The Whisky Exchange “Haig Club – whisky for the cocktail fan?” – Scotch Whisky News

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Haig Club – whisky for the cocktail fan?

There’s been talk about Diageo’s new Haig Club whisky for months, with much speculation and discussion about its celebrity connections, thanks to endorsement by Simon Fuller and David Beckham. One thing that’s been missing, however, is information about the whisky itself. We’ve talked about Cameronbridge, the distillery where it’s made, but as we’ve not had any bottles to put on the website we’ve not said much about the Haig Club.

However, it’s now up on the site, so here’s a bit more background to share with you.

Firstly, some tasting notes:

Haig Club

Haig Club, 40%, £46.75

Nose: Toffee and bananas up front, with green grassy notes, and gentle ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon spiciness.
Palate: Sweet and creamy to start, with soft caramel and toffee. Lemon peel zestiness develops, with tingly cinnamon. Creamy lemon posset with a cinder toffee?
Finish: Spice, toffee, soft anise and a touch of warmth.
Comment: Light and sweet with more complexity than you might expect. It’s not a whisky that you’ll be sitting down to examine over hours, but it does have good flavours, which are strong enough to shine through even when mixed.

As it says on the back label, this is a whisky focused at mixing, either in short, old-fashioned cocktails or in long drinks. The Haig Club team have put together a selection of drinks, but these are our favourite two:

The Haig Clubman
50ml Haig Club
35ml sparkling apple soda (Appletise or one of its friends should work nicely)
6 dashes of ginger bitters (we like Bob’s Ginger Bitters)
Add all the ingredients to tumbler with some ice and stir gently to combine. Garnish with a thin slice of root ginger.

The cocktail appears to be named after an old advertising slogan for John Haig’s whiskies from the early part of the 20th century – The Clubman’s Whisky. It’s a spicy apple pie of a drink, with fruit from the apple, buttery sweetness from the whisky and a touch of heat from the ginger.

Haig Club New Old Fashioned
60ml Haig Club
10ml sweet vermouth (a spot of Gancia Rosso would do here – you don’t want anything too heavy)
2 dashes of orange bitters (we’d go for Gary Regan’s Orange Bitters No.6)

While we’d probably call this a “Haig Club Rob Roy on the rocks” rather than a New Old Fashioned, it certainly fits the bill as a twist on the more classic Old Fashioned. Focused on the whisky, with the vermouth adding a touch of both sweetness and bitterness, it showcases the spirit’s fruity notes.

It’s a versatile whisky, with enough punch of flavour to work in a long drink, but without some of the rawness that appears in Cameron Brig (which is also made at Cameronbridge). We suspect we’ll see this popping up in bars across the country as the launch rolls out, and it’s certainly worth a try.

The Haig team, as well as Diageo whisky ambassador and cocktail expert Andrea Montague, will be at this year’s Whisky Show. So, if you want to have a chat about the whisky and try some cocktails, make sure you get a ticket – we are close to running out of tickets…

 

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/09/the-whisky-exchange-haig-club-whisky-for-the-cocktail-fan-scotch-whisky-news/

Littlemill 1990 (Maltbarn)

This Littlemill 1990 is part of the new releases from Maltbarn. There’s also a Glen Elgin 1985 and Coal Ila 1995, of which I’ll publish some notes later.

 

Littlemill 1990 - MaltbarnLittlemill 1990 - MaltbarnLittlemill 24 yo 1990
(50,6%, Maltbarn 2014, 158 btl.)

Nose: classic lemon jellybeans, peardrops and meadow flowers up front. Some guava juice and grapefruit. There seem to be a little more green tea and waxy notes in this one. Whiffs of eucalyptus. Very crisp, I like its warmth but I think it’s slightly less complex than some others I’ve had. Mouth: really really fruity, and one of the most tropical versions I’ve come accross. Guavas, bananas, excellent passion fruits, pineapple sweets, apricots… A creamy, vanilla infused expression. Hints of cake and white chocolate, with some warming oak towards the finish. Finish: long, fruity, with hints of green tea

This Littlemill 1990 draws the card of tropical fruits and warm vanilla, whereas some other vintages can be more about zesty fruits and minerals. Of course I’m a fan of this profile, but even then I think it’s one of the best examples. Around € 130.

Score: 92/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/littlemill/littlemill-1990-maltbarn/

The Whisky Exchange “The Devil Returns to Bowmore” – The Devil’s Casks Batch 2 – Scotch Whisky News

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The Devil returns to Bowmore – The Devil’s Casks Batch 2

[Sadly, we’ve sold our initial allocation, but you can sign up here to be notified should we manage to find some more.]

