anCnoc 1975 Vintage release

anCnoc 1975

The new anCnoc 1975 Vintage is here

anCnoc 1975

On February 1st 2015 anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky will unveil its latest creation – anCnoc 1975 Vintage. Bottled late in 2014 this is the oldest expression ever released from Knockdhu Distillery and promises to be the ultimate treat for anCnoc fans and the most discerning whisky drinkers around the world.

The whisky comes from only three American oak and Spanish oak ex-sherry casks laid down in 1975. The release consists of 1590 bottles. The whisky comes in its most natural form, it has not been chill-filtered or coloured and is presented at the cask strength of 44.2% ABV.

The recommended retail price is £300. anCnoc 1975 Vintage will be available in several key markets around the world including the UK, USA, Russia and Canada.

In-keeping with anCnoc’s ethos of ‘Modern Tradition’, the 1975 Vintage is presented in a simple, striking bottle and encased in an elegant black tube.

anCnoc Assistant Brand Manager Stephanie Bridge sheds light on where the new Vintage fits within anCnoc’s recent string of acclaimed releases.

The last 12 months have been a very ambitious and a very successful time for anCnoc. We unveiled the limited Peaty Collection to a global audience and launched two travel retail expressions as well as our popular 18 Year Old. The 1975 has been anticipated for a number of years, it’s distinctively anCnoc, a fantastic whisky and a superb addition to any whisky collection.”

Tasting notes

Colour: Ebony with amber highlights

Nose: Rich and inviting. Waves of spicy dried fruit and creamy vanilla sweetness are accentuated by candied orange peel, green apple freshness and just a hint of cut flowers. This is a rare example of a very mature dram displaying in equal measures its robustness, liveliness and the unique Distillery character.

Taste: Full-bodied, intense and complex. Fruit cake, sticky toffee and seasoned leather are followed by signature notes of honey and lemons, leading eventually to a long, mouth-watering finish full of vibrant spice and earthy raisin sweetness.

 

Thanks to Lukasz at Alembic Communications Ltd. for press release.

GlenDronach releases batch 11 of its single cask bottlings

GlenDronach releases batch 11 of its single cask bottlings

29.01.2015

Today, 29 January, we have released the latest batch, the eleventh, of single cask bottlings.

It comprises nine outstanding casks that were bottled in November and all are available as of today.

Ranging from 43 to 18 years old, there is huge and intriguing variety across the nine, six of which were matured in Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheons, two in Oloroso Sherry Butts and one in an Oloroso Sherry Puncheon.

Typically for GlenDronach, each cask demonstrates the classic robust and richly sherried style infused with mouth-watering, zingy fruits.

All nine single casks have been hand-selected by BenRiach’s Managing Director and Master Distiller Billy Walker who described them as “sensational” and added:

“I believe Batch 11 makes a very simple point – the wood has a huge influence on the spirit. You immediately sense – and taste – the influence of the casks on these nine sublime single malts. The subtle interaction of the ex-sherry wood with the Highland spirit over long dark years in the warehouse creates a luxurious and amazingly complex raft of flavours. In these nine expressions you feel the pulse of our inventory at GlenDronach and the idiosyncratic personality of the casks coming through. That, plus the passion and craftsmanship of our people, is what produces these incredible whiskies time and time again.”

Batch Eleven has a number of superb highlights.

The oldest, 1971 cask number 2920, at 48.6% vol, is a monster 43 years old malt matured in a Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon. Intense treacle toffee floods over sour plums and roasted coffee. Harmonising waves of leather and tobacco give great depth and are balanced perfectly by a subtle toasted walnut and date back note.

As a contrast the 18 years old from cask number 244, at 56.9% vol, is the youngest, distilled in February 1996. Matured in a fine Oloroso Sherry Butt, there is a tremendous balance of mixed candied peel and stewed dark fruits sprinkled with dark Demerara. Delicious waves of toffee, cracked barley and warm oak spices combine to give a long and elegant finish.

The cask details are as follows:

  • 1971 cask # 2920 /  43 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 48.6% vol. 
  • 1990 cask # 1020 /  24 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.8% vol.
  • 1990 cask # 1162 / 24 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 52.9%vol. 
  • 1994 cask # 54 / 20 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 56.6% vol.
  • 1994 cask # 3201 / 20 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 56.2% vol.
  • 1994 cask # 3386 / 20 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 53.6% vol.
  • 1995 cask # 538 / 19 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / 55.0% vol.
  • 1995 cask # 4941 / 19 years old / Oloroso Sherry Puncheon / 57.0% vol.
  • 1996 cask # 244 / 18 years old / Oloroso Sherry Butt / 56.9% vol.

