Whisky New Releases 2017 Week 45
Welcome to The Whiskyphiles New Releases, our weekly report on the best of both the official and independently bottled whisky recently released.
Our top picks this week:
- Compass Box No Name peaty peaty peat peat but put together with some real sweetness and malt in the blend too, delicious! Sampled at Glasgow Whisky Festival
- Glenglassaugh Peated Port Wood Finish not 1 but 4 new Glenglassaugh released this week, this sweet and peaty expression carries on from the above. Sampled with Whisky Maker Rachel Barrie at Sandend beach after visiting Glenglassaugh Distilery
- Bowmore 18 Year Old – The Vintner’s Trilogy actually a toss up between this and BenRiach 22 Year Old Albariza – Peated sweet peat rules this week!
Amrut Double Cask (2017 Edition) £165.00
A 2017 release from Amrut’s Double Cask Indian single malt range. This time, they’ve combined whisky aged in a bourbon cask and a Port pipe (previous bottling from their Double cask series have been drawn from bourbon and Sherry casks).
How do you celebrate your 60th birthday when you’re the Chairman of a whisky distillery? Release a fantastic whisky, obviously! For the 60th birthday of Amrut’s Chairman Mr. Neel Jagdale, they created the Greedy Angels 8 Year Old Chairman’s Reserve Indian single malt – at the time, it was the oldest whisky they had released!
Amrut Spectrum 004 £169.99
A limited edition release from Amrut (the second in their Spectrum series), this Indian single malt whisky makes use of a very interesting cask. It begins its maturation in bourbon barrels, before being finished in cask made with four types of oak – Oloroso Sherry oak staves, Pedro Ximenéz Sherry oak staves, new French oak and new American oak.
Balblair 1999 – 3rd Release £61.55
The third release of Balblair’s 1999 vintage is a welcome one, as the highland Scotch whisky was aged in an interesting combination of American oak, ex-bourbon barrels and Spanish oak ex-sherry butts. It was bottled in 2017 at 46% ABV, with its natural colour and without chill filtration.
Distilled and bottled by BenRiach, this 22 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky is finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, which imparts a rich, fruity sweetness to the robust, peated BenRiach flavour profile. Albariza Peated is non-chill filtered and of natural colour, and this Speyside beauty was bottled at 46% ABV. Albariza itself is a white marl composed of calcium, clay and sea fossils that is used to grow grapes for the production of Sherry in the Andalucia region of Southern Spain. The more you know.
This BenRiach 22 Year Old was initially matured in the traditional style in American bourbon barrels before it was finished in dark rum barrels, sourced from Jamaica. Non-chill filtered and of natural colour, BenRiach bottled this single malt Scotch whisky at 46% ABV.
A limited edition peated single malt Scotch whisky distilled and bottled by BenRiach Distillery, this 22 Year Old is finished in Jamaican dark rum barrels after its initial maturation in American oak casks. From this process come the name ‘Dunder’, which is the residue of cane juice left in the still after rum is distilled. Traditionally, Jamaican rum producers use this residue as a source of yeast in the fermentation process. BenRiach 22 Year Old Dunder – Peated is non-chill filtered and of natural colour, and was bottled at 46% ABV.
One of a trio of released from the legendary Bowmore distillery on the Isle of Islay, showing off how wine-cask finishes interact with their smoky, coastal single malt. For the 18 year old expression, they began with maturing the whisky in ex-bourbon barrels for 13 years – following that, the whisky was transferred over to casks that previously held Manzanilla Sherry for the remaining 5 years.
The Vintner’s Trilogy from Bowmore showcases the impact of lengthy wine-cask-finishes on the terrific Islay single malt. The 26 year old expression began its maturation in ex-bourbon barrels for 13 years, before being moved over to French oak barriques (that previously held wine) for the remaining 13 years!
Box 2nd Step Collection 03 £80.38
This is the third and final release in the 2nd Step Collection from Sweden’s Box distillery, which was matured in a combination of American oak, first-fill bourbon barrels and even Hungarian oak!
Bealach Ruadh 8 Year Old is an independent bottling from Chorlton Whisky Company, from a secret distillery*… Matured in a hogshead for eight years, this Islay single malt Scotch whisky was bottled at 56.9% ABV with its natural colour and without chill filtration. It’s also one of only 86 bottles – so the secret won’t be out for long! *The name is a clue.
A Speyside blended malt from a single hogshead cask, the Burnside 20 Year Old was released with an outturn of 103 bottles. Of natural colour and without chill filtration, it was bottled at 51.7% for Chorlton, and listed as a ‘Burnside’ blended whisky. Burnside is what’s known as a ‘teaspooned’ malt, which means that a tiny amount of whisky from another distillery is mixed with whisky from one distillery, so it can’t be sold as a single malt under any distillery’s name.
Single cask single grain from Cambus, the now sadly defunct Lowlands distillery, which spent a quarter of a century ageing in a Sherry butt. It was then bottled for Chorlton Whisky at 56.9% ABV with its natural colour and without chill filtration. It’s one of only 42 bottles – so be quick!