Arguably the most anticipated Scotch whisky release of 2013 was the first edition of Bowmore The Devil’s Casks. It created such a buzz that we sold our allocation in under two minutes (it would have been the fastest-selling product of the year, but for the matter of that Karuizawa…). One year on and the second batch has been released – like the first batch, it was matured for 10 years in first-fill sherry casks, bottled at high strength (56.3% abv), and once again there were only 540 bottles for the UK.

Legend has it that the Devil once visited Islay. Heading straight for the capital, Bowmore, he initially wanted to hide in the town’s church. As it’s round, there were no corners for him to conceal himself, so he headed into the distillery and hid in a cask. And when the distillery released the new dark expression, the name was easy to choose.

This is what we thought:

Bowmore Devil's Casks II

Bowmore The Devil’s Casks Batch 2, 56.3%.

Rocky:

Nose: Rich – notes of treacle, Werther’s Originals and toffee combine with liquorice and smoke.
Palate: Warming – prune, chocolate, Christmas cake, raisin, truffle oil and cinnamon are all balanced against the backdrop of peat smoke and the merest hint of lit matches.
Finish: Long, with smoky raisins continuing to the very end.
Comment: Very well-balanced – sherry-cask maturation and peated whisky can be a difficult combination to get right, but the high abv is not overpowering and the whisky is moreish – even at this strength.

Stuart:

Nose: Weighty, heady aromas of treacle toffee, Demerara sugar, candied orange and a hint of leather.
Palate: A few drops of water exorcise the whisky, releasing notes of toffee, clove, cinnamon and chilli chocolate, along with subtle peatiness.
Finish: Big spices and dark chocolate linger long.
Comment: Big, big flavours, but everything is in balance. A dram to take your time over.

So how did the second release differ from the first? Comparing them side-by-side, the first release was slightly darker in colour and this was apparent showed on the palate – the new bottling was very slightly sweeter than the original, but was still full of the hallmarks of sherry-cask maturation: raisins, Christmas cake and chocolate.

Hopefully this won’t sit on people’s whisky shelves gathering dust, it’s tasty and deserves to be drunk – if you get a chance to grab a dram, make sure you do.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/09/the-whisky-exchange-the-devil-returns-to-bowmore-the-devils-casks-batch-2-scotch-whisky-news/

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada “September Outturn and October Tasting” – Scotch Whisky News

ALL SIGNS POINT TO GREAT SCOTCH!

September’s seven spectacular single malts await your discovery, so follow the signs – you won’t be misled! Bottle notes are below; for full tasting notes and to purchase please visit http://www.smws.ca/

Also, remember to sign up for the October First Friday tasting! Join Colin and Rick at The Strath Ale, Wine Spirit Merchants on Friday, Oct. 3rd at 6:30pm for another fun night of good scotch and good company. Contact The Strath now to register ($35 members/$45 non-members): 250-370-9463.

Cask No. 36.62 The Italian job
21 years old; 2nd fill hogshead; 51.3%
A fresh, chalky and slightly sweet nose neat with a fizzy mouth feel turning juicier with time. Adding water almost flinty like an austere Lombardian wine and the taste has an intriguing balance of sour cream chips and honey yogurt ice cream.

Cask No. 17.35 Very fruity, very tasty
11 years old; refill barrel; 56.1%
The nose – plentiful fruit (tinned pineapple, three-fruit marmalade), toffee, honey, vanilla and Battenberg cake; also tarragon, straw and stationery cupboards. The palate – very tasty, very fruity; gummy bears, ‘soor plumes’ candies, Moffat toffees and coke with lime, traces of salt and ginger.

Cask No. 94.4 Ode to autumn
24 years old; refill hogshead; 52.3%
Warm and dusty, like a hayfield at harvest time on a sunny afternoon. The taste has the sweet richness of Italian biscotti with hazelnuts and dark cherries. With water – roasted red peppers and salty/sweet flavours of a quality olive oil and balsamic bread dip.

Cask No. 7.97 Cedar, sandalwood and cinnamon
20 years old; refill hogshead; 53.9%
The nose balances deep wood, dark honey, chocolate, coconut, menthol and leather against tropical fruits and gardens of flowers and herbs. The palate tingles with leather, orange zest, aniseed and ginger, before finding sexy traces of floral perfumes and sweet tobacco.

Cask No. 4.181 A muscle man from Orkney
16 years old; refill sherry butt; 54.6%
Rustic, grizzly and animalistic at first sight, this muscle man has lots to offer. Burnt coconut syrup, Dundee marmalade, smoked pork buns and Demerara sugar; smouldering and rich to taste. Water gave coffee liqueur and sweet molasses.

Cask No. 33.130 The farmyard and the chip shop
11 years old; 2nd fill barrel; 56.1%
The tasting panel divided into two camps. Malt in burlap sacks, sillage, tomatoes and compost in one, versus fish and chips and lobster pots in the other. Coal buckets and barbecue smoke. Blankets with mothballs and laundry day at the beach.