Tomatin 11 Years Old 2003 – Distillery Edition ~ 56.3% (Tomatin Distillery)

Tomatin

Tomatin 11 Years Old 2003 – Distillery Edition

Highland single malt scotch whisky

56.3% ABV, £75 for 70cl

Score:  83/100

Tomatin

What they say:

Distilled in 2003 at the Tomatin distillery, this bottle-your-own expression is exclusively available at the Tomatin distillery visitor centre. Matured for 11 years in an ex-bourbon cask #1903.

What I say:

Sampled in 2014 when this was 11 years old and only a few bottles remained in the cask.

Colour:

Refractive champagne gold, medium/heavy tears with light trails

Nose:

Vanilla, vanilla cream, white chocolate buttons, zesty and citric, spirit (alcohol!), zesty white grapefruit, floral, buttery, creamy milk, white sugar mice sweeties, icing sugar and vanilla frosting

Taste:

Thick and syrupy, honey and vanilla, fruity, crisp green apple, peach, grapefruit, some peppery spice and heat, toffee and caramel oak, toasted coconut, with water, this becomes sweeter and smoother with a little more grapefruit zest in the finish

Finish:

Medium, vanilla, sweet, toffee, oak, zesty citrus

Overall:

During the WOLS Highland trip 2014 we stopped off at the Tomatin distillery for a tasting (as we didn’t have time to complete the full tour). During the tasting we sampled both of the distillery exclusive bottle-your-own expressions. I favoured the ex-bourbon cask-matured example over the ex-sherry. This one was full of vanilla and white chocolate but with zesty fruits behind that were barely contained.

Bunnahabhain Batch#1 ~ 46.1% (That Boutique-Y Whisky Company)

BunnaBatch1

Bunnahabhain Batch#1

Islay single malt scotch whisky

46.1% ABV, £36 for 50cl

Score: 89/100

BunnahabhainBatch1

What they say:

This is the first batch of delicious Bunnahabhain single malt from That Boutique-y Whisky. The whisky is rich and fruity with a hint of peat, and the graphic-novel-style label depicts the distillery and various goings-on, including a rally car navigating the terrifying track to the distillery. There are also sunbathers on the beach, and a handsome man tossing the caber.

Batch 1 is release of 233 numbered bottles.

‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’ bottles single malts, single grains, bourbons, blended malts and blends from a variety of renowned distilleries. These whiskies are adorned with cultish graphic novel-style labels.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: A little seaweed on the nose, melded with sweet caramel and heather honey. There is a faint hint of peat smoke coming through, with notes of fresh fruit.

Palate: Deep malt and heather, with overripe grape, calves leather and vanilla. The peat smoke notes develop late palate, with hints of cracked black pepper.

Finish: Peppery, slightly smoky finish. Very coastal now.

Overall: A classic Bunnahabhain!

BunnaBatch1

What I say:

Purchased from a friend, I couldn’t really pass up the offer of another Bunnahabhain bottling. This one by That Boutique-Y Whisky Company doesn’t reveal any age statement or details of casks, however they are bottled at cask strength so one can only guess how many years (or decades!) it took for this one to drop to 46.1%?

Colour:

Full dark amber gold (12/20), medium tears with light trails

Nose:

Delicate tropical fruits, sweet, peated, light smoke, old charred oak wood, charcoal, cereal barley malt, musty dunnage warehouse, briny sea spray

Taste:

Creamy rich toffee oak, mellow, cereal barley draff, malty, marmite, burnt brown toast, buttery, some tropical fruit, pineapple, banana, overripe mango (super sweet and juicy), butterscotch and vanilla, nutmeg spice, salty ginger, coffee and cinnamon, latte

Finish:

Sharp peat prickle, cinnamon and nutmeg spices with treacle toffee and vanilla cream

Overall:

Nom nom nom, another well aged Bunnahabhain expression, perhaps a tad more peat-influence than usual. This made me wonder if this was from a peated barley batch, or if the ageing has just let the usual light peaty influence shine through? Either way, this is super-delicious and a real joy to dram. Complex toffee peatiness with layers of tropical fruits.

Water Of Life Society Tasting 15/2 Burns Tasting 22/01/2015

WOLS15/2Burns

Water Of Life Society Tasting 15/2

Burns Tasting

22/01/2015

mr%20burns

Excellent!

