New in Stock & Back in Stock at Single Malts Direct – Scotch Whisky News

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New in stock…

 AA SMD 1

Arran Devils Punch Bowl Chapter 3 53.4% | 70cl
“For Chapter 3 of the Devils Punch Bowl I have chosen a brooding selection of Arrans finest ages Oloroso Sherry Butts which set the scene for the final performance. Notes of distinctive dark chocolate and dried fruits give satisfying depth and provide the ideal foundation for this last dram with the Devil. The inclusion of French Oak Barriques add a rich layer of spice and toasted oak to proceedings while the Bourbon Barrels bring the sweetness of honey and vanilla. This final flourish of the Punch Bowl brings the curtain down in dramatic style”.

James MacTaggart
Master Distiller

Price: £74.99 ex VAT
£89.99 inc VAT

AA SMD 2

Old Pulteney Navigator 46% | 70cl
Old Pulteney Navigator is handcrafted using traditional methods of the 1800s. The unique shape of the copper pot stills, the time-honoured condensation method and the northern sea breeze of maturation all contribute to the distinctive style of the whisky with its smoothness, complexity and the unmistakeable coastal character.

Tasting Notes:
Appercance: Honeycomb

Aroma: Sweet crisp. Layers of tangy apples and dried fruit harmonise with subtle hints of dark chocolate fresh vanilla custard.

Taste: Full-bodied and rich in flavour. The palate delivers a burst of honey, cocoa and oranges, easing gently into a long-lasting, spicy finish with a maritime surprise.

Tasting notes from Pulteney distillery.

Price: £31.66 ex VAT
£37.99 inc VAT

AA SMD 3

Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky Bourbon 50.5% | 70cl

This bourbon is made with Kentucky limestone purified water and the best ingredients available. Its a bourbon made the old-fashioned way; slowly distilled at a low proof and bottled high, so it retains its complete fuller flavour. Wild Turkey is aged to perfection in heavily-charred new white oak barrels and bottled when it reaches its full complexity with flavoured caramel and vanilla.

Price: £27.49 ex VAT
£32.99 inc VAT

AA SMD 4

Arran 12 Year Old Cask Strength 53.9% | 70cl

Batch #3 of The Arran Malt 12 Years Old Cask Strength has a combination of 5 First-Fill Sherry Butts, 13 Second-Fill Sherry Hogsheads and 31 Bourbon barrels which have been bottled at Natural Cask Strength. The influence of the Sherry Casks has enhanced the classic Arran characteristics of sweet fruit and spicy oak and the Bourbon casks give the vanilla smoothness to create a rich and powerful new edition of The Arran Malt.

Tasting Notes:
Nose: A sweet balance of dried tropical fruits and toasted oak

Palate: Complex and refined, notes of dark chocolate and coffee beans dominate while a drop of water brings out fresh orange zest and roasted almonds

Finish: A lingering finish with a spicy twist which tempts another sip…

Tasting Notes by Arran Distillery

Price: £37.49 ex VAT
£44.99 inc VAT

Back in Stock…

AA SMD 5

Arran Robert Burns Single Malt 43% | 70cl
A single malt from the Isle of Arran distillery, celebrating the famed Scottish poet, Robert Burns. This bottling is officially endorsed by the World Burns Federation, it is said that Burns held whisky in great regard.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Fresh, apple peels, some blossom and spice, vanilla cream and juicy pear.

Palate: Fruity, notes of custard and warm pastry, more orchard fruit, some tart citrus.

Finish: Apple peels and vanilla spice.

Price: £24.99 ex VAT
£29.99 inc VAT

AA SMD 6

Robert Burns Blended Scotch Whisky 40% | 70cl

“With the acclaimed Arran Single Malt at it`s heart, the Robert Burns Blend is a veritable breath of fresh air. Dry and light, with subtle hints of vanilla and sweet fruit, this whisky is a superb example of the Master Blender`s art and truly a dram worthy of the Bard himself.”

