Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Whisky Exchange–8th Birthday Tasting

The Whisky Exchange is a national treasure, and just round the corner from my office.  It’s a wonderful place to discover artisanal tequila, small batch bourbons and of course a whole universe of Scotch whiskies. 

Last night we attended TWE’s 8th birthday tasting – 6 whiskies that are 8 year olds but were all bottled in the 70s and 80s and so represent a different age of whisky making, when more distilleries made their own floor malts and stills were fired with coal, and there was a lot less consistency and some incredible complexity at only 8 years.  All of the whiskies we tasted last night stand up to 25-30 year old whiskies we’re bottling today.  What an incredible set of whiskies!

  1. Glen Scotia 8yo Bot 1980s OB, 40%
  2. Springbank 8yo Oval Bottle Bot 1970s OB, 43%
  3. Glendronach 8yo Dumpy Bottle Bot 1980s OB, 45.4%
  4. Glen Garioch 8yo Dumpy Bottle Bot 1980s OB, 40%
  5. Aberlour-Glenlivet 8yo Bot 1970s OB, 50%
  6. Ardbeg 1991 8yo #629-630 Signatory, 43%

Out of all of these rare bottles, the Springbank appears to have been the last bottle in existence, the rest are still available.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Glenlivet Quercus 17 year old

This is a sample I had from the Whisky Shop rather than a full bottle.  Its delightful, I’m not sure about the cost/value equation but I have to say I would consider it if I didn’t have so many other whiskies to try with that money first.

Glenlivet Quercus 17 year old Whisky Shop exclusive, 52.1% A⊕


Nose – Fresh fruit, apples and pears.  Citrus fruit, oranges and limes.  Refreshing and inviting coconut and orange, sandalwood, cider.

Body – Fizzing, creamy body with hard wood.  Smooth and mouth coating.  Effortlessly balanced creamy oak and vanilla.  Fine malt palate.  Very well presented and refreshing.

Finish – Sechuan peppercorns.  Long, long finish with loads of toasty oak and spice.  Beautiful, supple, well balanced.  Some well integrated bitterness.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

CÙ BÒCAN - The new expression from Tomatin!

It's here!
Announced just now through a twitter tasting is Tomatin's new expression, CÙ BÒCAN.
The whisky is lightly peated single malt (PPM 15) - the distillery hasn't traditionally made peated whiskies but for the last eight years has been putting aside small amounts of peated malt.  This expression will be made in small batches of 60,000 litres per year - its a no-age-statement whisky with 8 year old peated malt in and the age of this will increase each year.  Batch 1 is 18,000 bottles and available now at http://tomatin.com/shop/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=51.

Bowmore Masterclass and a new expression–Devil’s Cask

Last night at The Whisky Exchange’s Bowmore tasting, we were treated to 90 minutes of real education from Bowmore’s brand ambassador and Master of Malt Iain MacCallum (who describes himself as a “professional travelling alcoholic”), and we got to taste (and pre-order!) Bowmore’s fantastic new expression, Devil’s Cask, which is a real belter (a sherried Tempest).
Mind you there wasn’t any of the 1957 on offer, but with only 12 bottles in existence that’s understandable.  Instead we had (from left to right) the 12yo, the 15yo Darkest, the 18yo, the 25yo, the Tempest (batch 4), the new Devil’s Cask (sample bottle) and the 23yo Port Wood