Monday, 29 September 2014

News: Wemyss Malts launches 12 new single casks

Edinburgh based boutique Spirits Company Wemyss Malts is delighted to announce the
release of a new parcel of single cask Scotch whiskies. This mouth-watering collection of
new whiskies is named after the unique natural taste and aroma of each one and
reflects the unique and contrasting appeals of the different Scotch whisky regions and
styles.

The suggested retail prices range from £70 to £200. Something for everyone's budget.

My personal eye candy are a 1987 Bowmore (“Sweet Peat Posy”), a 1983 Caol Ila (“Smoke on the water”),  two 1997 Clynelish expressions (“Cayenne Cocoa Bean” and “Bench with a Sea View”) and their second single grain from Invergordon (“Vintage Strawberry Punnet”) 1988.

261 years of flavours and history in one release !



The full line-up


  • "Vintage Strawberry Punnet" - 1988 single cask from Invergordon, Single Grain
  • "Sweet Peat Posy" - 1987 single cask from Bowmore, Islay
  • "Aniseed Pastille" - 1996 single cask from Bowmore, Islay
  • "Thread of Smoke" - 1991 single cask from Bunnahabhain, Islay
  • "Smoke on the Water" - 1982 single cask from Caol Ila, Islay
  • "Floral Trellis" - 1988 single cask from Tormore, Speyside
  • "In a Bluebell Wood" - 1995 single cask from Glen Grant, Speyside
  • "Summer Fruit Cup" - 1998 single cask from Auchentoshan, Lowlands
  • "Cayenne Cocoa Bean" - 1997 single cask from Clynelish, Highlands
  • "Bench with a Sea View" - 1997 single cask from Clynelish, Highlands
  • "Peaches and Cream" - 1989 single cask from Glen Garioch, Highlands
  • "Blackcurrant Coulis" - 1991 single cask from Blair Athol, Highlands

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 500.00 liters of new make spirit. Using local barley they wish to deliver a fruity Lowland-style whisky.

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten

A Tasty dram whisky blog tasting notes


The first ten years are the toughest 

The Laddie Ten was the beginning of a new era. When a group around Mark Reynier and Simon Coughlin re-opened the doors of Bruichladdich Distillery, they were already planning a 10 year old. Age mattered in those days...

In 2011 Bruichladdich could finally unveil it's Laddie Ten. The success did not go unnoticed. Rémy-Cointreau offered a huge bag of money (£ 58 million). One man voted against: Mark Reynier. The new era was at the same time the end for a man that embodied Bruichladdich's revival.

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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Highland Park 10

A Tasty Dram whisky blog tasting notes


Small but brave Viking

Highland Park presented an absolute beginner's single malt, exclusively for Dutch and German markets in April 2013. Young, lower in alcohol and significantly smaller. Highland Park 10 is only sold in a 35cl version. Quite handy for people with a small drinks cabinet or a limited budget.
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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Kilchoman Port Cask matured

A Tasty Dram whisky blog tasting notes


Pink meets Kaiser Chiefs

Kilchoman presented its very first Port Cask matured expression in early September. While other distilleries mostly finish port editions, Kilchoman chose a complete maturation in port pipes.

The Port Cask matured is being shipped - as we speak - to retailers. It was the result of three years maturation in 20 ex-ruby port casks and bottled at cask strength, 55% ABV.

This edition will be a bit of a curiosity. From the 1000 cases produced, only 150 bottles will end up in Belgium. And it does not seem to become a permanent addition to the range like Machir Bay and Loch Gorm. Unless it becomes a convincing success and they can invest in sufficient quality port casks.


Identity Card Kilchoman Port Cask matured


  • Kilchoman Distillery, Isle of Islay
  • 3 years old
  • 55 % ABV
  • maturation in port ruby casks




Tasting notes


Colour: The colour is clearly influenced by the port pipe. It got the looks of a rosé wine and leaves an oily film on the glass.