Price: £17.49 ex VAT
£20.99 inc VAT

AA SMD 7

Arran Amarone Cask Finish 50% | 70cl

Arran Amarone Cask Finish
Arran Single Malt is a Single Malt Scotch whisky distilled by the Arran Distillery, Lochranza, Scotland, the only distillery on the Isle of Arran. Arran Distillery was founded in 1995.

Tasting Notes
Colour Burnished Copper

Nose Poached pears and honey followed by toasted almonds and a subtle touch of cranberry. With water a coffee note appears together with chocolate orange and mellow butterscotch.

Palate Dark chocolate, cherry and turkish delights are evident as are stewed fruits and toffee. Mu scular notes of dark plum wrestle with bitter-sweet apricots and a hint of cinnamon.

Finish A well-balanced combination of the finesse of The Arran Malt and the restrained fruit and oak from the Amarone casks. Concentrated and elegant this malt delivers on all levels.

Price: £34.99 ex VAT
£41.99 inc VAT

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/new-in-stock-back-in-stock-at-single-malts-direct-scotch-whisky-news/

‘Auchentoshan Three Wood – Tasting Review’ From Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News

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Auchentoshan Three Wood – Tasting Review Auchentoshan distillery is located at the foot of the Kilpatrick hills on the outskirts of Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire. It is one of six distilleries to be found in the Scottish Lowlands. It was built in 1800 and changed hands multiple times before being bought by Eadie Cairns in 1969, who completely rebuilt the distillery. In 1984 he sold the distillery to Morrison Bowmore.

Unlike many Scottish distilleries, Auchentoshan practices triple distillation, allowing the spirit to distill for a third time rather than twice; giving its whisky a more delicate and sweet flavour than most Scottish distilleries and Auchentoshan Three Wood is no exception.

Auchentoshan Three Wood gets its name from the triple cask maturation it undertakes during its creation. It starts its maturation journey in American bourbon casks, before migrating to Spanish Olorosso Sherry and finally settling within Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. It is these final two sherry casks that give this whisky its bold rich appearance and sweet flavour.

Auchentoshan Three Wood

 On The Nose:

Dark fruits coated in brown sugar, warm, comforting and rich.

On The Palate:

Those dark fruits burst with flavour, joined with more festive tastes – nuts, cinnamon and citrus zest; still the whole experience remains sweet and luxurious.

The Finish:

Long and lingering oaky and sweet.

Auchentoshan Three Wood is a lovely dram, perfect for those colder nights when all you want is to be out of the cold and warm by the fire. Having been matured in three separate casks, two of which were ex-sherry, there is plenty of rich flavour to be discovered here, and one sitting is certainly not enough to explore all. This is a very distinctive whisky and one that I am sure will make itself at home within your collection.

Buy a Bottle of Auchentoshan Three Wood Today

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/auchentoshan-three-wood-tasting-review-from-loch-fyne-whiskies-scotch-whisky-news/

TWO A. SMITH BOWMAN DISTILLERY BOURBONS RECEIVED HIGH HONORS AT 2014 INTERNATIONAL WINE & SPIRITS COMPETITION – American Whiskey News

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Two A. Smith Bowman Distillery

Bourbons received high honors

at 2014 International Wine Spirits Competition 

Fredericksburg, VIRGINIA (August 12, 2014) The results from the 2014 International Wine Spirits Competition are in, and two A. Smith Bowman bourbons have received new medals.

Bowman Brothers Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey won a Silver Outstanding medal and John J. Bowman Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey received a silver medal.

“We are excited about the recognition each of these bourbons have earned,” Brian Prewitt, master distiller, said. “Being recognized among so many quality spirits is an honor.”

“Silver Outstanding” medals are awarded based upon the highest scores within that respective category.

The International Wine and Spirit Competition was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs.

All entries are first blind tasted in groups divided by variety, region and vintage as necessary, by professional expert judges (by glass, not bottle) and then the top products are sent for detailed (chemical and microbiological) analysis. This analysis is crucial as in some instances the results of this analysis may lead to marks being deducted or even outright rejection.

