Glen Keith 1993 // Orkney 2003 // Cameronbridge 1995 (Infrequent Flyers)

Alistair Walker Whisky CoAlistair Walker Whisky CoInfrequent Flyers is the first range of independent bottlers from Alistair Walker (ex-BenRiach, son of Billy Walker who is now running GlenAllachie).

The first batch contains 9 bottlings, from young Fettercairn to old Glen Keith. Alistair loves wood finishes so he’s currently re-racking part of his inventory for the future.

Currently the whiskies are distributed to the UK, Germany, Belgium, Japan and New Zealand.

 

 

Glen Keith 1993 - Infrequent FlyersGlen Keith 1993 - Infrequent FlyersGlen Keith 26 yo 1993 (54%, Alistair Walker ‘Infrequent Flyers’ 2019, barrel #8511, 143 btl.)

Nose: quite pungent at first, but it folds open nicely on apricots, ripe banana, creamy coconut and vanilla ice cream. Orange peel. Some green and minty hints. Caramel coated almonds. Mouth: the cask was quite active here, with peppery oak, ginger and a light bitterness. Dried apricots and yellow raisins in a second wave, moving towards chocolate. Herbal touches and peppermint in the end. Water makes it better, bringing out more fruits and less pungency. Finish: long, with drying oak, herbal tea and Seville oranges.

The expected fruitiness is certainly here, but also quite a bit of active wood. Water is recommended to round off the edges. Available from The Whisky Exchange for instance.

Score: 84/100

 

 

 

Orkney Malt 2003 - Infrequent flyersOrkney Malt 2003 - Infrequent flyersOrkney Malt 2003 (54,9%, Alistair Walker ‘Infrequent Flyers’ 2019, hogshead #A521-9, 337 btl.)

Nose: in the middle between fruity notes and minerality. Unripe pears, sweet lemon. Some chalk. A bit of vanilla and plain barley, as well as some buttery pastry notes. A subtle salty touch. Mouth: quite creamy, with slightly tart fruits (orange, green banana, lemon, green apple) further lifted by a fresh coastal side. A little wax and chalk. Subtle smoke in the background. Finish: medium, quite naked and malty, with some minerals notes.

A fairly naked, mellowed version of Highland Park. Nicely balanced and reasonably priced. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt for instance.

Score: 87/100

 

 

 

Cameronbridge 1995 - Infrequent FlyersCameronbridge 1995 - Infrequent FlyersCameronbridge 24 yo 1995 (59,5%, Alistair Walker ‘Infrequent Flyers’ 2019, hogshead #8047657, 246 btl.)

Nose: starts on vanilla and baked bananas, but quickly moves towards the dry side with warm sawdust and leather. Some earthy touches (humus) and dried grassy notes. A little (salted) caramel and nutmeg. Mouth: marzipan, vanilla and sour fruits (peach, lemon pie and citric sweets). Fudge and candyfloss. Hints of caramel latte. It can’t hide some of the leathery, grassy roughness. Finish: a little short, still on the latte and plenty of spicy toasted wood.

Not bad but a little rough and unsexy. It doesn’t quite rock my boat. Available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange for instance.

Score: 79/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/highland-park/glen-keith-1993-orkney-2003-cameronbridge-1995-infrequent-flyers/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tasting notes for Midleton Very Rare 2019: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Pernod Ricard

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

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

Compass Box Affinity

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Score: 80/100

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

K&L California “A True Scotch Rarity: An Unnamed 12 Year Single Cask (Hint: It’s Mxcxllxn) – Scotch Whisky News

A Can’t-Miss Single Malt from the Speyside Legend Macallan

2007 Unnamed Speyside (Macallan) 12 Year Old “Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection” 2nd Fill Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)
“To get an idea of how absolutely unusual it is for us to find a cask of Macallan in sherry to sell as an exclusive: this is literally the first time in a decade of selecting single casks that we’ve ever offered Macallan aged in sherry.” — David Othenin-Girard, KL SoCal Spirits Buyer

