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

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Limited Edition Release “Lest we Forget” – English Whisky News

“Lest we Forget”

“We will remember them”

In 2014 we released a bottling to remember those that fell in WW1.  This bottling was hugely popular and due to repeated requests for another batch, five years later we have decided to create another release to mark 100 years since the treaty of Versailles which marked the official end of WW1. The whisky itself has gentle undertones of smoke and an earthiness to it – our way of giving a nod to the battlefields.



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New: Ardbeg Blaaack // Redbreast 27 Years Ruby Port // Mortlach 15 ‘Six Kingdoms’

Ardbeg Blaaack

Ardbeg Blaaack

Pinot Noir casks from New Zealand: the key element for the upcoming Ardbeg Blaaack. A black sheep on the label expresses the fact that this is truly a whisky apart. The Committee 20th Anniversary edition is bottled at 50.7%, traditionally there’s a common version at 48% for Ardbeg Day.



Mortlach 15 Years - Game of Thrones

Mortlach 15 Years - Game of Thrones

The ninth and final bottling in Diageo’s Game of Thrones series is a Mortlach 15 Year Old ‘Six Kingdoms’.

It has been matured in first-fill sherry seasoned casks and finished in American oak ex-bourbon casks. Pretty much the inverse order although nowadays we’re seeing bourbon cask finishing more often. Bottled at a standard 46% and available for around £ 120 / € 135.



Redbreast 27 Years - Ruby Port

Redbreast 27 Years - Ruby Port

Redbreast is about to launch a Redbreast 27 Year Old ‘enriched by’ Ruby Port Casks. This should lead to hints of dark fruits, blood orange and walnuts. It is bottled at 53.5% ABV. Interestingly the label says ‘Batch No. B1/19’ so there’s a good chance it will become an ongoing release.



Also interesting

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

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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

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Eaglesburn 3 Year Old 2016 Sherry Cask Distillery Exclusive

Distilleerderij: Eaglesburn
Regio: Nederland
Fles: Eaglesburn 3 Year Old 2016/2019, Ex-Sherry Hungarian Oak barrel #13, 98 bts
Kleur: koper
ABV: 51%

Fanta Orange Extraordinaire

Van de jonge distilleerderij Eaglesburn uit het Nederlandse Ede mocht ik al enkele expressies proeven en ik bekend dat ik een zwak heb voor deze whisky. Het begon al in 2017 toen ik die éénjarige spirit Xenna proefde. Het was liefde op het eerste gezicht. Dat werd nadien nog bevestigd met enerzijds zijn Peated en anderzijds zijn Virgin Oak. En in oktober van dit jaar bottelde hij een ex-sherryvat van Hongaarde eik dat hij in april 2016 met zijn spirit had gevuld. Het is een distillery exclusive, zeg maar, want niet in de handel te krijgen. Ik ben dan ook vereerd dat Bart mij een flesje wilde opsturen, zodat ik hem ook eens kon proeven voor het allemaal de deur uit is. Met slechts 98 flesjes, vermoed ik dat dit niet lang zal duren. Wat een prachtige, diep-koperen kleur. Het water komt me al in de mond.

Oh, ja… zalige neus. Donkerzoet met vijgen en sultanas, maar vooral heerlijke verse en frisse citrustoetsen. Pomelo, mandarijn en Seville appelsienen. Fanta Orange Extraordinaire. Dan volgen nog carré confituur, grenenhout en snuiftabak. Een soeperige toets als van citroenzuursnoepjes en gummi bears, ja, zelfs cola-flesjes, doen hun intrede.

Lekker volle body en prima sterkte. Onmiddellijk bijzonder kruidig. Denk nootmuskaat en witte peper. Het hout proef je gewoon, maar het geeft deze malt diepgang. Opnieuw allerhande oranje citrusvruchten, aangevuld met pruimen en snoepgoed. Groene druiven, abrikozen, stekelbessen, sultanas. Een flink zuurtje steekt de kop op en zorgt voor een mooie balans.

De afdronk is lang, warmend, zoetzuur en erg bevredigend. Sterker nog, hij doet me verlangen naar een tweede glas.

Ik denk stilaan het geheim van Bart door te krijgen. Het is zijn spirit! Tuurlijk, hij gebruikt goed hout. Tuurlijk, hij weet waar hij mee bezig is. Maar ik zowel de peated als de virgin oak en nu deze sherry cask herken ik diezelfde sterke, smaakvolle en hoogwaardige spirit. Klasse, zeker als je rekening houdt met het feit dat deze ocharme drie jaar oud is.


Geproefd door Mark Dermul op 02-11-2019
(om snel andere tasting notes te vinden, surf naar

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KILKERRAN HEAVILY PEATED and THE MACALLAN EDITION NO.5 at Nickolls & Perks – Scotch Whisky News


70cl | 60.9%

Aged in ex-bourbon and sherry
casks, Kilkerran’s second batch of
Heavily Peated single malt is here.


70cl | 48.5%

Marked with a unique shade of
purple, this release celebrates the
natural colour of the whisky.


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Discover your Viking Spirit with Highland Park – A New & Exclusive Whisky Shop Single Cask – Scotch Whisky News

Discover Highland Park

Explore a brand new and exclusive single cask, plus get a free Highland Park Maglite© torch emblazoned with the Highland Park logo with qualifying purchases.

Highland Park Esquire
The Whisky Shop Exclusive

To celebrate the annual Esquire Townhouse with Breitling event, Highland Park and UK media house Esquire have collaborated to create the Highland Park Esquire Single Cask. Distilled in 2003 and matured in a single first fill American oak butt for 15 years, this limited edition expression has been bottled at a natural cask strength of 60.3% abv. This unique expression, which has notes of heather honey and aromatic smoky peat, is an exclusive to The Whisky Shop, allowing those unable to attend the annual event – as well as those who loved it so much they want more – the opportunity to purchase it to enjoy at home. The release is limited to just 585 bottles.


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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

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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.

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Bessie Williamson – An exquisite 25 year old whisky exclusive to the global traveller – Scotch Whisky News

Introducing Bessie Williamson

An exquisite 25 year old whisky exclusive to the global traveller

From our peat cutters, to our malt men, to our distillery team and beyond, our whisky has always been a product of the many people past and present who have worked with us to make Laphroaig as unique as it is today. Which is why we’re so proud to be able to honour one of our most memorable spirits: Bessie Williamson.

For those of you who have never heard of Bessie, she arrived on Islay in the summer of 1934 to take up a secretarial position and ended up staying for over 40 years during which time she became the first female manager of a Scotch distillery and a global ambassador for Scotch whisky. Bessie had a character as rich as our whisky and we’re delighted to have created a whisky to honour her that is every bit as delightful as she was!

Bessie Williamson is a limited edition 25YO available exclusively in global travel retail (airports around the world). It is non chill filtered with coastal notes of peat sweetness, herbs and spices, acacia honey and black pepper.


John and the Laphroaig Distillery Team

Learn More

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