Learn more at http://www.iwsc.net/

About A. Smith Bowman

A. Smith Bowman’s distilling roots date back to the years before Prohibition when the Bowman family had a granary and dairy farm in Sunset Hills, Virginia. They used excess grain from the family estate to distill spirits. In 1934, after the Repeal of Prohibition, Abram Smith Bowman and his sons continued the family tradition and built a more modern distillery in Fairfax County, Virginia called Sunset Hills Farm.  In response to the rapid rise of taxes in Northern Virginia, the Distillery was moved in 1988 and is now nestled in Spotsylvania County near the city of Fredericksburg, 60 miles away from the original location.

As a small and privately owned company, A. Smith Bowman Distillery continues the time-honored traditions on which it was founded. Considered a micro-distillery by today’s standards, A. Smith Bowman produces an assortment of hand-crafted spirits distilled from only the finest natural ingredients and using the latest technology. This micro-distillery focuses on the production of premium spirits honoring the legacy of Virginia’s first settlers. For more information on A. Smith Bowman, please visit http://www.asmithbowman.com/.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/two-a-smith-bowman-distillery-bourbons-received-high-honors-at-2014-international-wine-spirits-competition-american-whiskey-news/

Port Ellen 31 year old Platinum Selection Old and Rare at The Whisky Shop – Scotch Whisky News

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Port Ellen 31 year old Platinum Selection Old and Rare

This Port Ellen Expression is one of the rarest of its kind.

Distilled in September 1982 and bottled in July 2014 at a natural cask strength of 45.9% volume. This 31 year old Port Ellen is one of only 29 bottles filled from a Refill Hogshead.

Each bottling of Old Rare has been matured to perfection, so due to the angels’ share there are comparatively few examples to emerge from each cask. Presented in a highly distinctive squat bottle, each expression comes beautifully packaged in a specially crafted wooden box.  The personal tasting notes of our expert “nose” are included to complement the views of each individual taster. It goes without saying that each expression remains without chill-filtration or colouring.

£1200 – click here to buy

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/port-ellen-31-year-old-platinum-selection-old-and-rare/

Port Ellen 31 year old Platinum Selection Old and Rare

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Port Ellen 31 year old Platinum Selection Old and Rare

This Port Ellen Expression is one of the rarest of its kind.

Distilled in September 1982 and bottled in July 2014 at a natural cask strength of 45.9% volume. This 31 year old Port Ellen is one of only 29 bottles filled from a Refill Hogshead.

Each bottling of Old Rare has been matured to perfection, so due to the angels’ share there are comparatively few examples to emerge from each cask. Presented in a highly distinctive squat bottle, each expression comes beautifully packaged in a specially crafted wooden box.  The personal tasting notes of our expert “nose” are included to complement the views of each individual taster. It goes without saying that each expression remains without chill-filtration or colouring.

£1200 – click here to buy

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/port-ellen-31-year-old-platinum-selection-old-and-rare/

New Arrivals at Single Malts Direct – Scotch Whisky News

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New arrivals…

 AA Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy 1995 GM Cask Strength 55.8% | 70cl

Bottled at natural cask strength and colour directly from oak casks without chill filtering, the highly individual label on each bottle indicates the cask number and the bottling date, along with the distillation year and strength.

Tasting Notes

AROMA without water
Subtle Sherry influences with stewed apple, toasted malt and floral notes.

TASTE without water
On the palate, chilli spice initially with ripe banana, lemon and red apple. A lingering charred oak edge lingers.

AROMA with water
Hints of toasted malt and menthol with a defined citrus edge, lemon and lime.

TASTE with water
Cracked black pepper, followed by grapefruit, lime and ginger flavours.

Tasting notes from Gordon MacPhail.

Price: £49.16 ex VAT
£58.99 inc VAT

AA HP

Highland Park 2005 GM Cask Strength 59.1% | 70cl

Bottled at natural cask strength and colour directly from oak casks without chill filtering, the highly individual label on each bottle indicates the cask number and the bottling date, along with the distillation year and strength.