This is truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity. From our good friends at Signatory, we’ve secured a cask of 12-year-old, sherry-aged single malt from an unnamed distillery. The truth is it’s not unnamed at all, as with a modest degree of sleuthing, we’ve determined it comes from the famed Speyside distillery: Macallan. We couldn’t believe our good fortune when we happened upon this very special cask while touring Signatory’s warehouse. Transcendent, ethereal, and sublime don’t even come close to capturing the unbridled beauty of this single malt. From the first sip, one is immediately taken by all the majesty that is Macallan. As one might expect, it is a potent expression that’s perfectly accented by its time in a second fill sherry butt. Because it is not officially labeled as Macallan, we are able to sell this singular expression for a tiny fraction of what the market demands for such a bottling. Only 604 bottles were produced, and we expect them to disappear in short order once word gets around. If you are a fan of Macallan, or simply Scotch in general, the decision is clear—you must own this bottle.

2007 Unnamed Speyside (Macallan) 12 Year Old “Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection” 2nd Fill Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($109.99)

As you might have noticed the market for Macallan has gone absolutely bonkers. We can’t get old Macallan on the shelf for under $2000 and young Macallan is completely unavailable. In fact, over the years we’ve only bottled one other young Macallan and it was likewise not named. But this is the first and only sherried Macallan we’ve ever had the honor to put our mark on. I have no clue why the distillery is divesting stocks, especially those aged in ex-sherry (even refill). We hear rumblings that the distillery needs cash flow for the extremely expensive new distillery that they’ve built. Seems unlikely. Perhaps there are cracks in the crown, but there’s no question the worldwide clamoring for the great malts from this Speyside master continues. And of course, the distillery name cannot be used on the labels, but when we saw this beautiful second fill sherry butt in the Signatory warehouse, they didn’t need to say a word. We knew immediately where it came from. Further confirmed after one tiny whiff from the barrel. Now this is a big boy, a high proof, powerful malt that does need some water to coax it out of its shell. One of the most astounding examples of this special distillery’s supremacy. The sherry is there, but the malt stands tall. Unctuous, inviting, complex, and unabashed. Truly one of the world’s great spirits, on full display like we’ve never been able to offer before.

David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

To get an idea of how absolutely unusual it is for us to find a cask of Macallan in sherry to sell as an exclusive: this is literally the first time in a decade of selecting single casks that we’ve ever offered Macallan aged in sherry. Our teaspooned cask of William Hepburn three years ago was of course aged in ex-bourbon hoggies, as were the very expensive and older ones we’ve occasionally acquired as a thank-you from our best suppliers. Usually if it’s available it’s so outrageously priced we can’t even conceive of a world where our customers would consider paying a premium at, or above, the ridiculous premium the distillery already charges. So we were extremely excited to taste this gorgeous butt when our guide brought us into the warehouse. This will most closely resemble the highly sought-after Classic Cut offering that’s now popular in terms of its style, but of course we’ve got an older, single cask, and higher proof. The nose initially is punchy and full of dark malt, fudge, praline, hints of flint, and stone fruit. With air, more of the sherry character comes out, with a little bit of nutty oloroso aromatic framing the bold malt nicely. On the palate, sweet biscuits; very textured and rich, almost chocolatey finish. But this whisky at full strength is simply hidden, packed with quality, but slightly monotone. Now add water, not just a drop, but enough to see a little bit of cloudiness develop as the oils coalesce. Now we’re truly in rarefied air. The nose is now this absolutely pristine expression of exotic fruits: kiwi, passion fruit, jujubes, quince, candied lemon peel, and nougat. On the palate, the dark malt is gone and replaced with candied nuts, creamy custard, hints of lemon oil and anise. It somehow gains weight and texture with water. So if you’re one of those people that refuses to water down your whisky for whatever reason, than you should skip this. If you love to add water and experience a whisky in its many chimeric forms, then you’ll fall in love just like I did.