Compass Box No Name £100.00
This right here is the peatiest whisky to date from the fantastic Compass Box – No Name. A massively smoky blended malt, packing more peat than their own Peat Monster expression! Massively interesting and hugely delicious.
Drinks By The Dram
Last year’s Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar from Drinks by the Dram was so popular it sold out not once but twice – so don’t delay if you plan on supplementing your December with this spectacular selection of spirits! Packed with 24 3cl drams of incredible whiskies from the likes of Hibiki, Nikka, Hakushu, Yamazaki and more, the Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar spans single malts, single grains and delicious blends – all from the Land of the Rising Sun. A treat indeed.
Elements of Islay
Tasty single malt from the Bruichladdich distillery, independently bottled as part of the Elements of Islay range. It was drawn from a trio of Sherry hogsheads as well as a bourbon barrel. The resulting whisky is packed full of chocolate and fruit notes.
It’s the seventh release of Bw from the Elements of Islay independent bottling range. If only we could crack the code and figure out which Islay whisky distillery this one came from… If only…
The eighth single malt from the Elements of Islay series, this ‘Lp; from a distillery on the south coast of Islay is a composition of a 1998 vintage Laphroaig that was created from 3 ex-Madeira wine casks. Bottled at cask strength, 53.5% ABV.
The second release of Ma from the Elements of Islay series, this a vatting of four first fill peated bourbon barrels which aged at a particularly northern Islay distillery for thirteen years. The distillery is built at the mouth of the Margadele River, which is where this single malt Scotch whisky gets its name from, and is bottled at 55.2% ABV.
Elijah Craig has long been a favourite bourbon of many whiskey enthusiasts – to the point where their stocks of 12 year old bourbon have been under a lot of pressure. The producers made the decision to discontinue the 12 Year Old expression and create this expression to take its place. It manages to maintain the incredibly high quality that Elijah Craig is known for, including the delicious core of cooked apple drizzled in honey notes. This expression has been well received, taking home not one but two San Francisco World Spirits Competition Double Gold medals!
Following up its first peated single malt Scotch, GlenDronach Peated Whisky, GlenDronach have now created this delightful peated malt, which was finished in Douro Valley port pipes. Bottled without an age statement at 46% ABV, the GlenDronach Peated Port Finish is made in reference to the nineteenth century tradition of importing casked port into Scotland.
Dig in a to wonderful juxtaposition of peat smoke and Port sweetness with this excellent Glenglassaugh single malt! Released as part of their Wood Finishes series (launched in 2017 – and the first cask-finished whiskies released by the distillery!), it’s a well-balanced dram with plenty of character behind it.
In late 2017, Glenglassaugh kicked off their Wood Finishes series with a quartet of cask-finished expressions – the first cask-finished whiskies ever released by the distillery! This expression pairs their tasty peated whisky with a finishing period in virgin American oak casks, helping to bolster the spicy notes from the smoke.
The Glenglassaugh distillery launched their Wood Finishes series in late 2017, marking the first time they’ve ever released cask-finished expressions. Very exciting stuff! This particular bottling was initially aged in bourbon casks before being moved over to Pedro Ximenéz for up to two years.
A brilliant addition to the Glenglassaugh range unveiled in late 2017 as part of the Wood Finishes series, this Port cask-finished Highland single malt boasts oodles of jammy fruit and chocolate notes. Fun note: this series is the first time that Glenglassaugh have released cask-finished whisky!
Glenkinchie’s Distillers Edition bottlings are allowed a finishing period in Amontillado Sherry, which is traditionally rather rich and nutty. In turn, this imparts some delicious almond and brown sugar notes to the top notch Lowland Scotch single malt. You’re looking at the 2005 vintage Glenkinchie Distillers Edition, which was bottled in 2017.
10 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Highland Park distillery on Orkney, presented in the heavily-Viking-inspired livery that was launched in 2017. This expression is normally found on mainland Europe, but it seems that some bottles have landed on our shores (presumably on some sort of longboat, considering all the Viking imagery connected to it).
Precious, precious Karuizawa… This is a 1984 vintage Japanese single malt from the legendary closed distillery, aged in a single Sherry cask until it was bottled in 2013 at cask strength. A great collectible.
Knockando 12 Year Old £32.83
Single male Scotch whisky from the Knockando distillery in the prolific Speyside region, aged for a dozen years before being bottled. Interestingly, they seem to have done away with including the vintage for this bottling…
Trains are wonderful inventions, so it’s only fair that a locomotive features on one of the Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition Classic Travel Range labels. These labels were designed by British photographer Nick Veasey, all featuring various modes of transportation. The whisky range was released for the Travel Retail Market.
A release from the Macallan Whisky Maker’s Edition Classic Travel Range, which shows off stylish designs by British photographer Nick Veasey of various forms of transport from yesteryear on the labels. This particular edition features an ocean liner – because boats are great. Originally released for the Travel Retail Market.