Nose: The nose is rather tingling, courtesy of the high ABV. There's definitely some smoke present on the nose. Red fruit and crème brûlée flavours bring balance. It also offers those typical Kilchoman citrus flavours, scorched grass and worn leather.
Water softens its aggressive side and offers some raisins.

Taste: The smoke is more ubiquitous on the palate. The port delivers flavours of aromatic tobacco, honey and red fruits: cherries and strawberries.
Again it sweetens with water. Yet the smoke keeps the leading role. Raisins, honey and vanilla.

Finish: The aftertaste is hot and a little spicy. Roasted peanuts.

Conclusion


Kilchoman deviated from trodden paths with this Port Cask Matured. It's not your typical daily dram but surely an interesting discovery. Too bad my sample was a tad small. I sneaked less than a centiliter home from the Kilchoman masterclass with George and James Wills. Otherwise I would probably have gotten more extensive tasting notes.

This experiment will cost around € 85 / £ 68. Be quick for the number of bottles attributed to Belgium is very limited. And than it's up to the online auctions...

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Thursday, 11 September 2014

News: Bowmore 1984 Travel Retail

I'm not really sure if this is a brand new release from Bowmore but since she's a beauty and a special Vintage I'm going to feature her all the same.

Matured for 30 long years in the finest oak Bourbon casks cosseted deep within the legendary Bowmore No.1 Vaults.

This 30 Year Old is a beautifully smooth whisky with a deep golden hue and is sweeter and spicier than its predecessor.

Unlike it's predecessor that was aged in bourbon casks only, this refined 30 year old has been matured in a marriage of both sherry and bourbon casks to ensure a rich depth of flavour and colour.

  • 30 years old
  • 47.6% ABV
  • 500 bottles
  • 1984 Vintage
Price: £ 750


source: website Bowmore 


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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Masterclass: Kilchoman European Tour 2014

TastToe, 3 september 2014

Kilchoman sends out his sons during September.

George and James Wills are giving a number of masterclass through Europe. While I'm writing this, the brothers are touring The Netherlands in their Land Rover loaded with whisky, funny anecdotes and inside information  on the family business and their whiskies.

The masterclass at TastToe sold out completely. 36 people were eager to discover the core range of Kilchoman (minus the Loch Gorm, which wasn't served that night).




100% Islay 4th edition

ex-bourbon casks, 4 - 5 years old, 20ppm, 50% ABV

Every stage of the production process of this lightly peated whisky is done on site. Growing the optical barley, malting, kilning, distilling, maturation and bottling happens on the farm distillery. 100% is a true 100% Kilchoman.

Colour: straw

Nose: citrus, salty sea air, coconut, marshmallow, milk chocolate

Taste: grain biscuits with pieces of fruit, rock sugar


Machir Bay 2014

90% ex-bourbon casks, 10% oloroso butts, 5 - 6 years old, 50ppm, 46% ABV

This is the corner stone of the Kilchoman Range. It is named after the beautiful but desolate beach near the distillery. The 2014 batch contains 5 and 6 year old whisky. 90% of the vatting matured in ex-bourbon casks from Buffalo Trace. The remaining 10% comes from oloroso sherry butts.

Colour: straw

Nose: sweet citrus, bacon, glazed ham

Taste: lemon candy, pepper, vanilla


European Tour 2014 bottling

cask strength Machir Bay, 50ppm, 59.2% ABV

To upgrade the European Tour a bit, Kilchoman decided to provide the Wills brothers with a special Tour Bottling. Essentially this is a Machir Bay but bottled at cask strength, 59.2%, and slightly darker than the regular Machir Bay at 46% ABV. The expression has been limited to 1518 bottles.

Colour: straw

Nose: liquorice, anise, vanilla, honey

Taste: pepper, wood, honey


Port Cask Matured

20 port ruby casks, 3 years old, 50ppm, 55% ABV

Port Cask Matured is being shipped, as we speak, to specialist retailers. This limited edition matured (not a mere finishing, but a full maturation) in 20 ruby port pipes. It has been bottled at 55% ABV. From the 1000 cases produced, only 150 bottles will end up in Belgium.