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

This converted me from a Macallan naysayer into a stalwart fan, and it’s a perfect example of why the distillery is a household name nigh synonymous with Scotch whisky as a whole. Powerful and dense, it does not lack one single iota of flavor. Sipped raw, it assaults the senses with crunchy, nutty malt–at once sweet and savory like hearty, homemade biscuits. With time, however, it reveals a gorgeous, seamless amalgam of flavors, and a healthy dose of water brings more of those to the forefront. Cocoa and baking spice, swathes of flowers, even hints of mango and barbecue pork reveal themselves with a cheeky confidence befitting the distillery’s reputation. And my god, that MALT–it just keeps coming, so rich and hedonistic it’s almost addictive. This bottle is dangerous and exciting, and I’m so happy it’s here.

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

Unnamed, but not unwanted. The nose starts with soft orange and peach notes as well-worn leather emerges. Then, unexpectedly (for a Macall… um, I mean, *whatever* this is…) the nose gets earthier rather than richer. Cardamom and a little caraway show up with Earl Grey Tea. The palate combines the tea and spice with salted caramel and even more leather. Some dry fruits come out to play, but this Scotch stays away from the ultra Sherry-forward tones that *Unnamed Distillery* is often known for that I sometimes find cloying. With water, more spiced/candied orange appears and the texture gets extra heavy and oily, which is quite nice.

Cameron Hoppas | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 24, 2019

This is a pure pleasure to drink. This Unnamed Speyside has sweet cereal, a dense center of dried fruit and the perfect salted peanut brittle — medium caramel, toasted nuts and salt. What’s best is that this reminds me of the best parts of Macallan, but this unwatered-down single cask has the high proof to really make this whiskey sing.

Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: September 24, 2019

One of the many advantages of selecting casks in Scotland instead of from shipped samples is that you sometimes get a behind the scenes peak at things. This unnamed Speyside had the remnants of the distillery’s paperwork left stuck on the side of the cask. The scrap of paper just read “llan.” More than enough supporting evidence for the rich, unctuous nose – especially when paired with classic sherry notes. Big, rich, and oily, this baby truly sings with the addition of a little water. Take it a notch back from the 63.4% cask strength ABV and release gobs of burnt orange peel, candied stone fruit, and the underlying malt base for the drinking experience you always wish you could have with the standard Macallan 12.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/10/kl-california-a-true-scotch-rarity-an-unnamed-12-year-single-cask-hint-its-mxcxllxn-scotch-whisky-news/

Deanston 1997 Palo Cortado

Palo Cortadois the rarest type of sherry (think of it as a very fine style of Oloroso, made from free-run must rather than subsequent pressings) and these casks are rarely used for whisky finishing. Some of the experiments have not been very convincing.

Deanston filled a few Palo Cortado casks with 1997 spirit. A first release was the Deanston 12 Years Palo Cortado finish, and now they bottled an older Deanston 21 Years Palo Cortado. It was matured for 18+ years in ex-bourbon casks and 2+ years in sherry cask.

 

 

Deanston 1997 Palo Cortado 21Deanston 1997 Palo Cortado 21Deanston 21 yo 1997 (51,8%, OB 2019, Palo Cortado finish, 277 btl.)

Nose: gentle toffee sweetness, hints of raisins and fig cake. Chocolate chips. Vanilla, cinnamon and candied orange peel. A little crème brûlée and croissants filled with hazelnut cream. A few oaky notes and whiffs of Maggi herb. Classic sherry markers, nicely balanced. Mouth: again a nice mix of fruity spirit (oranges, poached pears) and sherry flavours. Milk chocolate, cinnamon, more nutmeg now too. Nougat and roasted hazelnuts. Honey. Perhaps a bit high on alcohol but that’s easy to fix with water. Finish: long, on toasted oak, earthy spices, brown sugar and a hint of floral honey.

The first successful Palo Cortado finish in my book – it’s interesting to see what a relatively subtle type of sherry can do. Still a few available from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 87/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/deanston/deanston-21-years-1997-palo-cortado/

TWE Whisky Show 2019 bottlings

 

The 11th Whisky Show was held in London last week-end and The Whisky Exchange presented a unique new series entitled The Magic of the Cask. It includes four whiskies matured in different types of casks, highlighting the mystery of the cask’s influence.

The details on the labels and parts of the images are printed in UV responsive ink – a small torch is included with every purchase. The alchemy of wood maturation reflected in a creative label design.