This week the Edinburgh University Water of Life Society were celebrating the scottish bard himself

Robert Burns (25th January 1759 – 21st July 1796)

with the following drams:

Cutty Sark Storm ~ 40% (Edrington Group)

CuttySarkStormWOLS

Cutty Sark, the blended scotch; named after the tea clipper; named after the short skirt/nightdress worn by the young witch in Burns’s poem Tam O’Shanter

Her cutty-sark, o’ Paisley harn
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho’ sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie,-

Of course Tam got into his spot of trouble with the Witches after a wee dram o’whisky

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi’ tippeny, we fear nae evil;
Wi’ usquabae, we’ll face the devil!–

The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finish ~ 50% (Isle of Arran Distillers)

ArranAmaroneWOLS

Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire in 1759 and his links with Ayrshire and Arran are well known. In fact, although the bard never actually visited the Isle of Arran, he is certain to have been able to see it on clear days as he laboured in the fields of Ayrshire on his father’s farm. At that time there were several illicit stills on Arran which produced whisky that was claimed by many to be “among the finest whiskies available”. This was shipped to Dunure in Ayrshire – then the centre of the illegal whisky trade – before being shipped to the gentry in Scotland’s major cities where they “took the Arran waters”.

BenRiach 15 Years Old 1999 – PX cask ~ 55.4% (BenRiach & GlenDronach Distilleries)

BenRiach15yo1999PXWOLS

A Bottle and a Friend:

Here’s a bottle and an honest friend!
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o’ care, man?

Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man:
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not aye when sought, man.

Glen Garioch 1999 Vintage – Oloroso Cask ~ 56.3% (Morrison Bowmore)

GlenGarioch1999WOLS

Scotch drink:

Wae worth that brandy, burnin trash!
Fell source o’ mony a pain an’ brash!
Twins mony a poor, doylt, drucken hash,
O’ half his days;
An’ sends, beside, auld Scotland’s cash
To her warst faes.

Ye Scots, wha wish auld Scotland well!
Ye chief, to you my tale I tell,
Poor, plackless devils like mysel’!
It sets you ill,
Wi’ bitter, dearthfu’ wines to mell,
Or foreign gill.

May gravels round his blather wrench,
An’ gouts torment him, inch by inch,
What twists his gruntle wi’ a glunch
O’ sour disdain,
Out owre a glass o’ whisky-punch
Wi’ honest men!

O Whisky! soul o’ plays and pranks!
Accept a bardie’s gratfu’ thanks!

Notably Glen Garioch distillery was founded the year after Burns’ death

Bowmore Small Batch Reserve – Bourbon Cask Matured ~ 40% (Morrison Bowmore)

BowmoreSBWols

Grace after meat:

Lord, we thank, and thee adore,
For temporal gifts we little merit;
At present we will ask no more-
Let William Hislop give the spirit.

Final lineup

WOLS15/2Burns

Also congratulations to the winners of our literary competition to write and recite a poem about whisky!

Bowmore Small Batch Reserve – Bourbon Cask Matured ~ 40% (Morrison Bowmore)

BowmoreSBWols

Bowmore Small Batch Reserve – Bourbon Cask Matured

Islay single malt scotch whisky

40% ABV, £25 for 70cl

Score: 82/100

BowmoreSmallBatch

What they say:

Small Batch

40% abv | Exclusively matured in first and second fill ex bourbon casks, then blissfully married together.

Good Things Come In Small Batches

Exclusively matured in first and second fill ex bourbon casks, then blissfully married together, Small Batch exhibits the best qualities of both. First-fill bourbon offers delicious vanilla sweetness, subtle spices and bourbon oak smoke to complement Bowmore’s gentle peaty smokiness, while the second-fill cask enhances Bowmore’s fresh fruity complexity and showcases its trademark honey and creamy malt character.

Tasting Notes

On the eye warm gold.

Breathe in vanilla fudge, sea air and peat smoke, balanced beautifully by honeycomb and cinnamon spice.

Sip mouth-watering citrus, gentle saltiness and vanilla with flakes of coconut.

Savour the wispy smoke, bourbon vanilla and lime finish.