Cask No. 127.38 Enticing fume of a peak reek
10 years old; refill sherry butt; 66.3%
Sweet smoke, pork cracklings, honey and soy sauce, oily mackerels and Germolene. The taste is simply huge! A peat fire blazing in a croft house. Water releases herbal aromas of fish stock and the taste Mediterranean pork with sage plums and oven-roasted tomatoes rolled in herbs.

 http://www.smws.ca

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/09/scotch-malt-whisky-society-of-canada-september-outturn-and-october-tasting-scotch-whisky-news/

Two New Single Cask Releases From Kilchoman For The USA – Scotch Whisky News

 Impex 2014

 

Two New Single Cask Releases From Kilchoman

We’re delighted to announce that two single cask releases, the ex-Sherry matured and the PX finish, are both now available in the US. Both have been selected by and exclusively bottled for ImpEx Beverages USA.

Impex 1

The ex-Sherry Matured

The ex-Sherry matured cask #85/09, bottled at cask strength of 57.9% ABV, has been personally recommended by Tony Rozga, the Distillery production manager. This whisky was distilled in 2009 and spent over 5 years in a first-fill Oloroso Sherry Cask.

Tasting notes:

Colour – Dark burnished copper.

Nose – Deep sherry, smoke and leather notes.

Palate – Rich, luxurious sherry flavours. Viscous almost syrupy, lots of cooked fruits and citrus peel.

Finish – The finish is excellent, for a young whisky this has all the characteristics of great age.

RRP: $130

Impex PX

The PX Finish

The PX Finish is a first-fill ex-Bourbon cask #394/09, bottled at cask strength of 59.2% ABV. The Bourbon cask was chosen by the Distillery manager, John Maclellan, and was then transferred into a PX cask. It was bottled once the additional layer of complexity and a balance of what the Kilchoman and ImpEx teams were looking for were achieved.

Tasting notes:

Colour – Golden amber.

Nose – Strong vanilla with citrus fruits, caramalised brown sugar and sultanas.

Palate – Sweet toffee up front with a hint of marmalade, dryness and a long peaty finish.

Finish – The finish is long and clean with rich smoke and dried fruit.

RRP:$130

For further details please contactImpEx Beverages, Inc. at office@impexbev.com or call (650) 872-1113.

ImpEx encourages responsible drinking.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/09/two-new-single-cask-releases-from-kilchoman-for-the-usa-scotch-whisky-news/

Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year Old

Bowmore Laimrig (Gaelic for pier) has been matured in ex-bourbon casks, finished for about a year in Oloroso sherry butts and bottled at cask strength. Originally a 4500 bottle limited release for Sweden (which were finished in sherry oak for much longer) there have been annual widely available batches since 2011.

I’m trying Bowmore Laimrig bottled in May 2014. Contrary to previous editions, it doesn’t seem to mention the batch number or the number of bottles.

 

Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year OldBowmore Laimrig 15 Year OldBowmore 15yo ‘Laimrig’
(54,1%, OB 2014)

Nose: seems more than just a sherry finish. It’s packed with caramel, red fruits, raisins and smoke (a combination of regular peat smoke and gunpowder from the sherry). There’s also a prickle of antiseptics and a slightly winey touch. Some chocolate. Mouth: a bit fierce at first. Plenty of smoky tar and liquorice, but it also reveals roasted nuts, raisins and lots of spices (pepper and ginger). Big saline notes too. Fades on tobacco notes and herbs. Finish: long, slightly winey again, with ashes and dried fruits.

A good one, very punchy and straightforward. There seems to be a bigger than usual whisky underneath the (also big) veil of sherry. Between € 75 and € 100, be sure to look around.

Score: 87/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/bowmore/bowmore-laimrig-15yo/

Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year Old

Bowmore Laimrig (Gaelic for pier) has been matured in ex-bourbon casks, finished for about a year in Oloroso sherry butts and bottled at cask strength. Originally a 4500 bottle limited release for Sweden (which were finished in sherry oak for much longer) there have been annual widely available batches since 2011.

I’m trying Bowmore Laimrig bottled in May 2014. Contrary to previous editions, it doesn’t seem to mention the batch number or the number of bottles.

 

Bowmore Laimrig 15 Year OldBowmore Laimrig 15 Year OldBowmore 15yo ‘Laimrig’
(54,1%, OB 2014)

Nose: seems more than just a sherry finish. It’s packed with caramel, red fruits, raisins and smoke (a combination of regular peat smoke and gunpowder from the sherry). There’s also a prickle of antiseptics and a slightly winey touch. Some chocolate. Mouth: a bit fierce at first. Plenty of smoky tar and liquorice, but it also reveals roasted nuts, raisins and lots of spices (pepper and ginger). Big saline notes too. Fades on tobacco notes and herbs. Finish: long, slightly winey again, with ashes and dried fruits.