Tasting notes.

AROMA without water
Aromas of red apples and pears with vanilla syrup. Morning dew and juniper add a floral note, delicately encased in a subtle smoke.

TASTE without water
A touch of chilli to start balanced with the sweetness of sherbet and candied oranges. Peaches and strawberries in sugar syrup with hints of milk chocolate add to the mix. Flavours of pear skin to finish with a delicate touch of smoke.

AROMA with water
Green apples and cream soda aromas with a hint of log fire smoke. Morning dew along with heather honey and a zing of lemon endures.

TASTE with water
The taste of chilli builds to the heat of white pepper. Fruity flavours such as red apples, kiwi and ripe bananas are balanced with a salty pistachio edge. Royal icing and aniseed add to the sweetness.

Tasting notes from Gordon MaCphail.

Price: £38.33 ex VAT
£46.00 inc VAT

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/new-arrivals-at-single-malts-direct-scotch-whisky-news/

EXOTIC TASTE OF THE GLENLIVET IS A WINNER FOR THE FIRST TIME THOUSANDS VOTE TO SELECT THE NEXT THE GLENLIVET SINGLE MALT – Scotch Whisky News

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EXOTIC TASTE OF THE GLENLIVET IS A WINNER FOR THE FIRST TIME THOUSANDS VOTE TO SELECT THE NEXT THE GLENLIVET SINGLE MALT  

Johannesburg, South Africa. – The global whisky community have spoken. The votes have been counted. The results are in and the winner has made its way to South Africa.

That’s right! The long awaited The Glenlivet Guardian Chapter limited edition single Scottish malt is here after thousands of whisky lovers across 37 countries (including South Africa) voted to select the Guardian Chapter Limited Edition crafted just the way they like it. The winning selection is the “Exotic expression” as the distillery reached out to its loyal followers. 

After votes were counted, this first crowd-sourced The Glenlivet single malt was bottled and distributed in limited quantities to countries around the globe.

The search to find a winning expression began in September 2013. Three expressions (called Exotic, Classic and Revival) were handpicked for a global tasting tour where admirers sampled and voted for their favourite.  The expressions were selected to challenge drinkers, provoking debate over which would become the first single malt in the distillery’s 190-year history they could influence the taste of.   

A series of special evenings in London, New York and Mumbai were staged.  Labelled the ‘Expression Sessions’, they were designed to stimulate the senses with a carefully blended mix of speakers, covering topics inspired by each whisky expression. South Africans got their opportunity to taste the 3 variants at the annual FNB Whiskey Live Festival last year.

The winning “exotic” single malt was created using a subtle mixture of casks including Hogsheads and American oak barrels with the addition of a proportion of whisky from Spanish ex-sherry butts to provide a rich, exotic twist.  The resulting “The Guardians’ Chapter” bottling will display the signature fruitiness of The Glenlivet and a delightful addition of rich, warm spicy notes. Rich and indulgent on the nose, it will captivate with an aroma of moist fruitcake and sweet, candied apple, balanced with the tang of orange marmalade.   The taste will be an alluring combination of juicy raisins with an undertone of dark chocolate orange zestiness, well-balanced with the subtle warmth of spice complimenting a delightful long and slightly dry finish.

Mandla Holomisa, brand manager for Glenlivet SA, says: “We at Glenlivet feel very proud to have been part of a global challenge that has given us this limited edition single malt blend, as desired by our whisky lovers. We are pleased with the enthusiastic response we’ve received, especially in South Africa.”

Notes to the Editor

The Glenlivet was the first licensed distillery in the Livet valley and offers a variety of expressions, all boasting its signature smoothness and floral, fruity profile. The Glenlivet has been the biggest contributor to volume growth in the single malt category over the last five years, adding more than any other Single Malt brand*.

RSP for The Glenlivet Exotic: R1200.00

Follow The Glenlivet on Twitter via the handle @theglenlivetsa

Facebook application: http://www.facebook.com/TheGlenlivetSA

The Glenlivet Single Malt Whisky is part of Pernod Ricard.