BowmoreSBWols

What I say:

Dram #5 at the WOLS Burns Tasting 22/01/2015 was this Bowmore Small Batch – Bourbon Cask Matured release. This no-age statement (NAS) release was originally released as the Small Batch Bourbon Cask Matured before being repackaged with the word Reserve added in. Presumably this must have been to prevent any confusion surrounding the idea that Bowmore distillery were producing small batch Bourbon Whiskey (instead of scotch single malt matured in ex-bourbon casks) – one can only assume? At present this appears to be Bowmore’s entry-level malt

Colour:

Full amber gold (10/20) with medium tears

Nose:

Malty cereal barley, vanilla cream/custard, some depth in the peaty earthy aromas, floral, orange blossom citrus, peat smoke, dusty ash, beef monster munch (corn snacks) and burnt toast

Taste:

Cereal barley malt, marmite on brown toast, dusty smoky peat, creamy vanilla custard and coconut

Finish:

Long peaty and creamy, some citric lime foam

Overall:

Pleasantly surprised. There were some tasters to whom this was not appealing. Compared against some of the other recent very citric and zesty lemon/limey Bowmore expressions I was really impressed. For an entry-level malt this has some depth of malt and peat and some complexity and real body to it, without revealing too much zesty youthfulness. I would happily dram this at this price!

Glen Garioch 1999 Vintage – Oloroso Cask ~ 56.3% (Morrison Bowmore)

GlenGarioch1999WOLS

Glen Garioch 1999 Vintage – Oloroso Cask Batch No. 30

Highland single malt scotch whisky

56.3% ABV, £61.95 for 70cl

Score: 89/100

GlenGarioch1999

What they say:

This Small Batch Release of Glen Garioch 1999 gains it rich and full-bodied Highland character from maturation in Oloroso Sherry Casks since 1999. The result is treacle toffee, chocolate and maple syrup with a hint of spice.

Tasting notes:

Full-bodied and intensely sherried with a syrupy mouth coating texture. Treacle toffee, chocolate and maple syrup soak into the palate, carrying the tingly warmth of nutmeg and ginger spices, tangy orange marmalade and dates, leading to a long, deep finish of raisins, caramelised toffee and liquorice.

GlenGarioch1999WOLS

What I say:

Dram #4 at the WOLS Burns Tasting 22/01/2015 was this 1999 vintage from Glen Garioch. Matured for ~ 14 years in Oloroso casks.

Colour:

Blood red (15/20), thick/heavy tears

Nose:

Struck matches, fireworks, leather journal or well-worn couch, tannic, dry, spicy cinnamon and nutmeg, sweet heather honey

Taste:

Thick and syrupy in mouthfeel, sweet and fruity, orange marmalade with ginger, red berries (strawberry and raspberry) and stone fruits (peach, apricot), dark chocolate, caramel and toffee oak wood

Finish:

Long, drying struck matches, leather, and cocoa/chocolate

Overall:

Another fantastic sherried dram, this time from the Glen Garioch distillery in the highlands and bottled as a year vintage (1999) as opposed to age statement. Sadly paled fractionally, when compared to the preceeding BenRiach BenRiach 15 Years Old 1999 – PX cask ~ 55.4% (BenRiach & GlenDronach Distilleries) . This one is a small batch release with 100% Oloroso sherry cask-maturation.

BenRiach 15 Years Old 1999 – PX cask ~ 55.4% (BenRiach & GlenDronach Distilleries)

BenRiach15yo1999PXWOLS

BenRiach 15 Years Old 1999 – PX cask

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

55.4% ABV, £66.95 for 70cl available from Royal Mile Whiskies

Score: 90/100

BenRiach15yo1999PX

What they say:

A UK-exclusive single-cask 1999 vintage Benriach. Aged for 15 years, this was bottled from an ex-PX cask in November 2014. Cask #9150, 694 bottles

Notes: Warm toasted-oak spices flood through roasted orchard fruits drizzled with golden syrup and dusted with vanilla.

Taste: Crisp green apple and pear sweeten to sultanas and dried apricot. Vibrant oak spices and soft vanilla pod warm and deepen the long, succulent finish.

BenRiach15yo1999PXWOLS

What I say:

Dram #3 at the WOLS Burns Tasting 22/01/2015 was this UK exclusive 15 year old BenRiach expression. Distilled in 1999 and matured for 15 years with part maturation in an ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry cask (i.e. single cask but has been matured in more than 1 cask – i.e. re-racked at some point)

Colour:

Burnt umber (16/20), Medium/heavy tears

Nose:

Nutty, walnut, brazil nut, hazelnut, almond, autumnal leaf mould, sweet, toasted horse chestnut’s, brown/demerara sugar, cane sugar, molasses, gentle treacle (not bitter)

Taste:

Sweet, toffee oak wood, caramel, caramelised sugar, raisin, crème brulee topping, walnut, brazil nut, pecan, maple syrup, dark chocolate, toasted maple wood and the faintest hint of sulphur

Finish:

Long, treacle, gentle and sweet, maple syrup and walnut persist

Overall:

OK so its past maybe a little cloudy, however this is an incredibly nutty and deep sugary dram that I just loved! This hit my flavour profile completely! I found this a lot more PX sherry-influenced than the official notes suggest. Yes there were hints of the underlying bourbon cask maturation, but this was NUTS!