 

We start with a third-fill bourbon barrel. Obviously here the ageing of the Imperial spirit itself will have the upper hand, rather than the influence of the wood.

 

Imperial 23 Years 1995 - Whisky ShowImperial 23 Years 1995 - Whisky ShowImperial 23 yo 1995 (45,2%, The Whisky Exchange ‘Magic of the Casks’ 2019, third-fill bourbon barrel #7896, 125 btl.)

Nose: fresh and fruity, with summery citrus (lemon curd, lime, grapefruit) as well as rubbed mint and white flowers and a beautiful waxiness. Subtle mineral oils. Touches of pinewood and ferns in the background. Mouth: a creamy, fruity core again (lemon candy, jelly beans) mixed with sweet almonds, gooseberry tartlets, leafy touches and a hint of tiger balm. A bit of white pepper. Finish: quite long, with mint, lemon zest, green banana and light grassy touches.

Whisky that behaves like a white wine in some respects. Bright fruits, a certain green edge and waxy oak. Layered and rewarding. I believe it has yet to arrive at The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 88/100

 

 

TWE is sending mixed signals about the next whisky (again): the press release claims it’s a ‘blended whisky’, on the TWE blog it is described as a ‘blended malt’ and the label of my samples (a reproduction of the bottle ) says ‘Speyside single malt’. Oh well.

I noticed the label of the next whisky says ‘married in Glasgow’. In fact this selection of casks was blended and filled into a single sherry butt in 2005 for a final finishing.

 

Speyside Malt 45 Years 1973 - Whisky ExchangeSpeyside Malt 45 Years 1973 - Whisky ExchangeSpeyside Malt 45 yo 1973 (45,1%, The Whisky Exchange ‘Magic of the Casks’ 2019, refill sherry butt #6, 549 btl.)

Nose: oh yes. Can’t beat this mix of polished, slightly exotic woods, dried figs, plums and old cognac with glorious (tropical) fruits like guava, tangerines and various honeys. Hints of dried mint, pollen, freshly baked apple cake and subtle herbs. Mouth: minty oak up front now, resinous notes. Hints of banana liqueur and quinces but less fruity than the nose. Subtle camphor and eucalyptus oils. Brown sugar. Clove and herbal tea. More earthy oak towards the end. Finish: long, still earthy, with a little oak char, herbal liqueurs, raisins and wax.

Yet another excellent undisclosed 1973 Speysider. Big fruity notes, hints of old cognac and balanced polished oak. Recommended. Available from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 92/100

 

 

 

Ben Nevis 22 Years 1996 - Whisky ShowBen Nevis 22 Years 1996 - Whisky ShowBen Nevis 22 yo 1996 (51,6%, The Whisky Exchange ‘Magic of the Casks’ 2019, refill sherry butt #1465, 519 btl.)

Nose: excellent. Beautiful waxy notes, lemon balm, bananas, also oranges and white cherries this time. Subtle minerality. Fruit cake and leather. A bit sweeter and more candied than similar releases, but on the same high level. Mouth: still sweet and fruity. Lots of oranges, hints of guava and passion fruit syrup (so nice), even some rummy molasses. Apricots and golden raisins. A lot of beeswax. Fruit cake again, subtle woody notes and chalky touches. Finish: long, still sweet fruity notes with a little chocolate cake and peppery oak.

Lovely, just lovely. The same waxy / mineral side, but more (slightly tropical) fruits this time. Magic of the cask indeed. Available from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 91/100

 

 

The youngest one is a Caol Ila, matured in a cask that mentioned Gonzalez Byass. It must be very old, as this sherry bodega dropped the ampersand and started to use Gonzalez Byass in the early 1900s. Mind that cask heads are often used longer than staves, so it could be a repaired / re-composed cask.

 

Caol Ila 9 Years 2009 - TWE Magic of the CasksCaol Ila 9 Years 2009 - TWE Magic of the CasksCaol Ila 9 yo 2009 (58,7%, The Whisky Exchange ‘Magic of the Casks’ 2019, Gonzalez Byass cask #316103, 308 btl.)