Enjoy responsibly, not for sale to persons under the age of 18.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/exotic-taste-of-the-glenlivet-is-a-winner-for-the-first-time-thousands-vote-to-select-the-next-the-glenlivet-single-malt-scotch-whisky-news/

Yamazaki & Hakushu at Single Malts Direct – Japanese Whisky News

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New arrivals in stock now…

AA Yama 

Yamazaki Distillers Reserve Japanese Malt Whisky 43% | 70cl

Yamazaki, at the foot of Mt. Tenno on the outskirts of Kyoto, is the birthplace of Japanese whsiyk. Yamazaki malt whisky with a long tradition of Yamazaki distillery since 1923 is matured over several beautiful Japanese four seasons; spring with flowers, summer with luxuriant vendure, autumn with red leaves and winter with snow. This single malts whisky is made only from Yamazaki malt whiskt carefully selected by its blenders. It has a soft, elegant fragrance, and its sweet, mellow flavour spreads while the clean aftertaste continues comfortably.

Tasting notes.

Colour: Gold

Nose: Strawberry, Cherry, Mizunara

Palate: Raspberry, White peach, Touch of coconut

Finish: Sweet vanilla, Clean finish with hint of cinnamon

Price:£36.66 ex VAT
£43.99 inc VAT

AA Hak

Hakushu Distillers Reserve Japanese Malt Whisky 43% | 70cl

In 1973, the Hakushu Distillery was built in a dense forest at the foot of Mt. Kaikomagatake with numerous streams including Ojira River, one of the top 100 spring waters in Japan. Various blessing of the forest such as natural water of the southern Japan Alps purified by granite rocks, Japan’s distinctive four seasons, majestic forest atmosphere full of inspiration, and the enriching and intense climate caused by the altitude richly mature the whisky. The “Single Malt Whisky Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve” born in Hakushu distillery is a refreshing whisky characterised by the brisk aroma and flavour that remind of fresh green in the forest. Enjoy a new whisky experiance that makes you feel as if it take you to the forest.

Tasing notes.

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Peppermint, Melon, Cucumber

Palate: Yuzu, Grapefruit, Lemon thyme

Finish: Refreshing, Subtle smoke

Price:£36.66 ex VAT
£43.99 inc VAT

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/yamazaki-hakushu-at-single-malts-direct-japanese-whisky-news/

Jim Beam® Taps Fans’ Own Personal “Statements” To Help Co-Create Bottle Labels For Its New Single Barrel Bourbon – American Whiskey News

Jim Beam® Taps Fans’ Own Personal “Statements” To Help Co-Create Bottle Labels For Its New Single Barrel Bourbon

With the Jim Beam® “Single Barrel, Single Statement” Contest, the world’s No. 1 bourbon celebrates the launch of Jim Beam® Single Barrel by showcasing fans’ “bourbon wisdom” on actual bottle labels

Deerfield, Ill. – July 16, 2014 – Each bottle of Jim Beam® Single Barrel, the first-ever single barrel offering from the world’s No. 1 bourbon brand, exemplifies individuality – not only with the distinct flavor and personality of the bourbon itself, but also with its hand-crafted and hand-written bottle labels. And to celebrate its launch, Jim Beam announces today that it’s giving fans across the U.S. the opportunity to take part in the craft-making process with the launch of the Jim Beam® “Single Barrel, Single Statement” Contest.

Today through August 17, anyone of legal drinking age can share their unique “single statement” – whether it’s a favorite toast, how to sip a great glass of bourbon, whom to enjoy it with or where to drink it – at www.JimBeamSingleStatement.com for a chance to be featured on actual bottle labels of this super-premium bourbon. 

“As a brand rooted in making history, we wanted to allow our fans to make their own history by helping co-create bottles of Jim Beam® Single Barrel with their words (and names) on actual bottle back labels,” said Vanessa Jenkins, Senior Brand Director at Beam Suntory. “With 219 years and seven generations of Beam heritage, we feel the time is right to include our fans in our first-ever single barrel product.”

Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s 7th Generation Master Distiller, will select the six (6) finest statements that will be featured on the back label of actual bottles of Jim Beam® Single Barrel sold in stores nationwide, joining select Jim Beam® craftspeople whose statements are also currently featured on the inside back labels of bottles of Jim Beam® Single Barrel currently in market.

“Jim Beam® Single Barrel is special because it represents more than just the great liquid in our bottles,” said Noe. “We are excited to give our fans a chance to be part of our story and have their unique words on our labels. It’s the perfect way to finish off this super-premium bourbon in a one-of-a-kind, personalized way that only Jim Beam can deliver.”

Jim Beam® “Single Barrel, Single Statement” Contest Details
In addition to having their names and statements printed on bottle labels sold across the nation, six (6) First Prize Winners will receive an authentic Jim Beam® Single Barrel barrelhead, customized with their name and statement, autographed by Noe. Then Fred will select two (2) Grand Prize Winners who will receive a once-in-a-lifetime, private bourbon tasting in their hometowns with friends and Noe himself.

To enter the contest, Jim Beam® fans 21 years of age and over can share their “statement” (within 50 characters) and a brief description of the context or story around their statement at www.JimBeamSingleStatement.com. Fans can enter the Jim Beam® “Single Barrel, Single Statement” Contest from July 16 – August 17, 2014, with winners being announced on Jim Beam® social channels the week of September 15, 2014. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Must be legal resident of the 50 United States and 21 years of age or older to participate. Void where prohibited. Subject to complete official rules located at www.JimBeamSingleStatement.com. Contest begins July 16, 2014, and ends August 17, 2014.

Throughout the contest entry period, fans will be able to watch a series of web videos featuring Noe and other Jim Beam® craftspeople to find out their role in the Jim Beam® Single Barrel process and for inspiration for their own “single statements.” 

For more information on the Jim Beam® “Single Barrel, Single Statement” Contest, please “Like” Jim Beam® on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jimbeam),  please “Follow” @jimbeam on Twitter, or visit www.JimBeamSingleStatement.com to enter.

About Jim Beam® Single Barrel Bourbon
•    Jim Beam® Single Barrel, the first ever single barrel bourbon from Jim Beam, is a smooth and approachable hand-crafted Kentucky Straight Bourbon bottled at 95 proof to commemorate the first barrel of Jim Beam® made in 1795.
•    Less than one percent of barrels qualify to be chosen for Jim Beam® Single Barrel with each producing more than 200 bottles that are individually bottled and hand-numbered with care to ensure a unique taste profile and premium quality for a perfectly crafted bourbon.
•    Barrels are carefully selected from a range of racks that excludes the top and bottom to ensure the perfect taste, consistency and color of this new, super-premium expression that marks the historic and exciting move by Jim Beam into the quickly growing arena of premium bourbons. 
•    Jim Beam® Single Barrel is a rich, full-bodied bourbon with well-balanced notes of vanilla, oak and caramel. The aroma carries a rich oaky background with a light spiciness.
•    Jim Beam® Single Barrel is the perfect sip and savor bourbon to enjoy neat or on the rocks.

About Beam Suntory Inc.
As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the flagship Jim Beam bourbon and Yamazaki Japanese whisky, as well as world renowned premium brands including Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek bourbons, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s,  Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Sauza tequila, Pinnacle vodka, and Midori liqueur.  The company generates annual worldwide sales of approximately $4.6 billion excluding excise taxes.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and entrepreneurial culture.  Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com and www.drinksmart.com.

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/jim-beam-taps-fans-own-personal-statements-to-help-co-create-bottle-labels-for-its-new-single-barrel-bourbon-american-whiskey-news/

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America “August 2014 Outturn” – Scotch Whisky News

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The Society is having a Summer Sale until August 11th

Members receive 10% off all Society bottle orders placed through August 11th.

