Abbey Whisky Malt of the Month October 2019 Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2008 – Scotch Whisky News

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2008

An unpeated Islay single malt Scotch whisky from Bruichladdich, distilled using 100% Bere Barley harvested from the Dunlossit Estate in 2007. Matured for 9 years in American oak casks that previously held Bourbon and Tennessee whisky. Bottled at 50% vol at the Bruichladdich distillery itself.

Limited stock available at this price…

Buy Now

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Laphroaig 30 Year Old – The Ian Hunter Story – at Nickolls & Perks – Scotch Whisky News


“A Laphroaig for moments in your life
to be savoured and celebrated in style”
– John Campbell, Distillery Manager

70cl | 46.7%


A series to celebrate the legacy of
Ian Hunter, the last man of the Johnston family
to own and manage this iconic distillery,
between 1908 and 1944.

Ian shaped the style of Laphroaig
making it the whisky it is today,
and we thank him for that.


Sweet and medicinal with manuka honey, light peat smoke, cooked apple and rosemary vanilla. Orgeat syrup and a hint of lemon peel complete the aroma.

Peaty and peppery with notes of herbs, cedar, kumquat zest and gorse flower. A sweetness of custard cream and vanilla pods.

Coastal with subtle iodine, sea salt and seaweed notes. A touch of coffee and oaky character.

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Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada October 2019 Outturn – Scotch Whisky News

We’re going back to our roots, celebrating our founder’s ethos of sharing unique discoveries with like-minded friends. Explore an exceptional collection of new casks, hand-picked for sensory adventure. We’re also celebrating the release of SMWS founder Pip Hills’ book, The Founder’s Tale – details below.


CASK NO. 115.11

CASK:  Refill barrel

AGE:  8 years

FLAVOUR PROFILE:  Juicy, oak vanilla



CASK NO:  5.66

CASK:  1st fill barrel

AGE:  15 years




CASK NO:  113.19

CASK:  Refill barrel

AGE:  7 years





CASK NO:  46.62

CASK:  Refill hogshead

AGE:  25 years

FLAVOUR PROFILE:  Sweet, fruity mellow




CASK NO:  30.106

CASK:  2nd fill PX butt

AGE:  21 years

FLAVOUR PROFILE:  Deep, rich dried fruits



CASK NO:  66.131

CASK:  Refill hogshead

AGE: 12 years

FLAVOUR PROFILE:  Lightly peated



CASK NO. 53.272

CASK:  Refill hogshead

AGE:  11 years




Finally, the man who founded The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has written a book about its origins.

Essential reading not only for those who have been long-term members of the Society, but for anyone who wants to understand how the club was founded and the ethos that fuelled its growth – an ethos that is still fundamental to the Society in our messaging that our whiskies are always “better when shared” and that as a club, our members and our whiskies are ALL TOGETHER UNIQUE. Available to buy from in November.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada
Suite 160
104 – 1240 Kensington Road NW
Calgary, AB  T2N 3P7



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Wemyss Malts reintroduces ‘Nectar Grove’ Madeira cask finish as a limited edition Batch Strength release – Scotch Whisky News

Wemyss Malts reintroduces ‘Nectar Grove’ Madeira cask finish as a limited edition Batch Strength release.

Scottish family whisky makers, Wemyss Malts, has reintroduced the award-winning, limited edition blended malt Scotch whisky named ‘Nectar Grove’ by bottling it as a Batch Strength release.  Nectar Grove is a combination of light and nutty Highland Scotch whiskies that have been carefully and considerately combined together before finishing for a further period in casks which had previously held Madeira fortified wine.

Nectar Grove Batch Strength is the first new expression in the Wemyss Malts Batch Strength range which launched in 2017 and currently consists of The Hive, Spice King and Peat Chimney Batch Strength Batch No.002 released earlier in 2019.

Bottled at the strength found to best suit the moreish stone fruit and nutty flavours of this Highland blended malt, an abv of 54.0% was chosen by the Wemyss Malts blenders. The result is an intensely fruity, sweet and indulgent malt whisky with a bright natural colour and an effervescent yet mouth-coating texture.

Nectar Grove Batch Strength is non chill-filtered and the Madeira wine finish has imparted a natural colour that has a rich, rose copper hue.