Mackmyra Skördetid £72.92
The result of close collaboration between Mackmyra and the Italian wine producer Masi, this seasonal release marks the first time the Swedish producers have used Masi Costasera Amarone casks to finish one of its single malt whiskies. It spent six months in the barrels, following initial maturation in Mackmyra casks in the the Bodås mine. Skördetid, the Swedish for ‘harvest time’, doesn’t only take on the rich, distinctive flavour of the wine-cask finish, but also the the dark wine-red colour of the Masi Costasera Amarone, which is mirrored in the packaging and bottle stopper. This colour is natural, and with its deep, autumnal notes and dark, brooding colour, it makes an ideal evening dram, perfect for the festive season.
Malts of Scotland
Matured in a Sherry hogshead cask, this Glengoyne single malt Scotch whisky was distilled in 1999 and bottled by Malts of Scotland in 2017 at 52.5% ABV, with an outturn of 211 bottles. A classic Glengoyne flavour profile, boasting rich Sherry and worn leather notes by the bucket-load.
For the Malts of Scotland range, this single malt Scotch whisky was bottled in 2017 at 58.9% ABV, with an outturn of 145 bottles. Distillation occurred in 1995 at Highland Park, in the midst of the ‘The Battle of Britpop’, and the maturation took place in a bourbon hogshead cask.
The Port Charlotte single malts range from Bruichladdich are a tribute to the men who once worked at the now silent Lochindaal Distillery, in the village of Port Charlotte. This particular edition was distilled in 2002 before maturation occurred in a red wine cask. Following this, it was bottled at 56.3% ABV in 2017 for the Malts of Scotland range, with an outturn of 347 bottles.
This was independently bottled at 47.1% ABV by Malts of Scotland in 2017 with a small outturn of just 144 bottles. Distillation took place at Springbank distillery in 1992, and this single malt Scotch whisky was aged in a bourbon hogshead cask.
Unveiled in 2017, Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Rye Whiskey is an exciting release from the Kentucky-based distillers. It enjoys a finishing period in casks made from air-dried oak and toasted – not charred, but specifically toasted. This particular undertaking was chosen to compliment the natural spiciness of the rye with a touch of smoke. Very impressive American whiskey.
Bottlings of single malt from the Ben Wyvis distillery are few and far between, and highly sought after by collectors – hence why this is a particularly exciting bottle indeed. It’s a 31 year old Ben Wyvis, distilled in June 1968 and bottled in February 2000 by Signatory. 151 decanters were produced, and presented alongside a 5cl miniature of the same whisky! Includes stopper, and 5cl miniature. jun 1968 – feb 2000. 151 decanters.
Bottled at 43% ABV for the very impressive Signatory Vintage range on 17 October 2017, this fine single malt Scotch whisky was distilled at Craigellachie distillery on 20 June 2008, with a 9 year maturation in ex-bourbon barrels following. The Craigellachie 9 Year Old 2008 is from two casks (800115 & 800128) and has benefited from no additional colouring.
Bottled for the Un-Chillfiltered Collection by those charming folk at Signatory, this indie Edradour was distilled on 29th November 2006. It was bottled at 46% ABV on 12 September 2017 with natural colour and, true to from, this scrumptious Highland single malt was not chill-filtered for even one single second.
21 year old single malt from the Glen Elgin distillery, aged in a pair of hogshead casks from December 1995 to October 2017. Following its maturation, this was bottled by Signatory as part of their Un-Chillfiltered Collection – and as such, it was not chillfiltered.
Springbank 32 Year Old £1,495.00
32 year old Springbank single malt. Many whisky enthusiasts have a sixth sense for hearing those words uttered in that order in a 10-mile radius. Impeccably aged and well Sherried.
The Blended Whisky Company
The Lost Distilleries Blend has reached double digits! Yes, The Blended Whisky Company’s exceptional blended Scotch whisky created exclusively with malt and grain whiskies from distilleries that have shut their doors has arrived at its 10th batch. As ever, stocks both rare and sought-after by whisky collectors and cognoscenti alike have made their way into the Lost Distilleries Blend – this time featuring whisky from Caperdonich, Rosebank, Imperial, Mosstowie, Glen Mhor, Glenisla, Glenlochy, Craigduff, Port Ellen and Brora, alongside grain from Port Dundas. A marvel of blending and a fine tribute to those gone but not forgotten greats. Batch 10 is a release of 1,041 bottles.
Aged for 15 years in hand-picked oak barrels, this Speyside single malt Scotch whisky was distilled using peated malted barley at Tomintoul Distillery, giving that self-acknowledged ‘Peaty Tang’ uncommon in its region. Bottled at a smooth 40% ABV, this release marks something of a follow up from this little beauty, only this edition has a declared age statement.
Tyrconnell 16 Year Old £73.62
A super single malt, double distilled at the Cooley Distillery using its unusually shaped copper pot stills (small in size and long in neck) giving the whisky and copper lots of contact that resulted in a refined and layered spirit. This Tyrconnell was then bottled at 46% ABV, after it was aged for 16 years in ex-American oak bourbon barrels in a 200 year-old granite warehouse.