Cask No. 64.50                         $180 

Impressionist oil painting 

Speyside, Lossie 

The nose neat greeted us with fresh, floral and fruity aromas in the air. Warming sunshine, turquoise sky, fluffy white clouds, lots of birds tweeting in an orchard of flowering apple and peach trees with countless daffodils blossoming in the meadow. All very delicate with a vibrant mix of colours like an impressionist painting – you get the picture. The taste, much more intense, best described as a mixture of various Indian spices together with the fragrant, sweet and warm flavour of ground cinnamon like the German ginger cake Lebkuchen. With water sweeter aromas appear, bourbon vanilla, pancakes with melted butter and maple syrup and the taste fresh and sweet like a mango lassi with ginger nut biscuits. 

Drinking tip: Picnic in the meadow 

Colour: Sauternes wine

Cask: Refill barrel

Age: 23 years

Date distilled: February 1990

Alcohol: 56.4%

USA allocation: 120 bottles 

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Cask No. 3.215                                   $150 

Weird but wonderful 

Islay 

Gentle waves of smoke lapped across the nose – peat burning among sand dunes, perfumed wood smoke from a campfire – but also acid drops, chalk, hazelnut, charcoal, old leather books, sea-salt, lavender and violets – certainly complex. The unreduced palate seemed initially meaty – salty cured ham and Italian salami with caraway and peppercorns – quite delicious – then other things opened up – sweet smoke, charred oak, perfumed soap and fresh laundry. Water brought some fruit to the nose (perfumed peach, ripe Charentais melon). The palate now married a make-up bag to a first aid box; (slightly) weird but wonderful stuff from Islay’s oldest distillery. 

Drinking tip: For summer evenings in the garden – when the bats come out 

Colour: Pale primrose gold

Cask: Refill hogshead

Age: 18 years

Date Distilled: April 1995

Alcohol: 55.2%

USA allocation: 96 bottles

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Cask No. 41.58                                   $100 

Juicy, juicy, tart and fruity 

Speyside, Spey 

Someone described the initial nose as ‘half-constructed flat-pack furniture – wood, glue and puzzlement’; then we got custard creams, jammy dodgers, vanilla, lemon bonbons, pears in custard, sugared almonds and marzipan – sweetly attractive, in other words. The palate was busy; bittersweet, tart and fruity, with gooseberry jam, grapefruit, blackcurrant, lime pastilles and dark chocolate orange – plus light perfume and liquorice tingles at the end. The reduced nose found green apple, floral notes and pepper – pretty dynamic stuff. The palate became juicy and fruity (tinned pears, sherbet lemons, Starburst) with varnished wood – the flat-pack furniture finally completed. The distillery lies near Carron. 

Drinking tip: Quite a juicy, chirpy wee number – for a garden celebration or to spice up an outdoor tea-party 

Colour: Habitat pine

Cask: First-fill barrel

Age: 10 years

Date distilled: August 2003

Alcohol: 61.5%

USA allocation: 108 bottles 

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Cask No. 123.8                                             $120 

In the Spanish mountains 

Highland, Southern 

From the nose, we conjured an image of Spanish mountain villages – horses, hay-wains, orchards, citrus groves, rose gardens, sunshine on rosemary and rustic farm-labourers whittling wood. We also found plentiful sweetness in plum jam, juicy raisins, chocolate, toffee, marshmallows and fig rolls. Water brought out raspberry notes and Sangria. The palate was fruity, winey and tasty, with various jams, dried figs, vanilla sponge, Soreen and granola, but spicy notes of ginger, clove and chilli tweaked our tongues. Water sweetened it further resolving those tweaks into tingles –cranachan, jam tarts, Pavlova and posh Pimms. The distillery is near the West Highland Way. 

Drinking tip: Will get a conversation going, for sure 

Colour: Deep rose gold

Cask: Refill port pipe

Age: 12 years

Date Distilled: April 2001

Alcohol: 59.2%

USA allocation: 60 bottles

Please visit the Scotch Malt Whisky Society at http://www.smwsa.com/

Article source: http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2014/08/scotch-malt-whisky-society-august-2014-outturn-scotch-whisky-news/