Striking ‘Rainbow Holographic’ material has been used to amplify the already eye-catching Nectar Grove packaging design that was initially inspired by artwork, jewellery and ceramics from the island of Madeira.

William Wemyss, Founder and Managing Director at Wemyss Malts, commented: “After the immensely positive feedback from our first “finished” blended malt we decided that a batch strength version of this recipe would prove an interesting and provoking addition to the blended malt category as a whole”.

8,100 bottles of Nectar Grove Batch Strength will be available, initially to the Wemyss Malts Cask Club. Retailers in the UK, EU and Asian markets will list from mid-October with suggested UK retail price of £55.00.


  • Edinburgh based Wemyss Malts is family run company operated by brother and sister William and Isabella Wemyss. The Wemyss family Castle has been home to the family since the 1300s and is featured in the company logo.
  • Nectar Grove Batch Strength joins other 2019 limited releases Blooming Gorse and Flaming Feast which are the 3rd and 4th release of Wemyss Family Collection range
  • Wemyss Malts craft blended malt whiskies such as The Hive, Spice King and Peat Chimney as well as Batch Strength versions and single cask whiskies.
  • Wemyss blended malts have recently won double gold medals for The Hive and Spice King as well as ‘Best in Class’ for The Hive at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The latest release of The Hive, Spice King and Peat Chimney Batch Strength, Batch No.002 all received gold medal wins from the Spirits Business Scotch Whisky Masters.
  • The Wemyss family premium wines and spirits brands also include Lord Elcho blended Scotch whisky and Darnley’s Gin, together with the premium wine estate of Rimauresq Cru Classé in Cotes de Provence.
  • The family opened a single malt distillery at Kingsbarns, near St. Andrews in Fife and in July 2017 also added Darnley’s Gin distillery to the site.

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You Do Not Want To Miss The Kilchoman Mid-West Meet The Peat Tour, And It’s Almost Here! – Scotch Whisky News

The 2019 Kilchoman Mid-West Meet The Peat Tour is almost upon us, but it’s not too late to make plans to attend one of the events!

This extremely limited edition Cask Strength Machir Bay, bottled at 58.6% abv is available to be signed by James Wills at the tour stops (along with some great free gifts with purchase), so get plans made now, or tell your friends who live in the area to secure their seats!

You can read Kilchoman Distillery’s article here, describing the tour in more detail. Here are the stops as of now, though some might change or be adjusted.

Thursday, October 10th
Binny’s Lincoln Park (N. Marcey St.) | Chicago, IL

Friday, October 11th
Whisky Barrel Nite | Chicago, IL

Saturday, October 12th
Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop | Minneapolis, MN

Saturday, October 12th
Ace Spirits | Hopkins, MN

Sunday, October 13th
Merlin’s | Minneapolis, MN

Monday, October 14th
The Wine Company Open House (Trade Only) |
St. Louis Park, MN

Tuesday, October 15th
Ray’s Liquor | Milwaukee, WI

Wednesday, October 16th
Warehouse Liquors | Chicago, IL

Wednesday, October 16th
Delilah’s | Chicago, IL

Thursday, October 17th
Vine Table Exclusive Kilchoman Master Class. | Indianapolis, IN

Friday, October 18th
Vine Table Indy’s Whisky Fine Spirits Expo | Indianapolis, IN

Saturday, October 19th
Independent Spirits | Chicago, IL

Saturday, October 19th
Fountainhead | Chicago, IL

If you have any issues getting tickets or seats for any of the events, or have any questions at all, please reach out to us.  We will do our best to help you out.

Remember to spread the word to whisky fans in the region!

Here is a link to our post about the tour, to make it easy for you to share on Facebook.

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  • Laphroaig to launch a pop-up Smokehouse bar serving cocktails with an unusual smoky twist
  • Members of the public have the chance to choose exactly how smoky they want their drink from “Gently Smoked” through to the intense “Bonfire Bite”
  • Drinks will be matched with Laphroaig cold-smoked bar snacks inspired by opinions of the whisky’s unique, and often divisive taste, submitted by members of the public via #OpinionsWelcome

3 October 2019: Laphroaig is setting the capital’s drinks scene ablaze with a pop-up Smokehouse, appearing exclusively at London Cocktail Week.

Launching on the 9th October in The Cocktail Village on Brick Lane, the Smokehouse brings to life the famously intense smoky, heavily peated flavour of Laphroaig. The Smokehouse offers classic cocktails with an unusual smoky twist, alongside cold-smoked bar snacks.

