Diageo Special Releases 2014

Diageo Special Releases 2014

Diageo Special Releases 2014

 

It’s that time of the year again. Diageo announced its Special Releases 2014. This year the list contains 11 bottlings. They’re always highly anticipated but I feel the interest has lowered a little since prices skyrocketed around 2012.

 

Left to right in the above overview:

  • Brora 35 yo 1978 (48,6%, 2964 btl.) – € 1500
  • Rosebank 21 yo 1992 (55,3%, 4530 btl.) – € 400
  • Lagavulin 12 Year Old (54,5%, 13th release, 31428 btl.) – € 100
  • Caol Ila 15 yo 1998 unpeated (60,39%, 10668 btl.) – € 90
  • Port Ellen 35yo 1978 (56,5%, 14th release, 2964 btl.) – € 2800
  • Strathmill 25 yo 1988 (52,4%, 2700 btl.) – € 350
  • Benrinnes 21 yo 1992 (56,9%, 2892 btl.) – € 300
  • Cragganmore 25 yo 1988 (51,4%, 3372 btl.) – € 400
  • Caol Ila 30 yo 1983 (55,1%, 7638 btl.) – € 550
  • Clynelish Select Reserve (54,9%, 2964 btl.) – € 650
  • Singleton of Glendullan 38 Year Old (59,8%, 3756 btl.) – € 1000

 

Prices are likely to be a bit higher still. They are based on the UK price and in the past this turned out to be lower than the European equivalent.

There’s no doubt this is a wide selection, with whiskies of all kinds of styles. I suppose only two of them are within reach of most whisky enthusiasts, the rest is investment material more than anything.

It’s the first time we’re seeing a Strathmill and Glendullan in the Special Releases – 2014 is also the first time a high-end Clynelish is bottled without an age statement.

For me personally, I’m especially interested in the Rosebank 21 Year Old and Coal Ila 30 Year Old, which should have an interesting profile and seem to have undergone a (relatively) modest price increase compared to past editions.

Article source: http://www.whiskynotes.be/2014/whisky-news/diageo-special-releases-2014/

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

Whisky Exchange Header

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/

Ballantine’s Unveils Winning Night Market Bar Concept at Exclusive Launch Event – Scotch Whisky News

BARPROJ

Ballantine’s Unveils Winning Night Market Bar Concept at Exclusive Launch Event

When Ballantine’s launched The Bar Project in France earlier this year, young mixologist Abderrahim El Asfar – known as “Abdou” – could only dream of his entry reaching the final stages and eventually being brought to life by Europe’s leading whisky brand. However, last night, Abdou’s bar concept became reality, unveiled at a special launch event attended by some of Paris’s leading media and socialites.

“L’Epicerie” – Abdou’s imaginative bar concept which won the entrepreneurial competition with more than 50% of the public vote – is open to the public at popular Parisian nightspot “Le Chacha” now, opening Tuesday to Sunday for an exclusive six-week period.

Every week, customers will be able to join various sessions that will explore the characteristics of Ballantine’s, including the opportunity to sample some of the mixologists’ delicious concoctions that have been inspired by the whisky and its taste profile.

The bar is the product of a challenge set by Ballantine’s, inviting entrepreneurs from across France to submit their own vision for a dream bar. The project saw more than 100 entries submitted via Facebook, which were whittled down to just three by a jury including Simon Baldeyrou, CEO of Deezer in France, and Laura Leonard, a renowned interior designer, the public vote then deciding the overall challenge winner.

El Afsar’s design is inspired by a traditional night market, in which customers are able to browse the ‘market’s’ evocative shelves, selecting their own ingredients which will then form the base of their cocktail. The mixologists behind the bar will then create an innovative whisky cocktail with these ingredients, selecting the most appropriate expression from the Ballantine’s range to match, which customers will be able to drink around the large host table that forms the centrepiece of the bar.

Peter Moore, Global Brand Director for Ballantine’s, said: “Given that our Founder George Ballantine is known to have created his first whisky in an ‘épicerie’ or delicatessen, it seems very fitting that it is this concept which we have been able to bring to life for the first time.

“The project has been so well received that it is to be repeated again in France next year and we have a number of other key markets who are also planning to run the competition. This means that more entrepreneurs around the world will have the chance to bring their own dream bar concept to life.”

Notes

About The Bar Project by Ballantine’s

The Bar Project by Ballantine’s launched in France in February 2014, offering French consumers the chance to create the bar of their dreams, with the winning design to be brought to life by Ballantine’s for a limited period in the heart of Paris. More than 100 designs were submitted, which were then reviewed by a panel of experts; Simon Baldeyrou, CEO of Deezer France, Laura Leonard, renowned interior designer, Hirmane Abdoulhakime, Artistic Director, and Mathieu Deslandes, Marketing Director of Pernod. Three finalists were chosen – “L’Epicerie”, “The Charlatan” and “Ball Cocktail” – and were put to the public vote, with “L’Epicerie” being crowned the overall winner. Ballantine’s will now work with the winning designer, Abdou El Asfar, to bring his design to life for a limited period in Le Chacha Club. The bar officially opened to the public on the 4th September 2014 and will remain open for a period of six weeks. For more information about The Bar Project by Ballantine’s, visit www.ballantinesbarproject.fr About Le Chacha Club Le Chacha is situated in the heart of Paris’s first district, a key feature of the nightlife scene. A restaurant, bar and nightclub, the décor evokes a 1930s apartment with the various rooms lending themselves to a range of uses, from showrooms to fashion shoots and even music studios. The winner of The Bar Project by Ballantine’s was given the opportunity to transform the first floor of Le Chacha; 45 square meters has been converted into a new look in line with the winner’s vision.

About Ballantine’s

Ballantine’s is the No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the world’s No 2 Scotch whisky by volume, and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 120 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827.

About Chivas Brothers

Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/09/ballantines-unveils-winning-night-market-bar-concept-at-exclusive-launch-event-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

Whisky Exchange Header

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/