Colour: rosé wine, slightly pink

Nose: red fruit, strawberries, citrus, milk chocolate

Taste: aromatic tobacco, chocolate


2009 Pedro Ximenez finish

ex-bourbon casks, 4.5 months finish PX sherry butt, 4 or 5 years old, 50ppm, 58.2% ABV

This sample will probably be released as a single cask for the Belgian importer The Nectar to celebrate the Spirits in the Sky festival 2014. The whisky was distilled in 2009 and got a 4.5 months finishing in a PX sherry cask. Kilchoman and Oloroso / PX sherry = fantastic stuff. This sample was the definite winner of the evening.

Colour: old gold

Nose: asphalt, honey marinade with sherry, dusty

Taste: fruit, barbecue, pepper



Snapshots




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Monday, 8 September 2014

News: Compass Box The Lost Blend

This whisky is a union of old Highland single malts from the Clynelish and Allt-a-Bhainne distilleries and delicious peaty Islay whisky from the Caol Ila distillery.

Inspired by the short story of the same name, written by O. Henry in 1907, the style of this sweet, ethereal, herbal, gently smoky whisky is a homage to a previous lost blend, Eleuthera, retired by Compass Box in 2004.

It will be available from 1st October in the US, UK, Europe and key markets around the world.

Bottled at 46%, The Lost Blend will be priced at around $120 in the US, £85 in the UK and €100 in Europe. And after these 12,018 bottles it will be a Lost Blend again!

source: Facebook page Compass Box  
site: http://www.compassboxwhisky.com/lost-blend.php


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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Tweet Tasting: Tomatin's #TomatinCuatro 3 September 2014

Wednesday September 3rd a new Tweet Tasting took place under the guidance of  Steve Rush (@TheWhiskyWire) and Tomatin (@Tomatin1897).  No less than 8 samples landed in my mailbox: 4 mystery drams from the Highlands and 4 sherries. One of the whiskies could very well be a shiny new release from Tomatin.

The 4 sherries were a revelation and are in a different league compared to most sherries I've tasted in the past. But could it become my new favourite drink? I'm afraid not. I'll be loyal to my first love.

The sherries still deserve some credit. They travel conditions weren't optimal and wine is influenced by oxidation...




Mystery Dram #1


Colour: Gold. Slow thin legs.

Nose: Soft, fresh and clean. Fresh citrus, flower honey and a heather breeze. Coconut, bananas, pineapple and melon. Syrupy pears.

Taste: Sweet and fruity. Soft winey flavours. A fruit salad sprinkled with wine.
With water: A little drier. More spices and wood. Pepper and green apple. Sirop de liège and apple tart.

Finish: Sweet apples and pepper

Identity: Cuatro Series Fino Sherry Cask Finish - 46% ABV



Mystery Sherry #1


Lots of apples and salty tones. Smells like a flat cider or calvados that has been watered down. Suffered any oxidation?

My guess on the identity: Fino

True identity: Fino sherry





Mystery Dram #2


Colour: Gold. Slightly darker then #1. Oily texture and faster legs.

Nose: A bit sharper. Nuts and eucalyptus. A Finnish sauna. Coconut and dried grass. Some red fruits. Strawberries and raspberries. Sweet condensed milk and fudge.
With water: Sweetness from overripe melons and sugared nuts. Almonds.

Taste: More power and spices. Pepper at first. Then the sweetness bashes through. Pepper, mint and caramel tobacco, minus the smoke. Nutmeg and bitter chocolate. Dried fruits. Lots of it!

Finish: Dry finish. Pepper and walnuts. Sweetens toward the end.

Identity: Cuatro Series Manzanilla Sherry Cask Finish - 46% ABV


Mystery Sherry #2


Again a lot of apples and salty flavours. Citrus and even some yeast. Seems to have suffered from oxidation also.

My guess on the identity: Manzanilla

True identity: Manzanilla sherry




Mystery Dram #3

Colour: Old gold. Slow legs. Darker then #1 and #2.