Guests can choose exactly how smoky they would like their drink, from “Gently Smoked” through to the intense “Bonfire Bite”. With each playing on the intense cold-smoked flavour that has made Laphroaig famous, the cocktails bring to life the unique and complex flavour of the liquid in truly new and innovative ways.

As well as personalising the smoke level of your cocktail, guests can choose from a range of Laphroaig cold-smoked flavoured bites including haggis, fudge, sausage and beef jerky. The Smokehouse emulates the cold smoking process that is responsible for the tarry note typical of Laphroaig.

Open from midday through to 11pm Wed-Sat, and midday through to 7pm on Sunday, The Smokehouse is open to the public throughout London Cocktail Week. It is set to bring a sense of theatrical intrigue that whisky lovers and those new to the liquid can enjoy. Created with an Instagram moment in mind, discerning drinkers can look on as original Islay peat is infused via bespoke pipes and bell-jars to richly infuse every sip with the iconic Laphroaig taste. The Smokehouse emulates the cold smoking process that is responsible for the tarry note typical of Laphroaig.

Nick Ganich, head of brands at Edrington-Beam Suntory, commented: “The Laphroaig Smokehouse is a unique celebration of the many divided opinions this iconic liquid conjures among its fans. Laphroaig is the UK’s number one Islay malt whisky and we’re seeing a rapid growth of demand for the iconic brand.”

“Although we hope to introduce this Islay malt to a great many more potential enthusiasts, we know a dram of neat Laphroaig is not a thing for everyone. However, there is always a cocktail and food pairing that make Laphroaig universally enjoyable. The Smokehouse will not only celebrate our unique taste, but also will showcase Laphroaig’s unexpected versatility.”

“All opinions are welcome at The Smokehouse, and we will even go so far as to adorn our walls with evocative statements ranging from the compliments to a lyrical description of Laphroaig tasting ‘Like bacon if your Grandma dropped her cigar into the cooking pan – twice.”

The Laphroaig Smokehouse will be open to the public from noon on the 9th October – 7.00pm on the 13th October, at The Cocktail Village, 146 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RU.

Alongside The Smokehouse, whisky lovers can participate in Laphroaig dining and cocktail experiences across the city during London Cocktail week. Baptist Bar within L’oscar hotel, Gilray’s Steakhouse Bar, Smith Wollensky, as well as Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge are all offering specially created Laphroaig cocktails. Additionally, Hawksmoor has developed a delicious 3-course meal perfectly paired with cocktails and drams.

For more information on The Smokehouse or to sign up for the cocktail-making masterclasses, tasting sessions and an exclusive supper club, go to

About Edrington-Beam Suntory Distribution UK

Edrington-Beam Suntory Distribution UK is one of the UK’s conjures spirits sales, marketing and distribution companies. It is a joint-venture company jointly owned by Edrington and Beam Suntory.

Edrington-Beam Suntory UK represents leading spirit brands in categories including:

Blended Scotch (The Famous Grouse, Naked Grouse and Teacher’s)

Malt whisky (Highland Park, Laphroaig, The Macallan and Ardmore)

Japanese whiskies (Yamazaki, Hibiki, Hakushu, Toki and Chita)

Bourbon (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek)

Imported whiskies (Canadian Club and Kilbeggan Irish whiskey)

Gin (Roku and Larios)

It also handles UK sales and distribution for Courvoisier cognac, Snow Leopard vodka, Brugal 1888 rum and a portfolio of liqueurs and specialities (including Sourz, Bols liqueurs, Galliano and After Shock).

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New: Highland Park 21 Years // Laphroaig 25 Years // Glenmorangie travel retail

Highland Park 21 Years - August 2019

Highland Park 21 Years - August 2019

Highland Park has a new edition of its 21 Year Old expression. It is made using six first-fill sherry seasoned hogsheads (EU oak), four first-fill sherry seasoned American oak casks and five refill casks.

It is bottled at 46% ABV and presented in a new box that has August 2019 release quite prominently on the packaging. It costs around € 260 per bottle.