Nose: rich and powerful Caol Ila. Truckloads of ashy peat smoke, damp earth and beach pebbles. Hessian. Green apples, crisp grapefruits and sweet berries in the background. Subtle hints of wet cellar. Mouth: fairly sweet and rounded at first, then bursting open on wood smoke, briney notes and liquorice. Lemons, yellow apples, soft hints of chocolate. Green pepper. Finish: very long, slightly grassier, full of drier ashy notes.

No classic dried fruits here, the sherry rounded off the edges but also lets the punchy Caol Ila character shine. Perhaps a little less unique than the others, but very good nonetheless. Available from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 87/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/caol-ila/twe-whisky-show-2019-bottlings/

Laphroaig® unveils an exclusive 25-year-old whisky in celebration of the first woman of whisky – Scotch Whisky News

Laphroaig® unveils an exclusive 25-year-old whisky in celebration of the first woman of whisky 

Introducing The Laphroaig Bessie Williamson Story™

Beam Suntory’s Laphroaig has announced the release of a super-premium 25-year-old Laphroaig, which celebrates the life of Bessie Williamson, an icon of Laphroaig and the first female distillery manager to own and run a Scotch whisky distillery in the 20th century.

This unique and highly exclusive bottle is a tribute to Bessie and embodies many of her qualities including her warm, rich and unmistakably-Islay character. This is a tribute to Bessie and all that she made at Laphroaig.

Laphroaig® 25 Year Old, The Bessie Williamson Story™, will be available exclusively in the Global Travel Retail market for £410.

A celebration of Bessie Williamson

Williamson was born in Glasgow in 1910 to John Williamson, a gunner in France with the Royal Garrison Artillery and Agnes Whyte. She attended the University of Glasgow from 1927, intending to become a teacher, graduating in 1932.

After graduating with an MA in 1932, Bessie accepted a summer job at Laphroaig distillery intending to stay only a few months. She worked directly with then owner Ian Hunter, eventually taking on responsibility for US distribution following Hunter’s stroke in 1938. By the time of the Second World War she had become the full-time distillery manager and the most senior woman in Scotch anywhere in the industry.

Bessie is credited with being among the first to anticipate the coming trend for single malt scotches and to position the Laphroaig whiskies, and by extension other Islay malts, to the American market.  The Scotch Whisky Association named Williamson as its American spokesperson from 1961 to 1964 and she toured the US representing Islay whisky to buyers and distributors.

Laphroaig Bessie Williamson

A whisky of true significance; this super-premium 25-year-old Laphroaig commemorates Bessie, speaking to her success, her unique role on Islay, and her lasting impact on the Laphroaig distillery.

This expression has been aged in refill American oak hogsheads and refill barrels to allow the liquid’s individual character to shine through. The result is a whisky of lingering warmth and unmistakable character – a genuine expression of Bessie’s friendliness, individuality and strength.

The Bessie Williamson Story is presented in a beautifully crafted book that allows purchasers to discover the story of Bessie’s legacy in depth, and includes tasting notes and a message from John Campbell, the distillery manager.

The whisky is now available exclusively through the Global Travel Retail market for an RRP of £410.

John Campbell, Laphroaig distillery manager, comments: “Laphroaig is a globally recognised whisky thanks to Bessie.  It is well documented that Bessie was universally loved and respected by her colleagues at Laphroaig and the people of Islay. It is this aspect that we celebrate with this whisky, remembering her as a true icon of Laphroaig.”

Tasting Notes

Nose:

Peaty with spicy and floral notes. Sweeter notes of pear drops, green apples and bonbons that add to a sweet malty backcloth. 

Palate:

Salty tar oil paste, sweet herbs and spices, acacia honey, tomato leaves and black pepper. Unmistakeable Laphroaig coastal notes with peat smoke sweetness and earthiness bring the classic Islay spirit. 

Finish:

Warming and long lasting with floral and coastal notes. 

Colour:

Pale gold.

The whisky is best served neat, with ice or a drop of water. 

ABV:

Bottled at 43% ABV.

