Last week I was one of a lucky few to be invited up to Scotland by Dewar’s to look around their distilleries. Termed the ‘Last Great Malts’, Dewar’s have taken the step to release single malt whiskies from their distilleries which, until now have mostly only been used in blending or seen as single malts in the independent bottlers world.
This is great news within the category because Dewar’s are rather going against the grain here… their releases all have age statements, and where the bottles are new to market they’re being released at 46% non chill filtered and with no colour, with existing releases (Aberfeldy 12yo for example) being changed over time to match. Big congrats to Dewar’s for this as many other brands at the moment are increasingly releasing more and more no age statement whiskies which are filtered, coloured and reduced to within an inch of their lives with water.
The Glenrothes – Vintage Reserve – 40%
First off, here’s some of the PR info before I get on to my tasting notes which you’ll find below…
Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits is delighted to announce the release of Vintage Reserve from award-winning Speyside distillery, The Glenrothes. As with many single malts, the new expression carries no age statement but, in an unprecedented move, all the Vintages used in this single malt have been revealed.
Glenfiddich Rare Collection 1992 Single Cask – Whisky Shop Exclusive – 56.3%
First off let’s take a quick tour of the info about this release, followed by my notes and thoughts below…
Recently The Whisky Shop team and one lucky customer, Neil Cromarty, joined Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, to select a single cask Glenfiddich to be bottled exclusively for The Whisky Shop. The cask they chose was a refill bourbon cask filled on 13th March 1992, the year that The Whisky Shop was founded. 1992 was the year the cold war officially ended; the year South Africans voted to end apartheid; the year Disneyland Paris opened and the year Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of the House of Commons.
Recently there was a press trip to various Inver House Distillers Ltd distilleries, and being the kind folk that they are they had noticed I was on holiday in Inverness for the week and so invited me up for the day to join in the fun at Old Pulteney distillery, lucky me!
I didn’t have to be asked twice, I immediately hired a car and when the day came enjoyed the 2hr+ trip up north along the coast… as with most driving in Scotland the time flew by because the scenery is so amazing.
Compass Box – The Lost Blend – 46%
Here’s some of the PR info, and after that you’ll find my notes and thoughts…
The Lost Blend is the new limited edition release from award-winning Scotch Whiskymaker Compass Box. This marriage of three single malts is a homage to their long lost (and much loved) Eleuthera whisky, and boasts the same unique smoky fruity style. After 10 years of searching, whiskymaker John Glaser was finally able to track down the unique whiskies he required earlier this year. The result is The Lost Blend.
Compass Box – Great King Street Glasgow Blend – 43%
There’s a new Great King Street blend on the streets. Here’s PR info and then below that find my notes and thoughts…
Glasgow Blend is the second permanent whisky to be introduced to the Great King Street range of innovative, small-batch Blended Scotch whiskies from Compass Box.
It is made from approximately 67% malt whisky from the regions of Islay, the Highlands and Speyside and 33% Lowland grain whisky from a Fife distillery.
Cutty Sark Launches 33yo Art Deco Limited Edition
Cutty Sark have a great set of blended whiskies in their range, and they’ve recently announced their oldest release, the 33 year old Art Deco release. Below you’ll find my tasting notes and thoughts on the blend, but first, here’s the PR info:
This new 33 Year Old bottling has been released to continue the exploration of the rich history, heritage and origin of Cutty Sark, with a specific focus on the exciting Art Deco period of the 1920s and early 1930s. Celebrating a time when Cutty Sark found its way into America, flourished within the emerging cocktail culture and changed the pace of Scotch whisky forever.
One of the newer distilleries to open of late is Wolfburn distillery, the northernmost whisky distillery on the mainland, based in Thurso. Below is a bit of info about the distillery before I take a quick look at how the spirit is maturing so far…
The first Wolfburn distillery was built in 1821 and was passed down through subsequent generations of the Smith family; in its heyday it was the largest distillery in Caithness. Production ceased during the latter half of the 19th Century – the exact date is not known.
‘Smoky Mist’ descends… Bunnahabhain Introduces Limited Release Ceòbanach
Regulars will know I’m a big fan of Bunnahabhain, I always have been… Bunna 12yo was one of the drams that started me on my journey. Therefore imagine my excitement to get hold of an official sample of Bunnas latest release, Ceòbanach. Below you’ll find my notes and thoughts, but first let’s take a look at the official PR…
During this week I found myself in London for work, and as happy coincidence would have it in the evening there was a Blablair tasting hosted at Milroys by the distillery’s manager John MacDonald. He’s a top gent and very interesting to talk to, if you get the chance then you should spend some time in his company, be that at a tasting somewhere, or if you manage to visit the distillery and he’s around.
We spent a couple of hours chatting about loads of things, and going through some of the current range… most of which I’ve reviewed before, but it’s always nice to make some new notes which you can find below.