Laphroaig 25 Years Bessie Williamson

Laphroaig 25 Years Bessie Williamson

Together with the Laphroaig 30 Years ‘Ian Hunter’ there is now a Laphroaig 25 Years ‘Bessie Williamson’, named after the female distillery manager. It is a travel retail expression bottled at 43% ABV and presented in the same book case. Retail price is around € 450.



Mortlach Game of Thrones - Six Kingdoms

Mortlach Game of Thrones - Six Kingdoms

There seems to be a new release coming up in the Game of Thrones series. This time it is a Mortlach 15 Year Old named ‘Six Kingdoms’. It is finished in ex-bourbon casks and bottled at 46%. Not sure if we can expect five more releases as part of this batch?



Glenmorangie Accord / Elementa / Tribute

Glenmorangie Accord / Elementa / Tribute

Glenmorangie renews its travel retail range with three expressions:

  • Glenmorangie The Accord 12 Years (€ 55), matured in bourbon and Oloroso casks
  • Glenmorangie The Elementa 14 Years (€ 75), matured in bourbon and finished in new charred oak casks
  • Glenmorangie The Tribute 16 Years (€ 115), a lightly peated spirit (like in the old days) aged in bourbon casks



Also interesting

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

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Prepare For A Close Encounter With Ardbeg Supernova – Scotch Whisky News

#ardbeg #islay 


— This year’s limited edition arrives with a mission – to take Ardbeg Committee Members on a journey of unbelievably peaty proportions —

In October this year, still in the glow of winning Distillery of the Year 2019, Ardbeg Distillery will take its Committee Members on a journey like no other – as Supernova 2019 makes one more brief and earth-shattering return.

The Supernova Series is a collection of limited edition Committee favourites, first released in 2009 and most recently in 2015 to celebrate the groundbreaking Ardbeg space experiment. This experiment saw Ardbeg become the first whisky brand in space, where a vial of Ardbeg spirit orbited the earth for three years aboard the International Space Station.

Still in pursuit of the phenomenal, this year’s Supernova limited edition challenges sensory perceptions of what a whisky can be, as it transports the taste buds to peaty parts unknown.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation Whisky Stocks at Ardbeg, said: “Supernova is the peatiest expression we produce at Ardbeg. The way the flavours build and build and then explode in a burst of pungent peat and smoke is truly astonishing.”

Mickey Heads, Ardbeg Distillery Manager, said: “The incredible peat explosion in Supernova probably explains why these bottlings have been so popular with the Ardbeg Committee over the years. Supernova 2019 is the fifth edition in the series, and I’m sure it will be snatched up in no time at all.”

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Tasting Notes:

ABV:             53.8%

Colour:          Pale Bronze

Aroma:         Clouds of pungent aniseed, menthol and eucalyptus are underscored with sweet notes of treacle toffee. Hints of peppermint, a frisson of fennel, and a mysterious camphorous scent in the far distance… With water, more toffee notes emerge with a burst of dry, earthy peat.

Taste:           A tingly, peppery mouthfeel leads to a veritable explosion of intense, earthy, smoky notes – a nebular of bonfires, soot, charred oak, birch tar and menthol.

Finish:           Unbelievably long, with layers of treacle toffee, aniseed, oak tannin, clove and just a hint of bittersweet, tangy Seville orange on the aftertaste.

RRP: £140 


Ardbeg prides itself on being The Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky. Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by connoisseurs around the world as the peatiest, smokiest and most complex of all the Islay malts. Despite its smokiness, Ardbeg is renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’. During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future and it was not until the brand was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the Distillery was saved from extinction. Since then, the Distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is well established as a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.

Ardbeg Committee:

The legacy of the whisky was safeguarded in 2000 by the formation of the Ardbeg Committee. The Committee is made up of thousands of Ardbeg followers worldwide who are keen to ensure that “the doors of Ardbeg never close again”. Today there are members of the Ardbeg Committee in over 130 countries. Committee members are regularly consulted on new bottlings and expressions and are offered exclusive Committee bottlings. Members also receive invitations to special gatherings, tastings and events. The Committee, chaired by Mickey Heads, is free to join at


Ardbeg is the world’s most highly awarded smoky single malt whisky. Since 2008, Ardbeg has won more than 50 gold and double gold medals in key whisky competitions. Ardbeg was voted ‘Scotch Whisky of the Year’ twice by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible (2008, 2009) and has twice been awarded ‘World’s Best Single Malt’ at the World Whiskies Awards (2010, 2013). At the 2014 Global Icons of Whisky Awards, Mickey Heads was voted ‘Distillery Manager of the Year’. The following year, Ardbeg’s expressions took the top three spots in Whisky Advocate magazine’s review of the best single malt Scotch whiskies under US$100. Both Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Ardbeg Uigeadail were awarded gold medals at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In 2019, Dr Bill Lumsden was awarded ‘Master Distiller of the Year’ for the third time in four years. Ardbeg 10 Years Old also won the Best Single Malt Scotch 10 Year Old at the International Whisky Competition 2019, while the Ardbeg Distillery won the Distillery of the Year.

