating a well-integrated whole. There are a nice amount of smoke aromas with subtle sweet undertones. On top of this it is complex and will surprise and delight.

Ryan Woodhouse | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 22, 2014

One of the best bottles of “Scotch” I have had in a long while. I have been moving away from peated malts recently…but this bottle has the perfect marriage of smoke and sherry. The malt has a beautiful chewy texture and richness on the palate (perhaps owing to the fact that they don’t remove any of the first fill sherry barrel residue before bottling). It is brimming with red forest fruits, sweet rancio tones, wood spice and earthy nuances. A really complete drop and serious value for the money, in my book.

Shaun Green | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 07, 2014

I love it! Super creamy with a mild peat, lovely sherry character, and an absolutely wonderful sexy texture on the palate. What an amazingly charming whiskey!

Michel Couvreur “Pale Single Single” Malt Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: July 22, 2016

A single malt from a single cask from this renowned blender is always a treat. Here we’re off the big sherry notes that Couvreur is known for and onto something more malt-driven. Still with that beautiful Burgundian cellar experience, but now pointed with Highland flowers, wild honey, white and yellow fruit. I’m wanting to say this is Clynelish, but cannot confirm. Now that we’re able to list this below $100 it’s a no-brainer and certainly a unique experience that’s not easily replicated anywhere else on the shelf.

Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: July 25, 2016

Absolutely fantastic. The Couvreur Pale has inviting malt and floral aromas. In the mouth it is soft, round and malty, with subtle dried fruit nuances. A nice long finish helps round out this wonderful whisky.

Michel Couvreur 10 Year Old “V.J. Maturation” KL Exclusive Tissot Vin Jaune Barrel Aged Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($119.99)

Two exceptional names in their respective fields coming together in this extremely rare and unique offering. The Single Malt spirit was distilled on February 5th, 2009, and shipped to the Burgundian cellars carved in the rock in Bouze-les-beaune. There it was filled into 5 casks that had previously held the exquisite Vin Jaune from one of the Jura’s finest producers, Stephan Tissot. After decades being used for this unique wine, something in between grand cru Burgundy and fino sherry, the barrels are completely impregnated with the complex flavors of the special wine. The two producers traded barrels and there is indeed a small batch of Vin Jaune from Mr. Tissot that is aged in ex-whisky barrels from Couvreur’s cellar. But it seems that the whisky maker probably had the better deal, since these old casks are very hard to pry from the cellars of the Jura producers. After 10 full years maturing in the most humid part of Couvreur’s cellars this whisky is now brimming with the intense energy of the special wine that was once made in these barrels and the enigmatic man who made them. This is at full cask strength here with no additives of any kind except for 10 long years in Couvreur’s underground cellars. The whisky displays strong deposits (the lees and the voile) as the barrels were filled fresh without any intervention to remove the leftover wine deposits. This whisky loves a drop of water (just one) to open up the rich complexity and vibrant intensity.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 10, 2019

For those seeking true rarity and exceptionalism, look no further. Miniscule production combined with barrels from one of the world’s finest wine producers (also of tiny production) leads to a whisky of phenomenal complexity and flavor. It’s briny, biological, and fresh, much like the more familiar fino sherry category, but seems to fit even more seamlessly into a whisky than the wines of Jerez. It also possess some of the strong flavors more reminiscent of Baijiu. Wild umami tangos with fruit, salt, and honey drizzled granola. If you’re turned on by the esoteric, don’t miss this. If you collect whisky, don’t miss this. If you you simply love drinking great whisky, don’t miss this. There is truly nothing else like it on earth.

Alex Schroeder | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 11, 2019

This is yet another marvel from the phenomenon that is Michel Couvreur’s whisky. The Belgian scotch-maker in Burgundy puts a truly unique, French twist on this single-malt by aging it in Vin Jaune barrels from a fantastic producer in his own right, Stephan Tissot. The result is amazing. It’s yeasty, nutty, citrusy, honey-laden with the richness of a sherried whisky but with a very different, brighter, unique, delicious profile.

Jackson Lee | KL Staff Member | Review Date: October 01, 2019

What a departure from their other offering, Cap a Pie. I wont say completely opposite, but what the Cap a Pie had in smoke and was lacking in medicinal notes, the 10-year V.J. seems to have done the reverse. On the nose I immediately got band aides paired with brine, umeshu plum, roasted toffee, and slight notes of smoked honey and graham crackers. The palate has a bit of five spice to start and then goes into chocolate nougat and a toasted graham cracker and finishes with something that reminded me of the chili mango skewers you can get on the beaches of P.V. The V.J. barrels give this whiskey a sherried characteristic on the nose, so if you like sherried Islays, this is one worth taking a look at.

Will Blakely | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

Fans of Michel Couvreur products should be rejoicing right now, as this unique cask is another show-stopper in their lineup. Truthfully, this should be on any enthusiast’s short-list right now, not solely because of its rarity but mainly because it’s damn fine whisky. Impossibly concentrated and complex for something 10 years old, this hits all the marks. Citrus and sultana on the nose with a hint of bready yeast, it almost feels like a sherry finish. But on the palate, there’s delicate, high-quality malt that melds perfectly with candied citrus peel, apricot and almond, with a generous note of wild honey throughout. The finish is long and soothing, with just enough savory voile and spice to keep it from tasting like dessert. But, sipping this with apricot tarte tatin certainly would not be out of place. With only so many bottles available, get yours before they’re gone.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/11/peated-perfection-new-dazzling-single-malt-exclusives-from-michel-couvreur-sxotxh-whisky-news/

Bonus Society Notice: Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch 2 – Scotch Whisky News

*Bonus SocietyNotice*

For the members of the Springbank Society,

We are delighted to officially announce the launch of Kilkerran Heavily Peated Batch 2 from our sister distillery, Glengyle.

