Saturday, 31 May 2014

Ardbeg Ardbog

Ardbeg Ardbog
Picture The Whisky Echange


Ardbeg organises an Ardbeg Day on May 31th (today!). The company launches a limited edition expression for the Festival of Malt and Music. True Ardbeggians will go and fetch it on the island itself during Feis Ile. Regular fans could score the 2013 edition rather easily in specialised liquor shops. If they were quick enough of course.

Last year's expression was a celebration to the peat bogs that are the very core of the Ardbeg flavour. Basically this was an Ardbeg 10 with a plus. The whisky was a marriage of spirit matured in bourbon and manzanilla sherry casks.
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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Recipe: Big Peat's Islay Sour

Pete discovers a dress up trunk

Whisky Sour is a cocktail with an extraordinary state of duty. The recipe already appeared in the very first published cocktail book The Bon Vivant’s Companion or How to Mix drinks (1862)

The history of the Whisky Sour probably dates back to the era of the British Navy in the 18th century. Sailors mixed citrus juice with rum or gin to preserve it and to protect themselves from scurvy. Vitamin C was and after all still is the best medicine against it.

Recipe: Big Peat's Islay Sour


Ingredients

You don’t need a lot of them for Big Peat's Islay Sour!

For one cocktail
  • 50 ml Big Peat whisky
  • 20 ml fresh lime juice
  • 20 ml maple syrup
  • 2 – 3 mint leafs

Preparation


Preparation time: 3 - 5 minutes


Squeeze one or two limes.
Measure 20 ml and poor it in a cocktail shaker with 20 ml of maple syrup.
Add 50 ml of Big Peat Whisky, 2 or 3 freshly torn mint leaves and some crushed ice.

Shake, strain and serve in a classic cocktail glass.

Garnish with a leaf of mint and/or a slice of lime.

Recipe: Big Peat's Islay Sour
All done! The mint and lime were not added yet. Sorry!
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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Wemyss Malts Lord Elcho

Wemyss Malts Lord Elcho
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Lord Elcho is a brand new blend without an age statement with minimum 40% malt content. It enters the range next to a 15 years old blend with the same name.

The blend is named after the eldest son of the 5th Earl of Wemyss. David Elcho was a supporter of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite uprising of 1745. After the decisive Battle of Culloden, he went into exile in France and never returned to his native Scotland.
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Monday, 19 May 2014

Ardbeg 20 Uisge Beatha Taigh for Jurgen's Whiskyhuis

Ardbeg 20 Uisge Beatha Taigh for Jurgen's Whiskyhuis

A few brands evoke emotional reactions in the subconscious. The late Port Ellen is one of these (perhaps only because she has been closed, say the Islay version of Van Gogh). Ardbeg already reached this cult status as an active distillery.

A half cask of 20 year Ardbeg is about to be sold by the BFG of Jurgen's Whiskyhuis. It was available for sample at a whisky festival in Aalst (Belgium) I missed out on this sample but I managed to lay my hands on a sample afterwards.

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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Wemyss Malts Tweet Tasting #WemyssTT3


Thurday 15th May a new Tweet Tasting took place under the guidance of Steve Rush (@TheWhiskyWire). No secret samples this time but 4 recent whiskies from Wemyss Malts (@WemyssMalts).

Wemyss is a relatively young company when it comes to whisky. Established in 2005, they managed to build an extended range of blends, blended malts and single casks.

In the autumn of 2014 they will start producing in their own distillery Kingsbarns. One mash tun, 4 washbacks, one wash still and one spirit still should allow them to distill 500.000 liters of new make spirit. Using local barley they wish to deliver a fruity Lowland-style whisky.
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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2014

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2014
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

Kilchoman is Islay’s youngest and smallest farm distillery. When Anthony Wills started his project in 2005, it was the first new distillery to be built in 124 years.

A portion of the barley is grown at the farm and is used exclusively in a 100% Islay whisky. The rest, needed for the core expressions Machir Bay and Loch Gorm, is bought at Port Ellen Maltings.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm is named after the peaty loch nearby. It is the primary water source for the distillery. This expression is the only one in the core range that fully matures in sherry casks. For the Loch Gorm 2014, they only used first-fill Oloroso sherry butts.
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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Ardbeg 10

Ardbeg 10
Picture: The Whisky Exchange
Ardbeg had been very close to being buried next to Port Ellen and a few other legendary distilleries. The distillery had been mothballed twice in the eighties and nineties.

The real salvation came from Glenmorangie (now LVHM). Since the stills were reheated in 1997, Ardbeg's reputation soared like an eagle. Now fans nearly come to blows when they launch special or limited editions.

The core range is rather limited. The Ardbeg Ten is accompanied by two NAS expressions: Uigeagail and Corryvreckan. And that's about it. Every year on May 31st, Ardbeg Day, they launch a new limited edition. And since 2014 is all about the World Cup in Brazil it was named Auriverdes.

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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Octomore 6.1 Scottish Barley Ochdamh-mòr

Octomore 6.1 Scottish Barley Ochdamh-mòr
Picture: The Whisky Exchange
Octomore is an experimental Bruichladdich. Every year they present this limited edition heavily peated whisky in iconic black bottles. The two latest batches were boasting a phenol level of 167 ppm.

Edition number 6 is the first one that carries the new tagline “Scottish Barley”. It exists of three different expressions: the standard 6.1 batch matured in ex-bourbon casks. The 6.2 matured in former cognac casks made from Limousin oak and is destined for Travel Retail. And lastly, a 6.3 Islay barley batch that has not yet been bottled.
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