Nose: Sharper and sweeter. Sweet oranges. Almonds, vanilla and marzipan. Honey and liquorice. Dried fruits and maraschino cherries.

Taste: Orange sauce. Again honey and liquorice. Sweet juicy pears and an abundance of raisins
Vanilla and cherries. Rice pudding with cardamon, mint and walnuts.

Finish: Warm milk with honey, mint and vanilla.

Identity: Cuatro Series Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish - 46% ABV

Mystery Sherry #3


Lots of raisins and walnuts. A sweet nose. The palate is completely different. More dry notes.

My guess on the identity: Oloroso

True identity: Oloroso sherry




Mystery Dram #4

Colour: Old gold. Thick slow legs. The darkest of the series.

Nose: Honey and marzipan. Sultana raisins. Almond liquor. Chocolate and cherries. Sugar syrup (or golden syrup).

Taste: Honey-sweet. Caramelised figs and fennel seed. Butter milk with dextrose.

Finish: Vanilla ice napped with a syrupy caramel.

Iidentity: Cuatro Series Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask Finish - 46% ABV

Mystery Sherry #4

It smells and looks like a Madeira wine but tastes differently. Too sweet and syrupy. Candy Syrup.

My guess on the identity: Pedro Ximenez

True identity: Pedro Ximenez sherry



And the twelve points go to...

Difficult to choose an absolute favourite. Number #3 en #2 have a very small advantage. But sample #1 and #4 have their own distinctive qualities. Different whiskies, different moods. This is why I never rate whiskies.

I publish my original tasting notes in Dutch on my tumblr blog A Tasty Dram: Tomatin Tweet Tasting #TomatinCuatro


A word of thanks

to Steve Rush from The Whisky Wire for organising and the people of Tomatin  (esp. Graham Eunson and Jennifer Masson) for providing the samples for the evening and answering our questions.

We were not treated to a single new expression but a whole new series of sherry finished whisky. A great concept. One batch of whisky finished in 4 different sherry butts.

The new Cuatro Series from Tomatin


All distilled on the same day, the whisky matured for nine years in American Oak casks before being transferred to four different types of Sherry butts for a period of over three years. As a result each of the four expressions have developed their own unique characteristics. The range includes: Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez.

With its Spanish sherry inspiration, the name “Cuatro” is fitting as the Spanish word for “four”.

There are 1500 bottles of each expression available and each is expected to retail at £49.99. All unchill filtered and natural colour. Bottled at 46% ABV.





Cù Bòcan Sherry Edition

Staying with the Sherry theme, the company has also added another limited edition to the Cù Bòcan range: the Sherry edition. With the standard edition comprising Sherry, Virgin Oak and Bourbon casks, this is the first of three limited editions highlighting the flavours derived from the sherry casks.

The expression matured in first fill Sherry butts. There are only 6000 bottles available and it is expected to retail at £49.99 or € 63.



source: Press release Tomatin Distillery
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News: Tomatin launches Cuatro Series and Cù Bòcan Sherry Edition

Cuatro Series

The Tomatin Cuatro Series presents four unique limited edition expressions of Tomatin Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

All distilled on the same day, the whisky was matured for nine years in American Oak casks before being transferred to four different types of Sherry butts for a period of over three years. As a result each of the four expressions have developed their own unique characteristics. The range includes: Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez.

With its Spanish sherry inspiration, the name “Cuatro” is fitting as the Spanish word for “four”.

There are 1500 bottles of each expression available and each is expected to retail at £49.99.

image

Cù Bòcan Sherry Edition

Staying with the Sherry theme, the company has also added another limited edition to the Cù Bòcan range: the Sherry edition. With the standard edition comprising Sherry, Virgin Oak and Bourbon casks, this is the first of three limited editions highlighting the flavours derived from the sherry casks.

The expression matured in first fill Sherry butts. There are only 6000 bottles available and it is expected to retail at £49.99 or € 63.
49.99 (€ 63).
image
source: Press release Tomatin Distillery
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