The Glenmorangie Company:

The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers and marketers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.  Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Company produces Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay Malt.

Responsible Drinking:

Ardbeg and The Glenmorangie Company advocate responsible drinking and suggest that drinkers savour Ardbeg whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption

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The Cotswolds Distillery is set to release the inaugural batch of its peated cask single malt whisky

The whisky is aged in ex-peated quarter casks to develop a balanced rich and fruity flavour with notes of peat smoke

The Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky Peated Cask will be bottled at cask strength and will be available on the Cotswolds Distillery online shop and from specialist retailers with an RRP of £64.95

The award-winning Cotswolds Distillery is set to release the first batch of its Single Malt Whisky Peated Cask, the first-ever whisky matured in peated barrels in the Cotswolds.

Available for sale from the 1st October, the whisky is made using un-peated local barley which is mashed and fermented before being distilled in bespoke copper pots. The whisky is then aged in ex-peated quarter casks from Scotland, creating a balanced rich and fruity flavour with subtle notes of peat smoke.

Dan Szor, founder and CEO of the distillery said: “The subtle notes of smoke and peat which these wonderful Islay casks impart to our Cotswolds Single Malt complement the fruity notes of our spirit without overwhelming it.  The result is an eminently drinkable and very moreish dram, even at cask strength.

What started as an experiment now becomes the newest addition to our growing core range of Single Malt Whiskies.”

The release comes following a year of success for the distillery’s whisky offerings. The flagship Single Malt Whisky has won multiple awards across the world including the World Whisky Awards, San Francisco World Spirits Competition and International Wine Spirits Awards, while the Founder’s Choice cask has won multiple gold medals and was the only whisky to be given three stars at this year’s Great Taste Awards.

Consisting of 2,950 bottles per batch, the peated whisky is bottled at cask strength (59.3% ABV) with no added colouring. The whisky is available from specialist retailers and the Cotswolds Distillery’s online shop from October at an RRP of £64.95.


Peated Whisky

Peated Single Malt Whisky is available to purchase from the Cotswolds Distillery online shop and via specialist retailers.

Founders Choice

Founders Choice is available to purchase from Harvey Nichols and specialist retailers Master of Malt and Gordon and MacPhail.

The Cotswolds Distillery

Located in Stourton, Shipston-on-Stour, the distillery has become a premier local attraction, offering tours and tastings daily, and now receives 30,000 visitors a year.

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky was launched in October 2017. Each bottle lists the barley variety, harvest year and local Cotswolds farm it was grown on. It recently won Gold at the World Whiskies Awards 2019 and took 2 stars (one of only two whiskies to do so) in the 2019 Great Taste Awards. The distillery’s cask strength whisky release, Founder’s Choice Single Malt Whisky, was recently awarded the title of Best English Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2019.

In Jim Murray’s 2019 Whisky Bible, the Cotswolds Distillery received 5 ‘Liquid Gold’ awards. Three of their whiskies scored 95 points, with all of the distillery’s samples scoring over 88 out of 100.

Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky is available nationally and in 31 countries across the world. Key UK retailers include Waitrose Partners, Majestic Wine, The Whisky Exchange, Harrods and Laithwaites.

The distillery also produces Cotswolds Dry Gin, which was named Best London Dry at the 2016 World Gin Awards and received the top Gold Outstanding award in the 2017 International Wine and Spirits Competition. Difford’s Guide recently ranked the Gin as one of the top 20 Gins available in a survey of 450 brands.

Cotswolds Dry Gin is on sale nationally and in over 30 countries.  Key national accounts include Waitrose Partners, Majestic, Oddbins, Laithwaites, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, and Fortnum Mason.

For more information, please visit

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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

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