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Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2019/10/laphroaig-unveils-an-exclusive-25-year-old-whisky-in-celebration-of-the-first-woman-of-whisky-scotch-whisky-news/

Ballechin 15 Years (cask #204 for TWE)

The Whisky Exchange had two 20th Anniversary bottlings released in September. One was the Inchmoan 2007 cask #96, the other one this Ballechin 15 Years which only became available just now.

 

 

Ballechin 15 Years - The Whisky ExchangeBallechin 15 Years - The Whisky ExchangeBallechin 15 yo 2003
(55%, OB for The Whisky Exchange 20th Anniversary 2019, first-fill Oloroso sherry butt #204, 482 btl.)

Nose: Cuban cigars, walnuts, toasted bread, mixed with sweeter notes. Dark cherry or blackberry jam, burnt raisins and a lot of chocolate ganache. Also heavy pipe smoke, Lapsang and tarry notes underneath. Hints of leather, menthol and bandages. Rather clean by the way, I don’t find rubbery or sulphury notes. Mouth: a flavour powerhouse. Thick, earthy peat smoke, pipe juice, tar and leather. Blackcurrants again, chocolate and bramble liqueur. There’s a tannic, winey side which I like a little less, but the charred oak, liquorice, soy sauce and aniseed cover it up. Finish: long, on liquorice, herbal tea, bitter chocolate and tarry smoke.

Quite an extreme beast but beautifully so. For me just below their Edradour 2005 but I’m sure the peat smoke will be a huge asset for others. Only available from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 88/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/edradour/ballechin-15-years-204-whisky-exchange/

Wolfburn Kylver Series #4

Wolfburn Kylver lettersWolfburn Kylver letters

Wolfburn’s Kylver Series is named after the Swedish Kylver stone which held the 24 characters of the runic alphabet, and each release has a different rune at the centre of its label.

This is the first (lightly) peated release in the series (hence the green / brown bottle). It was matured in a combination of first-fill bourbon barrels and second-fill quarter casks.

 

 

Wolfburn Kylver #4Wolfburn Kylver #4Wolfburn Kylver Series #4
(50%, OB 2018, 950 btl.)

Nose: starts quite fragrant, almost floral, mixing with chimney soot and hints of lanolin. Plenty of lemons and freshly cut apples, with a mentholated edge. Grassy notes and dextrose / cotton candy sweetness underneath. Mouth: very sweet now, with a lot of green apples, grassy peat, cold ashes and white pepper. Oranges. Kippers and smoked tea. Just a hint of chocolate towards the end. Finish: medium, more chocolate, smoke and dried herbs.

A very fine malt, especially since it’s only 4 years old. Younger notes nicely mixed with more mature elements. You’re paying a big premium for helping this young distillery move forward, but I must say it does show potential. Available from Master of Malt.

Score: 86/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/wolfburn/wolfburn-kylver-series-4/

Wolfburn Kylver Series #4

Wolfburn Kylver lettersWolfburn Kylver letters

Wolfburn’s Kylver Series is named after the Swedish Kylver stone which held the 24 characters of the runic alphabet, and each release has a different rune at the centre of its label.

This is the first (lightly) peated release in the series (hence the green / brown bottle). It was matured in a combination of first-fill bourbon barrels and second-fill quarter casks.

 

 

Wolfburn Kylver #4Wolfburn Kylver #4Wolfburn Kylver Series #4
(50%, OB 2018, 950 btl.)

Nose: starts quite fragrant, almost floral, mixing with chimney soot and hints of lanolin. Plenty of lemons and freshly cut apples, with a mentholated edge. Grassy notes and dextrose / cotton candy sweetness underneath. Mouth: very sweet now, with a lot of green apples, grassy peat, cold ashes and white pepper. Oranges. Kippers and smoked tea. Just a hint of chocolate towards the end. Finish: medium, more chocolate, smoke and dried herbs.

A very fine malt, especially since it’s only 4 years old. Younger notes nicely mixed with more mature elements. You’re paying a big premium for helping this young distillery move forward, but I must say it does show potential. Available from Master of Malt.

Score: 86/100

Article source: https://www.whiskynotes.be/2019/wolfburn/wolfburn-kylver-series-4/