Bottled at 60.9% ABV and matured in 55% Ex-Bourbon + 45% Ex-Sherry Casks, Batch 2 will be available in the UK and wider Europe (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland and Italy) from tomorrow, 31st October 2019. The launch dates in other countries will vary across the weeks ahead.

For help finding a bottle of Heavily Peated Batch 2, please visit the Trade page of the Kilkerran website: click here

Tasting Notes


Opens up to reveal citrus notes, vanilla cheesecake, rhubarb and custard sweets with delicate peat smoke.


Freshly baked Bramley apple pie and sweet salted caramel. The peat is prolific yet well integrated. A fresh coastal influence evokes memories of a blustery, busy, sea sprayed harbour.


Long and creamy. Notes of toasted oak and pencil shavings give way to a lasting sweet, fruity peat smoke.

  • Please be aware that this is not a Society exclusive release
  • There is no Society discount for this bottling
  • The Campbeltown Cadenhead shop will be selling this bottle for £38.00

To celebrate the launch of Heavily Peated Batch 2, our very own Ranald Watson will be in the London Cadenhead’s shop between 12 noon – 4pm for an in-store pouring which means you can join him there to sample the new release on launch day.


The Springbank + Kilkerran Team

Please contact Springbank Society society@springbank.scot to join the Society

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/11/bonus-society-notice-kilkerran-heavily-peated-batch-2-scotch-whisky-news/

Bimber releases Re-charred Oak Casks Single Malt – English Whisky News

Bimber releases Re-charred Oak Casks Single Malt 

  • Bimber’s Re-charred Oak Casks will be available via retailers from 8th November
  • The small batch release of 5,000 bottles was fully matured in American oak casks hand charred by Bimber’s coopers

Bimber Distillery’s has added its second whisky – Re-charred Oak Casks to its growing range of London single malts.

Available from the 8th November, the small batch produced expression has been crafted from a vatting of heavily charred American oak casks laid down in 2016 – Bimber’s first year of production.

The initial (001) batch is bottled at 51.9% ABV, limited to 5,000 individually numbered bottles and will be available at an RRP of £65.

The selection of American Oak casks were hand charred by Bimber’s on-site coopers to level #4 char – also known as ‘Alligator char’. The deep charring process caramelised the wood sugars, adds a layer of filtering carbon to the surface of the barrel and influences the whisky by imparting distinctively sweet, rich smooth and fruity flavours into the maturing spirit.

Speaking of the release, Founder and Master Distiller Darius Plazewski said: “We’re excited to unveil the next chapter in the story of Bimber. The re-charred oak casks we’ve selected are the perfect match for our light, layered and accessible fruity spirit. We’re incredibly fortunate to employ a team of talented coopers at Bimber – this expression highlights both their passion and the importance of their traditional craft.”

To celebrate the release and thank customers for their ongoing support, Bimber is launching a competition. Every bottle of Re-charred Oak Casks pre-ordered via the distillery’s online shop (until 12:00pm on 7th November) will be entered into a draw to win one of the very last remaining bottles of the distillery’s inaugural edition ‘The First’.


  • Bimber ‘Re-charred oak casks’

A vatting of heavily charred American oak casks.

Nose: Orchard fruits and spit-roasted pineapple chunks are sweetened with honey, nougat and cookie dough. Oak smoke and wood char float across the nose, whilst cinnamon and pepper spicing offers an enlivening intensity.

Taste: Red apples and ripe pears sit alongside banana bread and pineapple juice. Caramel, butterscotch sauce and split vanilla pods combine with layered pepper and ginger spicing and a characterful note of charred oak.

Finish: Enduring wood smoke supports beautifully fading fruits and perfectly balanced oaky dryness.

5,000 bottles


51.9% ABV

RRP £65

Release date: 8th November

Distribution: United Kingdom, France, Italy, Poland, Taiwan and Hong Kong

  • About Bimber

Bimber Distillery produces world-class single malt whisky, handcrafted with passion in West London. As a leading distiller of English whisky, we combine generations of rich distilling heritage, with the finest quality ingredients to create the ultimate craft whisky experience.

The seeds of Bimber were sown three generations ago in communist-era Poland, where our founder and master distiller’s grandfather, distilled his own spirits, known as moonshine. This craft was carefully perfected and passed through the generations to Darius who learnt the art of distillation from a very young age.

This rich distilling heritage has shaped and influenced our approach to spirit making. We are proud of our past and pay tribute to it with our name Bimber, which means moonshine in Polish. ​

The founders of Bimber, Darius and Ewelina, emigrated from Poland to London in 2003 and created a successful business in West London. However, Darius’s passion for whisky and distilling were always at the forefront of his mind, and when the opportunity arose to establish a whisky distillery in 2015, he knew he had to go for it. Our first casks were laid on the 26th May 2016, and we have been patiently waiting until now to release them.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/11/bimber-releases-re-charred-oak-casks-single-malt-english-whisky-news/