Cutty Sark Storm ~ 40% (Edrington Group)

CuttySarkStormWOLS

Cutty Sark Storm

Blended scotch whisky

40% ABV, £20 for 70cl

Score: 82/100

Cutty_Storm

What they say:

Cutty Sark Storm 40% ABV

A blend of brooding depth and exciting complexity, Cutty Sark Storm has been crafted from older single malts. Master Blender, Kirsteen Campbell, has used a greater proportion of malts from Scotland’s most celebrated distilleries to create a profoundly rich whisky. Although bolder and deeper, Storm is in keeping with the Cutty Sark philosophy of accessibility and versatility. The tension of Storm lies between the depth of flavour of the older malts and the vibrancy of the fresher grains.  The blend includes aged malts from Highland Park, The Macallan and other renowned distilleries. The top-quality grain whisky comes from Edinburgh’s North British Distillery. Cutty Sark Storm is the latest inspired expression from one of the Top 10 blended Scotch whiskies in the world.

Colour: Bright amber – with a suggestion of hidden depths

Nose: Sweet, ripe stone fruit, peaches and cream – layers of complexity and attractive velvet texture.

Palate: Rich and exotic, fudge and tropical fruit – intriguing depth that only comes from aged malts.

Finish: Gently drying, medium to good length, spicy with undertones of oak – exuberant yet mature with perfect balance.

CuttySarkStormWOLS

What I say:

Dram #1 at the WOLS Burns Tasting 22/01/2015

Colour:

Full amber gold (10/20), Medium tears

Nose:

Sweet, honey, toffee oak wood, some tannins, briny salt, sweet cereal barley, sherry fruits, orange, peach, apricot, neutral sweet overall

Taste:

Smooth, silky, fruity orange blossom honey, cereal barley, Weetabix, gristy, toffee and caramel oak wood, a little thin in places revealing grain whisky in the blend

Finish:

Medium, tannic, drying, sweet with some cinnamon spice

Overall:

For the price this is a great/accomplished blended whisky. The character of some of the more interesting malts in the Edrington group make their presence felt in here no doubt.

46.26 Killer Bee Surf Wax ~ 54.4% (SMWS)

SMWS46.26

46.26 Killer Bee Surf Wax

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

54.4% ABV, £76.60 for 70cl

Score: 84/100

 SMWS

What they say:

Cask No. 46.26

We all imagined sitting in big, comfortable, leather armchairs on a sun deck with an outdoor marble fire place overlooking the ocean in some tropical location – possibly Acapulco – having breakfast. Honey on toast, pineapple juice, hot banana cake and fresh mango chunks. The taste was of a fresh fruit salad (pineapple, mango and passion fruit) with chilli flakes, black pepper and strawberry ice cream. Water released fresh/salty aromas of sushi, sashimi and a newly waxed surfboard in the corner. To taste; peach rice pudding, puff pastry with strawberry jam, lemon pie and macadamia nut oil.

Drinking tip: ‘Going loco’ on the beach

Date Distilled: 16 September 1992 Colour: Tijuana Brass Age: 21 years Flavour : Spicy & sweet Cask Type: Refill ex-bourbon hogshead Whisky Region: Speyside Lossie

Outturn: 238 bottles

 SMWS46.26

What I say:

Continuing on my ‘SMWS Distillery Code bagging’ here is a 21 year old Glenlossie (#46) thanks to Ben @ Ben’s Whisky Blog for organising this sample

Colour:

Full refractive gold, numerous medium/heavy tears

Nose:

Sweet, spirit and feinty, carnauba wax, beeswax, candles, spicy, cereal, fruity sweet peach and apricot, honey, clementines, apple pie and vanilla custard.

Taste:

Slightly waxy, oily, orange juice, cantaloupe melon, peach skin, blossom honey, vanilla custard and apple pie,  [cereal] shortcrust pastry

Finish:

Short, sweet and waxy, oily and slightly spicy dry oak wood in places

Overall:

Waxy and fruit-filled, like a waxed apple pie. The age reveals itself as a mellow complexity in the fruity flavours – another fine single cask from SMWS

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