A good one, very punchy and straightforward. There seems to be a bigger than usual whisky underneath the (also big) veil of sherry. Between € 75 and € 100, be sure to look around.

Score: 87/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/bowmore/bowmore-laimrig-15yo/

Kilchoman 2009 (#285 for Abbey Whisky)

Abbey Whisky secured its own cask of Kilchoman. This Kilchoman 2009 was matured in a fresh bourbon barrel for four and a half years, before being transferred to a Pedro Ximénez cask for a four month finish.

 

Kilchoman 2009 cask #285 | Abbey WhiskyKilchoman 2009 cask #285 | Abbey WhiskyKilchoman 5 yo 2009
(58,3%, OB for Abbey Whisky 2014, cask #285/09, P.X. finish, 270 btl.)

Nose: the cask induced a vanilla biscuit sweetness, more than the classic dried fruits. Nicely rounded, with yellow fruit gums and marzipan. Sugarcane. Some strawberry jam. Behind the sweetness, there’s obvious peat smoke, but a mild version. Hints of iodine. Mouth: more peat now, fairly dry peat, but the sweetness is bigger again. Icing sugar and fruit candy. Sultanas and caramel. Hints of strawberries again. Gets a tad spirity / liqueur-like in the end, also showing spices from the wood. Finish: long, ashy, still very sweet.

A nice Kilchoman, peaty but not too much, and balanced by loads of strawberries and confectionary notes. Around € 100.

Score: 87/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/kilchoman/kilchoman-2009-285-abbey-whisky/

Kilchoman 2009 (#285 for Abbey Whisky)

Abbey Whisky secured its own cask of Kilchoman. This Kilchoman 2009 was matured in a fresh bourbon barrel for four and a half years, before being transferred to a Pedro Ximénez cask for a four month finish.

 

Kilchoman 2009 cask #285 | Abbey WhiskyKilchoman 2009 cask #285 | Abbey WhiskyKilchoman 5 yo 2009
(58,3%, OB for Abbey Whisky 2014, cask #285/09, P.X. finish, 270 btl.)

Nose: the cask induced a vanilla biscuit sweetness, more than the classic dried fruits. Nicely rounded, with yellow fruit gums and marzipan. Sugarcane. Some strawberry jam. Behind the sweetness, there’s obvious peat smoke, but a mild version. Hints of iodine. Mouth: more peat now, fairly dry peat, but the sweetness is bigger again. Icing sugar and fruit candy. Sultanas and caramel. Hints of strawberries again. Gets a tad spirity / liqueur-like in the end, also showing spices from the wood. Finish: long, ashy, still very sweet.

A nice Kilchoman, peaty but not too much, and balanced by loads of strawberries and confectionary notes. Around € 100.

Score: 87/100

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/kilchoman/kilchoman-2009-285-abbey-whisky/

The Whisky Exchange “Malt of the Month – Glengoyne 18 Year Old” – Scotch Whisky News

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Malt of the Month – Glengoyne 18 Year Old

It’s time for our next Malt of the Month, and for September we’ve chosen Glengoyne 18 Year Old. Our selection is based purely on highlighting whiskies that often get overlooked – either within a distillery’s range or the category as a whole.

Introduced in 2012 to replace the popular 17 Year Old, the 18 Year Old benefits from an additional year’s ageing, which adds another layer of complexity and richness. Aged entirely in sherry casks, with a high proportion being first-fill, it’s rich and full-bodied – and with Glengoyne using just warm air to dry the barley, it’s entirely unpeated, allowing the quality and character of the spirit to shine through.

The distillery straddles the line between the Highlands and Lowlands and the spirit is often of a lighter and delicate style – more in line with the latter than the former region in which it sits.

Malt of the Month Glengoyne

Glengoyne 18 Year Old, 43%. £61.45 this month (usually £73.45).

Nose: Rich and pronounced fresh-fruit notes: apple, pineapple and papaya, with malt and toffee in the background, along with a hint of cinnamon.

Palate: The richness continues, but with the fruit notes of apple and pineapple superseded by prominent notes of nut and spice: hazelnut, nutmeg and clove.

Finish: Medium to long, with the fruit and nut slowly dissipating to leave the spicy flavours.

Comment: A rich and spicy whisky, with the added complexity that the additional year’s maturation gives, compared to its predecessor. It may not be priced in the everyday whisky bracket, but its approachability and fullness of flavour mean it’s not a whisky that should only be enjoyed on special occasions.

Sitting in the middle of the distillery’s core range, this more than surpasses the discontinued 17-year-old – it’s won awards in three continents, so the judges agree, too. At £12 off for the month of September, it’s even better value – head to The Whisky Exchange website to buy a bottle.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/09/the-whisky-excahnge-malt-of-the-month-glengoyne-18-year-old-scotch-whisky-news/